2024 AFLW Draft player analysis: Zoe Hargreaves

AMONG the many bottom-age talents who stepped up in their first season at Coates Talent League Girls level was Zoe Hargreaves. Alongside younger sister Phoebe, the pair quickly caught the eye with their speed and ability to find the ball at the level despite being bottom-age and double bottom-age respectively.

Phoebe represented Vic Metro at Under 16s level, while Zoe would earn a spot in Vic Metro’s squad, albeit for the one game. She took on the Allies in Queensland, where she had 16 disposals, one mark, two clearances, five inside 50s and two tackles in an impressive hard-fought win for the ‘Big V’.

Hargreaves’ Talent League Girls season started off with a 20-disposal debut against Murray Bushrangers where she had 10 inside 50s and laid nine tackles. Her performance encapsulated her ability to run both ways – finding the footy and applying defensive pressure – which she did throughout the season with ultra-consistency.

Aside from a rare 10-disposal outing in Round 8 against Oakleigh Chargers, Hargreaves picked up 16 or more disposals in her 11 other games at the level. She averaged 20.6 disposals, 3.1 marks, 7.2 tackles, 3.9 inside 50s and 2.4 rebound 50s across her first dozen games.

Following her stint with Metro, it was evident she had learnt plenty, with a number of 20-plus disposal games including a season-high 29 against the Murray Bushrangers, backed up by a 27-disposal performance against Calder Cannons. In her final game of the season, Hargreaves had 26 disposals, five marks, five tackles, two inside 50s and six rebound 50s as best afield for Northern in its elimination final loss to Eastern Ranges.

Essentially coming off the back of a standout year, Hargreaves is well prepped to take the next step in 2024 as a top-ager. She got her taste of Metro representation, and was one of the many unlucky ones to miss out on the AFLW Academy. However her form as a bottom-ager, along with her eye-catching traits, means she is among the better talents in this year’s draft pool.


Hargreaves showed last season that she can be a powerful midfielder out of the stoppages, standing at a solid height of 171cm. She moves well and can have a very quick first few steps which allows her to create separation on her opponent. Though she makes good decisions with ball-in-hand, it is about that extra composure when under pressure that could take her game to another level in 2024.

Defensively she is up there with the better players, and to be laying more than seven tackles a game while picking up 20 touches, shows she is willing to get her hands dirty as well. A knock on her might come with her lack of scoreboard pressure from a midfielder (she did not kick a goal in her 12 matches) but her ability to drive the ball inside 50 or force turnovers from the opposition allows teammates to capitalise.


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