2020 AFLW Draft Prospects

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GC2015

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It's been a tough year for many footballers but the AFLW seem to have found a way to give the best non-Victorian prospects an opportunity to showcase their talent with intrastate All Star games:

11th Sep6:45 PMSA NAB AFLW All Stars Game
25th SepTBCNT NAB AFLW All Stars Game
26th Sep2:30 PMWA NAB AFLW All Stars Game
30th Sep10:30 AMTAS NAB AFLW All Stars Game
4th OctTBCQLD NAB AFLW All Stars Game

South Australia were up first up and the following players were named in the bests:
Team Marinoff: Jessica Macolino, Alex Ballard, Brooklyn Kraft, Nicole Campbell, Emma Smith
Team Hatchard: Amber Ward, Czenya Cavouras, Zoe Prowse, Matilda Zander, Tamsyn Morriss


I'm personally excited to see how the Queensland prospects go. They are currently in the midst of the QAFLW finals series and the two Gold Coast teams finished top of the ladder this year so it looks like it could be a strong draft year for my Suns! The prospects that excite me the most are all playing for Bond University this season - Annise Bradfield, Maddison Levi and Lucy Single. Bradfield in particular has a very interesting story because her P.E teacher at school is none other than Suns inaugural B&F winner Jamie Stanton!

Which 2020 draft prospects excite you this year? I don't have much knowledge of local women's footy outside of Queensland so I'm hoping others can discuss the best prospects outside of Queensland/SA.
 

AlphaSheep

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The two top Western Australian prospects this year appear to be Abbie Dowrick and Shanae Davison. Dowrick is McKenzie Dowrick's sister, and likely to go to West Coast -- she's not tall but she's fast, talented and scary strong, tackles like a wrecking ball and has a huge kick. Davison is skinnier, but a great athlete, and took the best hanger I've seen from a female player (search YouTube). Both will probably become midfielders in time, but play forward now.

In Victoria, Ellie McKenzie should go No.1 -- she's a good size for a mid, built like a sprinter and has great skills, is physically on a different level to anyone else in the draft, I think. I think Alyssa Bannan will go very high, she's tall enough to ruck but plays forward, is very fast, can run up the ground and burn people with pace, Gemma Haughton-style. I think Melbourne may be after her, depends who the Bulldogs take (but the Bulldogs need a midfielder after McCarthy left, not a forward). And Tyanna Smith is great, a tall mid, skinnier than McKenzie but super agile, plays a lot like Georgia Patrikios, could even end up playing with her at the Saints.

I don't know much about the SA girls, but Zoe Prowse looked great in the SANFL all-stars game -- not overly tall for a ruck but agile and skilled enough to play forward, has a huge vertical.

And haven't seen much from Queensland, but I recall Maddison Levi from U18s last year, tall and fast, should be big for the Suns.
 

GC2015

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The two top Western Australian prospects this year appear to be Abbie Dowrick and Shanae Davison. Dowrick is McKenzie Dowrick's sister, and likely to go to West Coast -- she's not tall but she's fast, talented and scary strong, tackles like a wrecking ball and has a huge kick. Davison is skinnier, but a great athlete, and took the best hanger I've seen from a female player (search YouTube). Both will probably become midfielders in time, but play forward now.

In Victoria, Ellie McKenzie should go No.1 -- she's a good size for a mid, built like a sprinter and has great skills, is physically on a different level to anyone else in the draft, I think. I think Alyssa Bannan will go very high, she's tall enough to ruck but plays forward, is very fast, can run up the ground and burn people with pace, Gemma Haughton-style. I think Melbourne may be after her, depends who the Bulldogs take (but the Bulldogs need a midfielder after McCarthy left, not a forward). And Tyanna Smith is great, a tall mid, skinnier than McKenzie but super agile, plays a lot like Georgia Patrikios, could even end up playing with her at the Saints.

I don't know much about the SA girls, but Zoe Prowse looked great in the SANFL all-stars game -- not overly tall for a ruck but agile and skilled enough to play forward, has a huge vertical.

