Former Scotch Star Mimi Hill has become the second Carlton player to win the NAB AFLW Rising Star award, pipping Charlie Rowbottom and Mia King for the honour.
Drafted with pick No.12 in the 2020 draft, Hill played six games in her debut season before going down with an ACL injury in round six. Just 336 days later, however, the teenager made her triumphant return against Adelaide, winning a team-high – and career-high – 26 disposals, eight intercepts and registering 349 metres gained.
In her six games this season, Hill averaged 21.5 disposals, 282 metres gained and three clearances, all considerable improvements on her 12.3 disposals, 135.8 metres gained and 0.8 clearances last year.
Hill played junior footy at the Kew Comets and won a VAFA premiership with Old Scotch Football Club before becoming captain of the Oakleigh Chargers in her bottom-aged year. She also represented Vic Metro prior to being drafted by the Blues.
Her quick hands and intelligence around the contest is what drew Carlton coach Daniel Harford to Hill, and her assets have paid dividends for the side, with its late-season improvement coinciding with Hill’s return.
Across the first four rounds, Carlton averaged 26.3 points per game while conceding 43.8, coming away with just one win. From round five – Hill’s return – the Blues won half their games, bringing their average score up to 33.2 and conceding two fewer goals per game.