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6. Major AFL and AFLW Awards

With most awards, we include a list of winners. For several of the longest running awards, where there is a list at Wikipedia, we include a link to that list. Additions and suggestions welcome. With the exception of annual listings of club champions, we don't list every award at every AFL club but focus on the wider AFL / AFLW / football awards.

The Brownlow Medal

The Charles Brownlow Trophy was instituted in 1924 for the "Fairest and Best" player in the VFL (Victorian Football League) home and away season. The trophy itself is an ornate lacquered medallion, no larger than an American silver dollar coin. It has been awarded every year since its inception, excluding 1942 through 1945 (due to World War II). It is considered to be the equivalent of the "MVP" in American sports and the highest individual award in Australian football. (See the separate section on the Players Association MVP award.)

The medal is named in memory of Charles Brownlow (1862-1924), who served both the Geelong Football Club and the old VFA/VFL for over forty years. A jeweler and watchmaker by trade, he played with Geelong in the VFA prior to the formation of the breakaway VFL in 1896. After his retirement as a player, he coached the club and was later appointed secretary of the Geelong Football Club. Many committee meetings were held in his shop after hours. For many years, the VFL was run not by an independent commission, but rather by club officials appointed to various roles on a VFL committee. Brownlow once served as vice president of the VFL while still on Geelong's committee and filled in as president from 1917 to 1919 when O. M. Williams stepped down from the position. Brownlow fell ill in 1923 and passed away in January, 1924. After his death, the medal named for him was created, and the inaugural winner in 1924 was Geelong's Edward "Carji" Greeves.

  • The medal is awarded as follows: the field umpires in consultation after each game award six votes; three votes to the best player, two to the second best and one to the third best. These votes are collected and kept by the AFL until the week before the Grand Final. The award ceremony is a huge black-tie dinner affair with players and their wives, girlfriends, partners, dignitaries, dressed to the nines. The whole affair is televised with the votes being counted round by round. The player gaining the most votes from the season is awarded the Brownlow Medal. Players who are suspended during the season can still receive votes, but are ineligible to win the award.
    Two examples of this are:

  • In 1996, Brisbane's Michael Voss, North Melbourne's Corey McKernan, and Essendon's James Hird tied for the medal, but McKernan was ineligible due to an early season one-game suspension for tripping.

  • In 1997, Bulldog Chris Grant polled 1 vote more than St. Kilda's Robert Harvey, but was also ineligible due to suspension, and Harvey won by default.

Should two or more players have the same number of votes then two or more medals are awarded. This replaced a "count back" system used from 1931 to 1981, in which ties were broken by counting numbers of "three" votes among the tied players, then "two" votes, etc.

In 1980, the count back system was scrapped, and retrospective medals were awarded to all players who had lost under the old system.

The 2023 Brownlow Medal was won by Lachie Neale from Brisbane, tallying 31 votes. It was his second (previous 2020) and decided by the votes for Round 24. He won by a margin of two votes over Marcus Bontempelli and three over Nick Daicos. A complete list of winners is at Wikipedia.


The John Coleman Medal

The Coleman Medal was instituted in 1981, and is awarded to the player who kicks the most goals during the home and away season. The medal honors John Coleman, a spectacular forward player for Essendon (and later a dual premiership coach of the same club), who many feel would have been the game's greatest ever player had a knee injury not prematurely ended his career after just 4 1/2 years. Coleman kicked 537 goals in only 98 games. In 2004, it was decided to award retrospective medals to the leading goalkickers from 1955 (a year after Coleman's retirement) to 1980.

Tony Lockett won a record four Coleman Medals. He won his first two as a member of St. Kilda in 1987 and 1991, and followed up with two more in 1996 and 1998 with Sydney. Hawthorn's Jason Dunstall won it three times in 1988, 1989, and 1992, as did Geelong great Gary Ablett Sr., picking up three medals in a row from 1993 through 1995.

Since the year 2000, three more players have won three Coleman Medals each. Essendon's Matthew Lloyd picked up the honors in 2000, 2001, and 2003, while Lance Franklin won his Coleman Medals in 2008 and 2011 with Hawthorn and with Sydney in 2014, and Jack Riewoldt in 2010, 2012, and 2018.

The 2023 Coleman Medal winner was Carlton's Charlie Curnow for the second consecutive year, who kicked 77 goals in the home and away season. It was his second Coleman Medal. It was third straight year that the winner was from Carlton and Curnow is the 28th multiple winner. There is a complete list of winners at Wikipedia.


The Norm Smith Medal

The Norm Smith Medal is awarded to the player voted best-on-ground during that season's Grand Final. Norm Smith was a player (and later coach) for Melbourne and Fitzroy, in addition to another coaching stint at South Melbourne. He coached Melbourne to an incredible six Premierships between 1955 and 1964. The Medal was first instituted in 1979.

In 2001, retrospective Norm Smith Medals were awarded to the Grand Final best-on-ground players from 1965 to 1978. A panel from the football publication AFL Record was selected to determine the winners. There were no medals awarded prior to 1965 due to a lack of Grand Final video footage from earlier years. In a way, it is fitting as 1964 was Melbourne's last premiership prior to 2021 and won under the coaching of Norm Smith. 

Bobby Hill (Collingwood) was the 2023 Norm Smith Medal winner. It was his first. Three players have won twice, and one (Dustin Martin) has won three times. A full list of winners is on Wikipedia.


The Sandover and Magarey Medals

The Sandover and Magarey Medals are the equivalent "Fairest and Best" medals from the West Australian Football League (WAFL) and the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) competitions.

Hamish Brayshaw (East Perth Football Club) won the 2023 Sandover Medal, earning 26 votes. He is the first player from East Perth to win the award since 2001. It was his first. There is a list of past winners at Wikipedia.

