East Perth ruckman Paul Johnson has opened up a six-vote lead in this year's _The West Australian _WAFL Player of the Year Award.
The former West Coast, Melbourne and Hawthorn big man polled three votes in the Royals' 37-point win against Perth at Brownes Stadium last Saturday.
The 28-year-old, who has polled votes in 10 of 16 matches this season, finished with 25 possessions, five marks, 22 hit-outs and a goal to play a leading role in his side's 10th win of the season.
East Perth wingman Freddie Clutterbuck received top votes against Perth, with Zac Clarke gaining four and Royals defender Danny Chartres two.
Demons captain Ross Young moved to third on 33 votes, one vote behind Claremont's Luke Blackwell, after being awarded one vote.
Ashley Hansen collected five votes in his return from injury, the West Coast and Swan Districts premiership full-forward rewarded for a seven-goal haul against Subiaco. Six of those goals came in the second half when Swans came from four goals down at half-time to storm home to a comfortable win.
Others to gain the maximum votes in round 19 were Claremont defender Jake Murphy and West Perth midfielder Shane Nelson.
The award is based on votes cast by _The West Australian's _team of WAFL writers. Players from each game are rated on a 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 basis and the player who gains most votes in the season wins $5000.
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