THE AFL is pleased to announce the medal presenters for the Norm Smith Medal and the Jock McHale Medal for the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final to be played on Saturday, September 25 at Optus Stadium.
Norm Smith Medal
Andrew Embley will present the Norm Smith Medal to the player judged best on ground in this year’s Toyota AFL Grand Final.
Embley made his AFL debut with the West Coast Eagles in 1999 and went on to play 250 games for the club, kicking 216 goals, before retiring in 2013.
A key member of the West Coast Eagles’ premiership side in 2006, Embley received the Norm Smith Medal for his dominant role in the win over the Sydney Swans, collecting 26 possessions and kicking two goals in the Eagles’ one-point win. As a former winner, he will present the Norm Smith Medal.
Jock McHale Medal
John Worsfold will present the Jock McHale Medal to this year’s Premiership Coach.
Worsfold made his AFL debut with the West Coast Eagles in 1987 and went on to play 209 games (138 games as Captain), kicking 37 goals, before retiring in 1998. As a player, Worsfold became a two-time Premiership Captain (1992, 1994), two-time All Australian (1988, 1990) that included a club best and fairest in 1988, five State of Origin appearances for Western Australia (three games in 1988 and one game each in 1992 and 1993) and two International games for Australia in 1990.
An AFL Life Member, Worsfold went on to coach a total of 388 AFL games – 281 games for the West Coast Eagles between 2002 - 2013 before leading Essendon for 107 games between 2016 - 2020. Worsfold was the recipient of the AFLCA Allan Jeans Senior Coach of the Year on two occasions (2006 and 2011).
He led the Eagles to their third-ever Premiership in 2006, receiving the Jock McHale Medal, and was named the All-Australian coach that year. As a former winner, he will present the Jock McHale Medal.
The Jock McHale Medal
The medal honours legendary Collingwood coach James “Jock” McHale, who guided the Magpies in an astonishing 714 matches, for 467 wins, 237 losses and 10 draws. McHale’s Collingwood teams won eight premierships, including a never-equalled four in a row between 1927 and 1930 inclusive. Formerly known as the Premiership coach's medal, the McHale medal was instituted in 2001, with back-dated presentations to all coaches back to 1949 (the year after McHale’s retirement from Collingwood), while all premiership coaches up to 1949 were presented a back-dated Premiership Coaches medal.
The Norm Smith Medal
Presented to the player judged, by an independent panel of football experts, to be best on ground in the Toyota AFL Grand Final. Norm Smith was a famous Melbourne Football Club identity who was also associated with Fitzroy and South Melbourne at senior level. Named as full forward in the Melbourne team of the Century, Smith played a total of 227 games with Melbourne and Fitzroy and coached in a total of 452 games with Melbourne (310), Fitzroy (55) and South Melbourne (87). As a coach, he was named coach of both the AFL Team of the Century and the Melbourne Team of the Century. During his 310-game tenure coaching Melbourne, he took the club into every Grand Final between 1954 and 1960 and won six premierships in the years 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1964. He played from 1935 to 1950, and coached at senior level every year between 1949 and 1972, except 1968. Smith died in 1973, aged 57.
Please note Nathan Buckley and Chris Judd were the previous recipients next in line to present the Norm Smith Medal, however, they were both unable to travel to Western Australia due to current restrictions in place as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is also the case with former Jock McHale medallist Paul Roos. They will be offered the opportunity to present the medals in 2022.