AFL Coaches have voted Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn the game’s most valuable player.
The 18 club coaches were asked to offer their thoughts on a host of topics in a 20-question anonymous online survey, conducted by AFL Media in partnership with the AFL Coaches’ Association, across several weeks in July.
All but two took part, with 25 per cent of respondents picking Gawn as the competition’s most influential player. Some 18.75 per cent of coaches thought Carlton bull Patrick Cripps was the MVP.
Nine players garnered one vote each. Three were from Richmond – Dustin Martin, Alex Rance and Jack Riewoldt – while others nominated were Sydney superstar Lance Franklin, Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy, Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe, West Coast wingman Andrew Gaff, Port Adelaide maestro Robbie Gray and 2016 Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield.
Interestingly, this year’s raging Brownlow Medal favourite Tom Mitchell didn’t receive a vote.
In 2017, Franklin received nine votes to Dangerfield’s seven, while Adelaide goalsneak Eddie Betts nabbed one.
The club bosses were surveyed on which type of player was endangered, based on the way the game was being played. Of those who responded, nearly 40 per cent predicted the demise of small midfielders, while almost one-third suggested key forwards were on the way out.
The coaches were also asked to name the statistical categories often cited by media and fans they believed had little bearing on the result of matches, with 18.75 per cent of coaches listing kicking efficiency and the same percentage pointing to tackle numbers.
They also said total disposals, hit-outs and free kicks had little impact on the outcome of games.
Story – afl.com.au