THE Western Bulldogs have moved from premiership contention into rejuvenation mode in the past four seasons with one constant: the form of captain Matthew Boyd, who last night won his third Charles Sutton Medal for club champion.
Boyd, who also won the medal in 2009 and 2011, polled 168 votes to finish ahead of the improving Ryan Griffen on 150 votes.
Liam Picken was third in the Dogs’ first season under coach Brendan McCartney, while young onballers Luke Dahlhaus and Mitch Wallis were fourth and fifth.
In other awards, mature-age recruit Tory Dickson won the best first-year player award, with Wallis, who finished third in the AFL’s Rising Star award, chosen as the most improved player after his 19-game second season.
Picken won the best team player award and Daniel Cross, who injured a shoulder in his 197th game, ending his season in round 18, was declared most courageous.
Rookie-listed ruckman Tom Campbell was voted the Dogs’ best player for VFL affiliate club Williamstown, with defender Lukas Markovic winning the community award.
Boyd, who joined the Dogs as a rookie in 2002 and took over as captain two seasons ago, has played 161 of 163 games in the past seven years.
The 30-year-old, who recently signed a one-year contract extension taking him through until the end of 2014, led the league in disposals for the second year running and was considered unlucky to miss out on the All-Australian squad.
CHARLES SUTTON MEDAL
1. Matthew Boyd 168 (votes)
2. Ryan Griffen 150
3. Liam Picken 110
4. Luke Dahlhaus 91
5. Mitch Wallis 88
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