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Anderson finishes third in coaches award after consistent year

Jarred Cross -

Brisbane gun Ally Anderson has made the podium in the AFL Coaches Association AFLW Champion Player award after a consistent season driving the Lions toward a top four finish.

The 29-year-old placed third behind North champion and three-time winner Jasmine Garner and Swans bolter, Laura Gardiner in the coach-voted honour.

As late as round eight, Anderson looked every chance of edging past Garner after polling consecutive perfect 10s and regular returns earlier in the year.

She trailed 61-57 with two rounds remaining.

Champion Player votes are handed out to by both AFLW senior coaches to players from either side following their respective matches on a 5,4,3,2,1 basis.

Anderson finished her season with 65 votes.

She polled in all games bar the opening round of the season - five-times receiving at least equal top votes for her performance.

It marks another year of dominance after taking out the AFLW season seven best-and-fairest award.

While Champion Player tallies give a nod to on-field contributions, the recognition often doesn't align with fellow end-of-season awards.

Anderson finished 11th in last season's AFLCA honour despite taking out the competition's top gong.

In 2023, the Gangulu/Waka Waka midfielder averaged 26 disposals, six tackles and five clearances in Brisbane's seven-win campaign to secure a double chance heading into finals in fourth spot.

The Lions face Adelaide, who finished with a 9-1 record, in the South Australian capital on Saturday for a chance to go straight into a preliminary final in a fortnight's time.

Last time the two sides met, Anderson amassed 28 touches and five clearances for 346 metres gained to spur the Lions to a three-point Indigenous round win.

Her side are looking to make amends for falling short in season seven's grand final to Melbourne after finishing the home-and-away season minor premiers.

The Lions lifted the trophy in 2021.

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