MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Max Gawn of the Demons is tackled by Patrick Cripps of the Blues during the round two AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Carlton Blues at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 2, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

AFL coaches have voted Demons ruckman Max Gawn as the competition’s most valuable player.

The 18 club coaches were asked to provide their thoughts on a variety of topics in a 20-question anonymous online survey conducted by AFL Media in association with the AFL Coaches’ Association, during July.

All but two coaches took part, with 25% choosing Gawn as the game’s most influential player. While 18.75% of coaches named Carlton’s Patrick Cripps as the MVP.

Nine players received the one vote each. Three players were from Richmond – Dustin Martin, Alex Rance and Jack Riewoldt, while others listed were Sydney forward Lance Franklin, Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy, Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe, West Coast wingman Andrew Gaff, Port Adelaide utility Robbie Gray and Geelong Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield.

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In 2017, Franklin garnered nine votes to Dangerfield’s seven, while Adelaide small forward Eddie Betts got one.

The club bosses were also quizzed on which type of player was an endangered species, based on how the game is currently being played. Of those who responded, nearly 40% answered that the small midfielders may be the ones phased out, while almost one-third suggested the demise of the traditional “key forward”.

The coaches were also prompted to name the statistical categories often cited by media and fans they believed hold little influence on the result of matches, with some 18.75% of coaches citing kicking efficiency and the same percentage pointing to tackle numbers.

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The full survey results will be published in the round 20 edition of the AFL Record, available at all venues.