2023 AFLW Draft review: Sydney

TWO Vic Metro talents headed north to the Harbour City as the Swans looked south to complete their 2024 AFL Women’s list. After selecting Holly Cooper as a pre-signing prior to the draft, Sydney plucked out Calder Cannons forward Sarah Grunden with Pick 15, before opting for Oakleigh Chargers premiership skipper Lara Hausegger to sure up the other end of the ground.

Sarah Grunden (Calder Cannons / Vic Metro)
25/02/2005 | 168cm | General Forward

One of a number of AFLW Draft bolters this season, Grunden is a natural footballer with elite vision and terrific footskills which helps her add scoreboard pressure. Even if not kicking goals herself, Grunden’s ability to pick out the right options inside 50 makes her such a valuable addition to any side. At 168cm, she is a medium height and can compete in the air or at ground level, but predominantly beats her opponents through smarts and positioning. Once in transition, few players are better with ball-in-hand at hitting difficult targets leading out with a high upside for the future.

Lara Hausegger (Oakleigh Chargers / Vic Metro)
03/08/2005 | 170cm | General Defender

Captaining her Talent League Girls side to the 2023 premiership, Hausegger is a popular player not just amongst her teammates, but the draft crop in general. A highly regarded character, Hausegger showed she can be a consistent rebounder off half-back, often looking to sidestep opponents and deliver the ball down the ground by hand or foot. She was courageous and always put her body on the line, saving perhaps her best performance of the season until last, standing up on the big stage to be one of Oakleigh’s top players in the Chargers’ grand final win.


Sydney added some specialist positional players to fill holes off respective flanks at either end of the ground. Grunden adds skill and smarts in the front half of the ground, while Hausegger provides run and carry in the back half. Both players are unique picks with room for growth, and will fit in well at the Swans.

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