Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield has taken out this year’s AFL Coaches Association player of the year award.
In what promises to be the first of a swag of individual honours following on from his stellar first season with the Cats, Dangerfield won the award with a record number of votes and by a record margin.
The 26-year-old averaged just more than 31 possessions a game and kicked 23 goals to poll 121 votes – 28 ahead of former Adelaide teammate Rory Sloane who finished second.
“(This award) is certainly one of the most important because the most important thing for you as a player is to do as your coach says and to try and execute your role,” Dangerfield told Fox Footy’s AFL 360 on Monday night.
“No one knows that better than your own coach and then to have the opposition coach analyse who was the most influential (player) is certainly important … they’re the two most important people in every game.”
Dangerfield is the red-hot favourite to take out this year’s Brownlow Medal after a standout season in which his consistently brilliant play was a key factor in Geelong securing second spot on the ladder.
“Individual awards are terrific but every player understands that to taste that premiership success and to win games of footy is always (what we play for),” Dangerfield said.
The Cats begin their finals campaign with a highly anticipated qualifying final clash against Hawthorn at the MCG.
AFLCA PLAYER OF THE YEAR TOP FIVE: 1. Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong) 121, 2. Rory Sloane (Adelaide) 93, 3. Dustin Martin (Richmond) 90, 4. Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs) 88, 5. Luke Parker (Sydney Swans) 86, 5. Joel Selwood (Geelong) 86.