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Flying high: Gibson named Hawks' best in premiership year

Josh Gibson of the Hawks in action during the 2013 Toyota Grand Final match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Fremantle Dockers at the MCG, Melbourne on September 28, 2013. (Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
Josh Gibson's strong finals series helped him to his first club best and fairest award
HAWTHORN defender Josh Gibson has capped a great season by winning the club's best and fairest, the Peter Crimmins Medal.

The 29-year-old, who was unlucky to miss out on a place in the All Australian team, polled 178 votes to finish 11 clear of Coleman medallist Jarryd Roughead.

Midfielder Sam Mitchell finished 10 votes further back in third, while backman Ben Stratton was fourth.

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Roughead led the count for most of the season, but Gibson edged in front during the finals.

The athletic defender, who joined the Hawks from North Melbourne prior to the 2010 season, polled votes in all 25 matches he played.

He was judged Hawthorn's best player in rounds six, nine, 14, 19 and 21, and he averaged seven votes a game (out of a possible 16) across the season.

Gibson was taken aback by claiming the award.

"I said to 'Rough', 'I'm a bit embarrassed.' He had a fantastic year, as did Mitch, Hodgey and Ben Stratton as well," he said.

"So I'm very surprised but very humbled at the same time. There's been some fantastic winners and we've had some fantastic performances this year. 

"So I'm honoured that the coaches thought I played that well this year, and I'm very proud to be the holder of the Peter Crimmins Medal."

Roughead, who was named in the forward pocket in the All Australian team, was judged to have been his team's best player in rounds seven, eight, 13, 16, 20 and 23. He kicked 28 goals in those six matches.

It is the first time that Roughead has finished in the top three in the Hawks' best and fairest.

In contrast, Mitchell has finished in the top three in all but one season since 2006.

Mitchell, who was named in the All Australian team for the second time after excelling in the midfield and across half-back, saved two of his best performances until the finals.

He received 12 out of a possible 16 votes after Hawthorn's qualifying final win over the Sydney Swans, while his 38-disposal effort in the five-point preliminary final victory over Geelong was rewarded with 15 votes.

Peter Crimmins Medal top 10

1. Josh Gibson – 178
2. Jarryd Roughead – 167

3. Sam Mitchell – 157

4. Ben Stratton – 152

5. Luke Hodge – 146

6. Shaun Burgoyne – 127

7. Grant Birchall – 120 

8. Luke Breust – 116 

8. Jack Gunston – 116 

10. Isaac Smith – 109 

Other awards
Best Clubman – Luke Hodge

Best First Year Player – Taylor Duryea

Best Player in Finals – Jack Gunston

Most Consistent – Ben Stratton

Most Promising – Isaac Smith

Twitter: @AFL_AdamMcNicol