Dominant midfielder Charlie Rowbottom and key defender Vivien Saad have both earned maiden AFLW All-Australian Squad selections following superb campaigns for the Gold Coast SUNS.
The 42-person team was confirmed this morning with both players now in contention for the final 21-player All-Australian Team, to be announced at the W Awards later this month.
Rowbottom took her game to another level in her second AFLW season, leading the SUNS across various stat lines including disposals and tackles whilst also finishing third in the league for clearances and fifth for contested possessions.
The 19-year-old is yet to miss a match since debuting last season and on Saturday won her first SUNS AFLW Club Champion, finishing ahead of midfield compatriots Alison Drennan and Claudia Whitfort.
Saad featured in all 10 matches for the SUNS in Season Seven and was used throughout as an intercepting key defender, finishing among the league leaders for intercept possessions, defensive 50 ground ball gets and marks inside defensive 50.
The 30-year-old had a strong back-half of the campaign, storming home in the SUNS AFLW Club Champion count to finish fourth.
“Both Charlie and Viv had outstanding seasons and it’s fantastic to see them rewarded with selection in the All-Australian Squad,” Head Coach Cameron Joyce said.
“Charlie is someone SUNS fans can be excited about watching for seasons to come with plenty of development on offer for someone whose career is just getting started.
“Viv was an integral part of our defence this season and the numbers speak for themselves – she was one of the best defenders in the AFLW. She showed plenty of experience, was a composed presence in defence and it’s fantastic to see her rewarded.”
The All-Australian Team will be named later this month by a selection panel comprising Nicole Livingstone (Chairperson), Sarah Black, Sam Virgo, Andrew Dillon, Laura Kane, Kelli Underwood, Megan Waters, Narelle Smith and Tim Harrington.