FRIENDS off the court, fierce competitors on it.
Cobden's Matilda Darcy and Terang Mortlake's Alice Suhan are mates at school and two of the Hampden league's 15 and under division's brightest young prospects.
Darcy and Suhan both polled 20 votes while Scarlett Katie O'Donnell (18) and Molly McLaren (15) were second and third.
Darcy, a defender, played on Suhan in 2021 and said the chance to be recognised on equal footing was "a really good feeling".
She said the duo enjoyed a strong battle - Darcy in goal defence and Suhan in goal attack - when they met in round seven.
"It was a really good tussle. I haven't played that good in a really good time," Darcy said.
"We're close friends so she really (inspired) me to play a lot better and toughen up."
Darcy joked her first order of business would be to remind brothers Charlie and Oliver - who are footballers at the Bombers - "this is how it's done".
"I'll hold onto this a very long time," she laughed.
Suhan said it was good to share the award with Darcy.
"Matilda is a really great defender. She's really hard to play on and works the ball really well," Suhan said.
"She's just an all round really good player."
The goal attack said spending time in open and in division one had helped her hone her craft.
"It was a really good taste test," Suhan said.
"It was really good to step up from juniors as you just a real taste for what it will be like."
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