Dangerfield Leading Candidate for 2016 Leigh Matthews Trophy

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Despite booting 74 goals this season, winning the Coleman Medal on three occasions and being named to the 2016 All-Australian team at centre half-forward, talent-saturated Sydney could not make room for Lance Franklin on the list of nominees for the Leigh Matthews Trophy.

Instead, they turned in the names of Luke Parker, Josh Kennedy and Dane Rampe.

This year’s Leigh Matthews Trophy will got to a first-time winner. The last four years has seen the award going twice to Gary Ablett Jr. and Nay Fyfe, but neither was nominated this season due to injuries keeping them off.

In all, 54 players were nominated for the first stage of the MVP selection process. In stage two, players most vote for a player on one of the other clubs.

Since the MVP award was inaugurated in 1982, only Gary Ablett with five and five other players with two each represent the only multiple winners.

The Players’ Association Awards will also recognise the best first year player and another who has shown the most courage.

Patrick Dangerfield, Sam Mitchell, Lance Franklin, Josh Kennedy, Max Gawn and Alex Rance are the top seven candidates for the Leigh Matthews Trophy, but as the Swans’ snub of Franklin shows, there is some degree of subjectivity, even amongst the players who would seemingly be the best judges.