💎 AFLW 100 MVP - 3rd Edition - Who are the most valuable players ahead of the 2021/22 season?? 💎

Of the ten youngest All-Australian players, who are you taking first in a re-draft?


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Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
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The rankings


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Volume 3: The new bells and whistles

This being the third instalment of my 100 Most Valuable AFLW Players project ought to automatically indicate a level of humility for which some have hurtfully accused me of lacking in the past. No, I don’t think everything I say about football is unquestionably accurate. If I did, I wouldn’t need to persist with these attempts to correct myself!

I have gone a step further this year to allow for that, assigning Bullet indicators to some of my rankings. This mechanism acknowledges players are complex beings constantly evolving beyond the comprehension of my puny little brain and, in some cases, I’m yet to satisfactorily decide on just how good I think they may turn out to be.

Since the very nature of this list encourages an optimistic outlook on emerging talent—which, in a way, goes against my distaste of seeing the game’s longstanding contributors miss out on their deserving share of credit—I have also added Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Emerald indicators for players who have demonstrated a certain level of quality over time.


What hasn’t changed?


As with previous years, I welcome you all to contribute your thoughts and opinions—be it answering the thread poll, posting your own rankings (even if it’s just a top 5) or wondering aloud about mine. But for the sake of a coherent discussion, please try to keep in mind the following:
  • The idea is to consider players in terms of who would be most desirable to recruit when starting up a new team, based on what you’ve seen at AFLW level.
  • If you criticise players from other teams but none from your own, your opinion is boring and it will likely be ridiculed (likewise if you only talk up your own players and none from other teams).


What is the point of all this, you nerd/loser?

First of all, this is a football forum. What did you expect to find?

Secondly, look back at the first iteration of the rankings and you'll see they suggested the new teams of 2020 were in for a world of hurt while Brisbane had retained a lot more quality than what was widely reported.

If you think I might’ve been onto something there, perhaps you’ll appreciate this list and next year’s (after which I might retire the concept), given that the general idea is rather relevant to the current expansion era.


Structure and context

In the next post, I will name the players on last year’s list who have missed out this year. I will also select a dozen-or-so honourable mentions.

Then, I will dedicate a post to each team, listing the rankings of those who I consider to be among the 100 MVP. A concise-as-possible rationale for the appraisal of each team’s players will be included, with the aim to avoid repeating myself from past years and eliminate any self-evident descriptions.

All up we’re talking about 4000 words this time around. If you’d like to read an explanation for my ranking of, say, Monique Conti or Ellie Blackburn… well, I don’t have any new words for them at this point, so I encourage you to check out the previous 100 MVP editions (links below).


Links

1st Edition: AFLW’s 100 Most Valuable Players

2nd Edition: AFLW’s 100 Most Valuable Players

Cricket: 100 Most Valuable Women’s Players
 
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Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
4,992
5,935
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Rancho Carne Toros
Exclusions

Here are the players who made last year’s list but have missed out this year. Numbers in brackets indicate last year's ranking.

-- (5) Sabreena Duffy (FRE)

-- (40) Olivia Purcell (GEE -> MEL)

-- (57) Jasmine Grierson (NM -> GWS)

-- (58) Evie Gooch (FRE -> WC)

-- (67) Aliesha Newman (COL)

-- (68) Jacqui Yorston (GC)

-- (70) Olivia Vesely (STK)

-- (74) Phoebe Monahan (RIC -> BL)

-- (77) Philipa Seth (FRE)

-- (86) Kate McCarthy (STK)

-- (95) Jade Pregelj (GC)

-- (96) Maddy McMahon (GEE)

-- (98) Marijana Rajcic (ADE)

-- (99) Lauren Arnell (BL -> retired)

-- (100) Katie Loynes (CAR -> GWS)



AFLW Bubbling Under 100 MVP

Aside from anybody in last year’s top 100 or Honourable Mentions list, here are the players I would’ve liked to put in this year’s top 100 but ultimately decided I still needed more clarity in each case.

Niamh Kelly (WC)

Greta Bodey (BL)

Aishling Sheridan (COL)

Ashleigh Woodland (ADE)

Daisy Bateman (NM)

Eliza McNamara (MEL)

Haneen Zreika (GWS)

Rachelle Martin (ADE)

Abbie McKay (CAR)

Maddy Brancatisano (RIC)

Sarah Lampard (MEL)

Ash Brazill (COL)

Chloe Dalton (GWS)

Tessa Lavey (RIC)
 

Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
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Geelong (4 players)

40 (81) Chloe Scheer

70 (--) Amy McDonald


92 (80) Nina Morrison

98 (92) Julia Crockett-Grills



How much immediate improvement in the win-loss column is in store for Geelong? Impossible to say. What’s clear is the reincarnated Cats will play like a team unrecognisable from previous years, pending some long-awaited luck. So far, they’ve been the league’s quintessential disjointed go-it-alone mob—one player thrashing away by themselves in choppy waters at any given moment while everybody else stands, watches and waits for her to start sinking before deciding to jump in with some assistance (at which point it’s, of course, too late).

Chloe Scheer should have been the player to take Adelaide into a post-Erin period of success. Alongside Nina Morrison and a highly anticipated new draftee, these are proactive on-ballers embarking on what feels like well-overdue opportunities to elevate their performances above their reputations. The temptation will be to spread them around the ground, which must be resisted. A one-win team is a lot like an old, old wooden ship: there is always going to be a diverse assortment of problems, but you’ve got to fix the big hole in the middle of the hull before worrying about anything else! Otherwise, yeah, expect these jewels to be quickly ushered toward the lifeboats… nobody wants to see them wastefully thrown away into the depths of the ocean.
 
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Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
4,992
5,935
Melbourne
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North Melbourne
Other Teams
Rancho Carne Toros
Adelaide (8 players)

18 (16) Erin Phillips

24 (25) Chelsea Randall

26 (26) Anne Hatchard

36 (36) Danielle Ponter

47 (47) Ebony Marinoff

55 (55) Sarah Allan

68 (--) Teah Charlton

90 (89) Stevie-Lee Thompson


Since just about every P-surname in the league will soon receive visits from expansion clubs, you’d think a team that only scored three goals from 44 I50s can’t afford to lose three of their forward-line mainstays in quick succession. But even if Phillips and Ponter do follow Scheer’s exit, Adelaide’s leftovers aren’t quite as thin as their grand final capitulation suggests… once Chelsea Randall is added back into the mix.

With the captain present, it doesn’t really matter who’s genuinely duplicating her tenacity (Rachelle Martin, Teah Charlton) and who’s feeding off it like a seagull (Ashleigh Woodland, Eloise Jones), goals tend to start flowing. The real problem is the same it’s always been, and it was on full display in their predictable dynasty-damaging loss where we saw their Champions of Data floating highball after highball to an outnumbered target. Ridiculous, but at least now we all know for sure that Kate Lutkins can speak.
 

Teen Wolf

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Brisbane (11 players)

8 (8) Emily Bates

23 (23) Kate Lutkins

32 (14) Jess Wuetschner

34 (--) Courtney Hodder

43 (--) Dakota Davidson


46 (46) Ally Anderson

64 (61) Jesse Wardlaw

66 (--) Isabel Dawes

73 (--) Orla O’Dwyer


77 (75) Breanna Koenen

82 (66) Sophie Conway



“Perennially overlooked,” as described by the womens.afl journalist partly responsible for the perennial overlooking of Breanna Koenen’s case for All-Australian honours, the Lions supposedly got to the top because they’re a great “system-based” side. Unfortunately, that narrative only serves as a thinly veiled diss of the players while severely overrating the tactical fortitude of the coach.

I believe a half-decent system should be able to translate a 26-18 clearance count into some sort of territorial advantage (or at least prevent a huge negative I50 disparity). Instead, it was left up to moments of brilliance conjured by the on-field talent to ensure Brisbane wouldn’t go 0-3 at the big dance—the standout occurring in Q3 red time when their two best players manufactured the clincher without registering a stat, Wayne Harmes-style.

