05/03/2024

Essendon Recruit Maddy Prespakis. (Picture: Essendon AFLW/Twitter)

The start of Round Six marks the midway point of AFLW season seven with several players putting their name up for selection in the All-Australian squad by season’s end.

The Inner Sanctum looks at a few of the All-Australian contenders from each AFLW side this year.

Chelsea Randall

After an injury riddled season six, Chelsea Randall has lead her team from the front playing in a number of different positions for the Crows. In the first five games she has played down back in her usual intercepting role as well as stints in the midfield and forward where she has used her aerial prowess to perfection.

Playing in the Crows side, she has been a fantastic utility for head coach Matthew Clarke who needed some scoring power in the first two rounds for his team. She has averaged 18.7 disposals, 3.2 marks, 4.5 tackles and 3.3 inside 50s and looked dangerous in the forwardline when playing there.

Anne Hatchard

Off the back of a career-best year for midfielder Anne Hatchard, she looks to be emulating the same form. Claiming the best on ground medal in the Grand Final as well as the Crows’ Best and Fairest for season six, Hatchard was a concern early with teams looking to contain her.

Hatchard has not let the extra attention get to her throughout games this season, looking to use her agility to run opponents off their feet while continuing to hit the scoreboard. Kicking 3.4 in the first half of the season, had she been more accurate she would have been dangerous for opposition teams.

She averages 25 disposals, 6.5 marks, 5.2 tackles and 4.7 inside 50s a game in season seven so far which shows how well-rounded her game is becoming.

Ebony Marinoff

Another Crow that’s been there before but Ebony Marinoff keeps on getting better as she continues to grow in the league. Learning from Randall and former teammate Erin Phillips, Marinoff continues to have an impact in the centre bounce rotations but is also transitioning into having more of an impact on the scoreboard.

This addresses something that the Crows had lacked last season which was a goalkicking midfielder, with the exception of Phillips who left in the off-season. Both Marinoff and Hatchard are elevating themselves in this area which is great for the side.

She averages 24.7 disposals, 2.5 marks and 10.3 tackles which shows her pressure game when she is without the football.

Madeline Irwin

Jesse Wardlaw

After an up and down season six, Jesse Wardlaw is leading the Lions from the front as the competition’s second most prolific goal kicker. While she missed the match against the Tigers with illness, she’s still averaging the most goals per game with nine in four appearances.

Part of the highest scoring group in the competition, Wardlaw isn’t just kicking goals, but she’s setting them up too. The 22-year-old is averaging 4.5 score involvements – the third most in the competition, behind only Adelaide’s Anne Hatchard and Melbourne’s Kate Hore. She’s also averaging 3.5 marks per game, including one contested.

In years past she’s had to act as the back-up ruck, but with Taylor Smith a permanent fixture of the team, Wardlaw has been able to focus on her forward craft first and foremost. If she keeps up this form, she’s got a key forward position in the All-Australian team under lock and key.

Breanna Koenen

One word comes to mind when describing Lions skipper Breanna Koenen – consistent. The focal defender in an incredibly strong defensive group, she has continued her brilliant form on from season six, and has arguably gotten better.

She currently sits eighth in the league for intercept possessions, and has had her strongest two matches of the year back-to-back. With Nat Grider and Phoebe Monahan doing the rebounding, and Shannon Campbell and Lucinda Pullar often taking on opposition key forwards, she’s been able to focus on her best-suited role as a floating third tall.

Koenen is also averaging 4.6 marks (fourth in the competition) and 2.2 rebound 50s. She is the glue that keeps the Lions defenders together, and with Kate Lutkins a possibility for a late season return, she may find herself even freer in the final rounds.

Greta Bodey

It’s all happening up forward for the high-scoring Lions, and just like last season, Greta Bodey is setting the standard in the competition for half-forward flankers. In season six, she’s doing it even better, with seven goals from her first five games seeing her to fifth in the goalkicking tally.

Outside of her impact on the scoreboard, Bodey is perhaps one of, if not the best, score assisting players in the AFLW. She is currently averaging 4.4 score involvements (fifth in the AFLW) and 2.2 inside 50s.

