2024 AFLW Draft going national

DRAFTEES hoping to reach the AFL Women’s in the 2024 AFLW Draft later this year will be accessible by all 18 clubs as the AFL confirmed today the league would move to a full national draft. Previously, draft nominees would choose between nominating national or their home state, with the latter now no longer an option due to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that has increased player payments.

Alongside the increased pay agreement is the introduction of 12-month contracts – rather than season-length – and relocation allowances which enables players to move interstate with less financial burden. While it is likely there will still be a lean towards picking local talent, much like in the men’s draft, now all 18 clubs will be able to draft the best available talent rather than just those in the local talent pool.

The base player payments will rise from $56,077 this year to $67,337 next year, before slight increases in 2026 ($70,030) and 2027 ($72,373) with the introduction of Tasmania Devils also on the horizon but yet to be confirmed. Additionally, first-year players who move interstate will be entitled to a relocation allowance and a living allowance of up to $16,500 to assist with the purchase of household items, rent or other relocation expenses.

Essentially the change of draft means where players such as Piper Window (Port Adelaide) and Ella Roberts (West Coast) previously went way lower in the draft order than where they would have gone in a national draft, will now be taken at their more accurate range.

Like in the men’s draft, players can still inform clubs of their preference to stay in their home state or be open to relocation, and then it falls back on the clubs to make a decision about that particular player. However in addition to the increased payments, players can also claim six return economy flights and four nights’ accomodation at their new location for family to assist with the move and visit during the year.

AFL footy boss Laura Kane said the move towards a national draft was the right one off the fact that 69 per cent of draft nominees last season chose to nominate nationally rather than their home state.

“As the league continues to evolve, we’re seeing more draftees willing to chase their football dreams by moving interstate,” AFL footy boss Laura Kane said.

“An AFLW draftee from this year can earn up to $83,837 in salary and relocation allowances. This transition coincides with an increase of investment in talent pathways, meaning the players coming through the ranks are more prepared for elite-level footy than ever before.

“This will allow our rising stars to be more equally spread across the league, fast tracking the improvement of developing sides and strengthening the competitive balance of the competition.

“I’d like to thank the AFLPA and our clubs for their support of this important next step for the NAB AFLW Competition.”

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