Fremantle star Andrew Brayshaw has been crowned the 2022 players’ champion, winning the AFL Players’ Association Most Valuable Player award in an 18-year first.
Brayshaw, 22, on Wednesday night became the youngest player since St Kilda’s Nick Riewoldt in 2004 to win the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players’ MVP after an outstanding 2022 campaign for the Dockers.
In other AFLPA awards, Collingwood’s Scott Pendlebury was named Best Captain, Richmond’s Liam Baker won the Robert Rose Most Courageous Award and Magpies young gun Nick Daicos was voted the Best First Year Player.
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In a stunning MVP result, Brayshaw was voted by his peers as the best player in the AFL this season.
Star Melbourne midfielder Clayton Oliver finished second, while Richmond excitement machine Shai Bolton finished third
Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale and Coleman Medallist Jeremy Cameron rounded out the top five.
Brayshaw on Tuesday was also named captain of 22under22 side, becoming the first player to feature in the final team and win the MVP in the same season.
Brayshaw’s older brother, Melbourne defender 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.”
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 — which was released on Sunday night — 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. Players cannot vote for their own teammates in stage two of the process.
The votes are tallied and the player with the highest score wins the honour of MVP.
A similar process is followed for Best First Year Player and Most Courageous, but every captain is automatically nominated for the Best Captain Award.
Pendlebury joined rare company by becoming a multiple winner of the Best Captain Award.
The Magpies skipper took out the honour for the second time in three seasons after winning it in 2020, edging out Geelong champion Joel Selwood and reigning Melbourne premiership captain Max Gawn.
Pendlebury joins Michael Voss (four times), Wayne Carey (three), Mark Ricciuto (two), Jonathan Brown (two) and Taylor Walker (two) as multiple Best Captain recipients.
Baker was awarded the Robert Rose Most Courageous Player — 12 months after he finished third behind St Kilda’s Jack Steele.
The Tigers star finished ahead of Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard and Melbourne’s Jack Viney.
Unsurprisingly, Daicos took out the Best First-Year player ahead of Essendon’s Nic Martin and St Kilda’s Marcus Windhager.
AFLPA AWARDS — WINNERS AND VOTES
Leigh Matthews Trophy for the Most Valuable Player
1. Andrew Brayshaw (Fremantle)
2. Clayton Oliver (Melbourne)
3. Shai Bolton (Richmond)
4. Lachie Neale (Brisbane Lions)
5. Jeremy Cameron (Geelong Cats)
Robert Rose Most Courageous Award
1. Liam Baker (Richmond)
2. Brayden Maynard (Collingwood)
3. Jack Viney (Melbourne)
4. Paddy McCartin (Sydney Swans)
5. Sam Docherty (Carlton)
1. Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
2. Joel Selwood (Geelong Cats)
3. Max Gawn (Melbourne
4. Patrick Cripps (Carlton)
5. Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
Best First Year Player Award
1. Nick Daicos (Collingwood)
2. Nic Martin (Essendon)
3. Marcus Windhager (St Kilda)
4. Joshua Gibcus (Richmond)
5. Jesse Motlop (Carlton)