If Bodey can stay within the top five goalkickers and keeps playing her natural game, we could see two Lions selected in the All-Australian forward line this season.

Alex Catalano

Abbie McKay

Following the loss of Maddy Prespakis many wondered who would step up and fill her shoes. So far it’s been the daughter of Carlton AFL premiership player Andrew that has.

After a solid first three seasons the ex-Sandringham Dragons midfielder has stuffed the stats sheet each and every week. So far she leads the Blues in clearances (five), tackles (seven) plus is equal-top in contested possessions (12.4) with Mimi Hill per game. She’s also averaged a career-high 21.2 disposals plus 1.6 inside 50s per game.

In the Blues two draws this season against Fremantle and Port Adelaide she played two big games, getting a combined 55 disposals, 11 tackles, 36 contested possessions and 16 clearances.

Whilst there’s still a long way to go and despite having a couple of iffy games, McKay’s career-best form this season has not only seen her become a key cog to Daniel Harford’s machine but also shoot herself into All-Australian contention

Mimi Hill

After returning from an ACL injury midway through last season it’s been a phenomenal rise from the reigning Rising Star.

Playing in a new role in midfield due to the departure of several stars she’s flourished. This season she lead’s the Blues in disposals (24, sixth in the AFLW), metres gained (258), contested possessions (12.4). She also averages 2.4 inside 50s, 1.4 score involvements, 3.6 tackles & 4.2 clearances per game.

Last weekend saw her best game in Navy Blue in a rough loss against the Demons, collecting a game-high 33 disposals, team-high five clearances, 16 contested possessions plus 355 metres gained.

If she can continue this form for the rest of the season then the All-Australian selectors will have a hard time not selecting her. It was also complete one of the most remarkable rises in the short history of the AFLW.

Breann Moody

There’ve been no rucks as dominant as Breann Moody since the inaugural AFLW season. And in Season Seven she continues to dominate in that area.

Using her unique frame and style to her advantage once more, Moody currently sits equal second in contested marks across the AFLW (1.4 per game) and third in hitouts per game (24.8). She also sits third at the Blues in clearances (3.8), contested possessions (seven), fourth in metres gained (216) and first in marks per game (3.4).

So far Moody’s also had only one game where she hasn’t had double digit possessions (vs Port Adelaide in Round Three) and she has also kicked at least one goal in every game except for Round Two against Essendon, with most of her goals this season being quite spectacular.

Some might say she was unlucky to miss out on her second All-Australian blazer last season, but like last season she’ll be right in the mix to get that second blazer in three seasons.

Josh Ward

Mikala Cann

It’s hard to believe she’s only 21-years-old, but Mikala Cann has been a standout for Collingwood since her debut in 2019, and only appears to be getting better and better each year.

With a career-best season in season six, which saw her finish third in the clubs best and fairest, Cann has continued her strong performances, with her best game so far this season against expansion club Essendon, where she collected a team-high 20 disposals.

Despite missing the opening round of season seven, she has averaged 17.8 disposals and 12.5 contested possessions so far and will continue to build a case for All-Australian honours.

A mainstay in the Pies best team each week, Cann is still quite raw with her skills, but her effort, aggression and fitness are next level. 

Ruby Schleicher

Arguably one of the best defenders in the competition, it’s not hard to see why Ruby Schleicher finished second in Collingwood’s best and fairest last season.

The 24 year old proves time and time again why she is an integral part of the Pies lineup, starting the season off with a team-high 20 disposals in the win against Carlton in round one, and averaging 16.2 disposals, four marks and 286 metres gained so far this season.

Much like Cann, Schleicher is also named in the Pies best team week in, week out.

A foundation player from Collingwood’s inaugural season in 2017, who is closing in on 50 games, Schleicher is already a dual All-Australian, and is on track to make the team for a third straight season.

Monique Quercio

Maddy Prespakis

She may be one of the more obvious picks of the bunch, but the Essendon superstar midfielder hasn’t missed a beat at her new club yet. Aside from loss to Richmond, where she was well held by Sarah Hosking, Prespakis has either been the Bombers’ outright best on ground, or close to it.

