TAC Cup Best & Fairest winners decided
The 2018 TAC Cup and TAC Cup Girls award winners have been decided.
Sandringham Dragons midfielder Liam Stocker was awarded the 2018 Morrish Medal for the TAC Cup’s best and fairest player, while Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons) and Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons) added to stellar seasons by being named joint-winners of the TAC Cup Girls Best & Fairest award.
The best and fairest winners were part of a number of awards announced on the night, including the Team of the Year for each competition and the Personal Growth Awards.
Final round win for Stocker
Stocker, the 18-year-old Old Haileybury (VAFA) and East Sandringham (South Metro Junior FL) product polled 18 votes to finish two votes ahead of Western Jets ball-winner Connor Thar, with Atunaisa Bosenavulagi (Oakleigh Chargers), Campbell Hustwaite (Dandenong Stingrays) and Sam Walsh (Geelong Falcons) a further two votes back.
183cm Stocker averaged 23 disposals and five tackles per game as well as kicking five goals in his 12 TAC Cup matches this season. His triumph was Sandringham’s second Morrish Medal in the club’s 27-year history following Jackson Sketcher’s joint win with Dyson Heppell (Gippsland Power) in 2010.
Stocker was awarded three votes in four games and two votes in a further three appearances, missing matches in Rounds 5, 7, 8 and 14.
In the run to the end of the home-and-away season in Round 16, Stocker established an outright lead of three votes (on 16 votes) ahead of Xavier Duursma (Gippsland Power) and Xavier O’Halloran (Western Jets) with a best-on-ground performance in Round 13.
He then took a two-vote lead over Hustwaite into the final round, before being joined at the top of the leaderboard when Thar was named best-on-ground in Western’s final match. However, Stocker produced a two-vote performance in the Dragons’ Round 16 loss to Dandenong to secure the medal in his own right.
Stocker’s three-vote performances included:
- 19 disposals, nine tackles and five clearances in a 45-point win against the Northern Knights at SkyBus Stadium in Round 1;
- 30 disposals, 10 clearances and six inside-50s in a 22-point win against the Eastern Ranges in Round 9;
- 20 disposals, seven tackles, six clearances and one goal in a three-point win against the Oakleigh Chargers at Warrawee Park in Round 10; and
- 35 disposals, 12 inside-50s, nine clearances and one goal in an eight-point win against the Bendigo Pioneers in Round 13.
Stocker joins the likes of Jack Higgins (2017 – Oakleigh Chargers), Hugh McCluggage (2016 – GWV Rebels) and Clayton Oliver (2015 – Murray Bushrangers) as recent winners of the Morrish Medal.
CLICK HERE for final round leader board.
Country and Metro MVPs share award
Morrison and Prespakis – both 17-year-olds and AFL Women’s Draft-eligible in 2018 – were also joint-winners of this year’s NAB AFL Women’s U18 Championships MVP award following outstanding campaigns on the national stage in June and July.
They each polled 16 votes in the Best & Fairest count to finish one vote ahead of Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power), with both Madeline Brancatisano (Northern Knights) and Lucy Cripps (Dandenong Stingrays) a further five votes back.
167cm Morrison played nine of 10 games in Geelong’s TAC Cup Girls premiership-winning season earlier in 2018 and has since graduated to make two Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s appearances for the Geelong Cats as well as representing Vic Country at the U18 Championships.
Morrison was awarded three votes in four games and two votes in a further two matches, missing only Round 8 of the nine-round home-and-away season. She polled 11 of a possible 12 votes in the first four rounds and had posted all 16 of her votes with two rounds to play.
158cm Prespakis was four votes behind Morrison at that stage but polled one vote in Round 8 and then three votes in Round 9 to tie for the honour. She also received maximum votes in four games while polling two votes once and one vote twice, missing one match in Round 5.
Prespakis has since played six VFL Women’s games for Melbourne Uni and represented Vic Metro at the U18 Championships. She joins Chloe Molloy as Calder Cannons players to have won the Best & Fairest award after Molloy tied with Bridie Kennedy (Dandenong Stingrays) for the honour following last year’s inaugural TAC Cup Girls season.
CLICK HERE for final round leader board.
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