Sensational six goals moves Dusty into pole for the Brownlow Medal

2017 Brownlow Medal winner Dustin Martin scooped the prestigious award for the fairest and best Australian Football League player and he did it in some style, too. The Richmond midfielder was crowned thanks to a record number of votes, with 36 being ten more than surprise winner Matt Priddis three years earlier.

But will the talented 26-year-old be able to hold his ground and be one of a select few stars to double-up on the award, or will we see a new name fight to the front of the queue? The betting makes for interesting reading, giving punters a chance to second-guess how the tally will go this year.

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Source: Super Footy (AFL) via Twitter

Such was Dustin Martin’s victory last year it was to be expected that he’d feature near the head of the betting to defend his honour. Dusty remains one of the game’s biggest stars and he won’t be far from the top step come the final tally, that’s for sure, but winning the Charlie twice requires a level of consistency that has eluded better players than him over the years.

A man used to making and breaking efforts, fans of the sport watched on in amazement as Martin recorded a personal best earlier this year when scoring six goals on a day his side demolished poor old Brisbane 16.14 (110) – 2.5 (17) at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick was obviously pleased with the performance of his ace when speaking to the open-mouthed media at the conclusion of a pulsating match, but he was careful not to make it all about one man, placing emphasis on the importance of team effort and structure.

Hardwick credited his boys’ shape for both the mauling and goal-fest from Martin, picking out the likes of Dion Prestia and Reece Conca, believing both gave the balance in midfield needed to allow the goal hero to surge forward with confidence. Winning matches is a group effort, of course, and we’re beginning to see that Brownlow Medal champions are only as good as the men around them too.

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Source: Super Footy (AFL) via Twitter

Fans, fellow professionals and the media were all impressed and they are not alone as bookmakers fell over themselves to throw their weight behind a Dusty double this year. The Charles Brownlow Trophy betting now has Martin a nailed-on favourite and there’s no more than $4.00 available in the latest AFL odds for him to go all the way. A few more efforts like we saw against Brisbane and we’re certain the price will be cut further still.

Despite what the market would have you believe it’s by no means a foregone conclusion that Martin will do it again as he’s certainly not without his share of competition for the bauble. Tom Mitchell leads the chasing pack and after finishing third last year he’s now a better player. 7/2 has the Hawthorn number three as second-favourite with Patrick Dangerfield completing the medal positions back at 7/1.

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