Leigh Matthews Trophy

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The Leigh Matthews Trophy is an annual award given by the AFL Players Association to the Most Valuable Player in the Australian Football League. It is named in honour of Leigh Matthews, who won the first MVP award in 1982, when the league was still known as the Victorian Football League. The trophy was first awarded in 2002, and all previous VFLPA/AFLPA MVPs were retrospectively given the Matthews Trophy in 2005. It is awarded at a special AFLPA Awards ceremony.

The voting procedure for the award is:

  • At the end of the regular season, each team votes for three players (previously two) to be considered for election.
  • Two weeks into the finals, the AFLPA sends a final ballot to all players throughout the league. Players cannot vote for their own teammates; in fact, the ballots sent to each team are redacted to remove that team's nominees. Each player awards three votes to the player he believes is the best in the league, two votes to the second-best, and one vote to the third-best.[1] The leading vote-getter receives the trophy.

Prior to 2011, each player cast a single vote for the award.

The award is roughly analogous to the Brownlow Medal, the traditional "best and fairest" award in the league. However, the voting system is completely different: the Brownlow Medal awards votes on a game-by-game basis, while Leigh Matthews Trophy awards a single vote based on the entire season. In particular, this has meant that key-position players have been more likely to win this award than the Brownlow Medal. For example, Wayne Carey, generally regarded as one of the league's all-time great key position players, never won the Brownlow, but won this honour twice.

The Leigh Matthews Trophy is strictly for the most valuable player, not the best and fairest as is the case with the Brownlow Medal. A league disciplinary suspension, which renders a player ineligible for the Brownlow, does not exclude a player from contention for the Matthews Trophy. In 1996, Corey McKernan finished tied in the Brownlow voting with that season's winners James Hird and Michael Voss, but was disqualified from the Brownlow because of a disciplinary suspension. However, McKernan won the AFLPA MVP award that season.

Winners[edit]

Year Player Team
2014 Nathan Fyfe Fremantle
2013 Gary Ablett, Jr. Gold Coast
2012 Gary Ablett, Jr. Gold Coast
2011 Chris Judd Carlton
2010 Dane Swan Collingwood
2009 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2008 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2007 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2006 Chris Judd West Coast
2005 Ben Cousins West Coast
2004 Nick Riewoldt St Kilda
2003 Michael Voss Brisbane Lions
2002 Luke Darcy
Michael Voss
Western Bulldogs
Brisbane Lions
2001 Andrew McLeod Adelaide
2000 Anthony Koutoufides Carlton
1999 Shane Crawford Hawthorn
1998 Wayne Carey North Melbourne
1997 Robert Harvey St Kilda
1996 Corey McKernan North Melbourne
1995 Wayne Carey North Melbourne
1994 Greg Williams Carlton
1993 Gary Ablett, Sr. Geelong
1992 Jason Dunstall Hawthorn
1991 Jim Stynes Melbourne
1990 Darren Millane Collingwood
1989 Tim Watson Essendon
1988 Gerard Healy Sydney
1987 Tony Lockett St Kilda
1986 Paul Roos Fitzroy
1985 Greg Williams Geelong
1984 Russell Greene Hawthorn
1983 Terry Daniher Essendon
1982 Leigh Matthews Hawthorn

Multiple winners[edit]

The following players have won the Leigh Matthews Trophy multiple times.

Medals Player Team Seasons
5 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong / Gold Coast 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013
2 Greg Williams Geelong / Carlton 1985, 1994
Wayne Carey North Melbourne 1995, 1998
Michael Voss Brisbane Lions 2002, 2003
Chris Judd West Coast / Carlton 2006, 2011

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Evans, Heath (12 Sep 2011). "Judd takes home Players' MVP double". Australian Football League Players' Association. Retrieved 12 Sep 2011. 

External links[edit]