Draft Central’s Collaborative 2022 AFL Women’s Top 50 Countdown: #45 Tyanna Smith
IN a new exciting collaborative countdown, the Draft Central has teamed up with other independent media organisations to bring a 2022 AFL Women’s Top 50 Countdown. Every weekday from now until December 17, a new player will be named starting from 50th down to 1st, stemming from a combined eight Top 50 submissions. Among those who submitted Top 50s include Siren Sport‘s Gemma Bastiani, Women’s Australian Rules Football (WARF) Radio‘s Peter Holden, and a combined Outer Sanctum team’s Top 50.
Tyanna Smith is the youngest player to enter the Top 50 thus far, and like Courtney Hodder at 48, is a first-year player. Coming out of the Dandenong Stingrays Girls, Smith had a sensational first year at the elite level, easily assimilating into the Saints’ lineup alongside other young guns, and combining with fellow Top 10 pick Georgia Patrikios. Playing all nine games in 2021, Smith averaged 13.6 disposals, but it was her defensive pressure that really caught the eye, laying a whopping 68 tackles – at 7.6 per game – that was impressive. She was not afraid to match it with more experienced opponents throughout the AFL Women’s season.
At junior level Smith came in off the back of the same defensive pressure, averaging six tackles from 25.3 disposals with the Stingrays, and then 6.3 tackles from 16 disposals from her bottom-age Under 18 Championships with Vic Country. Despite her 2020 season all but wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic – she played three games – Smith showed no signs of rustiness in the AFLW season. In fact, she was one of the leading first-year players across the competition.
Her position at 45th exemplifies her importance and impact to the league off just one season, with plenty of improvement still to come. She managed to get five more games under her belt at VFL Women’s level this season, averaging 19.4 disposals and 6.8 tackles, playing more of a transition game, which is something the Saints under new coach Nick Dal Santo, will be able to utilise the talented midfielder in, and play to her strengths. Smith featured in six of the eight lists, predominantly in the 40s, but did have a Top 20 spot on one.
DRAFT CENTRAL’S 2022 AFL WOMEN’S TOP 50
#50 Ash Brazill(Collingwood) | ARTICLE
#49 Tayla Harris (Melbourne) | ARTICLE
#48 Courtney Hodder (Brisbane) | ARTICLE
#47 Eden Zanker (Melbourne) | ARTICLE
#46 Kirsty Lamb (Western Bulldogs) | ARTICLE
#45 Tyanna Smith (St Kilda)
Picture credit: Graham Denholm/AFL Photos