SHANE Nelson took another step towards legendary status at the West Perth Football Club with the remarkably consistent and outstanding midfielder rewarded with a fourth Breckler Medal award for his outstanding 2020 season.
Nelson's impact and tremendously consistent and outstanding football for West Perth might be somewhat getting underestimated from the outside world now, but from inside the Falcons once again everything he produced in 2020 was fully appreciated.
Despite the shortened quarters during the eight-game season in 2020, Nelson was his usual outstanding self going on to average 25.4 possessions a game made up of three games with 30 or more disposals, and eight with 23 or more touches along the way.
That incredible consistency has now been the hallmark of his entire 168-game WAFL career with West Perth and as a result, the accolades continue to rack up for the 27-year-old who is now also a married man.
Nelson won his first Breckler Medal as West Perth fairest and best back in the premiership year of 2013. He then won again in 2014 despite teammate Aaron Black winning the Sandover Medal while his third club championship trophy came his way in 2017.
But even the last two years Nelson remained right up there in the vote counts and highlighting his consistency is the fact that not only is he now a four-time Breckler Medallist, but in seven of the past nine seasons he has finished in the top five.
By becoming a four-time Breckler Medal winner, Nelson moves ahead of triple fairest and best winners John Loughridge, Bill Valli, Peter Menaglio, Steve Trewhella, Kim Rigoll and Dion Fleay.
He now joins fellow four-time recipient Terrence O'Keeffe to sit only behind nine-time winner Mel Whinnen and five-time winner Ray Schofield. That's quite the elite company he is now keeping.
On top of now having won four Breckler Medals, Nelson has played 168 games with the Falcons and is a life member and premiership player while also having played for the WAFL State Team on five occasions.
West Perth captain Aaron Black had a brilliant season in 2020 leading the Falcons as well alongside Nelson in the midfield.
While he couldn’t add a third Breckler Medal to his trophy cabinet, he did finish a narrow runner-up to claim the Jason Salecic Medal in what he did admit himself was one of the best and most consistent seasons of his remarkable 202-game WAFL career with the Falcons that is showing no signs of slowing down.
Like Nelson, Black's consistency has been incredible across his entire career journey and he has now finished in the top three of Breckler Medal voting eight times on top of being a Sandover Medallist, premiership player, life member and six-time state representative.
It was a tie for third position in fairest and best voting with emerging defender Zac Guadagnin and returning powerhouse midfielder Luke Meadows unable to be split for the Ken Ashdown Memorial Award.
Laine Rasmussen was rewarded for his strong and consistent form with a fifth place finish while always receiving the Wayne Dayman Courage Award while Zak Patterson was recognised as the Cardinals Rising Star.
Meanwhile, ruckman Troy Yukich and young gun Sasha Kernutt shared the fairest and best award in the reserves at West Perth ahead of Lachie Johns, Tom Boyes and Ben King.
LEAGUE AWARD WINNERS
Breckler Medal (Fairest and Best): Shane Nelson
Runner-up Fairest and Best: Aaron Black
Ken Ashdown Memorial Award (Third Fairest and Best): Luke Meadows, Zac Guadagnin
Past Players Award (Fifth Fairest and Best): Laine Rasmussen
Cardinals Rising Star: Zak Patterson
Wayne Dayman Courage Award: Laine Rasmussen
Ray Scott Memorial Award (Leading Goalkicker): Tyler Keitel
Carbone/De Vita Award: Nathan Alexandre
Players' Player Award: Luke Meadows
RESERVES AWARD WINNERS
Roy Ennis Medal (Fairest and Best): Troy Yukich, Sasha Kernutt
Past Players Award (Third Fairest and Best): Lachie Johns, Tom Boyes
Fifth Fairest and Best: Ben King
Players' Player Award: Mitch Antonio