WESTERN Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli has become the seventh multiple winner of the Leigh Matthews Trophy after being anointed by his peers as the AFL Players' Association MVP on Wednesday night.
Bontempelli added to his 2021 triumph by beating out second-year Collingwood sensation Nick Daicos and breakout Port Adelaide midfielder Zak Butters for the award.
The 27-year-old has enjoyed another stellar season despite his team missing the top eight, winning the most contested possessions in the competition and finishing third for clearances, fourth for tackles and eighth for disposals.
He joins Greg Williams, Wayne Carey, Michael Voss, Chris Judd, Gary Ablett jnr and Nat Fyfe as a multiple winner.
Bontempelli also won the award for Best Captain, edging out Toby Greene and Darcy Moore, on a big night for the Bulldogs superstar.
There were plenty of other winners of AFLPA awards too, including Butters, who was named the Robert Rose Most Courageous Player.
The 22-year-old has been sensational in 2023, averaging 27.5 disposals per game and quickly becoming known as a player happy to put his head and body in places where others would hesitate.
Butters beat renowned hard-nuts Tom Liberatore and Jack Viney for the award.
North Melbourne's Harry Sheezel, who set the record for the most disposals in a debut season, was crowned the Best First Year Player.
AFL.com.au's Sarah Black was also recognised by the Players' Association, taking out the Grant Hattam Award for Excellence in Sports Journalism for her article on Renee Garing's journey back to AFLW after giving birth.
2023 AFLPA AWARDS
AFLPA Best First Year Player – Harry Sheezel (North Melbourne)
AFLPA Most Courageous – Zak Butters (Port Adelaide)
AFLPA Best Captain – Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
AFLPA MVP – Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
Best First Year Player Award
1 – Harry Sheezel
2 – Will Ashcroft
3 – Oliver Hollands
4 – Max Michalanney
5 – Bailey Humphrey
Robert Rose Award (Most Courageous)
1 – Zak Butters
2 – Tom Liberatore
3 – Jack Viney
4 – Liam Baker
5 – Brayden Maynard
1 – Marcus Bontempelli
2 – Toby Greene
3 – Darcy Moore
4 – Jordan Dawson
5 – Patrick Cripps
Leigh Matthews Trophy (MVP)
1 – Marcus Bontempelli
2 – Nick Daicos
3 – Zak Butters
4 – Toby Greene
5 – Christian Petracca