BRILLIANT Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy and star midfielder Steele Sidebottom have shared the Copeland Trophy for the club's best and fairest in a remarkable count at Crown Palladium on Friday night.
The result is stunning because there are tiebreakers in the event of a draw. Firstly, the player with the fewer number of games in a year will be deemed the winner, but both Sidebottom and Grundy lined up in all 26 matches as the Pies advanced to the Grand Final.
Then, whichever individual managed a greater number of votes in their highest-polling game is declared the victor.
Five members of the coaching panel independently decide between zero and 22 votes to players after every match, with the average of those taken.
However, Sidebottom and Grundy were level in that criterion as well. Amazingly, each had their highest-polling game in the round four win over Adelaide, with 17 votes apiece.
Both finished with a tally of 203, with captain Scott Pendlebury in third (178), while backman Jack Crisp (160) and onballer Taylor Adams (159) rounding out the top five.
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It's the first tie since 1994, when Nathan Buckley and Gavin Brown were joint winners of the EW Copeland Trophy.
Picking up one vote in the Grand Final saw Grundy draw level with Sidebottom.
Grundy produced a remarkable campaign, averaging 20 disposals and 40 hit-outs but showing movement akin to a man shorter than his 203cm.
The 24-year-old was named on the bench in the Virgin Australia AFL All Australian team, marking his first selection in the AFL's team of the year.
Grundy was overwhelmed with emotion when he spoke to AFL.com.au.
"I'm lost for words. It's not something that I could've dreamt of when I first got to the footy club, considering the players that have gone before me and the players that I've played with," he said.
Sidebottom was also awarded his maiden blazer that night after being selected on a wing.
The 27-year-old averaged 29 disposals, and his classy ball use on either side was a highlight.
He rose to the fore in the finals, dominating much of September until West Coast sought to shut him down in the decider, which Mark Hutchings successfully did.
Sidebottom added a second best and fairest to last year's win, but he remains focused on team success ahead of individual accolades.
"All I do at home is watch sport. Every time I change the channel, the replay (of the Grand Final) is on and I just go straight past it," Sidebottom told AFL.com.au.
"I haven't really thought too much about it. Obviously I didn't play well myself and would've loved to have done better but I really haven't given it too much thought, to be honest."
The Bob Rose Award for player of the finals went to Adams.
The Darren Millane Perpetual Memorial Trophy for best clubman went to defender Lynden Dunn, who had enjoyed a magnificent campaign until the 31-year-old needed a left knee reconstruction.
Copeland Trophy top 10
=1. Steele Sidebottom (203 votes)
=1. Brodie Grundy (203)
3. Scott Pendlebury (178)
4. Jack Crisp (160)
5. Taylor Adams (159)
6. Tom Phillips (134)
7. Jeremy Howe (132)
8. Jordan De Goey (127)
9. Josh Thomas (122)
10. Brayden Maynard (107)