📉📈AFLW's 126(?!) Most Valuable Players, 4th Edition

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Teen Wolf

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 5, 2011
5,804
6,736
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Rancho Carne Toros
And maybe the final edition, or maybe not. Hopefully the changes I've made this year strip away a layer of complexity/confusion, thereby making these new rankings easier to navigate through as well as making future rankings easier to predict.


THE LIST
For a club-by-club breakdown, scroll to the second post, but this leaked Xeroxed document here has the ranking for every top player across the whole league:
aflwmvpjune2022_final.jpg



THE CONCEPT
Scenario: The whole competition is starting over with a national draft for all players and all 18 clubs. If every list manager makes the right move (correctly weighing up potential with the need for experience, and forming judgments based on what players have shown at AFLW level) I believe this is what the draft order will be for the first six rounds. Consequently, this is not merely a player rating system, but a means of evaluating every club’s actual list heading into the first 18-team season.


THE ARROWS
Names next to upward pointing solid triangles indicate players who still have their best football ahead of them. Names next to downward pointing hollow triangles indicate players who… are old. Age is but a number, nevertheless DOB is my sole guide for these particular classifications.


THE CATEGORIES
I’ve also named each round of the draft in the style of a credit bond rating, in an attempt to subtly implant the idea that these rankings are the result of cold, lifeless calculations. Nothing personal, just good business etc.

As with previous years, I am UnDecided about where a small portion of certain players should be placed, and they are indicated with a "UD" in the breakdowns below (and appear in the Under Review section of the image above).


THE NUMBERS
In the lists below, players may have a string of numbers next to their names, for instance:
11 Ellie Blackburn (4, 6, 6)
“11” corresponds to Blackburn’s new ranking heading into Season Seven. The numbers in brackets correspond to her previous rankings in chronological order, so she was ranked 4th ahead of the 2020 season, and 6th coming into the past two seasons.


THE WORDS
I will try to keep the explanations for my rankings as concise and relevant as possible, noting that a) there is plenty of writing in previous editions that will help inform these latest rankings, and b) sometimes the ranking itself says enough (but I’m happy to elaborate when requested).


HAVE YOUR SAY
As with all previous editions, I’m extending the invitation for everybody to contribute their own Most Valuable Players list. It would be great to see others have a crack in good faith at, say, a first round of a phantom draft for all current AFLW stars, remembering nobody has seriously taken up the offer in past years. Seems like there's more interest in opining about the next actual draft, even though there’s only grainy Zapruder footage to help support or argue a case.


*THE 54TH PLACE IN THE RANKINGS
In the immediate company of Phillips and Pearce, the 54th spot would’ve ideally gone to Kate Lutkins. Serious injury, however, in conjunction with the improvement of Nat Grider and the ongoing steadiness of Breanna Koenen, makes it a tough call.

Meanwhile, Ash Brazill should really be in the Under Review/Undecided section because of doubt surrounding her availability. However, there is a chance she’ll play footy again after the Commonwealth Games, rather than a guarantee against it (last I heard, though Collingwood may say otherwise within weeks/days/moments after I post this). The 54th spot therefore goes to Brazill, but not with any great conviction. I could wait for confirmation but, if not her, there will always be somebody else that ends up on the inactive list so I'm drawing a line right now to maintain a semblance of neatness.


PREVIOUS EDITIONS
 

Teen Wolf

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 5, 2011
5,804
6,736
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Rancho Carne Toros
CLUB-BY-CLUB BREAKDOWN

ADELAIDE
2
Anne Hatchard (26, 26, 26)
15 Ebony Marinoff (24, 47, 47)
23 Eloise Jones
25 Sarah Allan (53, 55, 55)
33 Chelsea Randall (17, 25, 24)
38 Danielle Ponter (31, 36, 36)
57 Ashleigh Woodland (--, --, UD)
69 Teah Charlton (--, --, 68)
100 Stevie-Lee Thompson (45, 89, 90)
UD Niamh Kelly (--, --, UD)
UD Rachelle Martin (--, --, UD)
UD Montana McKinnon

Having made the points I’ve wanted to make in previous MVP lists, the dawn of an 18-team competition demands a new ranking approach built around practicality. In other words, of course I still wonder what could be going through Ebony Marinoff’s head, six or seven times a Crows game. But the premiums on highly consistent ball-winners who at least can kick really well—even if sometimes they evidently cbf—just went up in a league where suddenly not every club is guaranteed one. Adelaide still got two of ‘em, and naturally I’m more impressed by the one now posing a multipurpose threat (despite a crook foot, as reported today) after several seasons where she appeared to hit a ceiling of usefulness.


BRISBANE
12
Emily Bates (7, 8, 8)
20 Orla O’Dwyer (--, UD, 73)
22 Sophie Conway (60, 66, 82)
24 Nat Grider
37 Isabel Dawes (--, --, 66)
43 Greta Bodey (--, --, UD)
47 Ally Anderson (25, 48, 46)
56 Dakota Davidson (--, --, 43)
59 Courtney Hodder (--, --, 34)
61 Jesse Wardlaw (--, 61, 64)
64 Tahlia Hickie
73 Zimmorlei Farquharson
93 Breanna Koenen (69, 75, 77)

Any team’s third-best defender ain’t so valuable when she hasn’t proven something special in the way of leadership or versatility, which was the case with Nat Grider in the Lions’ premiership year. But in 2022, taking on the role vacated by warrior Kate Lutkins at late notice, she read the play and handled the footy across halfback almost as proficiently as virtuoso Daisy Pearce (“almost”, given the unmatched masterclass put on by the Melbourne captain earlier this year against Brisbane at Metricon). That’s an obvious comparison now, just like five years ago when I also invoked Pearce while praising the onball craft of Emily Bates. A significant breakthrough for Grider? Sure, though the trophy for significant turnaround goes to Sophie Conway, who has started to follow the lead of Orla O’Dwyer in proving wingers ain’t so valuable either… unless they’re actually creating (and converting!) scoring opportunities. If she didn’t have a thing for slippin’ and fumblin’ her way through wet-weather finals, maybe Brisbane would’ve been the league’s first three-time premiers.


CARLTON
18
Breann Moody (--, 82, 74)
44 Darcy Vescio (29, 31, 31)
58 Lucy McEvoy (--, 10, 10)
68 Abbie McKay (--, --, UD)
78 Mimi Hill
92 Gabriella Pound (51, 73, 76)
UD Maddy Guerin

There hasn’t been much to learn about Breann Moody for a while, but I now must emphasise it’s merely a fence-sit to equate her mobility with the skills of Lauren Pearce or Emma King. For one thing, she’s more consistent than those two. Also, she’s been steadily improving her strengths and limiting her weaknesses. And finally, more than anything, I want my no.1 ruck to play with physical and mental toughness. Unfortunately the lack of desperation I too often see in Moody’s more talented rivals is just as evident in many of her more talented teammates, hence the downgrade to should-be star Lucy McEvoy who seems too eager to accept a forgettable role player’s position.


