Midfielder Kiara Bowers has been crowned Fremantle’s AFL Women’s Fairest and Best for a second consecutive season at a private event held at club president Dale Alcock’s home on Friday night.
Bowers polled 129 votes from seven games, which included the club’s six home and away games and Fremantle’s semi-final appearance.
Bowers becomes the first female player to win the award twice and joins the likes of Matthew Pavlich, Nat Fyfe, Peter Bell, Aaron Sandilands and Lachie Neale as multiple club champions at Fremantle.
She edged out her competition by 34 votes with 2018 club champion Ebony Antonio finishing in second place with 95 votes.
Midfielder Hayley Miller (94 votes), Gemma Houghton (91 votes) and Ange Stannett (90 votes) rounded out a very tight finish for the top five.
The win caps off a stellar year for the star midfielder who received All-Australian honours in the midfield for a second straight season and finished runner-up behind Carlton’s Maddy Prespakis in the league’s fairest and best awards.
Senior coach Trent Cooper and assistant coaches Craig Thomas, Amy Lavell, Lisa Webb and Garrick Ibbotson awarded votes from zero to five per game for each player, with a player able to receive a maximum of 25 votes for an outstanding performance.
Earlier in the night, Bowers was also awarded the Players’ Award, which acknowledges the player who best displays the values set by the playing group at the start of the season.
Cooper said ‘it was no surprise’ that Bowers had been recognised as Fremantle’s best player this season.
“Kiara was in our best, if not the best, player in every game and it was just a remarkable season where she produced each week at a really high level,” Cooper said.
“Even when she was injured during the middle part of the season, she managed to have a huge impact on the field.
In other awards announced on the night, captain Kara Antonio was awarded Best Clubwoman and Mim Strom won the Best First Year Player award.
Recognised for her contributions to the club as a whole, Antonio was particularly acknowledged for her help in bringing a new team together after a significant list turnover this season.
For an 18-year-old in her debut season, Strom stepped up in a big way after Aine Tighe went down with a season ending injury to become Freo’s sole ruck in 2020.
Strom ranked fourth for hit outs and had the third most possessions of any ruck in the league.