Season 7 AFLW preview: Richmond

AFFTER they started Season 6 firing defeating St Kilda in Round 1, Richmond got people got talking about how much the Tigers were going to improve. They also had Melbourne on the ropes early in Round 2, but unfortunately for Richmond that early season promise did not eventuate into much, only winning two more games for the season and finishing in the bottom four. With plenty of new faces in the door, will things turn around for the Tigers in Season 7?


Position: 11th
Win-loss: 3-7
Percentage: 81.3
Best & Fairest: Monique Conti
Leading Goalkicker: Katie Brennan


IN: Grace Egan (Carlton), Libby Graham (GWS), Stephanie Williams (Geelong), Charley Ryan (Dandenong Stingrays), Eilish Sheerin (Inner West Magpies), Katelyn Cox (Hawthorn VFLW), Saraid Taylor (crosscoder rookie, basketball), Amelia Peck (Southern Saints)

OUT: Christina Bernardi (delisted), Sarah Dargan (Sydney), Ingrid Houtsma (Geelong), Akec Makur Chuot (Hawthorn), Hannah McLaren (delisted), Sarah Sansonetti (delisted)


Maddy Brancatisano, Katie Brennan, Monique Conti, Katelyn Cox, Sarah D’Arcy, Kate Dempsey, Grace Egan, Elizabeth Graham, Jessica Hosking, Sarah Hosking, Kodi Jacques, Jemima Kelly, Meagan Kiely, Tessa Lavey, Bethany Lynch, Meg Macdonald, Laura McClelland, Ellie McKenzie, Rebecca Miller, Sophie Molan, Stella Reid, Charley Ryan, Gabrielle Seymour, Eilish Sheerin, Madelaine Shevlin, Saraid Taylor, Courtney Wakefield, Stephanie Williams, Jemima Woods, Emelia Yassir

Inactive: Hannah Burchell (knee injury), Harriet Cordner (knee injury), Charley Ryan (knee injury)


Round 1: @ Geelong | GMHBA Stadium
Round 2: vs. Adelaide | Swinburne Centre
Round 3: vs. Hawthorn | Swinburne Centre
Round 4: @ Essendon | ETU Stadium
Round 5: vs. Brisbane | Swinburne Centre
Round 6: vs. Gold Coast | Swinburne Centre
Round 7: @ West Coast | Mineral Resources Park
Round 8: @ Carlton | Ikon Park
Round 9: vs. GWS | Mildura Sporting Precinct
Round 10: @ North Melbourne | Arden St Oval

BEST 21:

B: Sarah D’Arcy – Rebecca Miller
HB: Bethany Lynch – Kate Dempsey – Maddie Shevlin
C: Jess Hosking – Sarah Hosking – Ellie McKenzie
HF: Emelia Yassir – Maddy Brancatisano – Tessa Lavey
F: Katie Brennan – Courtney Wakefield
R: Gabrielle Seymour – Grace Egan – Monique Conti
INT: Meagan Kiely – Kodi Jaques – Poppy Kelly – Stella Reid – Sophie Molan

EMG: Stephanie Williams – Meg Macdonald – Laura McClelland

Remaining players: Katelyn Cox, Libby Graham, Jemima Kelly, Charley Ryan*, Eilish Sheerin, Saraid Taylor (rookie), Jemima Woods

Inactive: Hannah Burchell (knee injury), Harriet Cordner (knee injury)


One of the best midfielders of the competition, Conti regularly features up the top of best and fairest counts, and so there is no reason to suspect Season 7 will be any different.

Conti is coming off a stellar Season 6 where she won her third club Best and Fairest in a row, and another preseason where she has not had to split her time between football and basketball, so she has been solely focused on football, so who knows? She may have been able to lift her game even further because of that.

BIG YEAR FOR: Stella Reid

A top five draftee last year, Reid struggled to lock down a spot in Richmond’s side and spent much of the year in the VFLW side. With another AFLW preseason under her belt and the short turnaround between seasons, this is the perfect opportunity for Reid to try and cement her place in the side.


How can Richmond take the next step?

For a few seasons now Richmond have had moments of promise, but have not been able to take the next step and really be a contender for finals. The question is, can they finally take that next step this season and make it to the finals?

Are any of their second season players going to have a breakout season?

Alongside Reid, the other two players Richmond picked up in the 2021 draft were Emelia Yassir and Meagan Kiely. The key thing about these two players is that they were particularly impressive in Richmond’s practise match on the weekend, which brings the question can they be the ones to have a breakout season and be the reason Richmond take that next step. We saw Tessa Lavey really star in her second year in the system, so will Kiely and Yassir follow suit?

How will they cover the leadership and experience they lost after Season 6?

Richmond lost a number of players in the offseason, including key experienced leaders Christina Bernardi and Sarah Dargan. The problem with that is that they players they brought in do not have anywhere near the level of leadership those two did, so how are the Tigers going to cover that? Who is going to step up?

Can they minimise the ladder damage from the first half of their draw to maximise their easier run home?

If you take a look at Richmond’s fixture, one thing you will notice is that the second half of their fixture is much easier than the first. If they want to still be in contention for finals in the middle of the season, they need to minimise percentage damage in the first half of the season so they can really attack the second half of the season and get those big wins on the board and into finals for the first time.

PREDICTION: 9th-12th

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