Leagues: NAB League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships
Amber Clarke is an exciting talent who can play anywhere on the field. When assessing AFLW Draft prospects, you look for an elite trait, and Clarke’s breakneck speed is certainly that. Clocking the fastest time at the 2021 NAB League Girls Pre-season Testing, Clarke clocked up a speedy 3.19 seconds to blitz the rest of the field. But aside from her obvious athletic gifts, the talented young gun is more than capable of playing at both ends of the field and she showed it during the 2022 season, winning both the Dandenong Stingrays and NAB League Girls Best and Fairest awards.
Few players came into the 2022 NAB League Girls season with higher wraps, yet Dandenong Stingrays’ Amber Clarke took it all in her stride and was able to come out as one of the best players across the league, and the country. The 17-year-old started off with a massive five-goal haul against Geelong Falcons in Round 1, and though she only really had one more major bag, she was still able to influence games on the regular.
That influence was reiterated by Clarke winning the NAB League Girls Best and Fairest, and polling in all seven games she completed - six of those best on grounds - with only her injury against Eastern Ranges in the first term not earning her a vote. She carried that form into the national carnival for Vic Country, and was a potent forward who looked lively around goals. Though not quite as consistent quarter-by-quarter, she did spend the majority of the time inside 50, with only some rotations on-ball.
Clarke is a player who has the goal sense and X-factor to impact a game in a big way, and though in Round 1 she was kicking goals from everywhere, became a little less reliable in front of the big sticks as the season progressed. Her trademark snap around the body often misfired when she could have composed herself for an extra step, but that learning will continue to come, especially at the elite level. She could also continue to develop further through the midfield, having an outstanding game there for the Stingrays in the NAB League Girls Grand Final, but is still able to impact further with more time.
Clarke is one of those players who will attract interest from the majority, if not all of the Victorian clubs, and will likely land in the Top 10. She has the excitement factor that brings fans to the footy, and as she will likely start as a full-time forward, could kick some amazing goals early in her career.
Amber Clarke has clocked the two fastest speeds at the previous two NAB League Girls Preseason Combines, both sub-3.2 seconds.
NAB League Girls