2022 AFLW Draft team review: GWS

HEADING into the 2022 AFL Women’s Trade and Off-Season Period, GWS GIANTS had one of the toughest jobs to overcome ahead of the AFLW Draft. With their new neighbours Sydney Swans having the first five selections in the draft – that the expansion club could not pick – it effectively meant the GIANTS would have to settle for the sixth best player in the NSW-ACT pool. Then, the orange and charcoal recruiting team got busy, convincing a quartet of players to nominate the state, including two first round prospects, making it a good win for the established NSW-ACT side.


#20 Zarlie Goldsworthy (Murray Bushrangers)
#64 Fleur Davies (Southport)
#66 Meghan Gaffney (Tasmania Devils)
#75 Madison Brazendale (Tasmanian Devils)
#82 Jodie Hicks (Macquarie University)
#84 Cambridge McCormack (Eastlake Demons)
#86 Tess Cattle (Ainslie)
#87 Pass | Zara Hamilton (Murray Bushrangers)


Midfield and ruck depth. The GIANTS were able to go about it nicely, getting Top 10 and Albury prospect Goldsworthy to nominate her home state, as well as replace the losses of Erin McKinnon and Ally Morphett with the more athletic Davies who can win her own fair share of the ball. Brazendale and Gaffney provide the outside run, with Cattle the inside ball winner, and Hamilton able to play both roles. They picked up McCormack who is regarded as the best ruck in the state pool, and then also re-drafted Hicks having delisted the dual sports star at the end of the 2021 season.


It is fairly clear all eight selections are best suited in the middle third of the ground, but they can play other roles. Goldsworthy will likely start as a forward, being able to play both midfield and forward, and consistently hit the scoreboard every game in the NAB League. Hamilton similarly has spent time off flanks at both ends, while Davies though likely to start ruck, can also be that tall target inside 50 the GIANTS are looking for going forward.

Those three players, along with Hicks and McCormack will all push for Round 1 selections, with McCormack and Davies likely to be the ruck rotation in Season 7. Hicks will play as a defender this year after becoming known for her impact up the field, while Cattle, Gaffney and Brazendale are those who could earn their spots in time. Brazendale and Gaffney are a year older than the top-age draftees and have the running capacity to step up, just depending on the depth available, while Cattle is one who will look to work her way into the side as the season goes on.


Considering what they faced at the beginning of the off-season, the GIANTS have done really ell with their draft hand. They convinced a couple of high-impact players to nominate the draft pool, picked up some genuine first round talents without a high pick, and then went about stocking up the depth of the midfield and ruck roles with local players.

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