Having two seasons of AFLW in one year gave the girls an opportunity to get some games under their belt. These five players definitely put in the work over a short Off-Season and came out firing in Season 2 of 2022.
1. Lauren Bella
Lauren has been a standout player for the Gold Coast this season. Although they missed out on Finals, a new look Gold Coast lineup meant new roles needed to be filled and much of the group had to spend the short season getting to know each other's strengths on the fly. The key to their success stemmed from the improvements that Lauren showed around the grounds, such as dominating the hit-outs in the ruck (averaging 23 hit-outs per game), many of which were clean and to the Sun's advantage. Lauren also showed improvement in taking strong marks in pack situations. One strength of Bella's game that shone through this season was her ball use, with her disposal efficiency of 63% being a big factor in keeping the points rolling for the Suns. All of these improvements meant Bella's average AFL fantasy score for the season increased from her previous highest of 47 per game to nearly 57 per game.
2. Mikala Cann
Mikala has been influential in a strong Collingwood side this season, becoming a reliable ball user with high pressure tackling around the ground. Mikala has seen the biggest improvements in her disposals, increasing to just under an average of 20 per game with 60% efficiency. Cann's tackles per game also increased to 6 per game, with a peak of 11 tackles against the Bombers in Round 5. Mikala increased her average AFL fantasy score by 10 per game this season, taking her to a new highest average of 72 per game.
3. Madison Prespakis
I know what you are thinking... Best and Fairest winner from the 2020 season AND 3 club Best and Fairest awards in her time at Carlton. Surely she couldn't improve? Well, you'd be wrong. Madison has taken her opportunity at the Bombers with both hands, leading the team all over the ground and putting everything into her game. Madison increased her average disposals to nearly 24 per game at 60% efficiency & increased her tackles to nearly 5 per game. Prespakis' one-percenters had her AFL Fantasy rating jump into the Top 10 of all players with an average of 90 per game, an increase of 13 from her 2020 season.
4. Georgie Prespakis
Much like her sister, Georgie took her game to another level this season. This being Georgie's second season meant expectations were high for improvements in her skills, but I don't think many could have foresaw how much she would improve in Season 7. Georgie increased her average disposals from 13 per game to 23 per game at 75% efficiency, which was the highest rating disposal efficiency of any midfielder this season. On top of that, Prespakis increased her marks per game, tackles per game and inside 50s per game as well. This all totaled to an average AFL fantasy score of 95 per game, an increase of 35 per game on average compared to her previous season.
5. Nicole Bresnehan
You didn't think we were going to leave out the defenders, did you? Our pick for the most improved defender has to go to Nicole Bresnehan, who improved strongly across the board and played a key part in North Melbourne's successful regular season. Nicole increased her average disposals to nearly 11 per game, doubled her average marks and had a small increase in her tackles and one-percenters. Bresnehan improved upon her previous highest average fantasy score of 36 per game to just under 50 per game for this season.
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