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Docherty wins 2016 John Nicholls Medal

First place | 2016 John Nicholls Medal Sam Docherty is crowned the 2016 John Nicholls Medallist as the Blues' best and fairest.

Carlton defender Sam Docherty has capped off a stellar season, taking home his first John Nicholls Medal on Friday night at Crown Palladium.

The 22-year-old finished this evening’s count on 179 votes, narrowly ahead of fellow defender Kade Simpson (169) and young gun Patrick Cripps (168).

One of Carlton’s most consistent players this season, Docherty was also presented with the Blues Coterie Most Improved Award.

In 2016 across 22 games, Docherty averaged 26 disposals, eight marks and five rebound 50s. Growing up a Blues supporter, Docherty arrived at Carlton at the end of 2013 from the Brisbane Lions in exchange for pick No.33. The defender was nominated by his peers to join the Club’s leadership group earlier this year.

Senior coach Brendon Bolton said it was a fitting reward for Docherty’s outstanding season.

“Sam has been outstanding for us this season, and is a very deserving winner of the John Nicholls Medal,” Bolton said.

“He is a really intelligent footballer and has learnt to become almost an extension of the coaching panel out on the field this year. He has a clear hunger and drive to continually develop with every game he plays. 

“Sam also consistently sets a high level of leadership and professionalism at our club. At only 22 years of age, we are confident Sam will have a long and bright future at the Blues.” 

The top three with senior coach Brendon Bolton. (Photo: Carlton Media)

Runner-up Simpson trailed by only 10 votes at the final count, but cleaned up with a number of awards. The evergreen defender, who recently announced a new one-year deal with the Blues, also won the Bill Lanyon Inner Blues Ruthless Award, the Carltonians Achievement Award and the Spirit of Carlton Award. 

In 2016, the 32-year-old averaged 27 disposals, seven marks and five rebound 50s. 

Cripps, the 2015 John Nicholls Medallist, continued an impressive start to his career, placing third overall in the count and winning the fan-voted Hyundai MVP Award.

The 21-year-old averaged 27 disposals, seven tackles, nine clearances and 17 contested possessions. Impressively, Cripps was ranked first in the league for total clearances and contested possessions per game over the home-and-away season.   

Rounding out the top 10 in the vote count was Bryce Gibbs (149) in fourth place, followed by Ed Curnow (115), Matthew Wright and Sam Rowe (114) in equal sixth, Zach Tuohy (91), Matthew Kreuzer (83) and Sam Kerridge (82).

Gallery: See the best snaps from the blue carpet

Following his third overall placing at the NAB AFL Rising Star award earlier this week, young gun Jacob Weitering was named the Club’s Best First Year Player. 

Respected leader Ed Curnow took out the Best Clubman Award, recognising the significant contribution a player has made to the Carlton Football Club, particularly with his role in the playing group.  


1st - Sam Docherty (179 votes)
2nd - Kade Simpson (169)
3rd - Patrick Cripps (168)
4th - Bryce Gibbs (149)
5th - Ed Curnow (115)
6th - Matthew Wright, Sam Rowe (114)
8th - Zach Tuohy (91)
9th - Matthew Kreuzer (83)
10th - Sam Kerridge (82)

The Carlton Football Club congratulates the following award winners from the 2016 John Nicholls Medal: