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The Roar


Just like EPL fans get to have their say, who would get your vote if AFL had 'Player of the Month'?

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Roar Rookie
4th April, 2023

Player of the Month is a much-valued award in the English Premier League where fans get to vote for one of six nominees.

However, due to large fan bases, the supporter-based vote has a weighting of only 10 per cent, the balance being made by a panel of experts plus a vote from each club captain. It is interesting to speculate where such an award for the AFL might land as the season so far has thrown up plenty of surprises. St. Kilda are on top of the ladder with a percentage of 150. The reigning premiers, Geelong, are yet to win a game.

So, what might an AFL Player of the Month competition look like?

Given Round 3 flowed into April we will look at the first three rounds in their entirety. The case will be made for six nominees and you, the reader, get to decide out of the six who should win – or identify if there have been any clear omissions.

North Melbourne – Nick Larkey: three games, 23 disposals, 12 goals

Larkey has been in great form to start the year. He has kicked 12 goals straight to be the early leader in the Coleman medal and, more impressively, his goals have come in low-scoring games.

He scored half of his team’s goals in their narrow win against West Coast. Playing Fremantle over in the West, he capitalised against a well-structured defence, kicking two first-quarter goals to get the Roos up and running. He then kicked two crucial goals in the last quarter, to hold off the fast-finishing Dockers.


Larkey in Round 3 against Hawthorn missed the supply from two of North Melbourne’s better midfielders in Luke Davis-Uniacke and Jy Simpkin. Despite this, he is a major reason why North have started the year off strongly.

St. Kilda – Mason Wood: three games, 71 disposals, four goals

The good form by Wood is one of the many reasons St. Kilda have started the 2023 season so well. Wood is the only player in the AFL to have 20 possessions or more and at least one goal in each of the first three games.

St. Kilda are three from three, for the first time since 2010, despite having been hit by a number of injuries.

Wood was also nursing a sore shoulder at the end of the Round 3 game against Essendon, yet his performance hardly suffered. He also leads St. Kilda for score involvements with 22 and has made the wing role his own getting back to help the defence, whilst also contributing some crucial goals up forward.


Collingwood – Nick Daicos: three games, 100 disposals, two goals

There are so many playing well at Collingwood it is hard to narrow it down to one individual. One eye-catching player is Daicos with his ability to glide across the ground and use the ball so constructively.

Collingwood want to give him the ball at every opportunity to set up their attacks. This is highlighted by the fact that he leads Collingwood for meters gained with 1,603, and is using the ball at 88 per cent efficiency.

Port Adelaide tried to tag Daicos with Lachie Jones, however Collingwood were so dominant against The Power out of the centre that it made it very difficult for Jones to stay with him.

Daicos is showing no signs of letting up, and is currently third in the coaches’ award, behind teammate Jordan De Goey and Roos midfielder Luke Davis-Uniacke.

Geelong – Jeremy Cameron: three games, 56 disposals, 11 goals


Geelong is struggling, particularly in the midfield, and Cameron is having to try and carry the forward line, as Tom Hawkins is still not fully over the foot injury that interrupted his pre-season.

Cameron is averaging close to 19 possessions this season, and with his great field kicking he can help set up scores for his teammates. He leads Geelong for score involvements with 25, which is just two behind the AFL leader, Collingwood’s Scott Pendlebury.

Cameron had 25 disposals and kicked six goals in Round 2 against Carlton, which was a performance out of the top drawer. However, it was still not enough to get Geelong over the line. The form of Cameron might actually be papering over the cracks at Geelong.

Blake Acres of the Blues marks the ball against Jeremy Cameron of the Cats.

(Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Essendon – Darcy Parish: three games, 102 disposals, one goal

Parish has started the season strongly along with his side Essendon, despite losing to St. Kilda in Round 3. Parish currently leads the competition for disposals with 102.

Throughout the first three rounds, he has been getting the majority of his disposals in the back half. However, due to his cleanness at the stoppage, he has still been able to deliver the ball inside 50 and help generate scores.


He is equal first for clearances with 28 alongside Matt Rowell from the Gold Coast Suns. He is currently tied in seventh place for score involvements with 25 and is in sixth position on the coaches’ votes leaderboard.

North Melbourne – Luke Davis-Uniacke: two games, 62 disposals, two goals

Davis-Uniacke missed the Round 3 game against Hawthorn in Tasmania, however his first two games were so dominant he deserves his spot amongst his fellow nominees.

In the Round 1 win against West Coast, he had 32 disposals, 10 clearances, seven inside 50s and eight score involvements. In the Round 2 victory over Fremantle, he had 30 disposals, to go with 11 clearances and a crucial last-quarter goal.

In the first two rounds, he received the perfect 10 votes from the coaches. He’s currently tied at the top of the coaches’ award leaderboard with Magpies De Goey.

Who do you think has been the player of the month for March/April?