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Who will be Most Courageous?

The Robert Rose Award for the AFL’s Most Courageous Player, presented by Cancer Council Victoria will be announced tonight at the 2014 AFL Players’ MVP Awards.

Selected by his peers, the Most Courageous Player is an accolade that recognises not only skill, but leadership, courage, composure and above all, respect for his teammates and competitors.

Past winners of the Robert Rose Most Courageous award include six time winner, Glenn Archer, five time winner Paul Kelly, recently retired Jonathan Brown and Geelong’s Joel Selwood.

Geelong’s Joel Selwood typifies the courage a midfielder needs to succeed at the top. The Cats’ two-time premiership winning skipper will be aiming for a third consecutive Robert Rose Award, and fourth overall, at the AFL Players’ MVP Awards tomorrow tonight and is a standout among a group of worthy winners.

The back-end of this season bade farewell to 2014 nominee and ever-courageous former Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell and three-time Robert Rose Award winner, Jonathan Brown.

The big forward’s career featured an incredible number of courageous acts. Brown was known to put his body on the line for a big mark in the forward 50 whenever it was required, despite coming off worse for wear on more than a few occasions – there may never be another forward like the Lions champion.

Being recognised by your peers for your courageous acts has been highly significant for every winner in the past.

The 1993 Award winner, Gavin Wanganeen, appeared on Fox Footy’s Open Mike last week and spoke about what winning the award meant to him. In what was an amazing year for Wanganeen who was just 20 years of age at the time, he also won the premiership with the Bombers and the Brownlow Medal but the peer-voted accolade stood out.

“The Courageous Player Award is pretty special to me,” said Wanganeen.

“I think I was the only other player to have won it because while I was playing – Glenn Archer seemed to always win it.”

Six-time winner of the award Glenn Archer is exactly what this award is about.  Aside the glamorous names of Rory Sloane, Kade Simpson, Selwood, and Luke Hodge on this year’s shortlist, there’s room for the hard-at-it players who are recognised for doing anything for their side on the football field, similar to the former-Kangaroo.

Inside midfielders are a popular choice among the competition. The AFL’s leading possession-getter in 2014, Eagle Matt Priddis earned himself a nomination for his hunger at the bottom of a contest and is accompanied by the emerging Levi Greenwood and a couple of stars from the leagues’ young sides in the Giants’ Callan Ward and Suns midfielder David Swallow.

Both the consecutively-nominated Sloane and Fremantle’s Lee Spurr have been nominated for the competition’s Mark of the Year in 2014 with highly-courageous grabs which aren’t too dissimilar.

Though for every mark or tackle which entrenches itself in highlight packages for years to come, there’s an unheralded key passage of play to match. They often go unnoticed by the supporting public or the trained eyes of a commentary team, but the teammates of Brisbane Lions defender Joel Patfull, St Kilda’s Sean Dempster, Western Bulldogs’ Dale Morris and Melbourne’s Daniel Cross have importantly recognised their colleagues’ contribution.

Completing the list are five more regularly courageous performers who are hell-bent on playing a key role for his side in Swans utility Ben McGlynn, versatile Dogs backmen Dale Morris, young Essendon gun Patrick Ambrose and Power defender Tom Logan. Star Tiger full-back Alex Rance won plaudits for his role in the Tigers’ charge to September and while his spoiling is a key feature of his game, he proved he’s also a strong tackler when it matters most.

The winner of the 2014 Robert Rose Award for the AFL’s Most Courageous Player will be announced at the AFL Players’ MVP Awards night on Tuesday September 9th. Fox Footy will be broadcasting the night live from 8:30pm.