Australian rules footy fans are set to decide which female footballer deserves an extra $10,000 on top of their pay this season.

The move is the latest step toward helping female footy players enjoy the same benefits as their male counterparts.

It comes amid rumours the AFL would consider renaming the men's competition AFLM to clear up confusion between the two leagues.

By searching for 'AFLW vote' on Google, fans can pick their nominee for mark and goal of the year.

Nathan Burke, former AFL player and coach of the AFLW Western Bulldogs, said the feature provided a "great opportunity" for footy lovers to get more involved with the women's league.

"It's also great acknowledgement for the players – they'd certainly get a kick out of knowing someone out there thinks they're a favourite," Burke told The New Daily. 

"There are so many guns going around at the moment. It would be very hard to pick a stand-out."

Round 1 kicked off last week, with Alison Downie (Carlton), Kate Lutkins (Brisbane Lions) and Rebecca Privitelli (Greater Western Sydney Giants) all receiving nominations for Mark of the Year.

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A screenshot of Google's new AFLW voting feature for Mark of the Year. Image: Google

Round 1 nominees for the Goal of the Year were Richelle Cranston (Geelong), Sabreena Duffy (Fremantle) and Nikki Gore (Adelaide).

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A screenshot of Google's new AFLW voting feature for the Goal of the Year. Image: Google

The AFLW All-Australian panel will award the final winners a $10,000 prize at the W Awards, taking into consideration the fan vote.

Last year, Google introduced a similar feature for the men's AFL Premiership Season that let punters nominate players for Best on Ground, Player of the Round and Fan Awards by Googling 'AFL vote'.

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Western Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke addresses players in last week's match against St Kilda, which they won 6.3(39) to 2.2(14). Photo: Getty

Since the women's league was introduced in 2017, the sport has surged in popularity and developed every year.

Search interest in AFLW was the highest on record last year in Australia – up more than 70 per cent compared to 2018, according to data from Google Trends.

Tayla Harris was the single most searched Australian rules player across the women's and men's competitions.

The Carlton star was thrust into the public eye after she took a stand against sexist online trolls who left degrading comments on a photo of her mid-kick during a game.

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Tayla Harris copped social media abuse after this picture was published. Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media

The iconic image has since been immortalised in a bronze statue in Melbourne's CBD.

This year, four new teams have entered the league: Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast, meaning 14 teams will compete in the eight-round competition.

At a time when the game is undergoing rapid changes, it appears no idea is off the table – and there have been hints this week the men's competition might be getting a makeover, too.

Speaking on The Outer Sanctum, an all-female footy podcast, AFL football boss Steve Hocking said the league would be "all ears" to the possibility of one day renaming the men's competition AFLM.

The suggestion of a name change sent social media into a frenzy, with 'AFLM' trending on Twitter most of Tuesday.


But on Tuesday afternoon, the AFL tried to clarify Mr Hocking's comments, watering down any likelihood of a name change in the near future.

"AFLW has built its own powerful identity in the community and we will continue to promote its message and celebrate the league and women’s football," the league said in a statement.

"There are no plans to change the name of the AFL competition.”