AFLW Season 7 Glass Half Full/Empty: Essendon

IN a new approach to the AFL Women’s end of season reviews, Rookie Me Central casts both a glass half full and half empty lens over each side’s campaigns.

Today’s team is Essendon, who performed the best of the competition’s debutant sides in Season 7.


Star power

Essendon arguably did the best of the four new sides when it comes to recruiting the biggest stars.

Madison Prespakis, Georgia Gee and Bonnie Toogood were just some of the names that Essendon was able to convince to come across, and they all did their job and performed well in Season 7. The key for the future will be to get their teammates up to their level.

Strong VFLW side

Essendon has a very strong VFLW team, that are coming off an undefeated season that lead to an inaugural flag. Not only did this set the side up well with some cohesion with many of their players, but it is also an avenue they can go down to draft some more talent heading into next season.

Although they recruited heavily from their VFLW side heading into this season, there are still names from that premiership side that did not get picked up, including the likes of Kendra Heil and Courtney Ugle.

Exciting brand

One thing that the Bombers have got going for them is that they do play an exciting brand of footy, and once they are up and about it is hard the stop. The problem is they have not had time to gel and create cohesion but that will come.

Destination club

Essendon is a destination club, and has the pulling power to keep attracting stars to the club. It is a young, up and coming club with the star power, exciting brand of football and a well respected coach.

The return of Georgia Nanscawen

The Essendon squad may be full of stars already, but there is one they have yet to unleash on the AFLW and will no doubt be keen to do so in Season 8. Right on the eve of Season 7, Georgia Nanscawen did an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury playing in the VFLW Grand Final and so missed out on the opportunity to play in Essendon’s inaugural season.

With back-to-back Lambert-Pearce Medals under her belt, she will bring another element to Essendon’s already strong midfield.


Wins over only bottom four

Essendon did finish with the most wins out of any of the Season 7 debutant sides, but there is a slight caveat to that distinction.

Those four wins Essendon had were all against the sides that would go on to finish in the bottom four, so the four wins are not as impressive if you look at it from that angle.

Can be held up by stronger sides

In addition to that, as much as their wins were good to watch, the Bombers really got shown up by the stronger sides in the competition. The Bombers lost comprehensively to both eventual Grand Finalists Brisbane and Melbourne, which shows they have a long way to go to match it with the top sides.

Still need cohesion

As much as they were a strong side at times, it was not consistent, so they still need to become fully cohesive. However, that will come with time. It is hard to expect a side in its debut season to come out with perfect cohesion, so the longer the team sticks together, the better the cohesion will become.


A debut season is always going to be hard, especially when you’re one of the last teams to come into the competition. Essendon definitely showed some glimpses of how good it can be, but it just needs the time to grow and become more cohesive as a team.

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