And haven't seen much from Queensland, but I recall Maddison Levi from U18s last year, tall and fast, should be big for the Suns.
Thanks for the write up :thumbsu: Very informative.

I believe Maddison Levi is the best prospect coming out of Queensland this year and I fully expect us (the Suns) to draft her with pick 7 at this year's draft. She comes from a rugby union background where she was one of the best nationally in her age group and is still relatively new to Aussie rules but clearly has natural ability in our code. Looking forward to seeing her in the red and gold next year.
 

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AlphaSheep

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Do you know if the separate Gold Coast zone is still in effect? Apparently they took away Geelong's zone, which won't please anyone picked by Geelong who wants to live in Melbourne.

It's great to see Gold Coast making such a strong debut in the league. They're producing so many good juniors, they deserve some success. It doesn't surprise me to hear what you say about Levi -- she was the one bottom-age in the U18s last year who really stood out for me, part of the big trend in AFLW for players to get taller. And apparently she has a younger sister who is also very good.
 

GC2015

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Do you know if the separate Gold Coast zone is still in effect? Apparently they took away Geelong's zone, which won't please anyone picked by Geelong who wants to live in Melbourne.

It's great to see Gold Coast making such a strong debut in the league. They're producing so many good juniors, they deserve some success. It doesn't surprise me to hear what you say about Levi -- she was the one bottom-age in the U18s last year who really stood out for me, part of the big trend in AFLW for players to get taller. And apparently she has a younger sister who is also very good.
I'm unsure about the zones in Queensland but I think there may be an understanding between the Suns and Lions that they won't bid on/draft players from each other's academies/zones. There have been numerous examples over the years where it was probably in one of the club's best interests to bid on a player from the opposing Queensland zone but chose not to and I think we'll see the same thing in the women's draft. This works out well for us because we appear to have a really strong zone in terms of U18 AA prospects: 2019 - Ellie Hampson, Serene Watson, Kitara Whap-Farrar; 2018 - Lauren Bella, Serene Watson; 2017 - Arianna Clarke, Kalinda Howarth, Lauren Bella; 2016 - Ruby Blair, Shaleise Law, Arianna Clarke. It's very likely we would have continued the trend this year under normal circumstances with our academy girls like M.Levi and Bradfield.

There has been an enormous uptake in female football on the Gold Coast over the last 12-24 months and we're really starting to see the benefits of that explosion in participation. I think the biggest advantage we have on the Gold Coast is that we are literally the only professional female sports team based on the Gold Coast and that's a very attractive option for female athletes on the GC looking to choose a sporting pathway to pursue. A lot of these girls will get to a certain level of a sport like netball and will be required to travel to Brisbane on a regular basis. It's more convenient for them to pursue footy in their hometown instead.

Maddison Levi is going to be a star. She's nearing 180cm and as you said is more in line with the trend towards taller players. Rumour has it that her sister, Teagan, is even better and will be draft eligible next year.
 

Teen Wolf

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As per https://womens.afl/about/draft/booklet
WHAT ARE THE DRAFT REGIONS?
  • Victoria (All Victorian Clubs)
  • Tasmania (North Melbourne) – must reside in Tasmania
  • South Australia (Adelaide Crows)
  • Western Australia (Fremantle or West Coast)
  • Gold Coast Only (Gold Coast SUNS zone)
  • Brisbane Only (Brisbane Lions zone)
  • Queensland (Brisbane or Gold Coast SUNS)
  • New South Wales (GWS Giants)
  • International (all Clubs – only available to Players who normally reside outside of Australia)
Also, a comment on the supposed trend towards taller players: There is none. No midfielder in the comp would be any more or less successful if they were 10cm taller or shorter, and no club is getting sucked in to thinking that way.

Of course everybody wants to have tall KPPs (even though the most anticipated key forward of the last few drafts is listed at 170cm), but that's a time-honoured tradition rather than a trend.
 

AlphaSheep

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As per https://womens.afl/about/draft/booklet
Also, a comment on the supposed trend towards taller players: There is none. No midfielder in the comp would be any more or less successful if they were 10cm taller or shorter, and no club is getting sucked in to thinking that way.

