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Whitfield wins Larke Medal

Lachie Whitfield's draft prospects were enhanced further after winning the Larke Medal

VIC COUNTRY star Lachie Whitfield has taken out the 2012 Larke Medal on the same night rivals Vic Metro made it back-to-back division one titles at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

Metro started its campaign with a shock loss to the Northern Territory in Darwin back in May and needed to defeat Western Australia to claim its sixth division one title since 2004 after nearest rivals South Australia edged out Vic Country in the first game at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

The Sandgropers made the Victorians work hard, but Metro rallied to a 24-point win that secured national honours.

After defeating NSW/ACT and Queensland in the inter-divisional rounds that kicked off the championships, Country failed to notch a win in three matches against division one opponents.

While he was proud to receive the Larke Medal, awarded to the best player in division one, Whitfield had hoped for greater team success. 

"With Stephen Coniglio winning it last year and seeing him get his career off to a great start, it is nice to win it, but I'm still disappointed we didn't win a division one game with the boys," Whitfield said.

"But as we saw, Vic Metro played really well and deserved the win in the end.

"There are a lot of great names [who have won the Larke Medal] who have forged really good careers, so it's good to be amongst them."

Whitfield was also named Country's most valuable player of the championships, the same award he picked up last year as a bottom-age player.

Prolific ball winner Sam Colquhoun took out the award for SA and inside midfielder Nathan Hrovat did the same for Vic Metro.

Bottom-aged prospect Jack Martin was WA's MVP, which will only serve to enhance his credentials as a target for AFL clubs in the GWS mini-draft.

Whitfield's performances across the national carnival helped cement his position as the likely No.1 draft pick this year, but he was just delighted to have gained valuable experience from his second and final championships. 

"It's just awesome," he said.

"It's really good to make new friendships and learn from the coaches. Mark Ellis, our senior coach, is a very knowledgeable man, so it's a really good experience.

"It's a solid few weeks, but it does give you an insight into how the AFL might be. We get treated as professionals by all the staff and everyone involved." 

The division two title will be decided on Thursday when NT takes on Tasmania and Queensland goes up against NSW/ACT at Simonds Stadium in Geelong.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs