IT CONTINUES to be a case of catch-me-if-you-can in the Smithy’s VFL Coaches Player of the Year award after remarkable Southport co-captain Jacob Dawson polled yet another 10 votes in the Sharks’ “Do It For Doc” victory over GWS at Austworld Centre on Sunday.

The Sharks were honouring 49-year club president Alan “Doc” McKenzie and did so in style, with none other than the VFL’s best player once again leading from the front.

Dawson picked up another 35 disposals, 13 clearances, five inside-50s and five tackles, taking his season averages to 30.9 touches, 11.3 clearances, 5.0 inside-50s and 5.4 tackles in Southport’s seven matches to date.

With Paddy Dow (second), Will Hayes (third) and Rhys Mathieson (fourth) all having byes in Round 8, it means Dawson is now a whopping 20 votes clear with 11 matches to play.

The big movers behind Dawson were Frankston gun Will Fordham, who continued to put his name forward for a second AFL chance after winning nine votes for his four-goal performance as the Dolphins broke 17 and 23-year win droughts against Williamstown on Saturday, and Casey Demons’ Melbourne recruit Luke Dunstan, who climbed into the top 10 with a perfect game of 32 disposals, 14 clearances, eight inside-50s and three goals against North Melbourne.

The other star of the round was Port Melbourne’s Ethan Phillips, who earned 10 votes for his matchwinning effort of 30 disposals and 14 marks as the Borough overran Northern Bullants at Genis Steel Oval on Sunday.

But the news wasn’t all good for Southport, with star goalkicker Jacob Townsend being suspended for the second time in a month.

In his first match back from a two-week ban for rough conduct, the 2017 Liston medallist accepted another one-week sanction (with an early plea) for forceful front on contact on Giant Sam Frost in the second quarter and will miss the Sharks’ trip south to face Port Melbourne on Saturday.

As with the AFL Coaches Association Player of the Year, the VFL award is voted on by the coaches of each club after every game.

The coaches are awarding 5-4-3-2-1 to their best players in the game from either team, with those votes collated and revealed each week on vfl.com.au.

A total of 12 new players attracted the coaches’ attention in Round 8, making it 288 to have polled so far this season.

Casey Demons' Luke Dunstan runs with the ball during the Round 3 VFL match against Williamstown Seagulls at Williamstown Football Ground on April 09, 2022. Picture: Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos

ROUND 8 VOTES

Collingwood 13.12 (90) def Footscray 4.11 (35)
9
Mason Cox (Col)
8 Neville Jetta (Col)
4 Nathan Murphy (Col)
4 Lachie Sullivan (Foo)
3 Trent Bianco (Col)
1 Hayden Crozier (Foo)
1 Ewan Macpherson (Foo)

Williamstown 3.16 (34) lost to Frankston 10.15 (75)
9
Will Fordham (Fra)
6 Josh Newman (Fra)
5 Sam Fletcher (Fra)
5 Connor Riley (Fra)
3 Kallan Dawson (Wil)
1 Angus Grant (Fra)
1 Finbar O’Dwyer (Wil)

Southport 12.13 (85) def GWS 8.10 (58)
10
Jacob Dawson (Sou)
6 James Peatling (GWS)
4 Jay Lockhart (Sou)
4
Boyd Woodcock (Sou)
3 Jarrod Brander (GWS)
3 Fraser Thurlow (Sou)

00:45 Mins
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Box Hill Hawks 15.16 (106) def Richmond 10.13 (73)
6
Damian Mascitti (Box)
5 Dan Howe (Box)
5 Fergus Greene (Box)
4 Callum Porter (Box)
3 Ben Cavarra (Box)
3
Riley Collier-Dawkins (Ric)
2 Ben Miller (Ric)
1 Jordan Cunico (Box)
1 Jack Ross (Ric)

North Melbourne 10.7 (67) lost to Casey Demons 26.21 (177)
10
Luke Dunstan (Cas)
8 Jacob Van Rooyen (Cas)
5 Sam Weideman (Cas)
4 Toby Bedford (Cas)
2 Bailey Laurie (Cas)
1 Mitch White (Cas)

Northern Bullants 9.10 (64) lost to Port Melbourne 12.8 (80)
10
Ethan Phillips (PM)
4 Liam Mackie (NB)
4
Fletcher Roberts (PM)
4 Eli Templeton (PM)
3 Jackson Barling (NB)
3 Liam Podhajski (NB)
1 Jake Gasper (PM)
1 Tom O’Sullivan (PM)

Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Coburg, Essendon, Geelong, Gold Coast, Sandringham, Sydney, Werribee bye

01:10 Mins
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SMITHY’S VFL COACHES PLAYER OF THE YEAR LEADERBOARD

57 Jacob Dawson (Sou) 10
37 Paddy Dow (Car) bye
30
Will Hayes (Car) bye
30 Rhys Mathieson (BL) bye
29 Will Fordham (Fra) 9
28 Mitch White (Cas) 1
25
Jarrod Brander (GWS) 3
25 Luke Dunstan (Cas) 10
25 Boyd Woodcock (Sou) 4
22 Ryan Clarke (Syd) bye
22 Lachie Sullivan (Foo) 4

Twitter: @BRhodesVFL

All Smithy’s VFL matches in 2022 are live streamed free. The match of the round is screened on Channel 7 and 7Plus, while all other matches are live and available on demand via afl.com.au and the AFL Live Official App. Radio station 3WBC 94.1 also broadcasts Box Hill Hawks matches.
To access live scores, results, ladder, stats and to link to live streams/replays, download the VFL/W Official App from the Apple or Google Play app stores.