COLLINGWOOD
1
Chloe Molloy (8, 1, 1)
3 Ruby Schleicher (--, --, 54)
26 Sarah Rowe (33, 37, 37)
31 Jaimee Lambert (6, 7, 13)
48 Brianna Davey (21, 22, 15)
54 Ashleigh Brazill (50, --, UD)
66 Mikala Cann
80 Brittany Bonnici (--, 71, 52)
102 Steph Chiocci (89, 94, 97)
UD Aishling Sheridan (--, --, UD)

Now that I’ve added age-based rules to my ranking method, 2022 mk II will be Chloe Molloy’s last season as the MVP. Without the other limelight hogs taking credit for Collingwood’s continued post-spoon revival, it will also be her best chance to prove she’s worthy of the title beyond doubt. Consistently on the park in the last three years but not consistently 100% fit, Molloy’s first half of ’21 plus her back half of ’22 is the kind of bang-for-buck impact the Pies need across all of their next 13 matches. Otherwise it will indeed be the gap season most expect in the absence of Davey and Bonnici, unless Ruby Schleicher can sustain her steep trajectory of these last two years. And she can’t—nobody can.


ESSENDON
6
Madison Prespakis (5, 4, 5)
39 Georgia Gee (--, 65, 81)
83 Bonnie Toogood (76, 62, 62)

Aside from late in a game with scores level, the one stage of your AFLW career that you least want to lose your firm grasp of efficiency would be around the time of joining an expansion team. That’s the case for Bonnie Toogood, whose AA nomination was far too forgiving of her inaccurate 10.12 (plus that OOF in the draw vs the Suns) in a team generating a modest amount of I50s. Although Essendon are closer than their fellow newcomers, they are only 75% of the way to assembling a competitive list of senior talent—“competitive” as in something around Richmond’s current level, noting the combined skillset of the Bombers’ two marquees roughly equates to what Monique Conti delivers on a weekly basis. As for the other recruits: How will they fare without all the assistance they’ve come accustomed to in established outfits? I saw a game at Optus Stadium earlier this year and it didn’t make me think a young/inexperienced team thrown together hastily should want to have Stephanie Cain as one of their most important players.


FREMANTLE
17
Hayley Miller (--, 72, 72)
32 Ebony Antonio (1, 9, 14)
34 Kiara Bowers (20, 21, 22)
70 Sarah Verrier
85 Gabby O’Sullivan (--, 90, 91)
96 Ashley Sharp (58, 64, 83)
108 Aine Tighe
UD Dana East
UD Roxanne Roux (--, 42, 42)

Statistically, Hayley Miller is coming off a season almost as substantial as one of Jasmine Garner’s best, which in turn is almost as substantial as one of Erin Phillips’ best. While the super smooth Garner (18 months older than the Freo captain) has been on the top floor for the past three years, and the contest goliath Phillips would’ve lived there throughout her 20s, Miller has finally arrived as a 26yo while over-relying on assets which age half as well as skills and smarts. But the biggest difference is her inferior cometh-the-moment credentials, which Coops can live with as long as Ebony Antonio’s there to save the day.


GEELONG
21
Georgie Prespakis
40 Chloe Scheer (80, 81, 40)
42 Mikayla Bowen (--, --, 38)
63 Amy McDonald (--, --, 70)
76 Nina Morrison (40, 80, 92)
UD Rebecca Webster

Dan Lowther had the boat sailing in the wrong direction throughout his first voyage, but he kept it afloat. All the key crew members are still on board, and they even plundered the site of a shipwreck further out west.


GOLD COAST
9
Charlie Rowbottom
55 Kalinda Howarth (--, 11, 11)
67 Claudia Whitfort
84 Tara Bohanna
86 Jamie Stanton (47, 45, 49)
UD Courtney Jones

Though the skills and smarts, for the time being, remain buried beneath the one-note performance currently asked of her by the Suns, Charlie Rowbottom actually does have the temperament of Phillips and Garner which should eventually get her to the no.1 spot she seems destined for. For a teenager, it’s hard to quibble with pure grunt work that’s worthy of the impression she’d be far more useful on Uncle Brian’s farm than Dale Thomas and Heath Shaw.


GWS GIANTS
7
Alyce Parker (44, 27, 27)
14 Rebecca Beeson (34, 35, 35)
50 Alicia Eva (22, 49, 48)
79 Isabel Huntington (82, 59, 44)
103 Cora Staunton (96, 96, 94)
UD Nicola Barr
UD Chloe Dalton (78, --, UD)

In the tier most likely to prompt FAQs (rankings 76 to 81) behold Isabel Huntington, Exhibit A for the case in favour of trepidation with regards to young players and their wobbly knees. It need not go on their permanent records—unbroken stretches of time spent on the field (more than a mere half-season, please) while looking their comfortable selves out there is all I’m after.


HAWTHORN
87
Tilly Lucas-Rodd
94 Aileen Gilroy (--, 76, 78)
101 Kaitlyn Ashmore (66, 87, 88)

Not the worst 4th, 5th and 6th best players you could have on your list… in a different league where the talent is evenly distributed across all 18 teams.


MELBOURNE
5
Tyla Hanks (32, 33, 4)
16 Tayla Harris (42, 41, 41)
19 Eden Zanker (83, 60, 45)
28 Lily Mithen (30, 29, 29)
36 Karen Paxman (16, 20, 21)
46 Kate Hore (38, 39, 39)
53 Daisy Pearce (11, 17, 25)
62 Alyssa Bannan
71 Eliza McNamara (--, --, UD)
81 Olivia Purcell (--, 40, --)
89 Lauren Pearce (91, 85, 84)
91 Libby Birch (56, 56, 56)
98 Maddison Gay (--, --, 67)

I can forgive a lot—look no further than Lily Mithen’s static ranking, despite a grand final letdown that suggests she was lucky rather than steely nerved in an ultimate pressure moment two years earlier. But it’s hard to ignore stupidity, and as for boasting about your stupidity… Cut to Libby Birch proudly proclaiming “I wouldn’t change anything” on The W Show as footage rolls of her trying, and failing, to rough up Danielle Ponter. You’d think Birch would have learned her lesson from the spectacular backfire against Chloe Molloy last year. I thought so and, before she made a fool of herself in the last game of the 2022 season, was happy to declare her an All-Australian lock (having not been so pleased about the selectors choosing her over Daisy Pearce in 2020, while at the same time not seeing the selfish side as drunk tweeted about by a former coach—at that point I had only noticed her harmless proclivity for a cashy was more prolific than Kaitlyn Ashmore’s). Never again!


NORTH MELBOURNE
10
Jasmine Garner (2, 2, 2)
13 Ashleigh Riddell (79, 12, 7)
27 Jenna Bruton (27, 28, 28)
35 Emma Kearney (15, 19, 20)
65 Mia King
88 Ellie Gavalas (--, 53, 53)
90 Emma King (43, 43, 75)
UD Tahlia Randall

Me, immediately after the QF loss to Fremantle: “Can't expect to go too far against healthy top opposition when you have Emma King and Ashmore among your 4 or 5 most important players, just not up for the fight in big games.” I try to come up with fresh takes for each of these capsules, and yet I feel I’ve already said it all for the team which I’d theoretically have the most to say about (though I guess I should clarify: “most important” = “best paid”). I remain thrilled with North Melbourne’s 3 top players, and I can’t understand the worst supporters who don’t appreciate the club’s achievement to hold on to Garner, Riddell and Kearney through a stage of extreme temptation. More understandable: the lack of appreciation for the recruitment of two young and highly sought-after Gaelic stars, though I predict that will come once the results of some positive changes to the player importance pecking order emanate.


PORT ADELAIDE
45
Gemma Houghton (41, 13, 16)
52 Erin Phillips (12, 16, 18)
107 Kate Surman (--, 91, 99)
UD Jacqui Yorston (81, 68, --)

Port will build strongly throughout their formative years if Phillips lasts another five seasons—her presence on the field crucial for helping the club develop and retain the influx of SA youngsters who hold the key to future competitiveness. But if I thought that kind of longevity was likely, she’d be 40 places higher.


