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AFLPA MVP nominees announced

Aiden McNicholas  September 8, 2017 5:05 PM

AFL 2017 Media - Virgin Australia AFL All Australian Awards

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 30: Rory Laird of the Crows is presented with his blazer by Brent Harvey during the 2017 Virgin Australia AFL All Australian Awards at the Palais Theatre on August 30, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)

All Australians Matt Crouch and Rory Laird, and reigning Crows Club Champion Rory Sloane have been nominated by their peers for the AFL Players Association MVP Award.

Also known as the Leigh Matthews Trophy, the award carries extra prestige given the nature of the nomination and voting process.

Three players from each club are nominated by their teammates before the final vote is opened up to the entire AFL playing body.

Previous winners of the peer-voted award include five-time recipient Gary Ablett Junior, as well as Wayne Carey, Michael Voss, Chris Judd, and Nat Fyfe, who have all collected the award twice.

The nominations are further evidence of the work ethic and commitment shown by the popular Adelaide trio, something that clearly does not go unappreciated by their teammates.

Crouch, 22, has taken his game to a new level this season averaging a career-best 33 disposals, five tackles and six clearances.

The left-footed midfielder finished second for in the League for total disposals (726) in the home and away season behind Hawthorn recruit and fellow All Australian Tom Mitchell (787).

Crouch also ranked top 10 in the competition for contested possessions (294), hard-ball gets (130), loose-ball gets (97) and handball receives (350) in the minor round.

Laird, 23, has been rewarded for his consistency.

A vital cog in the Crows defence since 2013, the courageous backman is averaging more than 30 disposals a game at an elite disposal efficiency of 81 per cent.

It’s been another remarkable season for vice-captain Rory Sloane, who has also been nominated by his peers for the Most Courageous Award.

A fractured eye socket in pre-season threatened to slow his start, but Sloane came out of the blocks at a ferocious speed, topping the AFL Coaches Association voting at the conclusion of Round 10.

One of the best two-way runners in the game, the 27-year-old led the League in tackles at the end of the home and away season.

The only thing able to slow Sloane turned out to be appendicitis, which saw him miss the Qualifying Final win over Greater Western Sydney.  

First year draftee Jordan Gallucci has also been recognised by the playing group with a nomination for Best First Year Player. The strong bodied midfielder made his AFL debut against Brisbane in Round Nine and kicked his first goal on the end of some hard running through the centre of the Gabba.

Inspirational skipper Taylor Walker has again been nominated for the Best Captain Award, an award he won last season, his second as captain.

The winners of each award will be announced at the AFL Players’ MVP Awards on Tuesday 12th September at Peninsula in Docklands.