Perth Demons’ rising star Luke English capped off a brilliant 2017 campaign when he claimed the Jack Clarke Medal at the medal count dinner held in the Bill Walker Room at Domain Stadium on Wednesday, September 6.
The inside midfielder polled 53 votes, 22 ahead of Jack Lewsey (31) from Claremont, to become the eleventh Demon to win the award and the first since Dean Kent in 2012.
The last time a player polled 50+ votes in a season was Jordan Eastwell from East Perth in 2008. That year the Royals finished fourth with 11 wins and made it through to the preliminary final while in 2017, English’s Demons could only muster four wins, highlighting how remarkable his season was.
English polled votes in 15 of the 19 games he played, which included six best afield performances. He averaged 25 possessions (he ranked #1 for possessions), 6 tackles (ranked #4) and 4 marks, and he kicked 13 goals as well.
After round 10, he was trailing Subiaco’s Brayden Ainsworth by just three votes, but by round 14 he found the lead and never looked back.
With a host of starring performances against Subiaco in round 16 (25 possessions, 5 marks, 4 inside 50s, 3 tackles and a goal), East Fremantle in round 17 (26 possessions, 9 tackles, 5 marks and 2 inside 50s), West Perth in round 18 (30 possessions, 12 tackles, 3 inside 50s, and 2 marks), Claremont in round 20 (27 possessions, 5 marks, 3 inside 50s and a goal), and East Perth in round 22 (32 possessions, 7 tackles, 3 marks and 2 inside 50s), the likes of Lewsey, and Peel’s Kyle Havelberg (30 votes) could not catch him.
He also won the WAFL Colts Coaches Award with 44 votes, five ahead of Subiaco duo Liam Hickmott (39) and Kyron Hayden (31). He was the only Perth representative in the WAFL 200 Club Redimed Colts Team of the Year, named as the centreman.
The Manning and Thornlie junior is a midfielder similar to Adelaide’s Matt Crouch. His endurance and ability to find the ball is uncannily reminiscent of the Adelaide star’s prowess.
With another year until he is draft eligible, expect recruiters to be monitoring English’s progress.
In other awards presented on the night, East Fremantle’s Dillon O’Reilly claimed the WAFL Redimed Leading Goal Kicker Award with 39 majors, Subiaco’s Beau Wardman was named the Coach of the Year, and Jason Gibb was recognised as the Umpire of the Year.
JACK CLARKE MEDAL LEADERBOARD
|3||Kyle Havelberg||Peel Thunder||30|
|Matthew Young||East Perth||29|
|Connor West||West Perth||25|
|Jayden Quill||East Fremantle||24|
|Lachlan Mitchell||Peel Thunder||24|
|Lochie Huntley||Swan Districts||24|
WAFL COLTS COACHES AWARD
|5||Lachlan Mitchell||Peel Thunder||27|
|Lochie Huntley||Swan Districts||27|
|7||Jayden Quill||East Fremantle||18|
|Nathan Arbon||East Perth||18|
|Aaron Redhead||East Perth||18|
|Matthew Young||East Perth||18|
|8||Jakeb Shine||Peel Thunder||17|
|9||Glenn Byron||South Fremantle||16|
|Jackson Perry||Peel Thunder||16|
|Dylan Yem||West Perth||15|
WAFL REDIMED LEADING GOALKICKERS
|1||Dillon O’Reilly||East Fremantle||39|
|2||Luke Moore||South Fremantle||30|
|4||Joshua Ritchie||East Fremantle||25|
|5||Michael Stevens||Peel Thunder||24|
|7||Drew Blurton||East Fremantle||19|
|Lee Chapman||Peel Thunder||19|
|Tyson Powell||Peel Thunder||19|