AFLW Draft Power Rankings: August 2023

IN the third edition of our AFLW Draft Power Rankings for the year, we extend our list out to 30 players with the AFLW Under 18 Championships over the midway point of the season.

 

This list is not an indication of necessarily where the players will go in terms of the pick order, largely due to the state-based drafts that are in place. Instead, this order is an opinion-based list on performance as well as upside as to where the players rank if a national draft was in place.

 

A state-by-state analysis piece will come later in the week as a follow-up to this Power Rankings.

The Power Rankings
  • #1
    Lauren Young
    AFLW Draft Power Rankings: August 2023 | Key Position Utility

    height: 178cm

    D.O.B: 16-09-2005

    height: 178cm

    D.O.B: 16-09-2005

    Lauren Young has long been touted as the standout player in this year’s AFLW Draft crop. After dominating the AFLW Under 19 Championships as a 15-year-old – and paving the way for others who are two years removed from their draft-eligible year – Young missed the entire 2022 season with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. She watched on the sidelines as her teammates went on to win the AFLW Under 18 Championships, but returned in a big way this year, booting two goals in the first term against Western Australia.

    Though West Adelaide ended up winning a second successive wooden spoon, Young was outstanding playing predominantly forward then moving into the midfield as her side’s injury list started to expand. She averaged 18.9 disposals, 4.5 marks, 1.9 clearances, 2.8 inside 50s, 5.2 tackles and booted nine goals in 11 games.

    JULY RANKING: #1

    LAST MONTH:

    It seems a while ago now, but Young slotted five goals from 18 disposals and nine marks in a dominant performance against Vic Metro at the AFLW Under 18 Championships. Though quieter in her final game against Queensland, Young still found a way to be involved, booting a goal from 14 disposals and five marks.

    STATE RANKING: #1

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  • #2
    Shineah Goody
    South Australia Girls | Midfielder

    height: 162cm

    D.O.B: 08-11-2005

    height: 162cm

    D.O.B: 08-11-2005

    The only player likely to push Young for the top spot, Goody has had a remarkable past 18 months. After bursting onto the scene in 2021 as a young gun for the Eagles, Goody took that next step in her development last season and won the AFLW Under 18 Championships MVP in a star-studded South Australian team. Though she largely plays wing for the Eagles at SANFL level, she goes inside for the Croweaters, and has played in defence and attack before, making her the ultimate small utility.

    Standing at just 162cm, Goody is not tall, but she packs a punch, with her tackling pressure, incredible aerial ability and work rate standing out. She was best-on against Western Australia in the opening match of the 2023 national carnival, and averaged 16.9 disposals, 4.1 marks, 1.9 clearances, 4.0 inside 50s and 5.0 tackles per game at SANFLW level.

    JULY RANKING: #2

    LAST MONTH:

    Goody played her role across the last two AFLW Under 18 Championship matches, collecting 17 disposals, two marks, two tackles, three clearances and two inside 50s against Vic Metro. In the final game against Queensland, Goody got back to her best, slicing up the opposition with eight clearances from 26 touches, four marks, four tackles and three inside 50s.

    STATE RANKING: #2

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  • #3
    Alyssia Pisano
    Box Hill VFLW | Small Forward

    height: 162cm

    D.O.B: 01-07-2005

    height: 162cm

    D.O.B: 01-07-2005

    Breaking up the South Australian dominance at the top of the Power Rankings is the silky Pisano, who had it not been for an ACL injury last year, would have had a big Under 18 Championships. Luckily the Eastern Ranges star recovered well and has been back kicking goals, always looking dangerous whenever she goes near it. With hauls of four and six goals already this season, Pisano has re-established herself as the top Victorian talent.

    Boasting a deadly left foot and a penchant for making the most of her opportunities, the top-age young gun has booted a goal in each of her six games and taken her goal tally up to 19.10 for the season. Considering she has played 22 games over three seasons – and only five last year due to her ACL injury – Pisano has still managed to boot 51 goals, including 19 as a double bottom-ager. In 2023. Pisano is averaging 11.8 disposals, 2.8 marks, 2.4 inside 50s and 2.7 tackles in the Coates Talent League.

    JULY RANKING: #3

    LAST MONTH:

    From limited chances, Pisano booted 2.2 from seven touches for Vic Metro against South Australia, and should have finished the game with at least three, and probably four goals. Returning to the Ranges, Pisano kicked two goals from 12 disposals and four marks against Gippsland Power, before being a little quieter in tough conditions against GWV Rebels, scoring a goal from 10 disposals playing a little behind the ball too in a new role.

    STATE RANKING: #1

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  • #4
    Piper Window
    Glenelg | Inside Midfielder

    height: 166cm

    D.O.B: 30-07-2005

    height: 166cm

    D.O.B: 30-07-2005

    Entering the year as a promising prospect off a pretty solid bottom-age season, Window blew up the stats sheet in the first two months of the SANFLW season, where she was close to the most damaging player going around. Window not only can get it done in midfield, but can go forward, clunk a contested mark and hit the scoreboard.

    Captain of the South Australian team at this year’s national championships, Window has that leadership to add to her footballing ability. The one major improvement coming into the year was her kicking, and Window has made inroads into that area of her game, and while it still needs work, the rest of her overall profile is, at a minimum, well above average. The Glenelg top-ager is so tough to stop, and averaged 20.3 disposals, 3.1 marks, 6.1 clearances, 4.0 inside 50s and 7.9 tackles while booting four goals. She was not as influential in the last month of the SANFLW season, but still found a way to impact at the coalface.

