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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe has won the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players' Association MVP. The award is decided with players from all clubs nominating three teammates. Each club then tallies the votes for their players. Out of that, the field is narrowed to 54 players. Players then award votes on a 3-2-1 basis for the 54 nominees. Fyfe just edged out Gary Ablett in one of the closest counts in the history of the award.

Fyfe, who was preparing for the Semi-Final against Port Adelaide, was presented with the trophy by Docker captain Matthew Pavlich in a live cross from Melbourne to Perth. AFLPA president Luke Ball praised Fyfe's performance over the season. “At just 22 years of age, he’s had a standout year and this was rewarded with being named in the All-Australian squad of 40. To be recognized 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.”

Top Five
Nat Fyfe (FRE) 945
Gary Ablett (GC) 787
Lance Franklin (SYD) 428
Dyson Heppell (ESS) 274
Josh Kennedy (SYD) 234

Other Awards
The Robert Rose Most Courageous Award
Joel Selwood (GEEL)

Best First Year Player
Lewis Taylor (BRIS)

Best Captain
Luke Hodge (HAW)

Education and Training Excellence Award
Jonathon Griffin (FREM) 

Grant Hattam Trophy for Excellence in Sports Journalism
Michael Gleeson (The Age) for his article “On a wing and a prayer with footy’s faithful”, which explored religion in the AFL.

An Under-22 AFLPA Team of The Year was also voted upon, with Dyson Heppell named captain for the second year in a row and Hawthorn's Jack Gunston named vice-captain. The team is voted for by the fans through social media.

Source: Vanessa Gigliotti, AFLPA Media Release

Article last changed on Monday, May 28, 2018 - 5:36 PM EDT

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