AFLPA Awards

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The AFL Players' Association Awards are a group of awards given annually to players in the Australian Football League, voted for by all AFL players.

Main awards[edit]

The AFLPA nominates the following four awards as their main awards.

Leigh Matthews Trophy[edit]

The Leigh Matthews Trophy has been awarded by the players to the best player of the season annually since 1982. It is the AFLPA equivalent of the Brownlow Medal (voted for by umpires), and a variety of media-sponsored MVP awards. Gary Ablett, Jr. (2007–09, 2012–13) is the only player to win the award five times. Greg Williams (1985, 1994), Wayne Carey (1995, 1998), Michael Voss (2002, 2003) and Chris Judd (2006, 2011) have won the award twice.

Best Captain[edit]

The Best Captain award has been given sporadically since 1986, and annually since 1998. Michael Voss won the award four times from 2001–2004, the most of any player.


Year Player Club
1986 Michael Tuck Hawthorn
1987 Stephen Kernahan Carlton
1988 Ross Glendinning West Coast
1990 Tony Shaw Collingwood
1992 Paul Roos Fitzroy
1994 Stephen Kernahan Carlton
1995 Wayne Carey North Melbourne
1998 Wayne Carey North Melbourne
1999 Paul Kelly Sydney
2000 Wayne Carey Kangaroos
2001 Michael Voss Brisbane Lions
2002 Michael Voss Brisbane Lions
2003 Michael Voss Brisbane Lions
2004 Michael Voss Brisbane Lions
2005 Mark Ricciuto Adelaide
2006 Mark Ricciuto Adelaide
2007 Jonathan Brown Brisbane Lions
2008 Tom Harley Geelong
2009 Jonathan Brown Brisbane Lions
2010 Brett Kirk Sydney
2011 Chris Judd Carlton
2012 Jobe Watson Essendon
2013 Joel Selwood Geelong
2014 Luke Hodge Hawthorn

Robert Rose Award for Most Courageous Player[edit]

Awarded annually since 1991 to the most courageous player in the league. Glenn Archer has won the award most often with six wins, while Paul Kelly won it five times, including four consecutively from 1994–1997. Jonathan Brown won the award in 2007, 2008 and 2011. In 2009, Joel Selwood won the award for the first time, and then won it three consecutive times from 2012–2014.


Year Player Club
1991 Gavin Brown Collingwood
1992 Gavin Brown Collingwood
1993 Gavin Wanganeen Essendon
1994 Paul Kelly Sydney
1995 Paul Kelly Sydney
1996 Paul Kelly Sydney
1997 Paul Kelly Sydney
1998 Glenn Archer Kangaroos
1999 Glenn Archer Kangaroos
2000 Paul Kelly Sydney
2001 Michael Voss Brisbane Lions
2002 Glenn Archer Kangaroos
2003 Glenn Archer Kangaroos
2004 David Teague Carlton
2005 Glenn Archer Kangaroos
2006 Glenn Archer Kangaroos
Brett Kirk Sydney
2007 Jonathan Brown Brisbane Lions
2008 Jonathan Brown Brisbane Lions
2009 Joel Selwood Geelong
2010 Luke Hodge Hawthorn
2011 Jonathan Brown Brisbane Lions
2012 Joel Selwood Geelong
Beau Waters West Coast
2013 Joel Selwood Geelong
2014 Joel Selwood Geelong

Best First Year Player[edit]

Awarded annually since 1998, the Best First Year Player award is the AFLPA equivalent of the AFL Rising Star award, with slightly different eligibility criteria, where the best first year player is awarded to the best adjudged player whom is in their first year on an AFL list,[1] conversely the Rising Star eligibility is for a player who is aged under 21 on January 1st of that year, and who has not played more than ten matches before the start of the season.[2] An example of a winner of the AFLPA best first year player, who was not eligible to win the AFL Rising Star, was Michael Barlow in 2010, as he was 22 on 1 January 2010. Brownlow Medallists, Adam Goodes and Chris Judd have both won the award in the past. Rhys Palmer won the award in 2008 after winning the Rising Star award, Joel Selwood, also an AFL Rising Star won the award in 2007, Marc Murphy in 2006 and Brett Deledio in 2005. Dyson Heppell won the award in 2011 after also being awarded the Rising Star Award.[3]


Year Player Club
1998 Nick Stevens Port Adelaide
1999 Adam Goodes Sydney
2000 Paul Hasleby Fremantle
2001 Daniel Kerr West Coast
2002 Chris Judd West Coast
2003 Daniel Wells Kangaroos
2004 Aaron Davey Melbourne
2005 Brett Deledio Richmond
2006 Marc Murphy Carlton
2007 Joel Selwood Geelong
2008 Rhys Palmer Fremantle
2009 Daniel Rich Brisbane Lions
2010 Michael Barlow Fremantle
2011 Dyson Heppell Essendon
2012 Jeremy Cameron Greater Western Sydney
2013 Jaeger O'Meara Gold Coast
2014 Marcus Bontempelli Western Bulldogs

Other awards[edit]

The following awards are also presented by the AFLPA.

Marn Grook Award[edit]

Named after the indigenous game Marn Grook, the award was presented annually from 2001 to 2007 for the top emerging indigenous player in the game, who must be within their first three seasons of AFL competition. Lance Franklin won the 2007 award.


Year Player Club
2001 Adam Goodes Sydney
2002 Leon Davis Collingwood
2003 Graham Johncock Adelaide
2004 Daniel Wells Kangaroos
2005 Aaron Davey Melbourne
2006 Danyle Pearce Port Adelaide
2007 Lance Franklin Hawthorn

Grant Hattam Trophy[edit]

The Grant Hattam Trophy has been awarded annually since 1999 to best football journalist, as voted by the players. The Herald Sun‍ '​s Mark Robinson (2000, 2002) and The Age‍ '​s Emma Quayle (2009,[5] 2012[6]) are only journalists to have won the award twice. Herald Sun chief football writer Mike Sheahan won the award in 2008 for his article on Simon Goodwin and his gambling addiction.[7]

The Trophy was created in honor and memory of the late Grant Hattam who was a leading sports and media lawyer (with Corrs Chambers Westgarth).

Education and Training Excellence Award[edit]

Given annually since 2001 to the player who displayes the best all-round performance in balancing football with external education and training. Won in 2007 by Collingwood's Shane Wakelin and the Adelaide Crows' Brett Burton.

Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarships[edit]

Awarded annually to young aspiring non-AFL players, attempting to help them balance external study and training with football training. Sixteen players were awarded the scholarships for 2007.


  1. ^ "Who is the AFL's best young gun?". 26 June 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "Who is eligible for the NAB AFL Rising Star award?". (Bigpond). 29 April 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ AFL Players' Association - Rhys Palmer wins Best First Year Player
  5. ^ "Age footy writer takes award". The Age (Melbourne). September 8, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Age football writer gets award". September 12, 2012. 
  7. ^ Ralph, Jon (September 9, 2008). "Gary Ablett gets the nod". 

External links[edit]