'Big mistake': AFL legend admits to grand final voting blunder

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Leigh Matthews, pictured here discussing his Norm Smith Medal votes.
Leigh Matthews admitted to a big blunder in his Norm Smith Medal votes. Image: Channel Nine/Getty

Leigh Matthews has admitted to writing the wrong name in his votes for the Norm Smith Medal.

The AFL legend was questioned about his votes on the Sunday Footy Show and was informed that he’d written Nathan Broad for two votes rather than Jayden Short.

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Matthews admitted he must have mistakenly handed two votes to Broad at Saturday's grand final when he meant to give them to Richmond teammate Short.

Dustin Martin was the unanimous winner of best-afield honours, with all five judges awarding him the maximum three votes in the 3-2-1 voting system.

It gave the Richmond superstar an unprecedented third Norm Smith Medal.

Martin won with 15 votes, ahead of Short (six), Shane Edwards (four), Geelong’s Mitch Duncan (three) and Broad (two) - with voting chair Matthews the only judge to hand Broad votes.

But on Sunday, Matthews said he meant to give Short - who had 25 disposals and an incredible 771 metres gained - two votes ahead of Broad's eight-disposal effort.

“I didn't (vote for Broad), did I? I thought I had gone Martin, Short and Edwards,” Matthews told the Sunday Footy Show panel.

“Because if I put down the name Broad instead of the name Short when I was being hustled at the end of the game ... (when) you've got to write down the names quickly - I'm glad Broad didn't (win it) or Short (didn't miss out) by a couple of votes.

“I didn't see the others voting but I'm sure everyone gave Martin best on the ground, that was so obvious. So I guess the twos and ones don't matter that much.

“But if I put Broad down that was a very big mistake on my part - it was definitely Short, two, and Edwards one.”

The AFL confirmed Matthews had written Broad on his voting sheet, not Short, although given Martin's dominance, Matthews' blooper did not affect the winner.

Nathan Broad and Jayden Short, pictured here in action during the 2020 AFL grand final.
Nathan Broad and Jayden Short during the 2020 AFL grand final. Image: Getty

Leigh Matthews heaps praise on Dusty

Matthews, officially recognised as the “best player of the 20th century”, said Martin is the only footballer he isn't “insulted” to be compared to.

Martin’s third Norm Smith earned the highest of praise from Matthews, who won four premierships and booted 915 goals in 332 games at Hawthorn.

“Put it this way: Dusty is the only player, I don't get insulted being compared to,” Matthews said.

“Because the difference is - he has got the strength and power of a bricklayer and the touch and the deft skills of a surgeon.

“I mean, when you've got both those attributes, you become a prodigious talent.

“And not only that, he performs under pressure - he must have ice in his veins.”

Matthews hailed Richmond's decision to maximise Martin's output in attack as the 29-year-old kicked four goals from 21 disposals.

with AAP

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