Notable VFL/AFL players who won the Sandover Medal:
Hayden Bunton Sr (1938-39, 1941, Fitzroy), Graham "Polly" Farmer (1956-57, 1960, Geelong), Barry Cable (1964, 1973, North Melbourne), John Ironmonger (1983, Fitzroy), Steve Malaxos (1984, Hawthorn & West Coast), Mark Bairstow (1986, Geelong), Ryan Turnbull (2001, West Coast), Jaxon Crabb (2005, West Coast), Matt Priddis (2006, West Coast), Hayden Ballantyne (2008, Fremantle), Kane Mitchell (2012, Port Adelaide). Ironmonger later played in and contributed to footy in the United States.

The Magarey Medal for 2023 was won by Harry Grant (Central District), compiling 27 votes. It was his first. There is a list of past winners at Wikipedia.

A number of Magarey Medalists also played AFL football:
Malcolm Blight (won 1972, played for Kangaroos), Tony McGuinness (1982, Adelaide Crows), John Platten (1984, Hawthorn), Greg Anderson (1986, Essendon & Adelaide), Andrew Jarman (1987 & 1997, Adelaide), Gilbert McAdam (1989, St Kilda & Brisbane), Scott Hodges (1990, Adelaide), Nathan Buckley (1992, Brisbane & Collingwood), Josh Francou (1996, Port Adelaide), Ryan O'Connor (2001, Essendon & Sydney), Matt Thomas (2013, Richmond).


The Dr. William C. McClelland Trophy

The McClelland Trophy was inaugurated in 1951 for the top VFL club during the "home and away" portion of the season. It was awarded to the club accumulating the highest number of points over three levels of competition (Senior, Reserves and Under-19). This was maintained until 1990, when the move to a one team national competition in the AFL was undertaken. The McClelland Trophy is now awarded to the AFL Minor Premier (the team finishing on top of the ladder after the home and away season.) The trophy was instituted to recognize the service of Dr. McClelland as a player, captain, club delegate for Melbourne, president of the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), and as VFL President from 1926 to 1955.

The Collingwood Magpies won the old formula McClelland Trophy in 2023, finishing the home and away season on top of the ladder with 18 wins (72 points) from 23 matches. They finished ahead of Brisbane, Port Adelaide, and Melbourne -- with 17, 17, and 16 wins respectively. Collingwood will be the "number one seed" in the finals. There is a complete list of past winners at Wikipedia.

Beginning in 2023, the new formula McClelland Trophy will now be a combined award of the results of the men's and women's competitions for that year and go to the "Champion Club". The award will be determined by assessing 4 points for a win, and 2 for a draw for the men and 8 points for a win and 4 points for a draw for the women and adding the totals for each club across the year. In addition, the club with the most points will receive A$1 million to be shared by the players and the club. Melbourne won the first trophy under this format for the combined success of the AFL and AFLW sides. 


State Of Origin Football

State of Origin Football was instituted in 1977. Games between the different Australian states had been played since the early origins of football; however, the situation arose where the VFL had acquired many of the star players from other states, as these players were attracted to Victorian teams and their higher salaries. State of Origin was born out of the intense interstate rivalries and allowed footballers to play for their "home" state. The last official State of Origin match was played in 1999, though some one-off exhibition matches have been held since. The series died in the AFL due to lack of interest among the players who were concerned about extending the season and risk of injury. Public interest also tended to wane a bit toward the end. The series had scheduling issues concerning when it would be held (during, after, or before the season) and conflicts when the International Series between the AFL and GAA (Ireland) resumed for a time. 

Players were allowed to come from anywhere in Australia to play for their home state, as opposed to the previous system, where the State team was chosen from the players in the respective state league, regardless of where the player originally came from. This now meant that Western Australia and South Australia could challenge Victoria to interstate football games and field their best players, who were likely to be playing over in the VFL.

The definition of where a player's home state was changed from year to year, meaning some players were forced to play for different states according to the rule changes (where you were born, where you played your first Senior football game, where you were at age 16, etc.) This was seen to undermine the credibility of State of Origin Football. An additional factor was the creation of the National Competition, where Western Australia and South Australia, the two main instigators of State of Origin football, were seen to have had compiled their State of Origin teams from only the Adelaide and West Coast football clubs (an altogether incorrect idea, however).

In its prime, State of Origin football saw games of the highest quality played in front of large crowds. It was similar in structure to an All-Star Game.

In 1995, the AFL, wishing to regenerate enthusiasm for State of Origin Football, set one weekend aside during the middle of the season for two State of Origin Games. These involved Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and a composite "rest of Australia" side known as the Allies, which allowed some of the stars not originating from the "Big Three" footballing states to play at that level in a legitimate way (as opposed to playing for one of the Big Three or missing out altogether).

To qualify for a state team, a player had to have lived in and played the majority of his junior career in that state. Five medals could be awarded during a State of Origin game.

  • The EJ Whitten Medal - Awarded to the best Victorian player in a State of Origin match.

  • The Simpson Medal - Fairest and Best in a West Australian Football League Grand Final, or the best player in an interstate game in Western Australia.

  • The Fos Williams Medal - Awarded to the best South Australian player in a State of Origin match.

  • The Graham Moss Medal - Awarded to the best Western Australian player in a State of Origin match.

  • The Alex Jesaulenko Medal - Awarded to the best Allies player in a State of Origin match.

    Ted "EJ" Whitten was a champion player for Footscray (now the Western Bulldogs). A gregarious character, he was a great backer of state footy, and enjoyed engaging in matches with bitter rival South Australia.

    Dr. Fred Simpson, along with his family, first donated the medal in 1945.

    Fos Williams was an icon of South Australian football for the Port Adelaide Magpies, which still exist today in the SANFL.

