AFTER another strong campaign which fell narrowly short of a grand final, Brisbane will be out to regroup and fire up for a big season seven. The Lions will enter the AFL Women’s Draft with pick three in the Queensland pool, but a strong Sunshine State group means there is plenty of value to be had across the board. In the next instalment of our AFLW Draft preview series, we take a look at who the Lions might be able to target with their selections.
AFLW DRAFT PICKS: 41, 58, 76, 94 | QLD DRAFT POOL: 3, 5, 7, 10
Brisbane will head into the 2022 AFL Women’s Draft relatively strong compared to the previous year, having just lost two players to expansion in Maria Moloney and Indy Tahau. Though not active from an incoming perspective, the Lions effectively opened up the required spots to head to the draft. An added bonus for the Lions will be the return of star midfielder Lily Postlethwaite, who has been tearing it up for her local club Maroochydore in the QAFL Women’s competition.
Given the Lions will be effectively looking to their Academy, there are a couple of standout selections gunning for the first pick. AFL Women’s Academy talent Ella Smith is one who is likely to hear her name called out, with the dual sports star also a high-level rower. She is an inside ball-winner who thrives on the contested situations, but has added extra elements to her game such as outside spread through spending a lot of time on the wing this year. The other name to keep in mind is the skilful Charlotte Mullins, who has enjoyed a strong 2022 season, playing in a multitude of roles. Though naturally a midfielder, Mullins can play off flanks as well, showcasing her versatility and class with ball-in-hand.
Though not as strong as last year, the Brisbane Lions Academy still had a number of potential AFL Women’s Draft prospects earn combine invites in 2022. High-upside forward Kadie Fletcher is one who adds a point of difference to the club, and could fill the void left by the outgoing Jess Wuetschner. With Tahau leaving the Lions a taller defender short, Brisbane might look to long-term option Christine Watson, who is still building fundamentals, but can play in all thirds of he ground with high-level athleticism. Inside midfielder Ava Seton also earned a combine invite off the back of a consistent year, while medium-tall utility Kiara Hillier has played at both ends between Maroochydore and Queensland representation.
Brisbane Lions have a number of potential Academy graduates coming through the program to fill what will effectively be four list spots at the draft. As always, there are some impressive QAFL Women’s talents, and the Lions will be keeping a close eye on the group for someone who can step up and be a readymade player for AFLW level. As far as their premiership aspirations go, it is hard not to see the Lions amongst the frontrunners yet again in season seven.