18/04/2024

Hawthorn, Sydney and West Coast drafted some of the top talents across Australia in the 2022 AFLW Draft. (Photos: Hawthorn FCW/Twitter; Sydney FCW/Twitter; West Coast Eagles W/Twitter)

After the 2022 AFLW Draft was held at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday night, we break down all the selections and how each club fared.

With season seven just two months away, the 2022 AFLW Draft was held at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday night.

The four expansion clubs finalised their lists with some of the brightest young talent in the country, while the remaining 14 had varying list needs to fill across the night.

The Inner Sanctum breaks down all the picks of the night, and how your club fared.

Selections:

40 – Keeley Kustermann (West Adelaide) – Defender/winger, 166cm

69 – Kiera Mueller (Sturt) – Defender, 165cm

71 – McKenzie Dowrick (Woodville West-Torrens) – Utility, 172cm

The Crows had only a few depth areas that they needed to fill heading into the draft. The losses of Erin Phillips, Justine Mules, Nikki Gore, Angela Foley and Jess Sedunary were offset by the acquisitions of Niamh Kelly and Amber Ward. 

Having lost a bit of depth in defence with Foley and Gore out, the additions of Keeley Kustermann and Kiera Mueller were no surprise to most. Kustermann, the captain of the state side, will bring leadership alongside Mueller, who was in Sturt’s leadership group at SANFLW level. Both have only grown in the state league this season and are expected to step up again at AFLW level.

Kustermann is an athletic and versatile player, recruited for her ability to play across half-back or on a wing as well as through the middle. Finishing fifth in the SANFLW for contested possessions and hardball gets, she is a player that can get in and under and finish on the outside too.

Mueller is a graduate of Adelaide’s Academy, with the small defender growing year on year in the SANFLW. She thrives in one-on-one contests while having great decision-making under pressure and a neat left-foot kick. Finishing fourth for effective kicks in the SANFLW this season as well as a spot in the team of the year sums up her class.

The re-drafting of McKenzie Dowrick adds another tall target to their forward line and gives her another chance to make it at the level. She played just one game for the Crows in 2022 and had minimal opportunity as a West Coast Eagle and Brisbane Lion. She provides a long left-foot kick and accuracy in front of goal. Kicking 15 goals from eight games, which saw her finish equal-second in the goal kicking for the SANFLW, she has truly earned this selection.

Madeline Irwin

Selections:

41 – Ella Smith (Lions Academy) – Midfielder, 168cm

57 – Dee Heslop (Gold Coast Suns) – Defender, 167cm

70 – Charlotte Mullins (Aspley/Brisbane Lions Academy) – Midfielder, 167cm

78 – Kiara Hillier (Maroochydore) – Defender, 173cm

Staying pretty well intact after the sign and trade period, the Brisbane Lions have already signalled their intent to push for a second flag in season seven. Coming into the draft at pick 41, they selected a dual-sport athlete, Ella Smith, from their own academy. A national champion and Australian National under-19 team rower, Smith has been juggling the two sports to try and make AFLW a career for the past few seasons.

She plays as an inside midfielder and winger, clean by hand and foot with her disposal being her weapon. Her pace is also a feature, clocking a 2km time trial result of 7.37 which puts her in the top 10 of the combine this year.

Dee Heslop will be reunited with her former state-side coach, Craig Starcevich at the Lions. Being a more mature player, Heslop brings experience and on-field leadership, having played 23 games at the Gold Coast Suns before being delisted at the end of 2022. She is a player that can float into the backline or drift forward as well as play in the midfield. Her versatility is her strength.

Charlotte Mullins is a developing midfielder who brings versatility and football smarts. She is precise by foot and hand while bringing toughness and applies defensive pressure.

Kiara Hillier brings another type of player not taken with the other picks which is a rebounding defender. In charge of the kick-outs for Queensland during the NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships, she has great athleticism and run and carry. 

Madeline Irwin

Selections:

17 – Keeley Skepper (Murray Bushrangers) – Midfielder, 163cm

18 – Mia Austin (Eastern Ranges) – Key forward, 178cm

48 – Lily Goss (Carlton VFLW) – Midfielder, 163cm

67 – Jessica Jones (North Melbourne VFLW) – Key defender, 177cm

The Blues headed into this draft needing to fill holes that had been left by the departures of Maddy Prespakis, Georgia Gee, Nicola Stevens, Grace Egan and Courtney Jones. And whilst they haven’t fully replaced those players, they’ve still brought in plenty of talent.

