2023 AFLW Draft review: Western Bulldogs

HOLDING clearly the best haul heading into the 2023 AFL Women’s Draft night, there was little doubt the Bulldogs were going to come out winners. They had four selections within the first 11, and picked up a mature-age ruck who had already been an injury replacement player with them late, Jorja Borg. The top-end quartet of Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner (Pick 1), Brooke Barwick (Pick 4), Elaine Grigg (Pick 6) and Cleo Buttifant (Pick 11) add immediate talent to the reigning wooden spooners.

Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner (Western Jets / Vic Metro)
01/07/2005 | 178cm | Key Forward

Taken with the first overall pick, Weston-Turner is an excitement machine. Standing at close to 180cm, she has elite athleticism, with her explosive speed particularly something that stands out on the field. Able to duck and weave around opponents far smaller than her, Weston-Turner screams upside with her ability to get into the right spots to have chances on goal. One who will take time at the top level but has a brilliant highlights reel.

Brooke Barwick (Tasmania Devils / Tasmania)
29/07/2005 | 157cm | Midfielder

The most readymade of the quartet, Barwick though small will be able to compete from day dot. She has that outstanding balance of offensive and defensive traits, not afraid to lay some fierce tackles, but also dispose of the ball cleanly by hand or foot. She is just about the full package when it comes to her draft profile, and while she is more likely to start as a forward, has too much talent not to force her way into the midfield rotation throughout her career.

Elaine Grigg (Central District / South Australia)
23/12/2005 | 165cm | Midfielder / Forward

The South Australian two-time premiership SANFL Women’s talent nominated nationally and was picked up with the sixth selection in the draft. Grigg brings enormous defensive pressure and outstanding speed, but also a high energy level. She zips and zags around the ground, can play inside 50, higher up or through midfield, having also spent time on a wing and even on the inside. Expect her to add plenty of defensive prowess inside 50 for the Dogs.

Cleo Buttifant (Giants Academy / NSW-ACT)
03/05/2005 | 174cm | Tall Defender

Producing a huge top-age season, the tall defender out of Turvey Park and the Giants Academy also nominated nationally, and added depth up the other end of the field compared to her fellow draftees. A huge offensive game, Buttifant loves to take the game on and drive the ball forward at all costs, with elite speed and a fantastic vertical leap. Watch for her to continue to develop her craft and become and eye-catching, rebounding back.

Jorja Borg (Western Bulldogs VFLW / Victoria)
18/11/1998 | 181cm | Ruck

Already donning the red, white and blue this season as an injury replacement player this season, Borg will be able to add to her sole game in 2024 and beyond. The ruck has had plenty of experience through Essendon’s AFLW program – unfortunately injuring her knee – and then Carlton’s VFLW program before switching to the Dogs. With the departure of Celine Moody to the Blues, Borg will team up with Alice Edmonds in Season 9.


The Western Bulldogs had a plethora of early picks, adding depth across all three lines as well as a readymade mature-age ruck. With a tall forward, tall defender and a couple of pressure players in their draft haul, the Bulldogs positioned themselves well to move up the AFL Women’s ladder in 2024.

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