2023 AFL Women’s Academy announced

THIRTY of the most talented female footballers across the country have been named in the 2023 AFL Women’s Academy. Spread out across the eight states and territory to ensure equal state representation in a state-based draft, the 2023 Academy exclusively features top-age (2023 AFLW Draft eligible) players.

Reigning AFL Women’s Under 18 Championship titleholders South Australia boast six representatives in the 30-player squad, equal to that of Vic Metro. Queensland and Vic Country make up another eight players with four apiece, while Western Australia and NSW/ACT have three representatives each. Northern Territory and Tasmania have two homegrown talents who have made the Academy.

Among the Academy talents are reigning Under 18 Championships Most Valuable Player (MVP) Shineah Goody, as well as 2021 South Australian MVP Lauren Young. The pair is joined by four other successful Croweaters in Norwood midfielder Molly Brooksby, Central District forward/wing recruit Elaine Grigg, and Glenelg duo Matilda Scholz and Piper Window.

Eastern Ranges and Western Jets have a high representation in the AFLW Academy, with five of the six representatives coming from the two teams. Dynamic forward Alyssia Pisano, ruck/forward Jess Vukic and rebounding defender Laura Stone represent a trio of Eastern Ranges talents, while Jets duo Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner and Kiera Whiley also made the squad.

Dandenong Stingrays are the only Vic Country club with multiple representatives, as ruck Bianca Lyne and rebounding defender/wing Mikayla Williamson made the cut. Bendigo Pioneers talent Lila Keck is the highest touted country prospect for next year, while Greater Western Victoria Rebels midfielder Jessica Rentsch is a high-upside selection.

In Queensland, versatile wingers – who have also been played in other roles – Sienna McMullen and Sophie Peters were named in the squad, with the balance of Suns Academy and Lions Academy talents even at two apiece. Suns Academy’s McMullen was joined by athletic tall Darcie Davies – who hopes to join sisters Giselle and Fleur at AFLW level – while 178cm tall Rania Crozier is the other Lions Academy pick.

Other Northern Academy prospects are Sydney Swans Academy duo Olivia Morris and Marnie Robinson, and GWS GIANTS’ Melanie Staunton. Up the Top End, exciting forward Kyanne Campbell has made the Academy for the second consecutive year, named in the squad of 30 alongside T’Sharni Graham.

Western Australia’s three representatives are all high-end prospects, with Peel Thunder’s Kaitlyn Srhoj starring in the Under 17s All-Stars match at GMHBA Stadium earlier this year. East Fremantle’s Georgie Cleaver is a dual sportsperson also representing her state in netball, while Jaime Henry has been a consistent performer for Swan Districts over multiple seasons. Rounding out the 30 players are Tasmanian duo Brooke Barwick and Georgia Clark, a skilful midfielder and tall forward respectively.

Former Collingwood player Tarkyn Lockyer will again take the reins as coach and lead the Academy in three camps across January, April and June, before the squad will team up in an exhibition match. The camps will feature on-field and off-field education sessions, with ongoing programs taking place throughout the year not just in-person but also online.

2023 AFL Women’s Academy

BrookeBarwickTASTasmania DevilsGlenorchy
MollyBrooksbySANorwoodGolden Grove
KyanneCampbellNTNorthern Territory ThunderPioneer
GeorgiaClarkTASTasmania DevilsGlenorchy
GeorgieCleaverWAEast FremantleRossmoyne
RaniaCrozierQLDBrisbane Lions AcademyAspley
DarcieDaviesQLDGold Coast Suns AcademySouthport
AmyGaylorVIC MCalder CannonsStrathmore
ShineahGoodySAWoodville-West TorrensHenley
TsharniGrahamNTNorthern Territory ThunderPalmerston
ElaineGriggSACentral DistrictBroadview
JaimeHenryWASwan DistrictsUpper Swan
LilaKeckVIC CBendigo PioneersStrathfieldsaye
BiancaLyneVIC CDandenong StingraysMornington
SiennaMcMullenQLDGold Coast Suns AcademyBurleigh
OliviaMorrisNSW/ACTSydney Swans AcademyPennant Hills
SophiePetersQLDBrisbane Lions AcademyMaroochydore
AlyssiaPisanoVIC MEastern RangesRowville Knights
JessicaRentschVIC CGWV RebelsPortland Tigers
MarnieRobinsonNSW/ACTSydney Swans AcademyUTS
MatildaScholzSAGlenelgGoodwood Saints
KaitlynSrhojWAPeel ThunderHalls Head
MelanieStauntonNSW/ACTGWS Giants AcademyUlladulla
LauraStoneVIC MEastern RangesLysterfield
JessVukicVIC MEastern RangesVermont
Kristie-LeeWeston-TurnerVIC MWestern JetsSpotswood
KieraWhileyVIC MWestern JetsCaroline Springs
MikaylaWilliamsonVIC CDandenong StingraysPines
PiperWindowSAGlenelgUraidla Districts
LaurenYoungSAWest AdelaideGoodwood Saints
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