23 in 2023: AFLW Draft Ones to Watch

WHILE the 2022 AFL Women’s Draft is done and dusted for another year, clubs quickly turn their attention to 2023, having followed the potential draft prospects for many years. Whilst there will be at least 12 months until the players begin to hear their names called out, Rookie Me Central will throw up 23 names to remember for 2023, in alphabetical order. This does not necessarily mean that the 23 named will be the top 23, but some of many who have already impressed across the board.

Brooke Barwick is one of the top AFLW Draft prospects in 2023 | Image credit: Rookie Me Central

Brooke Barwick
Balanced Midfielder
29/07/2005 | 158cm
Glenorchy / Tasmania

Following in the footsteps of recently drafted Tasmanian Claire Ransom, Barwick is a pocket rocket who packs plenty of punch. Her balance of offensive and defensive traits are outstanding, and not too dissimilar to Top 10 draft pick, Charlotte Baskaran. She is skilful, powerful and evasive, can hit targets under pressure and weight her kicks perfectly, while getting her hands dirty in close. Though her height might be something that pops up, Barwick has few flaws when it comes to her natural footballing ability and is a top-end talent.

Molly Brooksby

Balanced Midfielder
18/07/2005 | 171cm
Norwood / South Australia

Best known in South Australia for her role as a winger for Norwood, Brooksby played predominantly inside in the Futures game, signalling a potential move for her state next season. With a number of Redlegs also being drafted, there is an opening at the contest, though Brooksby’s running ability makes her a perfect winger candidate in the future. She is a good size for a winger at 171cm, and she just ticks a lot of boxes, with her clean skills when having time and space a feature, and will continue to improve that area when under pressure in 2023.

Ava Campbell
Tall Defender
29/07/2005 | 174cm
Eastern Ranges / Vic Metro

The athletic tall was a bottom-age member of the Victorian hub in 2022, and is one of a number of Eastern Ranges talents featuring on this list. Campbell is a smart defender who can intercept and play accountable defence, whilst also providing some rebound run out of back back 50. She is still developing consistency in her game, but it is hard not to notice her when she is out there, particularly when she is looking to pull down big grabs and save the day for her side.

Georgia Clark
Tall Forward
11/12/2005 | 173cm
Glenorchy / Tasmania

Next year looms as not only a good year for Tasmanian draft prospects, but also Glenorchy ones, with Magpies forward Clark one of the touted talls in the crop. Clark is a terrific contested mark, and she can work up the ground, but her best work is done inside 50. Tough to beat with deceptive speed on the lead more so due to her smarts in reacting quicker than her opponent, the Tasmanian is really good at getting front position and leading to her onballers. She is also a reliable set shot for goal and is not out of the contest once the ball hits the deck.

Georgie Cleaver is a talented athletic ruck/forward with plenty of upside | Image credit: Rookie Me Central

Georgie Cleaver
Ruck / Key Forward
14/08/2005 | 183cm
East Fremantle / Western Australia

The athletic tall out of East Fremantle is one of a number of key position prospects to keep an eye on in 2023. There are still some important areas to work on in her game, but her upside is among the highest going around. She is athletic, can take some massive grabs, and is able to roll both through the ruck and up forward. Also a talented netballer, Cleaver has a high work rate she can utilise to win possessions further afield. Her consistency at times can continue to improve, as can her awkward kicking style, but her ability to be a target inside 50 and clunk important marks is why she is one to watch.

Darcie Davies
Ruck / Key Forward
14/06/2005 | 184cm
Southport / Queensland

The third of four Davies sisters set to join the AFL Women’s, Darcie follows in the footsteps of recently drafted sister Fleur, as a ruck forward with plenty of potential. Boasting some outstanding athleticism and ability to get around the ground, Darcie is a highly touted prospect out of Queensland, and it is easy to see why. Players of 184cm height are not usually known for their ability to be involved in transition, but Davies can do just that, and work her way from a ruck stoppage forward to hit the scoreboard. Davies is one that will continue to play out the QAFL Women’s season with Southport for those wanting to catch an early glimpse of the talent.

Shineah Goody
08/11/2005 | 166cm
WWT Eagles / South Australia

A name that just about any women’s football junior pathway follower will recognise, Goody stepped up in a huge way in 2022. Without reigning AFLW Under 19 Championships MVP Lauren Young in the South Australian team, Goody – who was viewed as a Top 5 prospect prior to her bottom year anyway – came away with a MVP herself for her state and the overall carnival. A quiet achiever, Goody is one who has terrific skills that include her kicking and incredible long handball that is emphasised by her vision, while her work rate is beyond elite, covering the ground in the blink of an eye.

Elaine Grigg
Medium Forward / Winger
23/12/2005 | 165cm
North Adelaide / South Australia

A fierce competitor with outstanding defensive traits and a high running capacity, the tenacious Grigg became a premiership player with North Adelaide in the SANFLW, forcing her way into the side in her bottom-age year after featuring in the last six Roosters games of 2021. Still raw in terms of a few fundamentals, Grigg is a perfect defensive forward who can also hit the scoreboard. She does not hold back with her tackling, and as she showed during the Futures game, has a strong endurance base that allows her to move onto a wing and impact there. Her skills can still sharpen up, but her burst speed enables her to gain separation on her opponents.