    JULY RANKING: #4

    LAST MONTH:

    Window had a huge game against Vic Metro, her biggest of the national carnival, leading South Australia to a win off the back of  her 23 disposals, four marks, five tackles, five clearances, eight inside 50s and one goal. Quieter against Queensland, Window still brought the heat, laying eight tackles to go with 10 touches, two marks and three clearances.

    STATE RANKING: #3

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  • #5
    Laura Stone
    Box Hill VFLW | Midfielder

    height: 170cm

    D.O.B: 22-11-2005

    height: 170cm

    D.O.B: 22-11-2005

    The second Victorian player to make the list, and it is another Eastern Ranges talent in Stone. Having cut her teeth as a rebounding defender last season, Stone gained valuable midfield minutes in the back half of 2022, and has taken her game to another level in 2023. With explosive speed to use out of the stoppage and clean skills, Stone is a well-balanced player who could be utilised in a number of positions and do them well.

    Stone has been one of the most consistent players in this year’s Coates Talent League and is often the second possession winner at stoppages to burst away and clear the ball down the ground. Though not necessarily an inside midfielder, Stone has become used to being close to the action this year, and cemented herself as one of the top Victorian prospects, taking the next step in her football journey. In her seven games in 2023, Stone has averaged 21.6 disposals, 2.4 marks, 5.7 inside 50s and 6.3 tackles.

    JULY RANKING: #5

    LAST MONTH:

    Against South Australia, Stone was a clear best-on, justifying her spot inside the top five with 24 disposals, two marks, four tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s. Only playing the one Talent League match in the past month, the 17-year-old was again outstanding, booting two goals from 21 touches and taking six marks – the first time she has hit the scoreboard this season.

    STATE RANKING: #2

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  • #6
    Brooke Barwick
    Tasmania Devils | Midfielder

    height: 157cm

    D.O.B: 29-07-2005

    height: 157cm

    D.O.B: 29-07-2005

    The hardest player to rank in the 2023 AFLW Draft crop, Barwick is unable to take the field this season after tearing her ACL in preseason. The 159cm midfielder was ranked inside the top five coming into the year, so holds her spot for now, though will unfortunately not get the chance to raise her stocks like her peers. Luckily Barwick has done more than enough to take the next step, with her skill and smarts off the charts, as well as her high-level defensive pressure.

    At the Devils in 2022, Barwick averaged 6.2 tackles per game to go with 15.6 disposals, and was more than comfortable burying herself under the pack. She is incredibly competitive and would have been a massive addition to a well-balanced Tasmanian unit, but is taking the time to work on other aspects of her game, including taking up a coaching role with the Devils.

    JULY RANKING: #6

    LAST MONTH:

    Unfortunately Barwick is still recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and will not take part on-field in 2023.

    STATE RANKING (VIC): #3

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  • #7
    Molly Brooksby
    AFLW Draft Power Rankings: August 2023 | Outside Midfielder

    height: 171cm

    D.O.B: 18-07-2005

    height: 171cm

    D.O.B: 18-07-2005

    After an injury-interrupted preseason due to knee and ankle issues, Brooksby built back into form in the SANFLW season largely playing off half-back and working into the midfield. Even in doing so, she still hit the scoreboard by pushing up the ground and kicking a couple of goals later in the season. In Round 12 and the semi-final of the SANFLW, the Norwood utility had back-to-back best on ground performances, averaging 24.5 disposals and 7.5 rebound 50s in big games.

    Brooksby was strong in the first half against Central District as well, picking up 11 of her 14 disposals in that half, while gaining more valuable midfield minutes. An elite kick of the ball, clever and dual-sided, Brooksby can be one of the most reliable players when up and going, as she showed in last year’s Under 17s Futures match where she was one of the better players on the field playing in her preferred on-ball role.

    JULY RANKING: #7

    LAST MONTH:

    Brooksby had no trouble finding the ball against Vic Metro, asserting herself in all thirds of the ground. She finished that match with 19 disposals, five marks, three tackles and four inside 50s. Against Queensland, the Norwood talent had the 16 disposals, four clearances, three inside 50s and three tackles, running at 90 per cent disposal efficiency too.

    STATE RANKING: #4

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  • #8
    Ella Slocombe
    Claremont | Midfielder

    height: 164cm

    D.O.B: 06-12-2005

    height: 164cm

    D.O.B: 06-12-2005

    The AFLW Draft bolter this year, Slocombe is a player who has all the traits to be a very good player in the future, and has not had as much experience as others on this list. Playing a role for Claremont last season in the Tigers’ run to the flag, Slocombe missed a bulk of preseason while she was overseas and coach Jack Schwarze admitted she was close to missing out on Round 1. A strong couple of practice matches later, and she slotted in, and has been enjoying an incredible 2023 season.

    Slocombe has the explosive burst and work rate that is critical in getting to repeat contests, and has shown she can play forward, as well as inside or on the wing. She moves well through traffic and has been the most consistent of the WAFLW State Academy members at the level. The key was when she represented Western Australia against the All-Stars and then South Australia, and was one of the Black Ducks’ best on both occasions.

