Season 7 AFLW preview: West Coast

SEASON 6 of the AFL Women’s did not go to plan for West Coast. The Eagles finished a clear last on the ladder, with their only win for the season coming in a rescheduled clash against fellow cellar dwellers St Kilda.

However Season 7 is a clean slate. Can plenty of new faces in the line up and a continuity of coach (which is a rarity in West Coast’s short history) see West Coast finally turn things around?


Position: 14th
Win-loss: 1-9
Percentage: 42.9
Best & Fairest: Emma Swanson
Leading Goalkicker: Aimee Schmidt


IN: Kate Bartlett (priority), Sasha Goranova (priority), Krstel Petrevski (Melbourne), Jess Sedunary (Adelaide), Isabella Simmons (Melbourne), Ella Smith (priority), Ash Gomes (injury replacement), Ella Roberts (Peel Thunder), Lauren Wakfer (South Fremantle), Abbygail Bushby (Swan Districts), Zoe Wakfer (South Fremantle), Emily Elkington (Claremont), Jaide Britton (Peel Thunder), Mikayla Western (Claremont)

OUT: Ashlee Atkins (delisted), Mikayla Bowen (Geelong), Tayla Bresland (retired), Melissa Caulfield (retired), Maddy Collier (Sydney), Lauren Gauci (delisted), Andrea Gilmore (retired), Courtney Guard (retired), Grace Kelly (St Kilda), Niamh Kelly (Adelaide), Parris Laurie (retired), Amber Ward (Adelaide)


Kate Bartlett, Emily Bennett, Jaide Britton, Hayley Bullas, Abbygail Bushby, Imahra Cameron, Emily Elkington, Kellie Gibson, Sasha Goranova, Eleanor Hartill, Dana Hooker, Emma Humphries, Sarah Lakay, Isabella Lewis, Aisling McCarthy, Sophie McDonald, Krstel Petrevski, Ella Roberts, Courtney Rowley, Beth Schilling, Aimee Schmidt, Jessica Sedunary, Isabella Simmons, Belinda Smith, Ella Smith, Emma Swanson, Charlotte Thomas, Zoe Wakfer, Mikayla Western

Inactive: Shanae Davison (knee injury), Evangeline Gooch (wrist injury), Lauren Wakfer (knee injury) 


Round 1: vs. Port Adelaide | Mineral Resources Park
Round 2: @ Gold Coast | Metricon Stadium
Round 3: vs. Essendon | Mineral Resources Park
Round 4: @ GWS | Giants Stadium
Round 5: vs. Fremantle | Optus Stadium
Round 6: @ Hawthorn | Skybus Stadium
Round 7: vs. Richmond | Mineral Resources Park
Round 8: @ Geelong | Ikon Park
Round 9: vs. Western Bulldogs | Mineral Resources Park
Round 10: @ Melbourne | Casey Fields

BEST 21:

B: Belinda Smith – Ashton Hill
HB: Emma Swanson – Sophie McDonald – Emily Bennett
C: Jaide Britton – Jess Sedunary – Charlotte Thomas
HF: Kellie Gibson – Ella Roberts – Aisling McCarthy
F: Kate Bartlett – Aimee Schmidt
R: Sarah Lakay – Dana Hooker – Isabella Lewis
INT: Ella Smith – Courtney Rowley – Krstel Petrevski – Mikayla Western – Hayley Bullas

EMG: Sasha Goranova – Beth Schilling – Shanae Davison

Remaining players: Abbygail Bushby, Imahra Cameron, Emily Elkington, Eleanor Hartill, Emma Humphries, Isabella Simmons, Zoe Wakfer, Ash Gomes

Inactive: Evangeline Gooch (wrist injury), Lauren Wakfer (knee injury), Shanae Davison (knee injury)


It is not often that a player in their debut season is their side’s top league best and fairest contender, but such is the talent of Roberts and where her sides sits as a collective. While some of her team mates may pinch votes off her, she is such a prestigious talent that she is still likely to outpoll them all.

BIG YEAR FOR: Kate Bartlett

This is a second chance coming for Bartlett, who was on an AFLW list in the past but as part of West Coast’s list concessions she is back on the Eagles’ list. Bartlett needs to take this opportunity with both hands and make sure she is able to repay the favour of the West Coast coaches.


How are West Coast going to turn things around?

Ever since it came into the competition West Coast has struggled. It has not been able to earn more then a couple of wins in a season and never looked like progressing up the ladder. High list turnover and a high number of senior coach turnovers have not helped, but they really need to turn things around and fast.

How will their high list turnover affect their season?

West Coast brought in 14 new faces this offseason, which is almost half of their entire list. Now a lot of turnover can bring synergy issues particularly early in the season, so whether the Eagles suffer the same fate remains to be seen.

How will their young ruck department go?

With Parris Laurie retiring at the end of last season, that leaves West Coast with the ruck options of second season player Sarah Lakay and basketball convert Eleanor Hartill, who herself has only come in as an injury replacement this season.

That does not leave a whole lot of experience for West Coast as they come up against the Lauren Pearce’s and Tahlia Hickie’s of the competition. It is certainly going to be a steep learning curve for Lakay and Hartill this season.

Will the new faces from other clubs bring the experience the Eagles desperately need?

As part of the 14 new faces at the Eagles are Krstel Petrevski, Jessica Sedunary and Isabella Simmons who have all come from other clubs. These three are not the most experienced new recruits the Eagles could have brought in, but will their time at very successful clubs give them the experience and knowledge they can give their new team mates and see the Eagles turn around?

PREDICTION: 14th – 18th

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