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Friday, October 14, 2016 - 1:47 PM by Chris Pike
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AFTER two years straight as runner-up, West Perth captain Jay van Berlo has deservedly broken through to win a second Breckler Medal after being named the Falcons' fairest and best for the 2016 WAFL season on Friday night.

At a glittering dinner to celebrate the 2016 season in the Lakeview Ballroom at Joondalup Resort, the night was capped with van Berlo crowned the Breckler Medal winner as the league fairest and best player.

Having finished runner-up in Breckler Medal voting in each of the last two seasons behind Shane Nelson and Aaron Black, van Berlo now has a second fairest and best award in his career to go with the one he won back in 2008 prior to being drafted into the AFL by the Fremantle Dockers.

West Perth had a strong 2016 season at league level overcoming a slow start of winning just one of the opening four games to end up with a 13-7 record and in third position.

Despite losing both finals to South Fremantle and Peel Thunder, it was a still a campaign with plenty of positives ending up with van Berlo claiming the Breckler Medal as the fairest and best player ahead of state defender Luke Meadows, last year's winner Aaron Black and the ever consistent Rohan Kerr.

While West Perth's reserves and colts teams both missed out on playing finals in 2016, there were plenty of positives with both sides. Mitch Peirce claimed the Roy Ennis Medal as reserves fairest and best with Joel Horgan winning the Dominish Medal as colts fairest and best for 2016.

Van Berlo is now a dual Breckler Medallist and deservedly so after his regularly consistent form over the whole of his decorated 142-game league career.

It all started with the fairest and best win in 2008 that led to his time in the AFL where he played 32 matches before committing back full-time to the Falcons in 2013.

He would be a key player in the premiership of that year and then be co-captain the next two years where he was runner-up in Breckler Medal voting on both occasions.

He assumed sole captaincy in 2016 and had an outstanding season representing Western Australia again in the state game win over Tasmania and ending up averaging over 21 possessions a game with the Falcons. He also was presented with the Players' Player Award.

Van Berlo finished ahead in the Breckler Medal voting of emerging defender Meadows who had a breakout season as one of the best attacking defenders in the WAFL.

His toughness in the contest and ability to set up play with a damaging right boot became a standout.

That saw him play in WA's record 134-point win over Tasmania at Steel Blue Oval and end up runner-up in fairest and best voting while attracting the attention of several AFL clubs along the way.

Last year's Breckler Medallist and the 2014 Sandover Medallist Black had another outstanding season for the Falcons to claim the Ken Ashdown Memorial Award for his third-placing in fairest and best voting.

Kerr had another tremendous season as a damaging and hard-running wingman averaging almost 25 possessions a game. But after 82 matches with the Falcons work commitments mean the 2013 premiership star has had to bid farewell.

Dean Munns made his league debut in Round 5 and became instrumental in West Perth's run to the finals putting the clamps on the opposition's best midfielders. He did a stellar job and was rewarded with both the Cardinals Rising Star and Wayne Dayman Courage Awards for 2016.

Michael Lourey also won the Ray Scott Memorial Award after kicking 39 goals for 2016 while Joe Morrow was presented with the Coaches' Award.

Peirce made his league debut in 2016 having graduated from the colts to play senior football. His form in the reserves as a prolific ball-winning midfielder was tremendous and he won the Roy Ennis Medal as the fairest and best as a result.

He took out the award ahead of Nathan Alexandre and Scott Nelson while Alex Coe received the Coaches' Award.

Joel Horgan was a consistently strong performer for the Falcons' colts right throughout 2016 and he won the Dominish Medal finishing ahead of Oscar Allen and Zac Guadagnin in fairest and best voting.

Allen was also presented with the Jack Appleby Trophy as the most promising player with Horgan also winning the Life Members Award for excellence.

The Past Players and Officials Association Encouragement Award went to Jordan Moore with Kurt Monaghan claiming the Coaches' Award.

It was also an emotional night for Luke Tedesco who officially announced his retirement from WAFL football. Tedesco retires after 152 league games with the Falcons to be a life member as well as a premiership player from 2013 and two years as captain.

As well as presentation for his retirement, Tedesco was presented with the City of Joondalup Best Clubman Award for 2016 along with the Carbone/De Vita Award.

Breckler Medal (Fairest and Best): Jay van Berlo
Runner-up Fairest and Best: Luke Meadows
Ken Ashdown Memorial Award (Third Fairest and Best): Aaron Black
Past Players Award (Fourth Fairest and Best): Rohan Kerr
Cardinals Rising Star: Dean Munns
League Coaches Award: Joe Morrow
City of Joondalup Best Clubman Award: Luke Tedesco
Wayne Dayman Courage Award: Dean Munns
Ray Scott Memorial Award (Leading Goalkicker): Michael Lourey
Players' Player Award: Jay van Berlo

Roy Ennis Medal (Fairest and Best): Mitch Peirce
Runner-up Fairest and Best: Nathan Alexandre
Past Players Award (Third Fairest and Best): Scott Nelson
Reserves Coaches Award: Alex Coe

Dominish Medal (Fairest and Best):
Joel Horgan
Rosa Townsend Award (Runner-up Fairest and Best): Oscar Allen
Past Players Award (Third Fairest and Best): Zac Guadagnin
Jack Appleby Trophy (Most Promising): Oscar Allen
Life Members Award (Award of Excellence): Joel Horgan
Colts Coaches Award: Kurt Monaghan
Past Players Encouragement Award: Jordan Moore

Carbone/De Vita Award:
Luke Tedesco
Ross McMillan Volunteer of the Year: Matt Beilken