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AFLW: Record five Dogs in line for Rising Star

(L-R) Naomi Ferres, Monique Conti, Aisling Utri, Bonnie Toogood and Libby Birch. Picture: Michael Rees, Lightfoot - AFLW,AFLW Rising Star,Libby Birch,Monique Conti,Naomi Ferres,Bonnie Toogood,Aisling Utri,Chloe Molloy
(L-R) Naomi Ferres, Monique Conti, Aisling Utri, Bonnie Toogood and Libby Birch. Picture: Michael Rees, Lightfoot

A RECORD five Western Bulldogs are in line for the NAB AFL Women's Rising Star award.

The W Awards will be held Tuesday night in Melbourne, with the competition best and fairest winner to be named, along with the Virgin Australia AFLW All Australian team and the winners of the mark and goal of the year. Bulldog Brooke Lochland will receive the goalkicking award. 

The five Bulldogs nominated for the Rising Star award are Libby Birch, Monique Conti, Naomi Ferres, Bonnie Toogood and Aisling Utri.

Conti picked up the best-on-ground medal in last Saturday's Grand Final.

The five nominations (of 14 overall) is a competition record, topping Melbourne's four from last season. 

However, Collingwood's Chloe Molloy is hot favourite to be named the Rising Star. The defender was named best first-year player at the AFLW Players’ MVP awards on Monday.

The battle for competition best and fairest is an intriguing one, with a number of players a chance to win the award. 

Although last year's winner Erin Phillips was restricted to by a quad injury in the five matches she played, she is still expected to poll a few votes. 

Bulldog Emma Kearney, Crow Chelsea Randall and Giant Courtney Gum are among the favourites, although the Melbourne trio of Karen Paxman, Daisy Pearce and Elise O'Dea cannot be discounted. 

Fremantle's Dana Hooker, Brisbane's Kate Lutkins, Collingwood's Molloy and Carlton's Katie Loynes are expected to poll well for their respective clubs. 

Lochland won the goalkicking award with 12, in part on the back of her stunning seven-goal haul against Carlton in round four. 

A 40-player All Australian squad was named last week, with the final 21 to be announced at the W Awards. 

Nominations for the goal of the year are Steph Chiocci (Collingwood), Aliesha Newman (Melbourne) and Phillips (Adelaide), while the mark of the year is between Tayla Harris (Carlton), Phoebe McWilliams (GWS) and Randall (Adelaide).