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Dangerfield wins Malcolm Blight Medal

Patrick Dangerfield: 2015 Club Champion Patrick Dangerfield wins the Adelaide Football Club's Best & Fairest for 2015.
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 7: Patrick Dangerfield of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2015 AFL round 19 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Richmond Tigers at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia on August 7, 2015. (Photo by AFL Media)
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 7: Patrick Dangerfield of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2015 AFL round 19 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Richmond Tigers at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia on August 7, 2015. (Photo by AFL Media)
It's hard to close a chapter and say goodbye to an extended Adelaide family.
Patrick Dangerfield

Patrick Dangerfield has claimed his first Malcolm Blight Medal at the Crows Club Champion presentation held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Saturday night.

Dangerfield, who was the only player to poll in every game, finished 26 votes clear of runner-up Rory Laird, while Eddie Betts claimed third place ahead of ruckman Sam Jacobs in fourth spot.

It was a bittersweet breakthrough for the departing Dangerfield, who finished runner-up to Scott Thompson in the 2012 Club Champion and third in each of the past two seasons.

Betts, who started the season in blistering fashion, held a narrow lead over Dangerfield after nine rounds. Dangerfield hit the front for the first time in the seesawing count at the mid-season break, but was overtaken by Laird following Adelaide’s Round 13 win over the Brisbane Lions.

Dangerfield, 25, reclaimed the lead after a gutsy performance against West Coast following the tragic passing of Senior Coach Phil Walsh in Round 15, and was never headed.

In a heartfelt acceptance speech, Dangerfield said the decision to leave the Crows for family reasons had been the “toughest” decision of his life.

“This is certainly a unique situation and a difficult speech to deliver because of the special place the Adelaide Football Club holds in my life,” he said.

“It has been an honour to play for a Club, which in just 25 years has achieved so much. I will be forever be proud of my small part in its journey.

“My decision has not been based on football but family. And I recognise that some of you don’t agree with the call I have made.

“It is hard to close a chapter and say goodbye to an extended Adelaide family.

“When this playing group achieves the success it deserves, I will watch on with fond memories and reflect on how proud I was, and am, to have been a Crow.”

Remarkably, the top four players on the leaderboard remained the same from Round Six onwards, with only the order changing.

Under a new format, five coaches (Phil Walsh/John Worsfold, Scott Camporeale, David Teague, Darren Milburn and Matthew Clarke) rated every player from 0 – 5 in each game.

The coaches only awarded four ‘perfect’ scores for the season.

Captain Taylor Walker received a maximum 25 votes for his six-goal haul against North Melbourne in Round One, while wingman Brodie Smith polled 25 against Collingwood in Round Two. Betts achieved the feat twice, against St Kilda in Round Seven and in the Elimination Final win over the Western Bulldogs.

Walker finished fifth in the count one vote ahead of 2013 Club Champion Rory Sloane, who polled well again despite missing six games through injury. Thompson, who played 21 of a possible 23 matches, continued his consistent form with a seventh-place finish.

Reigning Malcolm Blight Medallist Daniel Talia was eighth, while forward Tom Lynch finished ninth. Charlie Cameron (10th) secured his first top-10 finish in just his second season.

All Australian forward Betts, who bagged a career-high 63 goals, claimed back-to-back Leading Goalkicker awards. Young defender Jake Lever was awarded the Dr Brian Sando OAM Trophy recognising outstanding and professional attention to detail in the standard of preparation for being an AFL footballer.

Laird took out the 19th Man Award as the members’ best and fairest player. Walker was recognised with the inaugural Crows Children’s Foundation Community Leadership Award, and young midfielder Matt Crouch collected the Mark Bickley Emerging Talent Award.

Sloane claimed his second Chelsea Phillis Coaches Award and retiring utility James Podsiadly was judged Best Team Man for 2015. It was announced on the night that the award would be renamed the ‘Phil Walsh Best Team Man Award’ after the respected late Senior Coach.

Ian Callinan claimed his second SANFL Crows Club Champion award, edging out first-year ruckman Reilly O’Brien. Development player Matthew Spencely received the Dean Bailey Award.

Players Richard Douglas, Nathan van Berlo, Jason Porplyzia and long-serving trainer, Matt Norris, were awarded Life Membership. Another Life Member, Brent Reilly, was presented on stage and acknowledged for his significant contribution to the Club.

2015 Crows Club Champion top 10
1. PatrickDangerfield – 315
2. Rory Laird – 289
3. Eddie Betts – 278
4. SamJacobs – 254
5. Taylor Walker – 210
6. Rory Sloane – 209
7. Scott Thompson – 202
8. Daniel Talia – 184
9. Tom Lynch – 179
10. Charlie Cameron – 168

2015 Club Award Winners
Leading Goalkicker
– Eddie Betts
Dr Brian Sando OAM Trophy – Jake Lever
19th Man Award – Rory Laird
Crows Children’s Foundation Community Leadership Award – Taylor Walker
Mark Bickley Emerging Talent Award – Matt Crouch
Chelsea Phillis Coaches Award – Rory Sloane
Best Team Man Award – James Podsiadly
State League Club Champion – Ian Callinan
Dean Bailey Award – Matthew Spencely

Club Champion Voting Protocol
1 vote – Played his role. Beat his man.
2 votes – Played his role. Beat his man – added to our team offence or defence.
3 votes – Played his role. Beat his man – added to both our team offence and defence.
4 votes – Major contributor. Dominated either offensively or defensively.
5 votes – Best on ground performance – elite impact on game.