RICHMOND
4
Monique Conti (3, 3, 3)
8 Ellie McKenzie (--, --, 9)
49 Katie Brennan (9, 15, 17)
60 Grace Egan (--, 69, 69)
99 Gabby Seymour (--, --, 95)
105 Sarah D’Arcy (86, 93, 80)
UD Tessa Lavey (--, --, UD)

Having already settled on my rankings well before the sign and trade period commenced, I was tickled by recent discussions regarding Grace Egan’s market value. Egan, for those distracted by shiny awards voted on by mostly pinheads and dingbats, is the player who suffered broken ribs in round 1. And she still ended up playing more games than Mimi Hill. Averaging 16 touches of effort for her club upon an expedient return is a great display of courage, until you post a lighthearted joke on social media? Nevertheless, I’ll be darned, I’ve seen fewer Carlton supporters downplay her potential than the faithful from Tigerland. Is she possibly worth as much as around pick 30 in this year’s Victorian draft, I heard it asked. Check the ticker tape, produced by the most objective observer of women’s football you’ll come across: she’s worth around pick 30 in an open-age Victorian draft!


ST KILDA
74
Tarni White
77 Tyanna Smith (--, --, 12)
82 Nicola Stevens (55, 78, 57)
104 Bianca Jakobsson (52, --, --)
UD Georgia Patrikios (--, 30, 30)
UD Olivia Vesely (--, 70, --)
UD Nicola Xenos (--, UD, --)

If this is the biggest bet hedging of the lot, can you blame me. A few years ago I went into bat for Nat Exon, then her body fell apart. Last year, I climbed aboard the Ty Train, then she did her knee. If I assign a ranking much more enthusiastic than 74th for Tarni White—and her most powerful boot in the league—a horrible fate is sure to meet her by August. Of course the Patrikios situation is enough to make things unprecedently complicated, and yet I feel I’ve shown immense discipline to limit the Saints to merely three UDs, thereby excluding Ashleigh Richards—an all-at-sea kid for most of her debut season, but the rare glimpses… dazzling.


SYDNEY
106
Brooke Lochland (59, 88, 89)

It may have been as tough as Sydney expected, but we’ll know next trade period just how much the AFL were banking on them landing a few big fish. Yet even when fortunes run low, the Swans’ penchant for “Coleman” winners simply cannot be quelled, though I’m not sure Lochland has even got 1000 minutes left in her (works out to about 12.5 AFLW games).


WEST COAST
30
Emma Swanson (48, 46, 50)
51 Dana Hooker (14, 18, 19)
97 Aisling McCarthy (--, UD, 71)

Those sad people complaining about rightful 2x All-Australian Sabrina Frederick’s induction into NAB Mini Legends immortality (and yes, those sad people do actually exist) can shut up about that now… and start complaining about the same honour granted to equally talented fellow WA product Imahra Cameron. That’s assuming there’s been no further change in the casting department, though I did hear there might’ve been a last minute swap-out with a mini Maddy Prespakis—surely not out of fear that the Eagles might delist Cameron. Incredibly, I don’t think they can afford to let her or Kellie Gibson go.


WESTERN BULLDOGS
11
Ellie Blackburn (4, 6, 6)
29 Kirsty Lamb (46, 52, 51)
41 Jess Fitzgerald (--, --, 33)
72 Elisabeth Georgostathis
75 Nell Morris-Dalton
95 Naomi Ferres
UD Celine Moody

In case I didn’t make the point clear in the Brisbane section of proceedings, every team has an Eleanor Brown. Right now my fellow North supporters can’t figure out how Brooke Brown missed the list; Adelaide: Chelsea Biddell; Collingwood: Lauren Butler; Melbourne: Sarah Lampard. And so on. Granted, they’re closer to making the cut than Harrington, Livingstone, Cuthbertson, Priest and other old-timers with “Mc” at the start of their surname… because, well, they’re old-timers for whom the opportunity to be world beaters has passed. But the Browns and co., despite all having the chance to be the next Chelsea Randall (or, really, the next Ruby Schleicher now), aren’t even running the show in their respective backlines yet. So, until that happens, give me Naomi Ferres at 24yo, effortlessly covering for the questionable composure and desperation deficiencies of her seemingly much younger cohorts (who are 22) over most “underrated” defenders.
 
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TBOW

Premiership Player
Aug 9, 2012
3,081
3,655
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
CLUB-BY-CLUB BREAKDOWN

ADELAIDE
2
Anne Hatchard (26, 26, 26)
15 Ebony Marinoff (24, 47, 47)
23 Eloise Jones
25 Sarah Allan (53, 55, 55)
33 Chelsea Randall (17, 25, 24)
38 Danielle Ponter (31, 36, 36)
57 Ashleigh Woodland (--, --, UD)
69 Teah Charlton (--, --, 68)
100 Stevie-Lee Thompson (45, 89, 90)
UD Niamh Kelly (--, --, UD)
UD Rachelle Martin (--, --, UD)
UD Montana McKinnon

Having made the points I’ve wanted to make in previous MVP lists, the dawn of an 18-team competition demands a new ranking approach built around practicality. In other words, of course I still wonder what could be going through Ebony Marinoff’s head, six or seven times a Crows game. But the premiums on highly consistent ball-winners who at least can kick really well—even if sometimes they evidently cbf—just went up in a league where suddenly not every club is guaranteed one. Adelaide still got two of ‘em, and naturally I’m more impressed by the one now posing a multipurpose threat (despite a crook foot, as reported today) after several seasons where she appeared to hit a ceiling of usefulness.


BRISBANE
12
Emily Bates (7, 8, 8)
20 Orla O’Dwyer (--, UD, 73)
22 Sophie Conway (60, 66, 82)
24 Nat Grider
37 Isabel Dawes (--, --, 66)
43 Greta Bodey (--, --, UD)
47 Ally Anderson (25, 48, 46)
56 Dakota Davidson (--, --, 43)
59 Courtney Hodder (--, --, 34)
61 Jesse Wardlaw (--, 61, 64)
64 Tahlia Hickie
73 Zimmorlei Farquharson
93 Breanna Koenen (69, 75, 77)

Any team’s third-best defender ain’t so valuable when she hasn’t proven something special in the way of leadership or versatility, which was the case with Nat Grider in the Lions’ premiership year. But in 2022, taking on the role vacated by warrior Kate Lutkins at late notice, she read the play and handled the footy across halfback almost as proficiently as virtuoso Daisy Pearce (“almost”, given the unmatched masterclass put on by the Melbourne captain earlier this year against Brisbane at Metricon). That’s an obvious comparison now, just like five years ago when I also invoked Pearce while praising the onball craft of Emily Bates. A significant breakthrough for Grider? Sure, though the trophy for significant turnaround goes to Sophie Conway, who has started to follow the lead of Orla O’Dwyer in proving wingers ain’t so valuable either… unless they’re actually creating (and converting!) scoring opportunities. If she didn’t have a thing for slippin’ and fumblin’ her way through wet-weather finals, maybe Brisbane would’ve been the league’s first three-time premiers.


CARLTON
18
Breann Moody (--, 82, 74)
44 Darcy Vescio (29, 31, 31)
58 Lucy McEvoy (--, 10, 10)
68 Abbie McKay (--, --, UD)
78 Mimi Hill
92 Gabriella Pound (51, 73, 76)
UD Maddy Guerin

There hasn’t been much to learn about Breann Moody for a while, but I now must emphasise it’s merely a fence-sit to equate her mobility with the skills of Lauren Pearce or Emma King. For one thing, she’s more consistent than those two. Also, she’s been steadily improving her strengths and limiting her weaknesses. And finally, more than anything, I want my no.1 ruck to play with physical and mental toughness. Unfortunately the lack of desperation I too often see in Moody’s more talented rivals is just as evident in many of her more talented teammates, hence the downgrade to should-be star Lucy McEvoy who seems too eager to accept a forgettable role player’s position.


