Carlton defender Sam Docherty has won his first John Nicholls Medal as the AFL club’s best player.
The 22-year-old finished with 179 votes, narrowly ahead of Kade Simpson (169) and Patrick Cripps (168).
One of Carlton’s most consistent players in 2016, Docherty also won the Blues Coterie Most Improved Award on Friday night at Crown Palladium.
In 22 games, Docherty averaged 26 disposals, eight marks and five rebound 50s.
Growing up a Blues supporter, Docherty arrived at Carlton at the end of 2013 from the Brisbane Lions and was nominated by his peers to join the club’s leadership group earlier this year.
Coach Brendon Bolton said it was a fitting reward.
“Sam has been outstanding for us this season, and is a very deserving winner of the John Nicholls Medal,” Bolton said.
“He is a really intelligent footballer and has learnt to become almost an extension of the coaching panel out on the field this year. He has a clear hunger and drive to continually develop with every game he plays.”