Andrew Brayshaw has become the youngest player in nearly two decades to receive the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players’ Most Valuable Player, presented by Snaffle, for his outstanding 2022 season with Fremantle.
The 22-year-old was voted ahead of Melbourne midfielder Clayton Oliver and Richmond excitement machine Shai Bolton by his peers to become the youngest MVP winner since Nick Riewoldt claimed the trophy in 2004.
Brayshaw finished the AFL home and away season ranked sixth overall for disposals, fifth for tackles and fourth for uncontested possessions. He averaged 29 disposals and six tackles a game in 2022 and is regarded as one of the hardest working midfielders in the competition. On Tuesday, Brayshaw was also named captain of this season’s AFLPA 22Under22 side, becoming the first player to feature in the final team and win the MVP in the same season.
The Dockers midfielder received the MVP in front of family and friends at an industry wide event at Melbourne Olympic Park’s Centrepiece that incorporated the AFLPA MVP Awards, AFL Rising Star and All-Australian team, and AFL Coaches Association Awards.
Brayshaw’s brother, and Melbourne opponent, Angus Brayshaw congratulated his younger sibling on the achievement.
“I’m incredibly proud of Andrew to be recognised by his peers as the Most Valuable Player in the competition and anyone who has watched him this year would agree that he is a worthy recipient,” Angus said.
“The first of many awards to come over his career I’m sure of it.”
Earlier in the evening, Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury joined rare company by becoming a two-time winner of the Best Captain Award, presented by The Diamond Guys, edging out Geelong champion Joel Selwood and flag-winning Melbourne captain Max Gawn. Pendlebury joins Wayne Carey (1995, 1998 and 2000), Michael Voss (2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004), Mark Ricciuto (2005 and 2006), Jonathan Brown (2007 and 2009) and Taylor Walker (2016 and 2017) as multiple Best Captain recipients.
After finishing in third place last year, Richmond hard nut Liam Baker was awarded the Robert Rose Most Courageous Player, presented by Tackle Your Feelings, ahead of Brayden Maynard and Jack Viney. And in a season where his teammates voted him as one of their three MVP nominees, Collingwood youngster Nick Daicos was crowned the Best First-Year player, presented by Local Expert, edging out Nic Martin and Marcus Windhager.
Forrmer Brisbane Lions and Essendon player Tom Cutler was also presented the Education and Training Excellence Award, presented by Torrens University Australia, for his commitment to his studies away from the football field, while Channel 7’s Thursday Night Football took out the Grant Hattam Award for Excellence in Sports Journalism, presented by Thomson Geer Lawyers, for their interview with inspirational Carlton defender Sam Docherty on his return to the football field.
Leigh Matthews Trophy for the Most Valuable Player, presented by Snaffle
1 – Andrew Brayshaw
2 – Clayton Oliver
3 – Shai Bolton
4 – Lachie Neale
5 – Jeremy Cameron
Robert Rose Most Courageous Award, presented by Tackle Your Feelings
1 – Liam Baker
2 – Brayden Maynard
3 – Jack Viney
4 – Paddy McCartin
5 – Sam Docherty
Best First Year Player Award, presented by Local Expert
1 – Nick Daicos
2 – Nic Martin
3 – Marcus Windhager
4 – Joshua Gibcus
5 – Jesse Motlop
Best Captain, presented by The Diamond Guys
1 – Scott Pendlebury
2 – Joel Selwood
3 – Max Gawn
4 – Patrick Cripps
5 – Marcus Bontempelli
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 54 players across the 18 teams.
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, but every captain is automatically nominated for the Best Captain Award.