COLLINGWOOD
1
Chloe Molloy (8, 1, 1)
3 Ruby Schleicher (--, --, 54)
26 Sarah Rowe (33, 37, 37)
31 Jaimee Lambert (6, 7, 13)
48 Brianna Davey (21, 22, 15)
54 Ashleigh Brazill (50, --, UD)
66 Mikala Cann
80 Brittany Bonnici (--, 71, 52)
102 Steph Chiocci (89, 94, 97)
UD Aishling Sheridan (--, --, UD)

Now that I’ve added age-based rules to my ranking method, 2022 mk II will be Chloe Molloy’s last season as the MVP. Without the other limelight hogs taking credit for Collingwood’s continued post-spoon revival, it will also be her best chance to prove she’s worthy of the title beyond doubt. Consistently on the park in the last three years but not consistently 100% fit, Molloy’s first half of ’21 plus her back half of ’22 is the kind of bang-for-buck impact the Pies need across all of their next 13 matches. Otherwise it will indeed be the gap season most expect in the absence of Davey and Bonnici, unless Ruby Schleicher can sustain her steep trajectory of these last two years. And she can’t—nobody can.


ESSENDON
6
Madison Prespakis (5, 4, 5)
39 Georgia Gee (--, 65, 81)
83 Bonnie Toogood (76, 62, 62)

Aside from late in a game with scores level, the one stage of your AFLW career that you least want to lose your firm grasp of efficiency would be around the time of joining an expansion team. That’s the case for Bonnie Toogood, whose AA nomination was far too forgiving of her inaccurate 10.12 (plus that OOF in the draw vs the Suns) in a team generating a modest amount of I50s. Although Essendon are closer than their fellow newcomers, they are only 75% of the way to assembling a competitive list of senior talent—“competitive” as in something around Richmond’s current level, noting the combined skillset of the Bombers’ two marquees roughly equates to what Monique Conti delivers on a weekly basis. As for the other recruits: How will they fare without all the assistance they’ve come accustomed to in established outfits? I saw a game at Optus Stadium earlier this year and it didn’t make me think a young/inexperienced team thrown together hastily should want to have Stephanie Cain as one of their most important players.


FREMANTLE
17
Hayley Miller (--, 72, 72)
32 Ebony Antonio (1, 9, 14)
34 Kiara Bowers (20, 21, 22)
70 Sarah Verrier
85 Gabby O’Sullivan (--, 90, 91)
96 Ashley Sharp (58, 64, 83)
108 Aine Tighe
UD Dana East
UD Roxanne Roux (--, 42, 42)

Statistically, Hayley Miller is coming off a season almost as substantial as one of Jasmine Garner’s best, which in turn is almost as substantial as one of Erin Phillips’ best. While the super smooth Garner (18 months older than the Freo captain) has been on the top floor for the past three years, and the contest goliath Phillips would’ve lived there throughout her 20s, Miller has finally arrived as a 26yo while over-relying on assets which age half as well as skills and smarts. But the biggest difference is her inferior cometh-the-moment credentials, which Coops can live with as long as Ebony Antonio’s there to save the day.


GEELONG
21
Georgie Prespakis
40 Chloe Scheer (80, 81, 40)
42 Mikayla Bowen (--, --, 38)
63 Amy McDonald (--, --, 70)
76 Nina Morrison (40, 80, 92)
UD Rebecca Webster

Dan Lowther had the boat sailing in the wrong direction throughout his first voyage, but he kept it afloat. All the key crew members are still on board, and they even plundered the site of a shipwreck further out west.


GOLD COAST
9
Charlie Rowbottom
55 Kalinda Howarth (--, 11, 11)
67 Claudia Whitfort
84 Tara Bohanna
86 Jamie Stanton (47, 45, 49)
UD Courtney Jones

Though the skills and smarts, for the time being, remain buried beneath the one-note performance currently asked of her by the Suns, Charlie Rowbottom actually does have the temperament of Phillips and Garner which should eventually get her to the no.1 spot she seems destined for. For a teenager, it’s hard to quibble with pure grunt work that’s worthy of the impression she’d be far more useful on Uncle Brian’s farm than Dale Thomas and Heath Shaw.


GWS GIANTS
7
Alyce Parker (44, 27, 27)
14 Rebecca Beeson (34, 35, 35)
50 Alicia Eva (22, 49, 48)
79 Isabel Huntington (82, 59, 44)
103 Cora Staunton (96, 96, 94)
UD Nicola Barr
UD Chloe Dalton (78, --, UD)

In the tier most likely to prompt FAQs (rankings 76 to 81) behold Isabel Huntington, Exhibit A for the case in favour of trepidation with regards to young players and their wobbly knees. It need not go on their permanent records—unbroken stretches of time spent on the field (more than a mere half-season, please) while looking their comfortable selves out there is all I’m after.


HAWTHORN
87
Tilly Lucas-Rodd
94 Aileen Gilroy (--, 76, 78)
101 Kaitlyn Ashmore (66, 87, 88)

Not the worst 4th, 5th and 6th best players you could have on your list… in a different league where the talent is evenly distributed across all 18 teams.


MELBOURNE
5
Tyla Hanks (32, 33, 4)
16 Tayla Harris (42, 41, 41)
19 Eden Zanker (83, 60, 45)
28 Lily Mithen (30, 29, 29)
36 Karen Paxman (16, 20, 21)
46 Kate Hore (38, 39, 39)
53 Daisy Pearce (11, 17, 25)
62 Alyssa Bannan
71 Eliza McNamara (--, --, UD)
81 Olivia Purcell (--, 40, --)
89 Lauren Pearce (91, 85, 84)
91 Libby Birch (56, 56, 56)
98 Maddison Gay (--, --, 67)

I can forgive a lot—look no further than Lily Mithen’s static ranking, despite a grand final letdown that suggests she was lucky rather than steely nerved in an ultimate pressure moment two years earlier. But it’s hard to ignore stupidity, and as for boasting about your stupidity… Cut to Libby Birch proudly proclaiming “I wouldn’t change anything” on The W Show as footage rolls of her trying, and failing, to rough up Danielle Ponter. You’d think Birch would have learned her lesson from the spectacular backfire against Chloe Molloy last year. I thought so and, before she made a fool of herself in the last game of the 2022 season, was happy to declare her an All-Australian lock (having not been so pleased about the selectors choosing her over Daisy Pearce in 2020, while at the same time not seeing the selfish side as drunk tweeted about by a former coach—at that point I had only noticed her harmless proclivity for a cashy was more prolific than Kaitlyn Ashmore’s). Never again!


NORTH MELBOURNE
10
Jasmine Garner (2, 2, 2)
13 Ashleigh Riddell (79, 12, 7)
27 Jenna Bruton (27, 28, 28)
35 Emma Kearney (15, 19, 20)
65 Mia King
88 Ellie Gavalas (--, 53, 53)
90 Emma King (43, 43, 75)
UD Tahlia Randall

Me, immediately after the QF loss to Fremantle: “Can't expect to go too far against healthy top opposition when you have Emma King and Ashmore among your 4 or 5 most important players, just not up for the fight in big games.” I try to come up with fresh takes for each of these capsules, and yet I feel I’ve already said it all for the team which I’d theoretically have the most to say about (though I guess I should clarify: “most important” = “best paid”). I remain thrilled with North Melbourne’s 3 top players, and I can’t understand the worst supporters who don’t appreciate the club’s achievement to hold on to Garner, Riddell and Kearney through a stage of extreme temptation. More understandable: the lack of appreciation for the recruitment of two young and highly sought-after Gaelic stars, though I predict that will come once the results of some positive changes to the player importance pecking order emanate.


