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Youi Game Changer Award

After every game in 2023, Lions fans went to to vote for the game's biggest game changer thanks to Youi.

What personifies a game changer? It might be a player that takes matters into their own hands, produces a moment that shifts momentum in a game, plays a role that shuts down a key opponent, plays at an elite standard, or all the above!

The people have spoken! In a fascinating count (and an extraordinary Finals series), Keidean Coleman has done a ‘Bradbury’ and won this year’s Youi Game Changer Award out of seemingly nowhere.

To put it into context, at the end of the Home & Away Season, Coleman had registered just 278 votes, 946 behind the then leader, Lachie Neale.

Fast forward to Grand Final Week, ‘Kiddy’ remarkably polled 2060 votes and it’s hard to argue given his second-place ranking in the Gary Ayres Award for best performing player in the Finals series.

Well-deserved recognition for a star on the rise!


Marcus Ashcroft Most Professional Player Award

Marcus Ashcroft epitomised what it means to be a ‘professional’ athlete in this business and set the standard for the team in terms of his preparation, approach to training and overall attitude.

It is testament to his professionalism that he was able to become the first Queenslander to play 300 senior AFL games, and along the way made a valuable contribution towards the Lions’ three magnificent Premierships.

After a stellar year, Linc McCarthy has taken out this seasons Marcus Ashcroft Most Professional Award.

Diligent and dedicated in his approach to games and during the week, McCarthy is a deserved winner of this prestigious award.

Often one of the last to leave the training track, the 29-year-olds commitment to his craft has been noticed by his coaches and teammates alike, while Lions fans have loved his forward pressure, highlighted by eight tackle performance against Fremantle in Round 21.


Shaun Hart Trademark Player of the Year

The Shaun Hart Trademark Player of the Year recognises the Lions player who best exuded competitiveness this season both out on the footy field and in his week-to-week preparation.

In his first year at the Club, gun recruit Josh Dunkley has been awarded this year’s Shaun Hart Trademark Player of the Year by the namesake himself.

Dunkley’s defensive mindset in the midfield was noticeable as the Lions team defence improved in 2023.

The 26-year-old averaged 24.3 disposals and ranked in the elite category for tackles and marks according to Champion Data.

His standout performance came in Round 8 against Carlton, amassing a season-high 33 touches, 11 marks and 13 tackles while shutting down the then reigning Brownlow Medallist, Patrick Cripps.



Rookie of the Year

The Rookie of the Year Award is awarded to the best first year player. The criteria has changed this year slightly, with the winner having to have played less than 10 senior games before the 2022 season and in his first or second season.

Hitting the ground running after being drafted with Pick #2 in the 2022 AFL Draft, Will Ashcroft is the deserving winner of the 2023 Rookie of the Year Award.

Before an ACL injury prematurely ended his season, the 19-year-old averaged 22 disposals, 3.5 tackles and 3.6 clearances in his first 18 games.

Ashcroft burst on to the scene in just his second game, collecting 31 disposals and kicking a goal against Melbourne, earning himself a Rising Star nomination.

After being snubbed (we’re biased) of the overall NAB Rising Star Award, the Rookie of the Year Award is a deserving win for ‘Ashy’, with many Lions fans already counting down the days until he’s back from his knee injury.


Players’ Player of the Year 

Okay this one is a bit complicated to explain so please read carefully below:

Much like the AFL Players Association’s annual MVP, the Players’ Player of the Year Award is voted on ‘by’ the players ‘for’ the players.

Each week, the players were asked to vote on who they felt best reflected the values they strive for as a group. There was a great emphasis placed on acts that benefited the team as a whole and not necessarily the individual.

The player with the most votes each week wins, then the player who accumulates the most ‘wins’ over the season is the overall winner of the award – not necessarily the player with the most votes overall.

Josh Dunkley has taken out his second award of the evening, voted by his peers as the Players’ Player of the Year for 2023.

Very rarely did Lions fans see ‘Dunks’ without a cut on his face or not at the bottom of a contest, scrapping desperately to win a crucial midfield clearance.

In his first year as a Lion, the big-bodied midfielder was voted into the Leadership Group and consistently leads by example on-field.

His shut down roles on Zak Butters, Patrick Cripps and Jordan De Goey through the Finals series were crucial in Brisbane’s quest for an elusive Premiership Cup, while his toughness around the ball and willingness to put his body on the line has been applauded all year by his peers.


Lyons’ year to remember continues with Brisbane’s VFL top gong

Jarryd Lyons has added to his trophy cabinet again in 2023 taking home the Neville Fallon Brisbane Lions Reserves Best & Fairest Award.

After being announced as the winner of the VFL’s top honour, the J.J Liston Trophy two weeks ago, Lyons capped off a stellar year in the VFL at the 2023 Club Champion Dinner last night.

VFL Coach Ben Hudson was full of praise for Lyons, who brought a wealth of experience to a young side.

“He’s been fantastic for us all year, not just on field but off it as well,” he said.

“JL (Lyons) is someone who pushes the standards of the group week in and week out, while also leading by his actions on game day.

“He’s been integral member of our VFL squad this season and it showed during the AFL Finals Series with his impact as the substitute late in games.”

Lyons dominated in a stacked Lions midfield during the 2023 VFL Season averaging 31.4 disposals in 16 appearances along with being one of the premier clearance winners throughout the competition.

He continued to rack up impressive stats including collecting 30 or more possessions 13 times and 40 or more on three occasions.

Lyons best performance came against Coburg in round nine which saw the Lions travel to Melbourne.

Brisbane piled on 24 goals while Lyons was at his damaging best collecting 44 touches, nine marks, 10 clearances and a goal to claim best on ground honours.


Neville Fallon Brisbane Lions Reserves Best & Fairest Top 10

1. Jarryd Lyons - 39
2. Wylie Buzza - 38
3. Jaxon Prior - 36
3. Harry Sharp - 36
3. James Tunstill - 36
6. Nakia Cockatoo - 34
7. Tahj Abberley - 33
8. Tom Fullarton - 32
9. Kyle Dunkley - 31
9. Rhys Mathieson - 31


Finals Player Award

The 2023 Finals Player Award recognises the Lions player who has polled the most votes across the three finals with the same criteria that the Merrett-Murray Medal is awarded.

The votes couldn’t be split, and we’ve got ourselves a tie! The 2023 Finals Player(s) are Keidean Coleman and Hugh McCluggage.

Coleman announced himself on the biggest stages of September, covering a massive 1865m by foot in Brisbane’s three finals while slicing opposition defences open with his willingness to take the game on.

The 23-year-old finishing second in the Norm Smith votes on Grand Final Day and second in the Gary Ayres Award for best performed finals player.

Meanwhile, McCluggage polled the maximum 10 Coaches Votes in his sides win over Port Adelaide in the Qualifying Final and was again a strong performer in the Grand Final, collecting 21 touches and kicking two goals.