Proving Queensland footy is in great shape, Brisbane and Gold Coast fielded the most representatives in this season’s AFL Players’ Association’s AFLW 22Under22 team, proudly presented by Snaffle.
Despite being at different stages of their AFLW journey, with the Lions playing in a Preliminary Final and the Suns finishing outside the final six, three players from both Queensland clubs featured in the final side.
Fresh from their Qualifying Final victory, Brisbane’s Natalie Grider, Tahlia Hickie and Jesse Wardlaw were selected by the fans alongside Gold Coast’s Ellie Hampson, Charlie Rowbottom and Claudia Whitfort in the 22Under22 team, which honours the competition’s best young talent.
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).
Four players were picked for the third time; Monique Conti, Georgia Gee, Alyce Parker and Madison Prespakis, with Prespakis also named as the team’s vice-captain – the third time she’s held that leadership title.
Conti, who was the most-selected player, was also named as the side’s captain for the first time. After featuring in 92 per cent of the fans’ teams, the 22-year-old praised her peers.
“It’s an honour to be chosen by the public as the captain of this talented team,” Conti said.
“All the players represented are amazing and dedicated young athletes, and there is a huge future for the AFL Womens’ competition. There’s been no better showing of this than in 2022, and it’s a privilege to run out and compete against these women every season.
“Congratulations to the players selected and a huge thank you to those who voted.”
Demonstrating a changing of the guard, 10 players earned their inaugural 22Under22 jumper, including Georgie Prespakis, Charlie Rowbottom, Eliose Jones, Tahlia Hickie, Ellie Hampson, Claudia Whitfort, Tarni White, Isabelle Pritchard, Shelley Heath and Lauren Butler.
22Under22 is the industry’s first recognised fan-voted award and provides the footy public with the power to select the final 22. The fan whose team best-matched the final team wins an ultimate 22Under22 prize pack thanks to Snaffle.
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