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VFL: Liston Trophy preview

The awards

JJ Liston Trophy
Awarded to the best and fairest senior player

Frosty Miller Medal
Awarded to the leading goal-kicker in home and away season

Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal
Awarded to the most promising young talent

Our top Liston chances

Nick Rippon (VFL-listed)

The former JJ Liston Medallist was a staple of consistency for North Melbourne’s VFL side.

Remarkably, Rippon was listed as part of the best performed players in 15 of his 17 appearances for the Roos in 2018, highlighting the accomplished 24-year-old’s consistency week-on-week.

Ben McKay

McKay took major strides in the 2018 season, despite not featuring at AFL level.

Working in tandem with defensive pillar Sam Durdin, the third-year Roo proved himself as one of the best defenders in the competition, garnering praise for his intercept marking and clean hands in contests.

Nick Larkey

The in-form tall had a breakout season in the VFL, taking home the ‘Frosty’ Miller Medal after topping the goal-kicking charts with 41 goals in 17 games.

The second-year forward had limited opportunities at senior level, but made the most of his chances in the VFL. Larkey developed his marking game and impressed with several bags against quality sides.

Braydon Preuss

The bulldozing big man dominated in the season proper, topping the competition for hit-outs in 2018.

Knocking on the door at AFL level, Preuss was unable to feature for North’s senior side due to the strong form of fellow ruckman Todd Goldstein, but didn’t let this deter his development.

The three-voters?

Michael Close v Frankston (Round 3)
13 disposals | 7 marks | 4 goals

North’s co-captain was a standout on a disappointing afternoon for the Roos, falling to Frankston in a thrilling encounter at Avalon Airport Oval.

The in-form tall made the game his own, taking a handful of contested marks under duress. Leading the forward line alongside Larkey, Close finished with an imposing four goals and seven marks.

Mason Wood v Coburg (Round 4)
17 disposals | 7 marks | 6 goals

An impressive 52-point win at Piranha Park was topped by a dominant display from Wood, who boasted a perfect record in front of goal in windy conditions.

Wood took control of the game and was unrelenting with a four-goal third term, including a picture-perfect major from the tightest of angles, before being rested for the most of the final quarter.


Nick Rippon v Sandringham (Round 9)
31 disposals | 6 marks | 6 tackles

Rippon was a vital cog in North’ engine room as the Roos secured back-to-back wins away from home for the time in 2018, putting in a polished four-quarter performance against Sandringham.

The midfielder’s tireless efforts won him plenty of admirers, citing his hard-nosed approach to getting the footy. This was reflected in the numbers with Rippon amongst the highest possession winners.

Nick Larkey v Williamstown (Round 18)
14 disposals | 11 marks | 5 goals

The key-forward responded to a quiet fortnight in emphatic fashion, dominating within North’s forward six against Williamstown at Avalon Airport Oval.

In a game where Larkey looked destined to mark everything, the tall carried the goal-scoring burden for North against the in-form Seagulls, finishing his day with a bag of five from as many efforts.

North Melbourne will be providing updates from the night via its @NorthVFL social media accounts, while the VFL will live stream the event on its website from 7pm on Monday, September 10. 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs