Rookie Me Central’s Collaborative 2022 AFL Women’s Top 50 Countdown: #25 Ruby Schleicher
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.
There are breakout seasons, and then there is Ruby Schleicher’s 2021 AFL Women’s season. The tall defender produced a jaw-breaking year, tripling her average disposal count, doubling her tackle count and recording more marks and rebound 50s than at anytime in her career. Schleicher is a Foundation Pie, having been taken way back in 2016 at a ridiculous Pick 137. The then 18-year-old had talent, but few could foresee that five years later she would don an All-Australian blazer as one of the league’s premier defenders.
Schleicher teamed up with Stacey Livingstone (36th in this countdown) in the Magpies defence, as Collingwood produced its best season yet, finishing third overall and drawing within a kick of a grand final. Schleicher was one of many Magpies to lift her output compared to previous years, but after 18 games where there were glimpses, her last 11 have been superb. To put it in perspective, the defender averaged 4.6 disposals across her first 18 games, and 16.1 disposals last year. She took just 16 marks in her first 18 matches – last year, she took 46 alone. Rebound 50s? Schleicher recorded 34 in 2021, after just 17 in her first four seasons.
It is as much about finding her position and a role that finally clicked for Schleicher. Still only 23-years-old, the talented utility spent time through the ruck in her debut season, then went forward for stints in her second, before settling into defence in 2019. Unfortunately her promise was shelved just two games into the 2020 season, fracturing her left wrist and missing the remainder of the AFLW campagin. Returning this year, Schleicher not only picked up where she left off, but took it another giant leap with her All-Australian year catapulting her into the rare air. It is hard to imagine that even 12 months ago fans would have seen the bit-part talent transforming into an All-Australian.
Schleicher also becomes the first player in the AFL Women’s Top 50 to feature on all eight lists, with 22 of the top 25 achieving consensus. The Collingwood defender had one Top 2- finish, four in between 20-30 and then three more between 30-45 to give a real variety on what she could offer.
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) | ARTICLE
#27 Kate Hore (Melbourne) | ARTICLE
#26 Ellie McKenzie (Richmond) | ARTICLE
#25 Ruby Schleicher (Collingwood)