Leagues: AFLW U18 Championships
Dakota Mason is Sydney Swans Academy’s high upside prospect who was a member of the AFLW Academy. Mason played Under 17s for the Swans last season, then stepped up into the Allies Under 18s squad in 2022 for the national championships, where she showed a high-level contested rate and provided good pressure on the inside. She has to improve her consistency and overall production, but brings some eye-catching traits to the table with her evasion and clean hands.
Sydney Swans Academy member Dakota Mason came into the year earmarked as a player to watch for the incoming red and white side, and earned Allies selection for the 2022 AFLW Under 18 Championships. As a member of the AFLW Academy, Mason was one identified as having high talent, though had only played at Under 17s level for the Swans the previous year. Stepping up to Under 18s level in 2022, Mason found the going a little tougher, but you could see some of the traits that saw her rise through the pathways.
Mason is a hard worker with high-level defensive pressure, and a midfielder who does not shy away from the coalface. She has enough evasive skills to work her way through traffic, able to spin and turn to get herself out of trouble. Luckily, Mason also possesses clean hands when in close, and is able to quickly dish off to teammates on the outside, or use a neat burst out of the stoppage to power away from opponents. Though not as explosive as some, Mason would still be described as above average in her speed, and she is able to play both inside and on a wing, and even rest forward. Though not a natural defender, she even spent time there for the AFLW Academy, further illustrating her versatility across the field.
Mason does need to improve her production as a whole, averaging eight touches at the AFLW Under 18 Championships, and just impacting in bursts. With that, and an improvement in consistency - both quarter to quarter and in her kicking - Mason could be even more of a threat on the field.
As one of the top Swans talents heading into the season, Mason is a player who could play on the inside and then go forward and provide pressure, with a high upside to improve.
Dakota Mason recorded the highest contested rate of any player at the AFLW Under 18 Championships to play all three games, winning the ball 77.8 per cent of the time in a contest.
AFLW U18 Championships