But it isn’t just lazy AA selectors and incomprehensible CD valuations that Jess Wuetschner has rendered irrelevant. Even my rankings look trivial next to the obstacles she triumphantly overcame to achieve premiership vindication. And anyway, that vindication includes her reinforcement as undisputed ultimate grand final goal-kicker. Thus, although she’s evidently running low on gas before turning 30, the worst I can do is drop her down the charts next to undisputed ultimate home-and-away goal-kicker Darcy Vescio.

Conversely, Cathy Svarc (on the wrong side of 30 but arguably the league’s fittest player) embodies the traditionalists’ worst nightmare wherein any perceptible skill or nous is utterly subordinate to athletic ability. And the real worry is that Svarc’s success as a defensive tool will merely embolden Craig Starcevich on his mission to eradicate any trace of attacking craft from the likes of Sophie Conway.

Nevertheless, there are enough incorruptible youngsters—such as Courtney Hodder and Isabel Dawes, both of whom fared much better than Conway in their respective maiden GF appearances—putting the fun in fundamentals and holding Brisbane in good stead long after bland bad-look-for-the-game tactics have worn thin.
 

Teen Wolf

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Richmond (5 players)

3 (3) Monique Conti

9 (--) Ellie McKenzie

17 (15) Katie Brennan

80 (93) Sarah D’Arcy

95 (--) Gabby Seymour



20% of this year’s top 10 is made up of Fitzroy Football Club products. Ain’t that something. And sure I get the Dusty comparison, but Ellie McKenzie is more likely headed for the Superboot serving of career accolades. Is that too much of a wrap for ninth place? Just give her at least another season (and probably even until Richmond approach finals contention) to see how she fares when the opposition treats the prodigious talent like a proper threat.
 

Teen Wolf

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Fremantle (8 players)

14 (9) Ebony Antonio

16 (13) Gemma Houghton

22 (21) Kiara Bowers


42 (42) Roxanne Roux

58 (52) Kara Antonio

72 (72) Hayley Miller

83 (64) Ashley Sharp

91 (90) Gabby O’Sullivan



Despite following up an eleven-game winning streak with four losses in six weeks (the only victories coming in a second crack at West Coast and a narrow escape against Carlton), the rude awakening is yet to come rushing through the corridors of Cockburn. Kiara Bowers still doesn’t know how to tackle, and she won’t be so lucky to avoid a turbocharged suspension for her next neck-breaking attempt. Until then, the Dockers will continue to delude themselves into thinking that (Hayley) Miller and Vanilla (Stephanie Cain) are genuine midfield options ahead of the brilliant-albeit-erratic Kara Antonio. Maybe Trent Cooper is aware Jasmin Stewart and Sarah Verrier have the potential to provide much-needed centre-square answers, but does he have the guts to gamble on them stepping up their games at the rapid rate required?
 

Teen Wolf

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Melbourne (10 players)

4 (33) Tyla Hanks

21 (20) Karen Paxman

25 (17) Daisy Pearce


29 (29) Lily Mithen

39 (39) Kate Hore

41 (41) Tayla Harris

45 (60) Eden Zanker

56 (56) Libby Birch

67 (--) Maddison Gay

84 (85) Lauren Pearce



Just when I think I’ve figured out what the best of the Dees looks like, another constant coach killer of years gone by suddenly comes of age and wins a crucial game off her own boot. Kate Hore? That was inevitable. Shelley Scott? Long overdue. But Maddi Gay? Not even in Freo’s doomsday scenario was she the player who’d rise to a new level and effectively end their season.

However, as one of the only few to suggest Melbourne were headed in the right direction during the 2020 trade period (check the polls!), my bitter-free advice to like-minded Demons list manager Todd Patterson is to put the told-you-so tour on hold until the team makes up for one or two of the several premierships they surrendered by rejecting 21yo Ellie Blackburn in favour of 31yo Melissa Hickey.

Oh well, they’ve ended up with a blonde, more compact, nicer (too nice?) Blackburn instead who could remarkably turn out to be merely the supporting act in the league’s most formidable 1-2 punch of the next decade. I’ve got a Hankering to see more of this odd couple working together at stoppages, knowing full well Tyla the Terrier will still kick Goals of the Year while Eden the Gazelle is bound to pull off some all-time great grabs.
 

