Leagues: WAFL Women's, AFLW U18 Championships
Bella Mann is one of a number of over-agers who earned an AFLW Draft Combine invite for a second consecutive year, but improved her endurance and kicking in 2022 to add a few more strings to her bow. She still has areas to build on, but she is a competitive ball-winner who can play in multiple positions.
Bella Mann is the sole over-age talent from Western Australia to earn an AFLW Draft Combine invite, having had a successful AFLW Under 18s campaign as captain of the Sandgropers. The Peel Thunder defender was able to spend more minutes in the midfield, and while her endurance is still a work in progress which will help with her consistency, she has made noticeable improvements on last year.
Mann is a fierce competitor who thrives on the contest be it in the air or at ground level. She might not be the most explosive player going around, but she has good power to shrug off opponents, or stand up in tackles and dish off the ball. Her strength and one-on-one ability certainly helps, and she can tackle both taller and smaller opponents at 171cm. Her tackling is something that sets her apart from many peers, with plenty of ferocity going into them, and locking the ball up well at the contest.
When it comes to Mann’s offensive abilities, she does provide good rebound and positions herself well to intercept. Her kicking technique is actually quite good, and when on-song is able to deliver neatly to teammates, something that has again improved on 2021. Her decision making at times could still be adjusted, and if she can find the balance, then she can be that bit more potent with ball-in-hand, but it certainly has been a noticeable improvement on that front.
Mann has her up and down days, where she will collect say 15 disposals and be a real anchor in the defensive half, and then others not be able to get into the action as much. Though not always a result of her own action, building that endurance and consistency will help her further impact games for longer. In terms of her draftability in the upcoming draft, it is no surprise to see her earn an AFLW Draft Combine invite, having worked hard and ticked a lot of boxes in the past year.
Bella Mann recorded he highest kicking and handballing efficiency of any West Australian player to play more than one game, with 62.5 and 80 per cent efficiency respectively.