AFL Canberra: Belconnen Magpies star Beau Walker wins Mulrooney Medal

AFL Canberra: Belconnen Magpies star Beau Walker wins Mulrooney Medal

Belconnen Magpies weapon Beau Walker has been the best player in the competition this season, so imagine what the "big game player" will do in a grand final.

We're about to find out when the Magpies face the Ainslie Tricolours in the AFL Canberra grand final with the newly crowned Mulrooney Medallist running amok in the midfield.

Belconnen's Beau Walker is the 2017 Mulrooney medallist.

Belconnen's Beau Walker is the 2017 Mulrooney medallist.Credit:Elesa Kurtz

Walker was named the Mulrooney Medallist on Monday night with 18 votes - a shattering outcome for Queanbeyan Tigers star Josh Bryce, who also finished with 18 votes but was ineligible due to suspension.

It meant Ainslie's Simon Curtis finished second with 15 votes.


Walker continues a remarkable production line by becoming Belconnen's fifth Mulrooney Medallist in a row, following player-coach James Bennett and Isaac Taylor's victories over the past two years.

After three years as the NEAFL's best and fairest, the Mulrooney Medal was reinstated as AFL Canberra's highest honour ahead of the 2015 season after a one-year hiatus.

Bennett won the award during its NEAFL years in 2013, following in the footsteps of teammate Shane Harris in 2012.

Bennett says his midfielders have a huge task at hand in the decider and expects Walker to play a huge role in the decider at Manuka Oval on Sunday.

"From what I've seen of him over the last couple of years he's been at Belconnen, he's a big game player and really enjoys the challenge," Bennett said.

"He elevated his game last week [in the major semi-final] and that's something we'll be looking for from him again."

Walker played for Queanbeyan in the NEAFL in 2013 before heading back home to country football.

But some connections to the Magpies meant before too long he was playing a starring role at The Nest.

"When he came down and had a chat to us he was really impressed with the direction of the club and everything we had going on," Bennett said.

"Some connections were made and he seems to have loved the place ever since he's been here."

Ainslie are eyeing back-to-back flags while Belconnen are looking to make up for missed opportunities having lost grand finals in 2013 and 2015.

Ainslie's Charlie Boyton won the J. McNamara Medal for best and fairest in the second grade competition, playing a starring role in a second straight undefeated season.

Boyton came through Ainslie's junior system and is looking to add another second grade premiership medallion to his collection against Queanbeyan on Sunday.

Queanbeyan's Harry Grant reaffirmed his status as a player to watch by taking out the T.A. Wharton Medal for the Rising Stars competition.


Gungahlin's Britt Tully rode the wave of momentum from a season with the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the AFLW to claim the Mary Ann Bainrot Medal for the women's best and fairest gong.

Molonglo Juggernauts veteran Simon McPherson claimed a second straight J.P O'Dea Medal to win third grade's best and fairest award, while Goulburn Swans star Bill Reid won the fourth grade gong.

Caden Helmers is a sports reporter for The Canberra Times

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