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Gabrielle Trainor Medal Preview

The GIANTS will crown their inaugural AFL Women’s club champion on Friday night with the awarding of the 2017 Gabrielle Trainor Medal.

There are a number of candidates who could take home the medal and with only seven games in which to poll votes, it could be a tight count. 

We take a look at the GIANTS who could take home the coveted award for the first time.

Britt Tully 

A midfielder from the Gungahlin Jets, Tully proved to be one of the GIANTS most consisted midfielders.

The 23-year-old averaged 10 disposals, three clearances and four tackles per game.

After a slow start to the season Tully found form and could poll well in rounds three, six and seven.

Jessica Dal Pos

The diminutive priority signing from Victoria will be one to watch out for when the vote gets underway.

One of four GIANTS named in a 40-player squad for the AFLW All Australian side, Dal Poss was a tackling machine throughout the 2017 season.

The 23-year-old averaged 13.9 disposals, seven tackles and 4 clearances per game.

Dal Pos’ tackling efforts didn’t go unnoticed with the midfielder finishing third in the AFL Player’s Association’s Most Courageous award.

Dal Pos should poll well throughout the count but be ready for her to claim a stack of votes for her 19 disposal and seven tackle effort in the GIANTS round five win over Melbourne. 

Alex Williams

The East Fremantle defender joined the GIANTS as a priority signing and soon proved why she was sought after.

Williams’ performances across half-back caught the attention of her peers as she was one the GIANTS three nominees for the AFLPA MVP Award.

Her consistency should see her poll well and her performances in rounds five and six could earn her a few votes.

Emma Swanson

Despite missing the opening two matches of the season, Swanson’s impact on the side was immense once she returned.

The marquee signing from East Fremantle is one of four GIANTS nominated for the AFLW All Australian side and after averaging16 touches and 2.6 rebounds per game it’s not hard to see why.

Swanson could poll well in every match she played including her 16-disposal effort in the GIANTS round three draw with Fremantle.

The West Australian finished the season on a high collecting 19 disposals in a near best on ground performance against the Western Bulldogs in Canberra.

Erin McKinnon

The youngest and tallest player to grace the field in the inaugural AFLW competition McKinnon soon proved to be one of the GIANTS’ most valuable players. 

McKinnon finished second in the competition for hit-outs won with 154 and showed maturity beyond her years.

The 18-year-old’s efforts against far more experienced rucks saw her named in the 40-player AFLW All Australian squad. 

The GIANT won the NAB AFLW Rising Star nomination for round three after collecting 31 hit-outs in the draw against Fremantle and should poll well.

McKinnon could also collect a fair few votes for winning 33 hit-outs in round seven but it’s her consistency that could see her claim the Trainor Medal. 

Renee Tomkins

A Penrith local with a background in soccer, Renee Tomkins was a rock in defense for the GIANTS in 2017. 

Tomkins led the competition for one per centers (33) and was rarely beaten in the air, and was duly named in the 40-player All-Australian squad.

The tall defender was exceptional in the GIANTS’ round three draw against Fremantle collecting 12 disposals and repelling numerous attacks by the Dockers in a frenetic finish.

Her calmness under pressure was again on show during the GIANTS’ round five win over Melbourne.

Tomkin’s consistency should see her poll well.

Nicola Barr

There was a great deal of pressure on Nicola Barr coming into the AFLW season after the midfielder was selected by the GIANTS with pick one of the 2016 AFLW draft.

Barr soon proved why she was highly touted collecting 13 disposals and laying five tackles in round one. 

The Sydney University product was influential early in the season before a move to the half-back line saw her finish the season in fine form. 

Rebecca Beeson 

The voting process for the Gabrielle Trainor medal sees the most consistent players the most likely to be rewarded.

Like the others in this list, Beeson was one of the GIANTS most consistent players throughout the 2017 season.

The 19-year-old half-forward from the UNSW Stingrays not only kicked goals but averaged 10 disposals per game.

Beeson should poll well win the back end of the season while her efforts against Carlton in round two (12 disposals and five tackles) could see her earn a number of votes.

About the Gabrielle Trainor Medal

The award has been named after former GIANTS board member and current AFL Commissioner Gabrielle Trainor to recognise her contribution to the club and women’s football in New South Wales.

Ms Trainor was an inaugural GIANTS board member as well as a member of the Team GWS advisory committee before joining the AFL Commission in March last year. 

Prior to joining the GIANTS, Ms Trainor also served on the AFL NSW/ACT Commission for 10 years. She worked to support the then-fledgling Sydney Women’s AFL in its development and its relationship with the Commission. 

How the Voting Works 

AFLW Coach Tim Schmidt as well as Assistant Coaches Adrian Pavese, Marc Dragicevic and Cameron Bernasconi vote on the Gabrielle Trainor Medal. Up to 10 votes can be awarded to a player by each coach every round, with each player able to receive a maximum of 40 votes per round.