2009 Brownlow Medal

The 2009 Brownlow Medal was the 82nd year the award was presented to the player adjudged the fairest and best player during the Australian Football League (AFL) home and away season.[1] Gary Ablett of the Geelong Football Club won the medal by polling thirty votes during the 2009 AFL season.[2]

2009 Brownlow Medal
Date21 September
LocationCrown Palladium
Hosted bySandy Roberts
WinnerGary Ablett, Jr. (Geelong)
30 votes
Television/radio coverage
NetworkSeven Network

Ablett won the award with thirty votes, eight votes ahead of 2004 medal winner, Chris Judd. It was Ablett's first Brownlow, despite winning many other awards in the previous few years and being the Brownlow pre-count favourite for the previous three years.[3] It was the second time in three years that a player from Geelong won the Brownlow Medal.[4]

Leading votegetters

1stGary Ablett, Jr. (Geelong)30
2ndChris Judd (Carlton)22
3rdLenny Hayes (St Kilda)20
=4thJonathan Brown (Brisbane)
Simon Black (Brisbane)
6thNick Dal Santo (St Kilda)17
7thAdam Goodes (Sydney)17
8thJoel Selwood (Geelong)16
=9thBryce Gibbs (Carlton)
Marc Murphy (Carlton)
Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda)

Ablett's victory

Gary Ablett's victory in the 2009 medal followed his sixth place finish in 2007 and his third place finish in 2008. In all three years he was the favourite to win the award.[3] Ablett polled in 13 matches, including eight best-on-ground performances.[5] His seventh best on ground performance in round 20 confirmed his victory as his 26 votes was seven votes ahead of Judd, Brown and Hayes equal on 19 votes, with only six votes left from the remaining two rounds.[3] During his acceptance speech, Ablett referred to his father, Australian Football Hall of Fame member Gary Ablett Sr., who despite being considered one of the best footballers players of all time, never won a Brownlow medal.[6]

I can at least say I've done something he hasn't done... I've always said I'd be happy to be half as good. He's the best player to play the game, in my opinion.

Gary Ablett, Jr.[6]

Voting procedure

The three field umpires (those umpires who control the flow of the game, as opposed to goal or boundary umpires) confer after each match and award three votes, two votes and one vote to the players they regard as the best, second best and third best in the match, respectively. The votes are kept secret until the awards night, and are read and tallied on the evening.

Ineligible players

As the medal is awarded to the fairest and best player in the league, those who have been suspended during the season by the AFL Tribunal (or, who avoided suspension only because of a discount for a good record or an early guilty plea) are ineligible to win the award; however, they may still continue to poll votes. Sam Mitchell was the leading ineligible player after being found guilty of striking Adelaide's David Mackay.[7] Chris Judd was suspended for an incident during the finals, but under the rules he remained eligible for both this year's and the 2010 medal, the latter of which he won.[8]

Pre-count favourites

Gary Ablett started the year as the favourite to win the medal with both the bookmakers[10] and in a poll of all 16 AFL captains.[11] He remained as favourite throughout the year and entered the count as the leading contender for the third consecutive year.[12] Other leading contenders included Dane Swan and St Kilda midfielders Leigh Montagna, Nick Dal Santo and Lenny Hayes.[13]

Brendan Fevola controversy

Ablett's win was overshadowed by the behaviour of Carlton full forward, Brendan Fevola. Fevola was heavily intoxicated at the function, and while on camera (or alleged to have been) verbally abused guests, gave his opinion on Brownlow votes, had a bottle of beer knocked out of his hands by 2008 Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney, vomited and urinated on Casino fixtures, simulated sex acts, sexually harassed unsuspecting female guests and bystanders, sang a cappella on stage at the Brownlow after party, and fought with a Channel 7 journalist and Crown security staff before being removed from the complex by his teammates. Fevola was fined $10,000 by the AFL, fired from the Grand Final Footy Show, and withdrew himself from the Coleman Medallist's lap of honour at the 2009 AFL Grand Final.[14]

Blue carpet arrivals

For the first time, the carpet was blue, to celebrate the release of the new Toyota Prius. The carpet arrivals were hosted by Fifi Box and Hawthorn's Brad Sewell.


  1. Lovett, Michael (ed.). AFL Record Season Guide 2016. Docklands, Victoria: Slattery Media Group. p. 593. ISBN 978-0-9805162-6-5.
  2. "2009 Brownlow Medal". AFL Tables. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  3. Gleeson, Michael (22 September 2009). "Ablett wins the Brownlow". The Age. Fairfax Media.
  4. Barrett, Damian (22 September 2009). "Elite honours lifts grand finale". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia.
  5. "Brownlow Medal votes". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia.
  6. Baum, Greg (22 September 2009). "How about that, Dad? I've won the Brownlow". The Age. Fairfax Media.
  7. Lerner, Ronny (13 September 2009). "Can Ablett break his Brownlow duck?". Sportal. Archived from the original on 21 January 2010.
  8. Matthews, Bruce (8 September 2009). "No Brownlow blues for Chris Judd". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia.
  9. Lovett, Michael (ed.). AFL Record: Season Guide 2010. pp. 510–511. ISBN 978-0-9806274-5-9.
  10. Clarke, Tim (11 March 2009). "Punter could win $25,000 with a Cousins Brownlow". WAtoday. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012.
  11. Tugwell, Nikki (20 March 2009). "Rivan AFL captains say Sydney Swans will not make finals". The Daily Telegraph. News Corp Australia.
  12. Warner, Michael (21 September 2009). "It's your time to win Brownlow, Gary Ablett". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia.
  13. Clark, John (21 September 2009). "Geelong's Gary Ablett will win Brownlow Medal, says Champion Data". Fox Sports (Australia). News Corp Australia.
  14. "Fevola withdraws from lap of honour". ABC Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 27 September 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2009..
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