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W Awards: The top 10 vote-getters and how they stood out

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AFLW Winner Emily Bates

Brisbane mid Emily Bates has claimed the AFLW Best and Fairest.

The Lions’ VC finished just one vote ahead of Adelaide’s Anne Hatchard, as more stars of the game emerged. 

Saturday’s Grand Final between the Crows and Demons caps off a season that’s seen the game rise to new heights.

Here are the top 10 vote-getters from the W Awards.

1.  Emily Bates, Lions – 21 votes

Bates had an outstanding season, leading the Lions to a Prelim. It’s her second major individual win for the season, having already been crowned AFLCA champion Player of the Year. The three-time All-Australian possesses strong ball-winning ability and was a model of consistency.

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2. Anne Hatchard, Crows – 20 votes

Hatchard was a standout player for the Grand Finalist Crows, who have already sewn up the minor premiership. Like Bates, Hatchard also racks up disposals, an important on-baller for the flag fancies.

3. Ebony Marinoff, Crows – 18 votes

The hard-working midfielder was another key member of the successful Crows team. Marinoff plays with plenty of energy, skill, strength and excels at stoppages.

4. Ashleigh Riddell, Kangaroos – 17 votes

North midfielder Ashleigh Riddell’s pace and power makes her a dangerous attacking threat in the middle of the ground. She collected an AFLW record 42 disposals in her team’s win against West Coast in round 10.

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5. Hayley Miller, Dockers – 15 votes

The tough and determined Miller was a dominant midfield force for Fremantle during the season. Miller, the Dockers captain, led her team in a big qualifying final win against the Kangaroos where she finished with a classy 21 touches, five clearances and a goal.

6. Kiara Bowers, Dockers – 13 votes

Fremantle Dockers star midfielder Kiara Bowers was the reigning AFLW best and fairest winner. Bowers and Miller formed a strong midfield combination for the Dockers that led them to the Preliminary Final. Bowers was handed a two-match suspension for rough conduct against the Western Bulldogs’ Kirsty Lamb which made her ineligible for this season’s best and fairest.

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=7. Ellie Blackburn, Bulldogs – 12 votes

The Western Bulldogs skipper and star midfielder played all ten games in 2022, averaging 20.1 disposals and 4.3 tackles. The 27-year-old was a standout for the Bulldogs and has attracted interest from other AFLW clubs as the trade period nears.

=7. Jaimee Lambert, Magpies – 12 votes

The tenacious midfield led Collingwood to a Qualifying Final and played with great speed, agility and ball movement during the season.

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=7. Brittany Bonnici, Magpies – 12 votes

The hard running Collingwood midfielder took on a leadership role this season for the Pies and was playing consistent footy. Unfortunately, her season was tragically cut short when she tore her ACL in February against the Western Bulldogs.

=10. Jasmine Garner, Kangaroos – 11 votes

The Kangaroos midfielder gun was one of the best for her side during the season and was outstanding in round seven when she collected 26 disposals, six marks and kicked three goals. 

Richmond’s Monique Conti and St Kilda’s Tilly Lucas-Rodd also had stellar seasons, equaling Garner’s 11 votes. 

Joel Martelli
Joel Martelli
The only thing that Joel Martelli loves more than football (seriously, we wouldn't be surprised if he has a Wollongong Wolves tattoo) is writing about all things sports. With a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Degree specialising in Journalism, he spends his days uncovering breaking athlete news stories and diving deep into play-by-play strategies. We're glad that he's put his passion to the pages of Only Sports as one of our dedicated sports writers.

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