AFLW rocked by ugly controversy over best-and-fairest 'disgrace'

Jasmine Garner and Ally Anderson, pictured here during the AFLW's best-and-fairest award.
Jasmine Garner copped a huge snub as Ally Anderson won the AFLW's best-and-fairest award. Image: Getty

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.

Ally Anderson, pictured here on a live-cross during the 2022 W Awards at Crown Palladium.
Ally Anderson is seen on a live-cross during the 2022 W Awards at Crown Palladium. (Photo by Kelly Defina/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

"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.

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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.

Jasmine Garner, pictured after being announced as captain of the AFLW's All-Australian team.
Jasmine Garner is congratulated after being announced as captain of the AFLW's All-Australian team. (Photo by Kelly Defina/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

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.

with AAP

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