SHOWING glimpses in season 2022 without consistency, Richmond will be looking for prolonged results in the upcoming Season 7. The Tigers definitely improved on their 2021 season, but there is still work to be done, and they have have been relatively stable over he off-season, with largely direct swaps both on and off the list. They do not have a lot in the way of AFLW Draft picks, with the first being a second round selection, and the others coming early in the third round.
AFLW DRAFT PICKS: 38, 58, 60 | VIC DRAFT POOL: 21, 33, 34
Richmond’s big fish of the off-season was in the form of ex-VFLW Tiger and Carlton hardnut Grace Egan. The Blues inside midfielder will slot straight in for the outgoing Sarah Dargan who headed to Sydney, whilst Western Bulldogs forward Jemima Woods and exciting Cats forward Stephanie Williams both headed to Punt Road. Dangerous forward Christina Bernardi was a surprise delisting, as was Sarah Sansonetti, with the defender quickly snapped up by the Pies. Forward Tayla Stahl retired, with Akec Makur Chuot heading to the Hawks, while GWS GIANTS defender and basketball cross-coder Saraid Taylor signed on.
Like a lot of Victorian clubs in the AFLW Draft, it is hard to predict what the Tigers do with their first selection. They might opt with tall midfielder Zara Hamilton or fellow Allies representative J’Noemi Anderson at the first pick, or look more local. Talented winger Taylah Gatt could still be on the board, as could dynamic midfielder-forward Emily Shepherd, with a forward like Paige Scott another potential option. It is difficult to know what will slip through to Richmond, but no doubt there will still be talent left over for the Tigers, even if their first pick is not as high as the previous years.
The Tigers will be able to pick back-to-back from the Victorian pool to round out the draft options, and if they go mature-age forward, then Collingwood VFLW’s Nyakoat Dojiok and Williamstown’s Sophia McCarthy are options. If they did look to a taller option, then Bendigo Pioneers’ Tegan Williams or Geelong Falcons’ Analea McKee could be a good shout, but stocking up depth across the ground is equally important. High-upside players like twins Madison and Tayissa Gray could be good shouts, or versatile options in Jamie-Lee Speakman and Amelie Smith.
Richmond heads into the AFLW Draft with a weaker draft hand than past years, but also having recruited players to the club. Still quite a young club with some elite talents, the Tigers will be looking to add depth and fill holes that still left the side off the pace in 2022. With plenty of young talent set to improve in Season 7 and support the elite stars in the side like Monique Conti and Katie Brennan, Richmond will continue on its upward trajectory, it just might take some time.