Season 7 Expansion Side list analysis: Sydney

SEASON 7 of the AFLW is not too far away, and season seven will see four new teams come into the competition to finally see the AFLW have all 18 teams.

We are going to take a deep dive into each of the new clubs’ inaugural lists and see how they might stack up in their inaugural season.

Today it is last but not least Sydney under the microscope.

Please note that these calculations have all been done with several players included across multiple positions, and does include rookie Tiarne Cavanagh but not Alice Mitchell, who will miss Season 7 due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

List make-up by position

Unlike the other clubs coming in, the Swans have gone midfielder heavy with their inaugural list.

There are 15 players on Sydney’s list who can play as a midfielder – that is half the list.

However, that does include several players who can play in other roles, such as Molly Eastman, Cynthia Hamilton, Ruby Sargent-Wilson and Lauren Szigeti.

For context, this compares to eight potential defenders, two rucks, and seven potential forwards.

Defenders – young with experience concentrated in a few

One thing you realise when taking a look at Sydney’s potential defenders is that most are very young, and only two of them have any AFLW experience – Maddy Collier and Brenna Tarrant. Collier is also the only defender over the age of 25.

However, some of the state league defenders they have brought in do have experience that may be handy for a young list which although is not the same as AFLW level experience is still helpful.

Gena Lawson-Tavan has been playing footy for a long time now, and has come through the very successful Darebin Falcons program and has also had to deal with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows that footy can bring.

Eliza Vale is another who had to face tricky situations as a footballer this year, so will be able to keep morale high if need be. Molly Eastman is another who has leadership experience, having been captain of North Melbourne’s VFLW side this season and also spent time at the Falcons.

Both Collier and Tarrant have had trouble in the past keeping their spot in the side at their old clubs, so they find themselves in a very different situation at the Swans. It will not be surprising to see them really flourish at the Swans as the certainty around their spot in the side grows.

Midfielders – plentiful yet inexperienced

By far the largest percentage of the list, the Swans are certainly not short on options when it comes to midfielders. However, with that large number does not come with a whole lot of experience. They may be a talented group – with three of them being Sydney’s top three draftees this year – but experience is also crucial, especially in an inaugural season. The midfield experience is largely concentrated in Sarah Dargan and to a lesser extent Lisa Steane.

Rucks – young, but actually have experience

The Swans’ ruck department may be young (18 and 21) but unlike the other expansion sides, all of their rucks have AFLW experience. Ally Morphett may only have seven games under her belt and Alexia Hamilton may only have three games, but compared to the ruck departments of the three other sides coming in, that is quite a bit.

Morphett is likely to be the first choice ruck, and after slowly taking more of the ruck duties at GWS, expect her to flourish with the increased chances at the Swans.

Forwards – bucking the trends of the rest of the list

The one thing that can describe the Swans forward line is that they were able to get some really experienced faces in, which they were not necessarily able to do in other positions.

In fact their two most experienced players on the whole list – Brooke Lochland and Aliesha Newman – are both forwards, with Rebecca Privitelli also among the Swans forward cohort.

The real unknowns

The interesting ones on Sydney’s list in terms of potential position are Tiarne Cavanagh and Montana Beruldsen. Now both have come from cross-coder backgrounds, and the Swans have not given an indication as where either will likely play yet. Although, due to the sheer number of midfielder options they already have, it would be surprising to see them playing there.


Jaide Anthony, Kiara Beesley, Montana Beruldsen, Tiarne Cavanagh, Madelane Collier, Sarah Dargan, Molly Eastman, Sarah Ford, Montana Ham, Cynthia Hamilton, Lexi Hamilton, Ella Heads, Sofia Hurley, Zoe Hurrell, Bridie Kennedy, Genevieve Lawson-Tavan, Brooke Lochland, Ally Morphett, Aliesha Newman, Rebecca Privatelli, Ruby Sargent-Wilson, Paige Sheppard, Sarah Skinner, Bella Smith, Lisa Steane, Lauren Szigeti, Brenna Tarrant, Eliza Vale, Aimee Whelan, Alana Woodward


Alice Mitchell

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