    JULY RANKING: #10

    LAST MONTH:

    Slocombe only played the one match in the past two months, having missed June due to an avulsion fracture in her knee and only returning for the Under 18s’ exhibition against the WA Country Women’s side. Though she was on managed minutes only coming on for the second half, she looked like she had not missed a beat, quickly adapting and hitting some sizzling passes. With all the traits that clubs love, she is the first player to move up in the rankings.

    STATE RANKING: #1

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  • #9
    Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner
    Vic Metro Girls | Midfielder

    height: 178cm

    D.O.B: 01-07-2005

    height: 178cm

    D.O.B: 01-07-2005

    Unfortunately for Weston-Turner, 2023 has not had the ideal start, going down with injury and only playing the two games. Against Tasmania Devils in Round 3, Weston-Turner caught the eye with 15 disposals, three marks, five tackles, five inside 50s, before not being able to influence as much in the wet against Calder Cannons. But when it comes to the Western Jets tall, clubs are not picking her on the now, but what she could become in the future.

    Arguably boasting the highest ceiling of those in the later first round, Weston-Turner is a 178cm forward with explosive speed and just as capable at ground level as she is on the lead. Famously booting a goal from the centre circle at Mars Stadium, Weston-Turner does have a booming kick, and can burn off opponents with ease. Able to do the incredible on her day, she has X-factor in spades and if she can live up to her potential, she will be a very good player in the future.

    JULY RANKING: #12

    LAST MONTH:

    Similar to Slocombe, Weston-Turner only just returned from a long-term injury (wrist) to play just prior to the Talent League Girls’ community break. In the five-goal win over Murray Bushrangers, Weston-Turner had 19 disposals, two marks, four inside 50s and kicked 2.1, often proving too unselfish for her own good. Still, while there was room for improvement, it was clear she is right to go for the national carnival, and moves inside the top 10.

    STATE RANKING: #4

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  • #10
    Elaine Grigg
    Central District | Medium Utility

    height: 165cm

    D.O.B: 23-12-2005

    height: 165cm

    D.O.B: 23-12-2005

    The evasive Central District midfielder has plenty of upside and has come a long way in 2023. Crossing from North Adelaide to the Bulldogs, Grigg recently became a dual premiership player. Boasting elite evasion and speed, as well as high-level defensive pressure, the versatile talent has added some extra strings to her bow to go from being a potential Top 20 prospect to a potential Top 10 talent.

    Still not the finished product in terms of what she is capable or producing in the future, Grigg was able to earn more midfield time with the Dogs this year, and play a combination of inside and outside, as well as off a half-forward flank. She had some highs and lows in terms of her performances, but when she was on, she was really able to influence contests. Her defensive pressure – 7.9 tackles – is what stands out each game. She also averaged 15.2 disposals, 1.5 marks, 2.7 clearances and 2.4 inside 50s for the Bulldogs in the 2023 SANFLW season.

    JULY RANKING: #8

    LAST MONTH:

    While technically Grigg has moved down two spots, it is more about the others moving up than her doing anything wrong. Against Vic Metro, Grigg had 19 disposals, two marks, two clearances and inside 50s, but uncharacteristically only laid three tackles. She returned to her tackling best against Queensland, laying nine tackles from 16 disposals and kicking a goal.

    STATE RANKING: #5

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  • #11
    Georgia Clark
    AFLW Draft Power Rankings: August 2023 | Tall Forward

    height: 173cm

    D.O.B: 11-12-2005

    height: 173cm

    D.O.B: 11-12-2005

    The second Tasmanian player in the Top 10, Clark is an undersized key forward, but has the traits that make her own the role well. With velcro hands and strong leading patterns, the Devils’ vice-captain is not to be underestimated. She has even rolled into the ruck at times this season despite being just 174cm. Clark has spent time roaming up the ground and getting involved and is not just a pure inside 50 ball-winner.

    Early in the season, Clark was on fire with six goals in her first three games, averaging 18 disposals in that period. Since missing a game due to injury and the community break, Clark came back and showed some promising signs, but has been quieter in two of her three games since then. Still, the Tasmanian talent provides a target and at her best is among the top players in the AFLW Draft crop.

    JULY RANKING: #9

    LAST MONTH:

    Like Grigg, Clark shuffles down a couple of spots despite not really doing anything too much wrong. She has had a little up and down form that comes with being a tall forward, but has shown she can play further afield in other positions. Against Vic Metro, Clark had 19 disposals, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50 and kicked a goal. She was not able to really impact against Queensland yesterday though, laying four tackles and only having the 10 touches without a mark. In her three most recent Talent League games though, Clark found her form again, averaging 20 disposals and two goals per game.

    STATE RANKING (VIC): #5

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  • #12
    Georgie Cleaver
    East Fremantle | Ruck Forward

    height: 181cm

    D.O.B: 14-08-2005

    height: 181cm

    D.O.B: 14-08-2005

    The standout ruck remaining in the AFLW Draft crop, the national carnival looms as a big one for the talented and athletic Cleaver. As she saw her peers in Matilda Scholz and Darcie Davies earn spots on AFLW lists, Cleaver remains as the number one ruck in the AFLW Academy. She is not just a pure ruck, and is likely a touch undersized at the top level, which is why she has forged a career as a key forward who can pinch-hit on-ball.

