Phillips claims inaugural AFLW Players' MVP Award

Phillips claims inaugural AFLW Players' MVP Award

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Adelaide Crows premiership co-captain Erin Phillips has capped her remarkable AFLW season with the AFLW Players’ Most Valuable Player Award, proudly presented by The Line.

Phillips claimed the peer-voted award with 204 votes, ahead of star Melbourne midfielder Karen Paxman (149 votes) and the league’s leading goal-kicker, Carlton’s Darcy Vescio (132).

The 31-year-old accepted the MVP trophy at a private awards ceremony at Melbourne’s Siglo restaurant on Monday, before she returns to her basketball duties with the WNBA’s Dallas Wings in the coming weeks.

Phillips, the daughter of Port Adelaide champion Greg Phillips, spoke of the pride she felt from winning the very first AFLW MVP award.

“I’m incredibly humbled to have won this award. To be recognised by your peers is something all athletes hold in high esteem and this is something I will hold very close to my heart for a long time,” Phillips said.

“I’m so proud of what we, as AFLW players, have been able to achieve over the past eight weeks and look forward to what the future holds for all of us as players and aspiring female footballers right across Australia.”


Phillips’ fellow co-captain Chelsea Randall was also recognised at the awards ceremony, with the athletic utility taking out the AFLW Players’ Most Courageous Award, proudly presented by Bob Jane T-Marts.

Randall claimed the title with 80 votes, closely followed by Carlton marquee player Brianna Davey (57 votes) and Greater Western Sydney midfielder Jessica Dal Pos (22 votes).


Melbourne captain and AFLPA board member Daisy Pearce (63 votes) took home the AFLW Players’ Best Captain Award, proudly presented by KPMG, in front of Phillips (30 votes) and Brisbane’s Emma Zielke (27 votes).


AFL Players’ Association CEO Paul Marsh paid tribute to all three winners and described the presentation of an AFLW MVP as a “historic moment” in the AFL Players’ Association’s history.

“Congratulations to Erin, Chelsea and Daisy for their performances throughout the season and earning the recognition of the wider playing group as such worthy winners of these awards,” Marsh said.

“Erin’s ability to have such an impact on the competition off the back of her basketball commitments is testament to her incredible skill, athleticism and toughness.

“Chelsea is the ultimate professional and a big reason why the Crows are premiers, while Daisy’s leadership qualities were obvious long before the AFLW competition arrived.”

Consistent with the process to crown the male MVP, known as the Leigh Matthews Trophy, the AFLPA’s female members voted to decide the player worthiest of the AFLW Players’ MVP Award (details below).

Following Monday’s event, every AFLW player will be invited to the AFL Players’ MVP Awards in September where both male and female award winners will be celebrated.

At this ceremony, an Education and Development Award will be presented to the AFLW player who has best combined their football commitments with study, work placements or career development.

The AFL Players’ Association is the representative body for male and female AFL footballers as well as more than 3000 past players.

Winners and top polling players

AFLW Players’ MVP, proudly presented by The Line

  • Erin Phillips (204)
  • Karen Paxman (149)
  • Darcy Vescio (132)

Most Courageous, proudly presented by Bob Jane T-Marts

  • Chelsea Randall (80)
  • Brianna Davey (57)
  • Jessica Dal Pos (22)

Best Captain, proudly presented by KPMG

  • Daisy Pearce (63)
  • Erin Phillips (30)
  • Emma Zielke (27)

MVP Voting Process

MVP voting is a two-stage process, beginning with each player voting for the three teammates they consider to have been the most valuable this season. Each club’s votes are then tallied to form a nomination list comprising 54 players across the 18 teams.

In the second round of voting, all players vote for their MVP on a 3, 2, 1 basis from the nominees of the 17 other clubs. The votes are tallied and the player with the highest score wins the honour of MVP. Players cannot vote for their own teammates in stage two of the process.

A similar process is followed for Most Courageous, but every captain is automatically nominated for the Best Captain Award.

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