Rhys Mathieson’s impressive 2022 season has been rewarded at the 2022 VFL Awards last night, with the hardened inside midfielder named on the interchange in the VFL Team of the Year.

Playing just 13 VFL games across the Lions’ 21 total games, Mathieson was a force to be reckoned with throughout the Lions’ 2022 Smithy’s VFL Premiership campaign.

Averaging a massive 33 disposals, nine clearances, five marks and six inside 50s across his 13 weeks in the VFL, Mathieson played a critical role in the midfield for the young Lions side.

Among his strongest performances at the VFL level was a dominating display against the Northern Bullants in Round 11 where Mathieson gathered a whopping 49 disposals, 19 clearances, 9 marks and 9 inside 50s.

However, the rugged midfielder’s impact this season hasn’t just been restricted to the VFL, with Mathieson breaking into Senior Coach Chris Fagan’s best 22 for seven AFL games so far this season, and an additional two as an unused medi-sub.

Grabbing the opportunity with both hands, Mathieson proved a valuable inclusion to the side on more than one occasion, with his breakthrough game against GWS a highlight.


Handed the opportunity for his first senior game of 2022 against the Giants in Round 18, Mathieson stood up to gather 23 disposals and a match-high 10 clearances in the 40-point victory.

The VFL Team of the Year was announced at the 2022 VFL Awards, held at the Palladium at Crown on Monday evening.