A TOTAL of 83 players joined the AFL Women’s ranks last night, from some of the most anticipated young stars to some surprise packets that never expected it in their wildest dreams, when they were selected in the 2022 AFLW Draft. Here is an easy club-by-club wrap up of who got taken.
Adelaide picked up AFL Women’s Academy member Keeley Kustermann as a savvy selection, one player who can run off half-back or play onball. Fellow half-back Kiera Mueller has had quite the 2022 season playing for Sturt and is an immediate option, whilst the Crows also opted to re-list McKenzie Dowrick having been a top-up player this year.
Brisbane sprung the surprise of the Queensland Pool by taking former Gold Coast talent Dee Heslop alongside a trio of Academy players. AFLW Academy member Ella Smith was an easy first choice having played both inside and now outside this year, while Charlie Mullins is versatile enough to play anywhere. Kiara Hillier is a medium-tall having spent time up both ends.
Carlton surprised a few late with some experienced VFLW players including bolter Lily Goss out of their VFLW program, whilst North Melbourne VFLW key defender also got her chance at AFLW level. The Blues also picked up inside midfielder/defender Keeley Skepper and developing tall forward/ruck Mia Austin to add some youth in the haul.
Collingwood utilised two selections on the night in a couple of Charlotte’s with Oakleigh’s Charlotte Taylor an ultimate utility in any of the three lines and having played for their VFLW side, whilst Dandenong’s Charlotte Blair has been a fast riser this season and is another midfielder. Collingwood passed its final selection to pick up a player outside of the Victorian pool.
#4 Amber Clarke (Dandenong Stingrays)
#8 Paige Scott (GWV Rebels)
#32 Stephanie Wales (Casey Demons VFLW)
#35 Mia Busch (Eastern Ranges)
#46 Mia Van Dyke (Geelong Falcons)
#62 Amelia Radford (Essendon VFLW)
#73 Ashleigh Van Loon (Geelong Falcons)
Essendon filled out all of its seven selections on draft night, with the Bombers opting for speedster Amber Clarke with pick 4, then her Vic Country teammate Paige Scott with the other selection inside the top 10. Vic Metro half-back/midfielder Mia Busch also landed at the Dons along with Geelong Falcons pair Mia Van Dyke and Ash Van Loon. Essendon did not have to look far for Amelia Radford, grabbing the inside midfielder outside of their VFLW program, while Steph Wales was a surprise bolter into Pick 32.
Fremantle picked up half-back Madeleine Scanlon with its first selection in between all the West Coast picks, before opting to grab winger Tara Stribley with Pick 59. Megan Kauffman – in her first year of football – is playing Amateurs level whilst being West Perth’s strength and conditioning coach. Rounding out the team was Subiaco wing/forward Amy Mulholland who had a superb debut season at WAFLW level, whilst the Dockers sprung a surprise picking up Victorian overager Tahlia Read out of the Calder Cannons, a mid-forward.
Geelong handed a second chance to in-form VFLW forward Mia Skinner after injuries got the better of her back at AFLW level, and followed up the Cats’ Calder Cannons picks of Georgie Prespakis and Zali Friswell last year with utility Abbey McDonald this year. They also selected rebounding defender/winger Brooke Plummer with the other selection.
Gold Coast made no surprises in its picks other than making a pass to survey the AFLW Draft options. They went for star Academy prospects in Alana Gee and Jasmyn Smith, with Tasmanian talent Claire Ransom re-joining former Devils coach Cameron Joyce at the Suns.
#20 Zarlie Goldsworthy (Murray Bushrangers)
#64 Fleur Davies (Southport)
#75 Madison Brazendale (Tasmanian Devils)
#82 Jodie Hicks (Macquarie University)
#84 Cambridge McCormack (Eastlake Demons)
#86 Tess Cattle (Ainslie)
GWS GIANTS had a handy haul, picking up the first three players as expected in midfielder/forward Zarlie Goldsworthy, ruck/forward Fleur Davies and winger Madison Brazendale, the latter two from other states. They re-listed Jodie Hicks who played with the GIANTS up until 2021, then sprung a surprise with Eastlake Demons’ Cambridge McCormack, before reading out inside midfielder Tess Cattle’s name and passing with the final selection.