North Adelaide’s Elaine Grigg is a late developer who has outstanding defensive pressure and speed | Image credit: Rookie Me Central

Jaime Henry
Inside Midfielder / Defender
29/07/2005 | 176cm
Swan Districts / Western Australia

A quintessential “natural footballer”, Henry is just a player who does so much right. One who could have throughly deserved AFLW Academy status even in her bottom-age season, Henry backed up her Under 16s year with Swan Districts, by progressing from a rebounding defender to an inside midfielder. That move coach Adam Dancey came post-championships where Henry stood up in her new role through the Black Ducks’ state carnival. She is a tough hombre, great at winning the contested ball and dishing it off cleanly, and has neat, consistent skills. Though not the most athletic player, Henry plays to her strengths and hardly has a bad game.

Ava Jordan
Inside Midfielder
29/04/2005 | 148cm
Northern Knights / Vic Metro

Bidding to become the smallest player at AFL Women’s level, Jordan is a pint-sized star who, despite standing at just 148cm is one of the top draft prospects next season. At that height, one has to have a lot going for them, and Jordan certainly has that. She is clean, skilful and smart, as well as tough, and she can use her power to burst away from opponents and make good decisions by hand or foot. It is anticipated she will likely play as a forward in the future given her size, but her natural ball-winning abilities and fierce attitude allow her to match it with much bigger opponents.

Ava Jordan
Northern Knights’ Ava Jordan is an all-round performer and defies her size | Image credit: Rookie Me Central

Lila Keck
Midfielder / Small Forward
20/10/2005 | 161cm
Bendigo Pioneers / Vic Country

Another talented small with plenty of upside, Keck is the top Vic Country prospect in the 2023 AFL Women’s Draft. The Bendigo Pioneers midfielder/forward is a confidence player who can have a massive impact on a game either bursting out of the midfield or evading a defender and kicking a classy goal. She has some moments in games where she can get frustrated, but once she works her way out of it and gets on a roll, Keck can be a match-winner. If that confidence and ability can be maintained for longer in 2023, then watch out.

Bianca Lyne
06/04/2005 | 176cm
Dandenong Stingrays / Vic Country

Another tall talent who is highly regarded for her upside, Lyne is still a raw prospect, but one with potential. She is a ruck with a huge vertical leap, allowing her to compete against much taller opponents despite standing at 176cm. Lyne is also one who covers the ground well and can rest forward, but has plied her trade as a ruck first and foremost. The Dandenong Stingrays tall is still ironing out some fundamentals in her game, but if it can all click, then Lyne is one who can move on up in 2023, particularly if she can lockdown another position.

Josie McCabe
Inside Midfielder / Medium Forward
18/04/2005 | 173cm
Bond University / Queensland

Unfortunately McCabe’s AFLW Under 18 Championships came to an end early, with injury striking the talented midfielder/forward in the first game, but her work over the last 18 months has been impressive. McCabe has clean skills and can run with the ball, but most importantly can hit the scoreboard. She can start at a centre stoppage, then push forward and make the most of her opportunities inside 50. McCabe is a player who can also bring other players into the game by lowering her eyes going inside 50 and setting up scoring chances for teammates.

Sienna McMullen
Balanced Midfielder
15/07/2005 | 164cm
Bond University / Queensland

Another Queensland prospect out of Bond University, McMullen is highly regarded as Queensland’s top AFLW Draft talent in a pretty wide field. The winger spent time inside in the Futures game last month, and showed she is a versatile talent who can play both roles well. Possessing a piercing, low kick going inside 50, McMullen is clean at the stoppage and has that burst to extract the ball out of congestion moving forward. An all-round prospect, McMullen is such a clean player by hand or foot and is one who will benefit from senior experience in the QAFL Women’s competition.

Alyssia Pisano
Small Forward
01/07/2005 | 161cm
Eastern Ranges / Vic Metro

A dynamic small forward who would have started in Vic Metro’s forward 50, Pisano has the best goal sense in the AFLW Draft crop. Despite having her year cut short due to a knee injury mid-season in the NAB League Girls, Pisano still looms as one of the top talents, particularly in the forward half. She competes in the air, but if she does not mark it, is incredibly quick to cleanly take the ball, and only needs a split second to put boot to ball. One who frustrates defenders, Pisano can have three kicks for three goals, but also set up teammates with her vision and goal smarts.

Matilda Scholz is one of top rucks in the 2023 AFLW Draft crop | Image credit: Rookie Me Central

Matilda Scholz
29/04/2005 | 187cm
Glenelg / South Australia

The standout pure ruck prospect in 2023, Scholz is a towering figure who has enough athleticism to worry opponents, but can win her fair share of the ball around the ground. Resting forward at times for the Bays in the SANFL Women’s, Scholz is one who came on in leaps and bounds this year, even taking the kickouts in the Under 17s Futures. Still ironing out aspects of her fundamentals, Scholz can be a contested marking target, and when her confidence is high, the Glenelg tall is particularly a influential player.

