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Kitchin claims Outridge Medal as Subiaco fairest and bestSaturday, September 30, 2017 - 10:38 AM - by Chris Pike

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SUBIACO has wasted no time celebrating its 2017 WAFL season with prolific and tough midfielder Leigh Kitchin taking out the Outridge Medal taking out the Lions' fairest and best award ahead of Lachlan Delahunty and Liam Ryan.

Just days after playing in a terrific WAFL Grand Final on Sunday in the last ever football match at Subiaco Oval that unfortunately Subiaco came up short in against Peel Thunder for the second straight year, they shook themselves off to celebrate the season that was.

Despite the disappointment of losing the Grand Final, there was plenty to celebrate for the Lions as well after a season that saw them play in a fourth straight Grand Final, with a third consecutive minor premiership and go on a remarkable 19-game winning streak heading into the finals.

It capped a stunning four-year stretch for Subiaco that did still result in the two premierships and four straight Grand Final appearances so heading into the Outridge Medal night, there was plenty to look back on fondly for by the Lions.

In the end, it was a night of celebration for Leigh Kitchin who claimed the Outridge Medal as the fairest and best winner for the first time in his third season at Subiaco.

Following the 2014 premiership, the Lions lost some key experienced players including Simpson Medallist Jason Bristow leaving them on the lookout for a readymade replacement with a tough, prolific inside midfielder.

They only needed to look at VFL club Frankston where Kitchin was making his mark and when he had already decided to make the move west on a relocation move with his job, the Lions pounced to sign him and neither has looked back since.

Kitchin has had a stunning three years now at Subiaco playing in three Grand Finals, winning a premiership, playing in state matches for three wins in each of the three seasons and now being awarded the fairest and best award for 2017.

With all his fellow midfielders like Kyal Horsley, Adam Cockie, Chris Phelan and Justin Joyce spending some time on the sidelines, it has been Cockie as the constant force in the centre for the Lions.

He averaged 24.5 disposals a game, dominant clearances and kicking 12 goal during the home and away season. He also had 73 possessions and kicked two goals across the two finals.

Kitchin was named in the wafl.com.au Team of the Round nine times throughout the season and made the Team of the Year in the centre position while also finishing fourth in Sandover Medal voting so his season was recognised across the board.

Lions ball magnet Kitchin focused on Bulldogs challenge 

The 27-year-old won the Outridge Medal for 2017 with 572 votes to win ahead of Lachlan Delahunty who polled 526 votes, Liam Ryan on 521, captain Kyal Horsley 491 and then defensive trio Aaron Heal 483, Jordan Lockyer 460 and Wayde Twomey 456.

Underrated half-forward and midfielder Max Walters polled 455 votes ahead of lively forward Ben Sokol on 431 and midfielder Craig Hoskins 430.

Delahunty claimed the Don Carter Memorial Trophy as runner-up to Kitchin in fairest and best voting in recognition of the best of his four seasons since joining Subiaco.

He did miss a couple of games, but after managing just 42 games the past three years, he played 22 in 2017 and showed his value. When playing in the ruck, he had a remarkable influence as a big ball winner while when forward, he was a hard worker and dangerous threat. He could very well be Subiaco's most important player.

The third-place winner was Ryan who had a simply stunning season and received the Ted Doherty Memorial Trophy. 

The excitement machine took a whole host of the best marks ever seen in the WAFL along with ending up kicking 73 goals for the season to claim the Bernie Naylor Medal and the Austin Robertson Jr Award. The 20-year-old could not have possibly done more to earn an opportunity at AFL level.

Wayde Twomey won the City of Subiaco Medallion as the Best Clubman as he now weighs up retirement following a four-year run at Subiaco that resulted in four Grand Final appearances. He also played in two Grand Finals for a premiership at Swan Districts and won a Simpson Medal in 2013.

Max Walters on the Dennis Barron Memorial Trophy as the Rising Star while captain Kyal Horsley was recognised for his continued service with the Golds Player of the Year Award and the Newton Screaigh Memorial Award.

Subiaco's reserves won the premiership in 2017 having beaten South Fremantle in Sunday's Grand Final at Subiaco Oval.

That team was also celebrated on Wednesday night and Daniel Leach was presented the fairest and best award, winning the Blakemore Medal on 506 votes.

He won ahead of Jacob Miller (463 votes), Ben Reid (459), Chad Barns (454), Ryan Borchet (454), Mackenzie Lawrence (454), Nick Menegola (409) and Merv McIntosh Medal winner Dylan Clarke (399) after he kicked five goals in Sunday's Grand Final.

Meanwhile, long-time Subiaco Football Club servant Ron Tester was awarded the President's Trophy.

OUTRIDGE MEDAL
Fairest and best winner: Leigh Kitchin
Runner-up: Lachlan Delahunty
Third-place: Liam Ryan

TOP 20 VOTE WINNERS
Leigh Kitchin – 572 votes
Lachlan Delahunty – 526
Liam Ryan – 521
Kyal Horsley – 491
Aaron Heal – 483
Jordan Lockyer – 460
Wayde Twomey – 456
Max Walters – 455
Ben Sokol – 431
Craig Hoskins – 430
Corey Adamson – 420
Angus Litherland – 389
Brad Stevenson – 381
Adam Cockie – 374
Justin Joyce – 372
Scott Hancock – 358
Declan Jackson – 355
Clancy Wheeler – 320
Liam Baker – 286
Greg Clark - 270

LEAGUE AWARD WINNERS
Golds Player of the Year: Kyal Horsley
Leading Goalkicker: Liam Ryan (73 goals)
Rising Star Award: Max Walters
Best Clubman: Wayde Twomey
Newton Screaigh Memorial Award: Kyal Horsley 
President's Trophy: Ron Tester

RESERVES AWARD WINNERS
Blakemore Medal (fairest and best winner): Daniel Leach
Runner-up: Jacob Miller
Third-place: Ben Reid
Newton Screaigh Memorial Award: Ryan Borchet

TOP 20 VOTE WINNERS
Daniel Leach – 506
Jacob Miller – 463
Ben Reid – 459
Chad Barns – 454
Ryan Borchet – 454
Mackenzie Lawrence – 454
Nick Menegola – 409
Dylan Clarke – 399
Ryan Vermeersch – 370
Dylan Nelson – 356
Ray Daniels – 347
Shannon Nelson – 346
Matt Bogensperger – 341
James Garcia – 336
Brayden Ainsworth – 316
Josh Chapman – 310
Daniel Perkins – 306
Josh Underwood- 305
Simon Parry – 225
Ryan Wade – 225