2017 Bob Skilton Medal Preview

The Bob Skilton Medal is the night of nights for the Sydney Swans, celebrating various awards and achievements throughout the season, and the crowning of the 2017 club Best and Fairest.

Captain Josh Kennedy, Heath Grundy, Lance Franklin, Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery are all in contention for the coveted award, with Kennedy vying for his fourth Bob Skilton Medal.

Last years Medal count lived up to the hype, with Josh Kennedy narrowly winning his third club best and fairest by 79 points over Dan Hannebery, clinching it with a stellar finals series.

Quite how the senior Swans will fair is anyone's guess. Given the Swans' lacklustre start to the season, Zak Jones and Jake Lloyd emerged early on as contenders for the award, both enjoying consistently good seasons.

Dan Hannebery enjoyed a consistent season, while Luke Parker struggled through injury and form dips in the first 10 rounds, before blasting away the competition after the bye.

As always, the young and inexperienced Swans failed to disappoint, proving themselves the equal of their senior peers when the going was tough, and excelling in a winning team.

Zak Jones, Dean Towers, Callum Mills and Will Hayward proved themselves valuable players, while Nic Newman finally got his crack and proved his worth.

Where you can watch it

The Sydney Swans will be streaming a live broadcast through the website and the Sydney Swans AFL app from 7pm. The Swans social media crew will be posting regular updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The Swans Blog will be hosting their very own pre-Bob Skilton Medal live SwansCast, hosted by Justin Mitchell, Stephen Treloar and Myles Stedman.

We'll be broadcast live from 5pm, running until 7pm, taking questions and comments from our listeners, live on Facebook.

Club Champion – Key Times (approx)
5.00pm - The Swans Blog #SwansCastLive
7.05pm – Event commences
7.10pm – Chairman’s Address
7.40pm – Life Member announcements
8.25pm – Senior Coach Address
8.30pm – Rising Star award
8.35pm – Best Clubman award
9.00pm – Coleman Medal presentation
9.55pm - Players’ Player award
10.00pm – Most Improved award
10.05pm – Best Player in finals
11.05pm – 3rd to 1st place announced
11.15pm – Club Champion announcement

How it works

After each game, votes for the 2017 Bob Skilton Medalist are awarded by the Sydney Swans coaching staff, including John Longmire and his assistants (4).

A maximum of 10 points can be awarded to as many, or as few players after the match, with 50 votes the maximum amount a player can receive.

The Awards

Club player life memberships are awarded to players that have played 150 or more games for the Sydney Swans, with their 150th game in the 2017 season.

Last year, Nick Smith, Josh Kennedy and Dan Hannebery were awarded club life membership with the Sydney Swans.

This year, Luke Parker will be awarded club life membership, playing his 150th game for the club against Essendon in the Swans' record breaking finals win.

The Paul Kelly Player's Player of the Season is awarded by the players' peers, with votes collected throughout the season. Each player votes on their peers 3-2-1 after each game, but they can't vote for themselves.

Last year Lance Franklin won the award, narrowly missing out on the coleman medal.

The Dennis Carroll Most Improved Player of the Season is awarded to the player adjudged to be the most improved player of the season.

Last season Aliir Aliir won the award after an outstanding debut season, but was unable to recapture the same form this year.

Paul Roos Player of the Finals is awarded when the Swans play two or more finals in a season. This year the Swans played two finals, for one win and one loss. Last year, the award was shared between Heath Grundy and Josh Kennedy.

Barry Round Shield for Best Clubman is awarded to the player thought to be the best "clubman", the one that best embodies the spirit of the football club. Last year it was awarded to Alex Johnson, who was undergoing rehab after another knee reconstruction.

Rising Star Award is awarded to the best young player for the Sydney Swans. There's a lot of young talent in the team, with Nic Newman, Oliver Florent and Will Hayward, amongst others, in with a chance to win it.

The contenders

Josh Kennedy

Josh Kennedy 2017 Enjoyed another super consistent year, taking over the captaincy from Kieren Jack and Jarrad McVeigh. Despite a slow start and several niggling injuries, he lead the Swans with aplomb and turned around a disastrous start to the season, into a record breaking run for the finals.

Unlucky to miss out on the All Australian team, he featured strongly in the Brownlow Medal count, amassing 23 votes.

Rounds we expect him to poll well in
Round 3 vs Collingwood
Round 8 vs St Kilda
Round 12 vs Western Bulldogs
Round 14 vs Essendon
Round 22 vs Adelaide
Round 23 vs Carlton
Elimination Final vs Essendon

Lance Franklin

Lance Franklin 2017 The superstar forward enjoyed another superb season, winning his second Coleman medal with a ridiculous 10-goal haul against the Carlton Blues. Despite several quiet patches and frequently accuracy issues, with the guidance of Tony Lockett, his field kicking and goal kicking eventually went to another level.

