North Melbourne star Jasmine Garner’s transition to a midfielder has proven an overwhelming success, with the Kangaroo winning the AFLW Players’ Most Valuable Player Award, proudly presented by Our Watch, following an outstanding AFLW season.
The 25-year-old was voted the clear winner by her peers with 413 votes, ahead of second-year Carlton youngster Madison Prespakis (227) and Collingwood’s Jaimee Lambert (201).
Garner, an AFLW foundation player who kicked the competition’s first ever goal as a Magpie before crossing to North Melbourne after the 2018 season, spent the majority of AFLW4 as a midfielder after winning All Australian selection as a forward in 2019.
The Yarraville product also complemented her midfield time by resting in the forward line, booting eight goals for the year, only two away from the competition’s leading goal-kicker.
Garner, who was presented with her MVP trophy while isolating at her family home in Trentham, said she is humbled to receive the honour from her peers.
“I’m truly proud to be recognised by the AFLW players’ as their MVP,” Garner said.
“The AFLW competition has come so far in such a short space of time, all the players have put their heart and soul into performing, so for the cohort to value my contribution this highly is something I won’t forget.”
Garner, an All-Australian forward in 2019, is the first North Melbourne player to win the AFLPA MVP since Wayne Carey in 1998.
Also awarded as part of the announcement on Monday were the Most Courageous, Best Captain and Best First Year Player Awards, presented by MSC Signs, The Diamond Guys and KPMG respectively, and the inaugural AFLW 22Under22 team (also presented by The Diamond Guys).
Fremantle tackling machine Kiara Bowers took out the Most Courageous Award – becoming only the second AFLW player to win the award after Chelsea Randall’s three-consecutive titles – polling 76 votes to edge out Carlton’s Katie Loynes (73).
Melbourne skipper Daisy Pearce’s return to the competition was made even more successful, claiming her third Best Captain Award with 69 votes ahead of Collingwood’s inaugural captain Stephanie Chiocci (44).
The players have also crowned another newcomer, with St Kilda youngster Georgia Patrikios taking out the Best First Year Player Award in an overwhelming result. Patrikios, a Calder Cannons product who was pick five in last year’s draft, polled 173 votes, beating Carlton youngster Grace Egan (89).
Earlier on Monday, Collingwood young gun, Chloe Molloy, was revealed as the leader of the inaugural AFLW 22Under22 side, as decided by the fans, with Carlton youngster and runner-up MVP, Madison Prespakis, her deputy.
Molloy said she’s honoured to be selected as the concept’s first AFLW skipper.
“Thank you to the fans who voted and selected me as the captain of the inaugural 22Under22 side, I am very grateful to be recognised,” she said.
“The squad is a reflection of where the game is heading and it’s exciting to think what these 22 players will be capable of in the coming AFLW seasons.”
“Congratulations to those who have made the final team. If only we could combine for a game!”
Consistent with the process to crown the male MVP, known as the Leigh Matthews Trophy, the AFLPA’s female members voted to decide the player worthiest of the AFLW Players’ MVP Award (details below).
WINNERS AND TOP POLLING PLAYERS
AFLW Players’ MVP, proudly presented by Our Watch
1) Jasmine Garner, North Melbourne – 413 votes
2) Madison Prespakis, Carlton – 227
3) Jaimee Lambert, Collingwood – 201
Most Courageous, proudly presented by MSC Signs
1) Kiara Bowers, Fremantle – 76
2) Katie Loynes, Carlton – 73
3) Isabel Huntington, Western Bulldogs – 64
Best Captain, proudly presented by The Diamond Guys
1) Daisy Pearce, Melbourne – 69
2) Stephanie Chiocci, Collingwood – 44
3) Alicia Eva, GWS – 42
Best First-Year Player Award, proudly presented by KPMG
1) Georgia Patrikios, St Kilda – 173
2) Grace Egan, Carlton – 89
3) Catherine Svarc, Brisbane – 26
MVP Voting Process
MVP voting is a two-stage process, beginning with each player voting for the three teammates they consider to have been the most valuable this season. Each club’s votes are then tallied to form a nomination list, with 42 players across the 14 teams nominated for the award.
In the second round of voting, all players vote for their MVP on a 3, 2, 1 basis from the nominees of the nine other clubs. The votes are tallied and the player with the highest score wins the honour of MVP. Players cannot vote for their own teammates in stage two of the process.
A similar process is followed for Best First Year Player, Most Courageous, but every captain is automatically nominated for the Best Captain Award.
The 22Under22 squad was first picked by an AFL Players’ Association panel, with support from Champion Data, before the final team was selected by the fans via 22Under22.com.au.