Keeley Skepper and Mia Austin come into the side after strong NAB League Girls seasons for the Murray Bushrangers and Eastern Ranges respectively. Skepper averaged 24.2 disposals, 4.1 rebound 50s, 4.8 inside 50s and 17.4 kicks off half-back and in midfield, and Austin averaged 11.8 disposals, 19.2 hit outs and kicked nine goals in six games this season.

Ex-Old Scotch midfielder Lily Goss comes in as a familiar face having made an instant impact in the Carlton VFLW lineup. In 12 games this year she averaged 15.3 disposals, 6.4 tackles and 3.8 clearances.

Jessica Jones joins the Blues having also played 12 out of 14 VFLW games for North Melbourne this season. Playing the role of shutting out each team’s best forward, she only averaged nine disposals but should slot into an already solid Carlton defence.

Josh Ward

Selections:

30 – Charlotte Taylor (Oakleigh Chargers) – Utility, 174cm

56 – Charlotte Blair (Dandenong Stingrays) – Midfielder, 169cm

76 – Pass

While losing depth across the list in the sign and trade period, Collingwood look promising without Bri Davey and Brittany Bonnici in the later part of the season. They will be without those two stars as well as Ebony O’Dea (Port Adelaide) and Sophie Alexander (Essendon) who left for expansion sides. Collingwood lost a few midfielders and a forward in Alexander which has been addressed partially by the signing of Olivia Barber and Lauren Brazzale. 

Charlotte Taylor is a utility that was elevated from the Collingwood VFLW side after three games this season playing in the midfield. Playing in the midfield and rolling forward, she plays a role that will probably suit the club at AFLW level given they need another tall target down forward and midfield depth. 

Charlotte Blair is a midfielder that has a great ability to burst out of stoppages and carry the footy. She will likely join the midfield rotation and look to settle in at the level. 

Madeline Irwin

Selections:

4 – Amber Clarke (Dandenong Stingrays) – Midfielder/forward, 171cm

8 – Paige Scott (GWV Rebels) – Forward, 170cm

32 – Stephanie Wales (Casey VFLW) – Ruck

35 – Mia Busch (Eastern Ranges) – Defender, 166cm

46 – Mia van Dyke (Geelong Falcons) – Utility, 178cm

62 – Amelia Radford (Essendon VFLW) – Midfielder/forward, 168cm

73 – Ashleigh Van Loon (Geelong Falcons) – Midfielder, 168cm

Essendon’s inaugural draft saw the club fill out its list across multiple areas of the ground. Number one on that list was a second ruck to chop out alongside Jorja Borg, and Stephanie Wales is just that. Breaking out in the ruck at the end of the VFLW season, the Casey recruit will continue her development at the Hangar.

With their two top 10 picks, the Bombers took Amber Clarke and Paige Scott. Bolstering their midfield depth was another clear need, which the likes of VFLW Don Amelia Radford and Falcon Ashleigh Van Loon also add, but the Scott selection was not as clear.

The Bombers are certainly stacked for forwards, but a goal a game speaks for itself in Scott’s case. Even stronger was her 2021, where she scored 15 goals in nine games.

Mia Busch nicely rounds out the defensive group, with a smaller rebounding type, while 178cm Mia van Dyke has the capability to play as a key defender. All in all, Essendon’s inaugural list is looking ready to challenge anyone, with a wealth of firepower to hit the scoreboard.

Alex Catalano

Selections:

27 – Madeleine Scanlon (Claremont) – Defender, 172cm

59 – Tara Stribley (Swan Districts) – Winger, 165cm

77 – Megan Kauffman (Wembley Magpies) – Midfielder/forward, 162cm

83 – Amy Mulholland (Subiaco) – Forward, 161cm

85 – Tahlia Read (Calder Cannons) – Midfielder/forward, 168cm

The Dockers were never going to have the strongest hand with the Eagles holding the first three WA picks and seven of the first eight. For what they were dealt, however, they added some new strong local talent into the mix.

Top pick Madeleine Scanlon brings another layer of depth to the backline, adding pace to what is a group that is already strong aerially and in direct one-on-one contests. She’d be an easy choice to start in Round 1.

A clear need was pace and extra quality at ground level. Tara Stribley, Megan Kauffman, Amy Mullholland, and Tahlia Read all add one of these two qualities. Losing Steph Cain, Stribley will be the long-term option for the future along the wing.

The only knock on the Dockers is that they didn’t add a key forward to replace the big loss of Gemma Houghton to Port Adelaide. It seems as though the group will be built around the likes of Amy Franklin, Aine Tighe, and Roxy Roux, with plenty of ground-level players now to go around.

