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Schloithe caps remarkable year winning Hughes MedalFriday, October 13, 2017 - 12:00 AM - by Chris Pike

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HAIDEN Schloithe's remarkable 2017 WAFL season with South Fremantle has been capped off with the 24-year-old announced as the Bulldogs' fairest and best winner taking out the WJ Hughes Medal just ahead of Tim Kelly.

It was shades of this year's Sandover Medal count when Schloithe and Kelly finished first and second, and it was again the case in the running for the WJ Hughes Medal as the fairest and best winner at South Fremantle for 2017.

Schloithe and Kelly had remarkable individual seasons with both showing that they had the rare blend of being able to win the contest ball, run and carry the ball and deliver it with good skill, and then go forward to kick goals.

That's why they have been so hard to separate throughout all the awards throughout the WAFL season and the South Fremantle fairest and best was no different.

But in the end it was Schloithe who prevailed to claim his second WJ Hughes Medal at a glittering awards ceremony held on Wednesday night at the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges.

Schloithe won his second Hughes Medal as South Fremantle fairest and best going with his victory in 2014. He remained a strong contributor in 2015 and 2016 but ankle and foot injuries saw him miss periods in both seasons.

But he was back to full health for all of 2017 and the results have been remarkable. By averaging 28.5 possessions and kicking 27 goals a game, Schloithe's impact can somewhat be illustrated but that only tells part of the story.

He began the most influential player in the league and whether he was in the middle winning the hard ball or clearances, proving damaging out in space or being unstoppable in one-on-one contests up forward, Schloithe had taken the step into the elite category.

He now can add the Hughes Medal to a 2017 that has already included him winning the Sandover Medal, celebrating his 100th game and representing the WAFL in a history-making win against the VFL in Melbourne.

Also on the night, Schloithe was named Player of the Finals from South Fremantle's first semi-final win against Swan Districts, and qualifying final loss to Peel Thunder and preliminary final defeat to Subiaco. He also took home the S&D Jewellery Award for Outstanding Performance.

While Schloithe again claimed the major award of the evening, it shouldn’t diminish the performance of Kelly for his 2017 season.

The dynamic midfielder claimed the N MacDonald Memorial Trophy as runner-up in fairest and best voting and that goes with his second-placing in the Sandover Medal while he also played in that state game win for the WAFL and was named to the wafl.com.au Team of the Year.

Kelly took his game to the next level also in 2017 and was unstoppable around the ball, he ran and carried the ball better than ever before and was dangerous around goals highlighted by his seven-goal haul in the WA Day Foundation Derby thrashing of East Fremantle.

Dylan Main was also rewarded for his tremendous season in the midfield with the Bulldogs by finishing in third-place in Hughes Medal voting.

After being moved into a role as an inside midfielder late last season, Main has been outstanding in that position for South Fremantle and again in 2017 he averaged 21.5 possessions a game.

Blaine Johnson claimed the John Gerovich Trophy as leading goalkicker in 2017 having booted 53 goals while Matthew Parker won the Shearer Family Trophy as Best First Year Player and Jason Maskos took out the Culver Family Award for Courage and Perseverance.

Ashton Hams had another strong season for South Fremantle with the 189-game dual premiership-winning star showing fatherhood agreed with him in 2017.

South Fremantle's reserves had a brilliant season in 2017 finishing as minor premiers and making the grand final in the first year under the helm of new coach Paul Litherland.

While Jarrod Parry couldn’t work his way back in for a league return on his comeback from a third knee reconstruction, he was brilliant leading the reserves all season and as a result took out the Roy McGuinness Medal as the fairest and best winner.

He was also named Player of the Finals.

Jake Florenca won the Roy McGuinness Medal 12 months ago and went on to play some strong league football in 2017, but was outstanding when back with the reserves leading to his finishing runner-up in fairest and best voting.

Josh Collard won the Harold Harper Award having come third in fairest and best voting while Mitch Dzelebdzic won the leading goalkicker award having booted 54 majors.

South Fremantle's colts also showed plenty of encouraging signs throughout 2017 under coach Mark Foster with Glenn Byron ending up the standout performer through the season claiming the Dave Ingraham Memorial Medal and City of Fremantle Mayoral Trophy as fairest and best winner.

Matthew Ward finished runner-up in fairest and best voting with captain Bruno Faulkner coming third.

Luke Moore claimed both the Best First Year Player Award and the leading goalkicker award. Michael Redman was named Most Consistent Player, Lachlan Feeney claimed the PP&O Encouragement Award while Jacob Warne took home the Bob and Sabrina Maumill Award as Best Team Man.

LEAGUE AWARD WINNERS
WJ Hughes Medal (Fairest and Best): Haiden Schloithe
N MacDonald Memorial Trophy (Runner-up): Tim Kelly
Past Player & Officials Trophy (Third place): Dylan Main
Player of the Finals: Haiden Schloithe
John Gerovich Trophy (Leading Goalkicker): Blaine Johnson (53 goals)
Shearer Family Trophy (Best First Year Player): Matthew Parker
Culver Family Award (Courage & Perseverance): Jason Maskos
Warren Medal (Best Clubman): Ashton Hams
S & D Jewellery Award (Outstanding Performance): Haiden Schloithe

RESERVES AWARD WINNERS
Roy McGuinness Medal (Fairest and Best): Jarrod Parry
Centurion Club Award (Runner-up Fairest and Best): Jake Florenca 
Harold Harper Award (Third Fairest and Best): Josh Collard
Player of the Finals: Jarrod Parry
Leading Goalkicker: Mitch Dzelebdzic (54 goals)

COLTS AWARD WINNERS
Dave Ingraham Memorial Medal & City of Fremantle Mayoral Trophy (Fairest and Best): Glenn Byron
L & F Mihaljevich Award (Runner-up Fairest and Best): Matthew Ward
Life Members Award (Third Fairest and Best): Bruno Faulkner
Terry Dean Award (Most Consistent Player): Michael Redman
Past Players & Officials Encouragement Award: Lachlan Feeney
Len Gilchrist Award (Leading Goalkicker): Luke Moore (30 goals)
Bob and Sabrina Maumill Award (Best Team Man): Jacob Warne
FLN Group Award (Best First Year Player): Luke Moore