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Thompson's final salute

Scott Thompson: State League Club Champion Scott Thompson has taken out the 2017 State League Club Champion

Scott Thompson has capped off an incredible Crows career by winning Adelaide’s State League Club Champion award.

Thompson, 34, claimed the honour by one vote from emerging defender Tom Doedee with a best-on-ground performance in his final match against South Adelaide.

Left-footer Harrison Wigg claimed third place for the second year in a row after another consistent SANFL season.

Dean Bailey Award winner Lachlan Murphy (92 votes) and skilful midfielder/forward Ben Jarman (90) rounded out the top five in the count.

It’s another accolade in the decorated career of Thompson, who retired from the sport after 308 AFL games, back-to-back Crows Club Champion awards (2011, 2012) and an All Australian blazer in 2012. The revered leader also finished equal-third in the 2012 Brownlow Medal count, claimed the Chelsea Phillis Coaches Award in 2011 and earned the Phil Walsh Medal as best afield in Showdown XXXIX.

Thompson set the standard for his younger teammates at state league level this season.

The 34-year-old overcame an injury-interrupted pre-season to average 25 disposals, eight tackles and seven clearances a game.

The tough onballer finished the minor round third in the League for tackles (116), fourth in contested possessions (214) and equal-fifth for clearances (100) despite missing four matches. Thompson also led the SANFL Crows for hard-ball gets (76), was second in disposals (348) and third for score involvements (72).

See the complete list of past Club award winners

His leadership on and off the field was also invaluable in the development of Adelaide’s next wave of emerging players.

Crows SANFL coach Ryan O’Keefe commended Thompson’s outstanding contribution.

“He’s a special player who continued to perform at an elite level right through to his final game,” O’Keefe said.

“You know what you’re going to get from Thommo. He’s a ball magnet, a competitive beast and a natural leader.

“He also brings his teammates into the game and it’s been like having another coach out there on the field for us this season.

“This award is a fitting recognition of his incredible efforts all year.”

SANFL co-captain Hugh Greenwood led the count after Round Six before playing out the rest of the year in Adelaide’s senior side.

Ruckman Reilly O’Brien, who was fourth in last year’s award, took over the lead until Round 14 when injury brought him back to the chasing pack.

Wigg, Doedee and Thompson were neck and neck in the closing rounds with the latter pair separated by just one vote heading into Adelaide’s final match.

Thompson scored a perfect 12 votes from the Club’s SANFL coaching staff for his 28-possession and two-goal performance to claim the title.

The State League Club Champion voting process follows the same protocol as the senior side. Coaches rate every player from 0 – 4 after each match according to their impact. Adelaide’s 2017 SANFL coaching panel was Ryan O’Keefe, Nathan van Berlo and Paul Thomas.

Thompson and last year’s winner Jonathon Beech were the only players to poll maximum votes in multiple matches. Greenwood, Brad Crouch, Mitch McGovern and Paul Seedsman also achieved the feat at different stages of the season.

1. Scott Thompson - 102
2. Tom Doedee - 101
3. Harrison Wigg - 99
4. Lachlan Murphy - 92
5. Ben Jarman - 90
6. Paul Hunter - 85
7. Reilly O’Brien - 82
=8. Troy Menzel - 81
=8. Myles Poholke - 81
10. Dean Gore - 73

2014 – Ian Callinan
2015 – Ian Callinan
2016 – Jonathon Beech
2017 – Scott Thompson

1 vote – Played his role. Solid game without significant influence on the game.
2 votes – Played his role well and influenced the game.
3 votes – Played his very well with significant influence on the game.
4 votes – Played his role outstandingly and dominated the game.

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