Kaitlyn Srhoj
Balanced Midfielder
10/07/2005 | 175cm
Peel Thunder / Western Australia

Bursting onto the scene in Peel Thunder’s WAFL Women’s team this year, Srhoj made her name as a speedy winger with some great upside. Each week Srhoj has improved from early on, and her balance of endurance and acceleration makes her a potent talent on the outside, which was then culminated by her inside performance in the Under 17s Futures game. Srhoj earned best-on honours for her side in that game, and though her execution can be improved, her technique itself is good, and she is now a dual threat through the midfield.

Jess Vukic
Ruck / Key Forward
09/11/2005 | 179cm
Eastern Ranges / Vic Metro

An outstanding technical ruck, Vukic is one of the cleanest taps in the AFLW Draft crop with the way she is able to palm down the ball to teammates and get first hands to the ball. Though perhaps a touch undersized against senior rucks, Vukic has the leap to match them, and has proven herself up forward as well. Though she may well end up the latter, she is one who can play both roles well, and will be one of the most exciting tall prospects in the Vic Metro lineup next year.

Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner
Key Forward
01/07/2005 | 180cm
Western Jets / Vic Metro

The tall double-barrelled talent out of the Western Jets just kept getting better after stepping up in the absence of key Vic Metro teammates mid-season. Weston-Turner is more of a forward who has high impact bursts, but can also roll through the midfield and has some outstanding acceleration for a player of her size. She can move well, possesses a booming kick – including a remarkable goal against the GWV Rebels from the literal centre circle – and showed she can match it with the best at Under 17s level. Though still needing to build her consistency, she just has ‘it’.

Western Jets’ Kiera Whiley is a consistent ball-winner through the midfield | Image credit: Rookie Me Central

Kiera Whiley
Balanced Midfielder
07/04/2005 | 173cm
Western Jets / Vic Metro

Another Western Jets premiership player who can fill in just about anywhere, Whiley just has a lot of ticked boxes for her draft profile. She can play inside, outside or off a flank, and plug holes wherever is required. Whiley has some nice athleticism and is an all-round type of draft prospect and one who does not have too many flaws. Expect her to lead the Jets midfield in 2023, and will need to step up without Top 10 talents, Montana Ham and Charlotte Baskaran. A capable player who can improve further next year.

Mikayla Williamson
Medium Defender / Winger
08/05/2005 | 173cm
Dandenong Stingrays / Vic Country

One of the better Vic Country talents for 2023, Williamson is a running machine who can play both half-back and off a wing. Though her consistency by foot still needs to improve, Williamson takes a lot of grass and is not afraid to tuck the ball under the arm and go for broke. She is a nice size at 173cm to be able to match up on taller or small forwards if required, though it is more her offensive ability that stands out, and is usually a handball receive and then burst runner away in transition.

Piper Window
Inside Midfielder / Forward
30/07/2005 | 166cm
Glenelg / South Australia

The Glenelg onballer is a well-rounded prospect who is probably an effective kick away from being a pretty complete player. She is tough, thrives on the contested ball, can almost win all her one-on-ones both in the air and at ground level, and has high endurance, as well as powerful straight line running. Window was a premiership player as an Under-16 talent n the senior Glenelg side for the 2021 SANFL Women’s season, and became a dual midfielder/forward for the Bays this season. In 2023, if Window can sharpen up her kicking efficiency, then watch out as she has everything else that a midfielder/forward could need to impact at the top level.

Lauren Young
Inside Midfielder
16/09/2005 | 179cm
North Adelaide / South Australia

Young is the pick to be the top selection in 2023, made all the more remarkable having not played this year due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury over the preseason. Standing at 179cm, Young has played all over the field but long-term will be that tall inside midfielder who can consistently win clearances and influence games with her powerful contested marking. Barring similar traits to Montana Ham, Young will be ready to go for the 2023 season, and whilst it might take her a little while to get back into it, is one that has so much natural talent. She was the youngest player at the 2021 AFLW Under 19 Championships, and still earned South Australia’s MVP there, so when she does return to West Adelaide and the Croweaters, she is sure to be one to watch again.


There were a number of players just on the precipice of being named in our 23 in 2023 to watch. The first of those is East Fremantle’s Anjelique Raison, with the strong utility having proven herself at both ends for the Sharks, and is a name to remember for the West Australian sides next season. Calder Cannons’ Amy Gaylor is another midfielder to keep in mind, with some eye-catching traits, and once she gains further consistency and leading the midfield, ill be a name who could rise up the boards. Eastern Ranges’ Laura Stone is the other who could have very easily have squeezed into the 23 in 2023, having represented Vic Metro at Under 18s level as well as Under 16s level.

Tasmanian key forward Bellah Parker, Queensland midfielder Ebony Milne and another Eastern Ranges midfielder in Hayley McLaughlin are all names to keep in mind, with Sandringham Dragons key forward Mia Zielinski a strong player inside 50. Though seven South Australians featured in the 23 in 2023, the other player to remember is defender Lily Whitcombe who is a low-production player currently, but a highly competitive talent in a similar vein to Power draftee Amelie Borg.

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