2023 AFLW Draft Positional Analysis: Small-general forwards
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 small and general forwards who are a mix of dangerous quicks, clever goal-scoring types and defensive-minded talents. Here are the six pure small-general forwards in the draft that have combine invites, not taking into account consistent dual position players.
TOP POWER RANKING PICK:
Alyssia Pisano (Eastern Ranges / Vic Metro)
01/07/2005 | 162cm | Victoria
In the frame to be the first player taken overall, and certainly within the top 10, the dangerous Pisano has long been a talent to watch. With a potent left boot and an ability to win a match in a quarter, Pisano is capable of anything at ground level. She kicked 38 goals in the Coates Talent League this season, and can mark on the lead, rove it off hands and collect off a loose ball, making her near-impossible to stop for a full four quarters.
Lila Keck (Bendigo Pioneers / Vic Country)
20/10/2005 | 162cm | Victoria
Injuries interrupted Keck’s top-age season, but the Bendigo Pioneers skipper still showed her class at times, such as for the AFLW Academy against the Under 23 All-Stars. A damaging forward, Keck did spent time up the ground, but does her best work close to goal. Able to kick them from just about anywhere, she knows where the goals are, but also applies amble defensive pressure to be a well balanced forward.
Sarah Grunden (Calder Cannons / Vic Metro)
25/02/2005 | 168cm | National
A real draft bolter this season, Grunden came into the Calder Cannons in line-up and quickly caught attention of AFLW clubs. Though on paper her stats do not jump off the page, Grunden is that elite distributor at half-forward, who can pick out pinpoint passes inside 50 with superb vision and skill execution. She might not be the type to regularly kick multiple goals like the above two, but her delivery and impact is very high.
DRAFT COMBINE INVITEES:
Lily Jordan (GWV Rebels / Vic Country)
29/06/2005 | 164cm | National
A forward who can kick goals when the game is on her terms, and then apply defensive pressure when it isn’t is one who should be in high demand. Jordan did just that, starting the Talent League season on fire and was among the leading goalkickers in the competition, before laying 27 tackles in a three-round span when she wasn’t hitting the scoreboard. Not super athletic, but elite endurance and work rate.
Ava Jordan (Northern Knights / Vic Metro)
29/04/2005 | 145cm | Victoria
There might not be much of the 145cm Jordan who if drafted, would become the smallest player in the AFLW. She started her career as a midfielder but became largely a small forward this season, which is where she would play if she gets her chance. Jordan does lack the athleticism of some, but when it comes to footy IQ there’s none better. Her reading of the play and understanding the game is off the charts and she is a phenomenal teammate who makes others better.
Kyanne Campbell (South Adelaide / Northern Territory)
13/01/2005 | 163cm | National
The daughter of Fred Campbell – who played for both Sydney and St Kilda – Kyanne has played for Pioneer, South Adelaide, the Northern Territory Academy and the Allies over the last 12 months or so. A two-year member of the AFLW Academy, Campbell is a raw forward, but one who can be tricky for opposition defenders, and can find the goals, particularly when in an open forwardline as she did for the Panthers against West Adelaide in the SANFLW.