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 Tuck, MichaelMichael Tuck Hawthorn
1987 Kernahan, StephenStephen Kernahan Carlton
1988 Glendinning, RossRoss Glendinning West Coast
1990 Shaw, TonyTony Shaw Collingwood
1992 Roos, PaulPaul Roos Fitzroy
1994 Kernahan, StephenStephen Kernahan Carlton
1995 Carey, WayneWayne Carey North Melbourne
1998 Carey, WayneWayne Carey North Melbourne
1999 Kelly, PaulPaul Kelly Sydney
2000 Carey, WayneWayne Carey Kangaroos
2001 Voss, MichaelMichael Voss Brisbane Lions
2002 Voss, MichaelMichael Voss Brisbane Lions
2003 Voss, MichaelMichael Voss Brisbane Lions
2004 Voss, MichaelMichael Voss Brisbane Lions
2005 Ricciuto, MarkMark Ricciuto Adelaide
2006 Ricciuto, MarkMark Ricciuto Adelaide
2007 Brown, JonathanJonathan Brown Brisbane Lions
2008 Harley, TomTom Harley Geelong
2009 Brown, JonathanJonathan Brown Brisbane Lions
2010 Kirk, BrettBrett Kirk Sydney
2011 Judd, ChrisChris Judd Carlton
2012 Watson, JobeJobe Watson Essendon
2013 Selwood, JoeJoe Selwood Geelong
2014 Hodge, LukeLuke Hodge Hawthorn
2015 Murphy, RobertRobert Murphy Western Bulldogs

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 Brown, GavinGavin Brown Collingwood
1992 Brown, GavinGavin Brown Collingwood
1993 Wanganeen, GavinGavin Wanganeen Essendon
1994 Kelly, PaulPaul Kelly Sydney
1995 Kelly, PaulPaul Kelly Sydney
1996 Kelly, PaulPaul Kelly Sydney
1997 Kelly, PaulPaul Kelly Sydney
1998 Archer, GlennGlenn Archer Kangaroos
1999 Archer, GlennGlenn Archer Kangaroos
2000 Kelly, PaulPaul Kelly Sydney
2001 Voss, MichaelMichael Voss Brisbane Lions
2002 Archer, GlennGlenn Archer Kangaroos
2003 Archer, GlennGlenn Archer Kangaroos
2004 Teague, DavidDavid Teague Carlton
2005 Archer, GlennGlenn Archer Kangaroos
2006 Archer, GlennGlenn Archer Kangaroos
Kirk, BrettBrett Kirk Sydney
2007 Brown, JonathanJonathan Brown Brisbane Lions
2008 Brown, JonathanJonathan Brown Brisbane Lions
2009 Selwood, JoelJoel Selwood Geelong
2010 Hodge, LukeLuke Hodge Hawthorn
2011 Brown, JonathanJonathan Brown Brisbane Lions
2012 Selwood, JoelJoel Selwood Geelong
Waters, BeauBeau Waters West Coast
2013 Selwood, JoelJoel Selwood Geelong
2014 Selwood, JoelJoel Selwood Geelong
2015 Parker, LukeLuke Parker Sydney

Best First Year Player[edit]

Awarded annually since 1998, the Best First Year Player award is awarded to the best adjudged player who is in his first year on an AFL list.[1] The eligibility for the award is different to the AFL's other main award for the best performing young player, the AFL Rising Star, which can be won by any player aged under 21 on January 1 of that year, and who has not played more than ten matches before the start of the season.[2] Michael Barlow, for example, won the award in 2010 but was not eligible for the Rising Star. Brownlow Medallists, Adam Goodes and Chris Judd have both won the award in the past.


Year Player Club
1998 Stevens, NickNick Stevens Port Adelaide
1999 Goodes, AdamAdam Goodes Sydney
2000 Hasleby, PaulPaul Hasleby Fremantle
2001 Kerr, DanielDaniel Kerr West Coast
2002 Judd, ChrisChris Judd West Coast
2003 Wells, DanielDaniel Wells Kangaroos
2004 Davey, AaronAaron Davey Melbourne
2005 Deledio, BrettBrett Deledio Richmond
2006 Murphy, MarcMarc Murphy Carlton
2007 Selwood, JoelJoel Selwood Geelong
2008 Palmer, RhysRhys Palmer Fremantle
2009 Rich, DanielDaniel Rich Brisbane Lions
2010 Barlow, MichaelMichael Barlow Fremantle
2011 Heppell, DysonDyson Heppell Essendon
2012 Cameron, JeremyJeremy Cameron Greater Western Sydney
2013 O'Meara, JaegerJaeger O'Meara Gold Coast
2014 Bontempelli, MarcusMarcus Bontempelli Western Bulldogs
2015 Heeney, IsaacIsaac Heeney Sydney

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 Goodes, AdamAdam Goodes Sydney
2002 Davis, LeonLeon Davis Collingwood
2003 Johncock, GrahamGraham Johncock Adelaide
2004 Wells, DanielDaniel Wells Kangaroos
2005 Davey, AaronAaron Davey Melbourne
2006 Pearce, DanyleDanyle Pearce Port Adelaide
2007 Franklin, LanceLance 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,[4] 2012[5]) 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.[6]

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. ^ AFL Players' Association - Rhys Palmer wins Best First Year Player
  4. ^ "Age footy writer takes award". The Age (Melbourne). September 8, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Age football writer gets award". September 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ Ralph, Jon (September 9, 2008). "Gary Ablett gets the nod". 

External links[edit]