GOLD Coast champion Gary Ablett has won a record fifth Leigh Matthews Trophy after being voted by his peers as the AFL Players' Association most valuable player.

Ablett, who is also the favourite to win this year's Brownlow Medal, polled 1,479 votes to win the prestigious trophy from Joel Selwood (475) and Jarryd Roughead (378).

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It was Ablett's second consecutive Leigh Matthews Trophy, having also won the award three times in his time at Geelong (2007, 2008 and 2009).

Having taken his game to a new level at Gold Coast, Ablett said his aim when moving to the club for the 2011 season was to grow as a leader. 

"That was probably my No.1 focus, and then to play consistent football, knowing it was going to be challenging because we did have such a young list," he said.
"I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I'm a very competitive person and I guess I wanted to prove people wrong in a way.
"I've enjoyed the last three years up there, but we've got to make sure we keep moving forward.
"I'm really hoping we play finals footy next year."
Ablett enjoyed another magnificent season, averaging 31 disposals and more than a goal a game, winning 49 possessions against Collingwood in round 17.

He led a young Suns team to eight wins in a season of strong improvement for the expansion club.

Ablett said he was excited about the Suns' future and hinted that his role in the team may change down the track. 

"I'm probably going to have to push forward more and let these younger boys take over in the midfield," he said.

"But I'm super excited about that and I'm super excited about where I think we can go as a team.
"I really want to play finals footy one day and win a premiership up there.
"That's my aim, and I think we've got the right people around the club to do that."
The voting process for the Leigh Matthews Trophy starts with each team voting for the three teammates that have displayed the best overall value to their team.

In a second round of voting, all AFL players must vote 3, 2, 1 from the list of 51 nominees (three players from all clubs excluding their own) to determine the MVP.

Like most, Crows star Patrick Dangerfield expected Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett to take home the AFLPA MVP award.

"I think people got caught up a little bit in his last month of footy," Dangerfield said.

"He's the Michael Jordan of our sport, I think."

Dangerfield joked it was high-time for Ablett to start sharing around the individual awards

"He just gets better and better, that's the problem with him."

"He's getting that bloody old but he's just getting better and better."

Selwood won the Robert Rose Most Courageous Award from Dan Hannebery and was also named the competition's best captain, with Ablett the runner up in that category.

Gold Coast's Jaeger O'Meara, who won the NAB AFL Rising Star Award, was named the best first-year player, with Port Adelaide's Oliver Wines runner-up.

TOP 10
Gary Ablett, 1,479
Joel Selwood 475
Jarryd Roughead 378
Scott Pendlebury 321
Kieren Jack 201
Ryan Griffen 177
Dan Hannebery 174
Patrick Dangerfield 172
Dane Swan 137
Nat Fyfe 118

Twitter: @AFL_Nathan