    Graham Moss was a fine ruckman for Claremont in Western Australia as well as for Essendon.

    Alex Jesaulenko was a Carlton champion, who is best remembered for the towering mark he took in the 1970 Grand Final win over Collingwood. He also coached both Carlton and St. Kilda.

In 1999, the last official State of Origin game involving AFL players was played between Victoria and South Australia.

On May 29th, 1999 at the MCG in Melbourne:

Victoria "Big V" 5.3 11.9 13.12 17.19 121
South Australia "Croweaters" 4.1 7.2 10.5 10.7 67

E. J. Whitten Medalist: Brent Harvey (Kangaroos)
Fos Williams Medalist: Andrew McKay (Carlton)

Coach: Robert Walls
Backs: Justin Leppitsch (Brisbane), Stephen Silvagni (Carlton), David King (Kangaroos)
Half-backs: Rohan Smith (Bulldogs), Anthony Koutoufides (Carlton), Wayne Campbell (Richmond)
Centers: Scott West (Bulldogs), Brett Ratten (Carlton), Peter Riccardi (Adelaide)
Half-forwards: Brad Johnson (Bulldogs), David Schwarz (Melbourne), Chris Grant (Bulldogs)
Forwards: Nigel Lappin (Brisbane), Matthew Lloyd (Essendon), Andrew Thompson (St. Kilda)
Followers: Peter Everitt (St. Kilda), Garry Hocking (c)(Adelaide), Nathan Burke (St. Kilda)
Interchange: Brent Harvey (Kangaroos), Angelo Lekkas (Hawthorn), Andrew Leoncelli (Hawthorn), Matthew Allan (Carlton), Trent Croad (Hawthorn), Chad Morrison (West Coast)
Emergencies: Jeff White (Melbourne), Ben Graham (Geelong), Tim McGrath (Geelong)

South Australia:
Coach: Graham Cornes
Backs: Brett James (Adelaide), Sean Wellman (Adelaide), Ben Hart (Adelaide)
Half-backs: Mark Ricciuto (Adelaide), Darren Mead (Port Adelaide), Byron Pickett (Kangaroos)
Centers: Craig Bradley (c)(Carlton), Todd Viney (Melbourne), Craig McRae (Brisbane)
Half-forwards: Scott Camporeale (Carlton), Matthew Robran (Adelaide), Nick Daffy (Richmond)
Forwards: Warren Tredrea (Port Adelaide), Luke Darcy (Bulldogs), Josh Francou (Port Adelaide)
Followers: Matthew Clarke (Adelaide), Nigel Smart (Adelaide), Matthew Rogers (Adelaide)
Interchange: Nick Holland (Hawthorn), David Pittman (Adelaide), Darryl Wakelin (St. Kilda), Tyson Edwards(Adelaide), Peter Burgoyne(Port Adelaide), Andrew McKay (Carlton)
Emergencies: Matthew Nicks (Sydney), Anthony Ingerson (Melbourne), Brenton Sanderson (Geelong)

An annual charity All-Star Game, called the E.J. Whitten Legends Game, has been held since 1996. Retired players along with non-football celebrities play a State of Origin game. Representatives of Victoria play on one squad, while the rest of the Australian states are assembled on another team.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Australian Football, a special Hall of Fame Tribute Match between Victoria and a Dream Team (made from the other Australian states) was played on May 10, 2008.


The All-Australian Team

Since 1991, the All-Australian Team has been comprised of the 18 best players in the AFL (by position). In addition, three interchange players and a coach of the year are selected. It is determined by a panel after the home and away season. Unlike the Brownlow Medal, players that have been reported and found guilty are still eligible to be included in the team.

All-Australian selections for 2023 were:

Defenders:  James Sicily (Hawthorn) Callum Wilkie (St Kilda) Tom Stewart (Geelong)
  Jack Sinclair (St Kilda) Darcy Moore (Collingwood) Dan Houston (Port Adelaide)
Mid-Fielders: Errol Gulden (Sydney) Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs) * Josh Daicos (Collingwood)
  Tim English (Western Bulldogs) Zak Butters (Port Adelaide) Nick Daicos (Collingwood)
Forwards: Connor Rozee (Port Adelaide) Taylor Walker (Adelaide) Christian Petracca (Melbourne)
  Charlie Cameron (Brisbane) Charlie Curnow (Carlton) Toby Greene (GWS) **
Interchange: Jordan Dawson (Adelaide) Nick Larkey (North Melbourne) Caleb Serong (Fremantle)
  Zack Merrett (Essendon)    
    *vice-captain **captain

Since the 1980s, an Australian team took on Ireland in a hybrid rules game, using elements of both Aussie Rules and Gaelic Football, with the round Gaelic football being used during play. Beginning in 1998, it was played on a yearly basis (with the exception of 2007, 2009, and 2012), with the two countries alternating annually as hosts. The series was interrupted by the pandemic.

For 1999, the Players Association (AFLPA) selected a "team of the last 25 years." Those honored were:

Backs: Gary Ayres (Hawthorn) Stephen Silvagni (Carlton) Guy McKenna (West Coast)
Halfbacks: Bruce Doul (Carlton)l Peter Knights (Hawthorn) Francis Bourke (Richmond)
Centers: Robert Flower (Melbourne) Greg Williams (Carlton) Keith Greig (Kangaroos)
Half forwards: Gary Ablett (Geelong) Wayne Carey (Kangaroos/Adelaide) Malcolm Blight (Kangaroos)
Forwards: Dermott Brereton (Hawthorn) Tony Lockett (St. Kilda/Sydney) Kevin Bartlett (Richmond)
Followers: Simon Madden (Carlton) Robert Harvey (St. Kilda) Leigh Matthews (Hawthorn)
Interchange: Shaun Rehn (Adelaide)  Wayne Schimmelbusch (Kangaroos) Nathan Buckley (Collingwood)
  Michael Tuck (Hawthorn)    
Coach: David Parkin (Carlton)    
Captain: Leigh Matthews (Hawthorn)    



The AFL Players Association has its own "Most Valuable Player" or MVP Award is given out each year and voted on by the players. The award was first given out in 1982 and annually since then. Gary Ablett, Jr. has won the award five times. No one else has won more than twice.

