2009 Brownlow Medal

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2009 Brownlow Medal
Date 21 September
Location Crown Palladium
Hosted by Sandy Roberts
Winner Gary Ablett, Jr. (Geelong)
30 votes
Television/Radio coverage
Network Seven Network

The 2009 Brownlow Medal was awarded to Gary Ablett from the Geelong Football Club for being voted as the best and fairest player during the 2009 Australian Football League home and away season. The Brownlow Medal is the most prestigious individual award in Australian rules football and the vote counting ceremony was held at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne, Victoria on 21 September 2009 and was broadcast of Channel Seven.[1]

Ablett won the award with 30 votes, eight votes ahead of 2004 medal winner, Chris Judd. It was Ablett's first Brownlow, despite winning many other awards in the past few years and being the Brownlow pre-count favourite for the last three years.[2] It was the second time in three years that a player from Geelong won the Brownlow Medal.[3]

Blue Carpet Arrivals[edit]

For the first time, the carpet was blue, to celebrate the release of the new Toyota Prius. The carpet arrivals were hosted by Fifi Box and Hawthorn's Brad Sewell.

Leading votegetters[edit]

Player Votes
1st Gary Ablett, Jr. (Geelong) 30
2nd Chris Judd (Carlton) 22
3rd Lenny Hayes (St Kilda) 20
=4th Jonathan Brown (Brisbane)
Simon Black (Brisbane)
6th Nick Dal Santo (St Kilda) 17
7th Adam Goodes (Sydney) 17
8th Joel Selwood (Geelong) 16
=9th Bryce Gibbs (Carlton)
Marc Murphy (Carlton)
Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda)

Ablett's victory[edit]

Gary Ablett's victory in the 2009 medal followed his 6th place in 2007 and his 3rd place in 2008. In all three years he was the favourite to win the award.[2] Ablett polled in 13 matches, including eight best-on-ground performances.[4] His 7th best on ground performance in round 20 confirmed his victory as his 26 votes was 7 votes ahead of Judd, Brown and Hayes equal on 19 votes, with only 6 votes left from the remaining two rounds.[2][5] It was one of the highest votecounts in history, equaling Judd's tally in 2004 and two behind Robert Harvey's 1998 record equaling total.[6]

During his acceptance speech, Ablett referred to his father, AFL Hall of Fame member Gary Ablett, Sr., who despite being considered one of the best footballers players of all time, never won a Brownlow medal.[7]

I can at least say I've done something he hasn't done... I've always said I'd be happy to be half as good. He's the best player to play the game, in my opinion.

Gary Ablett, Jr.[7]

Voting Procedure[edit]

The three field umpires (those umpires who control the flow of the game, as opposed to goal or boundary umpires) confer after each match and award 3 votes, 2 votes and 1 vote to the players they regard as the best, second best and third best in the match respectively.

Ineligible players[edit]

As the award is for the Best and Fairest player in the league, players found guilty of a suspendable offence by the AFL Tribunal are ineligible to win the award, but are still allowed to poll votes. Sam Mitchell was the leading ineligible player after being found guilty of striking Adelaide's David Mackay.[8] Chris Judd was suspended for an incident during the finals, but under the rules he remained eligible for both this year's and next year's medal, the latter of which he won.[9]

Pre-count favourites[edit]

Gary Ablett, Jr. started the year as the favourite to win the medal with both the bookmakers[10] and in a poll of all 16 AFL captains.[11] He remained as favourite throughout the year and entered the count as the leading contender for the third consecutive year.[12] Other leading contenders included Dane Swan and St Kilda midfielders Leigh Montagna, Nick Dal Santo and Lenny Hayes.[13]

Brendan Fevola controversy[edit]

Ablett's win was overshadowed by the behaviour of Carlton full forward Brendan Fevola. Fevola was heavily intoxicated at the function, and while on camera (or alleged to have been) verbally abused guests, gave his opinion on Brownlow votes, had a bottle of beer knocked out of his hands by 2008 Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney, vomited and urinated on Casino fixtures, simulated sex acts, sexually harassed unsuspecting female guests and bystanders, sang a cappella on stage at the Brownlow after party, and fought with a Channel 7 journalist and Crown security staff before being removed from the complex by his teammates. Fevola was fined $10,000 by the AFL, fired from the Grand Final Footy Show, and withdrew himself from the Coleman Medallist's lap of honour at the 2009 AFL Grand Final.[14]


  1. ^ 2009 Brownlow Medal broadcast guide2
  2. ^ a b c Gleeson, Michael (22 September 2009) Ablett wins the Brownlow; The Age
  3. ^ Barrett, Damian (22 September 2009) Elite honours lifts grand finale; Herald Sun
  4. ^ Brownlow Medal votes
  5. ^ Brownlow Tracker; AFL.com.au
  6. ^ Ablett claims Brownlow
  7. ^ a b Baum, Greg (22 September 2009) How about that, Dad? I've won the Brownlow; The Age
  8. ^ Lerner, Ronny (13 September 2009) Can Ablett break his Brownlow duck?; Sportal
  9. ^ Matthews, Bruce (8 September 2009) No Brownlow blues for Chris Judd; Herald Sun
  10. ^ Clarke, Tim (11 March 2009) Punter could win $25,000 with a Cousins Brownlow
  11. ^ Tugwell, Nikki (20 March 2009) Rivan AFL captains say Sydney Swans will not make finals; The Daily Telegraph
  12. ^ Warner, Michael (21 September 2009) It's your time to win Brownlow, Gary Ablett; Herald Sun
  13. ^ Clark, John (21 September 2009) Geelong's Gary Ablett will win Brownlow Medal, says Champion Data; foxsports.com.au
  14. ^ Fevola withdraws from lap of honour ABC Grandstand Sport website, accessed 25 September 2009. Archived 2009-09-27.

External links[edit]