    An impressive athlete with a great vertical leap and nice speed for a tall, Cleaver is also forging a netball career having represented Western Australia in that code as well. Hoping to juggle both sports, the East Fremantle tall will draw plenty of interest from AFLW clubs with her ground level work the best of the ruck/forwards in the crop.

    JULY RANKING: #11

    LAST MONTH:

    Remaining relatively stable, Cleaver played two WAFLW finals in the past month, and though she was relatively quiet against South Fremantle in the preliminary final – though still laid nine tackles – she had some impressive moments in the decider against Claremont. Winning a premiership medallion for the second successive year against doing so at Rogers Cup level last year, Cleaver had 12 disposals, two marks, eight tackles, 14 hitouts and a goal in the grand final.

    STATE RANKING: #2

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  • #13
    Brooke Boileau
    South Adelaide | Inside Midfielder

    height: 169cm

    D.O.B: 28-01-2005

    height: 169cm

    D.O.B: 28-01-2005

    South Adelaide midfielder Boileau is another draft bolter this season, coming off a remarkable 2023 SANFLW campaign that still has one more match left in it. Last season, the predominant big-bodied forward missed out on a spot in the stacked State Academy, and went back to work on her craft increase her production rate and move into the midfield. After a huge preseason, Boileau came out as a locked in member of the Panthers midfield and has hardly put a foot wrong.

    Only missing two games – one due to State Academy duties and the other due to a foot injury – Boileau has averaged 18.0 disposals, 3.1 marks, 4.3 clearances, 7.2 tackles and 2.2 inside 50s and her sole goal was the only one in a low-scoring tussle against the Eagles in Round 7. Consistency is key, and Boileau has not had lower than 16 disposal all year, with 21 being her peak, but her tackling and clearances have also been consistent, and she can work to the outside as well.

    JULY RANKING: #13

    LAST MONTH:

    Boileau was her consistent self to cap off the national carnival, having 17 disposals, two marks, three clearances and four inside 50s against Vic Metro, then starring in the win over Queensland with 29 disposals, four marks, six tackles, three clearances and three inside 50s. Holds her spot in 13th for another month.

    STATE RANKING: #6

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  • #14
    Sienna McMullen

    height: 164cm

    D.O.B: 15-07-2005

    height: 164cm

    D.O.B: 15-07-2005

    McMullen has started out as a wing and is more likely to slot into that position at the top level as Queensland’s top prospect for 2023. She has the running capacity and the speed that catches the eye, and though she can often get herself into trouble by taking the game on, it is an appealing aspect to AFLW clubs. McMullen had a very impressive Under 17s Futures match last year, showing she can match it with the best of her peer group.

    In 2023, McMullen has had some interruptions, only recently playing her first Suns Academy game in the Talent League yesterday after missing the first couple. She showed those moments of brilliance at times, but is still building that four-quarter consistency. A more pure outside player compared to others in the Top 20, McMullen still applies defensive pressure and is not afraid to get her hands dirty when required as she showed in her bottom-age year for the Suns and Queensland.

    JULY RANKING: #14

    LAST MONTH:

    McMullen has completed her national carnival in the past month, playing all three matches against South Australia, Vic Country and the Allies. It was a mixed bag for the talented AFLW Academy member, with the win over Vic Country easily her best performance, amassing 16 disposals, seven marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and five rebound 50s. Her other two were quieter but she still provided some dare and dash, particularly against the Allies yesterday, working hard to get back and help the defence.

    STATE RANKING: #1

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  • #15
    Cleo Buttifant

    height: 174cm

    D.O.B: 03-05-2005

    height: 174cm

    D.O.B: 03-05-2005

    Among six new entries into the AFLW Draft Power Rankings last month, Buttifant is a unique prospect. One of the more athletic talls in the draft pool, she is a dual sport athlete who also plays touch football. It enables the 174cm defender to have outstanding speed that she looks to utilise on every possible occasion. Not afraid to tuck the ball under her arm, Buttifant is one for the future once she is able to develop her craft further in what is ultimately her first season of Aussie rules.

    Despite her lack of time in an elite program, Buttifant has smart game sense and gets into the right positions behind the ball to intercept. Though at times her decision making and skill execution are hit and miss, that will come with time and her rare athleticism makes her a unique prospect. Still limited exposure compared to others, she is one with ability that will attract club interest outside the GIANTS Academy.

    JULY RANKING: #15

    LAST MONTH:

    The draft bolter from last month retains her spot at 15th, with the one further national carnival game in that time which occurred yesterday. Buttifant found the going a little tougher with the pressure stakes raised, and she finished with eight disposals and just on the one mark. Still, the GIANTS Academy member has the traits that project her as a first round prospect.

    STATE RANKING: #1

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  • #16
    Mikayla Williamson
    Southern Saints | Midfielder

    height: 173cm

    D.O.B: 08-05-2005

    height: 173cm

    D.O.B: 08-05-2005

    Williamson is one of those players who has all the pieces to be a very good footballer, and it is a case of just putting it all together. Her explosive speed, evasion and endurance make her a player that can run and run all day long. Starting her career as a half-back and then progressing to a wing, Williamson finds space well and takes off, looking to hit the ground running. After missing Round 1 due to injury, Williamson was a little slow to start the 2023 season, but over the last few rounds – either side of the community break – and particularly after it, the Stingrays talent has found some nice form.

