Leagues: NAB League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships, AFLW U17 Championships
A highly touted junior throughout her journey, Charlotte Baskaran is the embodiment of several developmental years in the elite talent pathways. The Western Jets premiership captain is a complete package as far as AFLW Draft prospects go, offering elite traits on-field and the work rate off it to suggest she will continue to get the best out of herself in elite environments. Having stepped up yet another level in 2022, the sky is the limit for Baskaran.
An ultimate professional and one of the most wholly impressive 17-year-olds to ever come through the elite talent pathway, Charlotte Baskaran presents as a top prospect both on and off the field. Having debuted all the way back in 2019, the Western Jets skipper has honed her game throughout the course of four NAB League seasons, and comes out the other end among the top handful of talents in Victoria.
Coming into her top-age campaign as a known quantity, Baskaran took her game to yet another level with a scintillating start to the NAB League season; averaging 33.6 disposals, 6.7 tackles, and a goal per game across the first month. She was arguably the best player in the competition at that point, transferring into a permanent midfield role having cut her teeth across half-back and out on the wing.
A ridiculously hard worker, the improvements Baskaran made truly showed. Her football smarts are off the charts, so her stoppage output became enormous in 2022 on the back of perpetual motion and an unrivalled understanding between her teammates. Perhaps the most significant lift came in her turn of speed, with Baskaran making full use of her first five steps to accelerate away from the contest and use the ball with time on the outside.
Not only did she have no trouble finding the ball, but Baskaran also did the hard work defensively. While only slight at 162cm, she rode all the bumps and opposition attention with pure class, getting right back up from each hard hit and dishing them out herself with an average of 6.6 tackles in the NAB League.
As the season wore on, Baskaran's size became a factor which worked slightly against her as a pure midfielder, and she was made to showcase her versatility at either end of the ground while representing Vic Metro. It hurt her offensive game a touch, with less time and space to make typically good decisions. Although, it certainly had no impact on her defensive efforts across each level.
Baskaran said during preseason that she wished to improve her disposal efficiency, and given she earns so many possessions, that's far from a bad shout. Other, more physically powerful players are able to weaponise their kicking, and perhaps that is something Baskaran can look to do to add another dimension to her usually neat disposal - becoming more penetrative, and hurting the opposition with each touch.
Overall, the polished Western product has been a beacon of hope and leadership among her region, helping it rise atop the NAB League Girls mountain in what was a fitting finish to her pathways journey. Baskaran is the type of character who will, by no matter of fortune, get the best out of herself and adapt to whatever she is tasked with at the elite level. That will likely be on a flank or wing, where the 17-year-old's class and running capacity can shine.
Charlotte Baskaran is one of the rare players to have featured across four consecutive NAB League Girls seasons, averaging over 20 disposals in each of her last three campaigns – rising from 20.3, to 23.4, and 27.6 in 2022.
NAB League Girls
AFLW U18 Championships
AFLW U17 Championships
|2021||Vic Metro U17s||10||4||14||3||0||0||8||0||3||0||1||0||1||10.0||4.0||14.0||3.0||0.0||8.0||0.0||57|