2023 AFLW Draft review: Essendon

TAKING the minimum two selections in an otherwise quieter AFLW Draft, the Bombers picked up two very different players, with selections 20 and 38. Sandringham Dragons’ tall Emily Gough was snapped up at Pick 20, while Geelong Falcons skipper Chloe Adams slid down to their next selection at 38.

Emily Gough (Sandringham Dragons / Vic Metro)
01/12/2005 | 180cm | Key Position Utility

The Sandringham Dragons super boot adds a different element to the game with her 50-metre plus kicking something that stands out on the field. She is strong overhead and can clunk contested marks, while being an ultra-versatile tall at 180cm. In 2023, Gough had a breakout season with the Dragons after two games last year, averaging 17.2 disposals, 3.4 marks and 4.0 tackles playing a range of roles. She started up forward, then moved into defence where she played for Vic Metro, but also spent time on a wing. Covering the ground incredibly well, Gough has a high endurance base and her size makes her a developable prospect for the future.

Chloe Adams (Geelong Falcons / Vic Country)
13/12/2005 | 165cm | Midfielder

Geelong Falcons skipper and Vic Country co-captain Adams is an underrated talent who slid down to 38 likely due to not having that explosive speed that others do. However Adams is an outstanding contested player, has great skills and a strong opposite foot, with her clean hands out of traffic also a feature of her game. Though a right footer, Adams has no issues swinging onto her left if required, and given her consistency this season – averaging 25.6 disposals, 3.5 marks and 8.1 tackles – Adams could prove to be a valuable selection. Expect her to compete for an inside midfield spot, but she can easily play off half-back as well, something she did for Vic Country and later on for the Falcons in stints.


Essendon picked up a couple of contested players who, though might not be quick, offer different elements to the side. Gough is a tall, contested marking option who can play just about anywhere, while Adams is that reliable inside mid with outstanding leadership skills and can adapt her traits to other positions.

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