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Chris Scott named 2022 JJ Clune as Rovers make it five in a row as Bidwell, Palmer tie for women’s award

Headshot of Jake Santa Maria
Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Chris Scott is the 2022 JJ Clune medallist.
Camera IconChris Scott is the 2022 JJ Clune medallist. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

There was to be no tie this year as Rovers midfielder Chris Scott won the 2022 JJ Clune medal — following in his great uncle Jim’s footsteps, who was the inaugural winner in 1961.

In the GNFL’s biggest night and celebration of local footy on Tuesday night, eyes were on Railways forward Jesse Adamini, who was the favourite going into the night having finished third on the goal-kicking charts and picking up the most best player nominations throughout the regular season.

After seven rounds of votes, Adamini was the joint early leader along with Scott, both tied on 23 votes, with Kim Schofield from Brigades not far behind in third place on 17.

He picked up another five votes by round 12 but Scott had moved into the lead with 30 votes. Northampton’s Flynn Dillon was tied with Adamini on 28 and had he not missed the back-end of the season through injury could have well been in the mix.

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It was a tight battle but Adamni would not poll another vote in the last five rounds, as Scott took out the award with 35 votes ahead of runner-up Kim Schofield, who made a late charge to finish on 30.

It is the fifth straight year a Rover has won the award following on from Jamie Koric (2018), Jaimon Alone (2019, 2021) and Tom Denton (2020). Last year’s medal count ended in a four-way tie between Alone, Railways’ Mitchell Boyle, Brigades’ Jayden Schofield and Dillon.

Speaking after the award, Scott had praise for both his teammates and coach Ian Comben.

“To see the players that have won the award it’s quite humbling to win this prestigious medal,” he said.

“To chief (Comben) thank you for this year I know you had to ring a few heads this year especially mine but to play under you is a great privilege.”

Scott was quick to turn his focus to the grand final against Brigades this weekend.

“Yes and no it is hard work paying off but until I get another premiership medal around my neck the work is not done,” he said.

Olivia Bidwell and Tayah Palmer were presented their award by Jim Sandy.
Camera IconOlivia Bidwell and Tayah Palmer were presented their award by Jim Sandy. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

There was a tie for the women’s footballer of the year as Olivia Bidwell of Towns and Tayah Palmer from Chapman Valley shared the award with 22 votes apiece.

Palmer also took out the leading goal-kicker award with 31 goals across the season.

“Thanks to my family, Chapman Valley and East Fremantle for all the support you’ve given me I wouldn’t have done it without you,” she said.

History was also made on the night as Heather Brett became the 46th and only woman to receive life membership to the GNFL.

Colin Cox with Heather Brett.
Camera IconColin Cox with Heather Brett. Credit: Vanessa Halliday

GNFL president Carissa Bellottie said she hoped it encouraged more women to get involved with footy and get acknowledged for all the work they do.

“It’s great she encourages more females to get out there and involved in footy and hopefully there are more to come,” she said.

“Big accolades to Heather and the works she’s done over the years.”

In the other awards from the night, Jack Campbell took out the colts’ best and fairest while Jarrad Steel was the reserves winner.

Dale Williamson was the leading goal kicker once again in the league while it was an umpire family affair as Noah Bennett was boundary umpire of the year and father Robert Bennet took out field umpire of the year.

Attention now turns to Saturday’s grand finals, with all seven clubs represented in at least one final on the weekend.

Gates will be open at 7am at Country Builders Stadium.

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