    Her kicking efficiency is developing which is the next step, and she is starting to clunk those marks she was dropping early in the season. Since Round 4, she has taking five or six marks in three of her five matches and looking more confident when having to compete aerially. She is not afraid to crack in as well at times, and though she is predominantly an outside player, has the traits to play inside.

    JULY RANKING: #18

    LAST MONTH:

    In Vic Country’s first national carnival game, Williamson tried her best and finished with 14 disposals, two marks, five tackles, two clearances and four inside 50s. Her numbers were down on her usual output, but she gave it a crack through four quarters. At Talent League level, two of her three games were 23-disposal performances, and she was able to have some kind of impact on each match. Her continued consistency and improvements on her deficiencies sees her move up two spots.

    STATE RANKING: #6

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  • #17
    Kaitlyn Srhoj
    Peel Thunder | Midfielder

    height: 175cm

    D.O.B: 10-07-2005

    height: 175cm

    D.O.B: 10-07-2005

    The Peel Thunder midfielder took her game to another level in the Under 17s Futures match last season, earning best afield for her side to announce herself as a top-end AFLW Draft prospect. In 2023, Srhoj has had an injury-interrupted season, copping a concussion early in the year with a clash in Round 1 of the WAFLW, and she took a little while to get back to full fitness. Upon return, she worked her way back to her best, and has built up some form over the past month.

    Srhoj had her best game of the season last week in Round 12 against South Fremantle, picking up 20 disposals, six marks and five tackles building on a strong performance from the week before against West Perth. Also solid against South Australia at the AFLW Under 18 Championships, Srhoj’s best is Top 10 quality, it is just about the consistency of maintaining that ability. The top-age young gun has the size and traits to even be the first off the board in the West Australian pool, and realistically is not too far off the top few on her day.

    JULY RANKING: #16

    LAST MONTH:

    It has been a relatively quiet month for the Peel Thunder talent, who returned to action through the State Academy’s exhibition match with the WA Country Women’s team. She found plenty of the ball and was lively, and though her efficiency was down, gave it a crack for four quarters. Has the traits to be a first round prospect, but just has to refine those finishing touches.

    STATE RANKING: #3

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  • #18
    Sophie Peters
    Lions Academy | Midfielder

    height: 163cm

    D.O.B: 12-03-2005

    height: 163cm

    D.O.B: 12-03-2005

    Peters is the top pick for the Brisbane Lions Academy this season. She is a member of the AFLW Academy and though not a high production player, is one who can play a multitude of roles and generally use it well. Still a developing talent, Peters has shown she can stand up on the big stage, and is generally a winger who can roll inside and have an influence around the stoppages.

    Peters is a player who generally uses the ball well even if she does not find a heap of it. With her inside and outside ability, the Lions Academy midfielder is one who really came to the fore during the AFLW Academy match against the Under 23 All-Stars. Though she could still be a touch cleaner at ground level, she is generally a strong decision maker be it in space or under pressure.

    JULY RANKING: #19

    LAST MONTH:

    Peters is such a talented player, she just does not find a great deal of the ball. When she does, she makes the most of it, taking grass and backing herself to run on. Her three national carnival games saw her pick up eight, 13 and 12 disposals, but her metres gained and skills by both hand and foot is what stands out in her game.

    STATE RANKING: #2

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  • #19
    Lila Keck
    Essendon VFLW | Midfielder

    height: 162cm

    D.O.B: 20-10-2005

    height: 162cm

    D.O.B: 20-10-2005

    Keck is a naturally-gifted midfielder/forward who will likely play the latter role at the top level. She has the defensive pressure as well as the natural footy smarts to adapt, and definitely knows where the goals are. In 2022, Keck booted seven goals from 10 games, gradually moving into the midfield in her bottom-age year after showing promising early signs as a 16-year-old in 2021. Her progression into a midfielder who rotates forward in 2023 has shown she can play both roles effectively.

    Though Keck has missed a couple of games due to injury of late, she has kept herself busy coaching and developing herself off-field having also been awarded the Bendigo captaincy this year. Her defensive pressure is one of the best in the Top 20 as is her goal sense. Though Bendigo has largely struggled in terms of results, Keck is a player who can influence a game not just individually, but setting up teammates for scoring opportunities.

    JULY RANKING: #20

    LAST MONTH:

    Keck only played one game in the past month which was Vic Country’s loss to Queensland. Lively early, Keck kicked a goal and had a busy first term, before fading out after quarter time. It was tough going for a Vic Country forward, but a positive was her defensive pressure, laying seven tackles and most importantly getting through the game unscathed after ankle issues throughout 2023.

    STATE RANKING: #7

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  • #20
    Sarah Grunden
    Essendon VFLW | Medium Forward

    height: 168cm

    D.O.B: 25-02-2005

    height: 168cm

    D.O.B: 25-02-2005

    The Calder top-ager has been a draft bolter this season coming into the Cannons program and is a player with some outstanding traits. She catches the eye with her ability both in the air and at ground level, with clean and and slick skill that sets her apart.

    Her defensive pressure is also a facet of her game that stands up to the litmus test, averaging 5.0 tackles per game to go with 13.6 disposals, 2.1 marks and 3.4 inside 50s. Rotating between midfield and attack, Grunden has far more impact as that half-forward. More of an upside type, Grunden’s influence is outside the stats sheet, usually making things happen with her movement and disposal.

