Dally M 2021: Manly’s Tom Trbojevic Crowned NRL’s Best Player of the Year

Tom Trbojevic swept the NRL's player award to the surprise to the surprise of nobody.

Manly Tom Trbojevic has won the 2021 Dally M Medal at Monday’s awards night in Brisbane, as the National Rugby League’s, (NRL) Player of the Year.

Trbojevic, the most destructive and dominant player in the NRL, though he missed the opening five rounds of the season. He turned the Sea Eagles around to take the side from the bottom of the ladder with one win to a top four finish.

Trbojevic who became the third player in Manly Sea Eagles history behind Cliff Lyons (1990 & 1994) and Matt Orford (2008) to win the award in a record-breaking year.

Trbojevic beat the likes of Nathan Cleary and Cody Walker in the weird Dally M Medal ceremony, having wrapped up the honour with a round still to play.

It was no surprise that he won though the NRL couldn’t get to the last round of the season before announcing Tom Trbojevic as the winner of this year’s award.

Sea Eagles star finished ahead of Penrith’s Nathan Cleary in the medal count to claim the NRL’s highest individual honour at a gala ceremony on Monday night.

By the end of round 24, Trbojevic held an unassailable five-point lead over Nathan Cleary, despite only playing 15 games during the regular season. 

He gathered 35 points, five ahead of Cleary, and South Sydney’s Cody Walker (29) was third in the count.

A Many Sea Eagles NRL player stands with his partner on the red carpet at the Dally M Awards.
Tom Trbojevic pictured with his partner Kristi Wilkinson on the red carpet at the Dally M Awards. Images: Getty imagesC

Sea Eagles Daly Cherry-Evans and Sydney Roosters captain James Tedesco (both 23 points) rounded out the top five.

“I’ll start off by saying what an honour it is to win this award,” Trbojevic said in his award speech. “I was just reading the past winners and to be recognised among that list is pretty special. I don’t think it will ever sink in, he added.

He said that “I’ll start my thank you’s to the NRL and Queensland government, what they’ve done for the past three months has been incredible.” Trbojevic said “to the Manly boys, Dessie (Hasler) and Chez (Daly Cherry-Evans), I couldn’t have done it without you.” He added “this medal is a beneficiary for all your hard work and effort.”

“To the family back home, mum and dad, you know how much I love and miss you. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me over the years and this medal’s on the back of everything you’ve done for me and without you two, I wouldn’t be getting it. So big thank you,” he said.

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