It is easy to forget that the 2020 Best and Fairest winner is only 21-years-old, such is the consistency and maturity that she plays with. While her incredible in-and-under work has always been of note, Prespakis is also regularly hitting the scoreboard this season.

In fact, she’s only failed to score on one occasion this season, totalling five majors across her five games so far. Prespakis is averaging career-bests in a number of statistics including disposals (22.2), tackles (4.8), rebound 50s (1.4), while also averaging 2.8 inside 50s and 4.4 clearances per game.

In fact, she’s only failed to score on one occasion this season, totalling five majors across her five games so far. Prespakis is averaging career-bests in a number of statistics including disposals (22.2), tackles (4.8), rebound 50s (1.4), while also averaging 2.8 inside 50s and 4.4 clearances per game.

Steph Cain

Like she often did at Fremantle, inaugural co-captain Steph Cain has been flying under the radar a little bit at Essendon next to big-name stars like Prespakis and Bonnie Toogood. Forever one of the league’s most under-appreciated wingers, her versatility has been a huge asset up coach Nat Wood’s sleeve this season.

Cain has been deployed in roles in the midfield, both on the inside and outside, as well as one the half-back flank, when the group is left relatively inexperienced as Dani Marshall rotates into the ruck and Cat Phillips pushes up onto the wing. Her games against Carlton and Collingwood in particular stood out enormously.

Against the Blues, the 26-year-old spent much of her time as an inside midfield rotation, and performed accordingly. Cain collected 16 disposals, six tackles, three clearances and kicked a goal. In a game that was characterised by intense pressure, she stood up when her side needed her late, as the Bombers nearly charged down their fast-starting historical rivals.

In Round 5 against the Magpies, Cain epitomised the toughness that the Bombers have shown at their best, collecting a massive 11 tackles in dreary conditions. Ranked 13th in the league for inside 50s and 23rd for tackles, she’s striking a great balance between offence and defence.

Alex Catalano

Kiara Bowers

Whilst it’s been one of the Dockers roughest seasons in the AFLW to date, the star that is Kiara Bowers still continues to shine brightly.

Whilst she hasn’t been productive in gaining disposals (16 per game, second at Fremantle) her defensive and clearance work is still unmatched. Currently she leads the AFLW in tackles at 12.4 per game, sits third in the entire competition in clearances (6.4) and sits second at the Dockers in contested possessions (11.8) plus metres gained (230).

The last two games against the Blues and Eagles have seen her at her ferocious best and playing a key role in Fremantle getting their first premiership points of season seven. Whilst only gathering 28 disposals in both games, she still had a combined 35 tackles and 10 clearances in both games.

Although it might be tougher for her to find a spot in this years team, she’s still firmly put her hand up for what would be her fourth All-Australian selection.

Aine Tighe

Following a solid first season in a foreign code, Irishwoman Aine Tighe has gone from strength-to-strength in season seven.

Her elite marking and contested marking ability has been on show most weeks, averaging the second most marks (three) and contested marks (0.6) per game at Fremantle. Tighe has also provided good pressure inside forward 50, averaging 4.2 tackles alongside 8.4 disposals, 5.2 contested possessions and 1.2 clearances per game.

Much like Bowers, her last two weeks have seen her play a key role in the Dockers successes, kicking two goals in both matches against the Eagles and Blues as well as collecting a combined 18 disposals and six tackles.

Whilst it is an impressive draft pool of forwards, if Tighe can continue to have an impact up forward for the improving Dockers it’ll go a long way towards her pushing for an All-Australian selection.

Josh Ward

Georgie Prespakis

It has been a phenomenal season to date for the young Cats midfielder.  Round one saw her kick the only two goals for the team, including the matchwinner in the last minute.  Despite this effort, this was probably her least effective game in terms of impact around the contest. 

