Old Collegians recruit Nick Sullivan the coaches' tip for 2017 Esam Medal

STAR RECRUIT: Midfielder Nick Sullivan booted 32 goals from 15 games to be considered a Esam contender.

STAR RECRUIT: Midfielder Nick Sullivan booted 32 goals from 15 games to be considered a Esam contender.

A GOALKICKING midfielder in his first Warrnambool and District league season is the coaches’ tip for the Esam Medal.

Old Collegians recruit Nick Sullivan is expected to poll well when the best and fairest is revealed at City Memorial Bowls Club on Wednesday night.

Kolora-Noorat’s Danny Finn, Nirranda’s Shane Threlfall, Timboon Demons’ Mick Hunt, Merrivale’s Jason Rowan and Allansford’s Ben Holloway all expect the goalkicking midfielder to be among the votes.

Old Collegians mentor Josh Reichman is also backing his star player to be among the contenders.

Sullivan kicked 32 goals in 15 games after joining the Warriors from Ballarat league club Redan.

Finn said he would be “hard to beat”.

“I have only seen him once but he was impressive,” he said.

“He wins his own footy, is pretty elusive and takes the opposition on as well.”

Finn said he was confident Kolora-Noorat would have its share of vote-getters.

“From our perspective, I think Scott Judd has polled really well every year and Ben Walsh has had a good year.

“Sam Harkin, in the games he’s played, has been best on ground, so he could poll pretty well also.”

Threlfall is also a fan of the first-year Warrior’s work.

“He just gets lots of the footy and uses it really well and hits his targets,” he said.

“Sam Harkin too has had days where he’s kicked bags of goals and been damaging in the midfield as well.

“He will poll well but might not have played enough games.”

Sullivan is the coaches’ pick but the count is expected to be close.

A number of players, such as Warriors ruckman Scott Lenehan and midfielder Colby Rix, Power trio Harkin, Judd and reigning winner Joey Conheady, Nirranda duo Brayden Harkness and Luke Weel and South Rovers’ Julian Claridge, Timboon Demons’ Marcus Hickey and Ash Hunt all received nods.

Hunt, who is tipping Lenehan to claim the award but expects Sullivan to be in the running too, said it was hard to pick a winner.

“From what I have seen this year, it’s been an even year of footy,” he said.

“There could be a spread of 10 players neck and neck.

“Cut three (medals) because they might have to share a few.”

Rowan, Panmure mentor Joe Kenna, Dennington counterpart Jacob Rhodes and South Rovers leader Adam Matheson are also predicting a tight finish.

Kenna expects Merrivale midfielder Alister Porter to poll well early before injury derailed his season and is tipping Lions midfielder Claridge to do well for the Walter Oval club. Matheson said Russells Creek’s Andy McMeel was a smoky and would “get a lot of two votes”.