GIANTS vice-captain Heath Shaw has capped off a stellar season with inclusion in the 2015 Virgin Australia All Australian team.
Named in the back pocket, it’s the first time the running defender has been included in the AFL’s team of the year in his 11-season career.
Shaw was presented with his inaugural blazer as the 2015 Virgin Australian All Australian team was named at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne on Tuesday night.
In his second season at the GIANTS after nine years at Collingwood, Shaw averaged a career-high 24 disposals and seven rebound 50s per game this year and led the competition for rebound 50s and running bounces.
The 29-year-old recently won his first Kevin Sheedy Medal as the GIANTS’ Club Champion. He also received the Cabcharge Coaches Award and the Brightside Cover Members and Fans Most Valuable Player Award at the club’s awards night.
Shaw played his 200th AFL match earlier this season to take his career tally to 213. He was one of four GIANTS to play every game in 2015.
GIANTS coach Leon Cameron said Shaw was a worthy recipient of All Australian honours.
“Heath has had an outstanding season and he deserves his place alongside the competition’s best for this year.” Cameron said.
“He’s had an enormous impact in his two seasons at the club, leading by example and setting high standards in everything he does.
“He adds invaluable experience to our young backline and we look forward to him continuing his form into the 2016 season.”
GIANTS CEO David Matthews congratulated Shaw on the honour.
“Heath has made an outstanding contribution to our club since arriving at the end of 2013,” Matthews said.
“His inclusion in the 2015 Virgin Australia All Australian team is a just reward for what has been a magnificent season by any standards.
“In the best form of his career, we’re proud to have Heath as a leader of our club.”
Shaw is the second GIANT to be named an All Australian in the club’s short history following star forward Jeremy Cameron’s inclusion in just his second season in the AFL in 2013.
Despite kicking a career-high 63 goals in 2015, Cameron was overlooked for the final 22 after being named in the initial 40-man Virgin Australia All Australian squad earlier this month.