By Peter Blucher.
Nick Riewoldt is poised to get himself on the AFL Brownlow Medal vote list for a record 15th year in a row on Monday night.
Assuming his outstanding 2016 season is worth at least one vote at the gala presentation evening the veteran St.Kilda captain will go past Jason Akermanis to claim outright the longest voting streak and most years with a vote by a Queenslander.
Riewoldt, No.1 pick in the 2000 AFL National Draft and a six-game rookie in 2001, has polled in the award for the game’s best player every year since 2002
Akermanis, winner of the medal in 2001, was 14 years in a row among the votes from his second season in 1996 until his second-last season in 2009.
Jason Dunstall was 12 years in a row among the votes from his first season in 1985 until 1996. He missed out in 1997, when he played only eight games due to injury, but was among the votes in his final year in 1998 for a total of 13 voting years.
Michael Voss, too, was 12 years in a row in the votes from his third year in 1995 until his retirement in 2006. He also polled in 1993 for 13 voting years overall.
Voss is equal 23rd on the AFL’s all-time Brownlow Medal vote list and heads the Queensland vote list with 150 votes from his 289 bone-crunching games.
Riewoldt, now with 319 games behind him but only 298 games in which votes have been cast, has 130 career votes to rank second among Queenslanders ahead 269-gamer Dunstall (129) and 325-gamer Akermanis (107).
On a votes-per-game basis Voss heads this group at 0.519 from Dunstall (0.480), Riewoldt (0.436) and Akermanis (0.329).
Voss had a staggering eight seasons in which he polled double-figure votes.
Dunstall and Riewoldt have each polled 10+ votes six times, and Akermanis five.
Dayne Beams is fifth on the all-time Queensland vote list with 53, including two double-figure years.
Then comes David Armitage, Queensland’s leading vote-getter in 2015, with 33, followed by Gavin Crosisca (24), Kurt Tippett (22), Dayne Zorko (22), Scott McIvor (22), Marcus Ashcroft (21), Mitch Hahn (20), Hawthorn’s Stephen Lawrence (20), Daniel Merrett (19) and David Hale (16).
If votes in the 2016 AFL Coach’s Association Player of the Year Award are any sort of guide Riewoldt will top the Queensland vote count this year for the 8th time.
Desperately unlucky not to be included in the All-Australian squad, Riewoldt polled 47 votes in the AFLCA award to finish well clear of Zorko (28), Tom Hickey (26), Armitage (24). Charlie Dixon (17), Zac Smith (13), Alex Sexton (13), Tippett (12) and Jarrod Harbrow (12).
Riewoldt, also runner-up to Adelaide’s Taylor Walker for the AFLPA’s Best Captain award, has topped the Queensland Brownlow Medal vote count in 2004-06-07-08-09-10-13.