Her Round Two game against the Dockers saw he collect 20 disposals and nine coaches votes, while in Round Three she won clearance after clearance to help her side nearly steal victory off the Pies. In round four, she collected a whopping 32 touches and had nine tackles in the wet against North Melbourne, again giving her side a chance at victory against a top quality side. 

At the half way point of the season, Prespakis leads the coaches association player of the year, highlighting how dominant her season has been to date. A two week suspension will make it challenging to win the award, but shouldn’t hinder her chance at All Australian honours.

Amy McDonald

The Geelong midfielder has dominated for the Cats so far this season, currently sitting fifth overall in the coaches association award. Her efforts at the contest have been a major factor in the side’s improvement this season.  She led all possession winners in the close fought win in Round One against the Tigers, again in the impressive win away at Fremantle in Round Two and again against the Pies in the heartbreaking loss in Round Three. 

It was her game against the Saints in Round Five, however, that was easily her best for the season. McDonald broke the club disposals record with, had 10 tackles and became the first player in AFLW history to have 30 or more disposals, 10 or more tackles and 10 or more clearances in a game. 

She also broke the league record for contested disposals in a game with 23.  This sustained high level of effort in the back half of the year should put McDonald right in the frame for All Australian honours.

Scott Kertes

Charlie Rowbottom

In just her second season of AFLW, Charlie Rowbottom has been the standout for the Suns thus far in season seven. The youngster has upped her game massively over the first five rounds, which has seen her help the club into a Top-8 fight.

Averaging 21.4 disposals, 6.6 tackles, and 5.8 clearances per game, she is crucial to the Suns’ midfield mix. She is also one of the best contested players in the competition, averaging 13.2 contested possessions per game, and will be hugely important for the Suns’ chances if they can claim a spot in finals.

Alison Drennan 

Much like Rowbottom, Alison Drennan has been influential for the Suns in the midfield this season. Her experience has been hugely important given the age profile of some of the Suns’ midfielders this season, and the squad as a whole. Averaging 18.6 disposals per game, along with 6.6 tackles, Drennan’s pressure has been extremely solid, and she provides a great example for the young stars who are growing around her.

Drennan’s Round Two game against the Eagles is the perfect example of the influence she can have in a game. Finishing with 24 touches, nine tackles, seven clearances, and a goal, Drennan spurred the team on to victory that day, and her experience in crucial moments is indispensable, as evidenced by that performance.

Brandon Patane

Alyce Parker

Three time and reigning Greater Western Sydney Best and Fairest winner Alyce Parker has often played a lone hand for the Giants midfield this season, currently averaging 24.6 disposals a game, eight more than the next highest in the Giants side, while also averaging 4.4 marks and five tackles.

Parker has been named the Giants best in every game so far this season, and has been a consistent shining light for the struggling Giants in AFLW season seven. A former two time All-Australian, should Parker continue her excellent form, she will be right in the mix to make it three.

Cora Staunton

Set to turn 41-years-old this December, Staunton has shown no signs of slowing down, once again leading the Giants goal kicking with five from five so far this season. Averaging 8.2 disposals so far this year, Staunton is still capable of punishing defenders from even half chances with three goals in Round One against the Western Bulldogs, as well as two in the Sydney Derby.

With greater supply provided from the likes of Parker and the rest of the Giants midfield, Staunton could potentially break through in the second half of the year to score her inaugural All-Australian nod.

Thomas Grattan

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Tilly Lucas-Rodd

The standout for the Hawks in their inaugural season, Lucas-Rodd has been stellar for the Hawks in the midfield. The 26-year old is currently the leading ball winner for the club averaging 17.2 disposals a game (12.8 kicks & 4.4 handballs). In addition to her ball winning ability, she has proven to be a damaging player around stoppages, leading the Hawks in clearances with 26, averaging 5.2 clearances a game.

Her defensive game has also been impressive, also leading the Hawks for tackles with nine per game, amongst the top tacklers in the competition. Having been renowned for her pressure game, Lucas-Rodd has been a barometer for the Hawks this season. An All-Australian during her time with St Kilda, Lucas-Rodd could be looking to make the squad again if her form holds up.

