Brisbane Lions star Ally Anderson hopes history will repeat itself in more ways than one after following in the footsteps of teammate Emily Bates in winning the AFLW’s Best and Fairest award.
Two decades after Jason Akermanis and Simon Black won the Brownlow Medal in back-to-back seasons, the Lions are once again toasting successive champions of the competition.
Akermanis and Black have added AFL Premiership medals to their individual success, and Anderson has a chance to pull off a similar feat in the AFLW tiebreaker against Melbourne on Sunday.
A quiet word from coach Craig Starcevich alerted Anderson to the symmetry.
“Craig…was talking about how it was 20 years ago with Aker and Blacky,” the 28-year-old Lions midfielder told reporters on Wednesday.
“Being in their shoes is quite exciting and I’m so glad Emily got the chance to present the medal in person.
“It’s so exciting for the club in general and for the team as well.”
As was the case for Akermanis and Black in their Brownlow years – which came during the Lions’ three-time AFL Premier dynasty under Leigh Matthews – Anderson was not present at Tuesday’s main awards ceremony in Melbourne.
Instead, she and her Lions teammates stayed in Brisbane to prepare for the grand final.
Anderson left no doubt when asked if a premiership medal or a best and fairest award was more important to her.
“Sunday every day. I would give that up in a heartbeat,” she said.
Anderson’s best and fairest celebration was relatively low-key, capped off with a cup of tea and bedtime at 12:30 p.m.
But she said accepting the medal from AFLW season six winner Bates made the moment even more special.
“We met in the Queensland Under-18 team…and we’ve been really close ever since,” Anderson said.
“She’s amazing, such an amazing support and someone I’ve really looked up to my entire career.
“Having her around and being as excited for me as I was for her is an amazing feeling.”
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