Box Hill VFLWBox Hill VFLWRuck Forward


Jess Vukic

height: 179cm


D.O.B: 09-05-2005

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

  • Snapshot
  • Analysis
  • Summary


Jess Vukic is a mobile ruck-forward who sees herself as the former, but will likely settle as the latter given her 179cm height. The Eastern Ranges top-ager is one of the best exponents of tap work across the country and has a great competitive nature and follow-up work, though is still raw when it comes to being a forward, which is an element she will have to build on for the future.


+ Aggression
+ Competitiveness
+ Ruck craft
+ Follow-up work
+ Defensive pressure
+ Strength


- Forward craft
- Marking


Vukic is a player who will vary in clubs opinions because of her size compared to her preferred role. When it comes to junior level, and when asking the Ranges tall herself, there is little doubt that ruck is her more dominant position. The AFLW Academy member has tried out both that role with a key forward position, though the former is where she excels head and shoulders above the latter.

Over the last couple of years, Vukic has been building nicely, and earned a spot in the AFLW Academy off the back of a promising bottom-age campaign with the Ranges. There, she shared the ruck duties with close friend Jacinta Hose, but with Hose tearing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in each knee on different occasions, Vukic often shouldered the ruck load at the Ranges.

The plan was for her to play more forward in 2023, and though she did get stints there, her ruck work still remained her greatest technical skill. Few players are a better exponent of the hitout to advantage than Vukic who palms down the ball to teammates or to open space and into the right areas with such skill and grace as she does.

Though her ruck work might be graceful, the rest of her game is the opposite, but in a positive way. Once the ball hits the deck, Vukic is an ultra-competitive and aggressive player who will throw herself at the contest and hates to lose. She will look to lay some bone-crunching tackles or apply some big bumps which opens up the game for teammates to flourish.

She is not a massive accumulator of the ball, but works hard around the ground and covers it well. Her follow-up work from the ruck stoppage or a marking contest is very impressive, and she will continue to compete be it in the air or on the ground.

That element is important as Vukic is not a dominant aerial player. Her marking - particularly contested - along with her forward craft are the main areas that she needs to improve to impact at that next level. Her ruck work around the ground is more than capable of competing against AFLW rucks from a skill perspective, but given her size, she will end up playing as more of a key forward who pinch-hits in the ruck.

Adding that forward craft - which includes marking and hitting the scoreboard - is important in her development. One benefit for Vukic is that she has the capacity to take that ruck role if a number one ruck goes down, which is better than a lot of second rucks in the competition, but she is also determined to prove herself as a number one ruck and defy the opinion that she is undersized.


A Hawthorn fan growing up the ruck-forward is set to head to Waverley to team up with her childhood club with a pre-listing offer on the table. In an open draft, she is a second-to-third round prospect who has some great traits, but still has areas to grow. Vukic will be one to watch to see exactly where she plays and whether she can add those extra strings to her bow.

Defensive pressure
Follow-up work
Forward craft



Coates Talent League Girls

2021Eastern Ranges94131001021020133.
2022Eastern Ranges3424581300151320101393.
2023Eastern Ranges60319115004118202332115.

AFLW U18 Championships

2022Vic Metro Girls11415300720351133.
2023Vic Metro Girls1472121181033513034.
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