Teen Wolf

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W. Bulldogs (7 players)

6 (6) Ellie Blackburn

33 (--) Jess Fitzgerald

44 (59) Isabel Huntington


51 (51) Kirsty Lamb

62 (62) Bonnie Toogood

79 (79) Elle Bennetts

89 (88) Brooke Lochland


Worth noting for the minor downgrades to Brooke Lochland, Stevie-Lee Thompson and Kaitlyn Ashmore: Coming into the season I had them tracking to fall off the next list entirely. But all three 29-year-olds have extended their shelf life by simultaneously managing career-best years (no mean feat, considering their trophy cabinets), proving they’re good in a crisis for more than cheap Joe-the-gooses after all, though that will always be their bread and butter.

Jess Fitzgerald, already so clean in her own moments of Lochlandish opportunism, will clear that hurdle of multi-dimensional value long before her late-20s. However, like Tyla Hanks, it didn’t happen in her first year and she’ll remain just outside the top 30 for now. Isabel Huntington, in her fourth year, finally put together a couple months of footy to indicate greatness remains on her horizon. That assurance came a year later than it ought to have, following on from a 2020 where she ably undertook a defensive role suited for less capable players—just one of several mistakes since corrected by Nathan Burke, 2021’s most improved performer in football.
 

Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
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Melbourne
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North Melbourne
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North Melb. (9 players)

2 (2) Jasmine Garner

7 (12) Ashleigh Riddell

20 (19) Emma Kearney

28 (28) Jenna Bruton

53 (53) Ellie Gavalas

61 (24) Jess Duffin

75 (43) Emma King

78 (76) Aileen Gilroy

88 (87) Kaitlyn Ashmore



Maybe Kaitlyn Ashmore (whose scoreboard tally of 9.3 last year turned into 1.8 with more midfield minutes this season) was put on earth to kick JTGs but, despite her initials, Jasmine “the Talisman” Garner wasn’t. Naturally, the latter made crucial contributions when thrown into the goal-square, but she was mostly being played there at the worst times possible (for instance, 5:37 left in Q4, Melb 53 v NM 51, centre bounce—no surprise Melbourne won the clearance/match).

It’s quite a different story with Emma King, who has settled into a rhythm of wasting the perfect forward-line opportunities gifted to her. The killer blunder was in Q3 of the Victoria Park final when she missed a set shot sitter after her teammates had been slotting them from the boundary all day. The red alert should have been sounding way back in R1 when she was fed three easy snags and couldn’t return the favour with a centring pass to, guess who, Ashmore in an open 50.

Since I don’t foresee North making any of the necessary changes (particularly in defence) to make life easier on themselves, why is it I feel like they’re gonna be just fine—not winning every day, yet capable of beating anybody on their day. Neither invincible nor broken, it would seem; whether sacked coach or employed; there is no puzzle to be solved with this team; just a Riddell to be enjoyed.

And yes, with her 29th birthday fast approaching, Jaimee Lambert’s spot in the top 10 becomes slightly too hard to justify. Thankfully, there’s a fitting replacement at 7th on the list in the form of an emerging carbon copy—another personal favourite who doggedly churns out efficient heat at the firebox and shows off some super smooth finishing moves when the sticks are in range.
 

Teen Wolf

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C’wood (8 players)

1 (1) Chloe Molloy

13 (7) Jaimee Lambert

15 (22) Brianna Davey

37 (37) Sarah Rowe

52 (71) Brittany Bonnici

54 (--) Ruby Schleicher


86 (32) Sabrina Frederick

97 (97) Steph Chiocci


If somebody at Collingwood had to get the ultimate plaudits this year, other than the emerald-encrusted Molloy—who further proved to be unmatched when it comes to hard-earned goals—I wouldn’t have minded the diamond-certified Davey taking a backseat to the one-of-a-kind Ruby, such was the spectacle of the East Fremantle phenom eagerly devouring every last loose morsel (some her own doing, admittedly) in the Pies’ back half like an insatiable shark.

