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VFL/VFLW best and fairest preview

Vescio's VFLW Goal of the Year This stunning solo effort from Darcy Vescio was adjudged the VFLW Goal of the Year.

The state league seasons for the Blues will come to a close on Friday night at the inaugural VFL/VFLW joint best and fairest.

Taking place at Mantra Bell City, the Carlton VFLW and Northern Blues sides will celebrate what was a historic 2018 for a number of reasons.

With a host of awards on offer, here’s what we can expect on Friday night.

Carlton VFLW awards

VFLW best and fairest
The inaugural Carlton VFLW best and fairest will be crowned tomorrow night after a memorable first season. Across the course of the season, the senior coach, along with three assistants, vote for as many players as they feel warrant a vote for each game on the following scale: 

4 votes – outstanding performance

3 votes – excellent performance

2 votes – above expectation performance

1 vote – expected performance (trademark game)

A player therefore can receive a maximum of four votes from four coaches giving a maximum of 16 possible votes each round.

AFLW-listed contenders: Despite missing a number of games mid-season, Darcy Vescio looms most likely of the AFLW-listed talent, after winning the league’s overall goal-kicking award. Sarah Hosking also performed strongly in limited matches, featuring in the best players five times (including three best-on-grounds), while Tilly Lucas-Rodd had a consistent campaign in the midfield.


VFLW-listed contenders: Captain Kristi Harvey came into her own as the season progressed, kicking seven goals in the final month and playing all bar one game over the course of the season. The impressive Chloe Dalton could also feature heavily, with the rugby sevens convert earning a spot on the AFLW rookie list alongside Brooke Walker after strong performances in the VFLW.

Players’ Player of the Year
An award voted on by the players for the players, this award celebrates the on-field and off-field work. Focusing on leadership and professionalism, the Players’ Player of the Year is all about admiration from their peers. 

Blue Bloods Award
In line with the AFLW best and fairest, the Blue Bloods Award is voted on by the coaches. The winner is determined as the player who upheld the Club’s values most consistently throughout the season. 

True Blue Award
The True Blue Award is presented to a devoted staff member for their work over the course of the season. 

Northern Blues 

Laurie Hill Trophy
Named after Preston’s greatest player, the Laurie Hill Trophy is presented to the Northern Blues’ most outstanding and consistent player throughout the year. The voting system involves three coaches judging the best players on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis.

AFL-listed contenders: Nick Graham starred at VFL level when he was at Josh Fraser’s disposal, averaging just shy of 30 possessions per game. However, playing only eight games may cost him. Patrick Kerr was a reliable asset in the forward line, finishing with 20 goals, while first-year Angus Schumacher showed his potential.

VFL-listed contenders: Sam Fisher and Josh Hill’s strong finishes to the season will hold them in good stead, while captain Tom Wilson is vying for his third Laurie Hill Trophy. Jesse Palmer made the VFL’s Team of the Year after starring up forward with 27 goals. 


Bullant Players’ Player of the Year
Accumulated over the course of the season, this award — for VFL-listed players only — is voted for on a week-by-week basis. In line with the Club’s values, the winner of this award will have lived the ‘ants spirit’ to a tee.  

Oscar Lipson Bullants Spirit Award
In honour of the Club’s longest-serving president, the Oscar Lipson Bullants Spirit Award is given to the player who goes above and beyond the call of duty for the Club. Presented by the Northern Blues’ volunteers, this accolade centres around who embodies the term ‘best clubman’.

Matchworks Most-Improved Player
Replacing the Best First-Year Player Award, this honour speaks for itself. Presented by Matchworks, it's given to the Northern Blues player who has worked hardest on their craft over the course of the season and has shown the results.