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Sacrificial Lamb does it all for the team

Western Bulldogs midfielder Kirsty Lamb has won the AFLPA’s Most Courageous award, presented by Our Watch. Teammate Ellie Blackburn has given her view on why her underrated teammate deserves to join Chelsea Randall and Kiara Bowers as players to have taken out the much coveted award.

“If Lamby doesn’t smother that ball, we don’t win one of the greatest games in AFLW history.”

With those words Western Bulldogs captain Ellie Blackburn perfectly sums up exactly why teammate Kirsty Lamb was voted the Most Courageous player in the competition by her peers.

The act Blackburn refers to is, of course, the front on smother Lamb laid to prevent a certain goal from Adelaide’s Caitlin Gould with less than 40 seconds on the clock which saw the Bulldogs win their first interstate game on the road for two years in a thrilling contest in round six of the AFLW season.

“That ball was going through the goals and Lamby’s efforts on the goalline is just incredible,” Blackburn told

“Not only was that moment incredible, but her communication around the contest. Her just being relentless in the dying moments of that game, her awareness of the game and just put herself in that position she’s just so selfless with what she does.”

Lamb received her maiden All Australian guernsey in 2022, in a season where the tough midfielder averaged a career-high 18.7 disposals per game.

Blackburn said the resilience she shows to fight through injuries over the last few seasons typifies her toughness.

“Lamby’s played almost every season while being injured and just finds a way to deal with it,” she said.

“She didn’t have much of a pre-season, she injured her shoulder in the game (against Adelaide) and she’s had so many little niggles along the way.

“She’ll put her body on the line for us and as a teammate you naturally just stand taller because you’re playing alongside her.”

At training, when a Bulldogs player performs a selfless act or a one-percenter they are described as ‘Just Lamb things’.

Blackburn and Lamb form a formidable midfield duo and the pair are vital to the Bulldogs’ ability to win clearances out of the middle.

“If it wasn’t for Lamby on the field next to me, I wouldn’t be the player that I am. She’s huge for our team.”

Lamb has been on the Bulldogs’ “social committee for years” and has a natural way of bringing the group together, according to Blackburn.

“She’s the type of person who looks for ways to unite the team and unite the club and she’s always thinking about others,” Blackburn said.

“One of the reasons as to why we love Lamby so much is that she’s always willing to put others ahead of her and she’s always making sacrificial acts on and off the field.”