Ahead of Monday’s VFL Best & Fairest night, we look at 25 of the top contenders to claim the 2019 Lambert-Pearce Medal for the best and fairest player in the Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s.
* The VFL Best & Fairest night will be streamed live on vfl.com.au from 7pm on Monday. CLICK HERE to watch.
JESS HOSKING (Carlton)
Played primarily in defence this VFLW season but had an impact further up the ground as well, leading the Blues for total disposals, uncontested possessions and rebound-50s. The AFLW-lister averaged 17 disposals, eight uncontested possessions, five tackles and 3.5 rebound-50s per game across 11 matches.
ABBIE McKAY (Carlton)
First-year AFLW-listed hard-nut who easily led the VFLW Blues for total contested possessions and clearances while ranking second for disposals. The daughter of Carlton AFL great Andrew McKay averaged 15 disposals, 10 contested possessions, four tackles and 3.5 clearances per game in 12 outings.
HARRIET CORDNER (Casey Demons)
VFLW Demons co-captain who performed consistently across a range of statistical areas as a key-position player/ruck. Averaged 13 disposals, nine hitouts, 3.5 marks and five tackles per game through her 11 matches, ranking in the top six players at Casey across all those four categories.
BIANCA JAKOBSSON (Casey Demons)
Another Casey co-captain who used her experience as a Melbourne AFL-lister to damage the opposition in space. Ranked third in the VFLW for total marks and led the Demons for uncontested possessions, averaging 17 disposals, 10 uncontested possessions, five marks and five tackles per game in 10 matches.
JAIMEE LAMBERT (Collingwood)
Reigning Collingwood VFLW and AFLW best and fairest who claimed the 2019 Rohenna Young Medal as the competition’s leading goalkicker with 21 majors in 11 matches. Remarkably also ranked third in the VFLW for total disposals, averaging 23 per game as well as 13 contested possessions, 5.5 tackles and four clearances.
MADDIE SHEVLIN (Collingwood)
Magpies AFLW-lister who provided an attacking threat when moving the ball forward from the midfield, averaging 14 disposals, nine uncontested possessions and 3.5 inside-50s per game across 10 outings as well as kicking seven goals. Led Collingwood for total inside-50s and ranked third for disposals.
RENI HICKS (Darebin Falcons)
The former AFLW player – fresh off Carlton’s 2019 list – made her presence felt to VFLW opponents who dared take her on, easily topping the competition for total tackles. Averaged 11 tackles per game through her 13 matches in Darebin’s midfield as well as 13 disposals and nine contested possessions.
LAUREN PEARCE (Darebin Falcons)
Dominant Melbourne AFLW-listed ruck who excelled both in the air and at ground level. Averaged 19 disposals, 16 contested possessions, 33 hitouts and 7.5 clearances per game in 10 matches, leading the VFLW for average hitouts as well as total contested possessions and ranking second for total clearances.
SHAE AUDLEY (Essendon)
Became a key cog in Essendon’s midfield after departing Carlton’s AFLW list earlier in 2019, averaging 16 disposals, 10 contested possessions, eight tackles and 3.5 clearances per game in her 13 outings. Ranked third in the VFLW for total tackles and second at the Bombers for the other three categories above.
GEORGIA NANSCAWEN (Essendon)
Led Essendon for total disposals, contested possessions and clearances – ranking in the VFLW’s top three players for the latter two categories – after being delisted by North Melbourne’s AFLW team this year. Averaged 18 disposals, 12 contested possessions, five clearances and 7.5 tackles across 13 matches.
AMY McDONALD (Geelong Cats)
Enjoyed a breakout VFLW season, ranking in the competition’s top seven players for total disposals, contested possessions and clearances – also leading the Cats in these three categories. Averaged 17 disposals, 11 contested possessions, 3.5 clearances and five tackles per game in 13 matches.
REBECCA WEBSTER (Geelong Cats)
Made the most appearances of any Cats AFLW-lister this VFLW season, averaging 17 disposals, nine uncontested possessions and four tackles per game in her 12 outings. Ranked first at Geelong for total uncontested possessions and second for disposals, contested possessions and clearances.
