Bontempelli takes Bulldogs’ top award

(AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli’s status as one of the greatest ever players in the club’s history continues to grow, following his fourth Charles Sutton Medal win.

Bontempelli, who finished runner-up in the Brownlow Medal, was named the Bulldogs club champion on Wednesday night.

He polled 353 votes to finish 57 votes clear of Jack Macrae, with Tom Liberatore a further five votes back.

It’s the seventh consecutive year Bontempelli has finished in the top three of the award.

Only Scott West (seven), Gary Dempsey (six), John Schultz (five), Norm Ware (five) and Ted Whitten (five) have won more best and fairests than Bontempelli.

The midfield star also won the club’s John Van Groningen domestique award and Bruce Wilkinson trainers’ award, having already claimed the AFLPA’s Most Valuable Player award.

Bontempelli averaged 26.7 disposals and 5.5 clearances a game, while also kicking 31 goals.

“It’s always a challenge to try and front up each year and each season, and continue to try and search for more, and try to understand and learn how I can continue to support our playing group and football club in the best way I can,” he said.

“I get an enormous amount of support and help from a lot of people, but I think I’m lucky that the environment I’m in allows me to stay curious and try to be the best influence I can be for the football club.

“It’s incredibly humbling to be sitting in a position where I get to lead the lads out of the race, and do my best to help influence the whole group as best that I can.

“We’ll continue to persevere, be resilient and be the team that we know we can be.”

Anthony Scott claimed the Chris Grant best first year player award, Taylor Duryea won the coaches award, Bailey Dale won the Tony Liberatore Most Improved Player, Alex Keath was awarded the Brad Johnson best team player award and Aaron Naughton won the Scott West most courageous award.

Tara Murray