Tied at the top

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - NEWS - Madeleine Stephens

Jessie Barker tied for the win in WA women’s A-grade am­a­teur foot­ball fairest and best award.

EVEN af­ter miss­ing the fi­nal three home and away games of the sea­son, Curtin Univer­sity Wes­ley’s Jessie Barker claimed a place in his­tory by shar­ing the WA Am­a­teur Foot­ball League’s in­au­gu­ral women’s AGrade best and fairest award.

Barker, who fin­ished the year in­jured, tied with Re­becca Viney, from North Beach. She said it was a sur­prise and very ex­cit­ing to win the top prize for the first time.

“It was nice to feel like a bit of a pi­o­neer,” she said.

Her team­mate Clair Ed­wards won the lead­ing goal­kicker ti­tle with 23 ma­jors.

The in­di­vid­ual awards were some­thing to take away from the year af­ter the Tigers went through the sea­son un­de­feated only to lose the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal and miss the chance to play in the pre­mier­ship de­cider.

Barker started play­ing foot­ball in Al­bany when she was eight years old and played for WAFL club Clare­mont when she moved to Perth.

She switched to Curtin Univer­sity Wes­ley be­cause she wanted to play at a more so­cial level.

The Wil­lagee res­i­dent said she and her team­mates were try­ing to build a path­way for girls to get in­volved in Aussie rules.

“We want to play, we want to have fun, so I hope to be one of the peo­ple who in­spire younger girls to try some­thing that maybe they are a bit in­tim­i­dated to do be­cause it is so male-dom­i­nated,” she said.

Other play­ers from the Tigers club who won ac­co­lades at the WAAFL Awards were Klin­ton Wil­liams, best and fairest for A Re­serves, An­drew Jon­son for D1, and Jesse Wil­son for D1 Re­serves.

Pic­ture: David Baylis www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d486739

Jessie Barker with the spoils of be­ing the WAAFL A-Grade best and fairest player.

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