FREMANTLE champion Matthew Pavlich is the winner of the 2016 Madden Medal.
The AFL Players' Association awards the medal to the retiring player who most excelled off the field, as well as in their football career.
Pavlich was the AFLPA president for the past two years, studied a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration and was involved in community work.
Simon Madden and 2015 winner Chris Judd presented Pavlich with the medal in Melbourne at the AFLPA season launch on Tuesday night.
"My career on the field was very important but I tried to never be defined by results on the field. I wanted to be known for more than just being a footballer," Pavlich said.
"I like to think that there's some deeper layers to me than just what I did on the field."
He told reporters he hasn't missed the game since retiring at the end of last year, but said his feelings could change as the year goes on.
"I've really embraced it (retirement) and in a lot of ways I'm loving it, to this point," Pavlich said.
"Time will tell, once the grind of the year goes on and I'm doing some business and media things, but I feel really well prepared for this. I really feel like I've been preparing for a long time to exit the game.
"To have some education behind me and some opportunities post the game has been something I've always been focused on, and I guess that's a main reason I was able to receive the award."
The other nominees were Jimmy Bartel, Nick Dal Santo, Corey Enright, Brent Harvey, Will Minson and Ted Richards.
Pavlich lined up in 353 games for the Dockers and was captain for nine seasons, and was named in the All Australian team six times.
The award is voted on by the AFLPA board as well as past winners, among them Lenny Hayes (2014) and Jude Bolton (2013).
AFLPA Madden Medal winners
2016 Matthew Pavlich
2015 Chris Judd
2014 Lenny Hayes
2013 Jude Bolton
2012 Luke Power
2011 Cameron Ling
2010 Brett Kirk
2009 Michael O'Loughlin
2008 Robert Harvey
2007 Glenn Archer