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Sloane crowned most courageous

September 12, 2017 9:16 PM

AFL 2017 Round 02 - Hawthorn v Adelaide Crows

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 01: Rory Sloane of the Crows marks the ball ahead of Shaun Burgoyne of the Hawks during the 2017 AFL round 02 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Adelaide Crows at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 01, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

It means a lot to me coming from players that I admire so much

Adelaide vice-captain Rory Sloane has received one of the AFL’s highest honours, recognised by his peers as the Most Courageous Player in Season 2017.

Sloane, 27, accepted the Robert Rose Most Courageous Award at the AFL Players’ Association MVP Awards in Melbourne on Tuesday night.

The first Crow to claim the coveted prize, Sloane (188) finished 55 votes clear of Geelong skipper and past winner Joel Selwood (133).

The resilient midfielder thanked teammates for nominating him, as well as all the players who voted.

“It means a lot to me coming from players that I admire so much,” Sloane said.

“Looking at the past winners of this award, there are some unbelievable names and players I loved watching growing up.

“I’m really honoured and excited to have my name up there with them.” 

A fractured eye-socket at training in February didn’t prevent Sloane from playing in Round One.

The All-Australian midfielder played every game in the home and away season, displaying his trademark fearless approach at the body and the ball.

He led the League for tackles (176) and pressure points (1,374) in the minor round, and finished top 10 in the competition for contested possessions (296), clearances (139) and inside 50ms (101).

Despite being heavily tagged for much of the season, Sloane averaged 25 disposals, 14 contested possessions, eight tackles and six clearances. The two-time Crows Club Champion also kicked 18 goals.

He inspired Adelaide to a crucial win over Geelong in Round 18, just six days after being concussed and attempting to brush off trainers in a sickening incident against Melbourne in Darwin.

Sloane, who had his appendix removed a fortnight ago, made a brave bid to play in his team’s Qualifying Final against Greater Western Sydney last week but was ultimately ruled out on medical advice.

Crows captain Taylor Walker said Sloane was a fitting recipient of the award.

“Sloaney is the most courageous player I’ve probably played with,” Walker said.

“I know what I’m going to get from him each week.

“He just leads from the front every single game.”

Since its inception in 1991, there have been 13 winners of the Robert Rose Most Courageous Award.

Former North Melbourne hard man Glenn Archer holds the record with six Most Courageous crowns ahead of respected former Sydney Swans star Paul Kelly (five).

Joel Selwood is a four-time winner, while former Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown won the award on three occasions in his decorated career.

Last year Swans onballer Luke Parker, who also finished on top in the vote in 2015, became the sixth player to win multiple Robert Rose Most Courageous Awards.

In a two-step voting process, the contenders for the Most Courageous Award are nominated by their teammates before the final vote is opened up to the entire AFL playing body.

2017 ROBERT ROSE MOST COURAGEOUS PLAYER VOTING
1. Rory Sloane – 188 votes
2. Joel Selwood – 133 votes
3. Callan Ward – 89 votes
4. Luke Hodge – 77 votes
5. Dale Morris – 71 votes

2017 ROBERT ROSE MOST COURAGEOUS PLAYER NOMINEES
Adelaide: 
Rory Sloane
Brisbane: Darcy Gardiner
Carlton: Matthew Kreuzer
Collingwood: Tyson Goldsack
Essendon: Mark Baguley
Fremantle: Nathan Fyfe
Geelong: Joel Selwood
Gold Coast: David Swallow
GWS Giants: Callan Ward
Hawthorn: Luke Hodge
Melbourne: Jack Viney
North Melbourne: Jack Ziebell
Port Adelaide: Tom Jonas
Richmond: Dylan Grimes
St Kilda: Jarryn Geary
Sydney: Callum Mills
West Coast: Jeremy McGovern
Western Bulldogs: Dale Morris

MOST COURAGEOUS PLAYER PAST WINNERS
1991 – Gavin Brown (Collingwood)
1992 – Gavin Brown (Collingwood)
1993 – Gavin Wanganeen (Port Adelaide)
1994 – Paul Kelly (Sydney Swans)
1995 – Paul Kelly (Sydney Swans)
1996 – Paul Kelly (Sydney Swans)
1997 – Paul Kelly (Sydney Swans)
1998 – Glenn Archer (North Melbourne)
1999 – Glenn Archer (North Melbourne)
2000 – Paul Kelly (Sydney Swans)
2001 – Michael Voss (Brisbane)
2002 – Glenn Archer (North Melbourne)
2003 – Glenn Archer (North Melbourne)
2004 – David Teague (Carlton)
2005 – Glenn Archer (North Melbourne)
2006 – Glenn Archer (North Melbourne) and Brett Kirk (Sydney Swans)
2007 – Jonathan Brown (Brisbane Lions)
2008 – Jonathan Brown (Brisbane Lions)
2009 – Joel Selwood (Geelong)
2010 – Luke Hodge (Hawthorn)
2011 – Jonathan Brown (Brisbane Lions)
2012 – Joel Selwood (Geelong) and Beau Waters (West Coast)
2013 – Joel Selwood (Geelong)
2014 – Joel Selwood (Geelong)
2015 – Luke Parker (Sydney Swans)
2016 – Luke Parker (Sydney Swans)