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Cotchin’s Jack Dyer Medal treble

Cotchin's courageous 2014 The very best of Trent Cotchin in 2014.
Trent Cotchin of the Tigers in action during the 2014 AFL Round 19 match between the Richmond Tigers and the GWS Giants at the MCG, Melbourne on August 02, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Trent Cotchin of the Tigers in action during the 2014 AFL Round 19 match between the Richmond Tigers and the GWS Giants at the MCG, Melbourne on August 02, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Richmond captain and star midfielder Trent Cotchin has won his third Jack Dyer Medal.

Cotchin took out the Tigers’ 2014 Best and Fairest award, polling 292 votes, to edge out rising star Brandon Ellis, who finished on 283 votes, with young gun Dustin Martin third, on 266 votes, in an exciting count held tonight (Tuesday, September 30) before a packed Palladium Ballroom at Crown Casino. 

Talented small forward/midfielder Shane Edwards was a further eight votes behind (258) in fourth place, while ace spearhead Jack Riewoldt finished fifth (253 votes).  

At 24 years, five months, Cotchin becomes the youngest triple Best and Fairest winner in Richmond’s history.  He is the ninth Tiger player to win three Best and Fairests or more, joining Club greats Jack Dyer (six), Kevin Bartlett (five), Roy Wright (four), Wayne Campbell (four), Bill Morris (three), Ron Branton (three), Neville Crowe (three) and Geoff Raines (three).

Cotchin, who previously won the prestigious Jack Dyer Medal in 2011 and 2012, was prominent from the outset in the 2014 Best and Fairest vote count.  He was second behind Martin at the midway mark of the Tigers’ season, polled a personal season-high 21 votes for his brilliant five-goal display against St Kilda in Round 16, then took the lead following the Round 17 clash with Brisbane, and wasn’t headed after that.

The Richmond skipper played all of the team’s 23 games in season 2014, averaging 26 disposals per match. 

He was ranked No. 2 at Tigerland for total disposals (597), racking up a career-high 38 touches in the opening round clash with Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium.

Cotchin also was ranked No. 1 at the Club for contested possessions (265), No. 1 for clearances (122), No. 1 for centre clearances (52), No. 3 for goal assists (13), and he impacted the scoreboard, too, with a valuable return of 18 goals.

Ellis achieved the best Jack Dyer Medal result of his three-year AFL career, having finished 13th in 2013.

The 21-year-old, who played all 23 games for the Tigers in 2014, averaged 26.1 disposals per match, with a season-high 36 against St Kilda in Round 15.

He was ranked No. 1 at the Club for total disposals (601), No. 1 for uncontested possessions (fourth overall in the competition in this category, with 421), No. 1 for rebound-50s (94) and No. 2 for total marks (126).

Martin, who missed just one game during the season, averaged 25.4 disposals per match, with a career-high 36 against GWS in Round 10 and Sydney in Round 14.

He was ranked No. 3 at the Club for total disposals (560), No. 3 for contested possessions (178), No. 3 for total marks (108), No. 2 for uncontested possessions (380), No. 2 for inside-50s (84), No. 2 for goals (27), and equal No. 1 for goal assists (18).

Edwards, who finished 14th in last year’s Jack Dyer Medal, averaged 17.6 disposals per game in his 23 appearances throughout 2014, with a season-high 27 v Brisbane in Round 16.

The 25-year-old veteran of 152 games with the Tigers, was ranked No. 2 at the Club for contested possessions (207), No. 2 for marks inside-50 (19), No. 3 for clearances (74), No. 3 for goal assists (16), No. 4 for inside-50s (68) and No. 4 for goals (22).

Riewoldt, who also played all 23 games for the season, became just the second player in Richmond’s history (Jack Titus being the other) to score 50 goals or more five years in-a-row.

He was ranked No. 1 at Tigerland (and fifth overall in the competition) for goals (61), No. 1 for total marks (136), No. 1 for contested marks (28), No. 1 (and No. 2 overall in the competition) for marks inside-50 (89) and equal No. 1 for goal assists (18).

Other highlights from the 2014 Jack Dyer Medal count included:
- Brett Deledio and Alex Rance charging home to finish equal seventh, despite missing four and five games respectively early in the season due to injury.  Deledio polled 154 votes in his last 10 games, while Rance picked up 159 votes in his last 11 games.
- Anthony Miles polling 178 votes in just 13 games to finish 12th.
- Ivan Maric polling 161 votes in his last 12 games, after missing almost the entire first half of the season.
- The most votes polled by a Richmond player in a match during the 2014 season being 23 – by both Jack Riewoldt and Alex Rance.  Riewoldt received 23 votes for his brilliant 11-goal display against GWS in Round 10, while Rance’s 23 was for his outstanding performance against Sydney in the final round.

The voting system for the Jack Dyer Medal is, as follows . . .

After every game, the five members of the Club’s match committee cast votes for each of the team’s 22 players.

Each player receives zero to five votes from each coach, so the highest tally an individual can poll in a match is 25 votes.

Five votes are awarded for an outstanding performance, four for an excellent game, all the way down to zero.

Here is the list of the top 20 vote-getters in the 2013 Jack Dyer Medal . . .

2014 Jack Dyer Medal placings
1st           Trent Cotchin     292 votes (Jack Dyer Medal winner)
2nd          Brandon Ellis      283 (Jack Titus Medal winner)
3rd           Dustin Martin    266 (Maurie Fleming Medal winner)
4th           Shane Edwards   258 (Fred Swift Medal winner)
5th           Jack Riewoldt     253 (Kevin Bartlett Medal winner)
6th           Troy Chaplin       238
Eq 7th     Brett Deledio     230
Eq 7th     Alex Rance          230
9th           Bachar Houli       228
10th         Steven Morris   197
11th         Dylan Grimes     184
12th         Anthony Miles  178
Eq. 13th Ivan Maric           174
Eq. 13th Chris Newman  174
15th         Nathan Foley     172
16th         Nick Vlastuin      160
17th         Ricky Petterd     151
18th         Reece Conca      143
19th         Shaun Grigg        139
20th         Ben Griffiths      137
 

Other award winners
Bill Cosgrove Harry Jenkins Best First Year Player Award - Anthony Miles
Most Improved Player Award - Ben Griffiths
Michael Roach Leading Goal Kicker Award - Jack Riewoldt
Francis Bourke Award - Alex Rance
Best Offensive Player Award - Dustin Martin
Best Defensive Player Award - Alex Rance
Mr David Mandie AO OBE Community Award - Jake King
ME Bank Fairest & Best Award - Dustin Martin
Guinane Medal (VFL Best and Fairest) – Ross Young