AFLW rocked by ugly controversy over best-and-fairest 'disgrace'
AFLW fans have lashed out on social media after North Melbourne star Jasmine Garner finished much lower than expected in best-and-fairest voting. Brisbane onballer Ally Anderson became the first AFLW player to win the award without making the All-Australian team on Tuesday night.
The 28-year-old Anderson was just as stunned as everyone else when she polled 21 votes to beat Richmond's pre-count favourite Monique Conti by two. The Lions bolter stormed home in a tight count, voted best afield in her last three games of the season.
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Asked if she had any inkling she might win the gong, Anderson replied: "Not even a little bit. My speech wasn't very prepared, I probably didn't sound great on stage, but I just had absolutely no idea."
Once she missed out on the All-Australian team earlier in the night, that was confirmation enough for Anderson she would not be at the pointy end of the best and fairest voting.
"I guess it's disappointing for everyone who didn't make the All-Australian (team). I was so happy for my teammates, though," Anderson said of the four Lions who were named in the honorary side.
"It didn't really matter to me. So then I guess I thought I definitely won't be up there in the votes. I was surprised a few of the girls didn't steal a few more votes - but pleasantly surprised."
Despite Anderson's victory, the talk of the AFLW world afterwards was the fact that Garner had seemingly been snubbed. Garner made her fifth-straight All-Australian team and was named captain after winning the AFL Coaches’ Association’s Most Valuable Player of the year.
She was widely predicted to win the best-and-fairest gong as well, but failed to poll a single vote until round five. The Brisbane star didn't even finish in the top 10 of voting in staggering scenes that left commentators and fellow players shocked.
Is Jasmine Garner invisible in games or am I (and many others) missing something??? 🤯#AFLWAwards
— Steph Chiocci (@Steph_Chiocci) November 22, 2022
Jasmine Garner got 0 AFLW B&F votes for the following performances...
R1: 243 +10 coaches votes
R2: 155 +10 coaches votes
R3: 159 +6 coaches votes
R4: 98 +4 coaches votes#AFLWAwards https://t.co/ICbHqmaczR
— Oliver Gigacz (@OliverGigacz) November 22, 2022
Jasmine Garner in the umpires' eyes for the first half of the season: pic.twitter.com/KKlMMC8L1h
— Ricky Mangidis (@rickm18) November 22, 2022
Round 4 and Jasmine Garner still doesn't have a vote. This medal now has no credibility. What a disgrace.
— Karen Lyon (@klioness) November 22, 2022
never one to be critical of sporting awards but having closely followed jasmine garner this season, having both the pleasure and privilege to watch her play - seems incredibly odd she polls the full amount of coaches votes in the first two rounds but isn’t recognized by umpires.
— Clare Cosy (@ClareCosy) November 22, 2022
Is this real life?
Jasmine Garner, North Melbourne- 0 votes.
— Ian Barons 💙🤍🦘 (@InBrns1) November 22, 2022
someone should tap jasmine garner on the shoulder and insist she check her wallet and bank accounts, absolutely fleeced last night 💰
— Clare Cosy (@ClareCosy) November 23, 2022
AFLW's All-Australian team unveiled
With two of the 10 rounds left in the count, only one vote separated five players at the top of the leaderboard. Anderson's teammate Emily Bates, who won last season's award, presented the medal to Anderson at a team function in Brisbane.
The Lions players did not travel to Tuesday night's W awards night in Melbourne, staying at home as they prepare for the grand final. AFL and Brisbane officials were caught off-guard by Anderson's win, hurriedly arranging a media conference over the phone for the Lions star with journalists at the Melbourne function.
Anderson is a Lions 2021 premiership player, a 2019 All-Australian and a two-time club best-and-fairest winner. But she was not among the four Brisbane players who were named in this season's All-Australian lineup. Adelaide's Ebony Marinoff finished third on 18 votes and Essendon's Maddy Prespakis was fourth on 17.
Earlier on Tuesday night, Emma Kearney's AFLW All-Australian streak continued, with the North Melbourne captain the only player picked for all seven seasons. Kearney was named as a defender in the 21-player honorary team.
Also at Tuesday night's W awards, Port Adelaide onballer Hannah Ewings was named the season's Rising Star. Kearney switched from the Western Bulldogs to the Kangaroos when they joined the league in 2019 and earlier this month was also appointed to their AFL team as a development coach.
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