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Butcher Medal a reward for dedication for Demon JonesFriday, October 13, 2017 - 1:05 AM - by Chris Pike

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PERTH captain Clint Jones is now a three-time WAFL fairest and best winner having won the Butcher Medal with the Demons in recognition of his supremely consistent 2017 season.

It is yet another significant achievement in the decorated career of Jones which began in the WAFL with South Fremantle before he joined in St Kilda in the AFL and now for the past two seasons he has played with the Demons.

He has delivered two outstanding seasons with Perth despite some mixed results for the team, and that has been recognised with him claiming the Butcher Medal for 2017 as the fairest and best winner.

Jones claimed the Butcher Medal ahead of rising midfielder Corey Byrne. Last year's fairest and best winner Michael finished third.

It is a third fairest and best triumph for Jones who did previously win the WJ Hughes Medal at South Fremantle in 2005 and 2006.

That led into an AFL career that saw him go on to play 149 games with St Kilda where he became an important midfielder in a Saints team that played in grand finals in 2009 and 2010.

Jones returned to the WAFL for the 2016 season and joined Perth, and has now gone on to play two outstandingly consistent seasons.

The result as a team might have been consecutive wooden spoon finishes for the Demons but Jones could not have worked any hard, led any better from the front, won any more of the ball or led by example any better.

The 33-year-old was outstanding right throughout 2017 averaging 32.9 possessions a game with a of 53 in Round 6. His constancy was highlighted by the fact that his lowest possession tally for the season was 19 in Round 8.

On top of his 53-possession haul, he had 40 or more touches another three times and 30 or more on another nine occasions.

It continues a tremendous decorated career for Jones who has now played 124 WAFL matches between Perth and South Fremantle while being a three-time fairest and best winner and 2005 premiership player. 

Add in his 149 AFL appearances and it's quite the career he has put together and Jones has recommitted to play on with the Demons for 2018.

While Jones was the standout performer with Perth in 2017, the efforts of Byrne in his first full season was tremendous as well. 

The young midfielder played 20 of his 22 league appearances for his career in 2017 where he went on to average 20.1 possessions a game including a career-high of 35 in Round 6 against East Perth at Leederville Oval.

His breakout season saw him not only finish runner-up in Butcher Medal voting but he also won the Doug Buckingham Memorial Trophy as Most Outstanding Young Talent.

Meanwhile, Sinclair finished third in fairest and best voting as he backed up his Butcher Medal winning season in 2016 with another strong performance. 

Sinclair again settled largely in the defence for Perth where his ability to intercept opposition forays forward and setting up play out of the back-line for the Demons was terrific. He averaged 24.5 disposals a game and still finished third in the Butcher Medal count despite missing four games.

East Perth recruit Clayton Giblett was a strong performer as a key defender throughout 2017 for Perth as well. He was rewarded with the Redlegs One Percenter Award.

Meanwhile, exciting goal sneak Cody Ninyette won the Ron Tucker Memorial Trophy as the leading goalkicker. He booted 28 goals for the season highlighted by a stunning seven-goal effort in the Round 22 breakthrough victory against East Perth. 

Callum Marshall won the Greg Brehaut Medal as the reserves fairest and best winner at Perth in 2017. He won ahead of Shaun Smith while Taran Etto claimed the Redlegs One Percenter Award and Brayden Sprigg Dos Santos the Coaches Award.

The colts fairest and best winner for 2017 was Luke English who claimed the Jack Ensor Medal. Caelen Bennell was runner-up while Jack McAuley presented with the Spirit of Colts Award.

Lachlan Dennis was named Best Clubman winning the award named in honour of late former president Vince Pendal. Dennis 'Boo' Marshal was named Club Person of the Year with trainers Peter Burrows and Keith Collins honoured for their 15 and 30 years of service respectively.

LEAGUE AWARD WINNERS
Butcher Medal (Fairest and Best): Clint Jones
Runner-up: Corey Byrne
Third place: Michael Sinclair
Redlegs One Percenter Award: Clayton Giblett
Ron Tucker Memorial Trophy (Leading Goalkicker): Cody Ninyette (28 goals)
Doug Buckingham Memorial Trophy (Most Outstanding Young Talent): Corey Byrne

RESERVES AWARD WINNERS
Greg Brehaut Medal (Fairest and Best): Callum Marshall
Runner-up: Shaun Smith
Redlegs One Percenter Award: Taran Etto
Coaches Award: Brayden Sprigg Dos Santos
 
COLTS AWARD WINNERS
Jack Ensor Medal (Fairest and Best): Luke English
Runner-up: Caelen Bennell
Spirit of Colts Award: Jack McAuley

OTHER AWARD WINNERS
Vince Pendal Award (Best Clubman): Lachlan Dennis
Jack O'Shea Memorial Award (Club Person of the Year): Dennis 'Boo' Marshall
15 Years of Service: Peter Burrows
30 Years of Service: Keith Collins