24 in 2024: AFLW Draft Prospects to Watch

IN EASILY the toughest list to compile from these annual predictions, narrowing down the talent in next year’s AFL Women’s Draft crop is near-on impossible. The initial list of players to include in our 24 AFLW Draft prospects to watch in 2024, had 36 players on it, which meant a lot of unlucky omissions. But rules are rules, and we cut the list down to our 24 to watch, as well as naming some other players to keep an eye on.

Zoe Besanko (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
25/05/2006 | 178cm | Tall Forward/Ruck

Besanko is a naturally gifted athlete with a terrific leap and great burst speed when inside 50 making her a tricky player to matchup on for any defender. Boasting some nice hands and ability to provide ground level defensive pressure, she has that terrific offensive-defensive balance. There are some fundamentals she is working on such as her conversion, but her upside is very evident in the way she plays.

Ash Centra (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
06/02/2006 | 174cm | Tall Utility

A genuine pick one contender, Centra is neck-and-neck with Harris for the top selection in next year’s draft at this stage. She boasts elite footskills that are regarded as the best in Vic Country’s program – male and female – and is so composed under pressure. Centra has played on all three lines, is strong overhead and her decision making particularly when it comes to her field kicking, is off the charts.

Jasmine Evans (Central District/South Australia)
05/02/2006 | 165cm | Midfielder/Forward

Every club needs a matchwinner and Evans has proven time and time again that she steps up in big moments. She kicked the winning goal against Norwood earlier this year to win the game, and got Central District back on track to win a come-from-behind flag with a massive third term. Elite skills and an ability to play inside, outside or up forward, she came from the clouds to be a star this year.

Lou-Lou Field (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
18/10/2006 | 167cm | Medium Defender

Given the strength of the AFLW Draft crop next year, there were always going to be unlucky omissions from the AFLW Academy. Field is our top-ranked player outside that group, with her potent left foot kick, ability to intercept and her reading of the play among her best attributes. In her sole Vic Metro game, Field starred in defence and looms as a key player in a highly sought after role.

Zippy Fish (East Fremantle/Western Australia)
04/06/2006 | 160cm | Midfielder/Defender

Zippy by name and Zippy by nature, Fish is one of the fastest players across the country. Her explosive speed and overall athleticism automatically has her among the best in the draft crop, but her elite skills and decision making just rounds out her game. She is smaller than the other top pick contenders, but just as talented, winning the Lou Knitter Medal for best on ground in the 2023 WAFLW Grand Final.

Sierra Grieves (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
18/05/2006 | 164cm | Midfielder/Forward

One of most consistent accumulators in next year’s draft crop, Grieves brings her own ball to most games. She regularly racked up 30-plus disposals, and was unlucky to only pick up the one game with Vic Metro. She is a fierce tackler and showed in the second half of the season she can play forward and have an impact with her extraction and strength in close outstanding for a player of her size.

Zoe Hargreaves (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
03/06/2006 | 171cm | Midfielder

The other player outside the AFLW Academy we have picked to be in the list, Hargreaves screams upside and coming off her first season, she gained a match for Vic Metro and was simply dominant for the Northern Knights at the backend of the year. Her athleticism, particularly powerful burst, makes her stand out, while she just makes things happen forward of centre. An exciting talent.

Tara Harrington (Suns Academy/Queensland)
24/03/2006 | 166cm | Midfielder/Defender

Poise and skill underpin Harrington’s gamestyle with the medium midfielder also capable of running off half-back. She makes terrific decisions with ball-in-hand and picks off those high-risk, high-reward passes into the corridor more often than not. Though one who may fly under the radar due to teammate Havana Harris’ pick one potential, she is a very top-end talent in her own right.

Havana Harris (Suns Academy/Queensland)
01/07/2006 | 182cm | Key Position Utility | TOP PICK

Our choice for pick one in a loaded field, Harris is a unique player in so many ways. Standing at above 180cm, she has explosive speed, and can play anywhere on the ground. Her footy IQ is high, she is terrific overhead or at ground level and earned both the AFLW Under 18 Championships’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, as well as best on ground in Bond University’s QAFL Women’s premiership.

