Claremont Football Club captain Ella Smith has capped a remarkable season to be crowned the 2021 Dhara Kerr Medallist at the WAFL Women’s Awards on Wednesday night at Crown Ballroom.
The energetic midfielder claimed the Optus WAFL Women’s fairest and best award after finishing with 15 votes alongside Subiaco’s Abbey Dowrick, who was deemed ineligible to win the award after being suspended in Round 15.
East Fremantle veteran Sharon Wong finished runner-up with 14 votes, while Swan Districts’ Lauren Osbourne rounded out the top three.
A South Bunbury product, Smith excelled in her second season for the Tigers, leading the side to their first finals series appearance under her leadership.
The 20-year-old was a clear standout at a young age, creating history by becoming the first female to be selected in the South West Academy of Sport’s Football Program.
Smith played in the Simply Energy AFLW WA U19s in 2020 and was named as a train-on for the West Coast Eagles AFLW side.
Smith follows in the footsteps of Subiaco pairing Danika Pisconeri and Hayley Miller as winners of the prestigious award.
Other WAFLW awards presented on the night included the Joanne Huggins Leading Goal Kicker Award to Kate Bartlett (Peel Thunder) and Cath Boyce Rookie of the Year, presented by the West Coast Eagles, to Kloe Taylor (Swan Districts).
The Coach of the Year, presented by Fremantle Football Club, was taken out by Swan Districts WAFLW coach Adam Dancey in his first season in charge of the Swans senior women’s side.
Bartlett took out the Joanne Huggins Leading Goal Kicker Award with 35 goals for the season, breaking the record for the most goals in the regular season of the Optus WAFLW competition.
The Peel Thunder sharpshooter finished 18 goals ahead of her closest rival, teammate Kira Phillips.
Cath Boyce Rookie of the Year recipient Kloe Taylor burst onto the scene for Swan Districts, playing a strong role in the teams 2021 season.
The 16-year-old isn’t eligible to be drafted into the AFLW this season.
The WAFLW Awards were presented in partnership with the WA Women’s Football League, which also saw awards presented on the night for the women’s Reserves and U19 Simply Energy Rogers Cup competitions.
2021 WAFLW DHARA KERR FAIREST AND BEST AWARD
Name Club Votes
Ella Smith Claremont 15
Abbey Dowrick Subiaco 15
Sharon Wong East Fremantle 14
Lauren Osbourne Swan Districts 10
Mikayla Hyde Swan Districts 9
Hayley Miller Subiaco 8
Ella Roberts Peel Thunder 8
Kate Bartlett Peel Thunder 7
Jessica Low Claremont 7
Gabrielle O’Sullivan East Fremantle 7
WAFLW Joanne Huggins Leading Goal Kicker Award – Kate Bartlett (Peel Thunder)
WAFLW Cath Boyce Rookie of the Year Award, presented by the West Coast Eagles – Kloe Taylor (Swan Districts)
Coach of the Year, presented by Fremantle Football Club - Adam Dancey (Swan Districts)
Rogers Cup Fairest and Best – Noa McNaughton (South Fremantle)
Rogers Cup Leading Goal Kicker – Elissa Price (West Perth)
Rogers Cup Rising Star – Noa McNaughton (South Fremantle)
Reserves Fairest and Best – Nikki Phillips (East Fremantle) & Jacinta Anderson (Swan Districts)
Reserves Leading Goal Kicker – Chloe Sauzier (Claremont)