AFLW Draft Stocks | SANFLW Part I

EACH season players step up and help their draft chances with either consistent seasons or eye-catching displays. Following the conclusion of the SANFL Women’s season, we take a look at some of the players who have done just that, not just for this season, but for the future.

In this first part we take a look at the four finalists, before discussing the bottom-four sides later today.

Central District:

Winning the premiership will always help when it comes to raising draft chances because the players get the opportunity on the big stage. But long before they stepped out onto Prospect Oval, there were a number of AFLW Draft prospects who were garnering interest from clubs.

Top 10 talent Elaine Grigg did her draft chances no harm this season, winning her second consecutive flag, the only player to do so over the 2022-23 seasons. Grigg has elite defensive and athletic traits, and while her execution and decision making can still improve, she has enormous upside for the future.

From a mature-age perspective, the player who caught the most attention was skilful left-footer Caitlin Wendland. Showing signs in 2022, the talented midfielder stepped up in a more full-time capacity in that role this year and became one of the Bulldogs most consistent and damaging players out of the midfield. Only turning 20 in September, she is one to remember.

Other mature-age players to just keep in mind are defensive duo Madison Lane and Georgia Madigan. The former is more offensively-minded and the latter more defensively-minded, but both can also provide the opposite. Lane possesses a lovely kick, while Madigan is ultra-competitive and her 2023 season form has earned praise outside Elizabeth.

From a future perspective, key defender Charlotte Riggs and Jasmine Evans are two for next year to remember. Riggs is among the top prospects for 2024, with Evans fast rising up the ranks and would be in contention for that Top 20 range based on her best form. Sophie Eaton is a couple of years away, but as South Australia’s Under 16 MVP and a member of the AFLW Under 18s squad, she still has high-level matches ahead of her in 2023.

South Adelaide:

Though they missed out on the flag, the Panthers had plenty of contributors throughout the year which will bring some into draft contention. While many are mature-age talents, the Panthers do have some top-age prospects in line.

Brooke Boileau is the top Panther for this year, having enjoyed a really consistent season. The biggest improvement for the midfielder has been strengthening all areas of her game, to the point of where her deficiencies have been reduced. A strong contested ball-winner and clearance player, Boileau is the top South Australian talent outside her state’s five AFLW Academy members.

Athletic defender Alissa Brook and midfielder/forward Melissa Anderson are another two who have done their draft chances no harm. Starting in the Development League, Brook has shown promise for the future and can provide run and drive as well as being a strong aerial player. Anderson has natural footy smarts and is tough as nails, with that class around goals.

Winger Holly Ifould is a point of difference in the South Australian crop, but will be looking for that consistent national carnival, while ruck Jacinda Schunselaar missed out on the grand final team, but is a long-term option.

Of next year’s talents, Shae Archbold missed the year with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and will return in 2024 as one of the top South Australian prospects, while Lily Baxter is one to keep in mind for 2025 after being a highlight-reel player this year. Defender Esther Schirmer (2024 AFLW Draft) earned Team of the Year honours and has some nice athletic and defensive traits.

From a mature-age perspective, Tasmanian Elise Barwick and NSW-native Senna Gulden are polar opposites but potential choices. Barwick is a hard-running winger, while Gulden is a big-bodied midfielder, and the latter has ties to the Swans through brother Errol.


Top 10 talent Molly Brooksby is set to be the Redlegs’ sole top-age draft prospect this year, working her way back from multiple injury setbacks in the preseason to play a key role in Norwood’s finals campaign. An elite long kick on both sides of her body, Brooksby can play anywhere on the field and makes good decisions with ball-in-hand.

A former Panther and South Australian representative, Tahlita Buethke is the name to just keep safe from a mature-age draft perspective. Balancing both offensive and defensive traits well, Buethke became one of Norwood’s most consistent players all year.

She and reigning best and fairest winner, Tesharna Maher are still young and growing with each season. Midfielder Lana Schwerdt enjoyed her best season for the Redlegs with Team of the Year honours, while defender Sarah Branford is one outside the midfield group who has future scope.

For the future, Coby Morgan has ridiculous speed and all-round athleticism, with some fundamentals in her game the next focus. Under 16s talent Charli Hazelhurst also got some valuable League games in, and will be better for it next season as a bottom-ager.


The Double Blues have some promising players over the next couple of years who who will be among the top in their draft class. In 2024, forward/midfielder India Rasheed is a clear standout, not just for Sturt, but across the South Australian pool, with the potent left-footer one to watch. Able to clunk marks or win the ball at ground level around stoppages, there is still plenty to come for Rasheed.

Double bottom-ager Monique Bessen is also among the most promising players in her draft class, and the 2007-born midfielder/forward is the other talent – with Eaton – to be in the AFLW Under 18s squad for national carnival.

Sturt does have a couple of top-age draft hopefuls as well, with lockdown defender Lily Whitcombe and speedy forward Zara Walsh both eligible to be taken. Whitcombe has been in the South Australian pathway for a while, while Walsh returned after spending time to play local football.

From an over-age perspective, Georgia Swan pieced together another consistent year and has shown she can play on all three lines. Having captaincy and leadership group experience at both club and state level is a plus. Electric forward Alysha Healy tested as one of the fastest players in the country over 20m and has been adding more substance to her potential year-on-year.

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