Cult hero Sarah Perkins has claimed the first-ever Crows Women’s Leading Goalkicker Award.
Perkins kicked 11 goals in the home and away season to finish second behind Carlton marquee player Darcy Vescio in the AFLW goalkicking. She was selected at full forward in the 2017 AFL Women’s All Australian team, and polled six votes in the AFL Women’s Best and Fairest.
A noted big-game performer, Perkins equalled the competition record of four goals in a dominant display against Collingwood in the last round to help propel the Crows into the Grand Final.
The selfless 23-year-old took eight contested marks in the home and away season (ranked equal-fourth in AFLW), and led the Crows for score assists alongside co-captain Erin Phillips.
Perkins was equally as effective without the footy, leading the League in forward 50m tackles with 19– nearly double that of the next-best player in the minor round.
She also forced the second-most turnovers of any player during the home and away season (22).
Popular with teammates and fans alike, Perkins was one of the many feel-good stories of the inaugural AFLW Competition.
The Eastern Devils recruit was one of the last players listed, signed as a Free Agent by the Crows after incredibly being overlooked by all Victorian clubs in the AFL Women’s Draft.
A long and accurate set shot, the influential key forward won plenty of admirers with her imposing style and football smarts, earning the nickname ‘Tex’.
She also became known for her exuberant goal celebrations, which carried over from the VWFL were she was a member of the Team of the Year in 2016.
Perkins said the decision to leave Victoria and join the Crows had paid off more than she could ever have imagined.
“I just wanted to find myself as a footballer again when I came over, and that was part of the reason that I moved,” she said.
“All you have to do is have a chat to my Mum. She’ll tell you that I’m probably the happiest I’ve been in years.
“I’m definitely happy that I moved, and found myself and my passion for football again.”
A two-time Victorian Under-18 representative, Perkins finished third in the VWFL goalkicking last year and previously represented Melbourne in an AFL Women’s exhibition game.
Crows Leading Goalkickers
11 – Sarah Perkins
10 – Erin Phillips
4 – Kellie Gibson
4 – Jenna McCormick
3 – Jess Sedunary
3 – Sally Riley