A host of former Leigh Matthews Trophy winners are back in 2018 to select the six most dominant players each month and form the AFL Players’ Association Most Valuable Player of the Month voting platform.
Gerard Healy, Tim Watson, Chris Judd and the man the award was named after, Leigh Matthews, will come together each month to provide a list of players worthy of being voted the best player in each month of the home and away season.
From there, the current players will then vote to decide who they believe is the MVP of the Month from the six nominees, with the monthly winner automatically nominated for the end-of-season AFL Players’ MVP Award.
The six names which occupy the nominees in March/April (the first six rounds of the season) include four midfielders, one ruckman and one forward.
Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood)
Sidebottom has been arguably the most in-form midfielder in the competition, with the 27-year-old rarely wasting a possession. He’s also averaging more than 30 disposals, five clearances and has kicked seven goals in the first six games of the season.
Brodie Grundy (Collingwood)
Grundy has become the best ruckman in the game in 2018. The Magpie is averaging 35 hit-outs per game but it’s his work around the ground that has highlighted his influence, with the 24-year-old averaging 22 disposals and nearly six clearances in each outing so far.
Nathan Fyfe (Fremantle)
Now back to full fitness, Fyfe, according to some pundits, is playing better than his Brownlow Medal winning season three years ago. The Fremantle skipper is averaging 30 disposals, 17 of which are contested, and eight clearances per game in the first six rounds.
Dustin Martin (Richmond)
Last year’s AFLPA MVP award winner seems to be spending more time in the forward half on the ground in 2018 and it hasn’t diluted Martin’s impact. The 26-year-old is averaging 25 disposals, six inside 50s and six clearances and he’s managed to boot 13 goals.
Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn)
There’s been a lot of conjecture about Tom Mitchell’s impact but you can’t deny his ball-winning abilities. Mitchell has averaged 37 disposals and 10 clearances per game in the first six rounds, collecting more than 40 disposals in four of those matches.
Ben Brown (North Melbourne)
The lanky Kangaroo is one of the great footy stories, with his unique goal-kicking routine working wonders in the first month of 2018. After going goalless in Round 1, the Tasmanian product has kicked six, four, five, four and four goals in his last five outings to sit four goals clear on the Coleman Medal table with 23 majors to his name.
Which player do YOU think deserves to be the MVP of the Month? Vote below!
March/April — Rounds 1-6
May — Rounds 7-10
June — Rounds 11-15
July — Rounds 16-19
August — Rounds 20-23