North Melbourne superstar Jasmine Garner has etched her name into footy folklore, by claiming the 2023 AFLW Players’ Most Valuable Player Award, presented by Local Expert, for the second time.
Voted by her peers as the competition’s best in 2023 and 2020, the 29-year-old joins Adelaide and Port Adelaide legend Erin Phillips as the AFLW’s only multiple MVP recipients. Phillips, who retired at the end of season 8, is widely considered the greatest to have played AFLW.
Garner, who also finished runner-up to Monique Conti in Season 7’s award, edged out the Richmond champion for the 2023 trophy, while Chloe Molloy capped off her incredible season in third place.
An AFLW foundation player, Garner averaged 30 disposals, seven tackles, 542 metres gained and a goal per game during the home and away season, playing a vital role in the Kangaroos’ dream run to the Season 8 Grand Final.
The 74-gamer was presented her MVP trophy at a special event in South Melbourne in front of 170 of her peers on Tuesday night.
“I’m honoured to receive the AFLW Players’ MVP Award,” Garner said.
“To be recognised by your peers is a special privilege. These are the players you battle against every week and as the competition continues to go to new levels, this means a lot.”
“Congratulations to all those nominated and the other award winners – they’re all worthy recipients.”
Also awarded as part of celebrations on Tuesday night were the Most Courageous, Best Captain and Best First-Year Player awards, presented by Tackle Your Feelings, The Diamond Guys and KPMG respectively.
Brisbane’s Courtney Hodder ended Chelsea Randall’s strangle-hold on the Most Courageous Player title, edging out the five-time winner as well as Season 6 recipient Kirsty Lamb. In eight seasons, Hodder is only the fourth individual player to be crowned the competition’s bravest.
Following another incredible season for Melbourne, Demons skipper Kate Hore was crowned the competition’s Best Captain, closely followed by Molloy and Essendon’s Bonnie Toogood. Hore becomes the fifth individual Best Captain and second Demon, following Daisy Pearce’s four triumphs across her storied AFLW career.
In one of the best stories to emerge from Season 8, mature-aged recruit Aishling Moloney took out the Best First-Year Player Award, beating Port Adelaide youngster Matilda Scholz. The 25-year-old is the first Irish recruit to win the best rookie title from both AFLW and AFL competitions.
Fremantle youngster Madeleine Scanlon was also awarded the Education and Training Excellence Award, presented by Torrens University Australia, for her commitment to her studies away from the football field.
Consistent with the process to crown the AFL MVP, known as the Leigh Matthews Trophy, the AFLPA’s AFLW members voted to decide the player worthiest of the AFLW Players’ MVP Award (details below).
WINNERS AND TOP POLLING PLAYERS
AFLW Players’ Most Valuable Player, presented by Local Expert
- Jasmine Garner
- Monique Conti
- Chloe Molloy
- Kate Hore
- Ebony Marinoff
Most Courageous, presented by Tackle Your Feelings
- Courtney Hodder
- Chelsea Randall
- Kirsty Lamb
- Brittany Bonnici
- Shelley Heath
Best Captain, presented by The Diamond Guys
- Kate Hore
- Chloe Molloy
- Bonnie Toogood
- Chelsea Randall
- Breanna Koenen
Best First Year Player Award, presented by KPMG
- Aishling Moloney
- Matilda Scholz
- Tanya Kennedy
- Ruby Tripodi
- Aimee Mackin
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, with 54 players across the 18 teams nominated for the award.
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 Best First-Year Player and Most Courageous, with every captain automatically nominated for the Best Captain Award.
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