MELBOURNE midfielder Clayton Oliver rocketed home with a perfect 10 in the final round of the season to win the AFL Coaches' Association Player of the Year Award on Thursday night.
Oliver polled 114 votes, shooting clear in round 23 to win the prestigious award from Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli and Port Adelaide star Ollie Wines, who tied for second on 101 votes.
St Kilda captain Jack Steele (100) and Gold Coast midfielder Touk Miller (97) rounded out the top five, followed by midfielders Sam Walsh (92), Zach Merrett (91), Christian Petracca (86), Darcy Parish (81) and Rory Laird (74).
COACHES' VOTES, R22: Dockers young gun, surprise Dee nab perfect 10s
Bontempelli, who won the award in 2019, sat in second at the end of round 21, three votes behind Oliver and 10 votes clear of Wines, but the brilliant midfielder did not poll in his last two games.
Wines polled eight votes in the Power's win against the Bulldogs in the final round to jump into equal second.
Oliver, whose magnificent season helped the Demons secure the minor premiership for the first time in 57 years, polled votes in 17 of his 22 games, including three perfect 10s.
The 24-year-old averaged a career-high 31.6 disposals and ranked No.1 in the AFL for contested possessions (17.7) and No.2 for clearances (7.6).
"I'm humbled and proud to be recognised by the coaches with their Champion Player Award," Oliver said.
"I wouldn't be receiving this without my teammates, coaches and staff so I thank them all, and especially to 'Goody' (coach Simon Goodwin). He took me under his wing this season and I couldn’t thank him any more."
COACHES' VOTES, R23: It all comes down to the wire
Goodwin said the two-time club champion had taken his game to a new level in 2021.
"Clayton has had an unbelievable season and should be proud to be recognised with this award from the coaches. I believe it's the highest award you can receive," Goodwin said.
"It's the work he's done without the footy that we've been impressed with. He's transformed his game and is getting the rewards for being a really good teammate."
The AFL's coaches also announced their best young player award, which was won by Fremantle rising star Caleb Serong and Gold Coast midfielder Noah Anderson.
The pair could not be separated, with the award determined by the weekly votes of the League's coaches over a two-year period.
The pair received 35 votes each from the coaches, winning from Anderson's Gold Coast teammate Matt Rowell (30).
Serong, who won last year's NAB AFL Rising Star Award, polled a perfect 10 in the Dockers' round 22 win against West Coast and three more against St Kilda in the final round.
AFLCA Champion Player of the Year Award - Top 10
114 Clayton Oliver MELB
101 Marcus Bontempelli WB
101 Ollie Wines PORT
100 Jack Steele STK
97 Touk Miller GCFC
92 Sam Walsh CARL
91 Zach Merrett ESS
86 Christian Petracca MELB
81 Darcy Parish ESS
74 Rory Laird ADEL
Check out all the votes for the AFL Coaches Association’s AFL Champion Player Award here.