In reality, Brianna Davey always gets her due, like winning the League B&F which was probably only helped a little by two large breakthroughs this past season: 1) staying free of those familiar niggles a la the back complaint that might’ve cost the Blues a flag in 2017, and 2) greater versatility via short impactful bursts up forward—deep forward, not the HFF role she struggled with upon returning from an ACL injury in 2019. The catch: she hasn’t gotten any smarter as a playmaker, nor in good enough shape to be a premiership team’s best midfielder (case in point her debilitating fatigue in the 4th quarter of the Gabba prelim, albeit against a fully rested Brisbane who were also getting a boost from Stacey Livingstone crumbling under pressure).

The one quality Davey perhaps hasn’t received adequate credit for is how her meaningful individual progress has helped various otherwise-innocuous teammates. There is a limit—see Brittany Bonnici, whose development is contained within the confines of a stats sheet—but it’s enough of a selling point to merely take a half-measure on Sabrina Frederick (who I promised to downgrade into oblivion if she couldn’t turn her form around, and she didn’t) because even superficial improvement does wonders for the confidence impaired.
 

Teen Wolf

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West Coast (6 players)

19 (18) Dana Hooker

38 (--) Mikayla Bowen

50 (50) Emma Swanson

71 (--) Aisling McCarthy

85 (83) Parris Laurie

93 (34) Imahra Cameron



Who is diamond quality, who is emerald, who cares? Well, before I park all this talk about mineral resources, let me say Mikayla Bowen is a gem in own her right, and I love seeing the cliché about small packages surfacing in a landscape that is too often dominated by discussion about the physical freaks. She may have forgotten to drink her milk while not growing up but darn it if the girl can’t play and then some.

If that’s not fair, I don’t know what you call the injustice of the Eagles’ Club Champion award, though I’d rather not explore that comprehensively yet because it seems too easy to assess a nine-gamer in a way one may end up regretting. So here’s what I can say about both Bowen and Aisling McCarthy without disparaging anybody else (except perhaps Kellie Gibson): When their turns came, they so obviously relished the opportunity to be the team’s go-to gun.
 

Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
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St Kilda (5 players)

12 (--) Tyanna Smith

30 (30) Georgia Patrikios

60 (38) Nat Exon

65 (44) Caitlin Greiser


100 (--) Rhiannon Watt


Exploiting skills and speed to actually extricate herself from trouble, the newcomer knows her strengths and how to use them for the benefit of the team. As for the dual club B&F winner: she plays like a drunk Conti, and every second disposal—typically overcomplicated, ill-conceived and rooted in a boisterous miscalculation of her own limitations—is the proverbial 2am kebab… i.e. it only seems like a bright idea to those with wonky judgment, and invariably more problems are created than solved.

It’ll be a cold day in hell when GWS are given the respect they deserve from this corner of the internet, so I know Tyanna Smith appearing 15 places higher than Alyce Parker won’t raise as many eyebrows as Georgia Patrikios’ stalled ranking. If you’ve spent extensive lockdown hours re-examining the tape, you don’t need me to reel off the required viewing that demonstrates how some young midfield duos (like Parker + Rebecca Beeson) combine to create a result greater than its parts, while others don’t. Before you accuse me of being too harsh on certain players, this is a matter of coaching competency. Sorry, Surly, you were Siekman levels of crap.
 

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Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
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GWS Giants (5 players)

27 (27) Alyce Parker

35 (35) Rebecca Beeson

48 (48) Alicia Eva

63 (63) Rebecca Privitelli

94 (94) Cora Staunton


Although long ago I gave up hope on Sarah Perkins (who’s sure to get a chance at a 4th club, regardless of whether it’s deserved, when Hawthorn joins the league), there are some AFLW players so much closer to the edge of exceptional that it’s too hard to turn one’s back on completely. In light of recent list management announcements across the country, Tait Mackrill is now competing for the #1 ticket holder position of that club. For those advancing the notion wherein a basic understanding of nutrition, and the discipline to stick to a balanced diet, costs a full-time wage: that cop-out might attract some cheap Twitter likes, but it don’t win games of football.
 

Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
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Melbourne
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North Melbourne
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Gold Coast (4 players)

11 (11) Kalinda Howarth

49 (49) Jamie Stanton

96 (84) Lauren Bella

99 (91) Kate Surman



A foreseeable encounter with the learning curve, the sophomore slump of their silky sharpshooter will likely pay worthy dividends down the line. While it’s important to resist overreacting to the form fluctuations of intensely talented Kalinda Howarths, the same consolation can’t be offered for the arm-and-hammer Jacqui Yorstons who forge a name through dependability but then miss large chunks of footy due to injury. At the intersection of Gold Coast’s class and brawn should be Lauren Bella, whose backwards steps in 2021—culminating in a comprehensive working over by Breann Moody—were the biggest disappointment of the lot because, unlike Howarth or Yorston, any trace of hunger to improve was incredibly difficult to detect.
 

Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
4,992
5,935
Melbourne
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North Melbourne
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Carlton (10 players)

5 (4) Madison Prespakis

10 (10) Lucy McEvoy

31 (31) Darcy Vescio

57 (78) Nicola Stevens

59 (45) Elise O’Dea

69 (69) Grace Egan

74 (82) Breann Moody

76 (73) Gabriella Pound

81 (65) Georgia Gee

87 (54) Jess Dal Pos



It may be fourteen blurbs too late for an explainer, but here goes: When a player’s ranking doesn’t change, it’s not a comment on whether they’ve improved. It just means their progression is tracking as I anticipated. You-know-who winning her second Vescio Medal in five years? Yep, sounds about right. How about her last-line-of-defence heroics to help her team hold on for a close win? Seems like it’s happening more often too. But ask yourself, why do the Blues keep on needing that from their full-forward? Obviously because the alternative is to implode late in a game like they did against Fremantle. Not exactly a glowing endorsement of the captain’s ability to lead the back five through pressure-cooker moments, is it.

For all that can be said about Carlton this year, don’t forget the aforementioned absurd fourth-quarter meltdown was the only match they lost when both Prespakis and McEvoy were playing. Daniel Harford’s management of the team’s finer details was just a parade of shocking decisions with briskly backfiring consequences, but overall he has the bigger picture right: a handball-heavy gameplan suiting their key midfielders, a prolific goalsneak benefitting from less opposition attention due to an on-fire CHF (the loss of Tayla Harris luckily relieved by the fact that Nicola Stevens is herself a prodigious talent), and Moody’s imposing 186cm+ presence (preposterously listed at 180cm, a pet peeve of mine) setting a hard-nosed tone from the first ruck contest (their true leader—a realisation that takes about 15 minutes for the team to process on most weekends).
 

Teen Wolf

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Would Sharp's pregnancy affect her standing for you?
I moved her down in the rankings this year, but that was a reaction to her not getting involved in the play more. I haven't given her unavailability any consideration, like other pregnant players on their club's inactive list.

If/when she returns, then it's just a matter of calling what I see. Duffin's downgrade is clearly due to her body not being where it was in 2019, compounded by the fact that she's 32. Sharp is only 24, so if she doesn't automatically come back in tip-top shape, it's not as big of a deal because there's more time for her to rebound.
 

footyknut

Debutant
Jun 28, 2011
107
65
WA
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Intelligent read as always. Particularly liked your summary of Brisbane which is way more accurate than what the mainstream have produced.
A few queries / comments about my team (but will try to keep within your guidelines regarding comments 😆).
1. Duffy going from 5 to outside top 100 but Sharp holding her spot.
2. Cain not in top 100 (2nd in F&B) whilst others wing E Antonio top rated Freo player who was extremely poor in 2021.
3. K Antonio didn’t look like she could run let alone play football in 2nd half of year, seems too high
4. Cuthbertson had amazing All-Australian season as intercept and lockdown defender, stiff not to be listed.
5. Roux a bit high on output but you did state if you were building a team so can see why under that definition.
6. Bowers seems criminally underrated on basis she will get suspended.
 

Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
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1. Duffy going from 5 to outside top 100 but Sharp holding her spot.
I call it the Ruth Wallace rule (who I maintain could've gone on to be the best clearance player in the comp, hands like a Venus flytrap).

In the past I've punted on players in Duffy's situation, and it has rarely paid off. Too much guesswork involved with things that are none of my business. In the case of pregnancy, you at least know the reason for the player's inactive status isn't going to exist nine months from now--there are other reasons why I view it differently, but that's the strictly cerebral one.

