She had three 2s: maybe Frew, Stuart, and a Demon (Johnson?) took the 3s off her.
By Brendan Rhodes
Essendon co-captain Georgia Nanscawen shows off her second consecutive Lambert-Pearce Medal as well as the rebel VFLW Coaches Player of the Year award. Picture: AFL Photos
GEORGIA Nanscawen announced herself as a star of the rebel VFLW competition with her win in last year’s Lambert-Pearce Medal count as she led Essendon to an historic first finals series.
So how do you top that?
For Nanscawen, 30, the former Australian hockey star who became third youngest Hockeyroo in history when she debuted a day after her 17th birthday in 2009 and went on to represent her country 205 times, banking the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal and silvers in the 2014 World Cup and 2009 and 2014 Champions Trophies while also becoming an Olympian in 2012, it was simple.
Back on the footy field this year, she co-captained the Bombers to an historic achievement – the club’s first VFLW premiership and the second team to achieve the feat after Darebin in 2016, being so dominant they did not concede single goal in the Grand Final.
Then on Monday night at the Crown Palladium, Nanscawen won the inaugural rebel VFLW Coaches MVP by six votes from Southern Saints midfielder Hannah Stuart before producing one of the most dominant voting performances seen in a State league football competition, polling a stunning 33 votes to claim back-to-back Lambert-Pearce Medals, winning by a whopping 13 votes from Hawthorn ruck Tamara Luke, with Stuart and Collingwood’s Matilda Zander a distant third, another six votes back.
LAMBERT-PEARCE MEDAL VOTING
Essendon coach Brendan Major embraces his co-captain Georgia Nanscawen after her second consecutive Lambert-Pearce Medal win. Picture: AFL Photos
Given Nanscawen missed two matches with a knee injury early in the year, her 33 votes came out of a possible 36 and included votes in all 12 of her matches with nine best on grounds and three twos, picking up that word “star” and adding “super” in front of it.
But she remained typically understated after her win, focusing instead on Essendon’s team success.
“We’ve had such an incredible year with amazing contributors right throughout our team, some who are in the room and some who aren’t, so I’m quite shocked that it finished that way but I’m incredibly honoured and it’s quite surreal,” Nanscawen said.
“It’s very rare you get to play with such a special group and to get that premiership at the end was really the cherry on top of a great season.
“On a personal level I thought I had a nice consistent season but it’s always very humbling to be recognised in that way.
“In the end the team success is what we all strive for. It was such a great year and it’s amazing for so many of the girls and (coach Brendan) Major to be recognised (Essendon had five players and Major in the Team of the Year) is incredibly well deserved and I’m certainly proud of the whole group.
“After those Covid-disrupted seasons, the fire was in the belly to just get back out there and enjoy playing football again with the people you care about and like being around, so it was nice to be able to get back out there and get the season done and get the premiership.”
The only thing that stopped 2022 being a perfect year for Nanscawen came in the dying stages of the Grand Final when she went down with a torn ACL that required a knee reconstruction and means she is missing the Bombers’ debut AFLW season.
VFLW CLUB-BY-CLUB VOTES
Georgia Nanscawen pushes the pain of her torn ACL to one side to sing See The Bombers Fly Up alongside Danielle Marshall after Essendon’s VFLW Grand Final win in July. Picture: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos
“Something I’ve always prided myself on has been my work ethic and professionalism and the way I’ve come back from disappointments and setbacks … and I think that has held me in really good stead throughout my years at Essendon,” she said.
“Hopefully there’s a few more things to tick off down the road. Obviously I’m recovering from an ACL so the next focus is getting back from that nice and strong and see what the next chapter is.
“Rehab is going really well – nothing changes that endpoint and it will still take that time to recover but it’s going really smoothly and trying to tick off those boxes along the way.
“Having seen the program grow for the past five or so years and to be picked in the AFLW team and not get to run out alongside them for that first year is hard – it would be fantastic to get an opportunity to play with them, but as I said the focus is getting the rehab right and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.”