North Melbourne’s season has just become a little better with star midfielder Shaun Higgins named the AFL Players’ Association’s Most Valuable Player of the Month in June.
Narrowly getting the nod ahead of Carlton star Patrick Cripps, Higgins received 38 per cent of the players’ vote, with Cripps polling 36 per cent and Collingwood star, and April MVP of the Month, Steele Sidebottom rounding out the top three with 19 per cent.
Highlighting his consistency, Higgins, who collected 30 or more disposals and and kicked five goals in his four outings in June, also polled coaches’ votes in each match, including two best-on-ground performances.
The 30-year-old has now been automatically nominated for the AFLPA MVP Award (Leigh Matthews Trophy) at season’s end alongside other MVP of the Month winners in 2018, Sidebottom and Jack Darling (May).
“Higgins has been integral to North Melbourne’s strong start to 2018, and he is starting to get the recognition for his career-best form,” selection panelist and AFLPA MVP winner Tim Watson said.
“He gathered over 30 disposals in every game in June and is a major reason why the Kangaroos are in the hunt for September.”
However, despite Higgins getting the nod from the players, the slick ball-user only received 29 per cent of the fans’ vote, with Cripps being named the best player in June according to the supporters, registering 38 per cent of their vote.
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A selection of AFLPA MVP winners (Leigh Matthews, Chris Judd, Gerard Healy and Tim Watson) nominate six players they believe to be the best for the month.
Current players will then vote to decide who they believe is the MVP of the Month from the six nominees. The monthly winner is automatically nominated for the end-of-season AFL Players’ MVP Award (Leigh Matthews Trophy).
March/April — Rounds 1-6 — Steele Sidebottom
May — Rounds 7-10 — Jack Darling
June — Rounds 11-15 — Shaun Higgins
July — Rounds 16-19
August — Rounds 20-23