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Best Defensive player: Walla

Simon Conway  October 5, 2017 8:58 PM

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Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti has been named Essendon’s Best Defensive player at the Crichton Medal.

The 24 year old was moved from defence into attack in 2017, but the defensive pressure that was a hallmark of his game in his first season remained.

McDonald-Tipungwuti was ranked fifth in tackles for the Bombers and was the only forward to feature in the top ten at the Club.

“Walla’s took on a pretty big challenge this season in moving into attack,” Essendon Coach John Worsfold said.

“He showed he could play in defence last year but we wanted to see if he could bring that defensive pressure to our forward half and he really delivered on that.

"His tackles and smothers are a key part of that but it’s also the inferred pressure he applies which can really rush opponents and force turnovers that way.

“His form was a big factor in our ability to become one of the top scoring sides in the competition."

McDonald-Tipungwuti played every match in 2017 and booted 34 goals.