10 years on from Warren Tredrea becoming the first Power player to win the coveted award, Gray’s stellar season in the black, white and teal has drawn the endorsement of the league’s 18 coaches to seal the award with one round to play.
It is the first of what could potentially be a successful year of adding silverware to his trophy cabinet, with the 26-year-old also vying to win his first John Cahill Medal as Port Adelaide’s best and fairest player.
He is also favoured by football pundits to be named in this year’s All-Australian team, and is one of the front-runners in this year’s Brownlow Medal race.
But despite the significant accolade, which comes on the eve of the Power’s all-important battle for fourth spot on the ladder with Fremantle, Gray hosed down his own performance in the 2014 season and praised the efforts of those who support him on and off the field.
Individual awards are won by many, he says.
“Obviously this award is a great honour and I feel really humbled to be in the company of some of the game’s best names,” Gray told portadelaidefc.com.au of the award, which has been won by other name players including Nathan Buckley, Adam Goodes, Gary Ablett and Scott Pendlebury.
“I’ve given it [the award] no thought during the year, though, and my focus since last Friday has only been on playing well against Freo this week, it’s such an important game for the footy club.
“It’s not possible to win individual awards like these without the help of many people around you, especially your teammates and coaches, and I’ve been really proud to be part of a really committed group at Port Adelaide.
“I’d also like to thank my girlfriend Bel and my family for their support this year, the club and our supporters for the way they’ve made the year so far so enjoyable.”
Gray has played every game of Port Adelaide’s 2014 home-and-away campaign and is on track to play just his second full season, having previously done so in 2011.
His achievement is remarkable considering he severely ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament just over two years ago which saw him miss the majority of the 2012 season and continue through his rehabilitation until the early stages of 2013.
Port Adelaide v Carlton Round 22 AFLCA votes
10 – R Gray (PA)
7 – Hartlett (PA)
7 – Pittard (PA)
3 – Boak (PA)
2 – Jonas (PA)
1 – Neade (PA)
Round 22 AFLCA Champion Player leaderboard
102 – Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide)
95 – Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
83 – Josh Kennedy (Sydney)
80 – Lance Franklin (Sydney)
72 – Gary Ablett (GC), Scott Pendlebury (Coll), Matt Priddis (WCE)
68 – Dyson Heppell (Ess)
65 – Luke Parker (Sydney)
64 – Joel Selwood (Geel)
As published on http://www.portadelaidefc.com.au/