Rookie Me Central’s Collaborative 2022 AFL Women’s Top 50 Countdown: #31 Janelle Cuthbertson

IN a new exciting collaborative countdown, Rookie Me Central has teamed up with other independent media organisations to bring a 2022 AFL Women’s Top 50 Countdown. Every weekday from now until December 17, a new player will be named starting from 50th down to 1st, stemming from a combined eight Top 50 submissions. Among those who submitted Top 50s include Siren Sport‘s Gemma Bastiani, Women’s Australian Rules Football (WARF) Radio‘s Peter Holden, and a combined Outer Sanctum team’s Top 50.

Today we continue our countdown with number 31, Fremantle Women’s Janelle Cuthbertson.

Janelle Cuthbertson

League/s: AFLW

Season/s: 2020, 2021, 2022

  • Games [tot]: 15

  • Disposals [avg]: 7.6

  • Marks [avg]: 2.2

  • Tackles [avg]: 1.5

  • Cont. Poss: 4.3

  • Uncont. Poss: 3.1

  • Clearances: 0.1

  • Inside 50s: 0.3

  • Rebound 50s: 2.3

There were plenty of feel-good stories in 2021, but one of the better success stories was the rise of Cuthbertson in her second season. The Fremantle defender earned a place on the coveted All-Australian team after a sensational breakout year with the purple side. Fremantle fans had no shortage of reasons to celebrate over the past two years, with the Dockers going undefeated in 2020, and then Kiara Bowers sharing the W Medal as league best and fairest. But Cuthbertson’s rise from being picked up at the lowly selection of 81st in the 2019 AFL Women’s Draft to be an All-Australian within two seasons is truly something.

Standing at 175cm, the experienced defender entered the system as a 29-year-old expected to provide much needed support and depth in the back half of the ground. In her debut season, Cuthbertson played five games, averaging 5.4 disposals, and just over a rebound 50 per game. Fast forward to 2021, and the tall defender lifted those averages to 8.7 and 2.8, and was named in the All-Australian squad of 40. Just achieving that was enough to exclaim how meteoric her rise was, but Cuthbertson topped it off by being named in the final team, earning her spot alongside some outstanding, and more experienced players at the top level.

Looking to back up again in 2022, Cuthbertson remains that anchor in defence, but has far surpassed her depth role to now be a crucial player there, and come in at number 31 in the countdown. Cuthbertson made it onto six lists including one inside the Top 20, and the others ranging between 20-40 to make her slide in on the cusp of the Top 30 players in the league for the 2022 season.

ROOKIE ME CENTRAL’S 2022 AFL WOMEN’S TOP 50

#50 Ash Brazill(Collingwood) | ARTICLE
#49 Tayla Harris (Melbourne) | ARTICLE
#48 Courtney Hodder (Brisbane) | ARTICLE
#47 Eden Zanker (Melbourne) | ARTICLE
#46 Kirsty Lamb (Western Bulldogs) | ARTICLE
#45 Tyanna Smith (St Kilda) | ARTICLE
#44 Breanna Koenen (Brisbane) | ARTICLE
#43 Dana Hooker (West Coast) | ARTICLE
#42 Georgie Prespakis (Geelong) | ARTICLE
#41 Breann Moody (Carlton) | ARTICLE
#40 Hayley Miller (Fremantle) | ARTICLE
#39 Emma King (North Melbourne) | ARTICLE
#38 Dakota Davidson (Brisbane) | ARTICLE
#37 Meghan McDonald (Geelong) | ARTICLE
#36 Stacey Livingstone (Collingwood) | ARTICLE
#35 Daisy Pearce (Melbourne) | ARTICLE
#34 Rebecca Beeson (GWS) | ARTICLE
#33 Sarah Allan (Adelaide) | ARTICLE
#32 Kerryn Harrington (Carlton) | ARTICLE
#31 Janelle Cuthbertson (Fremantle)

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Picture credit: Fremantle FC

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