    JULY RANKING: #17

    LAST MONTH:

    Grunden struggled to have an impact for Vic Metro against South Australia simply because she could not get enough opportunities. In her sole Talent League Girls game in the past month, she kicked a goal from 11 disposals in a solid outing against Tasmania Devils.

    STATE RANKING: #8

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  • #21
    Jessica Rentsch
    East Perth | Midfielder

    height: 172cm

    D.O.B: 11-10-2005

    height: 172cm

    D.O.B: 11-10-2005

    After suffering a broken leg last year, Rentsch had a delayed start to her preseason and spent more time off half-back than through the middle where she would ideally move to in her top-age year. Now having regained the fitness she has lost since, the GWV Rebels speedster has gradually moved into that midfield role and is getting her hands on the ball more. On the weekend, Rentsch had a season-high 18 touches against Gippsland Power and was among her side’s best yet again.

    One of the most agile and explosive players in the draft crop, Rentsch’s game screams upside, and the fact she has retained that speed after overcoming such a serious leg injury is impressive. She still has areas to work on such as the final execution and tempering expectations as she can tend to get caught a bit, but she can equally dish it out with great run-down tackles. In season 2023, Rentsch has averaged 14.7 disposals and 5.3 tackles per game, also lifting her inside 50 average to 3.4 since moving into the midfield.

    JULY RANKING: #21

    LAST MONTH:

    Remaining steady at 21, Rentsch had a quieter game against Queensland, only picking up the six disposals, two clearances and two inside 50s in the AFLW Under 18s loss. Back at Talent League level, Rentsch had 16 and 15 disposal games against the Bushrangers and Ranges respectively, predominantly through the midfield.

    STATE RANKING: #9

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  • #22
    Bryde O'Rourke

    height: 175cm

    D.O.B: 28-11-2005

    height: 175cm

    D.O.B: 28-11-2005

    O’Rourke is a player who has all the pieces to be a very good player, and is starting to put them together in her top-age year. Standing at 176cm, O’Rourke has largely been among the best Pioneers in each of her side’s games, and until the weekend’s heavy loss to Dandenong, had hit the scoreboard in each one. Able to be a threat aerially, as well as play midfield or forward, O’Rourke has that explosive speed out of the blocks and a high upside for the future.

    In 2023, O’Rourke has averaged 16.0 disposals, 3.0 marks, 4.1 inside 50s and booted 6.3, with a lot of her goals coming from long-range on the run. She does have a booming kick and a long stride able to create separation on her opponents, and is rated highly internally by the Pioneers for her work within the group. Her defensive game is still one that is developing though she laid a career-high five tackles back in Round 9 – and her endurance has a long way to go – but her bursts allow her to impact games.

    JULY RANKING: #22

    LAST MONTH:

    In her first AFL Under 18s match against Queensland, O’Rourke had the seven disposals, three marks and three inside 50s. Though she showed off her traits at times, she could not have her preferred time and space and will be hoping for more of that in the remaining two carnival matches. At Talent League level she has had to step up in the absence of Keck and Lou Painter, averaging 18 disposals for the Pioneers in her three games but has not been able to spend as much time forward, so has not kicked a goal since Round 8 after hitting the scoreboard in each of her first five games this season.

    STATE RANKING: #10

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  • #23
    Chloe Adams

    height: 165cm

    D.O.B: 13-12-2005

    height: 165cm

    D.O.B: 13-12-2005

    The Geelong Falcons skipper is one of those players who ticks a lot of boxes, and is an ultra-consistent performer. Utilised through the midfield, Adams is able to drop back behind the ball, and then also go forward and set up plays there. A naturally defensive player, Adams is someone who will put her body on the line to win a one-on-one both in the air and at ground level, and hardly plays a bad game.

    She earned Under 23 All-Stars representation for her form at Talent League level, and is a player who coaches can rely on to get the job done. While teammate Sara Howley may take the plaudits a lot of the time, Adams plays a critical role on both the inside and outside, and makes her team looks better. She is also a dual-sided athlete who makes good decisions with ball-in-hand.

    JULY RANKING: #23

    LAST MONTH:

    Adams held her own in a tough day out for Vic Country, picking up 13 disposals, three marks, five tackles, two clearances and four rebound 50s. Her ability to cover the ground and fill in across all three lines makes her a versatile prospect. Though she missed her side’s most recent Talent League game, she had a couple of big ones across July, with a 25-disposal effort against the Ranges, before a 19-disposal game against the Power. Her defensive pressure – 23 tackles combined – was the standout area for Adams.

    STATE RANKING: #11

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  • #24
    Jaime Henry
    Swan Districts | Inside Midfielder

    height: 176cm

    D.O.B: 05-10-2005

    height: 176cm

    D.O.B: 05-10-2005

    If consistency is key, then one can look no further than West Australian Henry, who has been one of the few AFLW Draft prospects from the Black Ducks evident from when they first stepped into a senior lineup. Making her debut in her double bottom-age year, Henry played as a defender for 18 months and caught the eye with her reliable kicking, strong hands, good decision making and one-on-one work. Once she played for Western Australia at the 2022 AFLW Under 18 Championships as a midfielder, her club side Swan Districts followed suit.

