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AFLCA Gary Ayres Award: Early lead for Eagles goalkicker, young Giant

Nic Nat's warning, Danger backs coach, Lions talk tough Nat Edwards with all the latest footy news

TWO PLAYERS have received maximum votes in the opening week of the finals, giving them the early lead in the race for the Gary Ayres Award for the best finals player in the eyes of the coaches.

West Coast forward Jamie Cripps scored a perfect 10 for his four-goal effort against Essendon, while young Giant Tim Taranto was deemed best on ground in the elimination final against the Bulldogs.

Richmond superstar Dustin Martin, who won this award in 2017, and teammate Shane Edwards each received nine votes in the Tigers' big win over Brisbane.

Eagles star Luke Shuey has eight votes, while Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield and GWS's Jacob Hopper are on seven.

Every round, the AFL coaches vote for the best players from their game. The coaches vote for five players, giving them a mark from 1-5. The maximum a player can score is 10 (with five votes from both coaches).

WEST COAST v ESSENDON
10 Jamie Cripps (WCE)
8 Luke Shuey (WCE)
4 Nic Naitanui (WCE)
3 Josh Kennedy (WCE)
2 Brad Sheppard (WCE)
2 Lewis Jetta (WCE)
1 Jack Redden (WCE)

GEELONG v COLLINGWOOD
7 Patrick Dangerfield (GEEL)
5 Scott Pendlebury (COLL)
5 Jeremy Howe (COLL)
4 Taylor Adams (COLL)
3 Steele Sidebottom (COLL)
3 Darcy Moore (COLL)
3 Tom Phillips (COLL)

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GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY v WESTERN BULLDOGS
10 Tim Taranto (GWS)
7 Jacob Hopper (GWS)
4 Lachie Whitfield (GWS)
3 Josh Kelly (GWS)
2 Jeremy Finlayson (GWS)
2 Matt De Boer (GWS)
2 Toby Greene (GWS)

BRISBANE v RICHMOND
9 Shane Edwards (RICH)
9 Dustin Martin (RICH)
4 Dylan Grimes (RICH)
3 Lachie Neale (BL)
3 Luke Hodge (BL)
2 Dion Prestia (RICH)

GARY AYRES AWARD LEADERBOARD
10 Jamie Cripps
10 Tim Taranto
9 Shane Edwards
9 Dustin Martin
8 Luke Shuey
7 Patrick Dangerfield
7 Jacob Hopper
5 Jeremy Howe
5 Scott Pendlebury
4 Taylor Adams
4 Dylan Grimes
4 Nic Naitanui
4 Lachie Whitfield
3 Luke Hodge
3 Josh Kelly
3 Josh Kennedy
3 Darcy Moore
3 Lachie Neale
3 Tom Phillips
3 Steele Sidebottom