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Giants recruit claims surprise best and fairest win

Shane Mumford celebrates a goal during the 2014 AFL round 03 match between the GWS Giants and the Melbourne Demons at Spotless Stadium, Sydney on April 06, 2014. (Photo: Anthony Pearse/AFL Media)
Shane Mumford has won the Kevin Sheedy Medal in his first year at GWS
RUCKMAN Shane Mumford has capped a stellar first season with Greater Western Sydney by winning the Kevin Sheedy Medal for the club's best and fairest player of 2014.

Mumford, who shifted across town from the Sydney Swans at the end of last year, narrowly claimed the award ahead of pre-event fancy Callan Ward and Devon Smith, who tied for second.

The 28-year-old Mumford played 17 games and finished with 81 votes, despite missing five matches early in the season with a knee injury.

Ward and Smith tied with 72 votes, ahead of Adam Treloar (62), Heath Shaw (56) and Toby Greene (47).

The award was voted on throughout the season by head coach Leon Cameron, senior assistant coach Al McConnell and assistants Chad Cornes and James McDonald.

Mumford finished second in the AFL for average hit-outs with 36.4, second only to Aaron Sandilands' 38, with the Giants' vice-captain also contributing almost 13 disposals, two marks and six tackles a game.

"Shane has played an instrumental role in leading the Giants' midfield this year," Cameron said.

"He is one of the leaders of the club and, with the rest of the leadership group, helps set the standards and behaviours of the playing group."

Mumford, who finished runner-up in the Swans' best and fairest award back in 2010, took out the main honour, while a number of other gongs were handed out on the night during a function at Ivy in Sydney's CBD.

Josh Kelly claimed the club's Rising Star award, Treloar was named the 'members and fans' most valuable player' and James Stewart took out the NEAFL development prize.

Sidelined for eight games with ankle and ear issues, key forward Jeremy Cameron still claimed the goalkicking award for the third straight year, finishing with 29 goals from 14 matches.

Cameron just held off big improvers Smith and Will Hoskin-Elliott, who both kicked 26 goals for the year, ahead of Jon Patton (25) and Rhys Palmer (23).

Patton's second torn ACL, suffered in the breakthrough victory over Melbourne at the MCG in round 21, was one of the few negatives in 2014 for the Giants.

But he quickly shined some light on his wretched injury luck by signing a contract extension that ties him to the club to the end of 2017.

The Giants vaulted from one victory last season to six this year, following consecutive wooden spoons in 2012-13 with a 16th-place finish this season.

Cameron, Treloar, Lachie Whitfield and Tom Boyd headline a host of players still yet to extend their contracts beyond 2015, but overall there is plenty of goodwill surrounding a club that isn't shying away from its lofty goals.

"It's been a year of significant firsts," GWS chairman Tony Shepherd said.

"Our first win against the Swans, our first win on the road, our first win at the MCG and our first back-to-back wins.

"We believe playing finals is a realistic goal in the next two years.

"After that, anything is possible, so long as we remain united and focused on building a great club.

"We want to build a great club like no other. A club that not only wins premierships, but delivers great family entertainment and enriches the lives of people in western Sydney, Canberra and our broader communities."

Kevin Sheedy Medal top 10
1. Shane Mumford (81 votes)
2. Callan Ward (72)
-   Devon Smith (72)
4. Adam Treloar (62)
5. Heath Shaw (56)
6. Toby Greene (47)
7. Will Hoskin-Elliott (40)
-    Phil Davis (40)
9. Dylan Shiel (38)
10. Tomas Bugg (37)

Rising star - Josh Kelly
Coaches' award - Devon Smith
members and fans' most valuable player - Adam Treloar
NEAFL development prize - James Stewart
Leading goalkicker - Jeremy Cameron
Defensive award - Shane Mumford
Goal of the year - Dylan Shiel (round 14)
Mark of the year - Will Hoskin-Elliott (round 19)