AFLPA MVP (Leigh Matthews Trophy)

The AFLA MVP is awarded each AFL season by the AFL Player’s Association.

Named in honour of Leigh Matthews, a Hawthorn champion, and Premiership coach with Collingwood and Brisbane who first won the award back in 1982.

The trophy itself was first awarded in 2002, with all previous winners given a retrospective trophy.

The voting is only cast at the end of the season and not on a game by game basis. The award is widely considered the best indicator of the AFL’s best player for a season as it’s voted for by the player themselves.

How is the AFLPA MVP decided?

At the conclusion of each AFL season, each team votes for three players to be considered for selection.

Two weeks into the AFL finals, the AFLPA sends a final voting ballot to all listed AFL players. Players must not vote for their own teammates, and in actual fact the ballots themselves will not list players on their own team. Each player then casts three votes to the player they believes is the best in the competition, two votes to the second-best player, and one vote to the third-best player. 

The votes are tallied, and thereis your AFLPA MVP!

AFLPA MVP Winners List 

Below is a list of AFLPA MVP Award winners throughout history.

Year Player Team
1982 Leigh Matthews Hawthorn
1983 Terry Daniher Essendon
1984 Russell Greene Hawthorn
1985 Greg Williams Geelong
1986 Paul Roos Fitzroy
1987 Tony Lockett St Kilda
1988 Gerard Healy Sydney
1989 Tim Watson Essendon
1990 Darren Millane Collingwood
1991 Jim Stynes Melbourne
1992 Jason Dunstall Hawthorn
1993 Gary Ablett, Sr. Geelong
1994 Greg Williams Carlton
1995 Wayne Carey North Melbourne
1996 Corey McKernan North Melbourne
1997 Robert Harvey St Kilda
1998 Wayne Carey North Melbourne
1999 Shane Crawford Hawthorn
2000 Anthony Koutoufides Carlton
2001 Andrew McLeod Adelaide
2002 Luke Darcy
Michael Voss
Western Bulldogs
Brisbane Lions
2003 Michael Voss Brisbane Lions
2004 Nick Riewoldt St Kilda
2005 Ben Cousins West Coast
2006 Chris Judd West Coast
2007 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2008 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2009 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2010 Dane Swan Collingwood
2011 Chris Judd Carlton
2012 Gary Ablett, Jr. Gold Coast
2013 Gary Ablett, Jr. Gold Coast
2014 Nat Fyfe Fremantle
2015 Nat Fyfe Fremantle
2016 Patrick Dangerfield Geelong
2017 Dustin Martin Richmond

Multiple AFLPA Winners List

Below is a list of players who have won the most AFLPA MVPs Awards and the seasons they won.

Wins Player Team AFLPA MVP 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
Nat Fyfe Fremantle 2014, 2015