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Superstar Cat wins AFLCA award with record haul

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 11: Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats kicks the ball during the 2016 AFL Round 12 match between the Geelong Cats and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium on June 11, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Patrick Dangerfield won the ALFCA award by a record margin

GEELONG superstar Patrick Dangerfield has secured the first award of what shapes as a decorated season, with the midfielder crowned the AFL Coaches Association player of the year.

Dangerfield polled a record 121 votes and won by a record margin of 28 from Adelaide midfielder and former teammate Rory Sloane, who held on to second despite missing round 23 through suspension.  

The Brownlow Medal favourite, who was named in the All Australian squad on Monday, surpassed previous record-holder Dane Swan, who polled 114 votes in 2010 and won by a margin of 26. 

Brownlow predictor: It's Dangerfield's medal

Dangerfield overtook Sloane at the top of the leaderboard in round 18 and effectively sealed his title one week later when he polled a perfect 10 votes against the Western Bulldogs.

Once voting went in camera, the on-baller polled seven votes against the Brisbane Lions in round 22 and nine votes against Melbourne in the final round of the season.

AFLCA votes: Round 22
AFLCA votes: Round 23

Dangerfield played every game in 2016 and ranked second in the AFL for total disposals (31.3 a game), first for inside 50s (8.1) and equal fourth for total clearances (6.6).     

Sloane, who is ineligible for the Brownlow Medal, led AFLCA voting between rounds 15-17, but polled just 13 votes in the final six rounds to be overtaken by a rampaging Dangerfield.

Richmond midfielder Dustin Martin (90 votes) and Western Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli (88) were rewarded for outstanding seasons with top-four finishes.

The Sydney Swans had three midfielders in the top 10, with Luke Parker (86), last year's winner Dan Hannebery (83) and Josh Kennedy (69) backing up their selections in the 40-man All Australian squad.

Geelong captain Joel Selwood (86 votes) and West Coast midfielder Luke Shuey (82) held on to top-10 placings in the final two rounds.

Port Adelaide's 2014 winner Robbie Gray polled 10 votes in the final round against Gold Coast to jump into ninth, finishing on 77 votes.

Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy was the only key forward in the top 10, with the star Eagle polling 69 votes to tie with his Swans namesake in 10th.   

AFLCA Champion Player of the Year top 10
1. Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong) 121
2. Rory Sloane (Adelaide) 93
3. Dustin Martin (Richmond) 90
4. Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs) 88
5. Luke Parker (Sydney Swans) 86
5. Joel Selwood (Geelong) 86
7. Dan Hannebery (Sydney Swans) 83
8. Luke Shuey (West Coast) 82
9. Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide) 77
10. Josh Kennedy (Sydney Swans) 69
10. Josh Kennedy (West Coast) 69