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WAFL Fairest and Best Winners 2021Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 12:21 PM - by Chris Pike

TO highlight what a quality WAFL season we had in 2021 all you have to do is look at the fact that Leigh Kitchin, Haiden Schloithe, Bailey Rogers, Aaron Black, Frank Anderson, Kyle Baskerville, Christian Ameduri, Tyrone Thorne, Corey Byrne and Kieran Hug are the fairest and best winners.

Every club has now held its season-end awards for the 2021 Optus WAFL Premiership Season and it's a star-studded group of winners who took out the respective fairest and best awards across the board.

Among the group of 10 players who won their respective club champion award, there are three Sandover Medallists, six members of the WAFL Team of the Year and plenty more accolades that they have all accumulated.

Just to highlight how strong of a group of winners there was, the runner-up place getters across the clubs included Greg Clark, Tom Blechynden, Jye Bolton, Tyler Keitel, Sam Fisher, Matthew Jupp, Angus Scott, Ben Hancock and Michael Sinclair.

Amongst that group there are Simpson Medallists, premiership stars, Sandover Medallists, Bernie Naylor Medallists, club captains and another six members of the 2021 WAFL Team of the Year.

Subiaco finished on top of the ladder at the end of the home and away season before going on to win the premiership, and their fairest and best results reflected their Grand Final performance.

Captain Leigh Kitchin not only became a dual premiership skipper and four-time premiership player, but ended up taking out the Outridge Medal of the 2021 season. 

He won ahead of Simpson Medallist Greg Clark and Harry Marsh with that trio also doubling up as being three standouts on the ground in their winning Grand Final effort against South Fremantle at Optus Stadium.

South Fremantle had a terrific season even though shaking off a Grand Final loss is never easy. The Bulldogs claimed a top two finish for the sixth straight season and reaching their third consecutive Grand Final which is a performance to be commended.

Superstar veteran Haiden Schloithe had another brilliant season with the Bulldogs and he was rewarded with a fourth WJ Hughes Medal as the fairest and best. 

That puts him in rarefied air at South Fremantle with only Stephen Michael's five wins now ahead of him and as he approaches 200 games in 2022, you wouldn't put it past him to match that feat.

Schloithe won ahead of emerging midfielder Tom Blechynden and rising defender Chad Pearson while at the awards night, premiership stars Brock Higgins and Blayne Wilson both announced their retirements.

It turned out to be a heartbreaking season for Claremont at the hands of South Fremantle with two narrow finals losses to the Bulldogs down at the port, but it was a season of standout individual performances from Tigers players at the same time.

Jye Bolton had a tremendous season by any measure. The dual Sandover Medallist won a fourth Simpson Medal this year as well during the WAFL's State Game against South Australia, which means anyone who beat him for the Sandover and EB Cook Medals must have been remarkable.

That's exactly what Bailey Rogers was in 2021. The Sandover Medallist backed up that triumph by pipping Bolton as well for the Claremont fairest and best award as he completed the transformation into perhaps the most damaging player in the competition.

Bolton finished runner-up while standout defender Declan Hardisty capped off the best season of his career with a third-place finish.

West Perth had a lot to be proud of with the way they performed in 2021 reaching the finals once again and their inspirational captain was at the forefront of it all. 

Aaron Black ended up winning the Breckler Medal for a third time to go with a career that has now spanned 222 games where he has become a premiership player, life member, Sandover Medallist and six-time state representative.

Black claimed his third fairest and best award ahead of Bernie Naylor Medallist Tyler Keitel and centre half-back Noah Pegoraro. It was such a competitive race for a top three finish that WAFL Team of the Year members Shane Nelson and Zac Guadagnin couldn’t break in.

Swan Districts returned to finals action in 2021 for the first time since 2017, and the black-and-whites had plenty of terrific performers along the way setting up a fascinating Swan Medal count.

In the end, it was gun on-baller Frank Anderson who won the fairest and best award after his second season with Swan Districts. He won ahead of 2020 Sandover Medallist Sam Fisher while defender Brandon Erceg was rewarded for the best season of his career with a third-place finish.

East Fremantle finished the 2021 season on a positive note giving some hope moving forward to 2022 that good things lie ahead for the Sharks, and a key part of that moving forward will be midfielder Kyle Baskerville.

He stepped up hugely in 2021 as a midfielder and was rewarded by winning the Lynn Medal as the fairest and best for East Fremantle. He took out the award ahead of captain Matthew Jupp and vice-captain Jarrad Jansen.

It was the end of an era for Peel Thunder at the end of 2021 with the departure of dual premiership coach Cam Shepherd and captain Ben Howlett, but the highlights of their season was the consistently outstanding performances of Tyrone Thorne and Ben Hancock.

The pair were both named to the WAFL Team of the Year and were left battling it out for the Tuckey Medal, with young gun Thorne pipping Hancock for the fairest and best award. Midfielder Michael Randall rounded out the placings with a third place finish.

It was a mixed season for East Perth in 2021 with a slow start and finish but the Royals showed some exciting signs in the midway part of the season to get back in the top five race, and their midfield was a major reason for that.

That was highlighted in their fairest and best count with Christian Ameduri coming out on top winning the FD Book Medal for the first time. He follows in now retired older brother Julian's footsteps as well as a fairest and best winner with the Royals.

He took out the fairest and best award with the Royals ahead of prolific wingman Angus Scott and on-baller Aidan Lynch.

Perth broke its finals drought in 2020 in a fairytale story but everything that could go wrong for the Demons in 2021 did with them never really getting a chance to get up and going with a horror injury run.

However, Corey Byrne was one player to take the next step turning himself from a handy wingman or midfielder to one of the league's best and most consistent on-ballers as he claimed the fairest and best award to win the Butcher Medal.

Captain Michael Sinclair had another solid year in defence for Perth to finish as runner-up with fellow backman Clayton Giblett coming third.

It was tough going for the West Coast Eagles in the WAFL for much of 2021 but former Demon Kieran Hug was among the players to perform consistently, and he was rewarded with their fairest and best award.


Winner (EB Cook Medal):
Bailey Rogers 
Runner-up: Jye Bolton
Third place: Declan Hardisty

Winner (Lynn Medal):
Kyle Baskerville
Runner-up: Matthew Jupp
Third place: Jarrad Jansen

Winner (FD Cook Medal):
Christian Ameduri
Runner-up: Angus Scott
Third place: Aidan Lynch

Winner (Tuckey Medal):
Tyrone Thorne
Runner-up: Ben Hancock
Third place: Michael Randall

Winner (Butcher Medal):
Corey Byrne
Runner-up: Michael Sinclair 
Third place: Clayton Giblett

Winner (WJ Hughes Medal):
Haiden Schloithe
Runner-up: Tom Blechynden
Third place: Chad Pearson

Winner (Outridge Medal):
Leigh Kitchin
Runner-up: Greg Clark
Third place: Harry Marsh

Winner (Swan Medal):
Frank Anderson
Runner-up: Sam Fisher
Third place: Brandon Erceg 

Kieran Hug

Winner (Breckler Medal):
Aaron Black 
Runner-up: Tyler Keitel
Third place: Noah Pegoraro