The AFLW Bulldogs are in good hands.
Skipper Ellie Blackburn became a four-time Club Champion on Thursday night, etching her name even further into the red, white and blue history books.
The 27-year-old is now one of just seven players to have won four or more Bulldogs’ best and fairests, joining the likes of Marcus Bontempelli (four), Ted Whitten Snr (five) and Scott West (seven).
“All I ever wanted to do was play footy at the highest level,” Blackburn said.
“To be able to do that with the Western Bulldogs at an AFLW level is my dream, and I get to live it every single day."
Remarkably, across the seven seasons of AFLW, Blackburn’s podium finishes are as follows:
First. Second. Second. Second. First. First. First.
“I’ve always just wanted to be really consistent in my performances,” she said.
“I think there’s been times where I dip and could be better, but for me it’s just making sure I do all the little things right.
“Making sure I’m training really hard, watching all the vision, recovering my body as best as possible – just trying to dig into all the little things that contribute to the big picture.”
Blackburn was full of praise and admiration for her fellow medallists, runner-up Alice Edmonds and third-placed Isabelle Pritchard.
“They are incredible human beings first and foremost, but for Alice – to come in after not being on a list and only joining our list as a replacement player because Gabby had injured her shoulder, to then being arguably the best ruck in the league and finish second in our best and fairest is truly remarkable,” Blackburn said.
“For Pritchy as well – I’ve never seen someone put so much attention to detail in what they do.
“She puts in so much hard work and so much stuff behind the scenes to make sure she’s the best footballer she can be.
“I’ve never seen someone so passionate and driven. I have no doubt she’ll win plenty of these in years to come.”