AFLW Draft Stocks | SANFLW Part II

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 second part we take a look at the bottom four sides, after discussing the top four sides in an earlier piece.

>> AFLW Draft Stocks | SANFLW Part I


Coming into the season, the Bays had the best one-two punch in the league from an AFLW Draft perspective in ruck Matilda Scholz and midfielder/forward Piper Window. Considering the former got drafted to Port Adelaide and the latter won the League Best and Fairest, it is fair to say the pair lived up to expectations.

Window is one of the most all-round players with only the one real distinct flaw in her game. She knows about it, and has been working hard on her kicking, with improvements in that area coming throughout 2023. A natural contested beast, she loves to explode from the stoppage, and everything from speed to endurance, strength and impact, Window ticks the rest of the boxes.

Looking a little older and midfielder Madisyn Freeman could be a possibility as an all-round utility. Just a neat player with clean skills and a high work rate, she is still young and has come through the South Australian pathway as well.

For next year, Poppy Scholz and Violet Patterson both loom as top talents. Scholz is the ultimate utility having played in defence, ruck and forward, and even the wing last season. At 180cm, she is that rare “unicorn” that can play anywhere with outstanding athleticism and size. Patterson is a potential Collingwood father-daughter who is a specialist winger, but is among the toughest players going around with an appetite for defensive pressure.

Beyond 2024, the Bays have a host of double bottom-agers. Eloise Mackereth announced herself at the AFLW Under 16s carnival and is a named to remember as a talented medium-tall who can play multiple roles. Matilda Wilmore and Jordan Horne are similar players, who apply pressure in the front half of the ground or on the wing.

North Adelaide:

After North Adelaide had a massive draft year in 2022 and added a couple more in the 2023 AFLW Supplementary Draft, the Roosters are more likely to be a team of the future when it comes to elite level prospects.

A 2024 AFLW Draft hope to keep tabs on is Laela Ebert who missed 2022 due to a knee injury and made a promising return as a versatile talent. Following her year, Jayde Visser and Sarcha Taylor are a couple of 2007-born players to remember. Visser being a hard-running wing and Taylor a crafty small forward.

From a mature-age perspective, there are a couple of names worth keeping tabs on. Ruck Isabelle Starmer remains a tall ready to step up to the next level, even if in a different role at 177cm with good hands an a high endurance base. The other is Tasmanian utility Aprille Crooks who started as a forward then moved into defence for the Roosters and found plenty of the ball with the move.

Woodville-West Torrens:

Entering the bottom two teams and funnily enough both the Eagles and Bloods have top two prospects. The “lay down misère AFLW player” as Eagles coach Narelle Smith put it preseason, is Shineah Goody who is the most complete utility in the draft class. Not only can Goody play in any third of the ground, inside or outside, but just about has no flaws in her game.

The reigning national carnival MVP is already on track for another one having torn Western Australia to shreds in game one and when she gets going is a class above. Expect her to be off the board prior to the draft with Port Adelaide able to benefit from Goody coming through its Academy.

The other Port-linked player is inside midfielder/forward Marlie Fiegert who would be a good news story for the club if selected as a father-daughter (father Nigel played 19 games for the Power) eligible talent. Do not rule out skipper Annie Falkenberg being a mature-age possibility, she is coming off her best SANFLW season, while classy small forward Chantelle Mitchell is another who continues to develop well.

From a future perspective, Jemma Charity is one of the most promising players for next year playing in defence for the state team, but as a forward/midfielder for the Eagles. Her older sister Chloe is also draft-eligible this year and a member of the State Academy too. Grace Martin (2024) and Zahlia Niemann (2025) are other names to remember.

West Adelaide:

Despite collecting the wooden spoon, West Adelaide would have been pleased with the continuity of top AFLW Draft prospect Lauren Young. The tall played up forward then moved into the midfield as injuries struck, before being that key position target inside 50 for South Australia.

Highly touted for a number of years since winning her state’s MVP at the national carnival as a 15-year-old, Young, like Goody, will be off the board heading to the Power as part of their Academy.

It was a tough year for the Bloods in 2023, but ex-Tiger Iilish Ross did her chances of getting back to the elite level no harm, rolling between defence and midfield. Onballer Zoe Venning is the other player on the back of sheer weight of numbers might be a talking point for clubs.

Focusing beyond 2023, and bottom-age tall winger Asha Dufour also got some inside minutes and looms as a name for next year, as does tenacious small utility Ruby Ballard. The sister of Crows’ Abbie is a slick ball user with a balance of offensive and defensive traits. Emma Kilpatrick (2004 AFLW Draft) Steph Tredwell and Chloe Tonkin (2025 AFLW Draft) are a future other names for the future.

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