Monday night confirmed the excellent season of Collingwood’s Steele Sidebottom, finishing second in the Brownlow medal.
However, Sidebottom has hit another level since the start of the finals series, stringing together multiple excellent performances on his way to well and truly earning the moniker of Mr September.
Beginning with the Magpies’ loss to West Coast in the first final, Sidebottom was superb, shedding a Mark Hutchings tag to collect 27 disposals, the most of any Collingwood player.
In the Semi Final against GWS, the 27-year-old amassed 31 touches, including 20 kicks, as he helped drive the Pies along the wings, as well as providing a rebounding force off of half-back.
Sidebottom’s class and skill was best shown in the Preliminary final against Richmond, where his game went to another level against the reigning premiers.
41 touches at 84.5% efficiency led Collingwood to one of the biggest finals upsets in recent memory.
The man pegged as the next captain of the Magpies, Sidebottom’s class below his knees and skills on both feet are unparalleled, and his recent string of performances only suggest that he thrives under the spotlight, instead of succumbing to it.
Only time will tell whether Sidebottom can live up to his reputation now as the man of September, and whether he can drive the Pies to a record-equaling 16 premierships.