PORT ADELAIDE
45
Gemma Houghton (41, 13, 16)
52 Erin Phillips (12, 16, 18)
107 Kate Surman (--, 91, 99)
UD Jacqui Yorston (81, 68, --)

Port will build strongly throughout their formative years if Phillips lasts another five seasons—her presence on the field crucial for helping the club develop and retain the influx of SA youngsters who hold the key to future competitiveness. But if I thought that kind of longevity was likely, she’d be 40 places higher.


RICHMOND
4
Monique Conti (3, 3, 3)
8 Ellie McKenzie (--, --, 9)
49 Katie Brennan (9, 15, 17)
60 Grace Egan (--, 69, 69)
99 Gabby Seymour (--, --, 95)
105 Sarah D’Arcy (86, 93, 80)
UD Tessa Lavey (--, --, UD)

Having already settled on my rankings well before the sign and trade period commenced, I was tickled by recent discussions regarding Grace Egan’s market value. Egan, for those distracted by shiny awards voted on by mostly pinheads and dingbats, is the player who suffered broken ribs in round 1. And she still ended up playing more games than Mimi Hill. Averaging 16 touches of effort for her club upon an expedient return is a great display of courage, until you post a lighthearted joke on social media? Nevertheless, I’ll be darned, I’ve seen fewer Carlton supporters downplay her potential than the faithful from Tigerland. Is she possibly worth as much as around pick 30 in this year’s Victorian draft, I heard it asked. Check the ticker tape, produced by the most objective observer of women’s football you’ll come across: she’s worth around pick 30 in an open-age Victorian draft!


ST KILDA
74
Tarni White
77 Tyanna Smith (--, --, 12)
82 Nicola Stevens (55, 78, 57)
104 Bianca Jakobsson (52, --, --)
UD Georgia Patrikios (--, 30, 30)
UD Olivia Vesely (--, 70, --)
UD Nicola Xenos (--, UD, --)

If this is the biggest bet hedging of the lot, can you blame me. A few years ago I went into bat for Nat Exon, then her body fell apart. Last year, I climbed aboard the Ty Train, then she did her knee. If I assign a ranking much more enthusiastic than 74th for Tarni White—and her most powerful boot in the league—a horrible fate is sure to meet her by August. Of course the Patrikios situation is enough to make things unprecedently complicated, and yet I feel I’ve shown immense discipline to limit the Saints to merely three UDs, thereby excluding Ashleigh Richards—an all-at-sea kid for most of her debut season, but the rare glimpses… dazzling.


SYDNEY
106
Brooke Lochland (59, 88, 89)

It may have been as tough as Sydney expected, but we’ll know next trade period just how much the AFL were banking on them landing a few big fish. Yet even when fortunes run low, the Swans’ penchant for “Coleman” winners simply cannot be quelled, though I’m not sure Lochland has even got 1000 minutes left in her (works out to about 12.5 AFLW games).


WEST COAST
30
Emma Swanson (48, 46, 50)
51 Dana Hooker (14, 18, 19)
97 Aisling McCarthy (--, UD, 71)

Those sad people complaining about rightful 2x All-Australian Sabrina Frederick’s induction into NAB Mini Legends immortality (and yes, those sad people do actually exist) can shut up about that now… and start complaining about the same honour granted to equally talented fellow WA product Imahra Cameron. That’s assuming there’s been no further change in the casting department, though I did hear there might’ve been a last minute swap-out with a mini Maddy Prespakis—surely not out of fear that the Eagles might delist Cameron. Incredibly, I don’t think they can afford to let her or Kellie Gibson go.


WESTERN BULLDOGS
11
Ellie Blackburn (4, 6, 6)
29 Kirsty Lamb (46, 52, 51)
41 Jess Fitzgerald (--, --, 33)
72 Elisabeth Georgostathis
75 Nell Morris-Dalton
95 Naomi Ferres
UD Celine Moody

In case I didn’t make the point clear in the Brisbane section of proceedings, every team has an Eleanor Brown. Right now my fellow North supporters can’t figure out how Brooke Brown missed the list; Adelaide: Chelsea Biddell; Collingwood: Lauren Butler; Melbourne: Sarah Lampard. And so on. Granted, they’re closer to making the cut than Harrington, Livingstone, Cuthbertson, Priest and other old-timers with “Mc” at the start of their surname… because, well, they’re old-timers for whom the opportunity to be world beaters has passed. But the Browns and co., despite all having the chance to be the next Chelsea Randall (or, really, the next Ruby Schleicher now), aren’t even running the show in their respective backlines yet. So, until that happens, give me Naomi Ferres at 24yo, effortlessly covering for the questionable composure and desperation deficiencies of her seemingly much younger cohorts (who are 22) over most “underrated” defenders.
Great work Teen Wolf, I appreciate all the work and insight that has gone into this. But Nell Morris-Dalton ahead of Izzy Huntington and Bonnie Toogood??

I mean all us dog fans have our fingers crossed for that outcome, but at best NMD showed a glimpse towards the end of the year whereas Izzy has an AA under her belt and Toogood just had a really good consistent season.

Can I ask what the reason is for your optimism around Nell?
 

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Teen Wolf

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Great work Teen Wolf, I appreciate all the work and insight that has gone into this. But Nell Morris-Dalton ahead of Izzy Huntington and Bonnie Toogood??

I mean all us dog fans have our fingers crossed for that outcome, but at best NMD showed a glimpse towards the end of the year whereas Izzy has an AA under her belt and Toogood just had a really good consistent season.

Can I ask what the reason is for your optimism around Nell?
Cheers TBOW.

Ultimately it's about weighing up dependability versus maximum potential. I merely have doubts that Morris-Dalton's best is going to match Huntington's, whereas atm I feel 100% sure that Huntington won't ever be as reliable as Morris-Dalton is going to be.

And I believe that at 21yo, Nell has shown more to like in both departments than Bonnie had at 21. Though I guess not by much, given Toogood was ranked just one spot lower than her at the same age--has since slipped 7 places over the 4 editions rather than moving up into that 43-48 bracket of players in their mid/late 20s whose best seasons have all been better than her best season (and I think she missed her big chance to knock Bodey out of that tier due to goalkicking inaccuracy this past season).
 

Cdog71

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Thanks for putting all that together, it’s great.

I’m pretty confident Grace Egan is consistent and reliable enough to have more of an impact than a speculative pick above 30.

Players with a few pre-seasons are going to be alot stronger.
Saw Karen Paxman running down at Reservoir athletic track on Monday night.
Repeat 300’s. Did 5 of em, walk the last 100 then take off again.
Had ten min break and then did 5 repeat 100’s.
By herself.
Pretty impressive.
 

