Captain Ellie Blackburn has capped off an incredible 2021 season, claiming her second Club Champion award at the Western Bulldogs’ AFLW Best and Fairest count on Saturday afternoon.
After being named the inaugural joint-winner in 2017 and runner-up the past three seasons, Blackburn returned to top spot with 72 votes, leading the count from start to finish.
A late charge from midfielder Kirsty Lamb saw her finish in second place (63 votes), followed by last year’s winner Isabel Huntington in third (51 votes).
But there was no catching Blackburn after an exceptional opening four rounds – who was 18 votes clear of the pack heading into round five.
Blackburn played every game of the 2021 season, averaging 19.6 disposals, 3.2 clearances and a career-best 5.3 tackles.
The star midfielder also contributed with five goals in the opening four rounds. She was influential across the year in leading her side to a 5-4 win-loss record.
Defender Eleanor Brown stormed home in fourth with 42 votes, while key forward Bonnie Toogood rounded out the top five with 39 votes.
Brown won the Most Improved Player award, with Toogood claiming the Community Award and a joint winner of the Players’ Player award alongside Bailey Hunt.
Draftee Jess Fitzgerald and off-season addition Katie Lynch were joint winners of the Best Young Player award, Deanna Berry claimed the Coaches’ Award and Celine Moody won the Trainers’ Award.
2021 AFLW Best and Fairest: Top 10
- Ellie Blackburn – 72
- Kirsty Lamb – 63
- Isabel Huntington – 51
- Eleanor Brown – 42
- Bonnie Toogood- 39
- Brooke Lochland – 33
- Ashleigh Guest – 28
- Naomi Ferres – 25
- Katie Lynch – 21
- Jess Fitzgerald - 19
Most Improved: Eleanor Brown
Coaches’ Award: Deanna Berry
Best Young Player: Jess Fitzgerald and Katie Lynch
Community Award: Bonnie Toogood
Players’ Player: Bailey Hunt and Bonnie Toogood
Trainers’ Award: Celine Moody