KIAMA Power's Aimee Barnard has capped off her amazing debut AFL South Coast season by taking home the prestigious Maddy Collier Medal.
The 28-year-old, who has made her name on the South Coast sports scene with the Jamberoo Superoos in Group Seven, polled 12 AFLSC best and fairest votes during the 2020 season - to claim the third ever Collier Medal and become the first person not named Sophie Phillips to win the award.
"I have considered playing footy with the Kiama Power for a few seasons but due to other sporting commitments, never ended up signing up," Barnard said.
"However this year with shortened seasons and competitions up in the air, I thought I may as well have a go this year.
"I have plenty of friends that were already playing for Kiama over the past few years and they had mentioned to me I should play, so this year I decided to."
That decision played dividends for the Power's utility player, as she finished two points ahead of Bomaderry's Bridget Kellett in the voting.
"I really enjoyed the new challenge [of playing Australian football]," Barnard, who's also played Oztag for Australia, said.
"Since I was not very familiar with the game, only ever watching a few games, it was fun to challenge myself and learn new skills.
"Overall, it felt good to leave my comfort zone and play a sport quite different to ones I have played in past.
"Thankfully some of the skills are transferrable transferable, which made my adaption easier
"Full credit to the Kiama Power as a club who also made the experience really enjoyable, as they have a very united feel through all grades, which helped me on and off the field."
When the online count was finally completed on Thursday, Barnard was as surprised as any to finish on top.
"I was very surprised - I did not expect to win the Maddy Collier Medal at all," the Kiama High School alumna said.
"There were lots of girls I played throughout the year that I feel deserve this just as much as me.
"I fell really honoured to receive this award."
Rounding out the top 11 in voting were Northern Districts' Una McKay (nine), Wollongong Lions' Lauren Myers (nine), Wollongong Saints' Caitlin Williams (eight), Saints' Kate Staunton (eight), Bomaderry's Phillips (seven), Bulldogs' Luisa Marzotto (seven), Bomaderry's Lily Macdonald (five), Saints' Laura Donnelly (five) and Bulldogs' Kathryn Gaskin (five).