Andrew Brayshaw is the Brownlow Medal favourite for the first time this season.
The Dockers star was installed ahead of Melbourne’s Clayton Oliver and former housemate Lachie Neale by bookmakers after a supreme midfield performance led his team to an important win against St Kilda on Saturday.
He had 36 disposals, 10 tackles and a goal in the victory of the Saints which moved him to a short $2.50 favourite with TABtouch, ahead of Neale ($4) and Oliver ($4.50).
Brayshaw would be just the second Fremantle player to win the medal after captain Nathan Fyfe and the youngest winner since Trent Cotchin in 2012 at just 22.
Sportsbet also has Brayshaw as its favourite for the award at $3.50, but Ladbrokes still have him in third, with Neale a $3.50 favourite.
He blazed away to an early lead in the AFL Coaches Association’s Champion Player voting, but has since been pegged back by Oliver.
The Melbourne clearance bull holds a 15-point lead over Neale in second spot, while Brayshaw now sits fifth with Touk Miller and Christian Petracca ahead of him.
Oliver is the league-leader for both disposals and clearances this season.
Brayshaw is likely to snare the maximum three Brownlow votes in the win over the Saints, with teammates Will Brodie and Fyfe and St Kilda’s Brad Crouch also a chance to poll.
His efforts came in the same round Neale’s influence in Brisbane’s loss to Essendon was quelled by Jye Caldwell and as Oliver is expected to miss at least one week as he undergoes surgery to fix an injured thumb.
Brayshaw admitted after Saturday’s win he had performed above even his own expectations this season.
“I have sort of exceeded what I thought I would do this year and we have still got a long way to go but it is getting to the pointy end of the season, so it’s exciting,” he told Channel 7.
“It is one of my focuses, working hard contest to contest. The more times you get up the ground, the more opportunities you are going to have.”
He polled 10 votes last season to finish second behind veteran David Mundy in last year’s count, which was held in Perth.
Brayshaw’s brother, Angus, was a shock third-place finisher in the 2018 count, despite not even being invited to the ceremony.
He set social media alight with a cheeky social media post posing with a junior football medal and sporting a very casual look.
“Thanks @AFL for mailing me my third-place Brownlow,” Brayshaw joked in an Instagram post.
“Big night for me — dressed by cotton on. Thanks for the support.”