Western Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli has taken out the 2019 Shadforth Financial Group AFL Coaches Champion Player of the Year Award.
Bontempelli elevated himself to a new level in 2019, taking ownership for his side’s inspired late-season finals run, averaging career highs in disposals (27), clearances (6.2), contested possessions (12.7) and tackles (five).
The young Bulldogs star polled six votes in Round 22 and eight in Round 23 to finish on 107 votes, 17 votes ahead of Patrick Dangerfield who polled 18 votes in the final two rounds to jump into second place on 90 votes, two votes ahead of Freo's Nat Fyfe in third place on 88 votes.
Bontempelli travelled to San Diego in the United States in the pre-season with teammate Josh Dunkley where they spent time training with coaches who work with world-class athletes on fitness, mobility and strength in a bid to improve aspects of their game.
The trip seemed to have the desired impact with Bontempelli achieving his desired outcome – adding another layer to his game by becoming more dangerous in breaking away from the contest more often in 2019.
AFL Coaches Association CEO Mark Brayshaw congratulated Bontempelli on a stellar year.
“Marcus has had a magnificent season which has been recognised by the coaches and rewarded with what we believe is the most prestigious of all the individual Awards in the AFL,” Brayshaw said.
“The coaches take such care in allocating their votes and have a unique perspective on what succeeds in each of the games.
“Marcus should be very proud to win this Award.”
Bontempelli was joined in the top 10 by teammates Jack Macrae and Josh Dunkley, whilst Dangerfield was joined by fellow Cat Tim Kelly (4th).
The Shadforth Financial Group AFL Coaches Association Champion Player of the Year Award is presented in recognition of the player who has been adjudged as the Champion Player of the Year based on their performance throughout the Season, as voted by the Coaches (5,4,3,2,1) on a weekly basis throughout the AFL Season.
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