Woewodin keen to pass on Brownlow baton

Melbourne star Clayton Oliver is one of the favourites to win the 2021 Brownlow Medal.
Melbourne star Clayton Oliver is one of the favourites to win the 2021 Brownlow Medal.

Twenty-one years since the greatest night of his football life, Melbourne's most recent Brownlow Medal winner says he doesn't expect to hold that title for much longer.

Shane Woewodin, who claimed the game's most coveted individual award in 2000, has backed Demons hard nut Clayton Oliver to salute at Sunday night's medal count.

Oliver's teammate Christian Petracca and Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli are also among the leading contenders, with the trio all set to feature in next weekend's grand final.

"All year I've had 'The Bont' as my tip, he's had an exceptional season," Woewodin told AAP.

"But he did quieten off in that last four or five weeks and probably didn't have the influence on games that he had previously.

"Clayton Oliver might pinch it late off him ... but you can probably throw a blanket over about four or five of them that have had big years."

Port Adelaide's Ollie Wines is the favourite with some betting agencies and St Kilda skipper Jack Steele - who tied with Petracca for third behind Lachie Neale and Travis Boak last year - is also in the mix.

Oliver had a huge finish to the home-and-away season, including a clear best-afield display against Geelong in round 23, when he tallied 37 disposals, 26 contested possessions, nine clearances and two goals.

"He had big numbers that night and a big influence on the game, and it might be the performance that gets him over the line," Woewodin said.

"In previous years he hasn't been a player that really impacts more so with his foot and his ability to get forward.

"But he's certainly added another dynamic to his game where he actually can use his legs and kick the ball and hit the scoreboard more now."

In 2000, sporting a famously bleached-blonde head of hair, Woewodin surprised the football world with his Brownlow win ahead of Melbourne's grand final meeting with red-hot Essendon.

The 45-year-old has spoken previously of his regret around how his week unfolded, suggesting contractual obligations with the AFL hindered his preparation for the season decider.

Despite the distractions, Woewodin performed well in a 10-goal loss to the Bombers, gathering 19 disposals before injuring a hamstring.

He has a simple word of advice for Oliver, Petracca and Bontempelli - or even prolific Bulldogs midfielder Jack Macrae - should any of them find themselves in the same position.

"Their preparation shouldn't change," Woewodin said.

"They should do what's best for themselves and how they approach the week is about what they know works best for them."

Australian Associated Press