Albany key defender Sophie McDonald’s brilliant efforts in round eight of the AFLW season have been rewarded, collecting votes in the AFLW Champion Player of the Year award. McDonald was superb in her shutdown job on Essendon star Bonnie Toogood in the West Coast Eagles’ shock win over the Bombers at Windy Hill on Sunday. Toogood was held to just two marks and a goal by McDonald as the Eagles prevailed by four points, just their second win of 2023. McDonald had six touches, two marks, three intercept possessions, 121m gained and a disposal efficiency of 83 per cent in her best game of the season. That performance was noticed by both coaches as McDonald received six votes in the AFL Coaches Association’s AFLW Champion Player of the Year. Eagles skipper Emma Swanson polled a perfect 10 in the triumph with 25 touches, 12 tackles and eight clearances to earn five votes from both Eagles coach Michael Prior and his counterpart Natalie Wood. Bombers star Maddy Prespakis also collected six coaches’ votes in the game. McDonald has played 34 games since joining the Eagles in 2020 and has played in all eight this season. The win over the finals bound Bombers lifts the Eagles into 16th spot on the AFLW ladder with a 2-6 record. With a game against the winless Western Bulldogs this week the Eagles have a golden opportunity to record their best-ever season, surpassing their two wins in 2021 and 2022. On Wednesday morning the Eagles announced Prior will stand down as head coach after nearly three seasons in charge. He has led the side to just five wins in 28 matches and academy head Rohan McHugh will take the reins for the final two weeks of the season against the Bulldogs and Adelaide.