Kaitlyn Ashmore

Having been utilised all over the park in her first season with the brown and gold, Ashmore has been impressive despite her side’s struggles in their inaugural AFLW campaign.

Having been predominantly rotating across the forward line and midfield, Ashmore has also found herself at times further afield and helping out in defence, performing admirably in both her offensive and defensive roles. She’s currently on track to have a career best season, averaging 11.6 disposals, 9.2 kicks per game, 5.6 tackles, all of which are well above her career averages.

Tamara Smith

After being overlooked in a number of drafts, Smith finally got her opportunity in AFLW season seven to play at the top level and has repaid the faith. One of the top contributors for the Hawks this season thus far, the midfielder’s VFLW form has translated to the highest level.

The 22-year-old is currently averaging 11 disposals a game while also being amongst the top contested ball and clearance winners at the Hawks. She’s also ranked behind Lucas-Todd for tackles per game with eight. A two-way midfielder, Smith has proven to be a hidden gem for the Hawks.

Giacomo Bruno

Kate Hore

After finishing in the squad of 40 last season, Kate Hore has had another strong season for the Demons as one of the focal points in attack.

Hore is currently the top goalkicker at the club, with five goals from five games, but she has offered much more than just goals this season. Her ability to create opportunity and spur her team on has been clear to see in season seven. With five per game, Hore is the number two player in the competition for score involvements behind Anne Hatchard. She also has great aerial ability, and her pressure game is quite strong as well.

Hore is an important leader at the Demons, and she will be crucial in their fight to redeem last season’s grand final loss.

Libby Birch

An All-Australian defender earlier this year, Libby Birch has once again been a hugely influential part of Melbourne’s backline. Another important leader at the club, the 24-year-old has barely hit her prime, and she has replicated her form from seasons prior once again.

Averaging 13 disposals, 3.8 marks, and 7.6 intercept possessions per game, Birch has made her presence known in defence, and much like Hore, will be a crucial part of the Demons premiership push in season seven. 

Not to mention, the loss of experienced defender Gabrielle Colvin to injury has meant that Birch has had to flex her leadership muscle even more, helping youngster Tahlia Gillard settle into the Dees back line. She has taken on this challenge brilliantly though, and would be a worthy All-Australian once again.

Tyla Hanks

Tyla Hanks has remained one of the most important players in Melbourne’s midfield for season seven, after also being nominated for the All-Australian squad of 40 last season.

Averaging 17.4 disposals, 5.6 tackles, and 6.4 contested possessions per game, Hanks’ pressure in the middle has been one of her strong suits. She’s also very skilled going forward, averaging 3.8 inside 50s, and 3.6 score involvements per game, as well as kicking two goals herself for the year.

Brandon Patane

Jasmine Garner

North Melbourne’s star midfielder is on track for her fifth straight All-Australian selection in season seven, which would see her selected every year since she’s been at the club. In 2019, ’20 and ’21 it was up forward, and in season six it was on the bench, but this year, it will be in the midfield.

Garner has always been renowned for her ability to impact a game across multiple lines, being a dominant force in the middle, and an equally dangerous marking target forward. This season, coach Darren Crocker has given her full reign to do her thing in the guts, and it’s paying off in spades.

She is averaging 13 contested possessions (fifth in the competition), 395.3 metres gained (third), 24.2 disposals (fifth), seven clearances (second) and 5.8 inside 50s (equal first with Ebony Marinoff). If watching her play hasn’t convinced you enough, the numbers certainly will.

Garner is not only in line for All-Australian selection, but for the league best and fairest. She’s been North’s best player in close to every game she’s played, and has willed them over the line on multiple occasions already.

Emma Kearney

Skipper Emma Kearney’s move to the half-back flank earned her a sixth All-Australian selection in season six, and after five games, could very well do so again. This would see the 33-year-old hold onto her record as the only player to be named as an All-Australian in every season of the AFLW.

Kearney’s smarts from years of footballing experience are most on show in this role. She’s currently averaging 5.4 rebounds – equal third in the competition – and 7.2 intercept possessions, which ranks her 10th.