Year Player Club
1982 Leigh Matthews Hawthorn
1983 Terry Daniher Essendon
1984 Russell Greene Hawthorn
1985 Greg Williams Geelong
1986 Paul Roos Fitzroy
1987 Tony Lockett St Kilda
1988 Gerard Healy Sydney
1989 Tim Watson Essendon
1990 Darren Millane Collingwood
1991 Jim Stynes Melbourne
1992 Jason Dunstall Hawthorn
1993 Gary Ablett, Sr. Geelong
1994 Greg Williams Carlton
1995 Wayne Carey North Melbourne
1996 Corey McKernan North Melbourne
1997 Robert Harvey St Kilda
1998 Wayne Carey North Melbourne
1999 Shane Crawford Hawthorn
2000 Anthony Koutoufides Carlton
2001 Andrew McLeod Adelaide
2002 Luke Darcy Western Bulldogs
(tie) Michael Voss Brisbane Lions
2003 Michael Voss Brisbane Lions
2004 Nick Riewoldt St Kilda
2005 Ben Cousins West Coast
2006 Chris Judd West Coast
2007 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2008 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2009 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2010 Dane Swan Collingwood
2011 Chris Judd Carlton
2012 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2013 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2014 Nathan Fyfe Fremantle
2015 Nathan Fyfe Fremantle
2016 Patrick Dangerfield Geelong
2017 Dustin Martin Richmond
2018 Tom Mitchell Hawthorn
2019 Patrick Cripps Carlton
2020 Lachie Neale Brisbane Lions
2021 Marcus Bontempelli Western Bulldogs
2022 Andrew Brayshaw Fremantle
2023 Marcus Bontempelli Western Bulldogs


AFLCA Champion Player of the Year Award

The AFL Coaches Association has given out its Champion Player of the Year Award since 2003. It's voted on each week by the 18 coaching panels on a 5-4-3-2-1 system for each game. Gary Ablett, Jr. has won the award three times and Clayton Oliver as won the past two years. No one else has won more than once.

2003 Nathan Buckley Collingwood
2004 Warren Tredrea Port Adelaide
2005 Barry Hall Sydney
2006 Adam Goodes Sydney
(tie) Simon Goodwin Adelaide
2007 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2008 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2009 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong
2010 Dane Swan Collingwood
2011 Mark Murphy Carlton
2012 Trent Cotchin Richmond
2013 Scott Pendlebury Collingwood
2014 Robbie Gray Port Adelaide
2015 Daniel Hanneberry Sydney
2016 Patrick Dangerfield Geelong
2017 Dustin Martin Richmond
2018 Max Gawn Melbourne
2019 Marcus Bontempelli Western Bulldogs
2020 Lachie Neale Brisbane
2021 Clayton Oliver Melbourne
2022 Touk Miller Gold Coast
(tie) Clayton Oliver Melbourne
2023 Zak Butters Port Adelaide


Club Awards

Most teams have an award for the best and fairest or club champion, honoring the best player for the club in that year. The process of selection for each club for this award varies greatly. Some clubs award "medals" named after important club players or officials. This list is updated as awards are announced.

AFL club champions for 2023 were:

Adelaide Jordan Dawson
Brisbane Harris Andrews
Carlton Jacob Weitering
Collingwood Josh Daicos
Essendon Zach Merrett
Fremantle Caleb Serong
Geelong Tom Stewart
Gold Coast Noah Anderson
GWS Giants Toby Greene
Hawthorn Will Day
North Melbourne Harry Sheezel
Melbourne Christian Petracca
Port Adelaide Zak Butters
Richmond Tim Taranto
St. Kilda Jack Sinclair
Sydney Errol Gulden
West Coast Tim Kelly
Western Bulldogs Marcus Bontempelli


AFL Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award is given to the best rookie for the past season. The award medal is now known as the Ron Evans Medal. "Rookie" is defined as a player under the age of 21 who has been selected for less than ten games prior to the season in question. (International rookies can be older but none have ever been nominated for the award.)

1993 Nathan Buckley Brisbane Bears
1994 Chris Scott Brisbane Bears
1995 Nick Holland Hawthorn
1996 Ben Cousins West Coast
1997 Michael Wilson Port Adelaide
1998 Byron Pickett North Melbourne
1999 Adam Goodes Sydney
2000 Paul Hasleby Fremantle
2001 Justin Koschitzke St. Kilda
2002 Nick Riewoldt St. Kilda
2003 Sam Mitchell Hawthorn
2004 Jared Rivers Melbourne
2005 Brett Deledio Richmond
2006 Danyle Pearce Port Adelaide
2007 Joel Selwood Geelong
2008 Rhys Palmer Fremantle
2009 Daniel Rich Brisbane Lions
2010 Daniel Hannebery Sydney
2011 Dyson Heppell Essendon
2012 Daniel Talia Adelaide
2013 Jaeger O'Meara Gold Coast
2014 Lewis Taylor Brisbane Lions
2015 Jesse Hogan Melbourne
2016 Callum Mills Sydney
2017 Andrew McGrath Essendon
2018 Jaidyn Stephenson Collingwood
2019 Sam Walsh Carlton
2020 Caleb Serong Fremantle
2021 Luke Jackson Melbourne
2022 Nick Daicos Collingwood
2023 Harry Sheezel North Melbourne


AFLPA First Year Player Award

The AFL Players Association has awarded the best first-year player since 1998. Given to any player in their first year on an AFL list, and unlike the Rising Star, it is open to any such player, regardless of how many matches played. It is voted on by all AFL players.