Stan Judkins

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Feb 14, 2018
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CLUB-BY-CLUB BREAKDOWN

ADELAIDE
2
Anne Hatchard (26, 26, 26)
15 Ebony Marinoff (24, 47, 47)
23 Eloise Jones
25 Sarah Allan (53, 55, 55)
33 Chelsea Randall (17, 25, 24)
38 Danielle Ponter (31, 36, 36)
57 Ashleigh Woodland (--, --, UD)
69 Teah Charlton (--, --, 68)
100 Stevie-Lee Thompson (45, 89, 90)
UD Niamh Kelly (--, --, UD)
UD Rachelle Martin (--, --, UD)
UD Montana McKinnon

Having made the points I’ve wanted to make in previous MVP lists, the dawn of an 18-team competition demands a new ranking approach built around practicality. In other words, of course I still wonder what could be going through Ebony Marinoff’s head, six or seven times a Crows game. But the premiums on highly consistent ball-winners who at least can kick really well—even if sometimes they evidently cbf—just went up in a league where suddenly not every club is guaranteed one. Adelaide still got two of ‘em, and naturally I’m more impressed by the one now posing a multipurpose threat (despite a crook foot, as reported today) after several seasons where she appeared to hit a ceiling of usefulness.


BRISBANE
12
Emily Bates (7, 8, 8)
20 Orla O’Dwyer (--, UD, 73)
22 Sophie Conway (60, 66, 82)
24 Nat Grider
37 Isabel Dawes (--, --, 66)
43 Greta Bodey (--, --, UD)
47 Ally Anderson (25, 48, 46)
56 Dakota Davidson (--, --, 43)
59 Courtney Hodder (--, --, 34)
61 Jesse Wardlaw (--, 61, 64)
64 Tahlia Hickie
73 Zimmorlei Farquharson
93 Breanna Koenen (69, 75, 77)

Any team’s third-best defender ain’t so valuable when she hasn’t proven something special in the way of leadership or versatility, which was the case with Nat Grider in the Lions’ premiership year. But in 2022, taking on the role vacated by warrior Kate Lutkins at late notice, she read the play and handled the footy across halfback almost as proficiently as virtuoso Daisy Pearce (“almost”, given the unmatched masterclass put on by the Melbourne captain earlier this year against Brisbane at Metricon). That’s an obvious comparison now, just like five years ago when I also invoked Pearce while praising the onball craft of Emily Bates. A significant breakthrough for Grider? Sure, though the trophy for significant turnaround goes to Sophie Conway, who has started to follow the lead of Orla O’Dwyer in proving wingers ain’t so valuable either… unless they’re actually creating (and converting!) scoring opportunities. If she didn’t have a thing for slippin’ and fumblin’ her way through wet-weather finals, maybe Brisbane would’ve been the league’s first three-time premiers.


CARLTON
18
Breann Moody (--, 82, 74)
44 Darcy Vescio (29, 31, 31)
58 Lucy McEvoy (--, 10, 10)
68 Abbie McKay (--, --, UD)
78 Mimi Hill
92 Gabriella Pound (51, 73, 76)
UD Maddy Guerin

There hasn’t been much to learn about Breann Moody for a while, but I now must emphasise it’s merely a fence-sit to equate her mobility with the skills of Lauren Pearce or Emma King. For one thing, she’s more consistent than those two. Also, she’s been steadily improving her strengths and limiting her weaknesses. And finally, more than anything, I want my no.1 ruck to play with physical and mental toughness. Unfortunately the lack of desperation I too often see in Moody’s more talented rivals is just as evident in many of her more talented teammates, hence the downgrade to should-be star Lucy McEvoy who seems too eager to accept a forgettable role player’s position.


COLLINGWOOD
1
Chloe Molloy (8, 1, 1)
3 Ruby Schleicher (--, --, 54)
26 Sarah Rowe (33, 37, 37)
31 Jaimee Lambert (6, 7, 13)
48 Brianna Davey (21, 22, 15)
54 Ashleigh Brazill (50, --, UD)
66 Mikala Cann
80 Brittany Bonnici (--, 71, 52)
102 Steph Chiocci (89, 94, 97)
UD Aishling Sheridan (--, --, UD)

Now that I’ve added age-based rules to my ranking method, 2022 mk II will be Chloe Molloy’s last season as the MVP. Without the other limelight hogs taking credit for Collingwood’s continued post-spoon revival, it will also be her best chance to prove she’s worthy of the title beyond doubt. Consistently on the park in the last three years but not consistently 100% fit, Molloy’s first half of ’21 plus her back half of ’22 is the kind of bang-for-buck impact the Pies need across all of their next 13 matches. Otherwise it will indeed be the gap season most expect in the absence of Davey and Bonnici, unless Ruby Schleicher can sustain her steep trajectory of these last two years. And she can’t—nobody can.


ESSENDON
6
Madison Prespakis (5, 4, 5)
39 Georgia Gee (--, 65, 81)
83 Bonnie Toogood (76, 62, 62)

Aside from late in a game with scores level, the one stage of your AFLW career that you least want to lose your firm grasp of efficiency would be around the time of joining an expansion team. That’s the case for Bonnie Toogood, whose AA nomination was far too forgiving of her inaccurate 10.12 (plus that OOF in the draw vs the Suns) in a team generating a modest amount of I50s. Although Essendon are closer than their fellow newcomers, they are only 75% of the way to assembling a competitive list of senior talent—“competitive” as in something around Richmond’s current level, noting the combined skillset of the Bombers’ two marquees roughly equates to what Monique Conti delivers on a weekly basis. As for the other recruits: How will they fare without all the assistance they’ve come accustomed to in established outfits? I saw a game at Optus Stadium earlier this year and it didn’t make me think a young/inexperienced team thrown together hastily should want to have Stephanie Cain as one of their most important players.


FREMANTLE
17
Hayley Miller (--, 72, 72)
32 Ebony Antonio (1, 9, 14)
34 Kiara Bowers (20, 21, 22)
70 Sarah Verrier
85 Gabby O’Sullivan (--, 90, 91)
96 Ashley Sharp (58, 64, 83)
108 Aine Tighe
UD Dana East
UD Roxanne Roux (--, 42, 42)

Statistically, Hayley Miller is coming off a season almost as substantial as one of Jasmine Garner’s best, which in turn is almost as substantial as one of Erin Phillips’ best. While the super smooth Garner (18 months older than the Freo captain) has been on the top floor for the past three years, and the contest goliath Phillips would’ve lived there throughout her 20s, Miller has finally arrived as a 26yo while over-relying on assets which age half as well as skills and smarts. But the biggest difference is her inferior cometh-the-moment credentials, which Coops can live with as long as Ebony Antonio’s there to save the day.


GEELONG
21
Georgie Prespakis
40 Chloe Scheer (80, 81, 40)
42 Mikayla Bowen (--, --, 38)
63 Amy McDonald (--, --, 70)
76 Nina Morrison (40, 80, 92)
UD Rebecca Webster

Dan Lowther had the boat sailing in the wrong direction throughout his first voyage, but he kept it afloat. All the key crew members are still on board, and they even plundered the site of a shipwreck further out west.


GOLD COAST
9
Charlie Rowbottom
55 Kalinda Howarth (--, 11, 11)
67 Claudia Whitfort
84 Tara Bohanna
86 Jamie Stanton (47, 45, 49)
UD Courtney Jones

Though the skills and smarts, for the time being, remain buried beneath the one-note performance currently asked of her by the Suns, Charlie Rowbottom actually does have the temperament of Phillips and Garner which should eventually get her to the no.1 spot she seems destined for. For a teenager, it’s hard to quibble with pure grunt work that’s worthy of the impression she’d be far more useful on Uncle Brian’s farm than Dale Thomas and Heath Shaw.


