THE INCREDIBLE season of Marcus Bontempelli has been recognised by the most respected figures in the game, with the Western Bulldogs superstar crowned the 2019 Shadforth Financial Group AFL Coaches' Association Champion Player of the Year on Tuesday.
The dominance of Bontempelli throughout the year was highlighted by the classy midfielder finishing nearly two full games clear of Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield in second place.
Bontempelli finished strongly to poll 107 votes from the coaches, finishing 17 votes clear of Dangerfield and 19 ahead of Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe, who rounded out the top three.
It followed a campaign in which the 23-year-old Bontempelli averaged career-highs in disposals, contested possessions, marks, inside 50s, clearances and score involvements.
Bontempelli is the first Western Bulldogs player to win the award since its inception in 2003.
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The Dogs polled well throughout the season with the coaches, with fellow midfielders Jack Macrae and Josh Dunkley also finishing inside the top 10 within the voting.
"Marcus has had a magnificent season which has been recognised by the coaches and rewarded with what we believe is the most prestigious of all the individual awards in the AFL," the AFL Coaches' Association CEO Mark Brayshaw said on Tuesday.
"The coaches take such care in allocating their votes and have a unique perspective on what succeeds in each of the games. Marcus should be very proud to win this award."
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The award is decided by each senior coach giving 5-4-3-2-1 votes to the best players from either side after every game throughout the home and away season.
AFLCA Champion Player of the Year Award - Top 10
1. Marcus Bontempelli (107)
2. Patrick Dangerfield (90)
3. Nat Fyfe (88)
4. Tim Kelly (86)
5. Patrick Cripps (82)
5. Brodie Grundy (82)
5. Lachie Neale (82)
8. Luke Shuey (76)
9. Jack Macrae (75)
10. Josh Dunkley (72)