Of course everybody wants to have tall KPPs (even though the most anticipated key forward of the last few drafts is listed at 170cm), but that's a time-honoured tradition rather than a trend.
Collingwood persist with Mason Cox because of a tradition?

Average height of first round midfield picks in 2017 was 162cm. In 2018, 165cm. In 2019, 167cm. Average height from the ten highest possession winning midfielders in NAB League this season is 168.2cm.
 

Vacuous Space

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In Victoria, Ellie McKenzie should go No.1 -- she's a good size for a mid, built like a sprinter and has great skills, is physically on a different level to anyone else in the draft, I think. I think Alyssa Bannan will go very high, she's tall enough to ruck but plays forward, is very fast, can run up the ground and burn people with pace, Gemma Haughton-style. I think Melbourne may be after her, depends who the Bulldogs take (but the Bulldogs need a midfielder after McCarthy left, not a forward). And Tyanna Smith is great, a tall mid, skinnier than McKenzie but super agile, plays a lot like Georgia Patrikios, could even end up playing with her at the Saints.
I'd add that Smith had an extraordinary number of chase down tackles and holding the ball decisions in her favour in the NAB League. I'm assuming, at this point, that we're not getting any Vic combine pre-draft, but I would have expected Smith to test well in terms of speed, agility and endurance, based on how she plays. I think the only way she makes it to St Kilda's pick is if the Dogs take Bannan and the Dees take someone like Olivia Barber.

For those who don't know, Barber is a ~185cm key forward from the Bushrangers who dominated at the champs last year, including kicking 4 against Queensland. She's the best contested mark of any of the juniors I've seen and can kick a long goal. She's very athletic as well (I think someone said 'basketball background' on the coverage of one of the games). She only played the one game this year, a 50-point loss in which Murray only managed 15 inside 50s for the game. She still managed to take a nice pack mark and kick a goal before leaving with a concussion that kept her out of Murray's only other game.

I still think the Dogs will take Bannan. While McCarthy is a loss, they're not exactly stacked up forward either, and I think Bannan is the best player available once McKenzie's gone. The Dogs did draft a few mid types last year, and may get one or two more with their other first-round picks, but I think the main consideration is which player will have the greatest impact and IMO that's Bannan. I don't think there's a wrong answer in the first few picks, though, and I wouldn't fall off my chair if they picked Smith instead. Any of the other mids would be pretty surprising.
 

Teen Wolf

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Collingwood persist with Mason Cox because of a tradition?
Yeah, there's this longstanding belief that height is somewhat important for ruckmen and key forwards. Not a new concept.

Average height of first round midfield picks in 2017 was 162cm. In 2018, 165cm. In 2019, 167cm. Average height from the ten highest possession winning midfielders in NAB League this season is 168.2cm.
Uh ohh, somebody better tell the munchkin from Carlton that her career is over. These enormous women will devour us all!

But wait, why are the second-round midfield picks on average taller than the first-rounders... Turns out it's better to be shorter??
 

AlphaSheep

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I'd add that Smith had an extraordinary number of chase down tackles and holding the ball decisions in her favour in the NAB League. I'm assuming, at this point, that we're not getting any Vic combine pre-draft, but I would have expected Smith to test well in terms of speed, agility and endurance, based on how she plays. I think the only way she makes it to St Kilda's pick is if the Dogs take Bannan and the Dees take someone like Olivia Barber.

For those who don't know, Barber is a ~185cm key forward from the Bushrangers who dominated at the champs last year, including kicking 4 against Queensland. She's the best contested mark of any of the juniors I've seen and can kick a long goal. She's very athletic as well (I think someone said 'basketball background' on the coverage of one of the games). She only played the one game this year, a 50-point loss in which Murray only managed 15 inside 50s for the game. She still managed to take a nice pack mark and kick a goal before leaving with a concussion that kept her out of Murray's only other game.

I still think the Dogs will take Bannan. While McCarthy is a loss, they're not exactly stacked up forward either, and I think Bannan is the best player available once McKenzie's gone. The Dogs did draft a few mid types last year, and may get one or two more with their other first-round picks, but I think the main consideration is which player will have the greatest impact and IMO that's Bannan. I don't think there's a wrong answer in the first few picks, though, and I wouldn't fall off my chair if they picked Smith instead. Any of the other mids would be pretty surprising.
Yeah, it'll be interesting to see. Bannan would make a huge impact anywhere, but if the Dogs got a gun midfielder they could throw Gabby Newton forward and kill two birds with one stone. Newton's going to be terrific, but she struggled a little in the midfield last year, it's a hard ask for a tall first-year player, the forward line may suit her better until she really matures.

I saw Barber take those four against Queensland. Be interesting to see where she fits in, AFLW teams have learned to handle Tegan Cunningham (why the Dees need a more mobile forward like Bannan) so Barber will need to be in a forward line with other good forwards to draw defenders, if she's all alone they'll swamp her. There's also Jess Fitzgerald, who's got similar numbers for the Knights midfield to McKenzie, not quite the same athlete but should go high as well. And Sarah Hartwig I thought is the best defender in the draft... could end up somewhere like Carlton to replace Van Dyk.

Uh ohh, somebody better tell the munchkin from Carlton that her career is over.
That's not how averages work.
 

Vacuous Space

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Yeah, it'll be interesting to see. Bannan would make a huge impact anywhere, but if the Dogs got a gun midfielder they could throw Gabby Newton forward and kill two birds with one stone.

...

There's also Jess Fitzgerald, who's got similar numbers for the Knights midfield to McKenzie, not quite the same athlete but should go high as well. And Sarah Hartwig I thought is the best defender in the draft... could end up somewhere like Carlton to replace Van Dyk.
See, I was thinking of Fitzgerald as somebody the Dogs might look at with their second pick. If the Dogs pick up Bannan and Fitzgerald to go with Newton, Morris-Dalton and Gutknecht, they can change their name to the Northwestern Bullknights. My thinking was that it's likely that at least one of Fitz, Olivia Meagher and Isabelle Pritchard are likely to be available at that pick - assuming they want a midfielder. I'm not sure whether teams are going to see Pritchard as a midfielder or a defender (or just a footballer and figure it out later), but she played as a mid this year and played well, so I'm counting her as one. Regardless, a third of the Dogs list is going to be teenagers next year and nearly half of their list under 22, so it's looking very development yearish for them. You could be right on Newton - she was only 6th on the team in clearances and I feel like she spent a lot of time in at the stoppages.

I feel like Hartwig and Maggie Caris are kind of the wild cards of at least the Victorian portion of the first round. I'm not going to pretend I know everybody's list well enough to know who needs an intercept defender or a ruck. I'm not really familiar with the girls from the other states either, but I think the only real competition for Hartwig as the best defender spot in Vic would be Pritchard and, as mentioned, she's a mid now. Looking at the invite list for draft camp, I think there's only a handful I recognise as defenders. So it may be a case where teams have to get in early if they want somebody to fill that role.

Also, if you don't mind me asking, I have a couple of questions about the WA draft. First, I saw that you mentioned Dowrick and Davison. I was just wondering if you know how the other AFLW academy girls from WA (Isabella Lewis, Mikayla Morrison, Sarah Verrier) have gone. Morrison and Verrier, in particular, were impressive in the game between WA and Vic Metro last year, but that and the WA v Vic Country game are the only time I've seen any of the WA girls. I'm horribly Vic-centric. Also, do you think the Eagles will/should add any mature-agers with their picks?
 

AlphaSheep

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See, I was thinking of Fitzgerald as somebody the Dogs might look at with their second pick. If the Dogs pick up Bannan and Fitzgerald to go with Newton, Morris-Dalton and Gutknecht, they can change their name to the Northwestern Bullknights. My thinking was that it's likely that at least one of Fitz, Olivia Meagher and Isabelle Pritchard are likely to be available at that pick - assuming they want a midfielder. I'm not sure whether teams are going to see Pritchard as a midfielder or a defender (or just a footballer and figure it out later), but she played as a mid this year and played well, so I'm counting her as one. Regardless, a third of the Dogs list is going to be teenagers next year and nearly half of their list under 22, so it's looking very development yearish for them. You could be right on Newton - she was only 6th on the team in clearances and I feel like she spent a lot of time in at the stoppages.

