All-PFNL team: Baldivis Brumbies dominate fan vote

Fans of the Peel Football and Netball League have spoken, voting in their favourite players from the 2017 season to the Mandurah Mail’s All-PFNL team of the year.

Baldivis supporters came out in droves, securing their club nine of the 22 spots in the side.

South Mandurah wasn’t far off the mark either, pitching in with seven contributions as the two clubs made up well more than half of the team.

Surprisingly, grand finalists and perennial powerhouses Waroona were one of just two clubs without a player in the side, joining the Mandurah Mustangs.

Here’s a breakdown of how the team was voted in by position – let’s kick off with the backs.

Defenders

Sam Barndon (351 votes, Baldivis)

Dominating the count for the backmen, Barndon finished with 12.89 per cent of the vote on his way to earning more votes than any other player. The reliable back was a key part of Baldivis’ run to the preliminary final.

Cory Fish (294 votes, Halls Head)

Saw plenty of it in defence for a squad that only won two games, but was steady under pressure all season.

Cory Fish. Photo: Justin Rake.

Cory Fish. Photo: Justin Rake.

Daniel Griffin (245 votes, Baldivis)

Griffin took on the big assignments as Baldivis’ key back most weeks, and performed admirable jobs on players also named to the team like Brad Holmes.

Thomas Keeffe (202 votes, Centrals)

Polled well both in the fan vote count and the Ross Elliott Medal vote count. Keeffe was a rebounding machine for Centrals, and formed a huge defensive power for the side next to Matt Buxton.

Thomas Keeffe. Photo: Justin Rake.

Thomas Keeffe. Photo: Justin Rake.

Michael Holmes (198 votes, South Mandurah)

One of seven Falcons to make the team, Michael Holmes shot out of the blocks in the opening days of the vote but was chased down with just over a week to go. Still did enough to secure his place.

Tate Ralph (180 votes, Baldivis)

Came home late in the poll, along with many Baldivis teammates, to pick up a spot in the back pocket following a strong year in the Brumbies’ defence.

Midfielders

Keegan Power (324 votes, South Mandurah)

Finished 86 votes ahead of second place in the midfield and never really looked like losing top spot after the first week. Had a brilliant year in the engine room at Souths.

Keegan Power. Photo: Justin Rake.

Keegan Power. Photo: Justin Rake.

Eddy Dann (238 votes, Baldivis)

Helped Peel claim their second straight Landmark title, was efficient both in the middle and forward for Baldivis and comfortably took a spot in this squad. Popular choice on many levels, it appears.

Andrew Haydon (194 votes, South Mandurah)

Took out the Ross Elliott Medal after a stunning year at South Mandurah, and led this count for the opening days before being pipped by his mate at the top.

Andrew Haydon. Photo: Justin Rake.

Andrew Haydon. Photo: Justin Rake.

Aden Field (157 votes, Baldivis)

Another Brumbies player that made a late dash, Field sat in the middle of the pack for most of the voting but got up in the closing days. Key instigator in countless Brumbies plays this season.

Rohan Kerr (148 votes, Pinjarra)

Second to Haydon in the Ross Elliott Medal, the former Carlton-listed player and West Perth star has had a huge impact on the Pinjarra Tigers this season.

Ruck

Kyle Westwood (330 votes, Baldivis)

The rucks provided the most interesting race in the votes. It was always between Westwood and Souths’ Tom Wood, and they swapped the lead back and forth a few times. That late Brumbies swing helped get Westwood the votes he needed.

Kyle Westwood. Photo: Justin Rake.

Kyle Westwood. Photo: Justin Rake.

Forwards

Brad Holmes (308 votes, South Mandurah)

No surprises here. Kicked over 90 goals in the regular season and is a joy to watch play, so it’s no wonder he did so well in this vote. Took an early lead and never relinquished it.

Fraser Millar (193 votes, Rockingham)

The only Ram to make the side, Millar made a steady climb in the votes across the three weeks and scaled to second place by the finish. Was particularly good in the back half of the year for Rockingham.

Joel O’Driscoll (183 votes, Pinjarra)

Had a 10-goal outing towards the end of the season and appears to be a bit of a fan favourite with his votes coming in bunches. O’Driscoll managed 183 on the count, 10 shy of Millar.

Joel O'Driscoll. Photo: Justin Rake.

Joel O'Driscoll. Photo: Justin Rake.

Emmanuel Collard (173 votes, Baldivis)

Could have been placed in the midfield but his quickness and terrific skills seemed more beneficial to the forward line. Collard looked to be in a tussle with Centrals’ Ash McGrath for votes, but got away late.

John Bennell (170 votes, South Mandurah)

Finished just three votes off Collard and impressively, never really spiked in votes. Bennell polled consistently across the course of the count, and worked his way into the starting forwards.

Brieghton Shea (162 votes, Baldivis)

Seemingly came from nowhere to squeak by Luke Shepherd and Ash McGrath with a narrow five votes securing him a spot in the forward line. 

Interchange

Jarrod Bowman (defender, 160 votes, Pinjarra)

Finished up 20 votes behind Tate Ralph in the final polls, and did enough to lock down a spot on the bench.

Brendan Tingey (midfielder, 146 votes, Baldivis)

Just two votes separated Tingey from a spot on the starting line-up, with Kerr just edging him out. Was prolific for the Brumbies in 2017, polling well in the Ross Elliott.

Tom Wood (ruck, 229 votes, South Mandurah)

Led the count for rucks for just shy of a week before Westwood took over to win by 101 votes. Wood was a key part of several Falcons wins in 2017.

Tom Wood. Photo: Justin Rake.

Tom Wood. Photo: Justin Rake.

Luke Shepherd (forward, 157 votes, South Mandurah)

Seemed a safe bet for the starting forward line but Shea got him at the line. Shepherd was the perfect complement to Brad Holmes in the Falcons’ forward line, often taking charge to spark runs for the side.

This story All-PFNL team: Fans vote in their favourites from the 2017 season first appeared on Mandurah Mail.