By JESS WEBSTER
Canberra midfielder Alex Smout has jumped in to the top five of the NEAFL MVP Award after an outstanding performance against the GIANTS on Friday night.
Smout, 24, polled the maximum 10 votes following 40 disposals (20 contested) and 12 clearances as the Demons fell to the GIANTS by 14 points at Phillip Oval.
He was the only player to poll maximum votes in Round 5 as votes were shared throughout the other four matches.
Southport midfielder, and current MVP leader, Matt Shaw added seven votes to his tally, sharing top votes alongside teammate Brodie Murdoch and Sydney Uni defender Adam Gulden, who moved up to fourth on the leaderboard.
Sydney defender Colin O’Riordan moved to second place after polling seven votes in a heavy loss to Brisbane, rewarded for his superb performance of 41 disposals (80% efficiency) and 10 rebound 50s.
Gold Coast veteran Michael Rischitelli was the key instigator in the SUNS breakthrough victory over NT Thunder, polling nine votes after 30 disposals, 10 clearances, six inside 50s and a goal in their 70-point win.
Aspley key position players Liam Dawson and Jono Freeman both polled five votes each in the Hornets’ win over Redland, as votes were shared amongst nine players.
The NEAFL Most Valuable Player Award is presented to the player uniquely judged the best in the competition by a combination of umpire and coaches votes.
The votes are submitted post-game cast on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis. As such, the maximum amount of votes a single player can earn per match is 10 – courtesy of the maximum five votes from both umpires and coaches.
The progress of the MVP voting is published on the NEAFL website for the first 12 rounds of the season, but withheld from that point on until the winner is revealed at the end of season awards night.
NEAFL MVP VOTES – Round 5
Canberra v GIANTS
10: Alex Smout (Canberra) 6: Mitch Hardie (Canberra) 5: Harry Perryman (GIANTS) 3: Dawson Simpson (GIANTS) 3: Zach Sproule (GIANTS) 2: Aiden Bonar (GIANTS) 1: Zac Langdon (GIANTS)
NEAFL MVP LEADERBOARD – Round 5
36: Matt Shaw (Southport) 24: Colin O’Riordan (Sydney) 23: Ben Keays (Brisbane) 21: Adam Gulden (Sydney Uni) 19: Alex Smout (Canberra) 18: James Rowbottom (Sydney) 16: Mitch Maguire (Canberra) 16: Clay Cameron (Redland) 15: Corey Lyons (Brisbane) 15: Toby Wooller (Brisbane)