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Players' Top 50: Why the players' No.9 is the ultimate Brownlow vote-winner

Alex Malcolm  March 9, 2016 7:02 AM

The players pick their best: No.9 We reveal number nine in the 2016 Players' Top 50

WEST Coast midfielder Matt Priddis and Australian Football Hall of Fame legend Haydn Bunton snr are the only players in history to have won both a Sandover Medal and Brownlow Medal in their careers.

Although Bunton snr won three Sandovers and three Brownlows compared to Priddis' one of each, the fact that only two players have achieved the feat shows that Priddis is more than worthy of his place at No.9 in the AFL Players' Top 50, brought to you by Mars.

His consistency as an accumulator is what causes him to be noticed by umpires, and has seen him climb five spots from No.14 in last year's Top 50.

When he won the Sandover Medal with WAFL club Subiaco in 2006 he polled a record 58 votes under the WAFL's 5-4-3-2-1 voting system.

He averaged 31.6 possessions across 18 games in the Lions' premiership season and did not have a single game with less than 20 possessions.

Matt Priddis's honour roll

197 games 2014 Brownlow Medal
All Australian 2015 Club best and fairest 2013
Sandover Medal 2006 129 career Brownlow votes

Priddis has transferred that consistency into his AFL career, gathering 20 disposals or more in each of his last 57 matches. In that time he has polled 64 Brownlow votes.   

In his Brownlow-winning season of 2014 he was ranked third in the competition for contested possessions and tackles. Last year he improved to second for contested possessions and was number one for total tackles across the season.

While some may think he's just a favourite of the umpires, his performances in the Eagles' best and fairest prove he is one of the most consistent and valuable performers in the competition.

He has only won the best and fairest once (in 2013), but he has finished second four times and has finished in the top eight in nine of the 10 seasons he has played at AFL level.

The only season he finished outside the Eagles' top eight was 2006 when he played just two games in his debut year, the same year he won the Sandover Medal.

Who's next? Click here to view the AFL Players' Top 50 as they are revealed