    Since then, Henry has continued on her merry way as a hard-at-it inside midfielder. She has outstandingly clean hands at the stoppage, puts her body in the way and is a someone who can always role back to defence given she has the height and strength to match tall forwards. The knock will come on her athleticism with her speed, but she has the power to shrug off tackles, and footy IQ through the roof. If clubs can see her as that inside midfielder or rebounding defender, she is more than capable of making a big impact at AFLW level.

    JULY RANK: Unranked

    LAST MONTH:

    Henry returns to the top 25 after just slipping outside it last month with others moving up. Off the back off a clear best on ground performance in a half for the State Academy against the WA Country Women’s side, the midfielder showed what she can offer against bigger bodies and was so clean and strong at ground level. She breaks the norm of explosive athletes, but has a point of difference not just in her size, but also her incredible footy IQ.

    STATE RANKING: #4

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  • #25
    Evie Long
    Lions Academy | Forward

    height: 175cm

    D.O.B: 22-08-2005

    height: 175cm

    D.O.B: 22-08-2005

    Evie Long is somewhat of a draft bolter who has been getting better and better of late. Unfortunately the top-age talent has had a history with concussion issues which has kept her from really showing her full potential. But for Queensland at the national carnival. Long showed all the traits she has to offer, largely playing as a forward, but can play higher up the ground as well as deeper to be a distributor and a marking target inside 50.

    The Brisbane Lions Academy member only played the one Talent League Girls game where she won 14 disposals and laid 11 tackles, while having six inside 50s. Standing at 175cm, Long is a good size, and most importantly has a range of eye-catching traits. From good hands in the air and at ground level, reading the play well and making good decisions with ball-in-hand, Long has shown she has what it takes to make the next level.

    JULY RANKING: Unranked

    LAST MONTH:

    After only playing the one Talent League game, Long turned out for all three national carnival fixtures. Her first two saw her average eight disposals and kick a goal in each, before being the star of the show against the Allies yesterday. Long had 13 disposals, six marks, three tackles and booted three goals in four minutes, to be the match winner in the third term.

    STATE RANKING: #3

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  • #26
    Jemma Rigoni
    Casey Demons VFLW | Tall Utility

    height: 172cm

    D.O.B: 04-06-2004

    height: 172cm

    D.O.B: 04-06-2004

    Rigoni is the sole over-age player in this AFLW Draft Power Rankings and enters off some eye-catching form for the Under 23 All-Stars and Vic Metro across the month of June. She is the daughter of Guy, who played 107 games for Melbourne. It makes her eligible for the Demons and one who has plenty of upside should they – or any other side – choose to draft her.

    Though Rigoni is an over-ager who was overlooked, she missed 2022 through an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, after playing at both ends for Oakleigh Chargers. Now settled as a rebounding defender, Rigoni has the athleticism and dare that catches the eye. She is not afraid to take multiple bounces down a wing and move the ball forward in transition. She has areas such as decision making to improve on, but is a natural athlete with some serious highlights.

    JULY RANKING: #24

    LAST MONTH:

    Rigoni has not played since Vic Metro’s win over the Allies, and was sorely missed as an athletic key defender against South Australia.

    STATE RANKING: #9

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  • #27
    Hayley McLaughlin
    Box Hill VFLW | Wing

    height: 164cm

    D.O.B: 22-11-2005

    height: 164cm

    D.O.B: 22-11-2005

    Hayley McLaughlin is one of those specialist wingers which seems to be in vogue in the AFL Women’s. A hard running, clean talent, McLaughlin does a lot right with her work around the ground, and while she has had stints on the inside, is largely that pure outside player. She loves to win the ball between the arcs and try and break the lines, or at the very least, release teammates into space. A dual sportsperson as a talented cricketer, McLaughlin has enjoyed a wonderfully consistent season for both Eastern Ranges and in the first two games for Vic Metro.

    McLaughlin can tend to fly under the radar with both Pisano and Stone in her side, but has picked up 20-plus disposals in six of her 10 matches, with her lowest count for the season being 14. Though it would be nice to see her hitting the scoreboard a little more, she is clean by hand or foot and generally makes good decisions. She is averaging 20.7 disposals, 4.0 marks, 2.4 inside 50s, 2.6 rebound 50s and laid 3.3 tackles per match.

    JULY RANKING: Unranked

    LAST MONTH:

    Entering the rankings off the back of a strong past month, having four of her best six Talent League games across late June and July, and stepping up for Vic Metro as well. After a steady 15-disposal game against the Allies where she was one of the more consistent players, McLaughlin was everywhere against South Australia. Though it was ultimately in vain, she had 22 disposals, three marks, three tackles and three inside 50s.

    STATE RANKING: #10

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  • #28
    Kiara Bischa

    height: 171cm

    D.O.B: 15-04-2005

    height: 171cm

    D.O.B: 15-04-2005

    Another surprise draft bolter out of the Sunshine State, Bischa had the perfect carnival for a defender. Playing on some incredible opponents such as Young, Ash Centra and at times Georgia Clark, Bischa only conceded one goal to her direct opponent across the carnival. At some point, her sheer weight of performance comes into it. But aside from just being a lockdown defender, Bischa wins her own ball, so has that offensive element to her game. Though accountable, she can peel off into the dangerous spots to try and intercept, or mop up if a spill comes from the defensive 50 stoppage.

