Dja Dja Wurrung woman Madison Prespakis has done what very few before her have done. The young football player has won the highest individual accolade, the Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) Best and Fairest for the 2020 season.
The 19-year-old took out the honour—equivalent to the men’s league’s Brownlow Medal—just three points ahead of Fremantle’s Kiara Bowers, polling a total 15 votes to Bowers’ 12.
The Carlton midfielder had an outstanding season in 2020, however the league best and fairest is just the tip of Prespakis’ growing mountain of accolades since joining the AFLW.
Prespakis won her club’s best and fairest in both 2019 and 2020, was selected for the AFLW All Australian team in 2019 and 2020, won the AFLW Rising Star award in 2019 and won the AFLW’s Best First-Year Player in 2019.
The young gun has also taken out the record of being the first Indigenous woman to win the award, and only the third Indigenous person to win, putting her in the company of AFL greats Gavin Wanganeen and Adam Goodes. She is also the first teenager to take out the AFLW award.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Prespakis took out the award from home as the AFLW was unable to have a ceremony.
On receiving the award Prespakis said it was a compliment and gave credit to her coaches and teammates.
“I was able to put it aside, but take it as a great compliment and just try and enjoy the footy my way,” she said.
“I spoke with my coaches and a few of my teammates about it. They had my back and helped me work through some different ways to get around a tagger and make sure I was okay with it all.”
Prespakis reflected on the past two years and her growth during that time, saying she was excited for the future.
“It’s definitely been a year that I won’t forget, it’s been a great two years, and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.”
The Blues gun debuted in 2019 against North Melbourne and has been an asset to the playing side in both 2019 and 2020.
By Caris Duncan