Heath Hocking has rounded out his final season at the Club by winning Essendon VFL’s best and fairest award, the R.A Freeman Medal.
He polled 217 votes to finish ahead of first year player Kobe Mutch (213 votes) and Captain, Nick O’Brien (210 votes).
The hard-nosed midfielder averaged 18 disposals, five tackles and three marks in the VFL and was named among the Dons best in nine of his 16 games.
Hocking also played two games at AFL level and his two goals against Fremantle in round 23 were pivotal in ensuring the side would qualify for the finals.
The 29 year old was praised for his leadership throughout the season.
“From a VFL perspective, he’s had an outstanding year,” Coach Paul Corrigan said.
“I don’t just mean that from a possession point of view but also what he’s been able to do to come back from the AFL level, where he would’ve loved to have played.
“He bought back a huge amount of leadership amongst the younger players within the VFL side.
“He’s been very selfless in the fact that he’s been able to play a number of roles for us and has fitted in according to where we may have needed him to play.
“What he has also provided the coaching group with is having another leader/coach out on the field for us throughout the year.
“We’ve seen Heath not only as a player but as a rounded person that has obviously helped our VFL program.
“When you add onto that his performances this season – he is a most deserving winner of the Best and Fairest.”
Final leader board:
Voting system: Four Essendon coaches rank each players’ performance from zero to five. The maximum votes a player can receive per round is 20.
1 – Heath Hocking (217)
2 – Kobe Mutch (213)
3 – Nick O’Brien (210)
4 – Craig Bird (199)
Dylan Clarke (199)
6 – Alex Boyse (197)
7 – Josh Begley (182)
8 – Kyle Langford (180)
9 – Nick Hind (178)
10 – Mason Redman (177)