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J.J Joyce Trophy: Steele Sidebottom

Steele wins ANZAC Day Medal Midfielder Steele Sidebottom was adjudged best on ground after his sensational four-goal performance against Essendon on ANZAC Day.
An ANZAC Day Medal in round five proved the highlight of a consistent season by vice captain Steele Sidebottom.

It wouldn’t be a Copeland Trophy night without Steele Sidebottom taking a place on the stage at the end of the night.

While a first-place finish has so far eluded the reliable midfielder, Sidebottom this year reaffirms his standing as one of the Magpies’ best players with a second J.J Joyce Trophy.

The 25-year-old now has five consecutive top-five Copeland placings.

This year’s recognition comes after the most productive season Sidebottom has produced since 2013.

After missing six games with a broken hand last year, the midfielder remained fit and healthy throughout his eighth season in Black and White.

The only hiccup came early in the campaign.

On a night to forget for the Magpies in Sydney, Sidebottom found his name in front of the Match Review Panel after a high bump on Dan Hannebery.

A two-match suspension meant he watched on from the stands in rounds two and three as Collingwood moved to 1-2 after three games.

Upon return, Sidebottom had a profound impact in the middle of the ground and on the scoreboard.

In front of 85,082 fans on ANZAC Day, he led a host of Magpie midfielders who ran rampant against Essendon.

Despite strong performances from Taylor Adams (36 disposals, one goal), Scott Pendlebury (35 disposals) and Adam Treloar (32 disposals), Sidebottom stood above all else.

He kicked four goals in the 69-point win, while also winning 33 touches in a performance which saw him win the ANZAC Day Medal.

What’s more? Sidebottom was hit with illness in the days and hours leading into the match.

“He went into the game a little bit crook, but was able to run hard and find a way,” Nathan Buckley told the media post-game.

“Four goals in the first half from a wing, you don’t see that very often.”

There was more dominance to come as the season continued.

Sidebottom won three Brownlow votes in another Collingwood victory, this time as he celebrated his 150th game in an upset win over Geelong in round nine.

Now having played 163 games at just 25 years of age, Sidebottom shows no sign of slowing down.

Get used to seeing him on the stage on Copeland Trophy night well into the future.

Steele Sidebottom
2016 key stats

Games: 20
Goals: 17
Kicks: 273 (3rd at Collingwood)
Disposals: 514 (3rd at Collingwood)
Uncontested disposals: 350 (3rd at Collingwood)
Marks: 108 (3rd at Collingwood)