Fremantle midfielder Michael Barlow has been given some consolation for an injury-interrupted season, picking up the award for best first year player at the AFL player’s association most valuable player awards.

The major award winner was no surprise, with the favourite Dane Swan beginning what Collingwood hope will be a September of silverware by winning MVP award.

In other awards, Hawthorn’s Luke Hodge won the most courageous player and retiring Sydney skipper Brett Kirk was voted best captain.

Barlow picked up his award – voted on by every player in the AFL – after an outstanding start to his AFL career saw him average 27 disposals and a goal over his 13 games.

Picked up by Fremantle at number eight in last year’s rookie draft, Barlow quickly shook off years of disappointment at being overlooked in a strong NAB Cup campaing which saw him quickly earn a spot on the senior list.

The 22-year-old recruit shone in his round one debut, picking up 33 disposals and two goals against Adelaide.

His season was tragically cut short when he broke his leg in a collision with teammate Rhys Palmer in round 14.

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