Collingwood VFLW midfielder Jessica Bates has been crowned the Club’s 2023 VFLW Best and Fairest.

The 28-year-old had an outstanding season which has seen her lead the league in disposals (453), kicks (267) and handballs (186).

In her first season as a Magpie, Bates has proven to be a well-balanced player who possess both offensive and defensive skills.

The hard-hitting midfielder acquired an average of 26.6 disposals and scored a total of 11 goals throughout the season.

After taking part in all 17 games throughout 2023, the 2022 SANFL league Best and Fairest winner finished the count on an impressive 233 votes.

In second place for the count of was Elisabeth Jackson with 96 votes, while recent GWS Giants recruit Rene Caris finished the count in third spot with 84 votes. .

Across her 17 matches played, Jackson averaged a total of 15.2 disposals, 9.6 kicks and 5.5 handballs.

While succeeding awardee Caris averaged 10 disposals, 4.6 kicks and 5.4 handballs across 16 games.

Collingwood’s VFLW Senior Coach Chloe McMillan congratulated Bates on her achievement.

“Jessica is an outstanding player who is extremely dedicated to her craft,” McMillan said.

“She has grown to be such an amazing player and was consistently impactful at stoppages and clearances.

“She is a contested ball winner who also made a significant contribution on the scoreboard.

“This is a huge achievement for Jess and one she should be extremely proud of.”

In other awards on the night, Eva Nikolitsis was awarded the Best First Year Player, Georgia Ricardo the Coaches Award and Players’ Player Award to Riley Christgoergl. 

2023 Collingwood VFLW Award Winners

Best and Fairest Winner – Jess Bates (Number 50)

Second place – Elizabeth Jackson (Number 65)

Third place – Rene Caris (Number 68)

Best First-Year Player – Eva Nikolitsis

Coaches Award – Georgia Ricardo

Players Player Award – Riley Christgoergl