    Her clean hands at ground level – generally one-touch – closing speed and reading of the play all stand out, with the next improvement just being her positioning in marking contests. Though she is good at getting the ball to ground, against bigger opponents, Bischa can tend to get pushed under the ball, which smart opponents will make her pay. Still, she is highly competitive, has enough athletic and football traits that standout and she earns a place in the Top 30 off the back of an impressive carnival.

    JULY RANKING: Unranked

    LAST MONTH:

    Bischa’s AFLW Under 18s carnival was as good as anyone’s, and while she may not get the plaudits being a defender, her performances against some of the best players in the next two drafts are hard to deny. She is a touch for a key defender for AFLW level at 171cm, but could be a third tall who floats across and intercepts, or comes in with a well-timed spoil. Her best performance of the championships came against Vic Country where she had 14 disposals, two marks, two tackles and four rebound 50s.

    STATE RANKING: #4

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  • #29
    Lily Jordan

    height: 164cm

    D.O.B: 29-06-2005

    height: 164cm

    D.O.B: 29-06-2005

    It is always tricky to pick the final player in the rankings, regardless of the number of players, but on this occasion, it will be GWV Rebels’ Lily Jordan. The small forward has done enough this year to suggest she has come along in leaps and bounds and is capable of taking the next step. As a bottom-ager, Jordan showed promising signs but was inconsistent, something she has worked on this year.

    Bursting out of the blocks early in 2023, Jordan slotted 10 goals in three games to be the leading goalkicker at that point in time. Since then she has only kicked the one goal for the Falcons, but instead focused her attention on defensive pressure, laying 27 tackles in the next three weeks. What stands out about Jordan is her clean hands at ground level, competitive nature around the ball and has effective skills with ball-in-hand.

    JUNE RANKING: #25

    LAST MONTH:

    Jordan had some moments without being outstanding against Queensland, setting up a goal to Ash Centra and kicking one of her own. She looked dangerous inside 50 and showed off her dual-sidedness. At Talent League level, Jordan broke her goal drought with three goals in two weeks, before being a little quieter against the Ranges. The question of athleticism and versatility will be the two knocks on her game, but has plenty of tricks.

    STATE RANKING: #11

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  • #30
    Rania Crozier
    Lions Academy | Key Forward

    height: 178cm

    D.O.B: 18-11-2005

    height: 178cm

    D.O.B: 18-11-2005

    A member of the AFLW Academy, Crozier is a difficult one to place. Similar to Cleaver, her athleticism for a tall is very rare, and her marking ability is simply sensational. Crozier boasts explosive speed on the lead, an ability to jump over opponents with ease and constantly looks dangerous inside 50. The big question mark, similar to Cleaver, comes in her final execution.

    Crozier works incredibly hard and can often kick the most ridiculous goals, yet spray set shots which shows a work in progress. She missed a season due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, and went through the QAFLW last year upon return. She shot into draft calculations following an invitation into the AFLW Academy, and while she is not the finished talent just yet, has the traits that make it evident why she has enormous potential.

    JULY RANKING: Unranked

    LAST MONTH:

    Crozier started the national carnival with a solid 13-disposal, three-mark game against South Australia, and had nine disposals, three marks and a goal against Vic Country. She played a higher role as Dekota Baron got on the end of most of chances inside 50, before feasting on the Allies with 3.1 from 13 disposals. Her five marks in that game stood out, and she is one who at her best is easily a top 30 talent, it is just about consistency.

    STATE RANKING: #5

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STIFF TO MISS

The top 19 players in this month’s AFLW Draft Power Rankings seem to be the really settled ones, with the 20-40 bracket incredibly close. Picking the last few players in that group is very difficult with a host of Queenslanders and even a couple of West Australians very near.

 

West Australian Mackenzie Webb, Victorian Tamara Henry and Queenslander Charlotte Adamson – who is a cross-coder from soccer – would arguably be the next cabs off the rank. Queensland skipper Josie McCabe and wing/forward Jacinta Baldwick are also not far away. Queensland in particular has lifted its draftable talent from the carnival

 

For the Sandgropers, their skipper Anjelique Raison and over-ager Mackenzie Webb both came into consideration, while Vic Metro speedster Isabel Bacon, and AFLW Academy MVP Mel Staunton were both in the frame.

 

South Australia haas a number of players who just slot outside the top 30 group, with South Adelaide trio, Alissa Brook, Mel Anderson and Holly Ifould all thereabouts, while Sturt forward Zara Walsh also has potential.

 

From Victoria, the depth there is evident. From a talls perspective, Jess Vukic, Emily Gough and Jacinta Hose are the next best and in the mix, while around the ground, Keeley Fullerton and Amber Schutte impressed for Vic Country, as have Vic Metro representatives, Georgia Stubs, Kayley Kavanagh, Kiera Whiley and Ava Jordan.

 

Dandenong’s Meg Robertson , GWV Rebels’ Tyla Crabtree and Geelong Falcons’ Chantal Mason have also improved as the year has gone on, with Crabtree overcoming injury to play a big role for Country at the national carnival.

 

There is no shortage of defensive depth this year, with Eastern Ranges’ Ava Campbell, Dandenong Stingrays’ Jemma Ramsdale and Sandringham Dragons’ Emily Gough all able to play that role as well as up the other end of the ground.

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