GWS GIANTS
7
Alyce Parker (44, 27, 27)
14 Rebecca Beeson (34, 35, 35)
50 Alicia Eva (22, 49, 48)
79 Isabel Huntington (82, 59, 44)
103 Cora Staunton (96, 96, 94)
UD Nicola Barr
UD Chloe Dalton (78, --, UD)

In the tier most likely to prompt FAQs (rankings 76 to 81) behold Isabel Huntington, Exhibit A for the case in favour of trepidation with regards to young players and their wobbly knees. It need not go on their permanent records—unbroken stretches of time spent on the field (more than a mere half-season, please) while looking their comfortable selves out there is all I’m after.


HAWTHORN
87
Tilly Lucas-Rodd
94 Aileen Gilroy (--, 76, 78)
101 Kaitlyn Ashmore (66, 87, 88)

Not the worst 4th, 5th and 6th best players you could have on your list… in a different league where the talent is evenly distributed across all 18 teams.


MELBOURNE
5
Tyla Hanks (32, 33, 4)
16 Tayla Harris (42, 41, 41)
19 Eden Zanker (83, 60, 45)
28 Lily Mithen (30, 29, 29)
36 Karen Paxman (16, 20, 21)
46 Kate Hore (38, 39, 39)
53 Daisy Pearce (11, 17, 25)
62 Alyssa Bannan
71 Eliza McNamara (--, --, UD)
81 Olivia Purcell (--, 40, --)
89 Lauren Pearce (91, 85, 84)
91 Libby Birch (56, 56, 56)
98 Maddison Gay (--, --, 67)

I can forgive a lot—look no further than Lily Mithen’s static ranking, despite a grand final letdown that suggests she was lucky rather than steely nerved in an ultimate pressure moment two years earlier. But it’s hard to ignore stupidity, and as for boasting about your stupidity… Cut to Libby Birch proudly proclaiming “I wouldn’t change anything” on The W Show as footage rolls of her trying, and failing, to rough up Danielle Ponter. You’d think Birch would have learned her lesson from the spectacular backfire against Chloe Molloy last year. I thought so and, before she made a fool of herself in the last game of the 2022 season, was happy to declare her an All-Australian lock (having not been so pleased about the selectors choosing her over Daisy Pearce in 2020, while at the same time not seeing the selfish side as drunk tweeted about by a former coach—at that point I had only noticed her harmless proclivity for a cashy was more prolific than Kaitlyn Ashmore’s). Never again!


NORTH MELBOURNE
10
Jasmine Garner (2, 2, 2)
13 Ashleigh Riddell (79, 12, 7)
27 Jenna Bruton (27, 28, 28)
35 Emma Kearney (15, 19, 20)
65 Mia King
88 Ellie Gavalas (--, 53, 53)
90 Emma King (43, 43, 75)
UD Tahlia Randall

Me, immediately after the QF loss to Fremantle: “Can't expect to go too far against healthy top opposition when you have Emma King and Ashmore among your 4 or 5 most important players, just not up for the fight in big games.” I try to come up with fresh takes for each of these capsules, and yet I feel I’ve already said it all for the team which I’d theoretically have the most to say about (though I guess I should clarify: “most important” = “best paid”). I remain thrilled with North Melbourne’s 3 top players, and I can’t understand the worst supporters who don’t appreciate the club’s achievement to hold on to Garner, Riddell and Kearney through a stage of extreme temptation. More understandable: the lack of appreciation for the recruitment of two young and highly sought-after Gaelic stars, though I predict that will come once the results of some positive changes to the player importance pecking order emanate.


PORT ADELAIDE
45
Gemma Houghton (41, 13, 16)
52 Erin Phillips (12, 16, 18)
107 Kate Surman (--, 91, 99)
UD Jacqui Yorston (81, 68, --)

Port will build strongly throughout their formative years if Phillips lasts another five seasons—her presence on the field crucial for helping the club develop and retain the influx of SA youngsters who hold the key to future competitiveness. But if I thought that kind of longevity was likely, she’d be 40 places higher.


RICHMOND
4
Monique Conti (3, 3, 3)
8 Ellie McKenzie (--, --, 9)
49 Katie Brennan (9, 15, 17)
60 Grace Egan (--, 69, 69)
99 Gabby Seymour (--, --, 95)
105 Sarah D’Arcy (86, 93, 80)
UD Tessa Lavey (--, --, UD)

Having already settled on my rankings well before the sign and trade period commenced, I was tickled by recent discussions regarding Grace Egan’s market value. Egan, for those distracted by shiny awards voted on by mostly pinheads and dingbats, is the player who suffered broken ribs in round 1. And she still ended up playing more games than Mimi Hill. Averaging 16 touches of effort for her club upon an expedient return is a great display of courage, until you post a lighthearted joke on social media? Nevertheless, I’ll be darned, I’ve seen fewer Carlton supporters downplay her potential than the faithful from Tigerland. Is she possibly worth as much as around pick 30 in this year’s Victorian draft, I heard it asked. Check the ticker tape, produced by the most objective observer of women’s football you’ll come across: she’s worth around pick 30 in an open-age Victorian draft!


ST KILDA
74
Tarni White
77 Tyanna Smith (--, --, 12)
82 Nicola Stevens (55, 78, 57)
104 Bianca Jakobsson (52, --, --)
UD Georgia Patrikios (--, 30, 30)
UD Olivia Vesely (--, 70, --)
UD Nicola Xenos (--, UD, --)

If this is the biggest bet hedging of the lot, can you blame me. A few years ago I went into bat for Nat Exon, then her body fell apart. Last year, I climbed aboard the Ty Train, then she did her knee. If I assign a ranking much more enthusiastic than 74th for Tarni White—and her most powerful boot in the league—a horrible fate is sure to meet her by August. Of course the Patrikios situation is enough to make things unprecedently complicated, and yet I feel I’ve shown immense discipline to limit the Saints to merely three UDs, thereby excluding Ashleigh Richards—an all-at-sea kid for most of her debut season, but the rare glimpses… dazzling.


SYDNEY
106
Brooke Lochland (59, 88, 89)

It may have been as tough as Sydney expected, but we’ll know next trade period just how much the AFL were banking on them landing a few big fish. Yet even when fortunes run low, the Swans’ penchant for “Coleman” winners simply cannot be quelled, though I’m not sure Lochland has even got 1000 minutes left in her (works out to about 12.5 AFLW games).


WEST COAST
30
Emma Swanson (48, 46, 50)
51 Dana Hooker (14, 18, 19)
97 Aisling McCarthy (--, UD, 71)

Those sad people complaining about rightful 2x All-Australian Sabrina Frederick’s induction into NAB Mini Legends immortality (and yes, those sad people do actually exist) can shut up about that now… and start complaining about the same honour granted to equally talented fellow WA product Imahra Cameron. That’s assuming there’s been no further change in the casting department, though I did hear there might’ve been a last minute swap-out with a mini Maddy Prespakis—surely not out of fear that the Eagles might delist Cameron. Incredibly, I don’t think they can afford to let her or Kellie Gibson go.


