Essendon forward Pat Voss has topped off a consistent 2023 VFL season by winning the club’s R.A. Freeman Medal.

The 20-year-old played in all 18 games this season, averaging five marks per game and booting 30 goals to finish as the team’s leading goal kicker.


An exciting prospect for the Bombers’ future, the 194cm forward was propelled by a rapid start to the season which saw him kick nine goals in the opening two rounds.

Utilised as both a deep option and a higher target up the ground, Voss continued to add layers to his game over the course of the year.


Defender Rhett Montgomerie was rewarded with runner-up honours on the night, capping off a strong campaign which saw him average 18 disposals and eight marks per game.

Captain Billy Cootee left with his hands full, notching awards for third place as well as the Jack Feian Best Clubman Award.

Promising defender Lewis Hayes got the nod for best first year player, capping off a strong debut season.


Joanne Cowan claimed the Steven’s Family Most Valuable Staff Member award for her outstanding commitment to the club.

2023 R.A. Freeman Medal top 10

  • Patrick Voss – 157 votes
  • Rhett Montgomerie – 150 votes
  • Billy Cootee – 139 votes
  • Nick Bryan – 123 votes
  • Joel Fitzgerald – 122 votes
  • Alastair Lord – 121 votes
  • Tom Phillips – 119 votes
  • Lewis Hayes – 115 votes
  • Kaine Baldwin – 110 votes
  • Tex Wanganeen – 106 votes

Essendon 2023 VFL award winners

R.A. Freeman Medal – Patrick Voss

Runner-up best & fairest – Rhett Montgomerie

Third place best & fairest – Billy Cootee

Jack Feian Best Clubman Award – Billy Cootee

Best First Year Player – Lewis Hayes

Leading goal kicker – Patrick Voss

Steven’s Family Most Valuable Staff Member Award – Joanne Cowan