HAVING to navigate a tricky 2022 AFL Women’s Draft, Fremantle only had the one selection in between West Coast’s plethora of picks in the West Australian pool. The Dockers are a title contender, and picked up three mature-agers, one over-ager and one top-ager to ensure the purple army remain among the teams to beat in 2022. The Dockers are no stranger to giving opportunities to players beyond their first draft year, and that continued, with a real variety of coups.
Speed and running capacity. Fremantle picked up players who are not afraid to take the game on and really challenge the opposition. The first selection was always going to be critical depending on what the Eagles did with their first three, and when West Coast opted for Abbygail Bushby, the Dockers chose Scanlon, and then went Stribley later on. Kauffman was a surprise packet out of amateurs, but had impressed while being the strength and conditioning coach for West Perth, while Mulholland and Read can both play through the middle and up forward.
WHERE THEY FIT:
Two of the five should compete for a Round 1 spot almost immediately, with that being Scanlon and Mulholland. Scanlon has impressed off half-back for Claremont this season, and stood up in the midfield late in the season. A natural runner who takes the game on and goes direct, she will gain plenty of metres for her new side. Mulholland has played off a wing and also forward, with a neat left boot and some serious X-factor when inside 50. Though one of the oldest AFLW selections at 29 this year, the Irishwoman has wasted not time impressing with her speed and ability at WAFLW level.
Read would also not be too far off, with the midfielder forward able to move well and find the ball, working hard both ways and being a strong competitor. Stribley has that run-and-gun attitude off a wing or half-forward and is clever when within range, but she will be looking to build her physicality and strength to compete at the top level. Rounding out the five is Kauffman, who at senior level is a little unknown, but her form at Amateurs warranted the call-up, with her character and knowledge of the game unquestionably high.
Fremantle made the best of a tough situation with West Coast’s dominance of the West Australian pool, selecting some speedy players with upside. Though it is difficult to crack into the Dockers’ lineup, expect a number of their draftees to work their way in, and provide plenty of excitement with their running abilities in each third of the ground.