WESTERN BULLDOGS
11
Ellie Blackburn (4, 6, 6)
29 Kirsty Lamb (46, 52, 51)
41 Jess Fitzgerald (--, --, 33)
72 Elisabeth Georgostathis
75 Nell Morris-Dalton
95 Naomi Ferres
UD Celine Moody

In case I didn’t make the point clear in the Brisbane section of proceedings, every team has an Eleanor Brown. Right now my fellow North supporters can’t figure out how Brooke Brown missed the list; Adelaide: Chelsea Biddell; Collingwood: Lauren Butler; Melbourne: Sarah Lampard. And so on. Granted, they’re closer to making the cut than Harrington, Livingstone, Cuthbertson, Priest and other old-timers with “Mc” at the start of their surname… because, well, they’re old-timers for whom the opportunity to be world beaters has passed. But the Browns and co., despite all having the chance to be the next Chelsea Randall (or, really, the next Ruby Schleicher now), aren’t even running the show in their respective backlines yet. So, until that happens, give me Naomi Ferres at 24yo, effortlessly covering for the questionable composure and desperation deficiencies of her seemingly much younger cohorts (who are 22) over most “underrated” defenders.

fantastic, well put together and insightful Teen Wolf

can't really find fault with your list rankings, but wondering if you considered for Richmond, Bec Miller ?
feel like she's gone past D"Arcy in importance to our side
 

Teen Wolf

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can't really find fault with your list rankings, but wondering if you considered for Richmond, Bec Miller ?
feel like she's gone past D"Arcy in importance to our side
Miller imo in the same bracket as Lampard etc, as mentioned in the Bulldogs paragraph. Wouldn't write them off from taking the next step to being the team's most important defender, wouldn't say they're there yet.

I don't reckon it's a coincidence her worst game last season came against Melbourne when D'Arcy was out due to protocols. Without that core stability, the flow-on for what the others could do was pretty noticeable. Further, the amount of times Harris was able to get a clear run-and-jump in that match (and crush some pour soul in yellow & black, first-gamer Meg Macdonald comes to mind) just wouldn't have happened with a player of D'Arcy's experience out there--regardless of direct opponent, she'd have been making good position and putting on blocks to stop that.

Finally, like the similarly ranked Bianca Jakobsson, we know that D'Arcy has proven herself to be a capable CHF particularly because of strong overhead marking, even though it's been a few years since playing there regularly. So in addition to leadership, she's also got the versatility I especially value. But to reiterate, with a downward pointing triangle next to her name at no.105, next season may indeed be a baton-changing moment.
 

footyknut

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Jun 28, 2011
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A great read as always, and there’s always going to be a difference of opinion so a few of mine, with an obvious Freo bent.
Bates down in ranking this year? Is that more to do with age and others progressing?
Molloy way too high for mine. Occasional match winner but can stink it up with the best of them and couldn’t have her at no. 1
Only 3 Freo in your top 50 and no Stannett or Cuthbertson. This is somewhat consistent as you don’t have too many defenders in there but thought those two would make top 100 at least.
E Antonio undoubted match winner and agree her ranking should be higher than stats may reflect.
I still think Bowers should be higher but it’s your list and you’ve been consistent with your thoughts there.
Am surprised you rank Rowbottom so highly seeing that you normally favour skilled players as her kicking leaves a lot to be desired.
Agree that Melbourne list looks stacked with 6 in top 50 (With Daisy just outside)
 

Teen Wolf

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Bates down in ranking this year? Is that more to do with age and others progressing?
Entirely to do with age. And nothing really to do with others progressing, in the sense that none of the names who have moved above her are better players (at least not yet).

Molloy way too high for mine. Occasional match winner but can stink it up with the best of them and couldn’t have her at no. 1
Only 3 Freo in your top 50 and no Stannett or Cuthbertson. This is somewhat consistent as you don’t have too many defenders in there but thought those two would make top 100 at least.
Molloy has always been a high performer when used in the back-line, including as a 19yo providing the level of counter-attacking drive 99% of defenders don't reach by age 25 or even 31. So for her to have some quiet games, amongst many good ones, in the forward-line says more about the nature of the position rather than her current and future ability (except insofar the point about carrying injuries).

4 if Houghton stayed. 5 if Duffy came back. 6 if Roux is still there (mentally), but I'm not so sure. Speaking of forwards.

Am surprised you rank Rowbottom so highly seeing that you normally favour skilled players as her kicking leaves a lot to be desired.
I didn't notice any difference in kicking skills between Rowbottom and Georgie Prespakis, but there must be some distance in their rankings given the former had an obviously more consistent debut season and a much bigger impact on her team.

I'd have Brianna Davey in the 10-15 range (if she didn't do her knee again) ever since she started to find ways to better compensate for her own rather crude use by foot. From what I've seen Rowbottom is on track to follow the same blueprint, but she's 8 years younger and I suspect takes better care of her body, and thus has to be 9th at worst.
 

NonPhixion

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This is amazing. Love your work Teen Wolf.
I think there is going to be very clear separation between those top 6 teams and everyone else.
So, how far off the mark do you think Sydney are ?
 

Teen Wolf

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This is amazing. Love your work Teen Wolf.
I think there is going to be very clear separation between those top 6 teams and everyone else.
So, how far off the mark do you think Sydney are ?
Thanks. I think Sydney will look like they are so far off the mark that... it won't be funny, put it that way. Consider what Melbourne did to Fremantle last season, for a start.

But I don't believe any team is more than a couple of genuine stars away from being competitive (unlike how it works in the men's league). So with that in mind, the Swans may look a lot further off the mark than they really are.

Sydney, Hawthorn and Port Adelaide (considering Phillips won't be around too long) already need to be making plans to have another crack at Hatchard, Bates, Riddell etc. GWS bringing in Eva, Gum and Staunton ahead of a dramatically improved 2018 is the blueprint I've cited before, which suggests all hope is not lost.
 

NonPhixion

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Thanks. I think Sydney will look like they are so far off the mark that... it won't be funny, put it that way. Consider what Melbourne did to Fremantle last season, for a start.

But I don't believe any team is more than a couple of genuine stars away from being competitive (unlike how it works in the men's league). So with that in mind, the Swans may look a lot further off the mark than they really are.

Sydney, Hawthorn and Port Adelaide (considering Phillips won't be around too long) already need to be making plans to have another crack at Hatchard, Bates, Riddell etc. GWS bringing in Eva, Gum and Staunton ahead of a dramatically improved 2018 is the blueprint I've cited before, which suggests all hope is not lost.
yeh i see what you are saying, a couple of stars has more of an impact than it otherwise would in the men's league for sure.
What's the situation with Patrikios this coming season, will she be able to play ?
 

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Teen Wolf

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What's the situation with Patrikios this coming season, will she be able to play ?
No changes made to the vaccination requirements yet. St Kilda keeping her on the primary list, coupled with a few reports/articles in the last month, suggest an expectation it will change in time for her to play some part. But I wouldn't bet on it either way.
 

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No changes made to the vaccination requirements yet. St Kilda keeping her on the primary list, coupled with a few reports/articles in the last month, suggest an expectation it will change in time for her to play some part. But I wouldn't bet on it either way.
Done now

 

NonPhixion

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im interested to see how Houghton goes this season, she looked a bit out of sorts this season and i don't think she was fit enough. Hoping a new start at Port can help that because she is such an exciting player to watch.
 

Biggie

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im interested to see how Houghton goes this season, she looked a bit out of sorts this season and i don't think she was fit enough. Hoping a new start at Port can help that because she is such an exciting player to watch.
I believe Gemma wanted a frest start outside of Perth. Went throgh some tough personal issues (loss) and needed to get out.

Reckon she'll go alright with Port, still lots to offer.
 

Teen Wolf

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Maybe I should've been more aggressive with my Patrikios hedge bet, placing her in the 19-24 tier. On the other hand I still feel like there's potential for the AFL to flip flop on the issue...

I'm a little worried about Houghton but if she kicked 16.9 instead of 9.16 last season, she would've been rightfully AA nominated again. That itself, however, says something because she kicked a similarly inaccurate 4.10 in 2020 and was nevertheless an easy pick for the AA team.
 

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