2022 AFLW Draft team review: North Melbourne
AFTER another so close, yet so far season of making the AFL Women’s finals but not getting to the last game of the year, North Melbourne headed back to the draft with five selections. In the 2022 AFLW Draft, the Roos were able to scoop up a couple of talls, and some high-upside, skilful smalls. The mix gives North Melbourne some talent the Roos can work around for the future, and providing some good depth for Season 7.
Upside. North Melbourne picked five players who have significant upside with the right development, including a couple of talls and three smaller players who can roll through different positions. Speedy and skilful winger Gatt was a steal at Pick 28, with the talented outside player able to impact games with only a handful of possessions. Granville is a similar high-upside forward with good footy and goal smarts, while Mailer is one who has great skill and decision making and can play in all three areas. Key forward McCarthy had an impressive VFLW season for the Seagulls, while Matser plied her trade for Collingwood in the VFLW after coming out of the Gippsland Power program.
WHERE THEY FIT:
It is going to be difficult for anyone to squeeze into the North Melbourne outfit given the strength of the side, but the VFLW players in particular have had the more senior experience. McCarthy is a key forward who can be ready to play from day dot if required, but will likely continue to develop in the North Melbourne system. Similarly, Matser will learn off the talented and experienced talls at the Roos before trying to force her way into the team.
Gatt is the highest upside prospect and perhaps the one who could earn an earlier season birth, though she is still building her production, which is high impact when she wins it. Granville and Mailer are still building their productions as well, with the Eastern Ranges forward a late developer but one who caught the eye with her goal sense, though is still improving all-round facets of her game. The Murray Bushrangers utility is a natural midfielder who has spent time both forward and in defence, so can roll in anywhere.
North Melbourne will be another contender in Season 7 of the AFL Women’s and the Roos picked up a number of players who can impact in both the medium and long-term. A couple of experienced talls will provide good depth in that area of the field, while the high-upside talents can fill needs around the ground.