2022 AFLW Season Preview: West Coast

THE 2022 AFL Women’s season is almost upon us, so it is time to take a look at each of the competing teams and see where they sit as we head into another season. Today we will take a look at West Coast, who will be looking to keep moving up the ladder in 2022.

Injuries were certainly not the Eagles’ friend in 2021. Star Dana Hooker was only restricted to one game after a bizarre kitchen accident that led to a foot injury, and as such the Eagles slumped to a 0-4 record before going on to record only two wins for the season. But that was then, and this is now, as the Eagles look forward to having a much better season in season 2022.

West Coast will take a lot of confidence into this season from the practise match against Fremantle a few weeks ago. They came out of the blocks and kept Fremantle scoreless in the opening term, and that was the difference in the end as they took out the win. 

They are onto their third coach in as many seasons as Michael Prior takes over from Daniel Pratt. Time will tell as to how much of an impact this will have on the Eagles’ chances this season. They have certainly made a number of changes in the off season.

They brought in Evie Gooch from crosstown rival Fremantle, and Aimee Schmidt from GWS, while they drafted in Emily Bennett, Sarah Lakay, Courtney Rowley, Beth Schilling and Charlotte Thomas. Rowley and Thomas in particular are stars in the making, having impressed over the past few seasons – albeit for last year for the injured Thomas – and earned AFLW Academy honours. Both are tipped to play big roles in the Eagles’ rise in 2022.

Meanwhile, the Eagles delisted a lot of players after last season. Mhicca Carter, Beatrice Devlyn, McKenzie Dowrick, Brianna Green, Alicia Janz, Demi Liddle, Julie-Anne Norrish, Katherine Orme, Chantella Perera and Katelyn Pope were all delisted at the end of the 2021 season.

One thing going in their favour though is their inactive list. Currently it is empty, and they will be certainly hoping to keep it that way.

Western Australia’s border rules have meant that West Coast’s fixture has been thrown into a little bit of chaos.

The only thing that is certain at the moment is that they’re playing Fremantle in Round 1, Gold Coast in Round 2 (but in Melbourne), and Adelaide in Round 3 (but in Melbourne). After that, it is hard to know what will happen with the fixture and who the Eagles will be playing. We wait to see whether the Western Australian government sticks to their border reopening timeline or not, and how that affects the Eagles season.

2022 squad:

  • Ashlee Atkins
  • Emily Bennett
  • Mikayla Bowen
  • Tayla Bresland
  • Hayley Bullas
  • Imahra Cameron
  • Melissa Caulfield
  • Maddy Collier
  • Shanae Davison
  • Lauren Gauci
  • Kellie Gibson
  • Andrea Gilmore
  • Evie Gooch
  • Courtney Guard
  • Ashton Hill
  • Dana Hooker
  • Grace Kelly
  • Niamh Kelly
  • Sarah Lakay
  • Parris Laurie
  • Bella Lewis
  • Aisling McCarthy
  • Sophie McDonald
  • Courtney Rowley
  • Beth Schilling
  • Aimee Schmidt
  • Belinda Smith
  • Emma Swanson
  • Charlie Thomas
  • Amber Ward

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