I feel like Hartwig and Maggie Caris are kind of the wild cards of at least the Victorian portion of the first round. I'm not going to pretend I know everybody's list well enough to know who needs an intercept defender or a ruck. I'm not really familiar with the girls from the other states either, but I think the only real competition for Hartwig as the best defender spot in Vic would be Pritchard and, as mentioned, she's a mid now. Looking at the invite list for draft camp, I think there's only a handful I recognise as defenders. So it may be a case where teams have to get in early if they want somebody to fill that role.

Also, if you don't mind me asking, I have a couple of questions about the WA draft. First, I saw that you mentioned Dowrick and Davison. I was just wondering if you know how the other AFLW academy girls from WA (Isabella Lewis, Mikayla Morrison, Sarah Verrier) have gone. Morrison and Verrier, in particular, were impressive in the game between WA and Vic Metro last year, but that and the WA v Vic Country game are the only time I've seen any of the WA girls. I'm horribly Vic-centric. Also, do you think the Eagles will/should add any mature-agers with their picks?
I'd be very surprised if Fitzgerald was still available for their second pick. Northern Knights players come with a premium and a star Knights midfielder will be in big demand. But Pritchard should still be around, so maybe you're right -- it'd still be a heck of a draft if the Dogs got Bannan and Pritchard, plus their third pick is pretty high too. But I've been saying for ages that the midfield is by far the most important thing for AFLW teams to get right, there's been so many teams who've stacked up on forwards only to find that without a midfield, they can't get them the ball -- lately demonstrated by Richmond. And the gap between a star mid like Smith, and a pretty good mid like Pritchard, is very large. We've seen how Ellie Blackburn has completely defined the Bulldogs midfield for the past few years -- this would be the chance to get another Blackburn.

It'll actually be really interesting to see how much patience the Dogs have with Nathan Burke. Coaches usually come under pressure to trade draft picks for mature players to get immediate success, but he's resisted that and stacks up on kids instead. I think you'll definitely end up with a better team that way, but you'll have to wait for it. I hope the Dogs give him several more years at least, if he's prepared to let the kids all develop, that team will be completely loaded in a few years (already getting there) and a lot of these kids are only taking a few years to become big time players.

For the WA girls, Lewis hasn't played much this WAFLW season, but in the one game I saw she looked good -- super physical for a smaller girl. Verrier has played more but Peel haven't been televised much... Freo like her, she's well respected, someone will probably pick her up. Morrison's looked very good, but not as good as Dowrick or Davison. The problem with this draft is that aside from Dowrick, nearly every junior is about 165cm and skinny, just different versions of the same thing. The Eagles are struggling with being completely at the mercy of WA junior development -- they can't lure anyone but Irish players from the East Coast, they can't lure Freo players because Freo's done such a great job of making everyone want to stay, and they tried to recruit mature WAFLW players last year and it didn't work very well because the talent's just not there. So they've actually got one of the oldest lists in the AFLW, and need to go young, but while there's quite a lot of good players, it's all small runners of whom they don't need so much. They'd kill for a few gun taller key position players, but those will only come with next year's draft, and will take a few years to develop once they're in. It'll be a very long road, I think.
 

TBOW

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See, I was thinking of Fitzgerald as somebody the Dogs might look at with their second pick. If the Dogs pick up Bannan and Fitzgerald to go with Newton, Morris-Dalton and Gutknecht, they can change their name to the Northwestern Bullknights. My thinking was that it's likely that at least one of Fitz, Olivia Meagher and Isabelle Pritchard are likely to be available at that pick - assuming they want a midfielder. I'm not sure whether teams are going to see Pritchard as a midfielder or a defender (or just a footballer and figure it out later), but she played as a mid this year and played well, so I'm counting her as one. Regardless, a third of the Dogs list is going to be teenagers next year and nearly half of their list under 22, so it's looking very development yearish for them. You could be right on Newton - she was only 6th on the team in clearances and I feel like she spent a lot of time in at the stoppages.

