Fremantle’s Andrew Brayshaw has been recognised by his peers as the AFLPA most valuable player, becoming the youngest winner of the prized trophy since Nick Riewoldt in 2004.
Considered a leading chance for the Brownlow Medal, Brayshaw, 22, officially progresses to the AFL players’ upper echelon, with this year’s top three also featuring dynamic Richmond star Shai Bolton.
Young Collingwood gun Nick Daicos was unsurprisingly named as the 2022 Rising Star, becoming the second Magpie after Jaidyn Stephenson in 2018 to claim the award.
Fremantle star Andrew Brayshaw.Credit:Getty Images
There was a clear-cut top three from the panel of 12 judges with Daicos, who has played 22 matches so far in his debut season, the unanimous top vote-winner ahead of Geelong’s Sam De Koning and Hawthorn’s Jai Newcombe.
Brayshaw was this week also named as the captain of AFL’s best team of players aged 22-and-under.
He beat home Melbourne’s Clayton Oliver to secure the Leigh Matthews Trophy, with Bolton, Lachie Neale, and Geelong forward Jeremy Cameron rounding out the top five.
Claiming the MVP title is a matter of significant pride and a badge of honour for AFL players, with past winners including five-time champion Gary Ablett jnr, and two-time winners Chris Judd, Greg Williams, Michael Voss, Wayne Carey and Nat Fyfe.
Brayshaw’s older brother, Melbourne premiership player Angus Brayshaw, was full of praise.
“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 Brayshaw said.
Collingwood young gun Nick Daicos.Credit:Getty Images
“[This is] the first of many awards to come over [the course of] his career, I’m sure of it.”
Meanwhile, Daicos’ path to the Rising Star crown was set in round three when he earned his nomination after picking up 26 possessions, four marks and five clearances against Geelong.
Judges gave votes to five players each on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with Collingwood’s Jack Ginnivan finishing fourth and Essendon’s Nic Martin, Melbourne’s Jake Bowey, Fremantle’s Heath Chapman and Bulldog Jamarra Ugle-Hagan securing at least one vote.
While the players picked Brayshaw for top honours and the MVP gong, the AFL coaches voted in Gold Coast’s Touk Miller and Melbourne’s Clayton Oliver as the joint winners of their award.
Dynamic Melbourne midfielder Oliver defended his award, while Gold Coast’s Miller, elevated to the club’s co-captaincy this year, again showed his extreme value to the Suns and his underrated status to the rest of the competition.
Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew spoke of his pride in Miller’s win.
“As a football club we are proud of [Miller for] what he has achieved in winning this award,” he said.
“It’s a true measure of his influence on the outcomes of games throughout the 2022 AFL season. He leads the way for our club in his preparation, mindset, and effort and provides a great role model for those around him.”
Oliver and Miller were tied on 98 votes to take out the award.
Gold Coast star Touk Miller.Credit:Getty Images
Elsewhere, Collingwood veteran Scott Pendlebury became just the sixth multiple winner of the AFLPA’s best captain award, joining four-time winner Michael Voss, Wayne Carey,
Mark Ricciuto, Jonathan Brown and Taylor Walker in that category.
Having driven the Magpies to the top four, Pendlebury, 34, edged out Joel Selwood and reigning premiership captain Max Gawn to this year’s title.
The AFLPA’s MVP voting is a two-stage process, starting with each player voting for the three teammates they consider most worthy this season.
Each club’s votes are then tallied to form a nomination list 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. The votes are tallied and the player with the highest score wins the honour of MVP.
Players cannot vote for teammates in the second stage.
Leigh Matthews Trophy for the Most Valuable Player
1: Andrew Brayshaw
2: Clayton Oliver
3: Shai Bolton
4: Lachie Neale
5: Jeremy Cameron
Robert Rose Most Courageous Award
1: Liam Baker
2: Brayden Maynard
3: Jack Viney
4: Paddy McCartin
5: Sam Docherty
Best First Year Player Award
1: Nick Daicos
2: Nic Martin
3: Marcus Windhager
4: Joshua Gibcus
5: Jesse Motlop
1: Scott Pendlebury
2: Joel Selwood
3: Max Gawn
4: Patrick Cripps
5: Marcus Bontempelli
The 2022 AFL Rising Star voting
1st: Nick Daicos (Collingwood) 60 votes
2nd: Sam De Koning (Geelong) 48 votes
3rd: Jai Newcombe (Hawthorn) 35 votes
4th: Jack Ginnivan (Collingwood) 21 votes
5th: Nic Martin (Essendon) 12 votes
6th: Jake Bowey (Melbourne) 2 votes
7th: Heath Chapman (Fremantle) 1 vote
7th: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (Western Bulldogs) 1 vote
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