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Resilient Rory recognised

Rory Sloane: Dr Brian Sando OAM Trophy Rory Sloane has won the Dr Brian Sando OAM trophy.

Rory Sloane’s resilience and professionalism has been recognised with the Dr Brian Sando OAM Trophy.

At the Club Champion dinner, Sloane accepted the trophy which acknowledges elite standards in preparation for being an AFL footballer.

It was coined in 2012 in memory of long-serving Crows doctor and Life Member Dr Brian Sando OAM, who passed away after a battle with illness.

Sloane, 27, overcame numerous challenges to play every game in the home and away season.

A fractured eye-socket in February didn’t stop the Crows vice-captain from lining up in Round One.

Despite missing the JLT Community Series, Sloane carried his All-Australian form of last year into the 2017 season, leading the AFL Coaches Association Champion Player of the Year award after 10 rounds.

He battled taggers and a nagging knee injury to average 24 disposals, 13 contested possessions, eight tackles and six clearances across the course of the season.

The diligent and consistent midfielder 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).

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

The two-time Crows Club Champion fell just short of another remarkable recovery in the finals series.

After having surgery to remove his appendix nine-days prior, the fierce competitor made a bold bid to play in the Qualifying Final against Greater Western Sydney but was ruled out on medical advice.

Sloane’s respect within the game was reflected in being voted by his peers as the Most Courageous Player at the AFL Players’ Association MVP awards.

Winners of the Dr Brian Sando OAM Trophy
2012 – Daniel Talia
2013 – Daniel Talia
2014 – Nathan van Berlo
2015 – Jake Lever
2016 – David Mackay
2017 – Rory Sloane 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs