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Emily Bates takes out inaugural Brisbane Lions Best & Fairest

AFLW: Best and Fairest A massive congratulations to your first ever AFLW Best and Fairest winner for the Brisbane Lions, Emily Bates.

Midfielder Emily Bates has taken out the inaugural Brisbane Lions' Women’s best and fairest.  

21-year-old Bates polled 112 votes to claim the honour at a dinner held at the Pullman on Friday night.

Sabrina Frederick Traub (104 votes) finished runner-up while captain Emma Zielke (86 votes) placed third.

Bates, a Yeronga South Brisbane WFC product, was selected with pick #2 in the AFL Women’s Draft in October.

Coach Craig Starcevich said Bates, a prolific ball winner, has leadership skills beyond her years.

“Emily’s played at a really consistent, high level throughout the season,” said Starcevich.

“As one of the youngest in the leadership group, she really embraced and took her role on by her actions and demeanour around the group.”

“The longer the season went, she grew as a line breaker. It is something we’ve been working on with Emily for a while now in terms of getting possession, getting it back again and breaking through the lines and being a high meterage player for metres gained.”

Starcevich said the award was recognition for a season which also included selection in the inaugural AFL Women’s All Australian team at the W Awards held in Melbourne on Tuesday night.

“Emily was a really honest, consistent, high level performer across all games.”

Runner-up Sabrina Frederick-Traub arrived at the Club as a marquee player from South Fremantle in the WAWFL, recruited for her ability to play at full-forward and also pinch-hit in the ruck.

The 20-year-old’s season has also included a NAB Rising Star Nomination and selection in the NAB AFL Women’s All Australian team.

Watch: Sabrina Frederick-Traub Highlights

“Since arriving from Perth, Sabrina has had an enormous impact on the group both on and off field,” said Starcevich.  

“She’s the sort of player on the ground that inspires others through her work rate and willingness to compete. She’s able to generate great enthusiasm in the group, her spirit in lifting everyone is probably one of the reasons why we had a successful year.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs