Collingwood midfielder Steele Sidebottom’s brilliant start to the season has been endorsed by his peers with the first AFL Players’ MVP of the Month Award for 2018.
Sidebottom was the clear winner of the March-April title, receiving 35 per cent of the players’ vote ahead of Hawthorn ball-winner Tom Mitchell (16 per cent) and Sidebottom’s Collingwood teammate Brodie Grundy (14 per cent).
The 27-year-old’s is averaging 30 disposals, five clearances and one goal per game in the first six rounds of the season. Sidebottom’s 43 disposals, seven tackles and 12 clearances in the Round 4 win over Adelaide has been the pick of his six appearances.
2017 Leigh Matthews Trophy winner Dustin Martin, North Melbourne sharpshooter Ben Brown and Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe were the remaining nominees for the March-April award.
Chris Judd, the 2006 and 2011 MVP winner, believes Sidebottom’s form spike has been a catalyst for Collingwood’s encouraging start to the home and away season.
“Sidebottom’s consistency across the first six rounds has stood out, and makes him a deserving winner,” Judd said.
“He has impacted games with his ball use in the middle of the ground, and has shown great versatility when moving forward at times.”
Sidebottom is now automatically nominated for the end-of-season AFL Players’ Association MVP Award (Leigh Matthews Trophy).
DO YOU AGREE WITH THE PLAYERS? HAVE YOUR SAY!
A selection of AFPA MVP winners (Leigh Matthews, Chris Judd, Gerard Healy and Tim Watson) nominate six players they believe to be the best for the month.
Current players will then vote to decide who they believe is the MVP of the Month from the six nominees. The monthly winner is automatically nominated for the end-of-season AFL Players’ MVP Award (Leigh Matthews Trophy).
March/April — Rounds 1-6 — Steele Sidebottom
May — Rounds 7-10
June — Rounds 11-15
July — Rounds 16-19
August — Rounds 20-23