One of the biggest nights on the Tasmanian football calendar is nearly upon us, with Blundstone Arena to host the Tasmanian State League Awards on Saturday October 5.
The TSLW Best and Fairest Medal will be awarded to the best and fairest player of the 2019 Wrest Point Tasmanian State League Women’s Season.
Clarence gun Maddy Smith took home the 2018 Medal, joining Glenorchy’s Thomasa Corrie (2017) as a winner of the prestigious award.
How the Medal is Awarded
After each match, the three field umpires award a 3, 2 and 1 point vote to the players they regarded the best, second best and third best on ground respectively. A player becomes ineligible for the Medal if she is suspended for a reportable offence during the season.
The votes are tallied at the end of the home and away rounds to determine the season’s TSLW Best and Fairest award.
Here are the predictions for each side’s top vote-getters and outside chances:
North Melbourne AFLW gun Nicole Bresnehan would be the obvious candidate for the ‘Roos.
Bresnehan has enjoyed a strong 2019 campaign, receiving Team of the Year selection once again and has a strong track record after polling 11 votes in 2018. A standout both in the midfield and across half back, Bresnehan’s skills and impact on games will have her primed to poll well once again.
Bronte Scott is a player who has taken her game to another level in 2019. Scott has emerged as one of Clarence’s best midfielders and biggest accumulators. A strong player on the inside, Scott would have been under the umpire’s noses all season.
Hannah Scott, Katherine Johnson, Jessie Williams and Grace Mitchell have also had strong seasons, while 2018 winner Maddison Smith has impressed when on the park but will struggle to reach the same heights due an injury-interrupted season. Mel Wise also had a dynamic finish to the season, so she may also feature late in the count.
The Magpies will likely have a number of players at the pointy end of the leaderboard, with the likes of Brieanna Barwick, Elise Barwick and Sarah Skinner all having strong campaigns.
The trio consistently find plenty of the football and use it well, ensuring they would have been front of mind for umpires throughout the season.
Skinner polled the most votes last season with 22, but was ineligible due to a suspension earlier in the season. Brieanna Barwick (9) and Elise Barwick (7) also featured prominently 12 months ago.
2017 winner Thomasa Corrie has had another strong season, with her skills making her an eye-catching performer. Mackie Sutcliffe and ruck Gennaveve Sullivan are also players who have enjoyed strong seasons.
Best chances / Smokies
It has been a tough first season for the Southern Bombers, but the tireless efforts of captain Katie Teders and leader Claire McManus should see them feature throughout the count.
The Blues will have an abundance of contenders for top honours after completing an undefeated home and away campaign. The danger may just be how many votes players steal from one another.
Daria Bannister is one of the competition’s best performers and is sure to feature near the pointy end after a 33-goal season.
Coach Angela Dickson and AFLW player Chloe Haines are also likely to feature prominently after strong seasons.
Abbey Green has had a dynamic season, impressing with her marking ability and mobility around the ground. Competition leading goalkicker Brie Rattray should also poll heavily, as should rebounding defender Chanette Thuringer.
The Northern Bombers impressed in their first Wrest Point TSLW season, with young gun Maggie Cuthbertson, although ineligible, likely to be at the forefront of their votes.
Captain Jodie Clifford has also had a strong season, impressing through the middle of the ground as a leader of a young team.
Key forward Emily McKinnell finished third in the competition for goals kicked, while youngster Bonnie Farrell has also been a player of promise in a number of positions.
Leader Marla Neal firms as the Tigers best chance, consistently featuring as one of the Tigers’ best performers. Rarely has a quiet game and stands out as a leader of a young, developing side.
The Tigers showed signs of improvement in 2019, with youngsters Hailee Baldwin and Ellie Doyle continuing their development.