The most valuable player in the inaugural season of the AFL Women’s competition will be recognised with the AFLW Players’ MVP Award, joining Patrick Dangerfield, Nat Fyfe, Gary Ablett and Leigh Matthews as winners of the AFL Players’ Association’s highest accolade.
Consistent with the process to crown the Leigh Matthews Trophy winner, the AFLPA’s female members will vote to decide the player worthiest of the AFLW Players’ MVP Award in 2017.
AFLW players will also be eligible to win the AFLW Players’ Most Courageous Award and an Education and Training Award for those pursuing study away from the field. All eight AFLW team captains will automatically be in the running to win the AFLW Players’ Best Captain Award.
It’s expected that an AFLW Players’ Best First Year Award will be included for the second season of the competition, ensuring parity with what’s available to the male players.
Award winners will be celebrated at a dedicated event immediately after the AFLW season and alongside their male counterparts at the AFL Players’ MVP Awards in September – an event all AFLW players will be invited to attend.
AFL Players’ Association CEO Paul Marsh said the ‘PA is proud to provide a platform for its female members to recognise who they believe are the outstanding performers in 2017.
“Over the years, we’ve seen winners of the Leigh Matthews Trophy and the other award categories, express how much it means to them to have the respect of their colleagues,” he said.
“There was never any doubt that we would provide the same opportunity for our female members to be honoured with a set of player-voted awards.”
AFL Players’ Association Women’s Football Advisory Committee member and Western Bulldogs recruit, Tiarna Ernst, is thrilled that all AFLW players will have the opportunity receive one of football’s highest individual honours.
“To be voted by your peers as the Most Valuable Player or Most Courageous is what we all strive for – it’s a huge honour,” Ernst said.
“It’s exciting to know we’re going to have a few of our superstar players standing up there next to the male winners in September – how far things have come in one year.”
MVP voting will be a two-stage process, beginning with each player voting for the three teammates she considers to have been the most valuable this season. Each club’s votes are then tallied to form a nomination list comprising 24 players across the eight teams.
In the second round of voting, all players vote for their MVP on a 3, 2, 1 basis from the nominees of the seven 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 will decide the Most Courageous Award, but every captain is automatically nominated for the Best Captain Award. The Education and Training Award will see nominations made by club Player Development Managers and the winner decided through a selection panel.