REBECCA BEESON (Hawthorn)
The GWS Giants AFLW on-baller was consistently prolific this season, topping the VFLW for total disposals (jointly) and uncontested possessions but also showing the toughness to rank fourth in clearances. Averaged 23 disposals, 13 uncontested possessions, 4.5 clearances and 5.5 tackles per game in 12 matches.
ROSIE DILLON (Hawthorn)
Broke out as one of Hawthorn’s key midfield drivers this season, leading the competition for total clearances and ranking in the top 10 players for disposals, contested possessions and tackles. Across all 14 matches, she averaged 17 disposals, 11 contested possessions, 5.5 clearances and 5.5 tackles per game.
JASMINE GARNER (Melbourne Uni)
One of the VFLW’s premier attacking midfielders who booted 15 goals from just nine matches, also averaging 24 disposals, 14 contested possessions, five marks, six tackles and 5.5 clearances per game. The North Melbourne AFLW-lister ranked in Melbourne Uni’s top four players across all five of those categories.
KATE GILLESPIE-JONES (Melbourne Uni)
Another Kangaroos AFLW player who jointly topped the competition for total disposals as a part-time ruck. Also led the VFLW for total marks and inside-50s, averaging 23 disposals, 12 contested possessions, 5.5 marks, four inside-50s and seven tackles per game in 12 matches – as well as kicking eight goals.
ASH RIDDELL (Melbourne Uni)
The third North Melbourne AFLW star to feature here made a big impact in only eight VFLW matches this season. Averaged 28 disposals, 14 contested possessions, four marks, 6.5 tackles and six clearances per game, jointly leading the Mugars in the latter category despite her limited appearances.
JANET BAIRD (NT Thunder)
Young midfielder who was a shining light in a season that faded badly for NT under the weight of injuries. She stepped into the breach to average 11 disposals, six uncontested possessions and 3.5 tackles per game through 12 matches, also leading the Thunder for total clearances.
KATIE BRENNAN (Richmond)
A big-name signing for Richmond’s 2020 AFLW entry who made a big impact in just seven VFLW appearances. The key forward ranked first at the Tigers for total inside-50s and booted six goals, averaging 21 disposals, 11 uncontested possessions, four marks, five clearances and 4.5 inside-50s per game.
MONIQUE CONTI (Richmond)
Another key Tigers AFLW recruit who perhaps had an even bigger impact than fellow ex-Western Bulldogs player Brennan. Averaged 22 disposals, 15 contested possessions, 6.5 clearances and 4.5 tackles per game in only seven outings, ranking first at Richmond for total contested possessions and clearances regardless.
POPPY KELLY (Southern Saints)
Former basketballer who stood out with her work as the no.1 ruck at the Saints. Averaged nine disposals, five contested possessions and 21 hitouts per game across her 12 matches and ranked sixth in the VFLW for total hitouts, indicating talent that will only be developed further in years to come.
OLIVIA VESELY (Southern Saints)
Earned a place on St Kilda’s inaugural AFLW list for 2020 towards the end of the home-and-away season on the back of a breakout campaign as a tough on-baller. Ranked first at the VFLW Saints for total clearances, averaging 18 disposals, 10 contested possessions, four clearances and four tackles per game in 12 matches.
ELLIE GAVALAS (Western Bulldogs)
First-year VFLW player who instantly settled into a role as a hardened midfielder at the Bulldogs. Led the team for total disposals, contested possessions, clearances and inside-50s across 13 outings, averaging 17 disposals, eight contested possessions, three clearances and three inside-50s per game.
KIRSTY LAMB (Western Bulldogs)
Made perhaps the biggest impact of the AFLW-listed Bulldogs who rotated through the VFLW side when she took the field. Only appeared on six occasions in 2019 but averaged 23 disposals, 12 uncontested possessions, eight tackles, five clearances and four inside-50s as versatile midfielder.
MOANA HOPE (Williamstown)
Received the chance at Williamstown to play more as a ball-winning midfielder than in the forward-line role she’s previously held at AFLW level. Led the Seagulls for total disposals, contested possessions and clearances, averaging 21 disposals, eight contested possessions and four clearances in 10 matches.