1998 Nick Stevens Port Adelaide
1999 Adam Goodes Sydney
2000 Paul Hasleby Fremantle
2001 Daniel Kerr West Coast
2002 Chris Judd West Coast
2003 Daniel Wells North Melbourne
2004 Aaron Davey Melbourne
2005 Brett Deledio Richmond
2006 Marc Murphy Carlton
2007 Joel Selwood Geelong
2008 Rhys Palmer Fremantle
2009 Daniel Rich Brisbane Lions
2010 Michael Barlow Fremantle
2011 Dyson Heppell Essendon
2012 Jeremy Cameron Greater Western Sydney
2013 Jaeger O'Meara Gold Coast
2014 Marcus Bontempelli Western Bulldogs
2015 Isaac Heeney Sydney
2016 Callum Mills Sydney
2017 Andrew McGrath Essendon
2018 Tim Kelly Geelong
2019 Sam Walsh Carlton
2020 Caleb Serong Fremantle
2021 Errol Gulden Sydney
2022 Nick Daicos Collingwood
2023 Harry Sheezel  North Melbourne


AFLCA Best Young Player Award

The AFL Coaches Association annually selects an award recognizing an outstanding player based on his first two seasons in the league. It's determined based on weekly votes of the coaches.

2003 Chris Judd West Coast
2004 Daniel Wells North Melbourne
2005 Adam Cooney Western Bulldogs
2006 Ryan Griffen Western Bulldogs
2007 Scott Pendlebury Collingwood
2008 Joel Selwood Geelong
2009 Cyril Rioli Hawthorn
2010 Stephen Hill Fremantle
2011 Nathan Fyfe Fremantle
2012 Dyson Heppell Essendon
2013 Jeremy Cameron GWS
2014 Jaeger O'Meara Gold Coast
2015 Marcus Bontempelli Western Bulldogs
2016 Isaac Heeney Sydney
2017 Clayton Oliver Melbourne
2018 Tom Stewart Geelong
2019 Tim Kelly Geelong
2020 Sam Walsh Carlton
2021 Noah Anderson Gold Coast
(tie) Caleb Serong Fremantle
2022 Jai Newcombe Hawthorn
2023 Nick Daicos Collingwood


Jack Titus Award

The Jack Titus Award is given annually in recognition of service to football at all levels. The award is typically announced before the season begins for the previous calendar year. Jack "Skinny" Titus (1908 – 1978) played in the Victorian Football League (VFL) between 1926 and 1943 for the Richmond Football Club and continued to serve the club for many years after his retirement.

1977 Jack Titus Richmond
1978 Jack Adams North Melbourne
  Bill Cookson Essendon
1979 Jim Cardwell Melbourne
1980 Max Elmer Hawthorn
1981 Ian Drake St Kilda
1982 Roy McConnell Essendon
1983 Graeme Richmond Richmond
1984 Newton Chandler Carlton
1985 Ian Ridley Melbourne
1986 Jim Hannan North Melbourne
1987 George Coates Fitzroy
1988 Sef Dunn Hawthorn
1989 Bruce Comben Carlton
1990 John Dugdale North Melbourne
1991 Ron Richards Collingwood
1992 Allan Cooke Richmond
1993 Keith McKenzie North Melbourne / Carlton
1994 Bill McMaster Geelong
1995 Greg Sewell Essendon
1996 Bill Stephen Fitzroy / Essendon
1997 Ken Goddard Hawthorn
1998 George Clarke Geelong
1999 Laurie Dwyer North Melbourne / Sydney
2000 Andy Angwin Hawthorn
2001 Wes Lofts Carlton
2002 Con Regan Fremantle
2003 Tony Jewell Richmond
2004 Brian Coleman Hawthorn
2005 Brian Le Brocq AFL Tribunal
2006 Bill Sutherland West Coast Eagles
2007 Ken Whiffin St Kilda
2008 Gary Colling St Kilda
2009 Bob Elix AFL Northern Territory
2010 Dr. Bruce Reed Essendon
  Dr. Ian Reynolds Essendon
2011 Dr Alan Mackenzie Southport AFC (Northeast AFL)
2012 Alf Trebilcock Port Adelaide
2013 Barrie Downs Adelaide
2014 Shane O'Sullivan Carlton
2015 Keith Burns Collingwood
2017* Les Bailey Geelong
2018 John Condon Adelaide
2019 Bill Hector Western Bulldogs
2020 David Shipway South Australian Community FL
2021 John Beveridge St Kilda
  Col Hutchinson AFL
2022 Paul Briggs Rumbalara FNC
2023 Peter Haby Hawthorn FC

*The annual numbering of the award shifted after 2015 to no longer refer to the previous season but instead to the current calendar year. The award is usually announced in late January or early February.


Graeme Samuel Scholarship

The Graeme Samuel Scholarship is given annually to a senior manager within the football industry who is working in the areas of business or administration. The Graeme scholarship provides the winner $20,000 to be put towards a course of study to advance their career. Graeme Samuel was one of the original AFL Commissioners when the commission was formed in 1984. He resigned from the Commission in 2003 to become Chairman of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC). The scholarship is usually announced in November or December. 

