Maitland's Isaac Heeney wins AFL Coaches Association’s Best Young Player of 2016

Sydney Swans young gun Isaac Heeney has been named the AFL Coaches Association’s Best Young Player of 2016.

Voted by all 18 senior coaches in the league, including Swans coach John Longmire, Heeney was the resounding winner of the award, receiving 569 votes.

Emerging Melbourne power forward Jesse Hogan (337), Adelaide’s Jake Lever (315), fellow preliminary finalist, Western Bulldogs’ Caleb Daniel (285) and rising Collingwood star Darcy Moore (253) rounded out the top five. 

"Obviously it's pretty humbling," Maitland-raised Heeney told Fox Footy on Tuesday night.

"A bit like last year, obviously the players voted me in as the best first-year player and this year it's the coaches.

"So it's definitely very humbling. To see that Marcus Bontempelli won it last year and where's he's got to in his football already is pretty special. If I can sort of follow along those footsteps it will be something I'll cherish."

The 20-year-old, who played with the Cardiff Hawks and came through theSydney Swans Academy, has been a standout in his second year in the AFL playing 22 games and kicking 27 goals. 

The forward/midfielder is coming off one of his best performances so far where he gathered a career-high 32 disposals and a goal in last Saturday’s crunch semi final against Adelaide. 

Heeney follows in the footsteps of some champions of the game to receive the same award including reigning Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe, four-time premiership player Cyril Rioli and West Coast/Carlton legend Chris Judd, just to name a few.

Previous AFLCA Best Young Player winners

2015 - Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)

2014 - Jaeger O'Meara (Gold Coast)

2013 - Jeremy Cameron (GWS)

2012 - Dyson Heppell (Essendon)

2011 - Nathan Fyfe (Fremantle)

2010 - Stephen Hill (Fremantle)

2009 - Cyril Rioli (Hawthorn)

2008 - Joel Selwood (Geelong)

2007 - Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)

2006 - Ryan Griffen (Western Bulldogs)

2005 - Adam Cooney (Western Bulldogs)

2004 - Daniel Wells (Kangaroos)

2003 - Chris Judd (West Coast)

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