It's that time of year when we perform just about the most difficult task in football -- settling on 21 AFLW players for our All-Australian team.
As expected, the Lions are well represented (six players) as are Melbourne (three) and Richmond (three), but the expansion teams (with the exception of Maddy Prespakis from Essendon) missed out.
Every year there are a number of extremely stiff omissions but without further ado, here's ESPN's 2022 AFLW All-Australian team:
FB: Bre Koenen (Bris), Chelsea Randall (Adel)
HB: Nat Grider (Bris), Eilish Sheerin (Rich), Emma Kearney (NM)
C: Jas Garner (NM), Monique Conti (Rich), Maddy Prespakis (Ess)
HF: Greta Bodey (Bris), Kate Hore (Melb), Chloe Scheer (Geel)
FF: Jesse Wardlaw (Bris), Tayla Harris (Melb)
R: Tahlia Hickie (Bris), Georgie Prespakis (Geel), Ally Anderson (Bris)
I/C: Karen Paxman (Melb), Ellie McKenzie (Rich), Alyce Parker (GWS), Amy McDonald (Geel), Anne Hatchard (Adel)
Bre Koenen (Bris): Bre Koenen has never been named in the All-Australian side but had an impressive season averaging 10.7 disposals with a whopping 75.7% disposal efficiency and 2.4 tackles a game.
Chelsea Randall (Adel): The Crows skipper missed two matches this season but still managed to make her usual impact . She's averaged 19.1 disposals, 3.5 marks, 4.6 tackles, 4.1 score involvements, 6.1 ground ball gets per game.
Nat Grider (Bris): Nat Grider has been key when it comes to the Lions defensive solidity this season. She's averaged 1.2 spoils, 4 tackles, 1.7 intercept marks, and seven intercept possessions a game making her a disrupting influence to opposition attacks.
Eilish Sheerin (Rich): The epitome of resilience, All-Australian feels like the cherry on top of what has been a phenomenal debut season. Her 11 contested possessions, 1.3 intercept marks, 9.7 intercept possessions, and 2.4 spoils, speak to her defesinve ability while her 2.9 rebound 50s and 370.7 metres gained per game highlight how important an attack generator she is.
Emma Kearney (NM): The streak continues for Emma Kearney in ESPN's All-Australian. Her 3.9 rebounds inside 50 exemplify her playmaking off half back as does her average 301 metres gained. Going for an average 16.3 disposals at 67.3 percent efficiency, she continues to be one of the most elite users in the competition.
Jas Garner (NM): Jas Garner is a machine. She's a two-time leading goalkicker for the Kangaroos and a dual club champion. This season she's averaged 22.8 disposals, 4.2 marks, 5.2 tackles, as well as 5.2 inside 50s. She's versatile and moves between the midfield and forward line.
Monique Conti (Rich): Mon has won four consecutive club best-and-fairest awards, was best-on-ground in the Western Bulldogs' 2018 premiership, and is a triple All-Australian. This season she averaged 6.1 tackles, 21.1 disposals and 3.9 clearances. Her influence on Richmond can't be doubted; she was crucial in seeing them post eight straight wins and notch their first ever involvement in a finals series.
Maddy Prespakis (Ess): Maddy has had a career-high season with her new side, the Bombers. The older sister of Geelong's Georgie, she averaged 23.7 disposals and 4.6 clearances, notably, in Round 7 against the Cats, she racked up the second most disposals in AFLW history- 37, and is a front runner for the AFLW best and fairest.
Greta Bodey (Bris): The dangerous forward has been immense across half forward. Her average 2.3 marks, 2.6 tackles, four score involvements and 2.4 inside 50s per game complement her 11 goals for the season making her integral to the Lions attacking machine.
Kate Hore (Melb): Kate Hore's goalkicking went into overdrive this season with 16 majors in 2022. Taking on the majority of the goal scoring for the Dees, Hore also amassed an average 14 disposals going 63.6 percent efficiency, 6.5 uncontested possessions, 3.5 tackles, and 1.6 inside 50s, and 199.7 meters gained.