Alex Catalano

Selections:

33 – Mia Skinner (Geelong) – Forward, 170cm

42 – Brooke Plummer (Northern Knights) – Defender, 165cm

55 – Abbey McDonald (Calder Cannons) – Midfielder/forward, 162cm

Not a whole lot was expected from Geelong on draft night having already brought in plenty of talent in the sign-and-trade period and having limited picks. Despite their limited picks, though the Cats still adding extra versatility to their list.

Forward Mia Skinner comes back into the Cats AFLW side after a terrific season as deputy vice-captain of their VFLW side. Having a massive impact on their forward line, she finished the season as their leading goalkicker for the season with 21 goals in 14 games.

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Brooke Plummer also adds versatility and class to the Cats. For the Northern Knights this year she averaged 12.7 disposals and 4.2 marks per game, and for Carlton’s VFLW side 13 disposals and 3.3 marks. She also sits second in the Northern Football Netball League Women’s Division 1 competition Coaches MVP voting.

Whilst her versatility is one of her main facets, Abbey McDonald will bring plenty of competitiveness for Geelong. In six NAB League games this season she averaged 14.3 disposals, 4.2 tackles, and three rebound 50s per game.

Josh Ward

Selections:

19 – Alana Gee (Southport/Gold Coast Academy) – Midfielder, 170cm

34 – Claire Ransom (Tasmania Devils) – Midfielder, 170cm

52 – Jasmyn Smith (Gold Coast Academy) – Midfielder, 158cm

65 – Pass

The Suns had their draft crop pretty clear cut for them, with two academy selections and Tasmanian midfielder Claire Ransom nominating the Queensland draft pool.

Ransom was arguably draft-ready in her underage season and quickly became the top prospect out of the Apple Isle in 2022. Her average of 16.6 disposals jumped to 19.4 with a heavier focus on working on her ball movement by foot, while also averaging just over four inside 50s.

The midfield was the number one focus for the Suns, also adding Alana Gee and Jasmyn Smith. At 158cm, Smith is one of the smallest players in the draft, but couldn’t be ignored with an outrageous under 18s championships.

Gee brings not only class in the midfield, but also ready-made leadership qualities. With the character to match her tenacity around the contest, her choice alone makes for another strong draft for Gold Coast.

Alex Catalano

Selections:

20 – Zarlie Goldsworthy (Murray Bushrangers) – Midfielder, 169cm

64 – Fleur Davies (Southport/Gold Coast Academy) – Ruck/key forward, 185cm

66 – Meghan Gaffney (Tasmania Devils) – Wing/forward, 157cm

75 – Madison Brazendale (Tasmania Devils) – Wing, 175cm

82 – Jodie Hicks (Macquarie Uni) – Midfielder/forward, 160cm

84 – Cambridge McCormick (Port Macquarie) – Ruck, 180cm

86 – Tess Cattle – (Ainslie) – Defender/midfielder, 167cm

87 – Pass

GWS recruiters would have been licking their lips when it became clear that crosstown rivals Sydney wouldn’t be drafting Zarlie Goldsworthy. The young midfielder nominated the New South Wales pool, similarly much to the chagrin of Essendon and Hawthorn.

Across her year with the Bushrangers, she absolutely exploded as both a midfielder and a forward, averaging 24.9 disposals, nine tackles, six inside 50s, and kicked 14 goals in nine games. With Alyce Parker and Rebecca Beeson around her, she’s got a prime opportunity to flourish from day one.

With both Erin McKinnon and Ally Morphett departing, the Giants desperately needed a ruck. They picked up two of them, a genuine ruck/key forward prospect in Queenslander Fleur Davies and mature ager Cambridge McCormick out of AFL Sydney.

The next step was to bring more pace along the wings, with Tasmanian pair Meghan Gaffney and Madison Brazendale being just that. 18cms apart in height, they add both a blisteringly fast and taller marking option to free up skipper Alicia Eva to rotate elsewhere.

Giants academy overager Tess Cattle will add to either the midfield or backlines, while familiar face Jodie Hicks is a welcome addition back into the team.

Perhaps the only list need GWS missed was a key defender, given the club lost Louise Stephenson and Libby Graham over the expansion and trade periods. Regardless of this, this draft hand was an absolute win for a club which needed to fill a number of holes across the ground.

