Leagues: Vflw, NAB League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships, AFLW U17 Championships
A small but tenacious utility who loves to have a crack, Abbey McDonald brings a level of competitiveness and footy smarts to each role she plays. The Calder Cannons top-ager has found a home in defence this season, but throughout a junior career which yielded plenty of representative honours, McDonald has also shown her wares through midfield and up forward.
Players who offer effort and can compete in multiple roles are often highly sought after, and Abbey McDonald is shaping as one such prospect. The Calder Cannons product is a known quantity having made her NAB League Girls debut in 2020, and gone on to represent Vic Metro at Under 17 and 18 National Championships over the last two years.
Versatility is a pillar of the 18-year-old's game, as she is able to play at either end of the ground or through the middle. While tagged as a small utility, McDonald arguably found a home in defence this season where her defensive acumen and competitiveness shone through. There, she averaged four tackles and three rebound 50s for the Cannons in 2022, while also turning out in Metro's backline against Vic Country.
Some of her top-age numbers are skewed by an injury suffered in Round 4 against the Gippsland Power, where McDonald was helped from the ground with a nasty gash to her head which required several stitches. She returned nearly a month later with 17 touches in Round 7, and went on to recapture some of the form she had shown previously as one of Calder's most important players.
Though listed at only 162cm, McDonald's toughness is undeniable and she is quite the jack of all trades. She applies her best traits to each position and is difficult to beat one-on-one, making her an asset in terms of ball retention or winning first possession. She, by her own admission, is working on her kicking and endurance to become a more polished player, or even scope out a future with more midfield minutes.
With expansion presenting a wealth of opportunity for budding AFLW talent, McDonald is the type who clubs will know what they are getting should they show faith in her, and she should fare well with the rigours of senior footy, plugging a role while sharpening her skillset.
McDonald’s highest season disposal average came in 2020, albeit from one game, as she collected 15 disposals and booted a goal on debut in a Calder side which featured four eventual AFLW draftees. Her next best average was 14.3 from six games in 2022, which would have been higher if not for an injury in Round 4.
NAB League Girls
AFLW U18 Championships
AFLW U17 Championships
|2021||Vic Metro U17s||13||5||18||2||0||0||4||0||1||2||5||2||2||6.5||2.5||9.0||1.0||0.0||2.0||1.0||40|