The Black Diamond AFL Womens competition has seen more talent than ever flourishing in its ranks, after the move to 16 teams for the 2018 season saw an influx of recruits and fresh faces.

Now, the association is recognising the best of the new bunch, as well as rising talented youth stars, and nominations for Most Outstanding Young Womens Footballer, Womens Rising Star and Best First Year Womens Player have been announced.

First placed Nelson Bay has had three nominations across the three categories, including Molly Simpson and Sophie Balcombe, both of whom have stepped up in the back end of the season as the squad began to stretch thin with injuries, and forward Jesse Jakubowski, who was denied a chance at the golden boot with injury.

Cardiff also had three nominations in the Women’s Rising Star category, with Matisse Coram-Parker, Arizona Cross and Taylah Wilks all getting the nod, while Killarney Vale had Dixie Butler and Jocelyn Kelleher pick up nominations across the Outstanding Young Footballer category as well as the Rising Star ranks.

All in all, 21 women were nominated across the 24 potential places, and are now in the running to take out the top gongs.

The league’s coaches, as well as BarTV commentator David Redden, were involved in the voting for these awards. Winners will be announced at the Black Diamond AFL Elliott Davey Medal Night to be held at Belmont 16s on Wednesday, August 22.

Most Outstanding Young Women Footballer

Nominees must have been under 21 years old as of January 1, 2018.

  • Sophie Balcombe (Nelson Bay)
  • Sarah Burns (Maitland)
  • Dixie Butler (Killarney Vale)
  • Jocelyn Kelleher (Killarney Vale)
  • Holly Kozlik (Lake Macquarie)
  • Cheyenne Neu (Port Stephens)
  • Tahlia Thompson (Singleton)
  • Taylah Wilks (Cardiff)

Women’s Rising Star

Nominees must have been under 21 years old as of January 1, 2018; must have played a minimum of six Black Diamond AFL Womens matches in 2018; must not have played more than ten first grade matches prior to the 2018 season.

  • Dixie Butler (Killarney Vale)
  • Hannah Centra (Maitland)
  • Matisse Coram-Parker (Cardiff)
  • Arizona Cross (Cardiff)
  • Chiara Lam (Newcastle City Novas)
  • Cheyenne Neu (Port Stephens)
  • Brianna Trappett (Lake Macquarie)
  • Taylah Wilks (Cardiff)

Women’s Best First-Year Player

Nominees must have been under 21 years old as of January 1, 2018; must have played a minimum of six Black Diamond AFL Womens matches in 2018; must not have played any first grade matches prior to the 2018 season.

  • Beth Allars (The Entrance Bateau Bay)
  • Ashlea Finn (Muswellbrook)
  • Jesse Jakubowski (Nelson Bay)
  • Amy Morschel (Newcastle City Stars)
  • Kanesha Murray (Wyong Lakes)
  • Amy Pittman (Warners Bay)
  • Darneka Rowe (Terrigal Avoca)
  • Molly Simpson (Nelson Bay)