Swan Medal award winners for 2019

Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 3:23 PM by Chris Pike

GEORGE Hampson etched his name into WAFL folklore at Mandoon Estate on Friday night by winning the Swan Medal as Swan Districts' fairest and best player for the 2019 season.

Hampson arrived at Swan Districts for the 2019 WAFL season and made an immediate impact playing both as a midfielder and with stints across half-forward.

The 29-year-old put together such an outstanding season that he was named the fairest and best winner for the 2019 WAFL season with Swan Districts to claim the Swan Medal, just edging out last year's winner Tony Notte and third-place getter Jesse Turner.

Other major award winners on the night included Mitchell Bain named fairest and best in the reserves and Seb Bright in the colts, but it was a night where the ever-growing glittering career of Hampson deserved to be celebrated.

Hampson arrived at Swan Districts already a well-credentialed and successful WAFL footballer having played the first 62 games of his career with Subiaco where he won a fairest and best award in 2013 and premiership in 2014.

He then moved to East Fremantle in 2015 and when fit, maintained and built on his reputation as one of the best players and pure match-winners in the competition whether playing in forward-line or midfield.

He capped his time with the Sharks by winning the Lynn Medal as fairest and best winner in 2018 before then this past off-season, joining Swan Districts to continue his WAFL career. 

Hampson had no trouble fitting in at Swan Districts either and while it wasn’t quite the season as a team that Swans were after, he certainly did all that he could to try and lift them to as many wins as he possibly could.

In the end, Hampson went on to average 23.6 possessions a game in 2019 for Swans including three times picking up 30 or more touches and going over 20 another 10 times highlighting his tremendous consistency while also getting forward to kick 19 goals.

What winning the Swan Medal means now that with Hampson already having won Subiaco's Outridge Medal in 2013 and East Fremantle's Lynn Medal in 2018 is that he is the first player in history to be the fairest and best winner at three different clubs.

It's a remarkable performance considering the hurdles that he has overcome with things not ending on particularly pleasant notes at both his previous clubs and it might have been easier for someone with less strength of character to not take on the challenge of moving to another club.

Throw in the troubles with his body that he did battle for a period, and thankfully now appears over, and it has been anything but a smooth ride but that's all the more reason to pay tribute to someone who has now made history during his 127-game WAFL career that still should have plenty left in it.

Runner-up to Hampson in Swan Medal voting was Tony Notte who put together yet another remarkable season and even with 237 WAFL appearances to his credit, he is showing no signs of slowing down either.

Having already won Swan Medals in 2013 and 2018, Notte finished as runner-up for a second time as well highlighting the remarkable consistency that he's now shown over the course of 162 consecutive matches.

Third-place in Swan Medal voting went to Jesse Turner who backed up a tremendous 2018 season with an even better one in 2019 where he spent more time as an inside midfielder and went on to average 21.4 disposals per game.

Alex Howard, who will celebrate his 150th game in Round 1 next year, was acknowledged with the Jack Hickling Memorial Award as the most outstanding player on and off the field in 2019.

Josh Cipro was another player to impress for Swans in 2019 showing he can be an important part of the midfield moving forward and he was rewarded with the RA Newbey Award as Rookie of the Year.

Meanwhile in the reserves, Mitchell Bain backed up his win as colts fairest and best 12 months earlier by winning the FA Bonney Sweetapple Memorial Award as the fairest and best winner.

He claimed the award ahead of runner-up Callum Garcia while Patrick Italiano and Jiah Reidy shared third place.

And in the colts, Seb Bright won the EJ McManus Award as fairest and best in a season that also saw him make his league debut with Swan Districts and show some encouraging signs.

For the second straight season, Kade Wallrodt was runner-up in colts fairest and best voting while Jak Watson finished in third place.

Swan Medal winner (Fairest and Best): George Hampson
Norm Thomas Memorial Award (Runner-Up): Tony Notte
Mrs N Innes Memorial Award (Third-Place): Jesse Turner
Jack Hickling Memorial Award (Most Outstanding Player on and off field): Alex Howard
RA Newbey Award (Rookie of the Year): Josh Cipro
Ted Holdsworth Memorial Award (Leading Goalkicker): Leigh Kohlmann (21 goals)

FA Bonney Sweetapple Memorial Award (Fairest and Best): Mitchell Bain
DC Goddard Memorial Award (Runner-Up): Callum Garcia
Lew Armstrong Award (Third-Place): Patrick Italiano, Jiah Reidy

EJ McManus Award (Fairest and Best): Sebastian Bright
Judy Sarich Memorial Award (Runner-Up): Kade Wallrodt
Cooper Brothers Award (Third-Place): Jak Watson
WAFL Combined Past Players and Officials Association Encouragement Award: Jameson Ugle