Naitanui wins John Worsfold Medal
West Coast Eagles big man Nic Naitanui capped off his outstanding 2020 campaign by winning the John Worsfold Medal as the club's fairest and best player on Monday night.
The 30 year old was crowned club champion for the first time after a career best season that saw him win a second All-Australian jumper, having his first injury free season since 2015.
Naitanui won by two votes from consistent midfielder Andrew Gaff who finished in second place, while defender Brad Shepperd marked his first All-Australian blazer with a third placed finish.
Key defender Tom Barrass and running half back Liam Duggan rounded out the top five.
Naitanui ranked fourth in the league for hit-outs, and led the all other ruckmen for centre clearances, overall clearances and achieved his feats despite spending just 69 per cent of the time on the field.
The Eagles ruckman was quick to thank the medical team for their efforts to help get him back to his best on an AFL field.
“It means a lot more to the people that have helped me get here. To be able to do what I’ve done. To our medical and sports science group to get me out on the park, it’s a testament to them," Naitanui said.
“To get a full preseason and to play nearly all the games this season was big. I’m 30 now, but pleased to be playing as best as I can.”
Naitanui also won the Player of the Finals Award, scoring a perfect 10 coaches votes for his performance against Collingwood earlier this month.
Sheppard was also crowned the 2020 Chris Mainwaring Medalist as best clubman, Josh Rotham winning the Eagles Emerging Talent award for his breakout season in defence.
Former Eagles players Beau Waters and Eric Mackenzie were inducted as life members, as was former Chairman Alan Cransberg and current player Jamie Cripps, who reached the 150 game milestone in 2020.
IMAGE: AFL website.