GUN MELBOURNE onballer Clayton Oliver has sprung a huge surprise to be declared joint winner of the club's best and fairest, alongside ruckman Max Gawn.
It had been expected the big man, who won All Australian honours for the third time in his career after a fantastic campaign, would be the runaway winner.
However, the inside midfielder played every game, averaged 30 disposals, 16.3 contested possessions and seven clearances to finish alongside Gawn.
Meanwhile, coach Simon Goodwin used the opportunity at Crown Palladium on Monday night to apologise for his side's disastrous season that made him feel "sick in the guts".
Oliver, 22, was ranked No.3 in the AFL for contested possessions per game and No.5 for clearances per game.
It's the first time in the Demons' history they have had joint winners of the club champion award.
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Each added a second Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Memorial Trophy to their collection – Gawn took home last year's best and fairest, while Oliver was crowned the victor in 2017.
The pair finished on 464 votes, well ahead of co-captain Jack Viney in third (323).
Rounding out the top-five were James Harmes (319) and Christian Petracca (293).
Gawn's form was one of the few highlights of a dismal 2019 for Melbourne that saw the club finish second-last.
He averaged a career-high 18 disposals, while no-one in the competition exceeded his 12 hitouts-to-advantage per match.
Gawn, 27, was also ranked No.9 for contested marks per game.
Goodwin was scathing of his team's year.
"We had the football community finally respecting the Melbourne Football Club. It wasn't based on hope, it was based on performances. The Demon army was once again believing that maybe, just maybe, this might be our year," Goodwin said.
"Fast forward 23 weeks, and we'd got it all wrong. We'd once again sent the Demon throng back into Hell, a position our supporters have experienced far too often, a position that quite honestly, makes me feel sick in the guts.
"For that, we apologise."
However, he backed the club to respond.
"Our lesson has been learnt. The work required, the connection required, the leadership required and the devotion required to be great in this game is very clear," Goodwin said.
"We know what's ahead of us and we can't wait to get to work.
"As the great Neale Daniher said, when it's all said and done, more is said than done, and the mark of a person or a group of people is not what they say, but what they do."
Christian Salem finished seventh while Angus Brayshaw, who came under intense scrutiny after failing to live up to his breakout 2018 campaign, was eighth.
Out-of-contract backman Sam Frost, who wants to stay at the Dees but is yet to reach an agreement with the club and has Hawthorn among his suitors was ninth.
Prized recruit Steven May managed to finish 13th despite an injury-marred season restricting him to just eight games.
Nathan Jones, who stood down from the captaincy earlier on Monday, was 11th.
Melbourne best and fairest top-10
1. Max Gawn and Clayton Oliver – 464 votes
3. Jack Viney – 323
4. James Harmes – 319
5. Christian Petracca – 293
6. Bayley Fritsch – 230
7. Christian Salem – 213
8. Angus Brayshaw – 210
9. Sam Frost – 204
10. Jayden Hunt – 199