Leagues: Vflw, NAB League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships, AFLW U17 Championships
A crafty small prospect with plenty of class, Wilcox is one of the premier players under 160cm in this year’s AFLW Draft crop. The Northern Knights standout cut her teeth as a small forward last year, but has since shown her wares as a winger who works hard both ways. In terms of her skillset, Wilcox has made many an chaser look silly with her evasive technique, and can hurt the opposition with sublime skill on the attack.
She may be small, but packs a punch. At 158cm, Rylie Wilcox has proven size to be no real barrier throughout her top-age campaign, thundering up draft boards to become one of the top Metro talents in Victoria. Likened to new Essendon AFLW recruit Georgia Gee, the clever winger/forward offers a terrific turn of speed on the outside and is no stranger to hitting the scoreboard when rolling forward.
A key factor which sets Wilcox apart is her work rate. Playing in a NAB League region which finished bottom of its pool, she put in many a shift to help keep the Knights competitive. The 17-year-old started out this year as a high half-forward, before quickly shifting up to the wing and eventually even getting a look on the inside.
While not afraid to have a crack, she wore a few scars - in particular with a rib injury which kept her sidelined for several weeks - while competing against bigger bodies. In the Under 18 National Championships, she was freed up on the wing and tore up the outer with that patented speed, giving good indication as to where she may be best suited at the next level.
Much like in her bottom-age year, Wilcox also featured up forward and hit the scoreboard with regularity towards the back-end of the season. Turning out for Vic Metro, the Under 23 All Stars and in Carlton's VFLW side, she was good for at least a goal per game and found many avenues to the big sticks - whether it was by working over her opponent in transition, or slipping a way out of traffic for a quick finish.
In addition to her speed and agility, Wilcox boasts another trait typical of small talents - smarts. Her decision making and spacial awareness are high level, and she is hardly fazed by the chaos of contested footy - despite her outside ability. At both NAB League and representative level, Wilcox kicked 75 per cent of the time and did so at high efficiency, proving a damaging outlet when streaming inside 50 or out of tight spots.
Overall, with top notch skills and exciting athletic traits, Wilcox is a player which every AFLW club will want and need. The level of footy IQ and speed-endurance combination she offers loom as desirable assets to any club looking for a difference maker within the top 15 Victorian picks. The best part is, she has risen with each step up in competition.
Wilcox held a perfect 50 per cent ratio of long and short kicks at this year’s Under 18 National Championships, showcasing the variation she provides in her decision making. Three quarters of her total disposals also came by foot – at 69 per cent efficiency – making kicking one of her real weapons.
NAB League Girls
AFLW U18 Championships
|2022||Vic Metro Girls||36||12||48||9||0||0||3||0||3||13||6||2||3||12.0||4.0||16.0||3.0||0.0||1.0||0.7||71|
AFLW U17 Championships
|2021||Vic Metro U17s||14||5||19||2||0||0||2||0||2||5||1||1||1||14.0||5.0||19.0||2.0||0.0||2.0||1.0||81|