Lions' Anderson stuns with AFLW award

Brisbane onballer Ally Anderson is the first AFLW player to win the best-and-fairest award without making the All-Australian team.

Anderson, 28, was 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.

Asked if she had any inkling she might win, 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."

It is an unexpected distraction for Anderson ahead of Sunday's grand final against Melbourne at the Lions' new Springfield headquarters.

"I will have to move on pretty fast because my main focus is the grand final," Anderson said.

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..

Teammate and star midfielder Jasmine Garner made her fifth-straight All-Australian team, while Marinoff also was picked for the fifth time.

Garner was named captain and Brisbane defender Bre Koenen the vice-captain.

Brisbane and Adelaide led the selections with four players apiece.

Prespakis and her younger sister, Geelong speedster Georgie, are the first siblings to make an AFLW All-Australian team.

Melbourne players, including captain Daisy Pearce, sat in a separate room at the vote count ahead of Sunday's grand final as a COVID-19 measure.

Geelong forward Chloe Scheer made the All-Australian team and also won the mark of the season award, as Gold Coast's Ashanti Bush was awarded goal of the season.

AFLW All-Australian umpires were named for the first time - Thomas Chrystie (field), Trent Bowes (boundary), and Adam Stegar (goal).


1. Ally Anderson (Bris) 21 votes

2. Monique Conti (Rich) 19

3. Ebony Marinoff (Adel) 18

4. Maddy Prespakis (Ess) 17

5. Olivia Purcell (Melb) 16


Backs: Chelsea Biddell (Adel) Bre Koenen (Bris, vice-captain) Elish Sheerin (Rich) Katie Lynch (WB) Emma Kearney (NM)

Midfielders: Anna Hatchard (Adel) Monique Conti (Rich) Georgie Prespakis (Geel) Breann Moody (Carl) Jasmine Garner (NM, captain) Ebony Marinoff (Adel)

Forwards: Kate Hore (Melb) Jesse Wardlaw (Bris) Maddy Prespakis (Ess) Courtney Wakefield (Rich) Chloe Scheer (Geel)

Interchange: Olivia Purcell (Melb) Natalie Grider (Bris) Amy McDonald (Geel) Chelsea Randall (Adel) Greta Bodey (Bris).


1. Hannah Ewings (PA 41 votes

2. Abbey Dowrick (PA) 22

3. Jasmine Fleming (Haw) 17