#2 Jasmine Fleming (Oakleigh Chargers)
#6 Mackenzie Eardley (Dandenong Stingrays)
#9 Charlotte Baskaran (Western Jets)
#10 Bridie Hipwell (Sandringham Dragons)
#22 Lucy Wales (Casey Demons VFLW)
#25 Emily Everist (Bendigo Pioneers)
#26 Laura Elliott (Western Jets)
Hawthorn sured up its defensive stocks with the AFLW Draft haul, as they selected key position star Mackenzie Eardley, as well as rebounding defenders Emily Everist and Laura Elliott. Lucy Wales was the first big bolter of the draft as a ruck out of Casey Demons, whilst AFLW Academy midfielders, Jasmine Fleming, Charlotte Baskaran and Bridie Hipwell are ready-to-go talents.
Melbourne picked up two readymade VFLW players out of the Demons’ program, before opting for a surprise with cricketer Georgia Gall. She does not have as much experience as others with the Sherrin – though she was listed with the Murray Bushrangers – Maeve Chaplin and Samantha Johnson are well acquainted with the place.
North Melbourne picked up a real mix of positions in its draft, starting with slider Taylah Gatt who was tipped to go inside the Top 20. The winger has real X-factor and upside, with medium forward Charli Granville and versatile utility Cassidy Mailer all natural and clean users of the ball. They were complemented by VFLW talls Sophia McCarthy and Grace Matser.
#3 Hannah Ewings (North Adelaide)
#7 Sarah Goodwin (Glenelg)
#23 Sachi Syme (Norwood)
#31 Ella Boag (Glenelg)
#45 Yasmin Duursma (Gippsland Power)
#61 Amelie Borg (North Adelaide)
#80 Lily Johnston (West Adelaide)
Port Adelaide made seven selections at the AFLW Draft, starting off with the expected picks of Hannah Ewings and Sarah Goodwin inside the Top 10. They also picked up All-Australians Sachi Syme and Amelie Borg, then went for some slick users of the football in Ella Boag, Yasmin Duursma – to join brother Xavier at Alberton – and midfielder/forward Lily Johnston out of West Adelaide.
Richmond pulled the trigger on first round talent Charley Ryan at Pick 38, with the Dandenong Stingrays jet out of Season 7 with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. They then sprung a real surprise picking up Eilish Sheerin from Inner West Magpies, before re-listing Katelyn Cox who has experience with North Melbourne, as well as Hawthorn VFLW.
St Kilda selected top Northern Territory prospect J’Noemi Anderson – who is boarding in Victoria – and then the Saints grabbed two players from their VFLW program in Hannah Stuart and Deanna Jolliffe before officially bringing father-daughter Caitlin Matthews into Moorabbin.
Sydney did not make any surprise moves, picking up the five players everyone expected them too. They went with Western Jets star Montana Ham with the first overall pick, before selecting All-Australian midfielders Sofia Hurley and Cynthia Hamilton. They were able to officially able to read out Montana Beruldsen and Alice Mitchell’s names with Pick 12 and 13 respectively.
#14 Ella Roberts (Peel Thunder)
#15 Lauren Wakfer (South Fremantle)
#24 Abbygail Bushby (Swan Districts)
#36 Zoe Wakfer (South Fremantle)
#43 Emily Elkington (Claremont)
#47 Jaide Britton (Peel Thunder)
#53 Mikayla Western (Claremont)
West Coast had a top-heavy haul with a number of great stories. They picked up the best player in the country in Peel Thunder’s Ella Roberts, as well as late Academy call-up, Swan Districts’ Abbygail Bushby. They also selected inside midfielder/forward Emily Elkington, and ruck Lauren Wakfer (ACL), with the Eagles’ selection of Zoe Wakfer the biggest surprise considering she was there on the night and not expecting it. West Coast also locked in the need for speed, picking up Fremantle train-ons, Jaide Britton and Mikayla Western who add some serious X-factor to the club.
Western Bulldogs made four selections in the AFLW Draft, with some speed added in Rylie Wilcox and Keely Coyne who are both high-upside prospects, whilst Calder Cannons’ Heidi Woodley is a forward talent who impressed at Vic Metro level. The Dogs then picked up delisted Carlton defender Brooke Vernon to give her a second chance at AFLW level.