Jack Gunston celebrates with teammate Liam Shiels. Picture: Matt Roberts/AFL Photos

STAR forward Jack Gunston is the newest first-time winner of the Peter Crimmins Medal as Hawthorn's club champion.

The 28-year-old was crowned on Wednesday night in a virtual awards ceremony, polling in every game and 102 votes overall to edge out Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell (96) – after missing all of last season with a broken left leg – and Chad Wingard (73).

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Ruckman-turned-defender Ben McEvoy and last year's victor, James Worpel, rounded out the top five, with James Sicily sixth after being in front at the time of his season-ending knee injury in round 12.

Gunston was a shining light in a difficult season for the Hawks, winning the club's goalkicking for a third time with 31 – the equal-third-most in the AFL – and making the All-Australian squad of 40.

ALL-AUSTRALIAN TEAM Check out who made the cut

He'd never previously finished on the podium in a club best and fairest count, but was favoured to take the honours, given his consistency and exceptional finish to the year.

Gunston kicked multiple goals in 10 of his 16 games, including a season-high four in the final round, when Hawthorn beat Gold Coast for its fifth victory of 2020.


The triple premiership player was goalless just twice, but one of those times was while he was playing as a rebounding defender in round one against Brisbane.

Gunston's positional versatility and excellent kicking skills have made him a key weapon in Alastair Clarkson's arsenal since he crossed from Adelaide at the end of 2011.

"Jack had an outstanding season in 2020," Clarkson said.

"To earn both an All-Australian nomination and third place in the Coleman Medal, in what was a disappointing season for our club, is testament to the character and talent of Jack.

"He tackled the challenges of this season with a great attitude and … he stepped up for us on countless occasions throughout the season and was the side's most consistent performer."


Other award-winners on the night were Will Day (best first-year player), Jack Scrimshaw (most improved) and retired forward Paul Puopolo (best clubman).

Peter Crimmins Medal top 10

1. Jack Gunston - 102 votes
2. Tom Mitchell - 96
3. Chad Wingard - 73
4. Ben McEvoy - 71
=5. Liam Shiels - 61
=5. James Sicily - 61
=5. James Worpel - 61 
=8. Jaeger O'Meara - 59
=8. Sam Frost - 59
10. Will Day - 53