By ZAC MILBANK
Central District’s Harry Grant is only the second Bulldog to win the R. O. Shearman Medal since the prestigious award’s inception in 2000.
Joining fellow rover Marco Bello, who shared honours with Glenelg’s Brett Backwell in 2003, Grant polled a total of 73 votes to edge in front of Eagle James Rowe in Round 18.
Trailing Rowe by three votes heading into the final minor round encounter, the Bulldogs ball magnet attracted nine in his team’s win against Port while Rowe picked up three in his side’s loss to West.
The drought-breaking accolade adds to Grant’s victory in the 2023 SANFL Now Player of the Year Award, as voted on by the live-streaming service’s commentators.
Making a stunning resurgence after playing just seven League games last season, the 22-year-old averaged 26 disposals, six clearances and seven tackles to be a key driver behind the Bulldogs’ return to the finals for the first time since 2017.
South Adelaide ruckman Keegan Brooksby placed third with 66 votes while Adelaide’s Harry Schoenberg (62) and North’s Campbell Combe (61) rounded out the top five.
North Adelaide’s James Allan has dominated the award, claiming a record six R. O Shearman Medals, including one with Sturt’s Jade Sheedy in 2008.
Voted on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis by the SANFL coaches during the minor round, the R. O Shearman Medal voting appears weekly on the SANFL website.
Introduced in 2000, the medal is named after five-time Sturt premiership player and SA Football Hall of Fame member Bob Shearman.
|Brett Backwell/Marco Bello
|James Allan/Jade Sheedy
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