Elisabeth Georgostathis is reaping the rewards of a move to defence after finishing second in the Club’s 2023 AFLW Best and Fairest count.

It’s a rapid rise for Georgostathis – who finished equal-14th in the 2022 S7 count playing as a midfielder – polling 58 votes to be named runner-up behind captain Ellie Blackburn on Thursday night.

The 22-year-old played every match of the 2023 campaign in defence, averaging 17.2 disposals, 3.8 tackles and four marks.

“It’s been really good – I’ve absolutely loved playing in the backline with Skubes and all the girls,” Georgostathis said on-stage.

“Everyone has been so supportive and so welcoming – they made me feel like I belong down there. I couldn’t thank the girls down there enough.

“Obviously I started my career in the midfield, but I suppose I really like the change. I feel like it’s a better way to play footy.

“It just works better for me – I’m able to read the ball better. I really like it down there.”

The second-placed medal was one of two awards she claimed on Thursday night, also named the Most Improved Player.

Visibly shocked to be in such company, she thanked her parents, coaches and teammates for their support across the years.

“To my parents - I wouldn’t be where I am without you guys,” she said.

“You’ve done so much for me over the last few years ever since my footy and netball career started, so thank you.

“Thank-you (to the coaches) for believing in us and pushing us all year.

“And lastly to the girls – it was obviously a pretty (disappointing) year – but I feel like no other team would’ve stayed this close and this connected.

“I couldn’t thank you all enough and love you all so much.”

Kirsty Lamb rounded out the podium, finishing with 51 votes in third place.