Even after some magnet-shifting and the introduction of new players, North Melbourne’s forward line is still it’s weakest area, relying heavily on the back five. Kearney continues to be the stalwart of the defensive group, and is constantly launching attacks back to her forwards.

While there is strong competition in her role, Kearney is doing everything right to have another crack at selection this season.

Alex Catalano

Abbey Dowrick

One of two young stars to have made an instant impact for the Power has been ex-Subiaco and Woodville-West Torrens prospect Abbey Dowrick.

Having signed on as an open-age recruit following the draft, Dowrick has provided a spark for the Power in midfield and up forward. Currently she leads Port Adelaide’s group in disposals (16.6), metres gained (371) and inside 50s (3.8) per game. Dowrick also averages 3.4 clearances, 8.4 contested possessions, seven tackles and 2.4 score involvements per game.

Whilst she earned a Rising Star in her first ever AFLW game, it was the Power’s first win in Round Four where she had a massive impact. Fighting hard on the inside, she had a game-high 24 disposals, 14 tackles plus three clearances, 13 contested possessions and a goal.

If she can continue to perform at the level she did against the Swans not only would she be in the running for the Rising Star, but also an All-Australian nomination.

Hannah Ewings

The other young star to have made an instant impact in their first season has been the Power’s first pick in the season seven AFLW draft in Hannah Ewings.

Coming into the season with plenty of expectation, Ewings has managed to back up her standout SANFLW season with North Adelaide. Her diverse output has been showcased for the team so far, leading the Power in contested possessions (8.6) and clearances (3.6) whilst also averaging 14.4 disposals, 5.4 tackles and 2.6 inside 50s per game.

Like Dowrick, Ewings also had a massive influence in the Power’s first ever AFLW win over Sydney in Round Four, collecting 19 disposals, eight tackles and nine clearances whilst leading the way up forward with three goals.

Despite it being a potentially stacked midfield group, Ewings will look to continue on this form as she pushes for several accolades in season seven.

Josh Ward

Monique Conti

As Richmond continues its rise in the AFLW, star Tiger Monique Conti has been part of the core group of players that perform well week in, week out for the yellow and black.  No stranger to an All-Australian blazer, she achieved back-to-back selections in league seasons five and six. In season seven, Conti continues her super form and thus is well in contention for an All-Australian selection this time around.

In seasons past, the superstar midfielder has been incredibly consistent- averaging around 20 disposals and five clearances per game in seasons five and six. After five matches in season seven, she continues to rack up possessions and has a much higher disposal efficiency (67.1 per cent in comparison to 58 per cent in AFLW season six). With five matches still to come, Conti will look to be a standout for her side as the Tigers look to secure a maiden finals spot since joining the AFL Women’s competition in 2020.

Eilish Sheerin

In her debut season, Eilish Sheerin has well and truly announced herself as one of Richmond’s best defenders in a rapidly developing backline, alongside the likes of Katelyn Cox and experienced campaigner Maddie Shevlin. Sheerin is ranked #1 for average intercepts per game (11), while she had a massive 17 intercepts in Round One against Geelong, where the Tigers went down by four points at GMHBA Stadium.

She is one of the few in the Richmond outfit to spend more than 90 per cent of game time out in the middle. She has also received the maximum amount of coaches’ votes in recent weeks with back-to-back 10s. There’s no denying that Sheerin should be rewarded for her efforts at season’s end.

Jono Venn

Kate Shierlaw

The St.Kilda forward has started the season in sensational style, kicking at least goal in each game to lead the league goal kicking with 10 goals at the half way point. 

Shierlaw started the season with a bang against the Swans, kicking four goals in a best on ground display in the dominant win.  She followed this up with 2.2 and five marks in the great win against the Hawks and another two goals despite limited opportunities against the high-flying Demons. 

Lack of supply has been an issue for Shierlaw in recent weeks, so an All Australian spot is going to be reliant on her ability to capitalise on her chances, as well as how impactful she can be against lesser sides in the back half of the season.

