After a stand-out season which saw him average 24 disposals, six clearances and nine handball receives from his 17 games, Hunt was more than thankful to receive the prestigious award.
“It’s a bit of a shock to win this, as there’s been (a lot of) players who have had a great year,” he said during his acceptance speech.
“It’s obviously an amazing honour, and I want to thank the club for being so great to me, and for giving me an opportunity when I first came here; it’s been great.
“I’ve met some great people and have some great mates at the club, and I really look forward to what’s to come,” Hunt continued.
He went on to thank GM Seb Spagnuolo for “all the time and effort he’s put in throughout the year”, and members of the coaching staff he has encountered during his three seasons at the club.
“Also a massive thankyou to Germo (Peter German); if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be the player I am today,” Hunt said.
“He was pretty hard on me early, but it’s been a good thing and I love him for it.”
“Another big thanks to Sturg (Andrew Sturgess) for all you’ve done for me; not only is he my midfield coach but also a really good mate off-field, and if it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t be the player I was today either.”
“Also to the players, I’m looking forward to spending a lot more time with you all during the off-season, hopefully we can have a couple (of drinks) before it all starts back up again.”
But the greatest thankyou went to his parents, acknowledging them for everything they’ve done for him in his 22 years of life.
“The main thankyou goes to Mum and Dad; I moved out of home last week, and it’s probably been the hardest week of my life,” he said among laughs.
“It just goes to show how much I love them and how much they’ve put in for me.”
The 187cm midfielder was four votes clear of runner-up Ryan Exon, and 16 votes clear of third-placed Keenan Posar; who received the Brad Nimmo and Vin Taranto awards for second and third place respectively.
Hunt was also awarded the Terrace Player of the Year, adding yet another credit to his name this season, which also saw him earn two Lion of the Round nominations and a spot on the interchange bench in the 2017 Peter Jackson VFL Team of the Year.
Departing Head Coach Peter “Germo” German also had some kind words to say.
“The winner goes to a guy who I believe has really come through the process of Development really well over the past three years,” Germo said.
“He’s another player who is just at the start of his VFL career and I believe he’s going to be an excellent player, and who knows if he keeps developing maybe he’ll be able to take it a step further.”
“I think tonight is a combination of where he has been over the last three years and how he’s developed, but at this point in time, he thoroughly deserves this best and fairest award in the Jim Sullivan Medal; congratulations Liam.”
The top 10 polling players were:
- Liam Hunt (42 votes)
- Ryan Exon (38)
- Keenan Posar (26)
- Nathan Blair (25)
- Sean Gregory (24)
- Ben Allan (22)
- Josh Iacobaccio (22)
- Nick Mellington (21)
- Luke Bunker (17)
- Tom Goodwin (16)
We thank all of our members, staff, sponsors, and supporters for their support and commitment during the 2017 season. Stay in touch with us over the off-season via our social media, and phone the club on (03) 9354 8228 to arrange membership for next year.
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Image courtesy of Mozzed Video and Photography.