Jessica Fitzgerald has earned an AFLW Rising Star nomination following a standout performance in the Western Bulldogs’ six-point win over Carlton.
In just her second AFLW match, Fitzgerald amassed 15 disposals and kicked a goal to help the Bulldogs to a 6.6 (42) to 5.6 (36) victory at Whitten Oval.
Fitzgerald’s tally included 11 kicks, four handballs, four marks, six inside 50s and a tackle.
Her efforts were rewarded, with the young midfielder nominated as the Round 2 AFLW Rising Star, along with Melbourne’s Tyla Hanks.
Fitzgerald was selected by the Western Bulldogs at pick No. 2 in last year’s AFLW Draft.
She was best afield in the Northern Knights’ NAB League Girls grand final win in 2019 as a bottom-age player and was named among the club’s best players in two of three games in 2020 before the season was cancelled.
Fitzgerald began her football journey with Bundoora Park and was a member of the club’s under-9 team in its inaugural season in the NFNL in 2011.
The following year she was a member of the Thunderbolts’ Under-10 Red premiership side and was named in the best players in the grand final win over Northcote.
After taking a break from the game she continued her football journey with St Mary’s, before moving on to the Northern Knights.
Fitzgerald made her AFLW debut in Round 1, registering 10 disposals in the Bulldogs’ nine-point loss to St Kilda at Moorabbin Oval.
She is among seven NFNL alumni on the Western Bulldogs’ AFLW list for the 2021 season, along with Kirsty Lamb, Gabrielle Newton, Deanna Berry, Bailey Hunt, Britney Gutknecht and Elisabeth Georgostathis.
The NFNL congratulates Jessica on her nomination for the 2021 AFLW Rising Star award.
Players are eligible for the AFLW Rising Star if they are 21 years and under as of January 1, 2021 and have not been previously nominated.
Two players will be nominated per home and away round of the AFLW season.