Rookie Me Central’s Collaborative 2022 AFL Women’s Top 50 Countdown: #28 Gemma Houghton

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 28, Fremantle Women’s Gemma Houghton.

Gemma Houghton

League/s: AFLW

Season/s: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

  • Games [tot]: 34

  • Goals [tot]: 31

  • Disposals [avg]: 9.4

  • Marks [avg]: 2.7

  • Tackles [avg]: 3.3

  • Cont. Poss: 5.1

  • Uncont. Poss: 4.3

  • Hitouts: 1.5

  • Clearances: 0.7

  • Inside 50s: 2

  • Rebound 50s: 0.2

There are quite a few players who earned places on this Top 50 list after consistent breakout seasons, but few could match Fremantle’s Houghton when comparing to foundation players. The foundation Docker is the third Fremantle player on the countdown thus far behind Hayley Miller and Janelle Cuthbertson, but unlike Miller’s ridiculous consistency, or Cuthbertson’s quick rise in her second season, Houghton is a mix of the two. She has Miller’s longevity having played with the Dockers since 2017, but Cuthbertson’s past few seasons indicate her unassuming but dominant rise to the top, rewarded with two-time All-Australian honours.

Houghton was taken post-draft as a free agent in 2016, and played all seven games in the inaugural 2017 season, averaging 8.9 disposals, 1.6 marks and booting three goals. She only managed the two games in 2018, but went back to the WAWFL competition where she won Swan Districts’ best and fairest award, kick-starting a momentum that would hold true over the next few seasons. Doubling her defensive efforts and hitting the scoreboard regularly, Houghton averaged 9.1 disposals, 3.1 marks, 4.4 tackles and 1.1 goals per game, the Docker grabbed her first All-Australian jumper. Twelve months later, she picked up her second, off the back of 11.1 disposals, 3.7 marks, and whilst she only kicked the four goals, was important with more than three inside 50s per game.

Last season she did not quite squeeze into the final 21 of the All-Australian team, a somewhat surprise considering she slotted 15 goals in 10 games, from 10.4 disposals and 2.7 marks. Houghton finished second overall in the goalkicking, but it was not enough to earn a third consecutive jumper. Nonetheless she provided a key target inside 50 and will remain a threat standing at 179cm, and turning 28 on New Years Eve. From a list perspective, Houghton earned a spot on seven of the eight lists, including two inside the Top 15, and the remaining five ranging from 25-47 and only one not inside the Top 50.

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) | ARTICLE
#30 Emily Bates (Brisbane) | ARTICLE
#29 Katie Brennan (Richmond) | ARTICLE
#28 Gemma Houghton (Fremantle)

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