2017 Toohey Medal preview

TWO coaches are among a group of favourites to take home the 2017 Toohey Medal when it is presented on Monday night.

Warrack Eagles coach Ryan McKenzie and Minyip-Murtoa leader Damian Cameron both talked down their chances but the pair will undoubtedly poll well in the league’s senior best and fairest count.

A host of Horsham Demons players should poll, according to the side’s coach Louie Dalziel.

“They’re obviously the ones I’ve been able to watch all season,” he said.

“Simon Hobbs has been fantastic all year and I really expect him to poll well.”

While Horsham players should attract plenty of votes having only dropped two games during the regular season the amount of star power within the sides could lead to votes being stolen from each other.

Tyler Blake has also frequently featured in the side’s best players, particular through the middle part of the season, while two-time Dellar medallist Deek Roberts is known to attract votes from the umpires.

“I think the umpires often see it differently to what we do as coaches,” Dalziel said

“I expect Taz (Blake), Simon, Deek and Brad Hartigan to all do well in our best and fairest but the Toohey medal is a different matter.”

Dimboola coach Al McKinnon also tipped Hobbs to claim the medal while Stawell coach Tom Eckel expected 2016 Toohey Medalist Sam Clyne to be among those in contention.

Clyne’s name was also put forward by Damian Cameron.

“He’s just in amongst it every time he plays so he will certainly be getting a few votes,” he said.

“I’m not sure he’s had as good a season this year though, Jacob O’Beirme will also get a few votes from among the Horsham Saints players as well.”

Within his own side he thought Kade Petering would attract plenty of attention from the umpires.

“He get stuff down on the outside, which is always noticed,” he said.

“John Delahunty has also had a strong season. From my perspective Sam Winfield has also been great for us this season, he gets plenty of the ball but because he’s in and under he might not get the accolades outside the club.”

Both Dalziel and Cameron sung the praises of Ryan McKenzie.

“He’s obviously just a class player,” Cameron said.

“He gets the ball through the midfield and then when he goes forward he get the score on the board.”

The Warrack Eagles coach is a proven vote winner having polled the third most votes last season as his side just managed to get into a finals.

With more wins on the board for the Eagles in 2016 there is more votes bound to be available for him to collect.

“There’s no doubt he’s had a really good year,” Dalziel said.

“I also think Damian Cameron has a had a really strong season. He gets in and under and really gets the ball moving.” 

The dark horse for the count will be Nhill’s Billy Hayes, who took out the Mail-Times champion footballer award.

The difficulty for Hayes will be that he played in a side that only managed three wins this season. As a standout player the question will be whether or not he can attract enough one or two votes from the umpires during the season.