Nat Fyfe Voted AFL Players’ MVP

Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe has claimed the AFL Players’ Association Most Value Player award ahead of Gary Ablett and Lance Franklin.

The 22-year-old Fyfe became the youngest winner of Leigh Matthews Trophy since Nick Riewoldt claimed the honour a decade ago, overcoming multiple suspensions to top the tally.

Fyfe amassed 945 votes, well ahead of Ablett (787) and Franklin (428) in the league-wide vote.

“I think it comes as no surprise that Nat has won his first MVP, with the season he has had,” AFLPA president Luke Ball said at Tuesday night’s ceremony attended by 600 guests.

“At just 22 years of age, he’s had a stand-out year and this was rewarded with being named in the All-Australian squad of 40.

“To be recognised by the 800 players who voted showcases just how much value is placed on this award and Nat’s performance this year is a reflection of that.”

The high-flying midfielder remained in Perth to prepare for Saturday night’s do-or-die clash with Port Adelaide rather than travel to Melbourne for the event, and received his award from AFLPA vice-president and Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich.

“It’s extremely humbling and a little bit embarrassing to be honest, when I look at some of the names up there,” Fyfe said after a season in which he averaged a shade under 27 touches and a goal a game.

“I saw first-hand on the weekend how good Josh Kennedy and Lance Franklin are and obviously Gary Ablett, I think everyone still acknowledges he is the best player in the game.

“I’m really grateful for the award. It’s almost the greatest honour you can get, being voted by your peers.”

Brownlow favourites Joel Selwood and Robbie Gray finished eighth and ninth respectively, adding further mystery to the upcoming announcement of the AFL’s most prestigious individual award with Fyfe ineligible due to suspension and Ablett unlikely to poll well enough after missing the back end of the season with a shoulder injury.  

Selwood was awarded ‘most courageous’ while Luke Hodge beat out Selwood and Ablett for ‘best captain’.  

AFL Players’ Association Most Value Player Award

Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)

Gary Ablett (Gold Coast)

Lance Franklin (Sydney Swans)

Dyson Heppell (Essendon)

Josh Kennedy (Sydney Swans)

Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)

Tom Rockliff (Brisbane Lions)

Joel Selwood (Geelong)

Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide)

Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide)

Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images