Father-daughter trio strut their stuff on Marvel

ALL eyes were on Marvel Stadium as the top AFL Women’s draft prospects took centre stage during Sunday’s AFLW Academy and Under 23 All-Stars clash. Among the players running around were three eligible father-daughter selections, two of which have ties to multiple clubs.

Kyanne Campbell (South Adelaide/Northern Territory/Allies)
13/01/2005 | 164cm | Small Forward

Eligible club(s): St Kilda & Sydney

Campbell flies under the radar as a father-daughter selection compared to the others on this list, but given the minimum of one VFL/AFL game for fathers to be eligible, Campbell fits the bill at both the Saints and Swans. Her father Fred played seven games at Moorabbin and five up in the Harbour City, making the well-travelled Campbell eligible for both.

Campbell has come through the Northern Territory pathways, earned state representation and has played under the Allies as a bottom-ager last year. Having trained with North Adelaide in 2022 and played with South Adelaide in 2023, Campbell has had plenty of experience around successful state league clubs.

A small forward by trade, Campbell is an electric player who can win games – she did just that against West Adelaide at Noarlunga in Round 3 – with great goal sense and outstanding evasion. While fundamentals in her game, as well as her endurance are areas to work on, she has a natural footballing ability that has allowed her to be in the AFLW Academy for two years.

Jemma Rigoni (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
04/08/2004 | 173cm | Tall Defender/Forward

Eligible club(s): Melbourne

The daughter of Melbourne midfielder Guy, Rigoni is only eligible for the Demons. Guy spent two seasons on Hawthorn’s list without cracking in for a game, and returned a few years later and was picked up by Melbourne as a mature-age selection. He went on to play 107 games in the red and blue.

Rigoni missed out on being picked up in last year’s AFLW Draft, but also suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Though a raw, developing talent coming through as a bottom-ager anyway, the athletic Rigoni was set back by the injury.

Fast forward to 2023, and after having stints at both ends in 2021, Rigoni has found her place in defence. She is averaging 10.8 disposals, 1.8 marks, 2.2 tackles and 2.4 rebound 50s. Not afraid to take the game on and go for a run, Rigoni is frequently spotted bursting away from defence to drive the ball forward. Her final execution can still improve, but the eye-catching traits are there.

Charlotte Simpson (Geelong VFLW)
02/03/2004 | 168cm | Inside Midfielder

Eligible club(s): Geelong & St Kilda

Simpson is a very different prospect to the above two players in the fact that she is readymade and could very easily compete against senior bodies if given the opportunity. Well known for her connections to Geelong not just through the Falcons an Cats VFLW programs, Simpson’s father Sean played 114 games for the hoops, and her brother Sam is currently on the men’s list.

Perhaps Simpson is the perfect case of the difference between the men’s and women’s draft eligibilities for father-child selections. In the men’s Sam was only eligible for Geelong, however Charlotte is also eligible for St Kilda as her father played seven games in the red, white and black.

Overlooked last year, Simpson has returned through the VFLW and remains a legitimate option as an inside midfielder who has a capacity to go forward. A natural contested ball-winner, she was one of the best Under 23s on the weekend, winning seven clearances from 20 touches. The question mark will come on athleticism against natural footballing abilities, but for a plug-and-play inside midfielder, Simpson is an option.

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