Men’s Award Winners for 2020

Monday, November 9, 2020 - 9:48 AM by Matthew Ogg

Corey Gault has become just the 20th player in the clubs long history to have won the coveted Swan Medal on two or more occasions, taking out the count by 30 votes at Mandoon Estate on Friday night.

Corey was drafted by Collingwood with pick No.65 in the 2011 AFL Draft. He spent five years at the Magpies before calling time on his AFL career to return home to WA, winning his first Swan Medal in 2017.

A vice-captain in 2020, Corey played in the number one ruck position throughout the season, dropping forward or back when needed. He had a brilliant season in the middle for the Swans, averaging 19 disposals, 3 tackles and an incredible 31 hit outs a game. He was also the only Swan to poll in every game (for 88 votes) and was named as one of the best on ground in seven of his eight matches.

On top of his Swan Medal triumph, Gault also received the Jack Hickling Memorial Award as the most outstanding player on and off the field and was named as the starting ruckman in the 2020 WAFL Team of the Year.

“It’s pretty humbling to be honest” he said. “You don’t play for individual awards, you play for team success, but when you put in all the hard work and effort over your footy career it is sometimes good to be rewarded with something like this.”

Corey claimed the top honour ahead of Sandover Medallist Sam Fisher (58 votes) who put together a remarkable season, having come to Swans from the VFL system, and staked his claim for a second AFL call-up. Third place was awarded to Jesse Turner (50 votes), who took out the same honour in 2019. Jesse took his game to yet another level this season, where he averaged over 23 disposals and almost 5 tackles a game. New recruit Frank Anderson (33 votes) and key defender Brandon Erceg (25 votes) rounded out the top five.

Leigh Kohlmann claimed the Ted Holdsworth Memorial Award as the leading goal kicker for the club, averaging over two goals in the shortened 8 game season (17 goals overall). With strong hands and an accurate kick, Kohlmann was one of the main focal points when going forward in 2020.

Expected AFL-draftee, Denver Grainger-Barras, played every game for the league side this season, showcasing his class and athleticism across the backline. He also showed his versatility, pushing forward for a quarter and kicking his first league goal. Denver was rewarded with the RA Newby Memorial Award as Rookie of the Year.

“I’m honoured to receive it, and to be given the award from Tony Notte was even better” he said. “There were plenty of candidates that were deserving of it this year, and I was one of the lucky ones who was able to hold my spot and play all season.”

Darryl Crotty received the Best Club Person Award. Often seen as the current runner for the Reserves side, ‘DC’ as he is more affectionately known, has spent many years assisting the club in whatever way he can. His commitment to the players in particular was obvious on the night, with many award winners congratulating and thanking him during their own speeches. 

Bunbury product Matt Germs was the recipient of the Swan Community Award. His dedication and willingness to be involved with club community programs in whatever way he can was recognised in front of the large crowd.

Alex Howard celebrated his 150th game with the club in Round 1, and was presented with his Life Membership Medal on the night. Matt Riggio also achieved a trio of milestones in rounds 6, 8 and 9, reaching 200 total games (including state games), 200 WAFL games (1 with Peel and 199 at Swan Districts) and 200 games in the black and white respectively.

The count was much closer in the race for the fairest and best in the Reserves. Without a vote to his name until Round 5, Jake Dugan finished the season strongly to claim his maiden FA Bonney Sweetapple Memorial Award with 39 votes in just his first year at the club. He won it ahead of runner-up Lachlan Riley (32 votes) and third placed Patrick Italiano (30 votes) who both had the opportunity to push up into the league side on occasion. Mitchell Bain (24 votes) and Tim Oosterhoff (20 votes) rounded out the top 5.

“As soon as I came to the club, they were all really welcoming” Jake said. “I had the focus of pushing for a spot in the league side and after a bit of a slower start to the season, was able to really play some good footy.”

For the Colts, the night belonged to Ayden Cartwright (69 votes) after a solid season of predominantly running through the middle of the ground. Averaging over 22 disposals, 5 marks and 3 tackles a game, Ayden showed his versatility when going forward, kicking 11 goals 6 for the season. He represented WA Gold in the NAB AFL U18’s state game and was the only Swan to be named in the Simply Energy WAFL Colts Team of the Year. He finished ahead of expected AFL draftee Zane Trew (49 votes) and a fast finishing Cian Ehlers (42 votes). Jamison Ugle (30 votes) and Joseph Salmon (29 votes) finalised the top 5, while Brodie Morris was the deserved winner of the WAFL Combined Past Players and Officials Encouragement Award.

“It feels amazing” Ayden said. “All the hard work we’ve put in during the offseason and into the extended preseason, it’s really good to win it this year.”

Steven Payne was also recognised on the night, after announcing his retirement ahead of their Round 9 clash against East Fremantle. He played 153 league games, including three in the Foxtel Cup, and leaves a legacy of great leadership both on and off the field.

“The last three years I’ve probably enjoyed my football more than at almost any time in my career, besides maybe when we were winning grand finals at East Perth” Payne said. “The club have been awesome and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

 

League Award Winners
Swan Medallist (Fairest and Best): Corey Gault

Norm Thomas Memorial Award (Runner-Up): Sam Fisher
Mrs N Innes Memorial Award (Third-Place): Jesse Turner
Jack Hickling Memorial Award (Most Outstanding Player on and off field): Corey Gault
RA Newby Memorial Award (Rookie of the Year): Denver Grainger-Barras
Ted Holdsworth Memorial Award (Leading Goal Kicker): Leigh Kohlmann (17 goals)

 

Reserves Award Winners
FA Bonney Sweetapple Memorial Award (Fairest and Best): Jake Dugan
DC Goddard Memorial Award (Runner-Up): Lachlan Riley
Lew Armstrong Memorial Award (Third-Place): Patrick Italiano

 

Colts Award Winners
EJ McManus Award (Fairest and Best): Ayden Cartwright
Judy Sarich Memorial Award (Runner-Up): Zane Trew
Cooper Brothers Award (Third-Place): Cian Ehlers
WAFL Combined Past Players and Officials Association Encouragement Award: Brodie Morris

 

Other Award Winners

Best Club Person: Darryl Crotty

Swans WAFL Community Award: Matt Germs

 

Notable Achievements in 2020

Milestones

150 Games: Alex Howard (#157 games)

200 Games: Matt Riggio (#200 games)

 

Life Membership

Alex Howard

 

Retired Players

Steven Payne

 

League Debutants

Frank Anderson, Tarir Bayok, Deven Costigan, Tom Edwards, Sam Fisher, Jacob Sideris, Brayden Spackman and Nelson Waite

 

Team of the Year

Ayden Cartwright (Colts – Interchange)

Sam Fisher (League – Interchange)

Corey Gault (League – Ruck)

Jesse Turner (League – Wing)

 

State U18’s Representatives

Rhett Bazzo (WA Gold), Ayden Cartwright (WA Gold), Max Chipper (WA Black), Will Collins (WA Gold), Denver Grainger-Barras (WA Gold), Brodie Morris (WA Gold), Ty Sears (WA Black), Zane Trew (WA Gold) & Jamison Ugle (WA Black)