St KildaSt KildaTall Utility


Ella Friend

height: 175cm


D.O.B: 30-12-2003

Leagues: AFLW, Vflw, Coates Talent League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships


Ella Friend is arguably the best contested mark in the AFL Women’s Draft crop. The GWV Rebels key forward has Velcro hands with her ability to lead out and pull down pack grabs or one-on-one marks like very few can. Her move onto a wing this season further increased her versatility for AFLW clubs. STRENGTHS:

  • Contested marking
  • Strength
  • One-on-ones
  • Penetrating kick
  • Versatility
  • Athleticism


  • Endurance

Ella Friend transformed her game this season from a contested marking key forward into a wing, having both the strength and athleticism to match it with most opponents. A member of the AFL Women’s Academy, Friend can play just about anywhere on the field, and rarely fumbles aerially, whilst using her bigger frame at ground level against smaller opponents. A nightmare for opposition defenders to match up on, Friend is never out of the contest, and has a penetrating left boot that can pierce opposition defensive zones. Her improving versatility is credit to the work she has put in on her endurance, which is still an area to further develop, but having cited it as an area to build in the preseason, it has been steadily growing. A trademark for Friend is her ability to swing around onto the left and pump the ball inside 50, and despite not actually hitting the scoreboard that often, her forward craft is more about playing higher outside 50 and putting it into dangerous positions for teammates to score. A natural leader, Friend guides other teammates and gets around them when they make a mistake, and is a talent who leads by example. She is not afraid to put her body on the line at contests, and given her contested marking ability and athleticism, is a target who teammates know they can trust putting on top of her head or out in front. As she continues to build her endurance, expect her to impact for longer, and rotate between midfield and forward where she can create plenty of scoring opportunities for her team.



"The top contested marking player in the draft crop, Friend will be a highly sought after talent for her ability to not only clunk the big grabs, but use her penetrating left boot in both the midfield and forward lines. Transitioning from centre half-forward to a wing in the second half of the season, Friend showcased her mobility and her knack for for winning the ball in multiple areas of the field. Only two days away from being a bottom-ager, expect Friend to have plenty of upside left in her and would be a great target for a team needing a key target up forward who can also work hard up the ground. She averaged the 16.0 disposals, 4.3 marks and 2.9 tackles per game in the 2021 season, and slotted two goals on debut for the Western Bulldogs’ VFLW side. A good size at 175cm to play anywhere on the ground." - Peter Williams via "2021 AFLW Draft Positional Analysis: Tall/Medium Forwards" "One of the most dynamic talents available in this year’s crop, Friend showed her worth as a high-marking forward before being tried up on a wing and at the other end of the ground. Along with Dojiok, she is an AFLW Academy member and for good reason, with her aerial ability and overall versatility pointing towards terrific upside. Friend also went on to represent Vic Country in 2021 and earned a VFLW berth with plenty of her Rebels teammates." - Michael Alvaro via "2021 NAB League Girls team review: GWV Rebels" "Friend has been thrown about into almost every position this year across the NAB League and National Champs, but may have just put the debate of where she plays best to bed with a stellar performance as a defender. Her marking has always been a strength but looked flawless against Queensland, able to position herself well to take a couple of uncontested marks, but also holding onto some contested grabs well, despite being caught behind on occasion. Used the ball well when she got it, often looking to switch it from the backline, or look direct for a leading target when in the forward half. Looked to assist teammates to create an outnumber in contests, or come in as an easy release handball option." - Declan Reeve via "Top Performers: AFLW U19 Championships: Vic Country vs. Queensland"





2022St Kilda412263122235813621075.
S7St Kilda4713601522241501220095.


2021Western Bulldogs VFLW1261810060130226.

Coates Talent League Girls

2019GWV Rebels51116211002000105477.
2020GWV Rebels16319400500611116.
2021GWV Rebels101431443900265021112911.24.816.

AFLW U18 Championships

2021Vic Country Girls18112990050143029.05.514.
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