2004 Trevor Nisbett West Coast
2005 Geoff Walsh North Melbourne
2006 Steven Trigg Adelaide
2009# Rob Threlfall Geelong
2011 Justin Reeves Collingwood
2012 Simon Garlick Western Bulldogs
2013 Andrew Travis Gold Coast
# Cam Vale North Melbourne
2014 Steve Rosich Fremantle
2015 Ameet Bains St Kilda
# Rosie King Geelong
2016 Jennifer Watt Melbourne
2017 Kelly Ryan Western Bulldogs
2018 Cameron McLeod North Melbourne
2019# Cain Liddle Carlton
2021 Sue Clark Western Bulldogs
2022 Peter Bell Fremantle
2023 Marcus King Geelong

# The scholarship was not presented in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2020 with joint winners awarded in 2013 and 2015.


Ray Gunston Scholarship

The Ray Gunston Scholarship is given annually to a highly talented middle to senior leader within the AFL who has the aspiration and the potential to progress to an AFL or Club Executive role. The Gunston scholarship provides the winner $20,000 to invest in further professional development. Ray Gunston worked as AFL CFO and General Manager of Infrastructure, Major Projects and Investment, after previously having served as Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Essendon Football Club. Before working in football, his many senior roles included Chief Financial Officer of the Tatts Group, executive roles with Westpac, Price Waterhouse, Aluminium Smelters of Victoria, Southern Cross Austereo and the Victorian Government. Gunston passed away in 2022. The scholarship is usually announced in December.

2022 Jacob Attwood AFL Group Financial Controller
2023 Jennifer Macmillan AFL TPP Audit & Club Soft Cap Mgr

# The scholarship was first presented in 2022.


Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award

The Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award is presented annually to an AFL or AFLW player who has best demonstrated the values of the late former Melbourne Football Club President and player Jim Stynes, in their commitment to the community, helping others and making a difference and the way they played and represented the game on field. The award is usually presented on Brownlow Medal night.

2012 Daniel Jackson Richmond
2013 Zac Smith Gold Coast
2014 Beau Waters West Coast
2015 Dennis Armfield Carlton
2016 Jimmy Bartel Geelong
2017 Jack Hombsch Port Adelaide
2018 Neville Jetta Melbourne
2019 Stephen Coniglio Greater Western Sydney
2020 Bachar Houli Richmond
2021 Travis Boak Port Adelaide
2022 Joel Selwood Geelong
2023 Sam Docherty Carlton


Premiership Cup and Medallions

The club that wins the Grand Final is referred to as the Premiers. The winners get the right to fly a pennant, much as winning baseball clubs do in America. Since 1959, a silver Premiership Cup has been awarded, which the club keeps in perpetuity. (A notable exception was the Centenary Cup of 1996, which was plated in gold).

At the start of the following season, the "reigning premier" holds a pregame ceremony at which the premiership flag is unfurled and hoisted. The ceremony is held at the team's first home game of the year.

Premiership medallions are awarded to each of the team's players that played in the Grand Final; this is similar to the awarding of championship rings here, except that no non-participant may be voted a medal, which magnifies the pain of late-season injuries and form slumps.


NAB Cup / NAB Challenge / JLT Community Series

From 1988 to 2013, The NAB Australia Cup was an annual preseason tournament involving every AFL club, with all matches played at night throughout the entire continent. The preseason cup was a single elimination tournament, with the losing teams from each round going on to play practice games in various areas of Australia which otherwise might never see a live game. The Michael Tuck Medal was awarded to the best on ground during the grand final. In 2005, Geelong won the NAB Cup, but the Michael Tuck Medal was awarded to Adelaide's Simon Goodwin. It was the first and only time in preseason cup history that the medal went to a player from the losing side.

In 2014, the NAB Cup was replaced by the NAB Challenge. In this format, every team plays two matches. There is no Grand Final and therefore, no overall winner of the competition. In 2017, the sponsor changed and the name became the JLT Community Series.

The tournament is employed by the AFL as a means of experimenting with proposed rule changes, just as America's National Football League does during its preseason. Until 2018, for instance, a goal kicked from 50 meters or beyond was worth 9 points instead of 6 points. This included goals kicked from 50 meter penalties, which brought the player from outside 50 to within close range.


TAC Cup - The Under 18s Tournament

An annual Under-18 football tournament, with representative teams from each state (including country and city Victoria) selected from the best teenage footballers in the local leagues. The tournament is meant to be a showcase of the young talent available, and attendance is considered mandatory by AFL scouts. This was originally known as the Teal Cup. The name was changed to the TAC Cup due to a sponsorship offer from the Traffic Accident Commission of Victoria, a state agency which investigates accidents, offers collision insurance, and sells safe driving throughout the region.


Australian Football Hall of Fame

The Hall was established at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1996 to honor exceptional players of Australian football throughout the league's history. The Hall of Fame also honors administrators, umpires, and media people who have made outstanding contributions. The first class numbered 100 inductees, and ten Legends of the Game, called the "greatest of the great."

Players who were inducted to the Hall in 2023 are Michael Aish (Norwood/SANFL), Jimmy Bartel (Geelong), Corey Enright (Geelong), Tom Leahy (deceased) (North Adelaide/West Adelaide/SANFL), Bruce McAveney (broadcaster/Seven Network/TEN network), Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn/West Coast), and Mark Williams (West Adelaide/SANFL and Port Adelaide/Collingwood/Brisbane).

The original 12 Legends were: Ron Barassi (played for Melbourne & Carlton, coached Carlton, North Melbourne, Melbourne, and Sydney), Hayden Bunton Sr (FItzroy), Roy Cazaly (Hawthorn & St. Kilda), John Coleman (Essendon), Jack Dyer (Richmond), Graham "Polly' Farmer (Geelong), (Essendon), Leigh Matthews (played for Hawthorn, coached Collingwood, Brisbane), John Nicholls (Carlton), Bob Pratt (South Melbourne), Dick Reynolds (Essendon), Bob Skilton (South Melbourne), and Ted Whitten (Footscray). 

