Women’s Award Winners for 2020

Monday, November 2, 2020 - 9:15 AM by Matthew Ogg

Shanae Davison has topped off a stellar season, taking home her maiden 2020 McSherry Medal on Saturday night at the Swan Districts women’s Fairest & Best awards.

The McSherry Medal is an award named after foundation captain, WA representative and dual Reserves Premiership coach – Mandy McSherry. A 3x time Club Fairest and Best winner herself, McSherry is the clubs longest serving captain and has seen the women’s teams through a number of jumper changes before the club eventually became a part of Swan Districts. Previous winners of the McSherry Medal include: Chelsea Randall, Lauren Osborne, Kara Donnellan (now Antonio), Gemma Houghton, Stephanie Cain and Angelique Stannett. Voting is conducted using a 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 system. Three vote cards were completed for each game. 45 votes are awarded in each round with players able to earn a maximum of 15 in each round

Davison pipped key defenders Aimee Ralph and Lauren Osborne, along with fellow midfielders Mikayla Morrison and Mikayla Hyde for the top honour, with a best-on-ground performance in the Swans only finals appearance resulting in the close victory.

After being selected by the West Coast Eagles with pick #18 in this seasons AFLW Draft, Shanae Davison would have been forgiven to think that her year couldn’t get any better. Finishing runner-up in last year’s club award, it took Shanae until Round 4 to poll her first votes, getting on the board with a dual best-on-ground performance against the Sharks. In the shortened 7-game season, Shanae headed into their elimination final against East Fremantle sitting fifth overall in the count. With 28 votes to her name, she unknowingly sat behind Aimee Ralph (37 votes), Mikayla Morrison (32 votes), Lauren Osborne (30 votes) and Mikayla Hyde (29 votes). Judged as the best-on-ground by the coaches, her perfectly polled round of 15 votes propelled her into first place, six and nine votes ahead of co vice-captains Ralph (37 votes) and Osborne (34 votes) respectively. 

“I’m incredibly grateful to have won this award” Shanae said. “I love this club and the opportunities it has given me.”

“To play the last two seasons in the league side, and alongside the girls I’ve played with, I love the culture we’ve created and can’t wait to continue that in 2021.”

It could have been quite easy for the women’s league side to lower their heads this season, with obstacles regularly being thrown their way, even before the season eventually started. This included the resignation of two of their head coaches – one prior to the season commencing and the other after Round 1.  Although it would have been nice to have made it to the big dance in mid-September, the grunt and effort to simply make it through to the finals series in a strong competition was nothing short of inspiring.

Newly drafted Docker, Mikayla Morrison, who came to the Swans from East Perth this season in the hope of living her AFLW dreams, took out the Rookie of the Year Award after a strong year through the midfield. The only Swan to kick at least one goal in every game, she was picked up by Fremantle in the recent draft with pick #30 overall.

“Being my first year with the club, I didn’t expect anything like this” Mikayla said. “I’ve enjoyed coming across to this club and am overall just very happy.”

It was a great night for Swans veteran, Fiona Boucher, who received both the WAFLW Community Award and Most Outstanding On & Off the Field Award. Taking on the head coaching role for the Rogers Cup in 2020, Fiona took the lead in boosting the youth girl’s development throughout the season. She also played every game for the League side this year, regularly battling through injuries. She led by example in her rehab and in the way she prepared for games. She was also vocal in training, helping teach a very young League side about structures and set plays, along with sharing with her younger youth girls what it takes to play at the top level.

“I love the footy club and love the game” Fiona said. “The last two years I’ve been coaching and it’s like a new love for me in teaching the new generation the game I’ve enjoyed playing for 30 years”.

“For me to be able to pass that skill on and see the enthusiasm and opportunities these girls have, it’s just really exciting”.

Hannah Hong was the well-deserving winner of the Club Person of the Year Award. Originally recruited as the Strength & Conditioning coach for the WAFLW League side only, Hannah quickly took it upon herself to also be there to help the Reserves and Rogers Cup girls in whatever way needed. She would be seen every week at all three women’s games, regardless of whether the Swans girls were playing at home or away. Filling cups, strapping bodies, running water, donning the trainers vest, helping with injuries and offering her services to both the coaches and players throughout the day are just some of the ways Hannah went above and beyond for the Swans in 2020.

“It is pretty overwhelming, and I didn’t expect to get it” Hannah said. “It’s a really good feeling to be recognised like this by the girls and the club in this way.”

If you didn’t get the chance to watch the Reserves side play this season, then you’ve missed out. Although the wins didn’t come often for the side, it was their support and enthusiasm for each other that made people stop and watch. The team would be seen cheering and celebrating every good thing their teammates were doing on the field, and provide constant encouragement to anyone who made a mistake.

It was Kaitlyn Beaton that stood out above her Reserves teammates to take the Helen Wheeler Medal. Rotating through the midfield and up forward, she polled in every game she played in the seconds, only missing out on votes in Round 7 after having been pushed up into the League side. She was also named as an emergency in the top side’s elimination final against East Fremantle. Kaitlyn finished nine votes ahead of the fast finishing Tessa Jones (26 votes) with exciting forward Loughlyn Webb in third (23 votes). Winning the count on 35 votes, her best games came arguably against the two toughest teams in the competition, East Fremantle and West Perth

“It feels really awesome to win, especially since I’ve only really played footy for about a year and a half” Kaitlyn said. “I have the best teammates and coaching staff and I couldn’t have done this without them.”

