Lachlan Murphy’s outstanding season with the SANFL Crows has been recognised with the prestigious Dean Bailey Award.

Murphy, the youngest member of Adelaide’s SANFL development squad, excelled in his first season of senior football after relocating from Victoria.

The 18-year-old was one of only four Crows to play every game of Adelaide’s SANFL season.

A courageous defender, Murphy averaged 16 disposals, four marks and three rebound 50ms a game as a mainstay of the Club’s SANFL backline.

The long-kicking left-footer impressed on debut in Adelaide’s two-point win over reigning premiers Sturt and earned the opening nomination for the SANFL’s Breakthrough Player award.

Murphy ranked second at the SANFL Crows for effective kicks (126), handballs received (106) and rebound 50ms (51) and finished third at the Club for marks (72) and disposals (286). He also collected more intercept possessions (88) than any other Crow outside of League leader Tom Doedee.

The skillful small showed his versatility in Adelaide’s final game of the season by booting two goals in the Club’s thrilling clash with South Adelaide.

Murphy finished fourth in Adelaide’s State League Club Champion count in another illustration of his impressive season.

Crows SANFL coach Ryan O’Keefe said Murphy was a worthy winner of the Dean Bailey Award.

“Lachie’s had a consistent season and has been a really important player for us,” O’Keefe said.

“He slotted in seamlessly for a young kid playing his first year of senior footy. His attitude to training and preparation has also been first class off the field.

“The dedication and sacrifice Lachie made by moving interstate to develop his game must also be commended.

“He’s a deserving recipient of this award.”

Adelaide fielded 16 players from its SANFL development squad in Season 2017, including 13 League debutants, for a combined total of 112 games.

The Dean Bailey Award recognises the season’s best development player. It assesses on-field performance, dedication to training and overall commitment to the team in honour of the late Strategy and Innovations coach’s passion for nurturing young footballers.

See the complete list of previous Club award winners

Lachlan Murphy – 18 games
Damon Hill – 14 games
Josh Wittwer – 12 games
Tyson Lever – Nine games
Louis De Michele – Nine games
Matthew Leigh – Eight games
Tom Pinyon – Seven games
Sam Tharaldsen – Seven games
Daniel Fry – Six games
Joey Brown – Five games
John Boxer – Four games
Blake Launer – Four games
Ryan Marini – Three games
Kurt Waterman – Two games
Braden Altus – Two games
Josh Vandermeer – Two games