BY BROOKE VARNEY.
With Coburg’s 2018 VFL series coming to a close, the speculation as to who will take the coveted Jim Sullivan medal home has only increased.
Many Lions are in the hunt, making it difficult for members and supporters to choose one winner; ranging from those who made their debuts earlier this season, to those who have been around the club a while but have found some form in recent weeks.
If the weekly stats sheets are anything to go by, ball-magnet Marcus Lentini, driven midfielder and vice-captain Nick Mellington, and 2017 runner-up Ryan Exon all look to be a chance for the honour this year.
Captain Tom Goodwin is the only current player to have Jim Sullivan medallist to his name, awarded in 2016, among other accolades.
The Coburg Football Club has recognised a standout player from each season since 1925. Up until 1999 it was known simply as the ‘Best and Fairest’, and was named in recognition of Jim Sullivan in 2000.
Sullivan is a respected club hero who won the JJ Liston Trophy in 1967, and was named in the Team of the Century.
Sullivan also played in the 1970 Second Division Premiership and was upgraded to legend status in 2015.
Only three players in its 93-year history are triple-medallists, in Ray Jordan (1959, 1960, 1961), Laurie Burt (1978, 1979, 1981), and Daniel Venditti (2013, 2014*, 2015*).
Voting for the count is conducted by the coaching staff at the end of each round; five votes awarded from Head Coach Leigh Adams, and another five awarded from the three line coaches Andrew Sturgess, Tom Curran, and Ben Osborne.
A number of other honours are also recognised on the night, including the Brad Nimmo award for runner-up, Vin Taranto award for third-place, Graham Douglas award for best clubperson, and the Phil Cleary Rising Star award to name a few.
This year’s Jim Sullivan Best & Fairest count will be held on Friday September 14 at Aurora Receptions.
Tickets are still available via the club, so do not hesitate to call to secure your spot on the night where club history is made!
* Indicates the medal was tied with another player.