More medals for Dusty

His big game brilliance has earned Dustin Martin a lofty status few players ever reach and it’s been accompanied by official recognition from the coaches as the best finals player for a third time.

Martin now has three premiership medallions, is the only three-time Norm Smith medallist and secured a perfect 10 votes from the coaches in the Grand Final to secure a third Gary Ayres medal.

The 29-year-old megastar was voted best on ground in both the preliminary final, then the Grand Final to finish on 28 votes, six ahead of Geelong’s Mitch Duncan who was easily his team’s best player in the finals.

Ayes, a two-time Norm Smith medallist for Hawthorn in the 1980s, said Martin delivered when it mattered most

“I congratulate Dustin on yet another grand final win after a terrific finals series. Again he seized the big moments and delivered when his team needed him,” Ayres said.

“He often looks to bring his teammates into the game which is a great characteristic.

“Dustin has kicked 26 goals in finals matches, where the pressure makes goal kicking even more difficult. Well done.”

⭐ @DustinMartin4 has landed his third Gary Ayres Award for being the @AFLCoaches' best player of the finals, including a perfect 10 in the #AFLGF

Martin has earned widespread praise from some of the game’s greatest players, including Leigh Matthews who many regard as the best to play AFL.

“Put it this way: Dusty‘s the only player I don’t get insulted being compared to,“ Matthews said on Sunday.

“He has got the strength and power of a bricklayer, and the touch and the deft skills of a surgeon.“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.”

In four finals this year Martin had a total of 85 possession, and kicked seven goals, including a game-high four in the Grand Final.

AFL Coaches Association Votes

Gary Ayres Medal

AFL Grand Final


10 Dustin Martin (RICH)

8 Jayden Short (RICH)

5 Shane Edwards (RICH)

3 Mitch Duncan (GEEL)

3 Tom Stewart (GEEL)

1 Shai Bolton (RICH)

Gary Ayres Award final leaderboard

28 Dustin Martin (RICH)

22 Mitch Duncan (GEEL)

10 Nic Naitanui (WCE)

10 Daniel Rich (BL)

9 Patrick Dangerfield (GEEL)

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