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League’s best a challenging pick ahead of Hayward Medal count

Another chapter of South West Football League history will be written this evening, with the Hayward Medal presentation recognising the South West Football League’s best and fairest player.

Held at the Quality Hotel Lighthouse, all eyes will be on the league medal count later in the evening — although who will emerge victorious is anyone’s guess.

Donnybrook ball magnet Chris Atthowe had a fantastic start to the season, with his match-winning displays and on-field leadership likely to be noticed by the umpires.

Having said that, Atthowe could ultimately be a victim of his team’s success.

With the Dons enjoying a stellar season as minor premiers, many of their players could take votes off each other.

At Bunbury, dual Hayward medallist Jesse Gribble should again finish at the top end of the count — especially considering the number of times he contracted leather poisoning over the final month of the season.

Don’t be surprised to see Brett Peake charge home in the final six rounds of the season either, with his hefty bags of goals likely to secure lots of votes.

Boomers trio Kelvin Lawrence, Matt Scott and Graham Jetta should be among their side’s top vote getters, while Leigh Kohlmann and Liam McKenna should poll well for South Bunbury.

A player who may fly under the radar outside of Bunbury-based clubs — but definitely not at Gloucester Park — is tenacious Augusta-Margaret River Hawks utility Mitch Lynn.

Casting a glance over the season, Lynn was a mainstay in the Hawks’ best players regardless of the weekly result and was instrumental during the Hawks’ finals football charge.

Other Hawks who cannot be discounted are Mitch Gerrans, Mitch Payne, Brett Dobson and Matthew Jukes.

The quartet all spent considerable time in the Hawks’ engine room in 2018 and routinely provided their side a lift – potentially against any adversity which came their way.

Although they missed out on finals football, Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault big man Mitch Andrews could climb the leaderboard early in the season, along with teammate Jesse Crichton, while Busselton’s hopes will likely be shared by Steve Cameron and Aiden Fraser, who both offered plenty of presence in the Magpies forward line.

While their sides probably did not win enough games to garner them sufficient votes, Collie Eagles’ Joel Houghton, Harvey Bulls’ Ryan Nye and Carey Park excitement machine Jaxon Bell should poll highest for their clubs.

Other awards to be presented include the Times Medal for the reserves fairest and best, the Dagostino Developments Medal for the colts fairest and best and Landmark player of the carnival.

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