The picture, for the moment at least, is rosy for Richmond’s Dustin Martin.
He received the Leigh Matthews Trophy, receiving nearly double the votes cast for Patrick Dangerfield. Further still down the list was Josh Kelly, who received just over half as many votes as did Dangerfield. The Leigh Matthews Medal is conferred by a vote of footy players and is also known as the AFLPA MVP award.
Martin has been on the rise in terms of the Brownlow Medal voting as well. He finished third behind the Cats’ Dangerfield and the Swans’ Luke Parker in 2016. With Dangerfield now ineligible for the Brownlow due to being suspended at one point during the Toyota 2017 AFL Premiership competition, could this be the year Dusty breaks through and takes the Matthews – Brownlow double?
According to Ladbrokes.com.au, Martin is the prohibitive favourite to win the Charlie for this season. They list him at $1.06, the sort of odds that would make even Winx blush, if horses could blush, that is.
The next closest is Tom Mitchell at $11.00, who played for the Hawthorn Hawks this season after spending his first four years with the Sydney Swans, where he never topped 12 Charlie votes.
Martin’s Tigers are still in the hunt for a premiership, so Martin has a real possibility of scoring a trifecta.
Dangerfield won the Brownlow and the MVP last year, becoming only the ninth player to win the Brownlow and the MVP in the same season, but the Geelong Cats fell to the Swans in the preliminary finals, leaving him two wins shy of taking all three in the same season.
Gary Ablett Jr., has five MVPs and two Brownlows. In 2009, when he was still with the Cats, he won the MVP, Brownlow and the Cats won the premiership, so if Martin were to do the same, it would not be the first time the feat has been accomplished. Had he taken the Brownlow in 2007, which went to his Cats teammate Jimmy Bartel, it would have made the MVP/Brownlow/premiership trifecta seem almost pedestrian. He finished 2007 tied fourth for the Brownlow.
Greg Williams came close in 1994 as a member of the Carlton Blues, but the Blues did not win the flag that year, so Williams was one leg short.
Wayne Carey had two MVPs and two premierships, but no Brownlows.
Michael Voss of Brisbane had three premierships and two MVPs, but his Brownlow preceded those by five years at the minimum.