Hayley McLaughlin

height: 164cm


D.O.B: 22-11-2005

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

  • Snapshot
  • Analysis
  • Summary


Hayley McLaughlin is one of best specialist wingers in the AFLW Draft crop. The talented hard working runner from the Eastern Ranges has a balance of skill and football smarts, which has her in the frame for a top 30 pick. In a role that is crucial at the elite level, McLaughlin has it down pat with her positioning and impact on games.


+ Outside game
+ Composure
+ Kicking
+ Positioning
+ Work rate
+ Decision making


- Strength
- Contested work


McLaughlin is a unique AFLW Draft prospect, and one who has come along in leaps and bounds in 2023. As a bottom-ager last season off the back of a cricketing background, McLaughlin rapidly improved for the Eastern Ranges, nailing down a wing role with the Talent League grand finalists.

When watching McLaughlin, it is easy to formulate a profile on her because of her clear strengths, and where she can further add strings to her bow. From a positional perspective, few players hold down a wing role better than McLaughlin, whose running patterns, work rate and overall smarts allow her to both win the ball, and use it well.

A noticeable improvement for McLaughlin in 2023 was her production rate which lifted from 15.2 disposals per game to 19.1. Her defensive pressure remained steady, but rather than being a sheer attacking wing/half-forward, McLaughlin added that defensive running element to her game. That, along with a massive 15 Talent League games - to add to her five in her bottom-age season.

Without the ball, McLaughlin's running patterns and understanding of the game have noticeably improved, and that has come thanks to continuity and consistency in her role. Though occasionally having the odd stoppage or perhaps playing off a flank between the Ranges and Vic Metro, McLaughlin will be the perfect winger at the top level.

With the ball, the Ranges' talent is able to make good decisions and deliver some brillaint passes in transition. Though not overly strong one-on-one, McLaughlin with time nad space can find the open player and nail the pass. She also knows when to push forward and be a marking option inside 50.

McLaughlin said she was looking to improve her aerial ability, though that largely stems back to her strength and contested game, which is her main improvement. At 164cm, McLaughlin is a medium height, though as an outside player does her best work in space. One-on-one is more of a challenge for McLaughlin, and an area of growth.

Adding that inside game would add further improve her overall profile, though is not a huge element given that she is best suited to a wing or flank. Building up strength will occur with more time in an elite program and with a big preseason.

As a whole, McLaughlin's composure and execution with ball-in-hand really stands out on the field, and though like anyone she can make mistakes, she is generally a really consistent user. Her natural understanding of the wing, along with her two-way running and work rate makes her a valuable prospect for any club.


Hayley McLaughlin is a potential top 30 prospect off the back of a couple of good seasons with the Eastern Ranges. A natural winger, McLaughlin is linked with Hawthorn due to the Hawks’ link with the Ranges but is tipped to go in the open draft. More than happy to go anywhere, she will likely draw interest for clubs anywhere from late first round into the second round.

Decision making
Outside game
Work rate
Contested work



Coates Talent League Girls

2021Eastern Ranges000000000000000000000
2022Eastern Ranges502676110020001360510.
2023Eastern Ranges16112528657004900323821510.78.319.

AFLW U18 Championships

2023Vic Metro Girls25255010203060343038.38.316.
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