WITH the AFL Women’s 2020 season officially come to a close now the awards are done and dusted, Draft Central looks back on our Top 50 Players of season 2020. This countdown purely looks at the 2020 season so does not look at past performances and will not include injured stars such Erin Phillips or Chelsea Randall.
In this edition, we look at number 13 in our count, an inaugural Magpie who thrived in a new role to return career-best numbers in 2020.
#11 BRITT BONNICI
7 GAMES AVE: 19.6 disposals, 3.6 marks, 4.3 tackles, 3.4 clearances, 3.3 inside 50s, 1.0 rebound 50s
Usually it is the opposition in question when the term ‘breaking the shackles’ and Bonnici gather in the same context, but in 2020 it was a case of the Collingwood midfielder being freed to win her own ball after coming to prominence as a tagger in her previous three AFL Women’s seasons.
The tough, in-and-under engine room operator showcased her increased output on the attacking side of midfield this year, managing career-best numbers in disposals, marks, and inside 50s as she combined her aptitude at the stoppages with hard work on the spread to have a greater metres gained effect.
Bonnici’s numbers would see her finish second to only Jaimee Lambert in a range of key stats, while also finishing in that same order in Collingwood’s best and fairest count. But no one could beat the 23-year-old to her side’s best finals player award, with 20 disposals (all kicks) against North Melbourne in a tense semi-final earning her that honour.
The 163cm jet breached the 20-disposal mark four times across her seven games, only going as low as 14 in Round 1 while managing a high of 26 against Brisbane in what was a phenomenal late-season performance. The depth in Bonnici’s game and her rate of development have been promising thus far, as she is now firmly a key fixture in the Collingwood midfield.
Bonnici was one of a league-high five Magpies to be named in the initial All-Australian squad and while she may not have made the final cut, it still served as some much deserved credit for another terrific season at the top level.