Great Western Sydney Giants midfielder Courtney Gum has been rewarded for her outstanding debut AFLW season with the AFLW Players’ Most Valuable Player Award, proudly presented by Gloria Jean’s.
The 36-year-old was voted the clear winner by her peers with 219 votes, ahead of 2017 MVP runner-up Karen Paxman on 150 votes and Adelaide Crows co-captain Chelsea Randall on 128 votes.
Gum, who was overlooked in the inaugural AFLW draft and temporarily left her young family and physiotherapy business in Adelaide to join GWS for the AFLW season, accepted the MVP trophy at an awards ceremony at Melbourne’s Stokehouse restaurant on Monday.
“This is just something I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams — who would have thought I’d be here after missing out on the draft last year,” Gum said.
“I am incredibly humbled to have my fellow teammates and competitors see me as the most valuable player in the league — we obviously don’t play the game for these personal accolades but this an absolute honour.
“This season with the Giants has just been a fantastic experience and it’s such an exciting time for women’s football — we have some brilliant young talent coming through the AFLW ranks and the future is looking very bright.”
The ceremony also saw the inaugural Best First Year Player Award, presented by The Line, go to Collingwood young gun Chloe Molloy (84 votes).
Molloy only just edged out the MVP Courtney Gum (79 votes) who was well clear of Brisbane’s Sophie Conway on 10 votes.
For the second year running, Adelaide Crows co-captain Chelsea Randall took out the AFLW Players’ Most Courageous Award, proudly presented by Vifor Pharma (90 votes) ahead of Gum again on 35 votes and Carlton’s Katie Loynes (33 votes).
Also winning an award category for the second consecutive year was Melbourne captain and AFLPA board member Daisy Pearce, who won the AFLW Players’ Best Captain Award, proudly presented by KPMG.
Pearce claimed the title ahead of GWS Giants captain Amanda Farrugia (47 votes) and Carlton’s Brianna Davey (42 votes).
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 4000 past players.
WINNERS AND TOP POLLING PLAYERS
AFLW Players’ MVP, proudly presented by Gloria Jean’s
- Courtney Gum, GWS Giants — 219
- Karen Paxman, Melbourne Demons — 150
- Chelsea Randall, Adelaide Crows — 128
AFLW Players’ Best First Year Player Award, proudly presented by The Line
- Chloe Molloy, Collingwood Magpies — 84
- Courtney Gum, GWS Giants — 79
- Sophie Conway, Brisbane Lions — 10
Most Courageous, proudly presented by Vifor Pharma
- Chelsea Randall, Adelaide Crows — 90
- Courtney Gum, GWS Giants — 35
- Katie Loynes, Carlton Blues — 33
Best Captain, proudly presented by KPMG
- Daisy Pearce, Melbourne Demons — 55
- Amanda Farrugia, GWS Giants — 47
- Brianna Davey, Carlton Blues — 42
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 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 is followed for Best First Year Player, Most Courageous, but every captain is automatically nominated for the Best Captain Award.