Leigh Matthews Trophy

Leigh Matthews Trophy

Leigh Matthews Trophy

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The Leigh Matthews Trophy is an annual award given by the AFL Players Association to the Most Valuable Player in the Australian Football League. It is named in honour of Leigh Matthews, who won the first MVP award in 1982, when the league was still known as the Victorian Football League. The trophy was first awarded in 2002, and all previous VFLPA/AFLPA MVPs were retrospectively given the Matthews Trophy in 2005. It is awarded at a special AFLPA Awards ceremony.

The voting procedure for the award is:
  • At the end of the regular season, each team votes for two players to be considered for election.
  • Two weeks into the finals, the AFLPA sends a final ballot to all players throughout the league. Players cannot vote for their own teammates; in fact, the ballots sent to each team are redacted to remove that team's nominees. Each player has one vote for the award. The leading vote-getter receives the trophy.


The award is roughly analogous to the Brownlow Medal, the traditional "best and fairest" award in the league. However, "key-position" players have been more likely to win this award than the Brownlow Medal. For example, Wayne Carey, generally regarded as one of the league's all-time greats, never won the Brownlow, but won this honour twice. Also, a league disciplinary suspension has never automatically excluded a player from contention for the Matthews Trophy. In 1996, Corey McKernan finished tied in the Brownlow voting with that season's winners James Hird...
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