Forty-seven years after the first Chaney Medal was awarded to Darwin Buffaloes player, Reuben Cooper, 2017/18 Buffaloes co-captain Jarrod Stokes was recognised as the most outstanding player in this season’s TIO NTFL Men’s Premier League Grand Final.
The maturity and workmanlike approach of Stokes was evident, as he laboured tirelessly to feed the ball out of the middle and get his team back in the game when they were six goals down. He followed up with relentless pressure and running, and putting in second, third and fourth attempts to win the footy.
One such move and run through the middle resulted in the Buffs’ fourth unanswered goal in the second quarter and brought them back to within 11 points. Another flash of Stokes’ brilliance in front of goal early in the third kept his team in the hunt and only five points adrift.
Heralding from a famous footy family, Stokes is the first of his name to take home the honour and the first player since Todd Cook of Wanderers in season 2004/05 to be on the losing side in the Grand Final and win the Chaney Medal.
The Chaney Medal panel made up of Tim Weatherald (chair), Colleen Gwynne, Charlie King, Grey Morris and John “KJ” Taylor awarded Stokes 10 votes, two clear of Southern Districts big man and former-AFL player Mark Jamar, who was best of the rest on eight.
Each panellist voted 3-2-1 for three separate players they believe had the greatest positive impact on the game.
The final results of the 2017/18 Chaney Medal were:
Jarrod Stokes – Darwin Buffaloes – 10 votes
Mark Jamar – Southern Districts – 8 votes
Ed Barlow – Southern Districts – 6 votes
Tim Eldridge – Darwin Buffaloes – 2 votes
Joe Anderson – Darwin Buffaloes – 1 vote
Rory O’Brien – Southern Districts – 1 vote
Lionel Ogden – Southern Districts – 1 vote
Sam Smith – Southern Districts – 1 vote