Charlotte Simpson has capped a breakout rebel VFLW season by claiming the Geelong Cats’ Best and Fairest Award on Friday night.

Simpson, who played her first full season of VFLW this year, averaged 22.8 disposals, 6.7 clearances and 5.5 tackles a game, playing a leading role in Geelong’s midfield.

Having made four VFLW appearances last season when she was still playing underage football with the Geelong Falcons, Simpson showed in 2023 she could be a dominant force around stoppages, winning her Cats VFLW best and fairest award at just 19 years of age.

Simpson’s form was recognised more broadly last month when she was selected in the Under 23 All-Stars team, which went on to beat the AFLW Academy, with the Cats midfielder among the best on ground.

Simpson finished with 72 votes in Friday night’s count, with Favell runner-up on 55 votes and Renee Garing in third with 41 votes.

Favell proved to be a valuable addition in her first VFLW season with the Cats after crossing from Box Hill Hawks last season.

The midfielder’s form continually improved as the season went on, averaging 16.6 disposals and 4.5 tackles a game.

Garing, who was playing her first competitive football since having son Parker in May last year, hit the ground running in her return, with her runner-up finish coming off the back of just seven VFLW appearances.

The 34-year-old was regularly among Geelong’s best on ground, with her intensity around a contest coming to the fore. She averaged 18.4 disposals and 11.4 tackles per game, including an incredible 18 tackles against Southern Saints in Round 4.

Geelong also recognised its leading goalkicker for the season on Friday night, with first-year Cat Olivia Cicolini celebrated for her 11 goals across 10 appearances.

Cats VFLW Best and Fairest Top 10

1. Charlotte Simpson – 72 votes
2. Abby Favell – 55 votes
3. Renee Garing – 41 votes
4. Analea McKee – 32 votes
5. Emily Ramsay – 30 votes
6. Melissa Bragg – 27 votes
7. Chloe Scheer – 21 votes
= 8. Abbey McDonald – 17 votes
= 8. Bree Beckley – 17 votes
10. Liv Fuller – 16 votes