2022 AFLW 10 under 10 to watch: Maggie MacLachlan

IN a unique series for the lead-up to the 2022 AFL Women’s Season 7, Rookie Me Central will look at 10 players to watch this year who have played under 10 games. Whilst it would be easy to pick those who finished high in last year’s Rising Star, or top picks this year, we have opted to look at players who have been around for at least two seasons – or in previous years – but have only managed to play nine games or less. Concluding the series is Port Adelaide recruit Maggie MacLachlan.

Maggie MacLachlan is a player who has proven her versatility over many years, predominantly in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s competition. Having plied her trade with Subiaco, MacLachlan earned an AFLW Draft Combine invite in 2020 with the year being a challenging one as COVID-19 raged across the country. She missed out on being picked up in the 2020 AFLW Draft, but soon MacLachlan would be added as an injury replacement player to the Fremantle Dockers’ list.

There, she begun her career as a defender, but also showed her capacity to play p the other end. Still mostly playing at WAFLW level in 2021, MacLachlan did not make her debut, but earned another season with the Dockers in 2022. There, she made her debut against Melbourne in the record-breaking loss in Round 9, then came in against Gold Coast Suns. Only managing the two games, MacLachlan returned to Subiaco where she played forward, slotting four goals from 21 touches in Round 11 against South Fremantle, and looking dangerous there after an earlier season stint in defence.

When the AFL Women’s off-season rolled around, MacLachlan opted to head to expansion side Port Adelaide for opportunity. The versatile 171cm talent offers support at both ends of the field, and has the AFLW experience coupled with continuity at WAFLW level to have an impact. One of a number of Port Adelaide recruits who have had small stints on-field at AFLW level, MacLachlan is one who is certain to add to her tally of two games, and be a lively threat in front of home fans at Alberton Oval. Port Adelaide is tipped to be one of the strongest expansion sides in the competition next year, and MacLachlan will be a key part of that.

MacLachlan is able to use the ball well whichever end she is up and has game smarts to read the ball in flight. Her knowledge to get into the right spots helps her find the ball in transition and she has the capacity to run hard, which could even lead to a midfield role in the future. Now keen to establish herself with continuity in an AFLW team, expect MacLachlan to feature on a lot more team sheets in 2022.

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