GOLD Coast Suns have become just the second team to a 2005-born player ahead of Season Eight, with Queensland ruck/forward Darcie Davies signed as part of special dispensation. The Southport tall was initially eligible for the year-end draft, but the Suns asked for approval to sign the teenager as part of the Northern Academy Pre-Selection rule.
In doing so, Davies becomes just the second player in the AFL Women’s for Season Eight, who will turn 18 in her debut year, albeit prior to the season starting. The 17-year-old – who turns 18 in June – will be the youngest player in the AFLW, with Port Adelaide signing Matilda Scholz turning 18 later this month.
Like Scholz, Davies is a highly touted prospect and would have been among the Top 10 players in this year’s draft from a Power Rankings perspective, boasting outstanding athleticism and reach. Standing 184cm, Davies played the one game at last year’s championships and one NAB League game, but her upside is enormous.
Able to play forward or through the ruck, Davies’ vertical leap, strong hands and mobility at ground level make her a tough matchup for any opponent. In being signed, Davies now becomes the third sister from her family to reach the AFL Women’s, joining Giselle Davies (20 years-old) at Gold Coast, while Fleur Davies (turning 19 next month) was drafted by the GWS GIANTS last season but is yet to debut due to an injury-interrupted first season.
Davies was able to be signed after the Suns put Tasmanian Claire Ransom on the inactive list for Season Eight. The 17-year-old joins fellow Supplementary Draft selections, Cara McCrossan and Meara Girvan at the club, as well as Irish signing Niamh McLaughlin, and AFLW experienced quartet Maddy Brancatisano, Jordan Membrey, Ciara Fitzgerald and Ella Maurer.
With Davies’ signing, it means the top two key position players who would have rucked for their Under 18s programs at the AFLW Under 18 Championships, opening the door for other talls to standout at the carnival. The Suns Academy and Queensland has no shortage of talls to pick from though, with top-end talent Havana Harris a pick one contender for next year, and Davies’ own sister, Georja among the options available.
Davies will continue to play at Southport in the QAFL Women’s season leading up to the AFL Women’s Season Eight, with the teenager booting two goals on the weekend as the Sharks stormed to a massive win over University of Queensland in a grand final rematch.