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Coaches crown Pendles Player of the Year

Watch Scott Pendlebury illustrate exactly why he is the AFL Coaches Association's Champion Player of the Year for 2013. Scott Pendlebury is all class
Scott Pendlebury motors through the centre during his 42-possession performance against Adelaide in round 16.
Collingwood’s Scott Pendlebury has capped off a stellar home and away campaign by being crowned the AFLCA’s Champion Player of the Year.

The three-time All-Australian finished one vote clear of Gold Coast’s Gary Ablett to win the award, with Joel Selwood of Geelong placed a vote further back.

Sitting third entering the final fixture of the season, Pendlebury’s virtuoso display against North Melbourne on Sunday saw him collect nine votes surge past Selwood and round 22 leader, Sydney’s Kieran Jack, to be named 2013’s leading player by competing coaches.

Given the implied tacit acknowledgement by opposition coaches that a player managed to foil efforts to curb their influence, the AFLCA Champion Player of the Year remains unique among the host of end of season awards on offer, and one which Pendlebury admitted he was honoured to receive.

“It’s a good award to win and I think all the players hold it in pretty high regard,” Pendlebury said.

“Obviously one coach every week is trying to plot your downfall and the other one is helping you play well.”

Having recorded career highs in average disposals and clearances this season, Pendlebury has maintained the remarkable trajectory which has seen the former number five draft pick emerge as one of the leading players in the game.

With a Premiership, Norm Smith Medal, multiple All-Australian selections and Copeland Trophy already in his keeping, Pendlebury’s decorated 170-game career places him among exalted company.

However, quite remarkably, at only 25, the Gippsland native still has his best years ahead of him.

But driven by a burning desire for further team success, Pendlebury certainly couldn’t be accused of naval gazing; admitting he likely won’t be able to truly appreciate his individual accolades for some time yet.

“(I will be able to reflect) more so at the end of the season and probably even at the end of your career you will appreciate (individual awards) more but while you’re playing it’s all about trying to win a premiership and team success,” he said.

“All my goals are based around how the team is going.  I don’t think I have broken it down individually yet and won’t until the season finishes.

“I’m more excited for finals and getting stuck into that. I think we’re placed very well and I’m looking forward to it.”

Pendlebury becomes the third Collingwood player to claim the AFLCA prize following current coach Nathan Buckley (2003) and team mate Dane Swan (2010).

Collingwood v North Melbourne - Round 23
 
 
Votes Player Club
9 Scott Pendlebury Collingwood
8 Jack Ziebell North Melbourne
5 Ryan Bastinac North Melbourne
5 Travis Cloke Collingwood
2 Drew Petrie North Melbourne
1 Brent Harvey North Melbourne

Collingwood Leaderboard for the 2013 AFLCA Champion Player of the Year Award (after 23 rounds)
 
Votes Player
96 Scott Pendlebury
77 Dane Swan
39 Travis Cloke
37 Steele Sidebottom
23 Harry O'Brien
20 Heath Shaw
17 Luke Ball
12 Sam Dwyer
10 Jamie Elliott
10 Josh Thomas
9 Paul Seedsman
7 Dayne Beams
7 Brent Macaffer
7 Dale Thomas
6 Nathan Brown
5 Marley Williams
4 Jarryd Blair
4 Quinten Lynch
3 Ben Reid
3 Ben Sinclair
2 Ben Kennedy
1 Ben Hudson
1 Darren Jolly
1 Andrew Krakouer
1 Kyle Martin
1 Alan Toovey

Overall 2013 AFLCA Champion Player of the Year Award Leaderboard (after 23 rounds)
 
Votes Player Club
96 Scott Pendlebury Collingwood
95 Gary Ablett Gold Coast
94 Joel Selwood Geelong
92 Kieren Jack Sydney
78 Ryan Griffen Western Bulldogs
77 Dane Swan Collingwood
73 Patrick Dangerfield Adelaide
71 Jarryd Roughead Hawthorn
70 Daniel Hannebery Sydney
68 Nathan Fyfe Fremantle