Star Lion sticking with the pride despite rival interest

EMILY Bates has turned her back on rival interest and reaffirmed her commitment to Brisbane after winning a third club best and fairest on Wednesday night.

As revealed by Bates had been courted by numerous clubs, including expansion outfit Hawthorn, after taking her game to a new level in 2022.

However, the 26-year-old midfielder confirmed her intentions to stay put following her win at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

"There was a bit to think about, some incredible offers from different clubs, some amazing opportunities presented, but at the end of the day Brisbane is my home, it's what feels like my family," Bates said.

"We have a sisterhood here with the girls and we are on the brink of something pretty special here if we keep the group together.]

"At the end of the day, I play football for team success … I see that happening in the next few years here and that's what informed my decision.

"I think the grass isn't always greener on the other side, it's green where you water it."

Bates' triumph completed a clean sweep over the past month, adding it to the AFLW best and fairest, the AFL Coaches Association Champion Player and the AFL Players' Association MVP.

Brisbane's Emily Bates handballs against Geelong in R4, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

It is believed she has recommitted for the next two years.

Bates admitted it had been a stressful couple of weeks.

"There's been a bit of talk in the media, and I'm not used to that," she said.

"Even seeing my name in headlines is still so strange for me.

"It is just a weight off my shoulders so I can just focus on what I want to do, which is have a massive pre-season again.

"I don't want to be a one hit wonder, I want to have another strong season and be consistent from here on."

She had a remarkable sixth season with the Lions, guiding them to a preliminary final and joining Adelaide superstar Erin Phillips as the only players to win their club award three times.

Bates previously won in 2017 and 2020.

Her commitment means the Lions will keep the nucleus of its powerhouse outfit for the next AFLW season.

PLAYER MOVEMENT Who's going? Who's staying? All the latest news

Bates averaged 21 disposals, 11 of them contested, five clearances and seven tackles in a season full of consistency.

Greta Bodey was the runner-up following a breakout season, where she kicked 13 goals and averaged 11 disposals and three tackles to become one of the competition's most damaging half-forwards.