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Bates claims top AFLW honours for Lions

AFLW 2017 Grand Final - Brisbane v Adelaide
Emily Bates has won the Lions' best and fairest award

BRISBANE Lions midfielder Emily Bates has taken out the club's inaugural best and fairest award.

Bates was drafted with the second overall selection last year.

She averaged almost 16 disposals per game and was named in the Virgin Australia AFL Women's All Australian team on Tuesday night.

Bates was awarded 112 votes, ahead of marquee player Sabrina Frederick-Traub with 104 and captain Emma Zielke (86).

Lions coach Craig Starcevich told the club website Bates improved as the season went on.

"Emily's played at a really consistent, high level throughout the season," Starcevich said on Friday night.

"As one of the youngest in the leadership group, she really embraced and took her role on by her actions and demeanour around the group.

"The longer the season went, she grew as a line-breaker. It is something we’ve been working on with Emily for a while now in terms of getting possession, getting it back again and breaking through the lines and being a high metreage player for metres gained."

The Lions fell six points short in the Grand Final against Adelaide.