THE trend of midfielders claiming the Warrnambool and District league’s most prestigious individual award looks set to continue when the votes are counted for the J.A. Esam Medal tonight.
The last five medals have been won by midfielders with Kolora-Noorat centreman Brad Johnson taking home the 2011 award.
Panmure coach Simon O’Keefe will go into the medal count as a leading contender with a number of factors pointing to a strong result coming his way.
O’Keefe has not only led his team to the top of the ladder this season but he has been able to maintain his own form and has been a driving force in the middle for the Bulldogs.
O’Keefe has also proved in the past he catches the umpire’s eye having won two Maskell medals while playing for Koroit with the latest of those coming last season.
Another Panmure player expected to poll well is full-forward Gary Robinson who is sure to have attracted votes on his way to a century of goals.
Allansford midfielder Nick Johnstone has been a standout performer for the Cats and could finish high in the count while his teammate and fellow midfielder Josh Brown should attract votes.
Kolora-Noorat coach Ben Kenna and his assistant Sam Moloney should poll well as should Corey Rounds.
At Merrivale Alister Porter has had a big year in the middle of the ground.
Dennington centreman Simon Jenkins will be high on the Dogs leader board as will coach Darcy Lewis.
There are also a number of chances among the teams that missed the finals.
Ben Jansen should be a strong votegetter for Russells Creek while Timboon Demons ruckman Marcus Hickey was named in the number one ruck role in the team of the year and should poll well in the count.
In the senior netball award count Merrivale’s Jodie Keane and Elisha Carter, Panmure’s Mandy Condon, Dennington’s Lani Barling and Allansford’s Liz Byrne should finish high on the leader board in what is expected to be a close count.
Anthony Brady selects
Senior footy: 1 Nick Johnstone (Allansford), 2 Simon O’Keefe (Panmure), 3 Marcus Hickey (Timboon Demons)
A grade netball: 1 Elisha Carter (Merrivale), 2 Mandy Condon (Panmure), 3 Lani Barling (Dennington)