Having plied her trade as a forward to start with, Harris progressed into the ruck for for the Gold Coast Suns Academy and Queensland, before incredibly lining up on the 162cm Shineah Goody at the first centre bounce for the Maroons. At her size and speed, she is near-impossible to stop, and the sight of her taking a multiple-bounce run down the wing is remarkable. One of the many reasons she is Rookie Me Central’s top pick for 2024 at this state.

Sara Howley (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
29/01/2006 | 173cm | Midfielder

The highest production player out of the bottom-agers this year, Howley is an incredible ball-winner. Racking up touches for fun throughout the 2023 Talent League season, she also earned All-Australian honours for Vic Country. With speed to burn and an ability to get forward and hit the scoreboard herself, the 2023 Rookie Me Central Medallist is among the top half-dozen picks for next year.

Millie Lang (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
06/11/2006 | 177cm | Tall Defender

Coming off a standout performance in the Herald Sun Shield as a 16-year-old, Lang stepped up to Talent League level with ease and quickly established herself as a key player in the GWV Rebels’ defence. Strong overhead with a potent left boot – while being capable of using her right – she is one who can play on a range of defenders, but will be a highly sought after tall defender next year.

Emma McDonald (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
18/04/2006 | 180cm | Key Forward

Recruiters would have been rubbing their hands together with glee when McDonald popped up for Oakleigh Chargers over the first month of the Talent League season. She has outstanding athletic traits, great contested marking ability and a reliable set shot for goal which she showed during a four-goal outing against the Allies. The best pure key defender in next year’s draft has enormous upside as well.

Sophie McKay (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
27/04/2006 | 168cm | Midfielder/Forward

The top-ranked father-daughter prospect in next year’s AFLW Draft will cost Carlton a pretty penny. McKay, the daughter of 244-gamer Andrew and sister of current Blue Abbie, had a strong bottom-age season that only got better. She earned best afield honours in the Under 17 Futures match and is clean by hand and a terrific extractor. McKay also averaged a goal a game for the Dragons.

Georgia McKee (Central District/South Australia)
24/04/2006 | 160cm | Small Forward

Unfortunately an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear would rule the talented McKee out of any on-field action in 2023, but the small is just as gifted as any other player in the draft crop. Her ground level work is sublime, her skill and goal sense is outstanding, and she can win games off her own boot as she did against West Adelaide in 2021. A fit and firing McKee is a showstopper and her highlights reel is insane.

Molly O’Hehir (South Fremantle/Western Australia)
24/05/2006 | 176cm | Tall Utility

In terms of upside, few have as much scope as O’Hehir who ticks just about every box. Standing at 176cm with outstanding athleticism, explosive speed and a natural football nous which allows her to play on any line, she is a prestigious talent. If the South Fremantle young gun can put it altogether in 2024, she will be competing with the best, and could settle inside, outside or off a flank such is her versatility.

Lucia Painter (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
23/02/2006 | 174cm | Utility

After an impressive start to the Talent League season, Painter’s year came to an abrupt halt due to an ankle injury. Though that was a setback, she showed enough over the last 18 months to earn a spot in the AFLW Academy with a well-rounded game. Painter can play on all three lines, is powerful and strong overhead and at ground level, also winning Vic Country’s Under 17s MVP in 2022.

Tatyana Perry (Palmerston Magpies/Northern Territory)
28/02/2006 | 170cm | Wing/Defender

Quite possibly the most talented AFLW Draft prospect to come out of the Northern Territory, Perry is very much a top 10 hope given her hurt factor. She can play off a wing or in defence, with her elite skills and composure setting her aside. She has great evasive techniques and glides across the ground, with more time up the field likely to beckon in 2024. The 17-year-old is already co-captain at Palmerston.

