2023 AFLW Draft review: North Melbourne

THOUGH they only made two “live” selections in the AFL Women’s Draft – re-listing Lucy Burke with their third one – the Kangaroos made a splash with a couple of exciting, versatile midfielders. North Melbourne picked up Ella Slocombe with Pick 26 and then Georgia Stubs with 30 in a couple of coups given there were expectations at least Slocombe, and possibly both, were likely to be off the board earlier.

Ella Slocombe (Claremont / Western Australia)
06/12/2005 | 164cm | Midfielder / Forward

Touted as a potential top 10 pick, the Roos would have been delighted and slightly shocked, that Slocombe was still on the board at their second round selection. North Melbourne was happy to snap up the explosive midfielder, who had a huge year and is also capable of playing forward and hitting the scoreboard. With a mix of athleticism and skill, Slocombe provides an all-round base for the club to work with, and high upside for the future with 2023 being a real breakout year for the recently turned 18-year-old.

Georgia Stubs (Eastern Ranges / Vic Metro)
16/07/2005 | 167cm | Midfielder / Defender

Another player who had a breakout 2023, Stubs was instrumental through Eastern Ranges’ midfield, allowing Laura Stone to rest in other positions. Stubs’ has similar explosiveness to Stone, and while not quite as developed, showed her tenacity around the contest. She is also familiar running off half-back, with the capacity to find the ball across the ground. Given her athletic traits and ability to throw herself at the contest, she could likely be the defensive version of Slocombe, where she plays off a back flank and eventually forces her way into the midfield.


It is hard to fault North Melbourne’s draft haul as the Kangaroos picked up two players for terrific value. Slocombe had no right to still be on the board at Pick 26, and then to scoop up Stubs at 30 – when she was touted as a potential first rounder on the day – made it all the more sweeter. Two players who are not far off having at impact at the top level if selection allows.

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