Picking Clayton Oliver as Melbourne’s best and fairest player in 2017 was no hard task however, the young onballer capped off a sensational second season by taking home three awards at the end of season awards night.
Oliver received 530 votes to claim the Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Memorial Trophy by a tremendous 184 votes over co-captain Jack Viney, who finished the count on 346 votes despite missing four games in 2017.
Nathan Jones and Jordan Lewis tied for third place on 327 votes as Neville Jetta rounded out the top five with 321 votes.
But it was Oliver’s night at Crown Palladium, with the red-headed midfielder also claiming the Harold Ball Memorial Trophy as Melbourne’s best young player along with the James McDonald Trophy, handed to the player who consistently displays a never say die attitude as well as sacrificing themselves for the greater good of the team.
At just 20 years of age, Oliver announced himself to the competition as one of the premier inside midfielders in 2017, averaging 30 disposals, seven tackles, three marks and three inside 50s across 22 games.
He ranked third in total contested possessions and eighth in total effective disposals for the season, eye-catching stats given he has played in just 35 senior matches in his short two-year career.
Oliver polled votes in all 22 matches this season while being adjudged the best of his teammates on seven occasions. He was also considered extremely unlucky not to have made the 40-man All Australian squad for 2017.
Other winners on the night included Jack Trengove (Best VFL Player), Jack Viney (Leadership Award) and Neville Jetta (Coaches’ Award and Club Ambassador Award).
Melbourne best and fairest top 10:
- Clayton Oliver – 530
- Jack Viney – 346
- Nathan Jones – 327
- Jordan Lewis – 327
- Neville Jetts – 321
- Michael Hibberd – 318
- Christian Petracca – 302
- Jeff Garlett – 284
- Tom McDonald – 278
- Dom Tyson – 275