Fremantle’s 2019 Fairest and Best winner Kiara Bowers said going through a tough injury rehabilitation was worth it to be able to celebrate a successful 2019 season with her teammates, friends and family.
The midfielder polled 115 votes in the count on Friday night at Crown Ballroom, narrowly ahead of 2017 club champion and 2018 runner-up Dana Hooker, who polled 101 votes.
It all came in Bowers debut AFLW season after missing the opening two seasons due to knee injuries.
Bowers said it was an overwhelming feeling to be announced as a Fremantle club champion.
“I was shaking a lot on stage but now it’s had time to sink in, I’m ecstatic,” Bowers said.
“This was not on my mind whatsoever (before the season). I was just hoping to get a game, let alone play all season plus a final. I’m happy to say the least.
“Over time, obviously you reflect, doing all the gym sessions and time you’ve spent on the track doing running by yourself.
“To be honest, it’s all worth it, especially tonight, let alone just running out with the girls finally in round one, the way we finished, it was a great season. It’s a feeling that hits hard.”
Bowers paid tribute to Freo’s previous AFLW Fairest and Best winners Hooker and Ebony Antonio, who finished fifth.
“I would never put my name in those categories,”Bowers said.
“I think they’re phenomenal players and both of them could have easily won tonight, they’ve had fantastic seasons. I just count myself lucky this time I guess.”
Bowers said the fan support through her time at Fremantle has been incredible.
“To every fan that came to our games and supported us and supported me, and wanted my signature. To every single one of them, who’s gone for us in the past three seasons, it’s not been unnoticed and it hasn’t wavered and we thank them all so much,” Bowers said.
“It’s awesome to just look at our season and see what we’ve done and to see how great it’s been.
“It’s been great to celebrate with the girls tonight as well as the coaches and staff that we get to work with…just celebrate what’s been an awesome season for us and for Fremantle.”
Bowers said the playing group was motivated to build on their first finals appearance in 2019.
“We’re aiming for that flag to be honest,” Bowers said.
“We were one game away this season, we were happy with our season, don’t get me wrong, but that’s what we are striving for and hopefully next year is the year.”