2023 AFLW Draft preview: Carlton

CARLTON started like a house on fire, but ended the season with another disappointing finish, letting a golden opportunity for finals slip after dropping games to then-bottom 10 sides. The Blues showed some promise under new coach Matthew Buck, but were not consistent enough to take it up to the contenders in the AFL Women’s just yet.


In: Celine Moody, Yasmin Duursma, Tarni Brown, Pick 48
Out: Phoebe McWilliams (retired), Daisy Walker, Imogen Milford, Chloe Wrigley (delisted), Vaomua Laloifi, Annie Lee, Paige Trudgeon (traded), Pick 21, Pick 47

Draft Selections: 7, 28, 48, 67

Carlton made the seven changes over the off-season, bringing in three fresh faces while having the four draft elections to round out its list. Much loved defender Vaomua Laloifi will be a loss – though it had been reported prior to trading that the Blues were not going to offer her a contract in 2024 – with Annie Lee and Paige Trudgeon other defensive members heading out the door meaning the Blues might be looking to beef up their defensive stocks.


Carlton would absolutely love for small midfielder Brooke Barwick to reach their pick, though that seems unlikely at number seven. The Tasmanian talent is a diehard Blues fan, and unless she somehow slips, looks set to end up in other colours. The Blues will take a look at Dandenong Stingrays speedster Mikayla Williamson, or if available GWV Rebels skipper Jessica Rentsch, both of whom can play off half-back if required.

With height required, and the best rebounding tall defender not set to be there at the Blues’ next selection, Carlton may mull over whether or not to go Cleo Buttifant. Though still raw having crossed to the sport from touch, she is ultra-competitive in the air and loves to explode off half-back. The Giants Academy member would fit a need given the departures.


With Pick 28, Carlton has a lot of potential and will no doubt sit back and see what is available at the Blues’ selection. If they opted to go with best available at Pick 7, then expect this to be a needs based pick. South Adelaide athletic tall defender Alissa Brook is a potential choice, able to match it in the air with most players, and having the speed to take on smalls as well.

Depending on where she falls, Emily Gough is another one who could fill the Blues’ needs, being a 180cm utility and can play on all three lines. She along with fellow Dragon Isabel Bacon would provide great run in transition.

Of course the main name to keep in mind is father-daughter prospect Meg Robertson who the Blues have nominated. Her father Ben played three games for the club in 1992. She is around the mark for Carlton’s second round pick, but if she can drift beyond that, then the Blues could snatch a steal with their third selection. Given her connection with Williamson at the Stingrays, the Blues could look to pair the players up again.

Carlton’s later picks are far more speculative in nature given even the Blues will not know what to expect by the time 48 and 67 roll around. Having shown a willingness to pick Eastern Ranges in the past – Mia Austin and Keeley Sherar as examples – explosive midfielder/defender Georgia Stubs could be a valuable addition. Would the Blues also potentially bank on injured ruck Jacinta Hose recovering from her ACL to be a low-risk, high-reward pick?

Other potential draft options could include Oakleigh Chargers premiership skipper Lara Hausegger who provides some run off half-back, or tall Tasmanian utility Tunisha Kikoak who fills the defensive need, but could be thrown forward.


Carlton has a good base of youth to work with, and will add a top-end talent to the mix with its first selection. Having added some experience over the off-season as well as adjusting its draft selections, the Blues will hope to go a step better in 2024 and crack into the AFLW Finals Series.

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