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'Selfless' Otten claims Coach's Award

Andy Otten highlights: Coach's Award Andy Otten won the Chelsea Phillis Vice Presidents Club Coach's Award on Friday night.
Andy Otten of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2013 AFL Round 17 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Geelong Cats at AAMI Stadium, Adelaide on July 21, 2013. (Photo: AFL Media)
Andy Otten of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2013 AFL Round 17 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Geelong Cats at AAMI Stadium, Adelaide on July 21, 2013. (Photo: AFL Media)

Influential swingman Andy Otten has capped off a remarkable 2013 season, receiving the Chelsea Phillis Vice Presidents Club Coach’s Award.

Limited to 21 games because of fitness and form across the previous three seasons, Otten re-established himself as an integral part of the Crows side this year. The 24-year-old didn’t miss a game, playing a variety of important roles dependant on the team’s needs.

Otten was entrusted with big jobs in defence, thwarting the likes of West Coast star Jack Darling and damaging Collingwood utility Ben Reid. He was thrown forward when the Crows needed a spark in attack, and also provided support in the ruck at times.

Late in the year, the versatile tall provided a strong target in the injury-hit forward line, kicking multiple goals in three of the last four games for a season tally of 15 (ranked 4th at the Club). The 2009 Rising Star runner-up also ranked No.1 at Adelaide in contested marks (19).

Coach Brenton Sanderson said Otten exhibited the values and behaviours of the Club.

“Andy had a really difficult 2012. He didn’t play much footy for us at all, but from the first day of pre-season in 2013 he was just outstanding," Sanderson said.

"He played some critical roles for us this year both in attack and defence. Particularly, in attack late in the year when we lost so many players to injury. We’ve found a specialist forward in Andy. In the four-and-a-half games he played forward, he kicked 15 goals. 

The thing I really admire about Andy is his determination after the disappointment of last season. He knocked over some of the oppositions’ best forwards and then went forward and beat the likes of Geelong’s Harry Taylor.”

Recruited with pick No.27 in the 2007 AFL National Draft, Otten notched up his long-awaited 50th game against Port Adelaide in Round Three and has played a career total of 69 games. He signed a new two-year deal to remain at the Club in August.

Otten said he was happy playing “anywhere on the park”.

“I really put my head down and bum up over the summer because I wanted to get back into this side and be part of the success here, with the young group and where we’re going,” he said.

“I wanted to play every game I could and it fell into place this year.”

Previous winners of the Chelsea Phillis Vice President’s Club Coach’s Award include Rory Sloane (2012), Scott Thompson (2011), Richard Douglas (2010 and 2008), Robert Shirley (2007 and 2005) and Matthew Bode (2006).

The award is named after Chelsea Phillis – a young Crows supporter, who passed away suddenly at the age of two. As Chelsea’s organs were donated, the award honours Chelsea’s selfless act.