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Top Demon Jack Viney follows in dad's footsteps

DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Jack Viney of the Demons evades Garrick Ibbotson of the Dockers during the 2016 AFL Round 16 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Fremantle Dockers at TIO Stadium on July 9, 2016 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Justine Walker/AFL Media)
Jack Viney has won his first 'Bluey' Truscott Memorial Trophy as Melbourne's best and fairest

JACK Viney has claimed his first Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Memorial Trophy, taking out the prestigious award ahead of senior teammates Nathan Jones and Max Gawn at Crown Palladium on Tuesday night. 

Viney's win comes 18 years after his father Todd, a former Demons skipper, won the second of his Melbourne best and fairest awards in 1998. Viney senior also won the award in 1993.

"This award might mean a little bit more to me than it does to others, due to family history," Viney said in his acceptance speech.

"The old man constantly reminds me that he's won a couple of these (trophies) and I'm sure he'll be the first to remind me when I sit down at my table that he's still got one more on me."

The emerging midfielder polled 407 votes to eclipse skipper Jones (399) and All Australian ruckman Gawn (374) in the 2016 best and fairest count.

Dom Tyson's consistent season was recognised with fourth-place, while Jack Watts' career-best year saw him achieve his highest-placed finish rounding out the top-five.

Viney finished runner-up to Bernie Vince in last year's count, despite missing six matches with a fractured fibula, but deservedly went one better in 2016.

The 22-year-old averaged a career-high 26.1 disposals, six clearances and seven tackles from 21 games in 2016, as he and Gawn became one of the most damaging ruck/onball combinations in the League.

Viney was also ranked 11th in the AFL in total clearances, sixth in centre clearances and fourth in tackles.

He missed one game through suspension, served while also nursing a broken bone in his hand.

A three-time best and fairest winner, Jones also finished runner-up in 2007.

Gawn's All Australian year, in which he led the League in hit-outs, saw him leap from 12th place in 2015 to third in 2016. The bearded big man also won the esteemed Coaches Award.

Third-year defender Jayden Hunt (230 votes) finished in 11th place and polled more votes than NAB AFL Rising Star nominees Christian Petracca (171), Oscar McDonald (159) and James Harmes (127). 

Hunt was also judged the club's best young player.

The best and fairest votes were cast by four members of Melbourne's match committee who gave players a score from 0-10 for each game. 

2016 Melbourne best and fairest top 10

1. Jack Viney (407 votes)
2. Nathan Jones (399)
3. Max Gawn (374)
4. Dom Tyson (357)
5. Jack Watts (308)
6. Tom McDonald (306)
7. Bernie Vince (287)
8. Jesse Hogan (261)
9. Neville Jetta (260)
10. Dean Kent (235)

Other awards:

  • Norm Smith Memorial Trophy (Coaches Award): Max Gawn
  • Troy Broadbridge Memorial Trophy (Best Melbourne-listed player in the VFL): Jack Grimes
  • Harold Ball Memorial Trophy (Best Young Player): Jayden Hunt
  • Ian Ridley Memorial Trophy (Club Ambassador Award): Neville Jetta
  • Ron Barassi Jnr Trophy (Leadership Award): Jack Viney
  • James McDonald Trophy (Heart and Spirit Award): Max Gawn