Season 7 AFLW preview: Adelaide

REIGNING premiers Adelaide Crows are first up in our 2022 AFL Women’s team previews, which will rollout one by one in the lead-up to Season 7. The Crows are coming off a memorable Grand Final victory over Melbourne to claim their third flag, and though they have lost some experience, remain one of the teams to beat in the upcoming season.


Position: 1st (Premiers)
Win-loss: 9-1
Percentage: 216.6%
Best & Fairest: Anne Hatchard
Leading Goalkicker: Ashleigh Woodland


IN: Niamh Kelly, Amber Ward (West Coast), Keeley Kustermann (West Adelaide), Kiera Mueller (Sturt), McKenzie Dowrick (re-listed), Jess Waterhouse (South Adelaide)
OUT: Erin Phillips, Angela Foley, Justine Mules (Port Adelaide), Jess Sedunary (West Coast), Nikki Gore (Fremantle), Jasmyn Hewett (inactive list)


Sarah Allan, Najwa Allen, Abbie Ballard, Chelsea Biddell, Hannah Button, Teah Charlton, Ailish Considine, Mckenzie Dowrick, Caitlin Gould, Anne Hatchard, Eloise Jones, Niamh Kelly, Keeley Kustermann, Ebony Marinoff, Rachelle Martin, Montana McKinnon, Kiera Mueller, Hannah Munyard, Madison Newman, Danielle Ponter, Zoe Prowse, Marijana Rajcic, Chelsea Randall, Jasmine Simmons (rookie), Stevie-Lee Thompson, Brooke Tonon, Amber Ward, Jess Waterhouse, Lisa Whiteley, Ashleigh Woodland

Inactive: Dayna Cox (personal reasons), Deni Varnhagen (maternity leave), Jasmyn Hewett (work commitments)


Round 1: vs. Melbourne | Norwood Oval
Round 2: @ Richmond | Punt Road
Round 3: vs. North Melbourne | Wigan Oval
Round 4: @ Collingwood | Victoria Park
Round 5: vs. GWS GIANTS | Wigan Oval
Round 6: @ Port Adelaide | Adelaide Oval
Round 7: vs. Fremantle | Wigan Oval
Round 8: @ Brisbane | Metricon Stadium
Round 9: vs. Geelong | Norwood Oval
Round 10: @ St Kilda | RSEA Park


B: Chelsea Biddell – Marijana Rajcic
HB: Chelsea Randall – Sarah Allan – Najwa Allen
C: Ailish Considine – Teah Charlton – Niamh Kelly
HF: Stevie-Lee Thompson – Eloise Jones – Danielle Ponter
F: Ashleigh Woodland – Caitlin Gould
R: Montana McKinnon – Anne Hatchard – Ebony Marinoff
INT: Hannah Button – Rachelle Martin – Madison Newman – Zoe Prowse – Hannah Munyard

EMG: Amber Ward – Lisa Whiteley – Brooke Tonon


There is a Melbourne Cup field of entrants when it comes to potential League Best and Fairest contenders from the Crows. Marinoff gets the nod for sheer consistency and her ability to impact in so many ways. Along with Anne Hatchard, the pair provide incredible ball-winning ability and ensure the Crows are always on top through the middle.

BIG YEAR FOR: Danielle Ponter

The Northern Territory talent has already proven herself on the big stage with a knack for goals and an ability to excite the crowd. Given the talent inside 50, Ponter can often be the beneficiary of extra attention, especially now Ashleigh Woodland has won the league goalkicking and can no longer fly under the radar. One to certainly watch for an even bigger Season 7.


How will the Crows fare without Erin Phillips?

Erin Phillips is undoubtedly the best player of the AFL Women’s era, and one that can be relied upon to step up in big games. No ill will was held from the three-time premiership star moving across to the Crows’ incoming rivals Port Adelaide, but she will be a huge loss. In saying that, Adelaide would have been preparing for her departure, and the Crows certainly have enough talent both through the midfield and forwardlines to cover her. Expect some of the younger brigade to step up.

What will the Crows talls look like?

Given that Jasmyn Hewett has now been place on the inactive list, all eyes will be on the young rising duo of Montana McKinnon and Zoe Prowse. Though Prowse has been trained in other positions over the last couple of seasons at both SANFL Women’s and AFLW level, she dominated for Sturt in a losing grand final effort through the ruck. McKinnon will be the starting ruck heading into Season 7 and will be keen to have a big year after narrowly missing out on playing in the 2022 AFLW Grand Final due to suspension. Other bookends Sarah Allan and Caitlin Gould are equally versatile and along with Chelsea Biddell can mix things up mid-game if required.

Can the Crows continue their dynasty and win a fourth flag in seven seasons?

It is certainly possible. Along with fellow regular contenders Brisbane and Melbourne, the Crows are tipped to be thereabouts again. They have been able to keep the nucleus of their successful side minus Phillips, and while the losses of Angela Foley, Justine Mules and Jessica Sedunary mean the Crows are minus some experience, they have the depth to cover it.

Do the Crows have the best depth in the competition?

It can be absolutely be argued that way. Looking across Adelaide’s list, even the 30th available player would be pushing for a spot in the best 21 at some stage of the season. They have so much depth in so many positions both tall and small, while having big game experience. Bringing in readymade draftees Keeley Kustermann and Kiera Mueller to replace the aforementioned experience, along with hard-running winger Niamh Kelly, means they can be prepared if injury strikes.


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