India Rasheed (Sturt/South Australia)
29/11/2006 | 172cm | Forward/Midfielder

Another pick one contender, Rasheed is the daughter of international tennis coach Roger, but has quickly made her own name. Kicking freakish goals time and time again, Rasheed is a barometer for Sturt with her hurt factor and ability to play both forward and midfield a crucial element to her game. In a stacked side, she won South Australia’s MVP at the national carnival playing a mix of both roles. An elite user.

Charlotte Riggs (Central District/South Australia)
02/11/2006 | 178cm | Tall Defender

An incredible third Central District prospect in the top 24, Riggs is a fantastic athlete who has made her name as an intercepting defender. Though capable of rolling into the ruck or even going forward, her contested marking and reading of the play are among her best traits, and though still developing elements of her game, the 178cm young gun looms as a top-end tall for 2024.

Poppy Scholz (Glenelg/South Australia)
31/12/2006 | 179cm | Tall Utility

Just one day off being a bottom-ager next year, Scholz is the younger sister of Port Adelaide star Matilda, and is tracking in a similar vein. Though yet to lock down an exact role having been played back, forward, midfield and ruck, the 179cm ‘unicorn’ is one who will have plenty of suitors. She is strong overhead and can get it done at ground level as well, reading the play wherever she goes.

Elli Symonds (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
07/10/2006 | 177cm | Ruck/Forward

A breakout performance in just her second game where she racked up 23 disposals, clunked five marks, laid six tackles and kicked a goal, Symonds is a high production ruck/forward. She is incredibly athletic and aggressive, and can provide a target inside 50. She thrived as the season went on and will form a one-two punch with Zoe Besanko in the Stingrays’ and Vic Country ruck and forwardlines.

Sienna Tallariti (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
10/07/2006 | 168cm | Medium Defender

Tallariti started the year as a forward who spent time in the midfield, and ended it as a prolific intercept defender. Though not a tall as such standing at 168cm, the Oakleigh Chargers defender is strong for her size and very capable overhead. She possesses an elite kick and makes good decisions, remaining calm under pressure. Tallariti capped off her year with best on ground in the Talent League Grand Final.

Mackenzie Williams (Tasmania Devils/Tasmania)
26/06/2006 | 172cm | Medium Defender

Williams first featured as a double bottom-ager for the Allies at the AFLW Under 18 Championships in 2022, where she held her own as a rebounding defender. She played that role to perfection again in 2023, and her booming kick, along with her strength both in the air and at ground level really shines. Williams has some fundamentals to improve, but is rock solid in her consistency.

Claudia Wright (Claremont/Western Australia)
30/10/2006 | 171cm | Medium Forward

The Claremont talent had limited opportunities to impress, with injury putting a line through her season, only returning in August. She managed to play the last AFLW Under 18 Championships match and then Under 17s Futures clash to earn AFLW Academy honours. Blessed with eye-catching athleticism and a knack to do the incredible, Wright has outstanding hurt factor that makes her one of the top prospects.


Four players who made the AFLW Academy are naturally in the mix, with NSW/ACT duo, Emma Juneja and Ashley Patton, Lions Academy ruck Lilly Baker and Eastern Ranges defender Grace Baba are also top-end talents.

Though some of the more unlucky omissions are outside that group as well, with the 2024 AFLW Draft crop sensationally deep. The last names off the board when condensing the list include a trio of South Australians in Jemma Charity, Lucy Boyd and Violet Patterson, as well as NSW-ACT winger Ella Parker, West Australian small forward Noa McNaughton.

Dandenong Stingrays duo Jemma Reynolds and Zoe Besanko, GWV Rebels tall Claire Mahony, Eastern Ranges tall forward/midfielder Georgie Brisbane and Oakleigh Chargers midfielder Sarah Poustie were the next picked Victorians. Up north, Queensland duo Nyalli Milne and Heidi Talbot were on the shortlist.

The depth does not stop there, with the extended list well beyond 40 including Under 17 Futures representatives, Kyla Forbes, Tamika Rourke and Sophie Strong, as well as other impressive talents such as Mekah Morrissy, Jasmine Sowden, Holly Egan and Shae Archbold.

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