By Nick Creely
Noble Park stars Jackson Sketcher and Kyle Martin have been named in Eastern Football’s Division 1 Team of the Year after outstanding individual seasons from the pair.
At the annual Chandler Medal, the two midfielders were rewarded for their consistent efforts in what turned out to be a tough year for the Bulls, finishing in seventh position with a 10-8 home-and-away record.
Martin played 16 games for the Bulls in 2017 but missed a handful of games, and was named in the best a total of 11 times, while Sketcher patrolled the wings and half-back to be among the best in almost all of his 17 appearances this year.
Although Chris Annakis of Doncaster took out the Chandler Medal as Division 1’s champion player, Martin – who played a bunch of games in the AFL for Collingwood only a few years ago, was able to finish
inside the top 10 with a total of 14 votes.
Brett Dore (10 votes), Sam Monaghan (nine) and Ziggie Alwan (eight) all managed to finish inside the top-30 after also having strong seasons, while Sketcher (six votes) and former AFL-man James Gwilt polled just the solitary vote in his return season for the club.
There were some excellent names in the Division 1 Team of the Year, with Kris Pendelbury (Balwyn) – brother of Collingwood captain Scott – Matt Jones (South Croydon) and brilliant goalkicker Jake Best (Vermont)
all named in the side.
Former North Melbourne midfielder Leigh Adams, who played 104 AFL matches with the ‘Roos, was named as the Coach of the Year.