Melbourne’s star midfielder Christian Petracca won the Norm Smith Medal following an inspiring performance in the grand final.
- Petracca racked up 39 disposals, which equalled the grand-final record
- He is the first Demons player to win the Norm Smith Medal
- Petracca is in his seventh season with the Demons
Petracca kicked two goals and equalled the grand-final record for most disposals with 39 (21 kicks and 18 handballs) in the Demons’ 74-point victory over the Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday night.
He also managed nine clearances and posted 896 metres gained and 15 score involvements, as the Demons won their first premiership since 1964.
Petracca got the maximum 15 votes from the five Norm Smith Medal judges.
The 25-year-old is Melbourne’s’ first winner of the North Smith Medal, which was established in 1979 and named after a legend of the club.
“To have invested so much, have sacrificed it with a group of boys … it’s a dream,” Petracca told Channel Seven.
“I’ve dreamt about this success, [the first premiership] in 57 years, it’s a dream come true. I’ve dreamt about this for the club.”
Petracca equalled Simon Black’s record for most disposals in a grand final, which the Brisbane Lions great set in the 2003 season decider.
After kicking the opening goal of the grand final, Petracca produced a brilliant effort to score his second major.
He dribbled the ball from the left-forward pocket in the third quarter as one of the Demons’ seven unanswered goals in the term.
The goal helped the Demons establish a 24-point lead at the final change.
Petracca received three votes from all five judges, with teammate Bayley Fritsch — who kicked six goals — second in voting with 10.
Fellow Demons players Clayton Oliver and Christian Salem also polled votes.
The five judges included two-time winner and Hawthorn premiership captain, Luke Hodge.
Hodge, Gary Ayres (Hawthorn) and Andrew McLeod (Adelaide) have won the medal twice, while Richmond’s Dustin Martin was awarded the honour in all three of Richmond’s premierships in 2017, 2019 and 2020.