His first two matches against Port Adelaide and the Bulldogs were mesmerising, picking up 5 Brownlow Medal votes before finishing one behind Josh Kennedy on 22.

Rounds we expect him to poll well in
Round 1 vs Port Adelaide
Round 2 vs Western Bulldogs
Round 7 vs Brisbane Lions
Round 10 vs Hawthorn
Round 15 vs Melbourne
Round 21 vs Fremantle
Round 23 vs Carlton

Luke Parker

Luke Parker 2017 The vice-captain struggled through the first half of the season with various niggling injuries, before putting it all together with a team-best second half.

His second half of the season was so good, that he polled strongly in the Brownlow, finishing third for the Swans with 16 votes, and is expected to finish strong in the Bob Skilton Medal.

Rounds we expect him to poll well in
Round 8 vs St Kilda
Round 15 vs Melbourne
Round 19 vs Hawthorn
Round 20 vs Geelong
Round 21 vs Fremantle
Elimination Final vs Essendon

Dan Hannebery

Dan Hannebery 2017 A perennial runners up in the Bob Skilton Medal count, finishing just behind Josh Kennedy in last years enthralling count.

Dan enjoyed another consistent year, shrugging off early niggles before performing well either side of the bye.

Rounds we expect him to poll well in
Round 3 vs Collingwood
Round 8 vs St Kilda
Round 9 vs North Melbourne
Round 22 vs Adelaide
Elimination Final vs Essendon
Semi Final vs Geelong

Heath Grundy

Heath Grundy 2017 The ultimate stopper, consummate professional and excellent defender, enjoyed another excellent season. Despite early season woes, with the Swans deck-chair shuffling the fit and unfit defenders around, Grundy continued to perform at a high level.

With the return of Dane Rampe and rapid improvement of Lewis Melican, Heath enjoyed an extremely consistent second half of the season.

Rounds we expect him to poll well in
Round 12 vs Western Bulldogs
Round 14 vs Essendon
Round 16 vs Gold Coast Suns
Round 18 vs St Kilda
Round 23 vs Carlton
Elimination Final vs Essendon

Jake Lloyd

Jake Lloyd 2017 Jake Lloyd, the quite, steady influence off the half-back line, enjoyed an improved 2017 campaign, starting almost every game of the season, only failing to finish against the Hawks in Round 10.

Give his unassuming style of play and relatively slight stature, his influence and ball control was sorely missed in both of the 6-point losses against the Hawks.

Finishing 7th in 2016's Bob Skilton Medal, he's expected to break into the top 5, and we think he can do it.

Rounds we expect him to poll well in
Round 2 vs Western Bulldogs
Round 9 vs North Melbourne
Round 12 vs Western Bulldogs
Round 20 vs Geelong
Elimination Final vs Essendon

Zak Jones

Zak Jones 2017 The "Zak Attack" enjoyed a stellar break-out season, playing 23 of 25 games, and providing invaluable run and attack off the half-back line.

Zak backed up his fantastic 2016 finals campaign with a fantastic first half of the season, followed by a solid second half of the season. He spent time on the half-back flank, back pocket, wing and centre.

Rounds we expect him to poll well in
Round 1 vs Port Adelaide
Round 6 vs Carlton Blues
Round 7 vs Brisbane Lions
Round 15 vs Melbourne
Round 21 vs Fremantle
Round 22 vs Adelaide
Round 23 vs Carlton
Elimination Final vs Essendon
Semi Final vs Geelong

Our prediction

We've added up all of our players' ratings throughout the season to predict the top 10 on Friday night.

After each game we, we rate each player between 1 and 10, with 6 set as a starting value. Players below 6 are considered to have had a sub-standard game, while those rated 7 or more are considered to have played a good game.

Top 10
  1. Lance Franklin (174)
  2. Luke Parker (169.5)
  3. Zak Jones (164.5)
  4. Dan Hannebery (161.5)
  5. Heath Grundy (159)
  6. Josh Kennedy (156)
  7. Jake Lloyd (155)
  8. Nick Smith (154)
  9. Callum Mills (153)
  10. George Hewett (147.5)
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2018 Player Sponsorship Program

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We've already purchased the membership, and now we're looking for 24 supporters, followers and readers, to join us on our 2018 maiden journey. You'll share the excitement of the Sydney Swans journey, participate in match functions, have your say in who we nominate, as well as the football tips.

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Interested? Let us know!.

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia http://theswansblog.com

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