Williamstown star Michael Gibbons has joined rare company, becoming just the eighth player in VFA/VFL history to claim multiple J.J. Liston Trophy honours for best-and-fairest in the competition.
The onballer polled 19 votes to finish in a tie with Richmond’s Anthony Miles at a thrilling vote count on Monday night.
Both Gibbons and Miles incredibly failed to register a single vote in the final round, despite each player racking up more than 30 possessions.
It sat well with the pair to share the honour, having both come through the Murray Bushrangers program.
For Gibbons, it is just the latest in a long line of honours, as calls for him to be drafted into the AFL grow louder.
It would be a travesty of justice if Gibbons is not given his shot at the top level after what he has achieved in the VFL over five years. His premiership teammate and current Altona player Sean Tighe tweeted after the vote count that Gibbons has now “clocked” the VFL and deserves his long awaited chance to prove himself at the top level.
What makes Gibbons special is that he is all about the team.
He simply lets his football do the talking, while those around him preach to the recruiters.
Gibbons loves being down at Williamstown and striving for another premiership.
“It’s pretty special what we’ve got down there,” he said. “The fact we are a stand-alone club is what we love about playing at Williamstown.
“Everyone is there to win a flag and that’s the best mentality that we can bring.”
Gibbons was taken aback when told he was only the eighth person to have multiple J.J. Liston Trophy awards.
He won the honour in 2016 before coming runner up last season.
Few players have had such an extended period of individual dominance in the history of the league.
“It’s very humbling I guess,” Gibbons said. “I just wanted to come down here and play the best footy I could.
“I’ve always wanted to play with winning successful teams and that’s why I picked Williamstown.
“It’s probably been the best decision I’ve ever made.
“It’s not something I set out for at the start, but when these accolades come, you take them in your stride and be very respectful of what they stand for.”
Gibbons led the VFL in kicks and inside 50s this season. He was named in the VFL team of the year, alongside teammates Brett Bewley, Nick Meese and Ben Cavarra.
Williamstown will face Box Hill Hawks in the preliminary final at Stannards Stadium on Sunday at 2.10pm.