WA AFLW Draft talents rising to the top

WESTERN Australia’s top three AFL Women’s Draft talents have combined for a massive 103 disposals in their most recent games, with the trio of AFLW Academy members all having days out. East Fremantle’s Zippy Fish, South Fremantle’s Molly O’Hehir and Claremont’s Claudia Wright are all very different players, but have crossover traits that make them such quality talents.

In this article, we’ll take a look at those three players, and their points of difference as well as their strengths and improvements.

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

Fish is the most talked about prospect in the state, and with good reason., When it comes to accolades, she is clearly the one with the biggest CV, having won the MVP as and Under 16s player a couple of years ago, then taking out the Lou Knitter Medal last season for Best on Ground in the WAFL Women’s Grand Final. Along with All-Australian honours and of course a WAFL Women’s flag as a 17-year-old, Fish has accomplished plenty already.

+ Speed
+ Athleticism
+ Skill
+ Clean hands
+ Outside game

– Contested work

Molly O’Hehir (South Fremantle)
Midfielder/Defender | 179cm | 04/05/2006

O’Hehir has been building a nice cabinet of accolades herself, having also won All-Australian honours as a bottom-ager last season when impressing for Western Australia at the AFLW Under 18 Championships. When running out alongside the best players in the country in the AFLW Academy match against the Under 23 All-Stars, O’Hehir was handed the captaincy, a massive honour considering the quality of leadership amongst the players of that ilk.

+ Competitiveness
+ Speed-endurance mix
+ Size
+ Inside-outside balance
+ Marking

– Opposite foot

Claudia Wright (Claremont)
Utility | 173cm | 30/10/2006

Wright has not had the same runs on the board as the above two simply because she missed nearly all of last year – and certainly the WAFLW season – due to injury. Though she got back to represent the Sandgropers at the national carnival, and play in the Under 17 Futures match, she has only really gained continuity this season. But as a 15-year-old in 2022, Wright racked up as much as 24 touches against South Fremantle late in the year showing that she was destined for great things.

+ Versatility
+ Marking
+ Upside
+ Decision making
+ Vision

– Continuity

Points of Difference


All three players are gifted athletically, with Fish and O’Hehir arguably the two fastest of the top-agers in the crop. The former would take the gold if going full steam, though Wright is no slouch either. She is more of an aerial specialist, with O’Hehir another terrific overhead player, and while Fish is smaller than the other two, holds her own in those contests.


Once again all three understand the game incredibly well. Fish covers ground and gets into spots better than anyone, while Wright’s decision making and vision is top tier. Even though O’Hehir might be the third one in this category, it is still at a very high level as she can anticipate players well.


This is where O’Hehir shines, not only because she is clearly the tallest, but purely for her competitiveness and defensive pressure. She will be a first or second possession winner, while Wright is gaining more experience as that inside midfielder the last fortnight. For Fish, that is her main area of improvement, though no coach in the world will draft a player like Fish and then get her to be a first possession winner.


Wright has arguably had the most experience on this front, though she has also played half-back, wing and now inside. Both O’Hehir and Fish hit the scoreboard playing midfield, though O’Hehir would have the chocolates this season in both hitting the scoreboard herself and setting others up.


This is Fish’s bread and butter. She is one of the cleanest players in this year’s AFL Draft. She is incredibly at ground level, dry or wet ground, does not matter. Again, the other two are more than capable, but Fish is as good as anyone gets.


A tough category to discuss and predict, with all three set to be top-liners in the future. At 179cm and an athletic base like O’Hehir’s, it is hard not to imagine what she could become in a full-time environment. A prototype player of the future, she ticks just about every box.


Essentially, all three players will be very good players for a long time. In terms of runs on the board, it is clearly Fish right now. She has the accolades and has been a star in the seniors for quite some time. When looking at the last 12 months, O’Hehir continues to improve exponentially, and could well be right near Fish in terms of draft placings at the end of the year. For Wright, she is also in the top end of the draft, with how she performs this year – and with luck a season of continuity – determining how pointy in the draft order she lands.

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