2023 AFLW Draft preview: Fremantle

FREMANTLE opted for experience over youth this off-season, by essentially deleting its draft hand, but bringing in some quality best 21 players. The Dockers held a top 10 pick heading into the AFLW Trade Period, but having secured a former number one pick, top-end midfielder and versatile veteran all of whom will strengthen the 2024 squad.


In: Aisling McCarthy, Gabby Newton, Ash Brazill, Pick 52, Pick 73
Out: Sarah Wielstra, Emmelie Fielder (delisted), Roxanne Roux, Mikayla Hyde (traded), Pick 6, Pick 27, Pick 46, Pick 51, Pick 66

Draft Selections: 52, 73

Fremantle sprung an early bombshell in the AFLW Trade Period by targeting former pick one Gabby Newton. The Dockers got their player on the final day of the trade period, with another ex-Dog – via the Eagles – in Aisling McCarthy adding extra star power to the on-ball brigade. By bringing in Ash Brazill, the Dockers have a hard running utility, and will be able to fill a number of roles. Their departures were essentially three talls and a small, with three of the four situated in the forward half.


Trying to calculate a player at Pick 52 is near on impossible. The best guess lies in looking at the local talent who have nominated the AFLW Draft. Given the AFLW Academy members will be off the board – unless West Coast opts not to go a tall such as Georgie Cleaver where the Dockers can swoop in – Fremantle will likely eye off someone like Eva O’Donnell who has plenty of upside as a winger/forward.

Another wing/forward option is that of over-age talent Mylee Leitch who has been an AFLW train-on player. She had a progressive season in 2023 and has plenty of footballing traits that the Dockers would love. Though unlikely to still be on the board, West Australian skipper Anjelique Raison would be an obvious choice for the Dockers at the selection.


Fremantle could go mature-age with its second selection at 73, picking up a West Australian nomination from the state league. Swan Districts’ Courtney Zappara is a player who had a breakout 2023 season and should come under consideration, while Claremont midfielder and league best and fairest Jayme Harken has put together some really consistent seasons the last few years.

It does not necessarily mean the Dockers will purely go local though, with a lot of other players nominating nationally. Could they look to add a great story to the list in Northern Territory talent Maria Rioli whose late father Maurice Snr was a legend at South Fremantle? The other smoky could be Calder Cannons skipper Amy Trindade who gained some late interest from clubs.


Fremantle definitely has the weakest draft hand at this year’s AFL Women’s Draft, but it did come with good reason, loading up on a trio of best 21 players. The Dockers will be waiting around for a while on Monday night, but still have plenty of choices to go for late in the evening.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments