Emerging stars Bailey Ryan and Terira Fry have been named this year’s AGA Apprenticeships Plus Rising Star Award winners.
In the men’s category, Hillside forward Ryan was a standout in his first full season of senior football after making his Division One debut for the Sharks as an 18-year-old in 2019.
The former Western Jet and homegrown Hillside up-and-comer featured in all 12 games in 2021, averaging nearly two and a half goals a game and earning five mentions among the best players.
His Round 5 performance against Westmeadows was particularly impressive, booting seven goals in a thrilling upset road win at Willowbrook Reserve.
He again proved vital against local rival Taylors Lakes in Round 10, kicking five majors in the Sharks’ cruisy win over the Lions.
At season’s end, Ryan’s outstanding season was recognised by the division’s senior coaches, who found a spot for the 20-year-old on the half forward flank in the official 2021 Strathmore Community Bank Division One Team of the Year.
Fry emerged as the clear choice for the women’s category in 2021 after producing a stellar season with the Sunbury Lions.
Originally a Craigieburn junior before moving to the Lions, Fry has been on the radar as an emerging gun for several years, having spent three seasons as part of the Calder Cannons system, during which she made her VFL Women’s debut for Essendon in 2019.
This year, the 19-year-old did not miss a game for the Lions as they made light work of Airport Toyota Women’s Division Two before being re-graded up into Division One, where Fry continued to shine.
Across both divisions, Fry booted 22 goals and earned eight mentions in the best players in her first full season of senior footy at Clarke Oval.
Despite only playing seven games in Division 1 this year, the coaches found room for Fry in the Airport Toyota Women’s Division One Team of the Year on the half back flank, capping off an outstanding season.
The AGA Apprenticeships Plus Rising Star Awards are awarded yearly to two of the best young senior footballers in the EDFL, including a men’s category and women’s category.
Eligible players must have been aged 21 years or younger at the beginning of 2021, have played regular senior football and have had a significant impact for their teams.