The West

Spirited Demon top of pack
Spirited Demon top of pack

Bali belly cost Perth midfielder Dean Kent a place in the WA under-18 squad, but a dominant season saw him rewarded last night with the Jack Clarke Medal for the best and fairest in the WAFL colts.

The 18-year-old polled 37 votes under a 5-4-3-2-1 system to win by five votes from West Perth's Aidan Lynch and South Fremantle's Brendan Verrier (30).

Kent was overlooked for the State Academy after struggling to impress selectors following an overseas holiday.

Illness affected him in games for several weeks during the selection period, but the 180cm midfielder's ability to find the ball stood out for most of the year and he averaged 23 possessions and one goal a game.

AFL recruiters saw him playing at the 2010 under-16 national titles and were so impressed with his performances this season that he has been invited to next month's State draft combine.

The left-footer is a booming kick and his ability to win clear-ances made him a standout.

He also won the WAFL Coaches' Award.

WAFC State Academy manager Raff Guadagnino said Kent was becoming a quality player.

"Dean is an outstanding young man from Northam who is a great role model for any country player aspiring to play WAFL football," he said.

"Dean is hard at the contest and has a penetrating kick which is of AFL standard. He had a slow start to the WAFL season, however to his credit became a dangerous attacking player."

Fremantle forward Kepler Bradley and St Kilda midfielder Tom Ledger won the Jack Clarke Medal before being drafted.

Former Geelong, St Kilda and West Coast players Matthew Spencer, Ryan Brabazon and Adam Cockie are also previous winners.

Perth's Wayne Langbourne was named colts coach of the year and Ben Noakes was awarded the Prendergast Medal as the WAFL reserves best and fairest.

  • Jack Clarke Medal voting: *Dean Kent (Perth) 37, Aidan Lynch (West Perth) 32, Brendan Verrier (South Fremantle) 30, Benjamin Taylor (Claremont) 27, Corey Morris (Peel) 27, Matthew Jupp (East Fremantle) 25, Alex Howson (East Fremantle) 25, Shaquille McKenzie (East Perth) 25.
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