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Grand Grimes

Wins of 2018: QF Watch the highlights from the qualifying final win over Hawthorn.

Star Richmond defender Dylan Grimes was rewarded for his sterling efforts in the Tigers’ qualifying final victory over Hawthorn at the MCG last Thursday night with a perfect score in the AFL Coaches Association’s Gary Ayres Award for week one of the 2018 finals series.

Grimes received 10 votes from rival coaches Damien Hardwick (Richmond) and Alastair Clarkson (Hawthorn) following his top-class defensive display, highlighted by nine intercepts and 12 one-percenters.

Dynamic Richmond midfielder Dustin Martin, who won the Gary Ayres Award last year, was given seven votes after finishing the match with 29 disposals, including 17 contested possessions, 10 clearances, five inside-50s, 10 score involvements and 572 metres gained.

Talented Tigers small forward Daniel Rioli (16 disposals, three goals and six score involvements) and gun midfielder Dion Prestia (26 disposals, seven inside-50s, five clearances and a game-high 626 metres gained) picked up four votes apiece, while hard-running utility Kamdyn McIntosh (12 disposals and three goals) was given two votes.

Grimes and West Coast’s Elliot Yeo were the only two players to poll the maximum 10 votes in the opening week of voting for the Gary Ayres Award.

They are the early leaders in the prestigious September award, followed by Greater Western Sydney’s Toby Greene and Melbourne’s Sam Weideman, who have nine votes apiece.

The Gary Ayres Award, named in recognition of the five-time Hawthorn premiership great and dual Norm Smith Medallist, is presented to the player who has been adjudged as the best player throughout the AFL finals series, as voted by the coaches on a weekly basis throughout the duration of the AFL finals series.

Votes for the Gary Ayres Award are issued after every game of the AFL finals series by the competing coaches, with each coach providing their 5-4-3-2-1 for the match.