EAST Perth has a new FD Book Medallist with small defender Mitch Fraser claiming the Royals' fairest and best award for 2016 on a night when the club paid tribute to four retiring stars who gave their all for the black and blue.
East Perth once again played finals football in 2016 for the fifth straight season and it was a new winner of the league fairest and best award with small defender Fraser taking out the FD Book Medal for 2016.
The Royals reserves and colts teams both made the Grand Final as well in 2016 despite losing each premiership decider to Claremont at Domain Stadium.
It was still a successful season for East Perth. Tom Hodgson was named reserves fairest and best for 2016 with Christian Ameduri claiming the colts fairest and best award.
The night also proved a farewell for four retiring East Perth greats with the careers of Craig Wulff, Paul Johnson, Brendan Lee and Garry Moss celebrated.
Wulff and Johnson both retired following East Perth elimination final loss to Peel Thunder at Bendigo Bank Stadium.
Wulff retires as East Perth's games record holder following his 286-game career that included winning an FD Book Medal and captaining his club and state.
Johnson arrived at East Perth following 70 AFL matches between West Coast, Melbourne and Hawthorn. His last five years have been remarkably consistent as the dominant ruckman in the WAFL.
Along the way he won two FD Book Medals in his 110 games at the Royals while captain WA to state game victories over Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Highlighting his consistency, he finished runner-up in the 2016 fairest and best voting behind Fraser.
Moss' career was ended prematurely in 2016 when he injured a knee in Round 2 and required a reconstruction. He has since announced his retirement bringing an end to his 93-game East Perth career either side of his time with Hawthorn.
Lee didn’t play in 2016 but has decided to retire rather than retire to lead East Perth's midfield in 2017. It's a significant loss for the Royals given the 29-year-old 124-game prolific ball winner was co-captain before his year off and is a dual FD Book Medal winner.
As for the 2016 FD Book Medallist, it was a great reward for the ever consistent Fraser who has been rock solid in East Perth's back-line over the entirety of his 78-game league career that began in 2013.
The Busselton native is equally effective in playing on some of the league's best small forwards while cleaning up in East Perth's back-line and then setting up play out of defence for the Royals. The best season of his career sees him rewarded with the fairest and best award.
With Johnson finishing runner-up, West Coast's Irish rookie Paddy Brophy finished third capping off the best season of his career as a running defender. Playing a similar role, first-year Eagles draftee Tom Cole was next in fairest and best voting as a good ball winner off half-back.
The inaugural Jeremy Silcock Award was presented to dual winners Patrick McGinnity and Tom Hodgson. Jeremy's sister Mandy Anderson was on hand to present the award.
The Ken Hatfield Trophy as the Coaches Award went to Julian Ameduri while Johnson claimed the George Law Trainers Award and Tom Gorter the Mussman-Gardiner Trophy as Best First Year Player. Shayne Hill was also named Best Clubman.
In a reserves team that finished the home and away season as minor premiers and went on to make the Grand Final, Hodgson claimed a second straight Eric Smith medal as fairest and best ahead of Daniel Perkins and Will Young.
Christian Ameduri took out the Hec Strempel Medal as colts fairest and best winner ahead of Alex Di Placido and Mitch Dobson.
LEAGUE AWARD WINNERS
FD Book Medal Winner (Fairest and Best): Mitch Fraser
Runner-up Fairest and Best: Paul Johnson
Outstanding Play Award: Paddy Brophy
Outstanding Play Award: Tom Cole
Jeremy Silcock Award: Patrick McGinnity, Tom Hodgson
Ken Hatfield Trophy (Coaches Award): Julian Ameduri
Best Clubman: Shayne Hille
Leading Goalkicker: Jonathan Giles (22 goals)
George Law Trainers Award: Paul Johnson
Mussman-Gardiner Trophy (Best First Year Player): Tom Gorter
RESERVES AWARD WINNERS
Eric Smith Medal (Fairest and Best): Tom Hodgson
Runner-up Fairest and Best: Daniel Perkins
Outstanding Play Award: Will Young
COLTS AWARD WINNERS
Hec Strempel Medal (Fairest and Best): Christian Ameduri
Runner-up Fairest and Best: Alex Di Placido
Outstanding Play Award: Mitch Dobson
Encouragement Award: Harley Stack
Seff Parry Memorial Trophy (Education Award): Nelson Waite
Best Clubman: Cassidy Thompson
Past Player & Officials Encouragement Award: Connor De Campo