Scott Pendlebury ($551,700, 128.95) – He’s averaged over 100 since 2008 but this year he took it to another level. In a midfield that also boasts Dane Swan and Dale Thomas, Pendles missed triple figures only once and that was when he scored a measly 94 against the Baggers in R3. His best game for the year came the week before against North when he smashed 162. He played every game for the year and averaged 4 points a game more than the next best player in the league (Gary Ablett). Ladies and gentlemen, Pendles is your SuperCoach Player of the Year for 2011. All hail the new chief!
Dane Swan ($589,300, 123.60) – Kicked off with a bang, went missing in the middle of the year with a niggling injury, headed to Arizona in his uggies, came back with a vengeance. You may not like the ink, you may not like that he tends to hang around the outside of packs, hell you may not even like that he plays for Collingwood but you can’t argue with the fact that D Swan is a SuperCoach point scoring machine. His lowest score for the year was an 80 in R9 against Adelaide when he was in the middle of his slump. His highest was a 176 point explosion against Essendon in R19. Missed only the one game and missed scoring 100’s just 4 times.
Marc Murphy ($514,400, 118.19) – The selection of Murph is bound to be contentious because there were others with higher averages but these awards are all about consistency and MM has played in all 21 games to date and scored tons in 18 of them. There’s no dreads and no ink but the one thing he has in common with Pendles and Swan is an ability to get the ball and do something useful with it. Season high: 147 (Melbourne, R10). Season low: 79 (Collingwood, R3). In only 11% of teams because of the Blues’ bye last week but expect that number to increase significantly next year. An incredibly affordable gun.
Honourable mentions: Gary Ablett ($560,200, 124.84), Nick Dal Santo ($544,100, 120.81), Chris Judd ($554,000, 117.19), Sam Mitchell ($536,400, 114.53), Matt Priddis ($493,800, 114.48), Tom Rockliff ($544,700, 113.84) – superb 2nd half of the year, lock him into your 2012 midfield, Matthew Boyd ($491,500, 113.38), Andrew Swallow ($482,700, 111.67), and Scott Thompson ($459,300, 108.52).
The 2011 Midfield Thrillers and Chillers – over to you.
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