Alex Catalano

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Selections:

2 – Jasmine Fleming (Oakleigh Chargers) – Midfielder, 165cm

6 – Mackenzie Eardley (Dandenong Stingrays) – Key defender/utility, 183cm

9 – Charlotte Baskaran (Western Jets) – Midfielder, 165cm

10 – Bridie Hipwell (Sandringham Dragons) – Forward/midfielder, 174cm

22 – Lucy Wales (Casey VFLW) – Ruck

25 – Emily Everist (Bendigo Pioneers) – Defender, 177cm

26 – Laura Elliott (Western Jets) – Defender, 170cm

With four of the first six selections in the Victorian pool, Hawthorn could barely go wrong with the talent at its disposal. The expansion club added strongly to its midfield depth, with two of the top prospects in Jasmine Fleming and Charlotte Baskaran joining the likes of Tilly Lucas-Rodd and Bridget Deed.

Bridie Hipwell adds a versatile rotating option through both the midfield and forward lines, while bolter Lucy Wales shores up the Hawks’ ruck stocks alongside veteran Tegan Cunningham.

They probably would have been hoping Amber Clarke was still available at their second pick to complete their forward group, but Mackenzie Eardley is no second choice option. Easily the best key position player in the draft, she’ll be a long term defensive pillar for the future.

Bringing in Emily Everist and Laura Elliott as well, however, leaves the Hawks with eight defenders listed at 170cm or taller. The defensive group is strong, but top heavy. More choice and competitions can’t be a bad thing though for coach Bec Goddard.

With prime opportunity, Hawthorn has filled its list with young talent coming into its inaugural season.

Alex Catalano

Selections:

44 – Maeve Chaplin (Casey VFLW) – Defender, 167cm

49 – Samantha Johnson (Casey VFLW) – Midfielder, 176cm

72 – Georgia Gall (Melbourne Stars) – Key utility, 180cm

79 – Pass

Another team with a strong list that didn’t need to do all too much, Melbourne looked to players already familiar with the club and its system to round off its list for season seven.

Maeve Chaplin has been officially listed after a standout season with VFLW affiliate Casey. A powerful rebounder, she adds even more depth to the Demons backline, this time as a smaller player, after they already brought in Charlotte Wilson from Carlton and delisted former St Kilda co-captain Rhi Watt.

Samantha Johnson captained Casey this season, and proved why she deserved another chance at AFLW level. Previously listed at St Kilda, the tall midfielder will be useful depth to an already strong midfield group.

A cross-coder from the WBBL, youngster Georgia Gall will be more of a prospective development project. At 180cm tall, she played in the backline as a junior, but has the capability to play in any key role across the ground.

Alex Catalano

Selections:

28 – Taylah Gatt (Dandenong Stingrays) – Midfielder/winger, 171cm

39 – Sophia McCarthy (Williamstown) – Key forward, 179cm

50 – Charli Granville (Eastern Ranges) – Forward, 165cm

51 – Grace Matser (Gippsland Power) – Ruck, 186cm

54 – Cassidy Mailer (Murray Bushrangers) – Utility, 165cm

Entering the draft, there were a few list areas that the Kangaroos needed to strengthen. Their first selection at pick 28, Dandenong Stingrays midfielder Taylah Gatt, provides a much sought after injection of speed to their ranks following the losses of Kaitlyn Ashmore and Aileen Gilroy in the sign and trade period. With the ability to play on the wing, Gatt will be a welcome addition to the midfield mix at North. 

The following selection of Sophia McCarthy at pick 39 also filled a requirement, with the North Melbourne forward line needing some additions going into the new season. At 179cm, the key forward from Williamstown will be a solid tall target for the Kangaroos to develop.

With their next two picks, at 50 and 51 respectively, North added another forward in Charli Granville from the Eastern Ranges, and a ruck from the Gippsland Power in Grace Matser.

Granville, who averaged a goal per game in the NAB League this year, will be another important inclusion given the losses of Daria Bannister and Daisy Bateman who were both regulars in the forward line last season. Meanwhile Matser, who stands at 186cm, is a solid tap ruck, and will be a good addition to their stocks. 

The Kangaroos finished up at pick 54 by selecting Cassidy Mailer, a utility from the Murray Bushrangers, who is a versatile player and will be a good prospect for North to develop.

Overall, the Kangaroos definitely filled a few of their needs, and coming out of the draft they will feel more comfortable with their position going into the season.

