NORTH Melbourne youngster Jy Simpkin has cemented his place as a future Kangaroos captain, celebrating a career-best season with his first ever Syd Barker Medal as the club's best and fairest on Friday night.
Simpkin, who was elevated to a position as vice-captain earlier this year, polled 143 votes to overcome champion midfielder Ben Cunnington on 117 votes and claim the award as the runaway winner.
Veteran skipper Jack Ziebell, fresh off signing a two-year contract extension last week, polled 114 votes and earned a top-three finish on countback from fellow half-back Aaron Hall. Young onballer Luke Davies-Uniacke rounded out the top five.
But it was the 23-year-old Simpkin who stole the limelight, capping a superb campaign where he averaged 26.9 disposals and 5.1 clearances per game with a maiden Syd Barker Medal.
Simpkin was dominant in North Melbourne's four wins this season, helping first-year coach David Noble get off the mark with 38 disposals, 13 clearances and nine tackles in its drought-breaking victory over Hawthorn in round nine.
He then won 30 disposals as the Kangaroos overcame Gold Coast, 32 touches in a road victory over West Coast and 31 disposals as the side notched its final win of the year over Carlton late in the season.
North Melbourne's coaches award up to 20 votes in a match to decipher the best and fairest.
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Simpkin had earlier claimed the prestigious Glenn Archer Shinboner of the Year award, handed to the North Melbourne player who best exemplifies the values of what it means to be a Kangaroos footballer both on and off the field.
Kayne Turner was honoured with the Harold Henderson Best Clubman Award, while first-round draft pick Tom Powell celebrated a promising maiden season at the club with the Best Young Player Award.
Cunnington, who finished second in the best and fairest – despite missing seven games and undergoing surgery to remove a testicular tumour – also claimed the fan-voted Mazda Excellence Award.
2021 Syd Barker Medal
143 Jy Simpkin
117 Ben Cunnington
114 Jack Ziebell*
114 Aaron Hall
109 Luke Davies-Uniacke
106 Ben McKay
95 Cam Zurhaar*
95 Tarryn Thomas
92 Kayne Turner
90 Nick Larkey
* Denotes finishing ahead on countback