Chloe Scheer (Geel): Chloe Scheer was instrumental in Geelong's charge to the finals. Her 17 goals this season as well as 4.4 score involvements made her an everywhere woman up forward for the Cats. Averaging 2.9 marks, 1.7 contested marks, two tackles, and 3.1 ground ball gets per game, Scheer was one of the most well-rounded forwards in the entire competition.
Jesse Wardlaw (Bris): The Lions forward took out the league goal-kicking award this home and away season, at 19 goals. It's been a huge season for the 22-year-old, increasing her game average from 0.8 to 2.1 in one season.
Tayla Harris (Mel): One of the most well-known names in the competition, and for good reason. Tayla Harris is a four time All Australian and has managed an average of 11.6 disposals with 62.5% disposal efficiency, 1.1 goals, 3.2 tackles, 2.4 inside 50s, and 199.7 meters gained.
Tahlia Hickie (Bris): Yet another Brisbane Lion to make the cut in ESPN's All-Australian team, Hickie averaged 21.3 hitouts per game with a 51.8 percent hitout win-rate. She was a clean user of the ball when it was in her hands and, more importantly was able to get it to her teammates, averaging seven hitouts to advantage per game.
Georgie Prespakis (Geel): One of a number of 'first year, second season' players, Georgie Prespakis was immense for Geelong this season. She was not only a ball magnet, amassing an average 22.8 disposals going at 75.3% efficiency, but was unafraid to get stuck in as evidenced by her 7.8 tackles and contributed to the Cats' attack through her 3.2 score involvements and 356 metres gained per game.
Ally Anderson (Bris): While many would have looked to last season's best and fairest, it was Emily Bates' teammate, Ally Anderson who was the undeniable star player in the Lions midfield this season. She has only improved season on season and averaged 22.6 disposals, 5.2 clearances, and 5.1 tackles per game.
Christian Joly from Champion Data discusses the stats that AFL clubs are keen to measure more, a new one being ubbed 'intercept... returns from... stoppages'.
Karen Paxman (Melb): "Paxy" didn't miss a game this season, and rarely ever has. She's been named in the All-Australian squad every year -- but not every season - missing out for Season Six -- luckily for her there's two seasons in 2022 so she may just keep up that clear run. She averages 18.7 disposals, 12.3 uncontested possessions, 2.9 marks, 3.7 tackles, 3.5 score involvements, 3.9 ground ball gets, 3.7 inside 50s and 287.2 metres-gained per game. An impressive record for a player that's been so consistent for so long.
Ellie McKenzie (Rich): Ellie McKenzie's ascent continued this season and she showed that she is not just a mere support act to Mon Conti in the Tigers midfield. She averaged 15 disposals, 3.4 tackles, 2.9 score involvements, 2.7 inside 50s, 1.8 clearances and 243 metres gained per game
Alyce Parker (GWS): Alyce Parker was a bright spot in an average season for the Giants. Most good passages of play for GWS involved Parker whether it was through her average 23.3 disposals, 4.8 tackles, 2.9 score involvement, 2.7 inside 50s, 5.6 clearances or 315.2 metres gained per game.
Amy McDonald (Geel): Another key cog in the Cats' midfield, Amy McDonald averaged 25 disposals, 15.4 contested possessions, and 7.1 clearances per game. She was able to apply defensive pressure with her average 7.4 tackles and ensured the Cats kept scoring thanks to her 3.9 score involvements and 2.9 inside 50s per game.
Anne Hatchard (Adel): "Hatchy" is a stalwart of the AFLW competition and doesn't miss a beat. She also didn't miss a game this season and averaged 24.2 disposals with 55.8% disposal efficiency, 10.7 uncontested possessions, 5.3 tackles, and 4.4 inside 50s, and 266.8 meters gained.