Fremantle have a new All Australian player with star defender Janelle Cuthbertson named in the All Australian team alongside midfielder Kiara Bowers.
Bowers was given vice captain honours and lines up in the midfield and Cuthbertson is at half back.
It is a third consecutive All Australian berth for Bowers, while Cuthbertson continues her remarkable rise after making the switch to football from tennis at the age of 29 just two years ago.
Cuthbertson started her football career playing in the WAFLW reserves for Perth in the 2019 season in the WAFLW and was selected by Fremantle at no.81 in the 2019 NAB AFL Women’s draft.
She quickly impressed and made her debut in round one of the 2020 season against Geelong.
Despite secretly battling a broken rib for most of the 2021 season, Cuthbertson played all nine home and away games as well as Fremantle’s qualifying final against Melbourne.
She often took on the oppositions best tall defender and her season was highlighted by her 18 disposals and seven marks in Fremantle’s win against GWS.
Cuthbertson led Fremantle for contested marks and ranked sixth in the AFLW for intercept possessions.
Bowers’ 2021 honours makes it three All Australian honours from her three seasons in the AFLW, after missing the 2017 and 2018 seasons due to injury.
The honour goes alongside her 2021 AFLCA Champion Player of the Year Award, and she is also one of the favourites in the AFLW Best and Fairest, which is announced later this evening.
She was awarded two best on ground medals from Freo’s two RAC Derby clashes against West Coast this season.
Her average of 6.5 clearances per game was just under one clearance per game more than the next best in the league in GWS Giant Alyce Parker.
As expected, Bowers dominated the tackle count with an average of 11 per game, more than four tackles per game better than the next best player.
She was the only player to average more than 100 AFL Fantasy points with an average of 108.7 points per game. The next closest was Adelaide’s Ebony Marinoff (97.2) and Collingwood’s Brianna Davey (94.8).
Bowers also ranked in the top 10 for disposals (21.1 per game), metres gained (319) and contested possessions (12.4).
The 2021 AFL Women’s All Australian Team
B: S. Allan (Adelaide), M. McDonald (Geelong)
HB: R. Schleicher (Collingwood), K. Lutkins (Brisbane), J. Cuthbertson (Fremantle)
C: M. Conti (Richmond), K. Bowers (Fremantle), G. Patrikios (St. Kilda)
HF: J. Garner (North Melbourne), K. Brennan (Richmond), E. Blackburn (Western Bulldogs)
F: E. Phillips (Adelaide), C. Molloy (Collingwood)
I: E. Marinoff (Adelaide), B. Bonnici (Collingwood), D. Vescio (Carlton), K. Paxman (Melbourne), E. Kearney (North Melbourne)
Captain: Brianna Davey (Collingwood)
Vice captain: Kiara Bowers (Fremantle)