I feel like Hartwig and Maggie Caris are kind of the wild cards of at least the Victorian portion of the first round. I'm not going to pretend I know everybody's list well enough to know who needs an intercept defender or a ruck. I'm not really familiar with the girls from the other states either, but I think the only real competition for Hartwig as the best defender spot in Vic would be Pritchard and, as mentioned, she's a mid now. Looking at the invite list for draft camp, I think there's only a handful I recognise as defenders. So it may be a case where teams have to get in early if they want somebody to fill that role.

Also, if you don't mind me asking, I have a couple of questions about the WA draft. First, I saw that you mentioned Dowrick and Davison. I was just wondering if you know how the other AFLW academy girls from WA (Isabella Lewis, Mikayla Morrison, Sarah Verrier) have gone. Morrison and Verrier, in particular, were impressive in the game between WA and Vic Metro last year, but that and the WA v Vic Country game are the only time I've seen any of the WA girls. I'm horribly Vic-centric. Also, do you think the Eagles will/should add any mature-agers with their picks?
Really appreciate the discussion that's going on here. It's been hard to find out much information about this draft class.
I'm familiar with most of the girls mentioned thanks to the work of Draft Central but haven't heard of Olivia Meagher. Do you know much else about her? What style of player? What draft range?
I'm really interested in what sort of mid the dogs might look at with our second pick if we go for Bannan with our first.
There's always a bit of sentimentality for a Jets girl so Pritchard would be a popular choice. How is she at the stoppages? As alphasheep mentioned I think we are desperate for another A grade, inside/outside mid like Blackburn so Smith would be perfect. If only we could get Bannan and Smith...
 

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Matthew2708

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Really appreciate the discussion that's going on here. It's been hard to find out much information about this draft class.
I'm familiar with most of the girls mentioned thanks to the work of Draft Central but haven't heard of Olivia Meagher. Do you know much else about her? What style of player? What draft range?
Olivia Meagher is a really tough player, she really goes at it hard. She had to be warned by the umpires to stop slinging players after a tackle a couple of times.
Earlier this year against the Tasmania Devils, the opposition began targeting her after a hard bump.
She normally plays midfield, and can play at half back.
 

TBOW

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Olivia Meagher is a really tough player, she really goes at it hard. She had to be warned by the umpires to stop slinging players after a tackle a couple of times.
Earlier this year against the Tasmania Devils, the opposition began targeting her after a hard bump.
She normally plays midfield, and can play at half back.
Yeah I read a couple of her team of the week write ups on Draft Central. Could be wrong but she sounds a bit like Kirsty Lamb.
I think the Dogs need a mid with a bit more dash and polish.
 

Teen Wolf

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Conti has dash and polish. I can't be the only one who remembers she and Blackburn were getting 36 disposals per game together in 2019, and the Bulldogs still played atrociously.

Whoever the Dogs choose with their first pick, it won't begin to address their real problem. They already have six top-10 draft picks from the last three years (including two number ones), but the surrounding experience to nurture the talent is sorely lacking. The situation is so bad that one of those kids is in the leadership group having to act like the grown-up, while a couple of the senior players (who are also in the leadership group) are constantly sooking on the field.

***

In light of recent news, let's talk about the most decorated draft prospect in the whole damn pool. A premiership player, an All-Australian, a club leading goal-kicker... all rolled into one? She'd surely have to go first round! Seriously though, let's hope the Suns aren't leading Sarah Perkins on there. Very surprising to me that she'd nominate for QLD, but at least on the surface it seems like a much different situation to Abbey Holmes' WA nomination letdown last year.

***

Finally, now that I have mentioned Hannah Scott and Perko in the same post, I am obliged to post a clip of their best path-crossing AFLW moment:

 

GC2015

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***

In light of recent news, let's talk about the most decorated draft prospect in the whole damn pool. A premiership player, an All-Australian, a club leading goal-kicker... all rolled into one? She'd surely have to go first round! Seriously though, let's hope the Suns aren't leading Sarah Perkins on there. Very surprising to me that she'd nominate for QLD, but at least on the surface it seems like a much different situation to Abbey Holmes' WA nomination letdown last year.

