For the first time in the history of the AFLW there was a tie for the best and fairest player in the league.
After an exciting number of votes that reached the finals, Brianna Davey from Collingwood and Kiara Bowers from Fremantle won the W Award with 15 votes each.
The number of votes, held in various locations across Australia including Melbourne’s Crown Palladium and Perth’s Optus Stadium, was impressive and with two rounds remaining, there was only one vote left between Davey and Bowers.
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The captain of the Western Bulldogs, Ellie Blackburn, led the count early and was clear with nine votes after three rounds after three best-on-ground performances.
Blackburn was challenged by Dogs’ trainer Nathan Burke to top the table in 2021. She took his advice and sat in front of Bowers and Davey.
Davey had three best-on-ground performances from Round 2-4 that linked her to Blackburn before another performance with three votes in Round 5 took the lead with 12 votes.
Davey extended her lead on lap 6 with another high vote to 15. However, when she didn’t vote in Round 7 and Bowers put on a show for Fremantle, Davey’s lead was reduced to just one vote.
Then round 8 came, and none of the top runners voted, which meant that round 9 had five players still vying for the medal. Davey was on the 15th, Bowers on the 14th, Melbourne’s Karen Paxman was on the 12th, while Britt Bonnici and Monique Conti were tied on the 12th.
In the final round, when Davey was unable to vote after their team’s demise against Adelaide, Bowers cast a vote for their team’s 1-point loss to North Melbourne to be level with their colleague from Collingwood.
The pair finished one point ahead of Greater Western Sydney’s Alyce Parker and Blackburn, who each received 14 votes.
Davey, a 26-year-old Magpies midfielder, was a young girl when she wrote to then AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou asking for a women’s league. Now it’s in their history books.
She had an exceptional season with an average of 23.8 exits, 11.6 disputed possessions, 4.8 approvals, and 3.4 inside-50s. She also scored six goals – the highest of her five seasons.
Davey said COVID made preparing for the 2021 season weird and thanked her partner Tilly for encouraging her the preseason.
« I didn’t think I’d be up there tonight, I’m very overwhelmed, » said the former Matilda goalkeeper.
« I hope that when I finish this game we leave it in a better place (for the next generation of footballers) … hopefully it’s a league they can really aim for. »
Fremantle’s tackle-Hardy Bowers was the first hot favorite to win the award, and she won the AFL Coaches Association Player of the Year gong after the 29-year-old won an average of 21.1 disposals, 318.5 million and a whopping 11 had achieved tackles and 6.5 clearances for the season.
Bowers revealed that juggling her soccer ball with her « day job » in construction meant starting most of her days at 5am, which took its toll, and thanked her partner Adele and young son Nate for their support.
In March, Bowers was nearly disqualified from competing for the medal after she was charged with rude behavior and offered a suspension from a game she successfully downgraded in the tribunal.
She also picked out AFLCA Player of the Year and took a close second place in the AFLPA Most Valuable Player count.
Two AFLW competition veterans have received an incredible fifth All-Australian nod in a row, while six new faces appear on the 2021 AFL Women’s All-Australian team unveiled at the W Awards on Tuesday night.
After being held in isolation at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the W Awards took place in venues across the country this year, including Melbourne’s Crown Palladium, Perth’s Optus Stadium and Adelaide’s Adelaide Oval.
The Brisbane Lions, who had won the Premier League and still celebrated their 18-point loss to the Crows on Saturday, gathered at The Gabba for the ceremony to see their nearly impenetrable defender Kate Lutkins – fresh from a Grand Final best on-Ground Award – your third All-Australian will be honored.
North Melbourne captain Emma Kearney and Melbourne’s diehard midfielder Karen Paxman were both named this year. This makes them the only players to have received All-Australian honors every year since the league’s inaugural 2017 season.
Preliminary finalists Collingwood led the way with four named players on the team including Brittany Bonnici and Ruby Schleicher, both of whom received their first All-Australian nods.
The other four new faces were Georgia Patrikios from St. Kilda, Breann Moody from Carlton, Katie Brennan from Richmond, and Janelle Cuthbertson from Fremantle.
Crow Erin Phillips, who is expected to undergo arthroscopic surgery on her left knee this week, was honored with her third All-Australian nod, mentioned among strikers this season and in which she will stay for the entire season 14.9.
Collingwood’s co-captain Brianna Davey, who received her second All-Australian nod after a career-high disposal season of 23.8, has been named the crew’s captain.
Seven players kept their places from last 2020 team – Sarah Allan (Adelaide Crows), Kate Lutkins (Brisbane Lions), Emma Kearney (North Melbourne), Kiara Bowers (Fremantle), Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne) and Karen Paxman ( Melbourne). , Alyce Parker (Greater West Sydney).
I / C: Ebony Marinoff (Adelaide) Britt Bonnici (Collingwood) DarcyVescio (Carlton) Karen Paxman (Melbourne) Emma Kearney (North Melbourne)
Additional honors awarded at the W Awards resulted in Brisbane’s great final star Courtney Hodder being named winner of the 2021 Goal of the Year for a running shot that also saw her gathering her own soccer efforts, which the crowd in the round stunned 9 against Melbourne.
Adelaide striker Danielle Ponter picked up Mark of the Year for an eighth round screamer right in front of goal, where she jumped over a pack of Western Bulldogs and even managed to turn her back on her opponent in midair.
The 21-year-old made her debut for the Dees in 2019, playing 16 games before finally securing her first-ever Rising Star nomination, which came in Round 2 after losing 19 to her team’s loss to Richmond at Casey Fields.
From then on she only got better and continued her spectacular third season in red-blue, where she cemented her place in midfield.
Hanks’ standout game this season took place in Round 7 against Adelaide, when she scored the top 25 goals of her career (11 of those contested), 371m (best career), five tackles and 1.1 (her first goal since 2019) .
The 157cm ball getter’s influence was also seen off the field this year after she was elected to the team’s leadership group along with five teammates this year, despite being only 20 years old at the time of her survey.
At the time Hanks was announced to the Demon’s leadership group (which has operated under Captain Daisy Pearce and Vice-Captain Karen Paxman), Coach Mick Stinear said, « It is time to join our future leaders and our leadership group this year investing reflects that … (these) players have leadership qualities and have established themselves as consistent performers on and off the field. »
Lions excitement machine Courtney Hodder won this year’s AFLW Goal of the Year on a night when only one Brisbane player who won the Premier League made the All-Australian squad.
Hodder’s sensational goal came in Round 9 against Melbourne when she defeated two defenders, picked up the rolling ball and launched it from 40 yards.
The 21-year-old has become one of the most dangerous little strikers in the AFLW. This is just her first year in the competition.
The Western Australian product recovered from a serious leg injury and not only took the goal of the year but was instrumental in leading Brisbane for the first time in the Premier League last weekend.
« I put a lot of work behind the scenes and it is my merit to win a great final. »
Hodder’s success comes from the fact that Brisbane’s key defender Kate Lutkins was the only Lion named among the AFLW’s top players despite winning the Premier League.
Three other Brisbane players – Dakota Davidson, Sophie Conway and Catherine Svarc – made the top 40 but missed the cut to be recognized as part of the competition’s top 21 players.
Brisbane has managed to dominate the AFL Association’s AFLW 22Under22 squad with Hodder, Davidson and Natalie Grider named on Tuesday.
« The talent here is just amazing and we hope we can hold onto our entire team, » she said.
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