2. Cain not in top 100 (2nd in F&B) whilst others wing E Antonio top rated Freo player who was extremely poor in 2021.
6. Bowers seems criminally underrated on basis she will get suspended.
Bowers is at 22 because I see her as practically inseparable from Kearney and Paxman, only real difference being she's slightly younger with a way worse injury track record. Not the worst compliment to have them all above players like Hatchard and Parker etc (who have flaws I'm critical of, sure, but also ~10+ years to get it right), especially when you consider how so much of the AFLW narrative is about the next generation showing up the oldies.

The Bowers suspension comment is purely an allusion to how Cain is going to fare in situations where she's relied on to be more than a Turbo boost. Go back to last year's 7-0 run, the Dockers were in genuine trouble on three occasions and it was Ebony Antonio who stood up and changed the outlook of those contests. She's shown that ability to be the difference for most years out of 5 (not this year, although I wouldn't say she was extremely poor either, and anything more than a small downgrade would be excessive), but I've never seen it from Cain.

3. K Antonio didn’t look like she could run let alone play football in 2nd half of year, seems too high
Is she ever gonna get back to moving 100% freely, maybe not. But on paper she has time. And for now she's still getting 10.7 disposals per game while often hidden away in the forward-line, whereas a peak-condition full-time midfielder in Cain is averaging 12.5 with a lot less smarts/class/creativity imo.

4. Cuthbertson had amazing All-Australian season as intercept and lockdown defender, stiff not to be listed.
I'm not too crazy about any defender unless they have a strong counter-attacking game. An infinitely harder sell if they're 31 with just the one full season under their belt. I can't see how I could include Janelle Cuthbertson but leave out Charlotte Wilson, Stacey Livingstone, Meg McDonald, Lauren Ahrens, Tahlia Randall, Harriet Cordner... to name a few... nor can I see a way of fitting them all in.
 

footyknut

Debutant
Jun 28, 2011
107
65
WA
AFL Club
Fremantle
Comfortable with all those counter-arguments but don’t agree with them all. It is your subjective list and you haven’t said anything that isn’t factual in those so can’t argue with them.
Now on to our neighbours. I think Bowen may be a touch high based on her ball use, but how she was beaten by Lewis for their F&B this year is bewildering.
Can’t argue with too many other, may have slid McCarthy due to get versatility amd impact.
Cameron sits somewhere comfortably between 45 and 240 depending on her fitness, so your rating seems about fair.
 

Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
4,992
5,935
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Rancho Carne Toros
I think Bowen may be a touch high based on her ball use
It depends on what aspect of her ball use you mean. If we're talking careless skill errors resulting in bad turnovers, I'd say she's showing enough progress there.

In terms of her prospects as a damaging player with footy in hand, to me she fits the Erin Phillips mould: Probably always gonna be a fairly basic and unremarkable deliverer, but excellent at finishing tough opportunities around goal.
 

Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
4,992
5,935
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Rancho Carne Toros
Just to put everybody's mind at ease, an audit of the accreditation indicators in the OP has revealed I had a few mistakes with the gold bars: Sharp and Staunton were missing theirs, and Sarah Allan's was placed next to Teah Charlton's name. These errors have now been corrected, thank god!

For the record, the number of players holding each certification is as follows.
Gold: 29
Platinum: 18
Diamond: 12
Emerald: 6
 

NonPhixion

Bookie Assassin
Mar 27, 2018
5,874
9,803
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Cleveland Browns, Tony Ferguson
Gemma Houghton is my MVP. Best key forward in the comp by a long margin.
Media dribbles on about Harris who is not even good enough to tie her shoelaces
 

Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
4,992
5,935
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Rancho Carne Toros
Gemma Houghton is my MVP. Best key forward in the comp by a long margin.
Media dribbles on about Harris who is not even good enough to tie her shoelaces
Houghton is perhaps a lot of things, but ultimately she's a great winger/HFF and not a key forward. Career average of 1.03 contested marks per game, i.e. what Harris (who, like Roxanne Roux, always gets the opposition's best defender(s)) managed in 2021, her worst season by far.

The media is also quick to point out when Harris only kicks 4 goals for the season--the same number Houghton kicked last year, about which you heard nothing.
 

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