Collingwood co-captain Brianna Davey has joined an elite cohort of Magpies, winning the AFLW Players’ Most Valuable Player Award for her outstanding 2021 campaign.
In a close result, the 26-year-old was voted the MVP by her peers with 319 votes, edging out Fremantle hard-nut Kiara Bowers (313) and the Western Bulldogs’ Ellie Blackburn (214).
In doing so, Davey becomes only the third Magpie to claim an MVP trophy, joining Collingwood champions Darren Millane (1990) and Dane Swan (2010).
After beginning her AFLW career as a defender, Davey, a foundation player who earned the AFLW Players’ Best Captain award in 2019 before crossing to the Magpies for the 2020 season, spent time as a midfielder with bursts inside forward 50 in 2021.
Davey leads the competition in disposals, averaging 23.8 per game this season, and is top 10 for metres gained, contested possessions, clearances, marks, tackles, score involvements and inside 50s.
Davey was presented with her MVP trophy during a special broadcast with Channel 7 program Front Bar on Wednesday night.
Fellow Collingwood co-captain, Steph Chiocci, praised Davey for her outstanding 2021 campaign.
“Bri is resilient and very dedicated to her craft. She’s been tasked with adversity and tough times over the journey through injury, but she’s persevered to piece together this amazing season,” Chiocci said.
“It takes a lot of stop her. I’ve seen her storm through one, two, three tackles and dish the ball out and not many girls can do that. Then you’ll have her smothering the ball, laying a tackle herself and it inspires the girls.”
Also awarded as part of the special broadcast on Wednesday was the Most Courageous, Best Captain and Best First Year Player Awards, presented by Our Watch, The Diamond Guys and KPMG respectively.
Heart-and-soul Adelaide skipper Chelsea Randall re-claimed the Most Courageous Award – her fourth title in five years after winning three-consecutive from 2017-2019 – polling 117 votes ahead of the Western Bulldogs’ Kirsty Lamb (69).
Bulldogs skipper Ellie Blackburn didn’t go home empty-handed despite her third placing in the MVP Award, claiming the Best Captain Award with 86 votes ahead of three-time Best Captain Daisy Pearce (62).
The players also crowned another newcomer, with Richmond’s Ellie McKenzie taking out the Best First Year Player Award. McKenzie, pick one in last year’s draft, polled 137 votes, beating Western Bulldogs’ youngster, and pick two in last year’s draft, Jess Fitzgerald (63).
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).
WINNERS AND TOP POLLING PLAYERS
AFLW Players’ Most Valuable Player
- Brianna Davey, Collingwood – 319 votes
- Kiara Bowers, Fremantle – 313
- Ellie Blackburn, Western Bulldogs – 214
Most Courageous, proudly presented by Our Watch
- Chelsea Randall, Adelaide – 117
- Kirsty Lamb, Western Bulldogs – 69
- Nicola Stevens, Carlton – 27
Best Captain, proudly presented by The Diamond Guys
- Ellie Blackburn, Western Bulldogs – 86
- Daisy Pearce, Melbourne – 62
- Brianna Davey, Collingwood – 44
Best First-Year Player Award, proudly presented by KPMG
- Ellie McKenzie, Richmond – 137
- Jess Fitzgerald, Western Bulldogs – 63
- Courtney Hodder, Brisbane – 56
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 42 players across the 14 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 13 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.