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Swan Medal 2017 Preview

Friday, October 6, 2017 - 12:09 PM
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SWAN Districts' memorable WAFL season will be celebrated on Friday with the Swan Medal Night for 2017 to be held with Matt Riggio looking for a third straight fairest and best award, Tony Notte a second and several other contenders striving for a first.

There was a lot to like about the season in 2017 for Swan Districts coming off 12 months earlier with a two-win, wooden spoon finishing 2016 season.

But the Swan Districts team of 2017 made a flying start to the season winning the opening four games and that set the stage for a finals appearance from fourth position and an 11-9 record by the end of the home and away campaign.

That saw Swans host West Perth in an elimination final at Steel Blue Oval and that proved a day to remember for all involved in the club in Tallan Ames' last ever appearance at Bassendean, Tony Notte's 200th game and a spirited win over a fierce rival.

While the season ended for Swan Districts the next week at the hands of South Fremantle, to go from where Swans were 12 months earlier to end up not only playing finals but winning one and doing so in style at Steel Blue Oval was a remarkable effort.

That means there is plenty to celebrate coming out of the 2017 season for Swan Districts and while the Swan Medal presentation will be the main event, saying goodbye to club legend Ames after 263 games and coach Greg Harding who has been at the helm since 2011 is sure to be emotional.

Then there is the Swan Medal itself and it's shaping as being a thrilling vote count to determine the fairest and best winner for 2017.

Matt Riggio has won the past two Swan Medals and he celebrated his 150th game along the way to earn life membership in 2017. He had another outstanding season in the midfield averaging 22.6 disposals but he did miss four games and went down injured early in another.

Fellow midfielder Adam Faulkner was runner-up in the Swan Medal last year to Riggio and he could very well be the favourite to win the fairest and best in 2017. He celebrated his 100th game along the way during the season and was prolific again averaging 25.2 possessions.

Tony Notte had another outstanding season largely at centre half-back for Swan Districts and it would be no surprise to see him win a second Swan Medal to go with the fairest and best he won in 2013.

They are far from the only candidates, though, with ruckman Corey Gault, midfielder Jesse Turner, co-captain David Ellard, leading goalkicker Ricky Cary, the hard-working Todd Banfield and defenders Kirk Ugle, Alex Howard and utility Jamie Bennell all deserving of being in contention.

The Sweetapple Memorial Award as reserves fairest and best will also be presented on Friday night with some of the contenders including Troy Yukich, Ethan Maguire, Josh Cipro, Steven Wityk, Tobe Watson, Brody Sutton, Tom Smirk, Levi Ridley, Brandon Erceg, Brad Fullgrabe, Josh Power and Logan Hughes.

Meanwhile, the colts award winners for 2017 have already been announced with Jack O'Sullivan claiming the EJ McManus Award as the fairest and best.

Lochie Huntley was named runner-up ahead of William Reidy, Thomas Whittle and Greg Ottaviano.

Swan Districts enjoyed history-making success in the WA Women's Football League in 2017 as well with the Youth Girls, reserves and league teams all winning premierships for the first time in the same season.

Those award winners have already been announced with Stephanie Cain named fairest and best for the league team to claim the Helen Wheeler Medal. She won ahead of Ashley Sharp, Taylah Angel and Kara Donnellan while Alicia Janz was named Player of the Finals.

Kayla Augustynek was named reserves fairest and best while Danielle Jeans was runner-up and Sarah Fragomeni was Player of the Finals.

And in the Youth Girls Rogers Cup team, Taylor Pescud took out the Chelsea Randall Medal as fairest and best ahead of Mikayla Bowen while Mikayla Hyde was named Player of the Finals.

By Chris Pike.