Petracca stars to win Norm Smith medal

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Melbourne ace Christian Petracca's record-equalling AFL grand final has been rewarded with the coveted Norm Smith medal.

Petracca, best-afield in the Demons' 74-point grand final triumph over the Western Bulldogs, collected 39 disposals.

No player in any grand final has had more.

The brilliant Petracca equalled the record of 39 set by Brisbane's Simon Black in 2003.

Petracca gathered 21 kicks and 18 handballs, with 24 contested possessions and two goals.

The 25-year-old also registered nine clearances, 11 inside 50s, four tackles along with a whopping 15 score involvements.

"It feels like a dream," Petracca told the Seven Network before being named the winner of the medal.

"What we set out pre-season, off-season, to get this club back to where it should belong - for just every fan that is watching back home, we bloody did it."

Petracca is the first Melbourne player to win a Norm Smith medal since the best-afield gong was initiated in 1979.

He polled the maximum possible votes - 15 - with six-goal teammate - Bayley Fritsch earning 10 votes, followed by Clayton Oliver (three) and Christian Salem (one) with Western Bulldog Caleb Daniel (one) the sole player from the losing team to get a vote.

In his acceptance speech, Petracca dedicated his medal to Melbourne's long-suffering fans, most of whom were unable to attend the Perth premiership decider because of coronavirus travel restrictions.

The victory is Melbourne's first premiership since 1964.

"To these boys, an unbelievable job," Petracca said while gesturing to his teammates.

"We said it from the start, we wanted to be here.

"And to the fans here firstly, thank you. And to the fans back home, we did it, baby."

The medal was voted on by five judges, all now working in the media, including Hawthorn legend Luke Hodge who won the award in 2008 and 2014.

Hodge, fellow Hawk Gary Ayres and Adelaide's Andrew McLeod have won the medal twice with Richmond great Dustin Martin the only triple winner.

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