Collingwood AFLW foundation player Brittany Bonnici has been crowned Collingwood’s 2023 AFLW Best and Fairest at tonight’s event at Crown.

In her first season back after an ACL injury, Bonnici impressively polled votes in all matches throughout the 10-round season to collect a total of 124 votes.

In her third season as Vice-Captain of the side, Bonnici collected the highest intercept possessions for the team (50) and the most inside 50s (33).

Drafted to Collingwood at pick 27 in the 2016 AFL Women’s Draft, the 26-year-old has gone on to play 57 games in the black-and-white.

This year Bonnici celebrated her 50th-game in Round 3 against the Gold Coast Suns becoming the eighth Collingwood AFLW player to reach the milestone.

The 2021 All Australian had four best-on-ground performances this season in games against Fremantle, St Kilda, Brisbane and Carlton. Bonnici also polled the highest votes of any Collingwood player in the league’s Best and Fairest (12 votes) count to finish equal-11th for the award.

Collingwood’s Head of Women’s Football Jess Burger commended Bonnici on her achievement.

“Brit has had an outstanding 2023 season and she should be incredibly proud of this award,” Burger said.

“To be presented with this award upon her return from an ACL injury is a huge credit to Brit’s dedication and commitment to her game.

“Not only is Brit a reliable and consistent performer in our side, but she is also an outstanding leader and consistently drives high-standards within our program.

“We can’t wait to see where she can take her game in 2024.”

In second place for the award was Collingwood AFLW Captain, Brianna Davey who finished the night with 78 votes.

Having also returned from an ACL injury this season, the 2023 All Australian Squad member averaged the most disposals for the side this season (19.5) as well as the most clearances (averaging 6.1).  

Finishing the count in third place was Irish cross-coder, Sarah Rowe with 77 votes.

Rowe’s sixth AFLW season was arguably her best to date, with the 26-year-old averaging 17.9 disposals while also holding the highest average kicks with 15.2.

Having been drafted as a cross code rookie in 2018, the midfielder celebrated her 50th AFLW game in Round Seven.

Rounding out the top five vote-getters was ruck Sabrina Frederick (70 votes) who led the league’s total hit-outs (287), followed by midfielder Mikala Cann (59 votes) who averaged the second-most tackles for the side (7.1).

In other awards presented on the night, the Club’s Best First Year Player was awarded to Grace Campbell, while the program’s Player Development Manager, Kate Frazer was awarded the Side By Side Award which acknowledges the best Club person as voted by players and staff.

In a Club first, the Players’ Player Award was presented to three awardees in Brittany Bonnici, Brianna Davey and Sarah Rowe.
Award Winners
Collingwood 2023 AFLW Best & Fairest Award presented by AIA: Brittany Bonnici (124 votes)
Runner Up Best and Fairest: Brianna Davey (78 Votes)
3rd Place: Sarah Rowe (77 Votes)
Players’ Player Award presented by Nike: Brittany Bonnici, Brianna Davey and Sarah Rowe.
Side by Side Award presented by KFC: Kate Frazer (Player Development Manager).
Best First Year Player Award presented by Kangan: Grace Campbell.

The Club’s AFLW Best and Fairest award is voted on by the Senior Coach and three Assistant Coaches. The four coaches vote on five players (in a 5-1 order) at the conclusion of each game. Five votes are the most each coach can award one player, with a player receiving a maximum of 20 votes per match.