Brandon Patane

Selections:

3 – Hannah Ewings (North Adelaide) – Midfielder, 168cm

7 – Sarah Goodwin (Glenelg) – Defender/midfielder, 168cm

23 – Sachi Syme (Norwood) – Midfielder/forward, 167cm

31 – Ella Boag (Glenelg) – Winger, 170cm

45 – Yasmin Duursma (Gippsland Power) – Midfielder/defender, 174cm

61 – Amelie Borg (North Adelaide) – Key defender, 177cm

80 – Lily Johnson (West Adelaide) – Forward, 167cm

With established talents coming from other clubs, Port Adelaide needed to get some youth in the door to compliment the likes of Erin Phillips, Justine Mules, Angela Foley, Ebony O’Dea and Kate Surman. It did this by recruiting from all over the field with versatility in mind. 

Hannah Ewings was a certainty to go with the club’s first pick (pick 3 overall) due to her sensational form in the SANFLW competition. She was selected due to her football IQ, elite kicking skills and the fact that she has proven she is ready for AFLW football. 

Sachi Syme was another addition to Port Adelaide’s midfield group. Syme is a tough in and under player who boosts good disposal efficiency, while covering the ground well. She displayed her ability at SANFLW level which saw her record the most clearances in a match breaking the previous record. 

Joining them through the middle will be Yasmin Duursma (sister of Xavier Duursma), selected partially due to her breakout performance for Victoria Metro where she had 22 disposals, five marks, four tackles and six rebound 50s, with 85 per cent kicking efficiency, showing she can use the ball and compete well.

Sarah Goodwin was selected with the second pick due to the versatility she showed playing through the middle, and predominantly as an attacking defender. She was named in the Under-18 All Australian team and the SANFLW team of the year.

Joining Goodwin in defence is Amelie Borg, who is a consistent defender with a solid on-field presence. Underscoring the great season she had, she earned a spot in the All-Australian side at the Under-18 championships.

Adding a speedy wing option. Ella Boag was selected due to her rapid rise since her promotion to the league level in 2022. 

Rounding out selections, Port Adelaide took a forward by selecting Lily Johnson. Johnson made her senior SANFLW debut this year showing she can play up forward and through the middle.

Madeline Irwin

Selections:

38 – Charley Ryan (Dandenong Stingrays) – Midfielder, 171cm

58 – Eilish Sheerin (Inner West Magpies) – Defender, 175cm

60 – Katelyn Cox (Hawthorn VFLW) – Mid/forward 168cm

The Tigers didn’t have much to do in this draft, retaining the majority of a strong, growing core while losing only two players to expansion. These were mostly depth options however, with Sarah Dargan leaving for Sydney and Akec Makur Chuot joining Hawthorn.

Adding players in all three lines from the trade period with Grace Egan (midfield), Libby Graham (backline) and Steph Williams (forward line), Richmond did well to simply add more talent. Graham’s addition in particular will help in a backline which clearly missed Harriet Cordner’s presence after tearing her ACL.

The club took a punt on injured midfielder Charley Ryan, who was shaping up as a top midfield prospect averaging 19.7 disposals and 3.3 tackles before a knee injury sidelined her. While she likely won’t debut in 2022, her development will skyrocket in an AFLW environment.

Katelyn Cox adds an experienced head to a forward line that may become reliant on just Katie Brennan and Courtney Wakefield. While Eilish Sheerin has struggled with injury issues of her own, she’s been a train-on player with GWS for an extended period, and adds an extra bit of height and poise plus yet another mature head at 29.

Alex Catalano

Selections:

16 – J’Noemi Anderson (St Mary’s) – Midfielder/forward, 171cm

63 – Hannah Stuart (Southern Saints) – Midfielder, 165cm

74 – Deanna Jolliffe (Southern Saints) – Midfielder, 169cm

81 – Caitlin Matthews (Oakleigh Chargers) – Defender, 172cm

Losing Tilly Lucas-Rodd to expansion team Hawthorn has compounded the lack of midfield ball-winning options for the Saints. They have directly addressed this with the selections of J’Noemi Anderson, Hannah Stuart and Deanna Jolliffe.

Anderson is the sister of North Melbourne AFL player Jed Anderson and is a great pickup for the Saints due to her ball-winning ability and tough inside style of play. She also comes with big wraps due to her work as a potential lead-up forward target. Anderson becomes the first Indigenous AFLW player to join the eight AFL-listed Indigenous players at the Saints.

Stuart and Jolliffe are Saints through and through, both having played for the Southern Saints for several seasons. After a permanent move to the midfield, Stuart had her best season this year. Her best quality is her inside bull mentality which the Saints hope will get them first use of the footy. 

