Emily Bates, Sam Virgo and Kate McCarthy have all been selected in the AFLW All Australian team for 2017 at the W Awards on Tuesday night. Emily Bates was selected to start in the midfield and Virgo and McCarthy on the bench. Emily Bates also came away with 4 votes in the AFLW Best & Fairest Count with 2 Votes in the Lions round 4 win over GWS and another 2 Votes in the draw with Carlton in Round 7.
Brisbane held their club Best & Fairest count on Saturday Night with Emily Bates taking out the award with 112 votes in front of Sabrina Frederick Traub on 104 and Emma Zielke on 86 votes. Emily Bates backed up her Best and Fairest award also winning the Players player award. Bates led Brisbane in disposals for the year and second in tackles showing her ability to attack and defend in a midfield that prided themselves on running both ways.
Coach Craig Starcevich had extremely high praise for Emily's ability and leadership on and off the field.
"Emily’s played at a really consistent, high level throughout the season, 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.”
Sam Virgo and Kate McCarthy both also came away with awards on the night with McCarthy voted the Members MVP and Virgo winning the "All for One" award. McCarthy had a super season in front of goal, leading the Lions goalkicking for the year including some of the best running goals you will see anywhere in footy. Her pressure around the ground was immense and she was key part of the team defense mindset of the Lions. Virgo had a great season rebounding off half back, dominating opposition and cutting up the corridor with great vision and skills that allowed the forwards such as McCarthy to have opportunities to score.