AFL Queensland congratulates Brisbane Lions superstar and local product Ally Anderson on winning the 2022 AFLW Best-and-Fairest award for season seven.
Anderson won a thrilling vote count on Tuesday night and finished on 21 votes, with three votes in the final round of the season securing the win, two ahead of Richmond’s Mon Conti with Adelaide’s Ebony Marinoff a further vote back.
The 28-year-old was born in Brisbane and was introduced to the game of Australian rules football while a student at Kedron State High School. She played community club football for the Zillmere Eagles and represented Queensland at underage level.
Anderson is the second-straight Lion to win the AFLW’s top individual honour after teammate Emily Bates’s triumph in season six earlier this year.
In further good news for AFL in Queensland, four members of the Lions were named in the 2022 AFLW All-Australian team – Breanna Koenen, Jesse Wardlaw, Natalie Grider and Greta Bodey. All four players came through the local club and pathway system, with Koenen coming from the mighty Magnetic Island Magpies, netball convert Wardlaw from Yeronga Devils, Jindalee Jags junior Grider and former soccer player Bodey who started out at the Cairns Saints.
The good news kept coming with Lions’ skipper Koenen named Vice Captain of the All-Australian team and Wardlaw taking out leading goal kicker for the NAB AFLW season.
Anderson’s triumph and selection of the four Lions players in the All-Australian team is another chapter in what has been an incredible year for the game in Queensland, which has seen record participation of more than 58,000 registered participants from NAB AFL Auskick through to junior, youth and senior community club football. A surge in popularity in football for women and girls has been a driving force behind the game’s growth.
Part of the growth included more than 12,000 girls having their first taste of footy in 2022 with the introduction of Aussie Rules into the Queensland Girls Secondary Schools Sports Association competition which saw nine schools and more than 430 girls in grades 7-9 competing.
The year will be capped when Anderson’s Lions team hosts Melbourne in the NAB AFLW Grand Final at the new Brighton Homes Arena in Springfield on Sunday November 27, the first ever match at the club’s new home. Tickets for the game have sold out.
2022 has seen some exciting developments for the game, including the announcement that the AFL will enshrine an increased minimum level of annual funding into grassroots football nationally from 2023, which will result in an immediate injection of an extra $17 million, taking the game’s commitment to community football from $50 million to $67 million next year.
In a major boost to female football, more than $5 million in new investment was committed to funding phase one of the Women and Girls Action Plan for the next three years and the game overall in Queensland is still benefiting from the State Government and AFL’s $8 million partnership that was launched last year as part of the 2020 AFL Grand Final legacy, to support community AFL infrastructure.