Rookie Me Central’s Collaborative 2022 AFL Women’s Top 50 Countdown: #24 Ash Riddell

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 24, North Melbourne Women’s Ash Riddell.

Ash Riddell

League/s: AFLW, Vflw

Season/s: 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

  • Games [tot]: 29

  • Goals [tot]: 11

  • Disposals [avg]: 23.1

  • Marks [avg]: 3.4

  • Tackles [avg]: 5

  • Cont. Poss: 6.3

  • Uncont. Poss: 7.3

  • Clearances: 2.6

  • Inside 50s: 2.3

  • Rebound 50s: 0.6

North Melbourne’s Ash Riddell is the living embodiment that not all players are necessarily ready at 18, or even willingly accepted at first or second opportunity. Rather than letting the fact she missed out on coming into the league immediately worry her, the former Melbourne University midfielder dug deep and instead proved to recruiters beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was more than capable of playing at the elite level.

Though she was drafted at 22-years-old – as a free agent to Melbourne University’s AFLW-aligned club North Melbourne – Riddell made an immediate impact. Lining up in the Roos’ inaugural game in 2019 against Carlton, the talented 159cm midfielder racked up 16 disposals – 10 contested – three marks, four tackles, three clearances, five inside 50s and a goal in one of the most memorable debuts. Unfortunately for Riddell, her resilience was about to get another test, when she tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) the following week and was ruled out for the rest of the season.

Fortunately her work in Round 1 and the confidence from the club that Riddell could, and would, bounce back, saw her back in the side in 2020 and she did not disappoint. As if she had not missed any time at all, Riddell averaged 21.3 disposals, 3.3 marks, 4.6 tackles and 4.3 clearances in an outstanding year. That season was capped off with an All-Australian jumper on the interchange bench. She signed for two more seasons, and had another big year last year, averaging almost identical numbers across the board.

Looking at this countdown, Riddell was unanimously voted inside all eight Top 50s, with one ranking her as high as 13th, and three more inside the Top 25, with the remaining ones between 30-45. This culminated in her finishing 24th all up, and deservedly earning her spot.

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) | ARTICLE
#24 Ash Riddell (North Melbourne)

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