ERIN Phillips has completed the AFLW hat-trick — first premiership, first medal as the best player in the new national league’s grand final and the first “Brownlow” of the ultra-successful women’s football competition.
Phillips, 31, claimed the first ‘W Award’ as the AFLW’s best-and-fairest player, polling 14 votes. She had a four-vote win on fellow midfielders Ellie Blackburn (Western Buldlogs) and Karen Paxman (Melbourne).
The Crows co-captain polled votes in six of Adelaide’s seven qualifying games.
As in the AFL men’s Brownlow Medal count, the W Award was decided by a 3-2-1 vote by the field umpires at the end of each of the 28 home-and-away games in the AFLW’s seven-week round-robin series.
Phillips had best-afield votes in three games, was second-best in two and claimed the third-preference vote in one.
“It definitely has been a year I will never forget,” Phillips said at the black-tie awards ceremony in Melbourne. “It has meant everything to me.”
It could be a year of incredible success never again repeated.
Phillips not only made a clean sweep of the AFLW’s individual awards, but also collected by peer vote the players’ association MVP (most valuable player) trophy.
She added All-Australian honours and the AFLW’s goal of the year — for her matchwinning 60-metre bomb against Carlton at Thebarton Oval.
And Phillips, the daughter of Port Adelaide premiership defender and Collingwood hero Greg Phillips, tonight could fill out the trophy cabinet with the Crows’ club champion award. The count will be in Darwin, in recognition of the NT component of the Crows’ successful women’s football program.
Phillips, an Olympian and professional WNBA basketballer in Dallas, thanked the AFL for advancing plans that had the AFLW launching in 2020.
“I’m grateful it was brought forward, otherwise this would have passed me by,” Phillips said. “I’ve loved every minute of it. I love this game (of Australian football). It is in my blood.”
Adelaide’s domination of the AFLW included teenager Ebony Marinoff winning the first Rising Star award.
The midfielder, who also was among the five Crows in the AFLW All-Australian team, polled 47 votes to beat Brisbane ruckman-forward Sabrina Frederick-Traub by six votes.
“I’m just so grateful to be part of this league,” said Marinoff.
Originally published as Phillips caps off a brilliant first season