Jayden Short has capped an outstanding season by claiming the Jack Dyer Medal as Richmond’s best and fairest during its 2020 premiership campaign.
The running defender, who played junior football with Mill Park and under-19s with Bundoora, confirmed his status as one of the AFL’s most improved players to win the award just two days after becoming a dual premiership player.
Short finished second to Dustin Martin in the Norm Smith Medal voting in Richmond’s 31-point grand final win over Geelong, but flipped the script in the best and fairest count – polling 53 votes to finish three ahead of Martin.
Former Eltham junior Nick Vlastuin finished in third place on 49 votes.
Short averaged 19 disposals, five marks, four rebound-50s and three score involvements per match during the 2020 season.
He also had an average of 480 metres gained per game, recording 400+ metres gained in 13 matches this season, a league high.
Short saved arguably his best game of the season for the grand final, where he amassed 25 disposals, 6 tackles and 3 marks. He also finished with 771 metres gained, which was 147 metres more than any other player on the field.
His efforts saw him receive six votes in the Norm Smith Medal voting, which was second only to Martin, who polled a perfect tally of 15 votes.
Overlooked in the 2014 National Draft, Short’s success is a great example of persistence and determination.
Selected with pick No.11 in the 2014 Rookie Draft, he was elevated to Richmond’s senior list in 2016 and has become a vital cog in Richmond’s dynasty across 92 appearances.
An impressive three-goal haul on debut against Collingwood in Round 2, 2016 proved to be first of 16 matches that season.
He added another 16 games the following year but missed selection in Richmond’s 2017 grand final-winning team due to a shoulder injury sustained in Round 18.
Short played every game in 2018 before tasting premiership success in 2019, finishing with 19 disposals and four tackles in the Tigers’ grand final demolition of Greater Western Sydney.
He took his game to another level in 2020 to cement himself in Richmond folklore as a best and fairest winner in a premiership season.
Short is one of eight former NFNL players on Richmond’s list.
Others include triple-premiership captain Trent Cotchin (West Preston-Lakeside and Reservoir), Dylan Grimes (Hurstbridge), Nick Vlastuin (Etlham), Dion Prestia (West Lalor), Josh Caddy (Eltham), Kane Lambert (West Preston-Lakeside) and Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (Fitzroy Stars).