Jake Lloyd's status as a Sydney Swans superstar has been reinforced with the classy defender winning the AFL club's Bob Skilton Medal.
Lloyd, who recently signed a four-year contract extension, was crowned as the team's champion player for 2018.
The former North Ballarat Rebels player averaged a team-leading 27.8 disposals a game and his accurate distribution out of the backline was a key component of the Swans' game plan.
This season saw Lloyd became the fastest Swans player to play 100 games for the club and the 24-year-old has missed just three matches in 118 since making his debut in 2014.
Lloyd, who finished joint second with Lance Franklin in last year's count, polled 540 votes to beat 2017 winner Luke Parker (517). Franklin (510) finished third.
“It’s a bit surreal to be honest,” Lloyd said of his award.
“To have Bobby (Skilton) present it to me, it’s an absolute honour.
“Parksy (Parker) and Bud (Franklin) are standing alongside me in second and third and to think of the way they’ve played their careers and the status they have as players and credentials they have as players… it’s crazy.
“I’m so grateful for it. If I could have half the career (Skilton) had, I’d be pretty happy, but to be honest it’s probably not going to happen.
“I’ve got no words to describe how I feel at the moment...”
Lloyd, who was recruited to the Sydney Swans with pick 15 in the 2013 AFL rookie draft, was named in the 2018 All-Australian squad, but missed selection in the final team.
He grew up playing in the Wimmera Football League with the Horsham Demons before moving to Ballarat to further his football career.
“I’m just grateful. I’ve been very fortunate not to have any injuries, to be given the opportunity to play at this football club,” he told the Swans’ media team.
“I spent a whole year in the reserves learning my craft and playing good footy week in, week out to try and get a spot in the team.
“And I guess once I got that spot, I really wanted to make it my own and I feel like I probably got lucky early days to be honest. I had a couple of poor games in my second, third and fourth game, but the club stuck by me and gave me that opportunity.
“I’m really grateful for that and hopefully I can repay the faith by signing a four-year deal, which I’m pretty stoked about…”
Sydney finished the regular season in sixth position on the ladder before being beaten in an elimination final by cross-town rivals, the GWS Giants.