Inductees to the Hall can be elevated to Legend status in subsequent years. Some inductees later elevated were: Ian Stewart (St. Kilda), Darrel Baldock (St. Kilda), Kevin Bartlett (Richmond), Gordon Coventry (Collingwood), John Kennedy, Sr.(Hawthorn coach), Jock McHale (player and coach of Collingwood), Barrie Robran (champion player in the SANFL), Norm Smith, Alex Jesaulenko, Royce Hart, and Tony Lockett. Three-time Sandover Medal winner Merv McIntosh and ten-time SANFL Premiership Coach Jack Oatey (AM) were added in 2021 as the 30th and 31st legends. In 2022, Russell Ebert (Port Adelaide), who won the Magarey Medal four times, became the 32nd legend.

In 2023, the AFL amended the rules of eligibility to allow for removal of a Legend or Hall of Fame member if it is determined that they brought the AFL, a club, or the Hall in to disrepute. Immediately following this, they removed Barry Cable from the hall as he has been convicted of abuses of a child during his playing career. 

To be eligible, a player must be retired for at least three years.


AFLCA Allan Jeans Senior Coach of the Year

The AFL Coaches Association recognizes a coach of the year, usually announced during Grand Final week. Allan Jeans was a legendary coach and the award is named for him. 

2003 Paul Roos Sydney
2004 Mark Williams Port Adelaide
2005 Neil Craig Adelaide
2006 John Worsfold West Coast
2007 Mark Thompson Geelong
2008 Mark Thompson Geelong
2009 Ross Lyon St Kilda
2010 Michael Malthouse Collingwood
2011 John Worsfold West Coast
2012 John Longmire Sydney
2013 Ken Hinkley Port Adelaide
2014 John Longmire Sydney
2015 Luke Beveridge Western Bulldogs
2016 Luke Beveridge Western Bulldogs
2017 Damien Hardwick Richmond
2018 Nathan Buckley Collingwood
2019 Chris Fagan Brisbane
2020 Ken Hinkley Port Adelaide
2021 Simon Goodwin Melbourne
2022 Craig McRae Collingwood
2023 Adam Kingsley Greater Western Sydney


All Australian Umpires

The AFL recognizes the most outstanding umpires each year and has been announcing these awards each year at the same time as the All Australian players are revealed. Prior to 2005 only one umpire was recognized each year.

Year Field Umpire Boundary Umpire Gold Umpire
1991 Bryan Sheehan    
1992 Peter Carey    
1993 Darren Goldspink    
1994 David Howlett    
1995 Darren Goldspink    
1996 Mark Nash    
1997 Hayden Kennedy    
1998 Andrew Coates    
1999 Brett Allen    
2000 Brett Allen    
2001 Scott McLaren    
2002 Brett Allen    
2003 Stephan McBurney    
2004 Matthew James    
2005 Darren Goldspink Gordon Muir David Dixon
2006 Brett Allen Jonathan Creasey David Flegg
2007 Stephan McBurney Darren Wilson Steven Axon
2008 Brett Rosebury Adam Coote Peter Nastasi
2009 Brett Rosebury Adam Coote David Dixon
2010 Shaun Ryan Ian Burrows Luke Walker
2011 Brett Rosebury Mark Thomson Luke Walker
2012 Matt Stevic Ian Burrows Luke Walker
2013 Matthew Nichols Nathan Doig Luke Walker
2014 Matt Stevic Mark Thomson Chris Appleton
2015 Matt Stevic Ian Burrows Adam Wojcik
2016 Matt Stevic Rob Haala Adam Wojcik
2017 Matt Stevic Rob Haala Luke Walker
2018 Matt Stevic Nathan Doig Stephen Williams
Steven Piperno (tie)
2019 Shaun Ryan Matt Tomkins Steven Piperno
2020 Matt Stevic Matt Tomkins Matthew Dervan
2021 Matt Stevic Michael Marantelli Steve Axon
2022 Simon Meredith Chris Gordon Matthew Dervan
2023 Robert Findlay Matthew Konetschka Adam Wojcik


AFL Women's Awards

N.B.: There were two seasons played in 2022: Season 6, designated 2022A below, and Season 7 as 2022B.

The Best and Fairest Medal

The 2023 Best and Fairest Medal won by Richmond's Monique Conti, winning her first. This is the AFLW equivalent of the Brownlow Medal.

2017 Erin Phillips Adelaide
2018 Emma Kearney Western Bulldogs
2019 Erin Phillips Adelaide
2020 Madison Prespakis Carlton
2021 Kiara Bowers Fremantle
(tie) Brianna Davey Collingwood
2022A Emily Bates Brisbane
2022B Ally Anderson Brisbane
2023 Monique Conti Richmond


Best on Ground in the Grand Final

The 2023 Best on Ground in the Grand Final was Brisbane's Breanna Koenen, winning her first. This is the AFLW equivalent of the Norm Smith Medal.

2017 Erin Phillips Adelaide
2018 Monique Conti Western Bulldogs
2019 Erin Phillips Adelaide
2020 No Grand Final played  
2021 Kate Lutkins Brisbane
2022A Anne Hatchard Adelaide
2022B Shannon Campbell Brisbane
2023 Breanna Koenen Brisbane


The All-Australian Team

The women's All-Australian selections for 2023 are:

Defenders:  Chelsea Biddell (Adelaide)  Charlotte Thomas (West Coast)  
   Emma O'Driscoll (Fremantle)  Eilish Sheerin (Richmond)  Emma Kearney (North Melbourne)
Midfielders:  Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne)  Ebony Marinoff (Adelaide)  Monique Conti (Richmond)
   Niamh Kelly (Adelaide)  Sophie Conway (Brisbane)  Ally Morphett (Sydney)
Forwards:  Dakota Davidson (Brisbane)  Danielle Ponter (Adelaide)  **Kate Hore (Melbourne)
   *Bonnie Toogood (Essendon)  Chloe Molloy (Sydney)  
Interchange:  Charlie Rowbottom (Gold Coast)  Eden Zanker (Melbourne)  Ally Anderson (Brisbane)
   Ash Riddell (North Melbourne)  Laura Gardiner (Sydney)  
    *vice-captain **captain



The 2023 AFL Players Association MVP was Jasmine Garner, who won for the second time.

