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2017 Sheedy Medal Preview

October 5, 2017 1:32 PM

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Co-captain Callan Ward and fellow midfielder Dylan Shiel are expected to poll well at Friday night's Sheedy Medal count.

2016 saw Toby Greene take home his first Sheedy Medal in one of the closest counts to date, just three votes ahead of running machine Tom Scully.

With the 2017 Sheedy Medallist to be announced on Friday night we look to answer the following questions; can Greene go back to back, will it be another close count and who could win this year’s Sheedy Medal?

As for Greene, the All Australian forward backed up his impressive 2016 with 45 goals in 2017 and again featured amongst the GIANTS best players in the games he played.

Consistency is the key when it comes to polling strongly in the Sheedy Medal and this might count against Greene on Friday, with the dynamic forward missing six games due to injury and suspension.

If you’re looking at consistency then look no further than co-captains Callan Ward and Phil Davis.

Ward was one of only three GIANTS to play every game in 2017, averaging a career high 27 disposals a game. The 2012 Sheedy Medallist was one of the GIANTS best  during the finals so should see him come home with a wet sail. 

Davis played a career high 24 games in 2017. He averaged more tackles in 2017 than any other season and his ability to shut down opposition forwards was notable throughout the year.

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Speaking of defenders, Narrandera’s Zac Williams should find himself polling strongly with the 23-year-old producing his best season yet in orange and charcoal.

Williams polled a career high six Brownlow votes while also averaging a career high 22 disposals running across half-back in 2017. His rebounding and tackling efforts improved while he showed his versatility running through the midfield and forward line at times.

To the midfield where three GIANTS on-ballers should feature high on the final leaderboard; Josh Kelly, Dylan Shiel and Tom Scully.

Kelly won last year’s Coaches Award and has gone from strength to strength, adding a 2017 Virgin Australia All Australian jacket to his collection. 

The 22-year-old finished sixth in the Brownlow Medal with a GIANTS record of 25 votes and finished third in the AFL Players Association MVP, averaging a career high 29 disposals, 6.5 tackles and 4.8 clearances per game.

Shiel also impressed throughout the year playing every game while averaging 26 disposals and 6.4 clearances per game on his way to being named on the interchange of the 2017 Virgin Australia All Australian team.

2016 Sheedy Medal runner up Scully missed just one game in 2017 and barely missed a moment of game time thanks to his elite running and endurance abilities.

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Part of the 2017 Virgin Australia All Australian 40-man squad, Scully averaged 23 disposals per game while kicking 15 goals.

Onto goal kickers and Jonny Patton could be set for his highest Sheedy Medal finish yet. The tall forward’s career best haul of 45 goals included a haul of six in round four and five goals against Hawthorn in round 16. 

Patton’s impressive contested marking ability shone through in 2017 with Jeremy Cameron sidelined at times throughout the back half of the year. 

You can watch the 2017 Sheedy Medal live from the Waterview at Bicentennial Park in Sydney Olympic park on gwsgiants.com.au and the GIANTS App from 7.15pm on Friday night, presented by Virgin Australia.

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