Growing up as an Australian girl of the nineties, to one day be announced as a champion of Australian football was always a dream that seemed too far fetched for Kiara Bowers.
But in 2021, with the NAB AFL Women’s competition established and in full swing, Bowers achieved something she never thought possible as she was crowned the AFL Women’s best and fairest alongside Collingwood’s Brianna Davey.
She joins Nat Fyfe as the only Fremantle players who have won a league best and fairest.
“It (the feeling) is utter shock at the moment. I definitely didn’t think I was going to win, there’s incredible players out there that were easily going to run over the top so I feel very fortunate to wear this around my neck,” Bowers said.
“I never thought it would be possible, there’s definitely shock going through me at the moment.”
As she grew up dreaming of playing a game that was almost exclusively for boys, Bowers said she idolised her older brother Andrew, who played for South Fremantle and Swan Districts in the WAFL.
“He would love me saying this but it’s my big brother (who was my inspiration),” Bowers said.
“He played in the WAFL when he was younger and as a young girl, I grew up watching him and I wanted to kick as far as him and be as good as him. I still can’t kick as far as him though!
“He was messaging me through the count saying he was proud of me no matter what happens. That hits hard, just the people that message you throughout the whole season and follow you along the journey.”
Bowers was emotional when speaking about another family member who inspires her, in her 10-month old son Nate.
“When we lost the final I was pretty gutted. I was gutted because I wasn’t going to make him proud, which was the weirdest thing,” Bowers said.
“Hopefully, I can chuck this around his neck and he’ll be proud of me when he’s older. He’ll probably have no idea what it means but I’ll make sure I tell him.”