The 2016 Bob Skilton award ceremony was held tonight with Josh Kennedy winning an astonishing 3rd Bob Skilton medal to reaffirm his status with the club as one of the all time great midfielders. He beat Hannebery by just 9 votes, coming from the middle of the pack in the last 8 games, including finals, to snatch victory with his excellent grand final performance.
Congratulations Josh, the award was well earned.
Club player life memberships
Life memberships are awarded to players that play in 150 or more clubs for the Swans. This year, three players were awarded life membership, Josh Kennedy, Nick Smith and Daniel Hannebery. Congratulations to the three players who've proven themselves to be integral members of the team with 7 All Australian and 3 club champion awards between them.
The Paul Kelly Player's Player of the Season
This is awarded by the player's peers throughout the season, with voting similar to that of the Brownlow, where each player votes their peers 3-2-1 in each game. Lance Franklin was adjudged the Player's Player of the season. Great work for the big man who was outstanding throughout, and was genuinely shocked to win the award. His 7 goal haul against Richmond brought him within touching distance of the Coleman medal, but ultimately, wasn't able to help the side to another grand final win.
The Dennis Carroll Most Improved Player of the Season
This is awarded to the player that is deemed to have shown the most improvement throughout the season. It was fitting that Aliir Aliir won the award, after impressing in his debut and coming in and out of the side to whet his appetite, he stamped his authority down on the team and made the position his own, immediately entering elite territory for intercept possessions, intercept marks and showing incredible dash and poise out of defence the belied his inexperience.
Four years of toiling accumulated with an excellent yet tragic finals series that saw him miss the Grand Final through media ligament strain, but honestly thought that his team mates were "taking the piss" when Malcolm Turnbull asked to tell his story at the United Nations. The impressive young man was very well spoken and was even more excited about next year than winning the award, although he was gushing with a big, big smile.
Love the guy!
Paul Roos Player of the Finals
This is awarded when the club plays in 2 or more finals in the same season. It was unsurprising then that the two best players of the finals, Josh Kennedy and Heath Grundy would share the spoils, as well as finish top 3 in the Bob Skilton medal count.
Heath was at his career best, comprehensively beating whoever he played on, keeping Patton and Jenkins goal less and Hawkins to 1 goal, although he swears at the ceremony that someone else was minding him at the time.
Kennedy was immense and was best aground in almost every game and was by far the best player in the grand final. His performance was immense and one of the best in recent history, kicking 3 goals and getting 34 possessions, almost carrying the team to victory on his back.
Clubman of the year
Alex Johnson was the deserved winner of the award this season, having endured a horrendous run of luck since 2012, undergoing his 5th knee reconstruction earlier this year. He ran for the first time in 906 days back in September and is working towards a return to the team next season.
He's a fantastic young man, well regarded in the club and loved by the greater AFL community.
Congratulations to all players involved in tonight's ceremony.
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