Essendon forward Peter Wright has claimed his maiden Crichton Medal as the club’s best and fairest player for the 2022 season. 

The 26-year-old finished on 242 votes, ahead of last year’s Crichton medallist Zach Merrett (230) and utility Matt Guelfi (211), with the prestigious award presented at Crown Palladium on Monday night. 

In his second season at the Bombers, Wright was a key target up forward, kicking 53 goals and claiming the Matthew Lloyd Leading Goal Kicker Award.

Wright’s contested marking ability and accuracy in front of goals made him a dangerous option in attack, scoring multiple goals on 16 occasions and a season-high six goals in the Bombers’ round eight victory over Hawthorn. 

Joining the Bombers from Gold Coast during the 2020 AFL trade period, Wright has quickly become a key leader of the club’s young forward line. 

Three-time Crichton medallist Merrett placed second in the club’s count, despite missing three games with a syndesmosis injury. 

The 26-year-old was expected to miss six weeks but made a remarkable recovery to return for the Bombers’ Anzac Day clash, where Merrett collected an outstanding 36 disposals and produced 24 centre clearances in the 11-point loss. 

The vice-captain was impressive through the Bombers’ midfield, averaging 30.1 disposals, 4.6 clearances and 4.3 tackles per game. 

Guelfi’s breakout season was rewarded with a career-best third-place finish. 

Known as the ultimate competitor, the 25-year-old cemented his position in Essendon’s forward line, kicking 17 goals and bringing immense pressure to the attacking end.  

In recognition of Guelfi’s dedication to his teammates, he was also awarded the McCracken Medal as the player who lived the club’s core values and DNA.


Inspired by the club’s founding family, the McCracken Medal is voted on by all members of the playing group following each match.

Finishing fourth in the Crichton Medal is defender Mason Redman (209), who also claimed the Bruce Heymanson Best Clubman Award and was named the Most Improved Player.

A career-best season for the 25-year-old, Redman was a standout across the Bombers’ backline, averaging 21.2 disposals, 15.6 kicks and 6.2 marks.

Fellow defender Jordan Ridley rounded out the top-five, with the 23-year-old impressing with his composure and reliability in defence.

Jayden Laverde finished sixth in the count and was also awarded the Adam Ramanauskas Most Courageous Player Award.

Nic Martin was recognised for his excellent debut year, being named the Lindsay Griffiths Rising Star, while Sam Draper and Andrew McGrath were awarded the John Kilby Staff and Trainers’ Award.

Essendon’s wheelchair team was also honoured for their impressive season, which saw them make it to the Grand Final.

VWFL captain Louis Rowe announced that he was stepping down from his leadership role after five years.

Rowe was the league’s longest-serving captain and was presented with a gift from Dyson Heppell on behalf of the club in recognition of his contribution to the game and the legacy he has left for future wheelchair football athletes.

In another acknowledgment of Rowe’s impact on the club and broader sport, the club awarded the first-ever Louis Rowe Medal to a development and senior team member who demonstrated composure, selfless attitude, implausible leadership and willpower consistently throughout the season.

The Louis Rowe Development Medal was awarded to captain Ben Milton for his hard-working and caring spirit within the development team and excellent performances, including his best-on-ground game on Anzac Day against Collingwood.

Caleb Logan received the honour for the senior team as recognition for his selfless attitude, commitment and care to his team.

The accolade tops off a fantastic year for Logan, who scored over 100 goals for the year.

2022 Crichton Medal Leaderboard

  1. Peter Wright (242)
  2. Zach Merrett (230)
  3. Matt Guelfi (211)
  4. Mason Redman (209)
  5. Jordan Ridley (191)
  6. Jayden Laverde (180)
  7. Jake Kelly (179)
  8. Nic Martin (164)
  9. Darcy Parish, Dylan Shiel and Nick Hind (155)
  10. Andrew McGrath (141)

2022 Awards

Bruce Heymanson Best Clubman – Mason Redman
Adam Ramanauskas Most Courageous Player – Jayden Laverde
Matthew Lloyd Leading Goalkicker – Peter Wright
Lindsay Griffiths Rising Star – Nic Martin
Most Improved Player – Mason Redman
John Kilby Staff and Trainers’ Award – Sam Draper and Andrew McGrath
McCracken Medal – Matt Guelfi