2023 AFLW Draft State-by-State analysis: Queensland

THE AFL Women’s premiership cup returned home to the Sunshine State, with Brisbane able to come from fourth to get the job done. The Lions and Gold Coast Suns – who both made finals – have a strong pool to pick from, with some top-end talent and some high-upside players to watch. Here are those who nominated Queensland in the upcoming AFLW Draft.


Sienna McMullen is the top-ranked Queenslander, and with good reason too. Boasting a nice balance of athleticism and skill, she is predominantly a winger, but can play in other positions, such as half-back. Tied to the Gold Coast Suns, on value alone she should be their first selection, with enormous upside to-boot.

Sophie Peters is the Lions Academy’s equivalent of McMullen playing a similar role and having just as much hurt factor. An obvious first round choice, Peters is an AFLW Academy member alongside McMullen, and her sharp foot skills, outstanding sidestep and general decision making is on point. A top talent.

Kiara Bischa would be considered one of Queensland’s most improved players, and is a deserving top 30 pick. Gold Coast does not have a second round pick as it stands, but Bischa should be falling in that range if in an open draft. One of the few tall defenders who have a nice balance of athleticism and smarts, she fills an important role.

Rania Crozier is the third AFLW Academy member alongside McMullen and Peters, and like Peters, is tied to the Brisbane Lions. An Aspley product with a high-flying ability and strong hands, she can slot straight into the Lions’ forwardline, adding extra potency and athleticism which will be a huge bonus for two-time premiership coach Craig Starcevich.


  • Coco Garton (Lions Academy)

In an interesting draft pool twist, developing Lion Coco Garton is the only top-age Queenslander to nominate the state outside of the above Draft Combine invitees. It shows that players are willing to go national outside that top 30 range. Garton did not get to show her stuff at the AFLW Under 18 Championships, but is a highly touted 183cm ruck/forward who earned a spot on Queensland’s list.


  • Sophie Balcombe (Bond University)
  • Jemma Blair (Bond University)
  • Uma Brennan (Wilston Grange)
  • Anna Browning (Wilston Grange)
  • Jessica Davy (Moreton Bay)
  • Emily Keehn (Wilston Grange)
  • Paris Lightfoot (Bond University)
  • Chloe Litherland (Wilston Grange)
  • Jesse McMillan (Maroochydore)
  • Ashley Moloney (Wilston Grange)
  • Shannon Nolan (Bond University)
  • Grace O’Donnell (Wilston Grange)
  • Georgina Ott (Wilston Grange)
  • Grace Perry (Maroochydore)
  • Lauren Shackleton (Wilston Grange)
  • Summer-Louise Toms (Mt Gravatt)
  • Kitara Whap-Farrar (Pine Rivers)
  • Jayme Winter (Wilston Grange)
  • Jacqueline Yorston (Port Adelaide)
  • Kaitlyn Zelinski (Coorparoo)

The mature-age list of nominations for Queensland is far stronger however with a massive 20 players nominating for the draft. Wilston Grange (nine players) leads the way, with Bond University adding four more on top of Bischa and McMullen.

Ex-Port player Jacqui Yorston has the potential to return home to the Lions where she played four games in 2019, or to Gold Coast where she enjoyed a further 15 games after two seasons with the Power. Kitara Whap-Farrar is another ex-AFLW listed talent having spent the 2020 season on Gold Coast’s list, but not playing a game.

Of those yet to step up to AFL Women’s level, quite a few have impressed through the QAFL Women’s and associated competitions. Tasmanian Jemma Blair is one to watch, having been one of the more consistent Devils in her top-age year, and also playing with North Melbourne VFLW. She turns 20 in February so is still young.

Chloe Litherland is one who worked hard throughout the 2023 QAFLW season, averaging 209 disposals, 3.3 marks and 4.4 tackles for the Gorillas. Uma Brennan (14.3 disposals, 4.1 tackles) and Grace O’Donnell (13.9 disposals, 2.5 tackles) also contributed throughout the year well.

Paris Lightfoot is a natural leader, captaining the Bull Sharks having been a foundation player for Bond University. She averaged 12.5 disposals, 1.5 marks and 1.6 tackles this season. Grace Perry (9.4 disposals, 2.5 marks, 2.6 tackles and 2.1 inside 50s) averaged a goal a game for the Roos.

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