***
I think we have given her a guarantee and apparently the Lions aren't interested in her so it should go smoothly on draft day. I think we could really benefit from adding another mature body who happens to also be a premiership player with lots of AFLW experience under her belt. Our list is still very young so adding Perkins and Drennan this off season should help the younger girls a fair bit. Having said that, I think we've got quite a few talented draftees coming through our academy this year as well - Maddison Levi, Annise Bradfield, Daisy D'Arcy and Lucy Single. I think I've just detailed almost every player we will draft this year with the exception of an older state league player we may look to draft as well.
 

threenewpadlocks

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Yeah, there's this longstanding belief that height is somewhat important for ruckmen and key forwards. Not a new concept.


Uh ohh, somebody better tell the munchkin from Carlton that her career is over. These enormous women will devour us all!

But wait, why are the second-round midfield picks on average taller than the first-rounders... Turns out it's better to be shorter??
I think the point of saying that "there's a trend towards taller players" is more making a point about increased talent pool (ie increased overall participation allowing the "cream" in this case, taller players to rise to the top), and proper youth girls development and NAB league, allowing taller players to have encouragement and stick with it, as opposed to previous drafts, which was recruiting from a smaller pool of players.

For what it's worth, I don't think AFLW has actually reached anywhere near the heights (nice pun) of the men's league in taking talented athletes out of the wider population, if you compare list data and use height as a proxy. There's actually significantly more AFLW players that are shorter than the average population (38 by my count, 162cm or shorter) compared to the men (35, 175cm or shorter, more than half exactly 175cm), despite the fact that the total number of AFLW players is less than half than the total number of AFL players.
 

Teen Wolf

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I think we have given her a guarantee and apparently the Lions aren't interested in her so it should go smoothly on draft day. I think we could really benefit from adding another mature body who happens to also be a premiership player with lots of AFLW experience under her belt. Our list is still very young so adding Perkins and Drennan this off season should help the younger girls a fair bit. Having said that, I think we've got quite a few talented draftees coming through our academy this year as well - Maddison Levi, Annise Bradfield, Daisy D'Arcy and Lucy Single. I think I've just detailed almost every player we will draft this year with the exception of an older state league player we may look to draft as well.
I wonder if the guarantee came with certain conditions. Either way, better solution than having to play Kaslar or somebody like that out of position.

For what it's worth, I don't think AFLW has actually reached anywhere near the heights (nice pun) of the men's league in taking talented athletes out of the wider population, if you compare list data and use height as a proxy. There's actually significantly more AFLW players that are shorter than the average population (38 by my count, 162cm or shorter) compared to the men (35, 175cm or shorter, more than half exactly 175cm), despite the fact that the total number of AFLW players is less than half than the total number of AFL players.
Very much my thoughts. And without a netball equivalent on the men's side, I suspect such a disparity will always exist to some extent. That said, the AFLW Record and website continues to peddle some befuddling information about this stuff, like Chloe Molloy listed at 161cm (while other sources claim a more credible 171cm).
 

Vacuous Space

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I'd be very surprised if Fitzgerald was still available for their second pick.
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It'll actually be really interesting to see how much patience the Dogs have with Nathan Burke.
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For the WA girls...
I'll address these backwards. First off, thanks for the info on the WA and Eagles stuff. It's really interesting to hear what people think of their team. For the men's, you can kind of get a sense of how supporters feel by going onto any of the team boards. With the women's, we don't really know who's tearing up their membership any given week. I really appreciate all the info in this thread on WA and Queensland, because it's a massive blind spot, at least for me. Right now SA is one team with three picks, at least two of which are likely to go on academy juniors, but at some point Port gets a team and I'll be even more lost.

I'd say Burke is safe, if it weren't for the pandemic. If Scott Gowans wasn't safe, then nobody is. My feeling, justified or not, is that there's some acceptance that the Dogs now are more of an expansion team than most of the expansion teams. I think they'd be going down this path whether Burke was there or not. If finances don't determine Burke's fate, then I would think he'll be fine as long as they're vaguely competitive. Losses like the Freo one are probably okay, but losing to teams like the Eagles might not be.

