Rokewood-Corindhap's Matthew Aikman has claimed The Courier's Central Highlands Football League player of the year award for 2021.
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The Grasshoppers midfielder finished with 59 votes in his first season with the club, after crossing from North Ballarat in the Ballarat Football Netball League.
He finished six votes clear of Hepburn star Andy McKay, who claimed second place with 53 votes.
Fellow former North Ballarat onballer Mitch Gilbert claimed third spot with 46 votes, the Skipton midfielder enjoying a stellar first season with the Emus.
The new look award followed the AFL Coaches' Association player of the year award voting system, each coach voting 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 for the best players on the ground after each game, from either side.
The most votes a player can receive in any given game is 10.
Aikman started solidly with nine votes through three games.
Nine votes against Waubra in round four shot him to the top few positions on the leaderboard and he never looked back.
His first 10 vote performance came in round 12 against Beaufort and he followed it up with another in round 17 against Clunes.
Overall, Aikman averaged 4.9 votes per game.
The tough, inside midfielder added some grunt to the Grasshoppers' midfield, alongside fellow recruits Laityn Withers and Sam Carr.
Their mix of inside and outside game was a key reason for the side's growth from missing finals to a top four side in 2021.
Here is how the season's voting panned out, final leaderboard looked and who led each club's voting.
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