Monday evening was a night of champions as AFL Sydney, the South Australian Women’s Football League and the Victorian Football League announced their women’s best and fairest winners for the 2016 season.
Heading into the night, it was anticipated that Melbourne Demons women’s captain Daisy Pearce winning her seventh league b&f would be the big story, but she was instead upstaged by a 16-year-old from Modbury in South Australia.
Unlike the events in Melbourne and Sydney, the SAWFL’s Dutschke Medal count was not live streamed, with only patchy reports coming through on social media throughout the evening.
The first sign something extraordinary was on the cards was when Port Adelaide Councillor Mark Basham tweeted that the Modbury Hawks’ Chloe Scheer had scored 37 votes out of a possible maximum of 42 to take home the SAWFL under-18s best and fairest, the Narelle Smith Medal.
However, the night wasn’t over yet for the teenage cross-code athlete who also bats in the top order and bowls leg-spin for the Northern Jets in the SACA A-Grade.
Less than 90 minutes later, the attacking midfielder would again shock the female footy world, announced as the winner of the Dutschke Medal, the senior women’s Division One best and fairest.
If her efforts weren’t already incredible enough, Scheer topped the under-18s goal kicking with 62 goals in 16 games and finished equal second in the seniors, bagging 36 goals in 15 outings.
Although now proclaimed by the umpire’s votes as the best female footballer in South Australia, Scheer will still have to wait until she turns 18 to be eligible for the national women’s competition.
Meanwhile in Victoria, the Darebin Falcons’ Daisy Pearce took home an incredible seventh league best and fairest.
The captain of the Falcons and Melbourne’s women’s AFL team polled 33 votes, to add the title of inaugural VFL Women’s best and fairest winner to her record-breaking six Helen Lambert Medals in the VWFL.
Pearce was challenged early in the voting by Melbourne University’s Kaitlyn Ashmore (Brisbane Lions recruit), with both tied on 10 votes after the first six rounds, then fended off a late charge from St Kida’s Brianna Davey (Carlton Blues marquee) who drew level with Pearce on 20 votes after 12 rounds.
At the event in Melbourne, Collingwood marquee Moana Hope was awarded the VFL Women’s goal kicking award, amassing 104 goals for the St Kilda Sharks during the home and away season.
Seaford’s Sarah Hosking was announced as the Rising Star after her successful switch from netball to footy, named 14 times in the best players for the Tigerettes throughout the season.
In the harbour city, Sydney University’s Nicola Barr took out the Mostyn Medal with 24 votes in the Women’s Premier Division, ahead of last year’s winner Amanda Farrugia
Barr already has a long list of honours, including being the first female AFL scholarship recipient with Sydney University, a two-time AFL Sydney Youth Girls best and fairest, and she was named as the competition’s Rising Star last year.
With playing for the Sydney Swans in the SCG exhibition match and representing NSW/ACT at Adelaide Oval also added to her impressive resume, it seem all but confirmed that she’ll be taking part in next year’s national women’s competition with the GWS Giants.
Earlier in the evening, Auburn’s Angela Prifits was named as this season’s Rising Star, while the UNSW-Eastern Suburbs Stingrays’ Rebecca Beeson took home the goal kicking award with 43 in the Premier Division this year.
The James Medal for the best and fairest in Division One went to Carol Breen of the UTS Shamrocks.