Port Adelaide Best and Fairest 2018
Justin Westhoff with his wife Rebecca at the Port Adelaide Best and Fairest 2018.

Port Adelaide Best and Fairest 2018

Justin Westhoff was a popular winner of Port Adelaide’s best and fairest award, the John Cahill Medal.  It capped off a week during which Westhoff turned 32 and signed a one-year contract extension.  The versatile veteran is the club’s oldest winner of the award.  The ever reliable Westhoff played every game this season to extend his unbroken sequence of games to a remarkable 123.

Cult Figure

He polled 179 votes to outclass the runners up Tom Jonas and Ollie Wines on 162.  Three-time champion Robbie Gray was next on 152.  Over his 12 seasons at Port, Westhoff has become a fan favourite (a “cult figure” according to The Age) and his win was warmly received.  Westhoff stood tall during a difficult period for the team late in the season and earned the winning votes when the pressure was really on.  Unrivalled at taking saving marks late in the quarter in defence, Westhoff also had a good year drifting forward with 24 goals to his name.  Around 5 tackles per match and stints in the ruck demonstrated his extraordinary adaptability, backed up by his usual amazing highlights reel.  Admired by many for his laconic style on the field, Westhoff characteristically said of his win, “It’s humbling to be able to stand up there with some of the greats of the club.”

“I would trade this in a second for a premiership with the guys we’ve got playing.

“But it’s a nice feeling to be standing here and to still be contributing to your club at this age, which is amazing to be honest.”

Elite Defenders

Tom Jonas was not only a runner up, but awarded the best team man prize, the Fos Williams Medal, to go with his All-Australian selection as one the competition’s elite defenders.  Another defender who impressed was Dan Houston, who took home the Gavin Wanganeen Award for the best player under 21 along with the coaches’ most improved award.

Look forward to next season

As a sponsor, Haneco was delighted to be present at such a prestigious event, with South Australia’s BDM Shane Bradfield hosting a lucky group of contractors.  We look forward to next season.  As Justin Westhoff said: “It’s going to be a hard slog to get where we need to be but the guys are definitely up to the challenge and hopefully winning that elusive premiership which I’ve strived for for the last 12 years.  I won’t stop chasing that.”

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