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Yeo confirms star status

Gary Stocks  October 6, 2017 10:42 PM

Elliot Yeo is the Eagles' 2017 club champion

Elliot Yeo is the Eagles' 2017 club champion

Rising swingman Elliot Yeo confirmed his status as one of the key planks in the West Coast Eagles future when he tonight won the John Worsfold Medal.

The powerfully built half-back or midfielder, who this season was elevated to all-Australian status, was recognised by the match committee for his break-out season.

Yeo, who vowed to make amends for a disappointing 2016 campaign after being one of the catalysts for the Eagles playing in the 2015 grand final, won the Club Champion Award by six votes from another versatile all-Australian, Jeremy McGovern.

The victory puts Yeo among the club’s elite and underlines a deal that was brokered by the club in 2013 a masterstroke. Yeo was originally drafted by Brisbane, but wanted to return to his home State after two seasons and the club secured his release for pick 28 during the trade period four years ago.

He has already played 80 games for the Eagles and enjoyed an outstanding year in 2017 playing at half-back or through the midfield, both as a free-running option and as an opponent for big-bodied rivals like Nathan Fyfe.

McGovern’s rise was also one of the great stories to emerge during this season, as he was used in a variety of roles.

Clearly he was most effective in defence, which is where he was selected in the team of the year, but he was also deployed forward and in the ruck to help off-set deficiencies in the injury-hit big man stocks.

Star midfielder Luke Shuey, the hero of the elimination final victory against Port Adelaide, finished in third position while captain Shannon Hurn was rewarded for an outstanding season at half-back by finishing in fourth position.

The quality of the out-put of key forward Josh Kennedy was emphasised when he was fifth, despite missing five games with a calf injury. The 2015 and 2016 Coleman medallist was also the club’s leading goalkicker.

Another key award, the Chris Mainwaring Medal for best clubman, was won by disciplined midfielder Mark Hutchings while Liam Duggan won rookie of the year award which recognises the club’s best emerging player.

Player of the finals was retiring champion Matt Priddis, who produced two outstanding performances against Port Adelaide and GWS . 

Shuey, Jack Darling and Andrew Gaff were all afforded life membership after playing 150 games while loyal servants from the recruiting department – Rohan O’Brien, Kim Hannah and Greg Hyde – were also recognised after each serving the club since 1992.

The Eagles in the Community Award was won by long-serving club stalwart Ian Miller and Shuey for his work with Cancer Council WA.