Clara Fizpatrick

The St.Kilda defender has been in great form to date in season seven. Whilst not a high possession winner, she is rarely beaten one-on-one and has nullified her opponents each week. 

Her efforts in round one saw her catch the eye of the coaches and in Round Three things could have certainly got well out of hand against the Demons if not for her efforts.  Her value to the side was even more obvious with her absence in round four in the close loss to the Suns. 

Whilst maybe not in the forefront of minds of many who don’t watch the Saints closely, those who do would no doubt convince you that she has been one of the top defenders this season to date.

Scott Kertes

Cynthia Hamilton

Wins have not yet arrived for the Sydney Swans, but outstanding young talent has, and Cynthia Hamilton stands tall above the rest in the Swans outfit. Unmistakable in her trademark red and white helmet, Hamilton can be found just about everywhere on the field, even stepping into the ruck against Hawthorn a couple of times.

The game against Hawthorn showcased Hamilton’s fast rise, as she top scored in disposals with 19 as well as laying five tackles. Only a head knock has prevented Hamilton from playing every game so far, and her averages of 12.3 disposals and 3.3 tackles are among the highest at the Swans, putting her firmly in All-Australian territory.

Brooke Lochland

Lochland brought experience in spades to the Swans as one of their inaugural captains, and her first quarter burst against the Hawks showed why she is still so dangerous, especially around goal.

Lochland presently leads the Swans goalkicking with five, and leads by example everytime she steps onto the field for the Swans. Like Hamilton, Lochland has averaged three tackles, as well as 9.6 disposals and two marks per game.

If she can get going as she did against Hawthorn again, she’ll be right in the mix for her second All-Australian nod, after earning the honour in 2018 in the Dogs premiership year.

Thomas Grattan

Emma Swanson

Emma Swanson is continuing her strong form in season seven and as a result, she puts herself in contention for All-Australian.

The captain has consistently been among the Eagles best so far. Most recently, she showed off her strengths in her sides’ game against Fremantle where Swanson finished off the night with 20 disposals.

Across the five games played so far, Swanson averages 21.2 disposals per game, currently leading the Eagles best when it comes to disposals (106). She also leads as her sides’ best when it comes to metres gained (1580), clearances (31), marks (20) and handballs (20).

Swanson has performed strongly up to the halfway mark of season seven. If she continues this form into the remainder of the season, there’s no doubt that her name will be up for contention for the All-Australian team.

Aisling McCarthy

The Irish powerhouse is a potential name for this years’ All-Australian side. Whilst the Eagles might have had a mixed bag when it comes to their season campaign so far, McCarthy continually delivers impressive performances on-field.

Since transferring across from the Western Bulldogs, McCarthy looks to have flourished in her move to West Coast. She was crucial in the Eagles win against Port Adelaide, starring with 18 disposals and six clearances. Currently, she averages 15 disposals per game.

Alongside Swanson, McCarthy also consistently makes up the Eagles best in every game so far. McCarthy has shown so far that she should at least be in conversation for an All-Australian nomination.

Ashleigh Matosevic

Ellie Blackburn

Once again Bulldogs skipper Ellie Blackburn has played a key role in the Bulldogs midfield across the season. Blackburn is right in the mix to get her fourth All Australian nomination after being selected in the team in 2017, 2018 and 2021.

Blackburn has once again been dangerous anytime she’s got the ball in hand, whether it be bursting out of a stoppage or in front of goal. She’s one of those players that can put the team on her back and win the game off her own boot and she’s shown that once again this season, in her ability to go above and beyond to get the win.

Blackburn has averaged 19.8 disposals, 4.2 clearances and 5.6 tackles so far in season seven.

Katie Lynch

Katie Lynch has taken her game to a new level in season seven and is right in the mix for an All-Australian debut at the end of the season. Lynch has been a key pillar in the Bulldogs backline across the first half of the season, able to take those intercept marks in the Bulldogs defensive fifty or matching up one on one with some of the competitions best forwards.

Despite the result, Lynch stood out in the Bulldogs loss to North Melbourne last week having seven marks down back along with 22 disposals.

Elly McNerney

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