AFL Rd 10 - Western Bulldogs v St Kilda
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 22: Marcus Bontempelli of the Bulldogs celebrates a goal during the 2021 AFL Round 10 match between the Western Bulldogs and the St Kilda Saints at Marvel Stadium on May 22, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The AFLPA Awards are underway for the 2021 season, with this year's Most Valuable Player set to be crowned.

The prestigious award has been voted on by the Players' Association, with each and every player in the AFL casting their vote ahead of tonight's ceremonies.

Along with the MVP Award, the league's Best Captain and Most Courageous Player will be crowned.

The 2021 Education and Training Award has been claimed by Collingwood's Nathan Murphy, Geelong's Nina Morrison and Western Bulldogs' Ellyse Gamble, with the AFLPA having already awarded the trio for their efforts.

Best Captain - Marcus Bontempelli

The Bulldogs' superstar was voted by his peers as the best skipper in season 2021.

Having advanced to a Semi-Final against the Lions this weekend, 'The Bont' will almost certainly have bigger awards on his mind this September.

The 25-year-old has run out in all 23 of the Pups' games this season, and has accrued an average of 27 disposals per appearance and has split the sticks 26 times so far in 2021.

AFL Practice Match - Western Bulldogs v Hawthorn
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 24: Marcus Bontempelli of the Bulldogs is tackled by Ben McEvoy of the Hawks during the AFL Practice Match between the Western Bulldogs and the Hawthorn Hawks at Whitten Oval on February 24, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Most Courageous Player - Jack Steele

First year Saints skipper Jack Steele has been award the Robert Rose Most Courageous Award for his deeds across season 2021.

Steele, 25, ended the year with a league best 185 tackles and also finished with an average of 29.2 disposals.

Despite his noted toughness, the former Giant is not one to end up in the umpire's book.

Clean with both foot and action, Steele is also in the running to claim this year's Brownlow Medal.

AFL Rd 11 - St Kilda v Geelong
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 10: Jack Steele of the Saintshandballs during the round 11 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Geelong Cats at The Gabba on August 10, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Best First Year Player - Errol Gulden

The teenaged Cygnet has enjoyed a wonderful debut campaign that commenced with a Rising Star nomination in Round 1 after slotting three-goals and collecting 19 touches in a win over the Lions.

Gulden, 19, wore a Swans' guernsey on 18 occasions in a year where he finished with a mean of 15.6 touches and a total of 14 majors.

 

Most Valuable Player - Marcus BontempelliΒ 

The Dogs' skipper has added to his haul of the night by claiming the Leigh Matthews Trophy winner for the first time.

As mentioned, the 25-year-old has led his side with aplomb by collecting brilliant numbers across a season that could still end in premiership glory.

Having been voted by his peers as the league's most valuable player for season 2021, eyes will now turn to how the midfielder performs against Brisbane on Saturday, and then to how he polls on Brownlow night.

Bontempelli's Bulldogs' will take the Lions in a Semi-Final clash on Saturday night at the Gabba.