2023 AFLW Draft Positional Analysis: Utilities
AS the 2023 AFL Women’s Draft edges closer, we take a look at some of the key players who could shape the draft by each position. This article will hone in on the six pure utilities – ones who have consistently played multiple positions, with players such as mid-forwards and mid-defenders included in a different positional analysis.
TOP POWER RANKING PICK:
Jemma Rigoni (Oakleigh Chargers / Vic Metro)
04/06/2004 | 172cm | Victoria
Rigoni is a talented over-ager with explosive speed and the confidence to break the lines. Tucking the ball under her arm, she takes off and has proven to be able to play forward, back and then off a wing, making her a versatile utility. She is good overhead and reads the play well, with some of her fundamentals in her kicking and execution being the next step in her development. She is tied to Melbourne through the father-daughter rule – dad Guy played 107 games for the Demons – and is tipped to head there in the second round.
Anjelique Raison (East Fremantle / Western Australia)
07/09/2005 | 181cm | National
The East Fremantle tall – who transferred to Claremont over the off-season – has played in every position on the field. Starting as a key defender in her bottom-age national championships, then has played as a forward for East Fremantle. Also pinch-hitting through the ruck at times for the Sharks and even getting midfield minutes for the Sandgropers this year, Raison is the ultimate utility who can fill any hole in a teamsheet.
Emily Gough (Sandringham Dragons / Vic Metro)
01/12/2005 | 179cm | Victoria
Similar to Raison, Gough stands at a key position height and played forward, then back for the Dragons and Vic Metro, before progressing onto the wing late in the season, while having moments through the midfield and ruck. One of the most powerful kicks in the draft crop, Gough is strong overhead and has high level athleticism which hands her a point of difference.
Laura Roy (Lions Academy / Queensland)
16/08/2005 | 171cm | National
Roy is smaller than the other utilities in this list, but can play just as many positions. A strong prospect who has filled out on all three lines, Roy is courageous and attacks the ball hard with plenty of vigour. She has a penetrating kick and great defensive pressure, as well as natural leadership having captained the Lions Academy. Her groundball work and endurance are areas to improve on but she is progressing well.
HIGHEST UPSIDE (FORWARD):
Annabel Kievit (Waratah / Northern Territory)
22/09/2005 | 176cm | National
A raw talent who has plenty of athletic potential, Kievit has long being considered among the top Northern Territory talents. Though she does have limited exposure through national carnivals of late, Kievit won a Rising Star in the NTFL Women’s and shows clever forward craft and upside which clubs can build upon in the future.
HIGHEST UPSIDE (DEFENDER):
Tunisha Kikoak (Tasmania Devils / Tasmania)
12/05/2005 | 179cm | National
Kikoak is a unique prospect with a nice balance of speed and strength, while also being able to impact in the air and at ground level. A mobile mover who has played predominantly in defence and rolling through the ruck – as well as a stint forward for the Allies – Kikoak has room for improvement in the future and great mobility to impact beyond the initial contest.