2023 AFLW Draft State-by-State analysis: New South Wales
A BREAKOUT year from second season side Sydney Swans has the red and white army up and about, while the GWS Giants were unable to make much of a mark in Season 8 and will head to the AFL Women’s Draft searching for top young talent. Here is a look at the local players who have nominated New South Wales in the draft.
DRAFT COMBINE INVITEES:
Kendra Blattman is a forward/ruck who is a competitive player and competes above her 176cm height. A player who knows how to clunk gras and has great strength, Blattman showed in her games for the Sydney Swans Academy, and then Allies that she can provide a target around the ground. Her leap and powerful kicking also helps with her role, as she can play as a lead-up forward as well as rolling through the ruck.
Serina Baukes is another Swans Academy member who provided strength and reliability one-on-one up the other end of the field. Baukes is terrific above her head, reads the play and intercepts well which helps her with both defensive nad offensive elements in her game. Furthermore, she has a penetrating kick which helps her clear the danger, and she kicked at a high efficiency, usually going long down the line.
- Ava Barraclough (Giants Academy)
- Imogen Brown (UTS Bats)
- Megan Mifsud (Parramatta Goannas)
- Alice Voss (Murray Bushrangers)
- Emma Walsh (Sydney University)
- Mia Wilson (Killarney Vale)
The top name remaining from the first time draft-eligible players is Murray Bushrangers’ Alice Voss. A tall defender with great intercepting ability and a booming kick, she is a developable type. She has enjoyed a pretty solid Talent League season, and also stepped up to play two games with the Allies at the national championships.
Also earning Allies representation was Megan Mifsud. The 165cm Giants Academy member played all three games at the national carnival, averaging the five touches and four tackles. She has great defensive prowess and works hard around the ground.
The 173cm Ava Barraclough also showed strong defensive pressure averaging 2 tackles per game to go with her 11 touches at Talent League level. The Giants Academy member also earned a Rising Star nomination for her work with North Shore and has played both through the midfield and up forward.
- Caitlin Fletcher (Macquarie University)
- Sophie Higgs (St George Dragons)
- Sophie Kavanagh (Macquarie University)
- Tait Mackrill (GWS Giants)
Ex-Giant Tait Mackrill is the name that everyone will be familiar with, having played 22 games for the orange and charcoal in a variety of positions. A strong-bodied player who could be forward or in the midfield, she is hoping she could get a recall to the elite level perhaps with the Swans.
Sophie Kavanagh is one who has some interest and plenty of talent, having plied her trade up forward for Macquarie University this year. Kavanagh kicked 25 goals in 14 games, including a month-long run of 12 goals in five games. She spent time in Division One nad Division Two as well, but was too strong for those levels, and could be one to keep in mind for the future as a 19-year-old.
Kavanagh’s teammate Caitlin Fletcher played 19 games for the Goannas this season, named among the best on 14 occasions in a remarkable run of consistency. A Rising Star nominee from last year, Fletcher developed further afield after being a forward initially, with a great understanding of the play and being able to read the ball in flight and position herself accordingly.
Sophie Higgs is the other mature-age nomination with the 20-year-old winning the 2023 Division One Best and Fairest paying for St George Dragons. Higgs kicked 14 goals in 20 games and was consistently among the best players for her side.