Stewart wins “Carji” Greeves Medal

October 1, 2021 BY
Tom Stewart rose above the pack to be the Cats' best and fairest this year.(AAP Image/Scott Barbour)

Tom Stewart rose above the pack to be the Cats' best and fairest this year.(AAP Image/Scott Barbour)

TOM Stewart is the winner of the 2021 “Carji” Greeves Medal, and led a top 10 and awards night featuring some of the Cats’ best young talent.

In just his fifth AFL season, Stewart played 20 games, missing Geelong’s last five matches due to a Lisfranc injury. He averaged 24 disposals and nine marks per game.

The dashing defender earned his third All Australian blazer this year en route to claiming the best and fairest honour.

“I’m extremely humbled and absolutely honoured to be recognised this year as the ‘Carji’ Greeves Medallist,” Stewart said last night.

“I’m extremely proud, and again very honoured to be amongst some of the greats of the Geelong footy club in this respect.

“Five years ago I never thought this was going to be my job. I’m so grateful and so thankful that this is what I’m able to do.”

Fellow defender Jack Henry was just two votes behind, placing second after enjoying his strongest season. Henry, in just his fourth season, was a pillar of strength as a tall defender. He played 24 games, missing only the opening round clash with Adelaide.

Tom Hawkins finished third after finishing as runner-up in the Coleman medal and leading Geelong’s goal kicking for the 10th consecutive season. Hawkins finished the season with 62 goals and was named to the All Australian team for the fourth time.

One of the most popular players at GMHBA Stadium, Hawkins also claimed the Tom Harley award as best clubman. The Tom Harley award goes to the player that demonstrated outstanding care for his teammates, invests time and interest in all levels of the playing group and who champions the club and team values whilst working towards the greater good of the Geelong Football Club.

Geelong’s next generation were well represented in the rest of the top 10, with Brad Close finishing seventh and Brandan Parfitt finishing 10th.

First year Cat Max Holmes was named as Best Young Player. After being selected with the 20th pick of the 2020 national draft, Holmes broke through to play 12 games in his maiden season. He played in two of the Cats finals and used his pace to great advantage in his first AFL campaign.

Esava Ratugolea was named the Carter Family Community Champion award for his outstanding commitment to the inclusion space in 2021. Ratugolea has been the club’s AFL men’s representative at Welcome to Geelong and Welcome to our Game initiatives, hosting CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) communities at GMHBA Stadium throughout the AFLW season. Ratugolea attended an Iftar dinner staged by a group of Afghan women through Diversitat during the holy month of Ramadan, representing the club and immersing himself in cultural awareness.

At VFL level, ruckman Darcy Fort claimed the best and fairest award ahead of Oscar Brownless and Charlie Constable.

Earlier this year midfielder Amy McDonald captured her first AFLW best and fairest, claiming the award ahead of captain and All Australian defender Meg McDonald. Becky Webster placed third in the award.

The Cats’ VFLW team was denied a shot at premiership glory when the grand final was cancelled. Claudia Gunjaca claimed the best and fairest ahead of Paige Sheppard and Annabel Johnson.

‘Carji’ Greeves Medal Top 10:

  1. Tom Stewart 214
  2. Jack Henry 212
  3. Tom Hawkins 189
  4. Isaac Smith 187
  5. Cameron Guthrie 182
  6. Mark Blicavs 156
  7. Brad Close 155
  8. Joel Selwood 147
  9. Jed Bews 143
  10. Brandan Parfitt 140

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