2017 Erin Phillips Adelaide
2018 Courtney Gum GWS
2019 Erin Phillips Adelaide
2020 Jasmine Garner North Melbourne
2021 Brianna Davey Collingwood
2022A Emily Bates Brisbane
2022B Monique Conti Richmond
2023 Jasmine Garner North Melbourne


AFLCA AFLW Champion Player Award

The 2023 AFL Coaches Association AFLW Champion Player was Jasmine Garner, her third award in the past six AFLW seasons.

2018 Emma Kearney Western Bulldogs
  Chelsea Randall Adelaide
2019 Erin Phillips Adelaide
2020 Jasmine Garner North Melbourne
2021 Kiara Bowers Fremantle
2022A Emily Bates Brisbane
2022B Jasmine Garner North Melbourne
2023 Jasmine Garner North Melbourne


AFLCA AFLW Coach of the Year Award

The 2023 AFL Coaches Association AFLW Champion Coach was a tie between Craig Starcevich, winning for the third time and Scott Gowans, for the first time.

2019 Daniel Harford Carlton
2020 Trent Cooper Fremantle
2021 Craig Starcevich Brisbane
2022A Mick Stinear Melbourne
2022B Craig Starcevich Brisbane
2023 Craig Starcevich  Brisbane
(tie) Scott Gowans Sydney


NAB Rising Star

The 2023 Rising Star for women was won by Greater Western Sydney's Zarlie Goldsworthy.

2017 Ebony Marinoff Adelaide
2018 Chloe Molloy Collingwood
2019 Madison Prespakis Carlton
2020 Isabel Huntington Western Bulldogs
2021 Tyla Hanks Melbourne
2022A Mimi Hill Carlton
2022B Hannah Ewings Port Adelaide
2023 Zarlie Goldsworthy GWS


AFLPA Best First Year Player

The 2023 AFLPA Best First Year Player for women was won by Aishling Moloney of Geelong.

2018 Chloe Molloy Collingwood
2019 Madison Prespakis Carlton
2020 Georgia Patrikios St Kilda
2021 Ellie McKenzie Richmond
2022A Charlie Rowbottom Gold Coast
2022B Eilish Sheerin Richmond
2023 Aishling Moloney Geelong


Womens Club Awards

Most teams have an award for the best and fairest or club champion, honoring the best player for the club in that year. The process of selection for each club for this award varies greatly. Some clubs award "medals" named after important club players or officials. This list is updated as awards are announced.

AFLW club champions for 2023 were:

Adelaide Ebony Marinoff
Brisbane Ally Anderson
Carlton Breann Moody
Collingwood Brittany Bonnici
Essendon Bonnie Toogood
Fremantle Ange Stannett
Geelong Georgie Prespakis
Gold Coast Claudia Whitfort
GWS Giants Zarlie Goldsworthy
Hawthorn Emily Bates
North Melbourne Jasmine Garner
Melbourne Kate Hore 
(tie) Tyla Hanks
Port Adelaide Abby Dowrick
Richmond Monique Conti
St Kilda Jaimee Lambert
Sydney Lara Gardiner
West Coast Charlie Thomas
Western Bulldogs Ellie Blackburn


Jill Lindsay Scholarship

The 2023 Jill Lindsay Scholarship for women football executives had two co-winners: Kirstie Fitzgerald (AFL Publicist) and Kathryn Stevenson, Richmond FC. The award is typically announced in December, following the AFLW season. 

2011 Nicole Rowlings Carlton FC
2012 Hayley Robinson AFL Umpires Assoc.
2013 Lauren Byrnes AFL Sportsready
2014 Emily Buysen North Melbourne FC
2015 Emily Wastle AFL Queensland
2016 Chelsea Randall Swans Districts FC
2017 Maddy Collier AFL NSW/ACT
2018 Jessica Tedge AFL Licensing
2019# Trisha Squires AFL Tasmania
2021 Rosie Butler AFL Partnerships
2022 Caitlin Brady Adelaide FC
2023 Kirstie Fitzgerald AFL Publicist
  Kathyrn Stevenson Richmond FC

#No award was presented in 2020 and two awards were presented in 2023.


Football Woman of the Year Award

The 2023 Fujitsu General Football Woman of the Year Award was won by Lara Kane. The award is presented annually during the men's Grand Final week and administered by the Essendon football club.

1998 Irene Chatfield  
1999 Jill Lindsay  
2000 Caroline Wilson  
2001 Katrina Pressley  
2002 Beverley Knight
Bev O'Connor
2003 Jenny Williams  
2004 Edna Daniher  
2005 Jennie Loughnan  
2006 Barb Cullen  
2007 Terry Bracks  
2008 Susan Alberti  
2009 Debbie Lee  
2010 Anna Durante  
2011 Lesley McGrath  
2012 Belinda Duarte  
2013 Michelle Cowan  
2014 Peta Searle  
2015 Jan Cooper  
2016 Daisy Pearce  
2017 Bec Goddard  
2018 Breanna Brock  
2019# Shelley Ware NITV - SBS
2022 Kelli Underwood Fox Footy/ABC
2023 Lara Kane AFL EGM Football

#No award was presented in 2020 or 2021.


Article last changed on Monday, December 18, 2023 - 1:49 PM EST

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