GEELONG vice-captain Tom Stewart has won his second Carji Greeves medal as the Cats best and fairest player for the 2023 season.
The 30-year-old finished on 135 votes, with midfielder Tom Atkins finishing as runner up (105) and rejuvenated forward Gryan Miers rounding out the podium in third (93).
The win for Stewart adds to his fifth All-Australian blazer he earned this season, while backing up a 2021 Carji Greeves medal, further solidifying his standing as one of the leagues best defenders.
“I’m so lucky to be at this football club, one that’s truly found a massive place in my heart,” Stewart said when accepting the award during on Thursday night.
“This community, this club is something that’s truly special and to be a part of it is something I do not take for granted at all.”
Stewart played in all but one match this season, averaging 23 disposals and finishing sixth in the AFL for intercept marks with 75, as Geelong missed out on finals for the first time since 2015.
He said he’s determined to help the lead the club back to success after the disappointment of being unable to back up the 2022 premiership.
“This year wasn’t exactly what we planned for but seeing the boys around, seeing everyone at the club already, I think (Chris Scott) typified and exemplified before, we’re ready, we’re excited.
“It’s something new, it’s a new challenge.
“We’re all ready to get stuck in and bring that cup home where it belongs.”
Coach Chris Scott spoke as he was awarding Stewart the medal and said he’s grown as a leader since taking on the mantle of vice-captain.
“He does remind in some ways of the leadership that people like Tom Harley and Joel Selwood provided over the years, he’s so much more than what he does on the field,” Scott said.
“He’s so much more than what he does even on the training track.
“He’s becoming and has become someone that the whole Geelong community can be proud of.”
Other award winners on the night included first-year Cat Ollie Henry, who took out the Best Young Player award after an impressive season up forward where he booted 41 goals.
Atkins claimed back-to-back Tom Harley Best Clubman awards, a player voted accolade awarded to the player who demonstrates outstanding care for his teammates, and who champions the club and team values.
Stewart was named the Carter Family Community Champion award for his outstanding commitment to the community.