Essendon VFLWEssendon VFLWMidfielder, Small Forward


Lila Keck

height: 162cm


D.O.B: 20-10-2005

Leagues: Vflw, Coates Talent League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships, AFLW U17 Championships

  • Snapshot
  • Analysis
  • Summary


One of the most eye-catching players in this year’s AFLW Draft crop, Lila Keck is an energetic and damaging small forward. Having cut her teeth in said role for a number of years, Keck has also spent time through the midfield, and shown she can win the ball up there with a high-level endurance and footy IQ.


+ Goal sense
+ Forward craft
+ Footy IQ
+ Evasion
+ Endurance
+ X-Factor


- Explosive speed
- Four-quarter consistency


Keck is first and foremost a prodigious talent with high X-Factor. It is hard to miss when she kicks a goal as she usually has a unique celebration to match. Making her Bendigo Pioneers debut as a 15-year-old in 2021, Keck racked up seven games in her maiden season before becoming that established small forward in 2022. She booted seven goals in 10 games, and followed that up with another three in eight this year for the Pioneers.

Throughout that time, Keck moved up the ranks, representing Vic Country at Under 17s and then Under 18s level, including at this year's national carnival. Across her three games, Keck averaged a goal a game from 13.7 disposals, 2.7 marks and 2.7 tackles, even spending some time up the ground on a wing. She played in that role late for the AFLW Academy against the Under 23 All-Stars.

Keck's finishing off the back of her forward craft and high-level footy IQ stands out when she takes the field. She is a 'moments' player who will look to challenge the defence and keep the ball in motion as she runs onto it. Though not explosively quick, Keck is very evasive and capable of getting out of trouble be it via a slick sidestep or a high free kick due to her low centre of gravity.

What sets Keck apart from other small forwards is her endurance, which is among the better players in the AFLW Draft crop, finishing inside the top 10 across the nation. She uses it to advantage by getting up into high forward positions then doubling back to be a leading option. Usually she will win a lot of her touches further afield and look to be the distributor heading back towards goal.

She can do a lot of damage with ball-in-hand, but her greatest hurt factor is observed inside the arc. When the goals are in sight, Keck knows what to do. She might have only kicked the three goals for the Pioneers this season - with two coming in the first round - but often due to the lack of forward 50 entries, Keck worked up the ground, and then rotated heavily into the midfield. She only had less than 15 touches on one occasion for the Pioneers.

Her season was threatened to be derailed by some ankle injuries, but Keck recovered to still assert her influence for Vic Country at the national carnival. Her in-game consistency can still further improve, with Keck being a match-winner with spurts of dominance who may still fade in and out of games at times. That, along with improving her speed will only make her more damaging as she is so nimble and dangerous at ground level.

Keck captained the Pioneers this year, and the top-ager's body of work over the last few seasons will hold her in good stead. Though she stands at just 162cm, Keck has proven she can play up the ground as well as deep inside 50, and is very crafty off hands in a forward marking contest. With further development and some continuity, she can round out her overall performance to become an even more damaging player.


Lila Keck is among the higher impact player’s in this year’s AFLW Draft. Likely to play as a small forward at the top level, she rates among the top 20 or so player’s in this year’s draft. Her mix of forward craft and general smarts will appeal to clubs who can see her as a high upside player.

Footy IQ
Forward craft
Goal sense
Hurt factor
Four-quarter consistency


2023Essendon VFLW31410020000013.

Coates Talent League Girls

2021Bendigo Pioneers5016661100320082068.32.711.
2022Bendigo Pioneers9265157200047001957910.
2023Bendigo Pioneers9639135190045002193812.04.916.

AFLW U18 Championships

2022Vic Country Girls861430020100018.
2023Vic Country Girls2120418202480352337.06.713.

AFLW U17 Championships

2021Vic Country U17s1472110070132127.03.510.
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