Ally Anderson signs her thanks to her NAB AFL Auskicker medal presenter after Brisbane's win over North Melbourne in the 2023 NAB AFLW Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

IT WAS the heart-warming moment that captured the hearts of all footy fans as the Brisbane Lions basked in premiership glory. 

As the winner side went up onto the premiership dais one-by-one to accept their premiership medallions, there were wholesome interactions galore. 

But it was the moment between a young hearing-impaired NAB AFL Auskicker and Lions champion Ally Anderson that may just have topped them all. 

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Anderson knelt down onto the stage to accept the medal and signed 'thankyou' in Auslan as she placed a cap on the youngster's head. 

"It was a really nice moment between us," said Anderson, who first learned Auslan at high school.  

"I grew up in high school with a lot of hearing-impaired kids, so it's something I've learned a little bit before." 

Anderson was lost for words after the match after securing her second AFLW premiership with the Lions.

"The feeling's unbelievable, I can't even explain how wild this is, I'm kind of struggling to find words for it right now, I can't wait to celebrate with the girls," she said.

The season seven AFLW Best and Fairest shadowed gut-running Irishwoman Orla O'Dwyer in the pre-season as she looked to take her game to another level. 

Anderson claims O'Dwyer is the "best trainer" at the club and says the winger pushed her outside of her comfort zone. 

"I basically just tried to chase her around all pre-season," she laughed. 

Orla O'Dwyer and Ally Anderson run out for the 2023 NAB AFLW Grand Final between North Melbourne and Brisbane. Picture: AFL Photos

The Lions were one of the sides most heavily hit by expansion but Anderson says the whole club trusted the process and vision of head coach Craig Starcevich. 

"We obviously knew it was going to be hard and different, but it allowed for our younger players to come through and for our new recruits to have an impact," she said.

"I just wanted to get as fit as I could over pre-season, the likes of Belle [Dawes] and Cathy [Svarc] both stepped up as well.

"It's different not playing with Emily, but it's a new group now. 

"We really trust our culture and the way we play footy; it all came together by the end today." 


She said the turning point of the Lions' season came after their round nine loss to the Saints. 

"There's always up and down moments throughout the season but it was after the St Kilda game where we then came out firing against Melbourne that we knew we could go all the way," Anderson said.

The Lions dismantled reigning premier Melbourne in the final match of the home and away season before edging out Adelaide and Geelong in the first two finals on their way to their second ever AFLW premiership.  

"It's absolutely amazing, you don't really realise how much of an impact you have until you have moments like this where you really take it in," Anderson said.

"We really do have a big influence on the next generation, whatever we can do to be those role models, I'm just really happy and proud." 

With a mindset and culture like this one, it doesn't seem like the Lions will be stopping any time soon.