RECENTLY re-signed defender Jake Lloyd has celebrated his new deal in style by winning the Bob Skilton Medal as Sydney's club champion on Friday night.
After finishing equal runner-up with superstar forward Lance Franklin to Luke Parker last year, Lloyd went one better in 2018, taking out his first best and fairest with 540 votes, just ahead of Parker (517) and Franklin (510).
Young star Isaac Heeney (463) capped his most consistent season at the highest level with a fourth-placed finish ahead of captain Josh Kennedy (435) in fifth.
Remarkably, it was the first time Kennedy has not finished on the podium in his nine seasons with the Swans.
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Lloyd has been a consistent performer under coach John Longmire since coming off the rookie list in 2014, missing just three games since he made his debut in round five that season, and becoming the fastest Swan to the 100-game milestone.
After starting as a hard-running wingman, Lloyd has been particularly damaging across half back over the past three years and made the 2018 Virgin Australia All Australian squad of 40.
The unflappable 25-year-old didn't miss a match this year and set career-high marks in possessions (27.8), rebound 50s (six) and marks (6.5).
Longmire said Lloyd, who turned his back on a host of offers to leave the club and signed a new four-year contract extension with the Swans last month, was another great rookie success story for the club.
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"From the moment Jake arrived at the club he instantly impressed all of us with his work ethic and his eagerness to learn and make the most of his opportunity," he said.
"Credit to Jake because he’s done exactly that – he's become an integral part of our team and an emerging leader of our back six.
"It's a terrific achievement to be crowned club champion and a great reward for the commitment and work he’s put in."
Parker went close to winning his third Skilton Medal after averaging 23 disposals per game and booting 25 goals this season, while
Franklin, who won the Players' Player award, kicked 57 goals and could have won his first club champion gong if he hadn't missed four matches due to injury.
The four-time Coleman medallist topped the club's goalkicking for the fifth straight season, and during the year kicked his 900th career goal to pass Leigh Matthews on the VFL/AFL's all-time goalkickers list.
Franklin also earned his eighth Virgin Australian AFL All Australian honour and was named captain of the side for 2018.
Callum Sinclair was named most improved after taking over the number one ruck role in the absence of retired big man Kurt Tippett and the injured Sam Naismith, and thriving after playing mainly as a key forward in previous years.
Sydney's top pick at the 2016 NAB AFL Draft, Ollie Florent, won the club's rising star award after playing all 23 games in his second season, while Harry Cunningham was named best clubman.
Bob Skilton Medal top 10
1. Jake Lloyd – 540
2. Luke Parker – 517
3. Lance Franklin – 510
4. Isaac Heeney – 463
5. Josh Kennedy – 435
6. Dane Rampe – 433
7. George Hewett – 430
8. Jarrad McVeigh – 353
9. Callum Sinclair – 351
10. Harry Cunningham - 331
* Club Champion votes were awarded by five coaches – John Longmire, Brett Kirk, Dean Cox, Rhyce Shaw and Steve Johnson. A player can be awarded a maximum of 50 votes per game, and coaches can allocate up to 10 points for as many or as few players as they deem appropriate, per match.