2023 AFLW Draft State-by-State analysis: Western Australia
WESTERN Australia has two sides looking to climb up the AFL Women’s ladder in 2024, with West Coast holding Pick 2 after another lowly finish, while Fremantle showed some promising signs on the rebound after a injury-stricken Season 7, but fell short of finals action. We take a look at the players that those two clubs have exclusive action to.
DRAFT COMBINE INVITEES:
Georgie Cleaver is the standout West Australian who has nominated her state, with the athletic ruck forward also building a budding netball career at the same time. Hoping to juggle both at the top level ala Ash Brazill, Cleaver is a diehard West Coast fan. She is just as good at ground level as she is in the air, and has terrific speed for a player of her size.
Eva O’Donnell is born just four days short of being a bottom-ager (December 28) and has plenty of room for growth. She is exciting, skilful and speedy, but injuries have restricted her development over the last couple of seasons. A mid-draft option on talent O’Donnell is a natural winger who can also play as a forward and could be a value selection.
Liliana Grassenis is another late year birth (December 18) indicating further development is to come. She too had injury curtail the mid part of her year, but she returned to finish strongly, returning to defence after a stint forward. Really good in the air and as competitive as anyone out there, she makes forward’s lives difficult with her defensive accountability.
- Rosie Anderson (South Fremantle)
- Caylen Crook (East Fremantle)
- Brooke Edwards (Swan Districts)
- Skye Elliott (Perth)
- Charlotte Newland (Subiaco)
- Kailea Thomas (Swan Districts)
- Jordain Thompson (Peel Thunder)
- Hannah Young (South Fremantle)
Eight players who became draft eligible put their names in the ring, with South Fremantle forward Rosie Anderson the most naturally gifted. A late inclusion to the West Australian squad, Anderson has plenty of potential for the future with her athletic traits and goal sense with the focus being on remaining disciplined and overcoming opposition attention.
Subiaco defender Charlotte Newland has shown she is capale of playing defensive roles on opposition forwards, with Swan Districts ruck Brooke Edwards and East Fremantle midfielder Caylen Crook also among the West Australian squad. Perth’s Skye Elliott has not been able to play WAFLW due to her club not being in the competition, but still caught the eye of state selectors through Rogers Cup.
Jordain Thompson spent time in the Black Ducks’ program as a bottom-ager, but was limited to five state league games this year – three at WAFL Women’s level and two at Rogers Cup. At 178cm she can be a marking target, while Hannah Young is a lightly bodied South Fremantle junior who cracked in for one WAFL Women’s game this season – picking up 12 disposals – as well as 11 at Rogers Cup level, playing in the Bulldogs’ grand final loss to West Perth.
- Emily Bennett (West Perth)
- Hannah Challender (East Perth)
- Taylah Cruttenden (South Bunbury)
- Bianca Glanville (East Perth)
- Jeevna Heer (West Perth)
- Matilda Husband (Claremont)
- Tess Lyons (Subiaco)
- Rachel Ortlepp (Claremont)
- Claire Ortlepp (Claremont)
- Karry Plummer (West Perth)
- Aimee Schmidt (West Coast AFLW)
- Taylah Suda (East Perth)
- Monica Yengi (Quinns District)
- Courtney Zappara (Swan Districts)
Western Australia has been a hotbed of AFL Women’s recruits throughout the lead-up to Season 8, and there are a few names who have potential at the top level. The name that jumps off the page is ex-Eagle Aimee Schmidt who is looking for a third AFL Women’s club with the Dockers, ultimately looking to remain in Perth. Another ex-Eagle in Emily Bennett has also nominated in a bid for a lifeline after being delisted by West Coast following Season.
Looking at some of the younger mature-age options, West Perth’s Jeevna Heer and Swan Districts’ Courtney Zappara are the two names to watch. Heer has enormous upside, showing signs as a running winger, while Zappara was one of the most prolific forwards in the WAFL Women’s, kicking 23 goals in the 2023 season for the Black Ducks.
Looking to the 90’s born talents and the Ortlepp twins – Claire and Rachel – are both capable players at each end of the ground with natural leadership and booming kicks. They have long being considered among the best West Australians outside the AFLW. Subiaco ruck Tess Lyons (184cm) and Claremont counterpart Matilda Husband (185cm) are readymade tall choices.