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Bontempelli named AFLPA MVP, young Blue runner-up

Marcus Bontempelli.

Marcus Bontempelli.Credit:Getty

Former Dogs skipper Easton Wood lauded Bontempelli for his leadership.

“When you’re someone at Marcus’ level it can be taken for granted because of how successful he’s been already, but to operate at that level it requires the utmost amount of diligence, dedication and consistency. Ever since he’s taken over (as captain) he’s been the focal point and worn it with absolute pride,” Wood said.

Another ex-Dogs captain, Bob Murphy, also heaped praise on Bontempelli.

“He’s tuned into the frequency of what a game needs as good as anyone I’ve seen in my time. Part of it is not nuanced, it’s not poetry, it’s not in the ether. He just wants it,” Murphy said.

Steele was meanwhile named the AFL’s most courageous player, while Sydney’s Errol Gulden was voted best first-year player from Essendon’s Nik Cox.

Errol Gulden and the Swans celebrate a goal in the victory over Essendon in round 20, Sydney’s fifth win in a row.

Errol Gulden and the Swans celebrate a goal in the victory over Essendon in round 20, Sydney’s fifth win in a row.Credit:Getty

“Errol’s a confident person who’s always willing to talk to people. Something that I admire about him is that he hasn’t changed in the AFL environment,” said Gulden’s teammate and fellow Swans academy graduate Braeden Campbell.

Collingwood’s Nathan Murphy, and AFLW players Nina Morrison of Geelong and Bulldogs Ellyse Gamble claimed an Education and Training Excellence Award.

Liz Walsh from the Adelaide Advertiser won the Grant Hattam Award for excellence in sports journalism.

WINNERS AND VOTES

Leigh Matthews Trophy for the Most Valuable Player

Marcus Bontempelli – 1176
Sam Walsh – 426
Touk Miller – 411
Christian Petracca – 338
Jack Steele – 261

Robert Rose Most Courageous Award

Jack Steele – 186
Tom Doedee – 118
Liam Baker – 61
Liam Jones – 55
Tom Jonas – 40

Best First Year Player Award

Errol Gulden – 299
Nikolas Cox – 139
Riley Thilthorpe – 56
Tom Powell – 27
Tom Highmore – 26

Best Captain

Marcus Bontempelli – 224
Max Gawn – 87
Jack Steele – 83
Joel Selwood – 60
Scott Pendlebury – 36

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