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AFLW champ Ally Anderson's heartfelt act wins over fans moments after premiership triumph

Jarred Cross -

Much-loved Brisbane Lions midfielder Ally Anderson is being heralded for a beautiful act with a young football fan moments after winning her second AFLW premiership.

Anderson was a key contributor in the Lions' 17-point come-from-behind win over North Melbourne collecting 20 touches - for 309 metres gained, 12 tackles and six clearances.

Though her greatest act might be what came after the final siren in a heartwarming interaction with a young footballer understood to have a hearing impairment.

On accepting her premiership medal, Anderson signed "thankyou" in Auslan with the youngster - identified as 'Teddy' from South Melbourne Districts Auskick Centre, on stage.

The gesture was a welcome change from the almost regulation slip-ups expected between player and Auskicker during presentations in the midst of premiership excitement.

In the past, players have made an unenviable, albeit accidental, habit of leaving the young fans hanging in one way or another.

However Anderson's effort provided an extra "special" element to already great scenes at the conclusion of another exciting season of the women's competition.

"Female athletes are pretty much always good with kids, but Ally Anderson using Auslan with her presenter on stage felt pretty special," one X (formerly known as Twitter) user wrote.

"Not a Lions supporter, but we NEED to Protect Ally Anderson at all costs! Precious human!" said another.

The showing was one of many beautiful moments displayed by teammates.

Anderson's performance on the park is not to be overshadowed, however.

The 29-year-old backed up an AFLW best-and-fairest season last year with another strong campaign in 2023, and rose above modest performances in the Lions' two finals wins leading into the contest for a starring role in the decider.

She didn't shy away from expressing her joy post-match.

"Being down at three-quarter time and just knowing we had to come back and kick a couple of goals, I can't believe it. It hasn't kicked in. Unbelievable," Anderson said after the final siren, via FoxSports.

"It just means the world. As sad as it sounds, it's pretty much my whole life. It just means absolutely everything."

The Kangaroos took a slim lead into the final change in the wrestling contest where uncontested possession was at a premium.

After looking unlikely to feature in the match with injury earlier in the week, Dakota Davidson produced some fourth quarter heroics to help turn the momentum in Brisbane's favour.

The Lions finally ended a cursed recent history plaguing Brisbane-based sides in grand finals across Australia's national sports competitions.

Their mens outfit lost in a nail-biter to Collingwood in this year's AFL grand final, while the Broncos let in three late tries to hand Penrith their third consecutive premiership in the NRL's decider 24 hours later.

The Lions AFLW side came into Sunday's game one-from-four in grand finals as one of the dominant teams in the competition's short history.

Coach Craig Starcevich conceded it was a "relief" to lift the cup.

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