Kalinda Howarth and Lauren Bella have both been named in the inaugural AFLW 22Under22 team.

Both players enjoyed breakout seasons for the SUNS in 2020, helping drive the side to its first ever AFLW Finals campaign.

Howarth was the team’s leading goal scorer and finished equal-third league-wide with her nine majors throughout the season.

A three-goal effort in Round 3 against the Brisbane Lions also saw the 20-year-old earn a NAB AFLW Rising Star nomination. 

Her efforts saw her named on the half-forward flank in the 22Under22 side. 

Bella finished the season as the league’s most prolific ruck, finishing with the most hitouts of anyone in the competition with 130 at an average of 19 per game.

Named as the starting 22Under22 ruck, Bella also earnt an AFLW Mark of the Year nomination in Round 3. 

This is the first year the 22Under22 concept has been extended to the women’s competition, since its inception in the male competition in 2013. 

The team aims to recognise the 22 best players in the competition under 22 years of age who make an impact on their club and the competition so early in their careers.

The AFL Players’ Association’s 22Under22 is the only recognised AFL award voted by the fans.