The Rogers Cup saw the development of a number of their players excel throughout season 2020. Two made their League debuts, with others earning a spot in the Reserves. Although they finished in seventh place with just one win on the board, the future is very exciting for the Swans women’s sides, with a strong pool of talent coming through the ranks.

Caitlyn Appleford blew her fellow teammates away in the race for the Chelsea Randall Medal, winning the award with an overall count of 52 votes, 25 more than second placed Chanel Jetta (27 votes). Versatile between the forward-line and midfield, she polled in all but one game. Kloe Taylor rounded out the top 3 medal winners, finishing with 25 votes to her name.

“I was in disbelief when they called my name” Caitlyn said. “Everyone in the team played so well and it was really equal all round because they all played their roles.”

“I’ve put in a lot of work this season and felt like I’d tried really hard, so I’m really happy with myself.”

New WAFLW Head Coach, Adam Dancey, was announced on the night, sharing his excitement of working with the team in 2021. Bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and experience, it will be fascinating to see how far he can take the players’ next season.

The sad passing of Jacinda Barclay was also remembered during the evening, with Jo Taylor giving an emotional account of her incredible life. An extraordinary athlete, she played Aussie Rules, Baseball and American Football at the elite level. Jacinda was just 29 at the time of her passing.

 

The Award Winners

League Award Winners

2020 McSherry Medallist – Shanae Davison (43 votes)

Runner-Up Fairest & Best – Aimee Ralph (37 votes)

Third Place Fairest & Best – Lauren Osborne (34 votes)

Rookie of the Year Award – Mikayla Morrison

Most Outstanding On and Off the Field Award – Fiona Boucher

 

Reserves Award Winners

Helen Wheeler Medallist – Kaitlyn Beaton (35 votes)

Runner-Up Fairest & Best – Tessa Jones (26 votes)

Third Place Fairest & Best – Loughlyn Webb (23 votes)

 

Rogers Cup Award Winners

Chelsea Randall Medallist – Caitlyn Appleford (52 votes)

Runner-Up Fairest & Best – Chanel Jetta (27 votes)

Third Place Fairest & Best – Kloe Taylor (25 votes)

 

Other Award Winners

WAFLW Community Award – Fiona Boucher

Club Person of the Year Award – Hannah Hong

 

Other Notable Achievements in 2020

2020 State 18’s & All Stars Representatives

Nyra Anderson (State 18’s), Mikayla Hyde (State 18’s), Brianna Hyde (State 18’s), Mikayla Morrison (State 18’s), Emma Nanut (State 18’s), Isobel Strover (State 18’s), Shanae Davison (State 18’s) – Late Withdrawal, Sarah Wielstra (All Stars)

 

2020 League Debutants

Nicole Bombardieri, Kaitlyn Beaton, Olivia Cripps, Stephanie Graskoski, Eilish Grundon, Chanel Jetta, Courtney Lindgren, Mikayla Morrison, Emma Nanut, Tara Stribley, Isabel Strover, Loughlyn Webb & Sarah Wielstra

 

AFLW Signings

Shanae Davison (pick #18) – West Coast Eagles

Mikayla Morrison (pick #30) – Fremantle Dockers

 

2020 WAFLW and WAWFL Total Count

McSherry Medal – League

Helen Wheeler Medal – Reserves

Chelsea Randall Medal – Rogers Cup

            Position

Player

Votes

Position

Player

Votes

Position

Player

Votes

1

Shanae Davison

43

1

Kaitlyn Beaton

35

1

Caitlyn Appleford

52

2

Aimee Ralph

37

2

Tessa Jones

26

2

Chanel Jetta

27

3

Lauren Osborne

34

3

Loughlan Webb

23

3

Kloe Taylor

25

4

Mikayla Morrison

32

4

Shannan Rene

21

4

Tahlia Lough

24

5

Mikayla Hyde

31

5

Leah Keating

20

5

Tyla Fitzgerald

23

6

Sarah Wielstra

29

Taylor Ferguson

20

6

Jaime Henry

21

7

Stephanie Graskoski

27

7

Shannon Matthews

18

7

Jorjina Kean

20

8

Jessica Cox

22

8

Emily Stott

16

8

Aimee Williams

19

9

Tara Stribley

20

9

Taylor Cornwell

16

9

Riley Hall

17

10

Bianca Webb

18

10

Brooke Blurton

13

10

Charlie Beazley

15

11

Emil McGuire

15

Caitlin Hill

13

11

Layla Nelson

13

12

Olivia Cripps

12

12

Aimee Williams

12

12

Grace Operchal

10

13

Brianna Hyde

11

Shanelle McSwain

12

Sophie Samball

10

14

Hayley Cole

9

Taylah Edwards

12

14

Hope Arrowsmith

7

15

Eliza Gelmi

7

15

Grace Allison

11

Siofra Clarke

7

Eilish Grundon

7

16

Charlie Beazley

9

16

Danielle Wright

6

17

Nicole Bombardieri

5

17

Eliie Vance

8

Safiyah Cook

6

18

Fiona Boucher

3

18

Ashlea Finn

7

18

Abbey Sheppard

5

19

Loughlyn Webb

1

Jacinta Anderson

7

19

Tisha Lemoal

4

 

 

 

20

Renee Holwill

5

20

Shakiro Spratt

2

 

 

 

21

Emily Hocking

4

21

Caitlyn Xavier

1

 

 

 

Taylah Stewart

4

Olivia Cripps

1

 

 

 

23

Yasmine Skene

3