Monique Conti from Richmond clinches the AFLW Best and Fairest award, while Zarlie Goldsworthy of GWS earns recognition as the Rising Star.

Monique Conti of Richmond has secured her inaugural AFLW Best and Fairest award, achieving this prestigious honor with two rounds remaining in the league. Notably, she accomplished this feat while simultaneously balancing participation in two sports.

Last year’s runner-up to Ally Anderson of Brisbane, Monique Conti, showcased her dominance by accumulating 20 out of a possible 24 votes in the first eight rounds, securing the AFLW Best and Fairest award alongside her fifth All-Australian selection. The accomplished midfielder, who adeptly manages both football and basketball commitments with the WNBL’s Melbourne Boomers, capped off her triumph by earning the maximum three votes in round 10, concluding with an impressive total of 23 votes out of 30.

When asked about her confidence in winning the award, Conti jokingly replied, “[The] last round.” Reflecting on her outstanding performance, she expressed her joy after a remarkable win and stated, “I think leading into that [final vote count], it was like, ‘OK, this is actually real.'”

Conti finished seven votes ahead of competitors Chloe Molloy (Sydney), Ashleigh Riddell (North Melbourne), Claudia Whitford (Gold Coast), and Amy McDonald (Geelong). Despite being a red-hot favorite, North Melbourne’s Jasmine Garner surprisingly finished equal-seventh with 14 votes, falling well below expectations.

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