Bombers skipper claims VFLW's top prize, Pies dominate TOTY

ESSENDON VFLW skipper Georgia Nanscawen has taken out the Lambert-Pearce Medal, while Collingwood's sparking VFLW form has been reflected in the Team of the Year.

Former AFLW Roo Nanscawen was crowned the 2021 best and fairest with 17 votes after a stirring season as an inside midfielder, leading her side to a maiden preliminary final.

Georgia Nanscawen in action at a North Melbourne AFLW training session in 2018. Picture: AFL Media

Awards run in the family, with Nanscawen being the great-great-niece of inaugural Brownlow medallist Edward 'Carji' Greeves.

The 29-year-old – who opted not to nominate for the 2021 NAB AFLW Draft ahead of Essendon's entry in late 2022 – saw off Collingwood skipper Caitlin Bunker (14) and delisted AFLW Saint Tamara Luke (11).

Luke spent the vast majority of the 2021 VFLW season with her original side Hawthorn following her delisting.

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"I’m pretty speechless, I wasn’t expecting this when I jumped on the Zoom call, so certainly very honoured and pretty shocked," Nanscawen said.

"From the day I walked into Essendon I felt at home – most of my sporting life I’ve been in that high-pressure, high-stress environment, but when I came to Essendon I just felt really at ease and was just able to enjoy myself and enjoy sport.

"Obviously you play your best in whatever sport when you’re feeling valued and comfortable with where you are, and I’ve certainly been very happy at Essendon and that has helped me enjoy myself and play good football.

"For a couple of years I’ve been quite forward in saying Essendon is where I want to be.

"I don’t see myself going anywhere else and if the opportunity to play for Essendon at AFLW level was there that would be wonderful, but for now we’ve got another season of VFLW to focus on and hopefully go two steps better than we did this year."

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Collingwood's Chloe McMillan was named coach of the year after taking the Magpies through an undefeated season (the Pies were set to face Geelong in the Grand Final before the season was cancelled due to COVID-19).

Another four Pies joined her in the Team of the Year: defender Jasmine Ferguson (drafted to North Melbourne), key forward Imogen Barnett (elevated to the Pies' AFLW list), Bunker and Matilda Zanker.

Barnett was also crowned the Rohenna Young award as the competition's leading goalkicker.

A swag of newly signed AFLW players also made the VFLW Team of the Year, including Airlie Runnalls (now Fremantle), new Gold Coast pair Tara Bohanna and Alana Barba, Imogen Milford (Carlton), Geelong duo Liv Fuller and Claudia Gunjaca, Melbourne rookie Eliza West and new Tiger Meagan Kiely. 

West also won the Debbie Lee Award as the VFLW's Rising Star.

Casey Demon Eliza West in action against the Southern Saints. Picture: AFL Photos

2021 Lambert-Pearce Medal

Georgia Nanscawen (Essendon) 17 votes
Caitlin Bunker (Collingwood) 14
Tamara Luke (Hawthorn) 11
Meagan Kiely (North Melbourne) 9
Olivia Barber (Geelong) 9
Amelia Velardo (Collingwood) 9
Claudia Gunjaca (Geelong) 9
Ally Bild (Carlton) 7
Madi Capsalis (Southern Saints) 7
Melissa Kuys (Port Melbourne) 7
Alana Barba (Essendon) 7
Tara Bohanna (Southern Saints) 7
Meg Hutchins (Hawthorn) 7
Maddy Shevlin (Collingwood) 7
Imogen Barnett (Collingwood) 7