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Laird crowned Club Champion

Club Champion: Rory Laird The 2018 Club Champion is Rory Laird.

Rory Laird has claimed the 2018 Malcolm Blight Medal after he was crowned Club Champion on Friday night.

The dashing defender pulls on the coveted Gold Jacket for the first time on the back of a consistent season that saw him poll votes in every one of his 20 games.

Laird led from the start of the count and despite a late charge from last year’s winner Matt Crouch, finished a decisive winner on 222 votes.

Crouch finished with 166 votes, 111 of which he polled in the final nine games of the season, and key forward Josh Jenkins came in a close third with 162 votes.

Jenkins took out the Leading Goalkicker award with 46 majors for the season and achieved his first ever podium finish for the Malcolm Blight Medal.


In Round One, Laird polled a team-high 14 votes in Adelaide’s loss to Essendon before polling double-figures in seven of the first nine rounds.

The 24-year-old had 108 votes to his name after Round Nine and, following the mid-season bye, managed to poll double figures in six of the nine games he played. 

It is Laird’s third top-three finish in the past four years. In 2015, he was runner-up to former Crow Patrick Dangerfield. 

Last year, he finished third with 226 votes behind Rory Sloane (253) and winner Matt Crouch (315).=

Laird collected 40+ disposals on four occasions and a career-best 43 in the Crows’ 15-point win over Geelong in Round 17

He finished sixth in the AFL for disposals (644), fifth for handball receives (289) and tenth for rebound 50s (100).

On Wednesday night, he was named in a back pocket in the 2018 All Australian side to give him back-to-back selections.


Laird joins club legends Chris McDermott, Ben Hart and Tony McGuiness as past winners of the medal, as well as current players Daniel Talia, Rory Sloane and Richard Douglas.

Adelaide dual-premiership players Andrew McLeod, Mark Riccuito and Simon Goodwin are all three-time winners of the award.

The voting system was the same as last year, with five coaches casting votes on a 4, 3, 2, 1 basis after every game.

Final Leaderboard Top 10 
Rory Laird – 222
Matt Crouch – 166
Josh Jenkins – 162
Bryce Gibbs – 149
Hugh Greenwood - 140
Tom Doedee – 139
Luke Brown – 134
Wayne Milera Junior – 134
Rory Atkins – 128
Paul Seedsman - 128

Major Award Winners 2018
Malcolm Blight Medallist
 –Rory Laird
Runner-up – Matt Crouch
Third place – Josh Jenkins

Leading Goalkicker Award – Josh Jenkins
Mark Bickley Emerging Talent Award – Tom Doedee
Players’ Trademark Award – Tom Doedee
Dr Brian Sando OAM Trophy – Tom Doedee
Members’ MVP Award – Rory Laird
Crows Children’s Foundation Community Leadership Award – Hugh Greenwood
Phil Walsh Best Team Man Award – Richard Douglas
State League Club Champion – Patrick Wilson
Dean Bailey Award – Corey Davey


Club Champion Voting Protocol
1 vote:  Played their role. Solid game without significant influence on the game
2 votes: Played his role well and influenced the game
3 votes: Played his role very well with significant influence on the game
4 votes: Played his role outstandingly and dominated the game

Former winners
1991 – 
Mark Mickan
1992 – Chris McDermott
1993 – Tony McGuinness
1994 – Shaun Rehn
1995 – Matthew Connell
1996 – Matthew Liptak
1997 – Andrew McLeod
1998 – Mark Ricciuto
1999 – Ben Hart
2000 – Simon Goodwin
2001 – Andrew McLeod
2002 – Ben Hart
2003 – Mark Ricciuto
2004 – Mark Ricciuto
2005 – Simon Goodwin
2006 – Simon Goodwin
2007 – Andrew McLeod
2008 – Nathan Bock
2009 – Bernie Vince
2010 – Richard Douglas
2011 – Scott Thompson
2012 – Scott Thompson
2013 – Rory Sloane
2014 – Daniel Talia
2015 – Patrick Dangerfield
2016 – Rory Sloane
2017 – Matt Crouch

2018 – Rory Laird