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Lambert recognised for brilliant season

Kane Lambert in action for the Northern Blues. (Photo: Theo Karanikos/AFL Media)
Kane Lambert in action for the Northern Blues. (Photo: Theo Karanikos/AFL Media)

Northern Blues midfielder Kane Lambert capped off a remarkable year finishing fourth in the J.J Liston Trophy held at Etihad Stadium last night.

Lambert finished fourth on 16 votes, just one vote behind a three-way tie of Mitch Hallahan (Box Hill), Jordan Schroder (Geelong) and Steve Clifton (North Ballarat) for the VFL Best and Fairest award.

It is the only time the VFL’s most prestigious individual award has been shared by three players in the history of the VAFA and VFL.

For North Ballarat’s Clifton, it was his second Liston Trophy after accepting the award in 2010. He becomes just the seventh player to achieve the feat.

Lambert's 16 votes also confirmed the midfielder as the Northern Blues' best player in the umpire's eyes, with teammate Tyson Thomas the next best polling four votes. Carlton trio Ed Curnow, Tom Bell and Aaron Joseph polled three votes each.

While Lambert may have missed the top prize at the end of the night, he was certainly kept busy running to and from the dais.

Lambert kicked off the awards night in stunning fashion winning the Fothergill-Round Medal as the Most Promising Young Player in the VFL, before being back up to the podium upon being named on the Wing in the VFL Team of the Year for 2013.

Lambert, averaging 26 possessions per game and kicking 21 goals in season 2013, was voted by VFL officials as the best up-and-coming player, winning the VFL’s equivalent of the AFL NAB Rising Star.

He also finished fifth in the Toyota VFL Coach’s Award with 15 votes; six votes behind Alik Magin of Bendigo Gold.

Following the night, Lambert said he owed everything to the Northern Blues as a football club he grew up spending so much time around.

“I have the Northern Blues Football Club to thank over the last couple of years for the support and development,” Lambert said.

“The club's been a part of my blood since I was kid looking for autographs to be signed in the change rooms after games.

“It holds a special place in my heart, I’ve made great mates here and loved playing my footy for the Northern Blues.”

Lambert said he appreciated the honours and being considered one of the favourites for the J.J Liston Trophy.

“I'm wasn’t sure how I was going to poll tonight, there's a lot of very good players in the room who I thought would pip me for it," he said.

“Massive congratulations to Steve, Jordan and Mitch. All three are high quality players who’ve had great seasons.

“I was ecstatic to be considered in the same light as them. Even to win the awards tonight, I’m very honoured.”

Team of the Year selection and the Rising Star Award adds to an impressive list for Lambert in 2013, including selection for Victoria and an invitation to the AFL State Combine in late October this year.

Matthew Lodge covers Northern Blues games for You can follow him on Twitter: @MatthewSLodge