For the third-consecutive season, the Brisbane Lions have dominated the AFL Players’ Association’s AFLW 22Under22 team, proudly presented by Snaffle.
Aiming for their second premiership in three seasons, the Lions fielded the most representatives with four players – Natalie Grider, Jesse Wardlaw, Courtney Hodder and Tahlia Hickie – being selected by the fans in the final team.
Incredibly, the Lions have had the most representatives in the final team in three of the four seasons since the concept was introduced for the AFLW competition for the 2020 season.
To be eligible for selection, players must be aged 22 years or under for the entirety of the season, including the finals series, and have played at least 50 per cent of the home and away season matches (five games or more).
Young stars Monique Conti and Madison Prespakis also continued their record-breaking ways by securing their fourth 22Under22 selections, having featured in the final team in each of the four possible seasons. Conti was the most-selected player, being included in 91 per cent of fans’ teams, and was also named the side’s captain with Prespakis selected as her deputy.
Conti, who turns 23 on December 9, said she was honoured to be selected alongside the competition’s talented youngsters.
“Firstly, congratulations to the players selected – I feel privileged that the fans thought I was a worthy member,” she said.
“In this team are future captains, All-Australians and MVPs, who are all committed and talented athletes that continue to inspire. They go above and beyond to play the game we all love and I’m lucky to share the field with them every weekend.”
Seven players received their maiden 22Under22 jumper – Abbie McKay, Katie Lynch, Lucy McEvoy, Alex Ballard, Jasmine Fleming, Madison Newman and Tarni Evans.
22Under22, which honours the competition’s best young talent, is a fan-voted concept that recognises the best 22 players aged 22 and under for the entirety of the season (including Grand Final day – November 26). For a player to be eligible, they were required to play 50 per cent of season games, equating to five matches, and were rewarded for their consistency across the season. The fan whose team best matches to the final team wins a framed 22Under22 jumper signed by the Captain and Vice-Captain and their choice of either Apple AirPods Pro or Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, thanks to Snaffle.