Gisborne’s Molly Warburton’s breakout year has continued with the teenager taking out the Riddell Youth Girls best and fairest award last month.
In just her second season of football, Warburton was leading the count at the halfway mark when votes were shown to just those at the awards night.
Warburton managed to hold on to win the award on 27 votes.
The 17-year-old was shocked to be announced the winner.
“I thought I had a good year, but didn’t expect to win that,” she said. “It’s a different league from last year and I didn’t know what to expect. There was so many different teams.
“It was only halfway through when I saw the leader board, I got excited.”
The good season could continue with her side Gisborne Blue already through to the grand final this Sunday. The Bulldogs are undefeated this season.
A win would deliver a second premiership to Warburton this year, having already been part of the Calder Cannons team which won the inaugural girls TAC Cup.
Warburton is still training at the Cannons at times during the off season, and is hoping to return to the girls’ program next season.
“I love it and I can’t wait to come back,” she said. “It’s a step up from local club football and a lot more intense. Things were a lot stricter and I liked having to take more responsibility and step up.
“It was really like a family.”
Among the things Warburton had to learn at the Cannons was a new position.
Having played in the ruck at Gisborne because of her leap, she found a new home at half-back.
Warburton was selected in Vic Metro’s under-18 for the national championships, as a bottom-age player. She was also picked for the All-Australian squad.
“I was so shocked to get an invite for Vic Metro,” she said.
“We had a little bit of training and showed what you can do, I must have impressed.
“I played all three games at the national carnival and I enjoyed it and had a good time.”
On Saturday night, Warburton was part of the Victorian team for the under-18 state of origin game.
The Essendon supporter has another 12 months before she can be drafted to the AFLW. In the meantime she plans to go back to the Cannons and continue playing with Gisborne to develop her skills.