2023 AFLW Over-age Draft: Mature-agers to watch
FOLLOWING news of an Over-Age Draft in 2023, Rookie Me Central has compiled some of the names to keep in mind for said intake, set to take place in February or March. In the previous article, we took a look at the top-agers available (those born in 2004), and in this second article, we will look at some mature-agers to keep an eye on (born prior to 2004).
ROOKIE ME CENTRAL’S TOP RATED MATURE-AGERS:
Key Forward | Geelong Falcons
07/06/2003 | 183cm
The over-age key forward really stepped up in a new role, having played largely through the ruck the year before. Catching the eye of a number of clubs, McKee was unlucky not to end up on a list. She is a clean contested mark with a nice vertical leap, and can hit the scoreboard consistently. She is more readymade than most and stands out from the non-midfielder crowd.
Midfielder | Glenelg
27/05/1997 | 165cm
The Glenelg premiership skipper is a well-capped talent at SANFL Women’s level and would be stronger than a number of midfielders currently on lists. She is not only a pure contested ball-winning midfielder, but one who can have a great impact on the field through both her leadership and her decision making with ball-in-hand. If a club wanted an immediate burst, she would be the pick.
Utility | South Adelaide
18/02/2003 | 178cm
Schirmer is an almost prototype player who has arguably been the victim of circumstance given club needs. She has a nice balance of offensive and defensive traits, and can play in any role on the field. A former AFLW Academy member, Schirmer’s kicking was the big question mark in her top-age year, but playing in defence she improved that somewhat and has some outstanding athletic attributes.
Midfielder | Glenelg
15/08/1995 | 165cm
The reigning SANFL Women’s league best and fairest winner, Bates is the first medallist not to land on an AFLW list the following season. She has the traits to make it as an AFLW player, and has been a train-on, indicating how close she is to making the step up. Previously a defensively-minded player, Bates lifted her offensive output in 2022 to balance it out and be an all-round footballer.
Midfielder | Subiaco
21/09/1996 | 170cm
A former Fremantle player back in the inaugural season, Golisano would be the pick out west given her sheer consistency over a number of seasons. The Subiaco captain has so few flaws she might be the most rounded player on the list. Given her neat skills, focused attitude and natural leadership ability, Golisano seems a logical choice as one who is perfect for a preseason top-up.
Midfielder | Southern Power
26/08/2000 | 168cm
Yet another leader on the list, this time out of Southern Power, Wrigley is the pick of the NSW-ACT talents. Her explosiveness is incredible and if clubs can focus on harnessing her kicking – both consistency and opposite foot – then just about everything else is in place. She has great strength and is a natural contested ball-winner, and definitely one that the Swans and GIANTS should consider.
NEXT IN LINE:
In terms of other mature-age prospects who received AFLW Draft Combine invites but missed out on making it to lists, they are spread across the country. From Victoria, a number of over-age talents include hard-working midfielders Sarah Hosking (Dandenong Stingrays) and Drew Ryan (Bendigo Pioneers). Sandringham Dragons utility Pia Staltari, Geelong Falcons tall Elizabeth Dowling and Murray Bushrangers small forward India Lehman round out the rest. Western Jets’ Stephanie Asciak and Tasmanian Courtney Hingston also had good seasons.
From a mature-age perspective, Collingwood VFLW’s Nyakoat Dojiok and Western Bulldogs VFLW’s Lucy Schneider were others who received combine invites. Williamstown over-ager Cassie McWilliam hails from the Northern Territory as does Norwood’s Grace Mulvahil. Another Williamstown talent but who hails NSW-ACT is Emily Eaves, while Eleanor Bishop (Ainslie) and Teagan Germech (Belconnen) hail from the nation’s capital.
Out west, Peel Thunder’s Bella Mann was the sole West Australian combine invitee not to make it onto an AFLW list and would be among the top contenders. Meanwhile in Queensland and South Australia, the remaining invitees were all scooped up. Names that might be considered from those states include Jaslynne Smith (South Adelaide), Madison Lane, Isabelle Starmer and Shelby Smith (Central District), Alana Lishmund and Tesharna Maher (Norwood) Laura Blue (Coorparoo), Abby Hewett (Aspley) and Mikayla Martin (Maroochydore).