It's entirely possible that I'm underrating Fitzgerald (or overrating others). It's also possible I'm underrating how much teams will value involvement with the Knights. I would offer as a counterpoint that, if you're comparing Fitzgerald with Meagher and Pritchard, all three were captains or co-captains and all three were in the AFLW academy. They're all high end prospects that teams would have very high on their draft boards, possibly in varying orders depending on preferences. I definitely don't want to give off the impression that I don't rate Fitzgerald. I think her game against Dandenong was one of the best performances of the season by anyone and she was, of course, very good in last year's Grand Final. It's just, if pressed, however, there are a few mids I'd take before her. I certainly wouldn't blame anyone for disagreeing.

Lastly, I'll just mention that the Draft Central had Jess on their podcast this week and she made some brief comments on the Vic Metro players available in the draft. I especially enjoyed her comments on Meagher at 18:34, given this thread.
 

Vacuous Space

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I'm familiar with most of the girls mentioned thanks to the work of Draft Central but haven't heard of Olivia Meagher. Do you know much else about her? What style of player? What draft range?
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There's always a bit of sentimentality for a Jets girl so Pritchard would be a popular choice. How is she at the stoppages? As alphasheep mentioned I think we are desperate for another A grade, inside/outside mid like Blackburn so Smith would be perfect. If only we could get Bannan and Smith...
Wouldn't every team like another A grade mid like Ellie Blackburn? I can't tell you who's going to be that good, if anybody, at the next level. I will say I think Meagher has a really good balance of inside and outside abilities. She's one of the best contested players in the pool, but she can also run and carry and kick the ball. Whenever I've seen her, she's been one of Eastern's best. I have no idea who is going to take her though.

If you're drafting Pritchard, I think you need to be open to the possibility that she may or may not be a mid at the next level. She only got to play three games there this year. I thought she was very good there, but she's not going to be playing against Bendigo, Murray or GWV next year.
 

TBOW

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Wouldn't every team like another A grade mid like Ellie Blackburn? I can't tell you who's going to be that good, if anybody, at the next level. I will say I think Meagher has a really good balance of inside and outside abilities. She's one of the best contested players in the pool, but she can also run and carry and kick the ball. Whenever I've seen her, she's been one of Eastern's best. I have no idea who is going to take her though.

If you're drafting Pritchard, I think you need to be open to the possibility that she may or may not be a mid at the next level. She only got to play three games there this year. I thought she was very good there, but she's not going to be playing against Bendigo, Murray or GWV next year.
Yeah 'A grade' is a lazy description. I guess my point is a lot of our mids have limitations and we really need someone who is strong at the contest but can also spread and use the ball well. Meagher sounds ideal based on your observations above.
 

Vacuous Space

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Yeah 'A grade' is a lazy description. I guess my point is a lot of our mids have limitations and we really need someone who is strong at the contest but can also spread and use the ball well. Meagher sounds ideal based on your observations above.
At this point, I'd like to caution against putting too much stock in anything I say. I'm just a guy who watches the games on the internet. From my perspective, picking which of these mids is going to be the best is like finding a needle in a haystack.

I'll use Megan Fitzsimon as an example. She plays for Gippsland Power. Good player; bad team. I've seen her play exactly twice. The first game she was good, but not particularly special. The second game she was probably BOG in a 52-point loss. Which of those games was the real Megan Fitzsimon? How do I rate her against the mids from, say, the Northern Knights - some of whom I've seen 8 or 9 times? The teams are going to have a better idea than I am, since they've probably watched them since at least under-16s. I have opinions, but I'm not losing my job if I'm wrong about them.

The girls I expect to go early are the ones who have been part of the academy (some for two years), played state footy at various levels, captained their side and things like that, as well as having played good footy. There's likely to be some players teams like from outside that group that teams like that go earlier than I expect and a few that I like that go later. For all I know, Meagher could be a mid second round pick, but if you're asking where I expect her to go, then I'd say somewhere between the Dogs second and third picks. I really hope she goes to a team that will use her in the middle, because she's so much fun to watch at stoppages.
 

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