Rising star claims top award

Amber Clarke has been rewarded after a superb season.

By Nick Creely

Amber Clarke is destined to become a household name in the AFLW in years to come, and the rising Dandenong Stingray has been rewarded with the club’s 2021 NAB League girls best and fairest.

The best and fairest – which was held online – saw the Narre North Foxes Junior Football Club product take out the top gong, after a standout NAB League campaign which saw her feature six times, and snag 10 goals.

Clarke was named in the best four times, an indicator of her class and consistency.

Stingrays coach Nick Cox said that for Clarke, the best is yet to come.

“Her capabilities are that she could end up a really high draft pick in 2022,” he said.

“The level she plays at is a lot better than others, she just continued to showcase week in week out her ability to be really powerful and strong around the contest.

“She hits the scoreboard, but wherever she plays she is going to be a good player.

“Unfortunately she got injured in the first nationals game, she wasn’t able to play much after that.

“You’ll be hearing that name a bit next year.”

Felicity Crank was named runners-up in the Best and Fairest after an equally stellar season, Ash Richards was a constant presence with nine goals to finish third, with the co-captain recently selected by St Kilda with Pick 12 in the AFLW draft.

Jaide Anthony was awarded the Players Award in a season that also saw her named in the 2021 NAB AFLW Under 19 Championships All-Australian Team, Mackenzie Eardley was recognised with the Coaches Award, while Mikayla Williamson took out the Rising Star Award.

The Stingrays finished fourth in the NAB League Girls season.