In her first year at AFLW level, Hannah Ewings made history as the inaugural Port Adelaide AFLW best and fairest after being presented with the award on Monday night.
The Best and Fairest caps off a strong inaugural season for the 18-year-old, having played all 10 games for Port Adelaide while averaging 13 disposals, including a 21-disposal game against Carlton back in round three.
Her strong maiden season at AFLW level was recognised by the league, seeing her take out the NAB Rising Star late last month.
Speaking to the media on Monday night, Ewings said that winning the award didn’t feel real quite yet.
“Honestly, I don’t think it’s really sunk in at the moment,” Ewings said.
“[I’m] truly humbled to receive the inaugural best and fairest for Port Adelaide, there are a lot of great women that really do deserve to be up there so to be recognized by my peers, it’s great.”
Ewings was taken at pick three in the 2022 AFLW Draft and the first pick in the South Australian-based draft. If someone had told Ewings on draft night that she’d be taking out the club’s best and fairest award in her first season, she said she wouldn’t believe them.
“I probably would have said it’s way out of my league. I couldn’t have done it without the girls they’ve supported me and guided me throughout the season and to have that support with the girls on and off the field and the coaches, staff, trainers, and umpires have really helped me this first season of AFLW.”
Ewings was known for her strength in the contest and ability to shake off opposition players with ease. Ewings said having played footy in the country growing up allowed her to add those elements to her game.
“I think that comes down to being back in the country where you grow up around every single sport you can play,” she said.
“Being around the boys I kind of got that competitive and fierce game style so that really contributed to my game style.
“When I did play this season, just to have the knowledge and experience, to have Erin [Phillips], Ange [Foley], all the great leaders out there I’m very thankful to have them [take me] under their wing.”
With the jump from SANFLW to AFLW being a big step, Ewings had the experienced players at the Power guiding her every step of the way.
It was obviously a big step up from SANFL to AFLW, the standards were very high and the expectations you had to be at your elite standard.
“To be in this environment I’ve dreamed of being in since I was little but the knowledge and experience with all the girls, have really guided me and took me under their wing.”
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Ewings had a bit of a connection with the Phillips family before arriving at Alberton through academies which made being able to play alongside Erin a dream come true.
“I’ve looked up to Erin Phillips my whole life, she coached me through [the] Crows’ academies and her dad Greg coached me through SMOSH West Lakes [Football Club] and she was out there watching me,” Ewings said.
“To have her a part of my inaugural season, to what she brings to all us girls, not just me. She’s mentored me very well and I can’t thank her enough.”
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