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Easton Wood's rapid rise ends with Bulldogs' best and fairest

Fix your rucks, Dogs Lyon and Barrett on the highs and lows of the Bulldogs season
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 29: Easton Wood of the Bulldogs and Jarrad Waite of the Kangaroos compete for the ball during the 2015 AFL round 22 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia on August 29, 2015. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Easton Wood flies for one of his trademark grabs against the Kangaroos
The man has no fear
Luke Beveridge, on Easton Wood

EASTON WOOD has capped off a stunning breakout season by winning the Western Bulldogs' best and fairest award.

Entering the season on a one-year deal, the rebounding defender quickly established himself as one of the Dogs' most important players and finished the year with a three-year contract extension, All Australian honours and his first Charles Sutton Medal.

The 26-year-old picked up 268 votes to finish a clear winner ahead of skipper Robert Murphy (229) and second-year sensation Marcus Bontempelli (226).

"I never envisaged I'd have the honour of achieving this," Wood said.

"I truly love this club with every inch of my heart, I'm truly proud to be a part of it and I can guarantee you going forward I'll get every inch out of myself."

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge paid tribute to Wood's courage and selflessness.

"The man has no fear," Beveridge said

"He's always putting the team first and usually young men that fit this mould don't win these awards, but that's why this achievement is even more remarkable."

Season review: Western Bulldogs

Nearly impassable across half-back this year, Wood led the AFL in intercept marking, was 12th for both total marks and contested marks and averaged 17 possessions a game.

After battling injuries early in his time at Whitten Oval, Wood missed only one game in 2015 and polled every match he played in.

Versatile defender Joel Hamling (best first year player) running defender Jason Johannisen (most improved) goal sneak Tory Dickson (best team player) and star playmaker Luke Dahlhaus (most courageous) also received awards.

Free-agent forward Jarrad Grant and disgruntled key defender Michael Talia were notable absentees from the event.

Charles Sutton Medal top 10
1. Easton Wood (268 votes)
2. Robert Murphy (229)
3. Marcus Bontempelli (226)
4. Luke Dahlhaus (223)
5. Matthew Boyd (217)
6. Jason Johannisen (198)
7. Jake Stringer (193)
8. Jackson Macrae (192)
9. Mitch Wallis (189)
10. Liam Picken (182)