Jolliffe has been a vital component of the Southern Saints and their quest for a premiership at VFLW level. She is a calm head whose use off half back has been first class. She also brings leadership having been the Southern Saints captain.

Caitlin Matthews is a father-daughter recruit (Dean Matthews), who is a promising young defender selected by the Saints with their last pick. She has been playing with the Oakleigh Chargers for the last three years while also featuring for the Victorian Metro Under-18 Championships. 

Madeline Irwin

Selections:

1 – Montana Ham (Western Jets) – Midfielder, 180cm

5 – Sofia Hurley (Sandringham Dragons) – Midfielder, 166cm

11 – Cynthia Hamilton (Queanbeyan/GWS Academy) – Midfielder, 170cm

12 – Montana Beruldsen (Hawthorn VFLW) – Mid/forward, 169cm

13 – Alice Mitchell (Gunnedah) – Defender/forward, 180cm

There was little doubt who was going to be Sydney’s first pick, once Western Jets midfielder Montana Ham announced her intentions to join the NSW draft pool. In what was a formality in the end, Ham become Sydney’s first ever AFLW draft pick, and the Swans first overall number one draft pick (male or female) since 1993.  

Ham was arguably the best Victorian prospect in this year’s draft, leaving the locals miffed at her decision to join the NSW pool, where she will thrive after four years at underage competition. Now in Sydney Swans colours, Ham adds both a big body to the midfield and depth up forward, as at 180cm tall, she rivals AFLW rucks. 

Following on from the foregone conclusion of Ham’s selection came Sofia Hurley, who was the Swans next pick at number five (and also part of the NSW pool). This was followed by GWS academy product Cynthia Hamilton at 11, before two of the Swans intended open age signings Montana Beruldsen and Alice Mitchell at 12 and 13 rounded out the Swans night early. 

Sydney walk away from the draft with plenty of talent to stack its inaugural midfield with, and there may be potential to sure up other positions as well. With all bar one of their picks a midfielder, it will be interesting to see how it gels in the Swans debut season.

Thomas Grattan

Selections:

14 – Ella Roberts (Peel) – Forward/midfielder, 175cm

15 – Lauren Wakfer (South Fremantle) – Ruck, 179cm

24 – Abbygail Bushby (Swan Districts) – Mid/forward, 169cm

36 – Zoe Wakfer (South Fremantle) – Defender/winger, 177cm

43 – Emily Elkington (Claremont) – Midfielder, 157cm

47 – Jaide Britton (Peel) – Winger, 165cm

53 – Mikayla Western (Claremont) – Forward, 166cm

West Coast’s draft hand produced one of the best moments of the night, with versatile tall Zoe Wakfer being unexpectedly drafted alongside twin sister Lauren. The two add some much needed height to the Eagles’ list, Lauren in the ruck alongside Sarah Lakay, and Zoe as an option either in defence or along the wing.

Touted as the best talent in the draft overall, explosive midfielder/forward Ella Roberts adds another level of quality, whether that be around the guts or in the midfield rotations. Further adding to their midfield for the future are the smaller Emily Elkington and forward option Abbygail Bushby.

Pace and class were a clear focal point for West Coast in this year’s draft. However, coach Michael Prior will be without both Lauren Wakfer and Elkington for season seven, with both having to sit out due to long term injuries. Look forward to replacement players being signed before too long.

Alex Catalano

Selections:

21 – Rylie Wilcox (Northern Knights) – Midfielder/forward, 158cm

29 – Keely Coyne (Sandringham Dragons) – Midfielder, 162cm

37 – Heidi Woodley (Calder Cannons) – Forward, 169cm

68 – Brooke Vernon (Carlton) – Defender, 170cm

The Western Bulldogs were hit hard once again this expansion and trade period, losing two first choice key forwards in Bonnie Toogood and Izzy Huntington to Essendon and GWS respectively. Brooke Lochland also departed for Sydney, while defender Ellyse Gamble joined Essendon.

While the Bulldogs weren’t able to shore up their tall forward stocks, former Blue Brooke Vernon adds another aerial player to the backline, adding to the addition of former Cat Millie Brown in the trade period.

Pace through the midfield with Rylie Wilcox and Keely Coyne won’t go unnoticed. The Dogs have a huge mix of onballers, and now have the outside players to match.

The big question mark that remains is how coach Nathan Burke structures his forward line. Nell Morris-Dalton will likely become the focal point, with Deanna Berry and Jess Fitzgerald capable of playing tall.

Alex Catalano

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