Gary Ablett has held off late charges from Joel Selwood and Dane Swan to record his second Brownlow Medal.
Gold Coast’s first ever Brownlow winner finished with 28 points, only eclipsing Selwood in the final round.
Entering round 23, Ablett trailed the All-Australian captain by two votes, level with Dane Swan. In an enthralling finish, Gazza’s 33-disposal effort against the GWS Giants rewarded him with a vital three votes, whilst the other two failed to poll at all.
The Little Master shot out of the gates flying, as he raced to a sizeable lead over most of the competition. Alongside him was Dan Hannebery, the Rising Star award winner in the same year Ablett won his first Brownlow (2009).
Andrew Swallow was also – to much surprise – polling well early, almost neck-and-neck with Ablett and Hannebery. Contrarily, Ryan Griffen did not impose himself upon the leaderboard as he was expected to.
However, Ablett, Selwood, Swan and Dangerfield began to pull away from the others, with Hannebery’s opposition attention in the second-half of the year leaving him in a struggle to maintain pace with the frontrunners.
Despite his Brownlow victory, the ever-humble Gary Ablett took time to reveal his slight disappointment for good friend and former teammate Joel Selwood, whom he eclipsed in the last round of the year.
"I did want the two, I was actually shattered when I got the three, Joel deserves this as much as I do," Ablett said referring to the three votes he received in the last round.
It has been a really challenging three years up there. I love all my teammates and I couldn't be up here without you guys and I'm really hoping we can win a premiership before my time is up."
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