How will they impact their new team in S7?: Daisy Bateman
MANY AFLW stars made moves to new clubs in the offseason, and as we head toward season seven of the AFLW, we take a look at some of said players and predict what kind of impact they can potentially make on their new teams.
This year’s trade period was not kind to the future of the forward line of the Western Bulldogs. They lost Brooke Lochland and Bonnie Toogood to expansion sides, as well as Isabel Huntington to the Giants.
In comes Bateman, who can easily fill Lochland’s role as that small, quick forward. With the Bulldogs losing all their tall targets, their new strategy seems to be going with a smaller and quicker forward line, and Bateman fits into that perfectly.
She may be small in stature, but Bateman is quick which will provide a headache to many an opposition defender, especially when there are so many fellow small quick forwards to contend with in the Bulldogs’ forward line. She can also push up the ground to, providing that handy link between midfield and forward line. Speaking of pushing up the ground, Bateman has also spent some time in the midfield, which can also be a benefit to the Bulldogs moving forward too.
One thing that was an issue for the Bulldogs on a number of occasions last season was when the influence of Ellie Blackburn was quelled enough, it really stifled the Bulldogs. Bateman can come in and provide some assistance to Blackburn and hopefully provide that other running option out of the midfield, working in tandem with the likes of Kirsty Lamb.
While some might question the competition for spots with so many similar forward types, one thing that Bateman has over many of her fellow forwards, which is another quality she can bring to her new side, is leadership and experience.
She is coming into her fifth season in the AFLW now, and brings into what is a relatively young Bulldogs side not only experience from being in the system a long time but experience from a successful team, so she knows what it takes to go far in a season.
What the Bulldogs lost with the departure of Lochland, Toogood and Huntington was not only talent but a lot of experience between the trio, and while that cannot be replaced by just one player, Bateman’s inclusion certainly goes a fair way to bridging that gap.
Bulldogs fans, you have gained not only a crafty forward, but an experienced one with wisdom to pass on to many a young Pup.