A stellar performance from North Melbourne midfielder Ashleigh Riddell headlines the Round 1 AFLW MVP of the Week nominations, proudly supported by Snaffle.
Richmond midfielder Monique Conti and Fremantle forward Ebony Antonio earned themselves the other two nominations for the weekly award, after impressing in the opening round of the 2022 AFLW season.
In captain and fellow star midfielder Emma Kearney’s absence, who was ruled as part of the AFL’s health and safety protocols, North Melbourne midfielder Riddell rose to the challenge and gave a thrilling performance in her side’s eight-point win against a fierce Geelong outfit.
The 25-year-old was prolific in the Kangaroos’ 4.2 (26) to 2.6 (18) win over the Cats. Notching 35 disposals, Riddell was extremely influential and brought intensity to the match, with seven tackles helping North earn a hard-fought win in the opening round.
Richmond’s star midfielder Monique Conti showcased control and strong decision-making skills in the Tigers’ 38-point win over an inaccurate Saints side. In slippery conditions, Conti dominated in the first quarter recording four clearances and seven disposals.
The 2022 AFLW season marks the first time Conti had dedicated her entire pre-season to football rather than splitting it with the WNBL. The sacrifice appears to have paid off in the Tigers’ opening game with the 22-year-old picking up 29 disposals and nine clearances for the match helping her side to a commanding 10.1 (61) to 3.5 (23) win over a depleted St Kilda.
Ebony Antonio produced a match winning effort in Fremantle’s 6.7 (43) to 2.3 (15) win over West Coast finishing with 3.1 from 12 disposals.
A highlight of Antonio’s stunning display came as the first quarter dwindled to a close. The 30-year-old sparked into action as she booted an AFLW Goal of the Year contender. The match remained close with just a five-point margin at three-quarter time. But Antonio proved to be the difference taking the game into her own hands and kicking an all-important goal in the final term to help seal the Dockers 28-point win over the Eagles.
Antonio shared the well-deserved Western Derby Best-afield medal with teammate Kiara Bowers.