Butters, Bontempelli honoured with major AFL awards

Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS

Port Adelaide star Zac Butters has won his first major individual award as Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli was also honoured for his outstanding AFL season.

While Nick Daicos was recognised for an impressive second year in the AFL, his knee injury in round 21 cost him any chance of staying ahead of Butters and Bontempelli in award voting.

Richmond star Dustin Martin was the most notable omission from the All Australian team as Toby Greene became the first GWS player to be named captain of the honorary side.

Port Adelaide are now the only club not to have an All Australian captain.

At 33, Adelaide forward Taylor Walker became the oldest player to earn his first All Australian selection since the AFL era started in 1990.

Nick and Josh Daicos, also at Collingwood, are the first brothers to make the same All Australian side since Port's Chad and Kane Cornes in 2007.

Butters polled 17 out of a possible 20 votes in the last two rounds to take out the Coaches' Association champion-player award.

Daicos had led the voting on 99, seven ahead of Butters, after round 22.

The Magpies utility missed the last three games because of his knee fracture and is in a race against time to be part of Collingwood's finals series.

Butters, 22, ended on 109 votes after polling in 16 of his 23 games and earning a maximum 10 votes in seven matches, including round 23.

Bontempelli also moved past Daicos to finish second on 102, while Melbourne star Christian Petracca was fourth on 98 and Brisbane captain Lachie Neale fifth with 91 votes.

But Daicos, the Brownlow Medal favourite before the injury, was recognised for his outstanding season as he won the Coaches' Association best young-player award.

He polled a whopping 129 votes, with Essendon's Nick Martin next on 50.

Bontempelli won his second Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players Association's most valuable player award, ahead of Daicos.

The Bulldogs star also was named the AFLPA's best captain, again for the second time after doing the same double in 2021, while Butters won their most courageous player category.

The wins to Butters and Bontempelli ahead of Daicos will fuel speculation about next month's Brownlow, with all three making the All Australian team and expected to be high in the voting.

North Melbourne defender Harry Sheezel predictably won the AFL Rising Star award - presented to him by Daicos, last year's winner.

Sheezel had an outstanding debut season to poll 54 votes, with Brisbane's Will Ashcroft next on 39 after his season ended with a knee injury last month.

St Kilda's Mitch Owens finished third on 34.  

Sheezel was also named the players association's best first-year player.

Carlton star Charlie Curnow was honoured for his second-straight Coleman Medal as the league's top goalkicker.

Martin, Brisbane defender Harris Andrews and Western Bulldogs onballer Tom Liberatore were popular picks to be named in the All Australian 22, but did not make the final cut.


B: James Sicily (Haw) Callum Wilkie (StK) Tom Stewart (Geel)

HB: Jack Sinclair (StK) Darcy Moore (Coll) Dan Houston (PA)

C: Errol Gulden (Syd) Marcus Bontempelli (WB, v/capt) Josh Daicos (Coll)

HF: Connor Rozee (PA) Taylor Walker (Adel) Christian Petracca (Melb)

F: Charlie Cameron (Bris) Charlie Curnow (Carl) Toby Greene (GWS, capt)

R: Tim English (WB) Zak Butters (PA) Nick Daicos (Coll)

I: Jordan Dawson (Adel) Nick Larkey (NM) Zach Merrett (Ess) Caleb Serong (Fre)