Fremantle champion Matthew Pavlich’s contribution to AFL football, both on and off the field, has been recognised with the 2016 AFL Players’ Association Madden Medal.
The Madden Medal is awarded to the retiring player who has best demonstrated on-field excellence, personal development and growth, as well as community spirit over the course of his playing career.
Pavlich accepted the award from Simon Madden and 2015 Madden Medallist Chris Judd at the AFLPA’s 2017 season launch event in Melbourne on Tuesday night.
“Madden is such an iconic name in the sport. Both Justin and Simon in particular had huge careers and were successful off the field as well – it’s an honour to win the award,” Pavlich told Aflplayers.com.au.
“To be recognised by peers and the people that make up the Players’ Association is pretty significant.
In 353 games with the Dockers, Pavlich was captain for nine seasons and finished his career with six Doig Medals, six All-Australian jumpers and the club’s games record.
He also studied a Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration and has been an AFLPA representative since 2008, leading the entire AFL playing group as president for the past two years, and completed extensive community work.
“My career on the field was very important but I tried to never be defined by results on the field. I wanted to be known for more than just being a footballer,” Pavlich said.
“I like to think that there’s some deeper layers to me than just what I did on the field.”
The medal is decided by vote from the AFL Players’ Association Board, as well as past winners of the award.
Brent Harvey (North Melbourne), Will Minson (Western Bulldogs), Corey Enright (Geelong Cats), Ted Richards (Sydney Swans), Nick Dal Santo (North Melbourne) and Jimmy Bartel (Geelong Cats) were also nominated in 2016.
The Madden Medallist is named after former AFLPA presidents Simon and Justin Madden and was first presented in 2007.
Past winners of the award include Chris Judd, Lenny Hayes, Jude Bolton, Luke Power, Cameron Ling, Brett Kirk, Michael O’Loughlin, Robert Harvey and Glenn Archer.
Thanks to Tissot for providing the 2016 Madden Medallist with a Tissot PRS 516 Automatic watch.