Audrey Rhodes has capped off a stellar VFLW campaign by claiming North Melbourne's best and fairest award on Saturday night.
The swift-moving onballer averaged 17.2 disposals and 4.8 clearances per game as a key driver in midfield, and on the defensive end she was equally as impactful, finishing the year averaging 7.3 tackles a game.
A threatening presence at forward-50 stoppages too, Rhodes booted eight total goals with four of those coming across the club's two fixtures against minor premiers Collingwood.
Arguably her most dominant performance came in Round 7 against eventual Grand Finalists Port Melbourne, when she gathered a season-high 29 possessions along with nine clearances in the hard-fought two-point victory.
Rhodes also received the Most Improved Player award, further reflecting just how strong her individual season was.
Finishing runner-up was Ciara Fitzgerald who polled 104 votes while midfielder Annabel Scott came in third with 99.
Fitzgerald, a composed figure behind the ball, was immense in her role as a rebounding defender and was also voted as the Shinboner of the Year award having epitomised the club values – real, bold, belonging and never beaten – over the course of 2023.
As consistent as they come, Scott was regularly one of North Melbourne's most influential players on gameday, averaging 18.6 disposals and four clearances.
Captain Jess Jones and co-vice-captain Brooke Slaney were named Best Clubwomen for their unselfishness and team-first attitude.
Jones returned to Arden Street ahead of the 2023 season following a stint with Carlton in the AFLW and performed admirably in the ruck role over 14 games, while a foot injury had sidelined Slaney for all but the final match of the season.
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Despite some stirring wins over Essendon and the Southern Saints late in the season, the Roos narrowly missed out on a 2023 finals spot, finishing ninth on the ladder with a 7-7 record.
After being at the helm of North Melbourne's VFLW team for the past two seasons, Steph Binder recently made the decision to depart the club to pursue a coaching opportunity with another AFLW program.
Brittany Gibson and Mietta McDonald also called time on their playing careers. Gibson played 14 matches for North Melbourne's AFLW side from 2019-2022 and has been a valuable asset to the club since her arrival.
A leader on and off the field, McDonald will retire after 48 VFLW games but will still spend time at Arden Street as an AFLW development coach.
The club thanks Steph, Brittany and Mietta for their respective contributions towards the VFLW and AFLW programs.
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Best and Fairest top 10
1. Audrey Rhodes – 109
2. Ciara Fitzgerald – 104
3. Annabel Scott – 99
4. Jess Jones – 88
5. Emily Paterno – 85
6. Marli Klaumanns-Moller – 79
7. Mietta McDonald – 73
=7. Jess Mourney – 73
9. Felicity Theodore – 57
10. Teagan Bradley – 56
Best and Fairest Winner: Audrey Rhodes
Best and Fairest Runner-up: Ciara Fitzgerald
Best and Fairest Third Place: Annabel Scott
Most Improved: Audrey Rhodes
Shinboner of the Year: Ciara Fitzgerald
Best Clubwoman: Jess Jones and Brooke Slaney
Best and Fairest voting process
The voting system consists of the senior coach ranking all players on a specific scale from 0-10 each game, and then the assistants also submit a combined set of votes from 0-10 for each player. This means the maximum number of votes a player can receive for any given match is 20 votes.