Claremont midfielder Jye Bolton has laid a paver on the Sandover Medal Walk in Subiaco today after last night taking out the WAFL’s most prestigious individual award.
Bolton, 24, polled 49 votes to win the Sandover Medal from Peel Thunder’s Matt de Boer, who polled 42 votes, and Clint Jones on 39 votes.
The Victorian, who previously spent a year at Collingwood, averaged 29 possessions per game in 2016.
He said he wanted to make it back to the AFL.
“I’ve learned a lot and developed my game to a point where I think I can contribute to a list at a high level,” he said.
Bolton said he was contacted by AFL clubs during the year, but was pragmatic about his chances of being drafted.
“You’ve just got to wait until draft day to see if they really want you,” he said.
“If it doesn’t happen, then the goal is to win a premiership with Claremont.”
Bolton was originally drafted 73rd overall by the Magpies in 2010, but was delisted at the end of the season. He said the disappointment of being dumped had forced him to add new elements to his game.
“I worked on pretty much every aspect of my game, including my size,” he said.
After moving to Claremont from Werribee this season, Bolton starred in WA’s victory over Tasmania and was awarded the Simpson Medal. He also won The West Australian newspaper’s WAFL Footballer of the Year award.
WA Football Commission media manager Steve Tuohey presented Bolton with a paving stone, congratulating him on becoming a part of history.
“This is very much a valued and big part of our heritage,” he said.
“The Sandover Medal walk represents something pretty significant.”
The WAFL grand final between Subiaco and Peel Thunder will be played on Sunday at Subiaco Oval.