2020 AFLW Draft Results

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Vacuous Space

Senior List
Oct 8, 2004
289
249
Melbourne
AFL Club
St Kilda
Tarni Brown to Collingwood. I would guess that they'll be matching a bid with pick 19. Alice Burke to St Kilda. Probably matching a bid with pick 24. The unexpected surprise was Amy Smith, 21-year old daughter of Shaun Smith, to North. There's even a few highlights at the end of the article, North supporters! My guess is North would not have to match a bid and would be taking her with pick 55, the last Victorian pick of the draft. I'm not sure we find out where bids happened anymore, unfortunately. I certainly never heard where the bids came in for Millie Brown and Issy Grant.

A few other things:

In Sarah Black's feature on Stephanie Williams, it was mentioned that she has nominated for the Victorian pool. Williams was the lone representative from the NT in the 2020 AFLW Academy. She played a couple of games for the Falcons, including a final, in 2018, but hasn't played for them since. She has also played in the NT and played at last year's championships for the Central Allies. She did some training with the Suns as part of the AFLW Academy.

I'm still hoping to hear something on NSW nominations in advance of the draft. GWS only have three picks, but there are five AFLW academy players that have previously trained with them - Tarni Evans, Jayde Hamilton and Emily Pease from Canberra as well as Olivia Barber and Abby Favell from the Murray Bushrangers. Barber's a likely first round pick in whatever zone she chooses, so there will be knock-on effects no matter which way she goes. She's also previously trained with the Cats as part of her time with the AFLW Academy.

Sarah Black also wrote an article on what is likely the closest thing we'll get to a Vic combine - DIY time trials. Unfortunately, we only got the top-5 performers in the article, so we have no idea how 'big names' like McKenzie, Bannan, Smith, etc went - or if they even ran at all. I don't think we'd mentioned Mimi Hill previously in our conversations, which may prove an oversight. She was really good inside this year, in particular at winning the ball at ground level and then feeding it out. She's previously played some outside mid, including when she played for Vic Metro last year in their game against Vic Country.

The official site also put up 25 draft profiles of some of the top prospects from around the country. The profiles are pretty limited in scope - just name, club, position, DOB, height and a couple of sentences about them. They've probably covered most of the early picks in that group, so it's at least a resource for people who don't know much about the players. The absence of Maggie Caris from that group makes me wonder if they know something I don't.

Lastly, here's some non-paywalled features on the girls from various sources (EDIT: mostly draft central):
Alice Astbury (Draft Central) - GWV Rebels
Abbie Ballard (Draft Central) - West Adelaide
Alyssa Bannan (Draft Central) - Northern Knights
Alyssa Bannan (Star Weekly) - Northern Knights
Olivia Barber (Draft Central) - Murray Bushrangers
Tarni Brown (Draft Central) - Eastern Ranges
Tarni Brown (womens.afl) - Eastern Ranges
Alice Burke (Draft Central) - Sandringham Dragons
Maggie Caris (Draft Central) - GWV Rebels
Maeve Chaplin (Draft Central) - Northern Knights
Maeve Chaplin (Star Weekly) - Northern Knights
Daisy D'Arcy (womens.afl) - Hermit Park
Shanae Davison (womens.afl) - Swan Districts (article includes imbedded video of the massive hanger that AlphaSheep mentioned)
Bella Eddey (Draft Central) - Sandringham Dragons
Tarni Evans (womens.afl) - Queanbeyan Tigers
Abby Favell (Draft Central) - Murray Bushrangers
Jemma Finning (Draft Central) - Bendigo Pioneers
Megan Fitzsimon (Draft Central) - Gippsland Power
Laura Gardiner (Draft Central) - Geelong Falcons
Sarah Hartwig (Draft Central) - Sandringham Dragons
Mimi Hill (Draft Central) - Oakleigh Chargers
Zoe Hill (Draft Central) - Dandenong Stingrays
Brianna Hyde (Draft Central) - Swan Districts
Abbey Jordan (Draft Central) - Dandenong Stingrays
Winnie Laing (Draft Central) - Sandringham Dragons
Joanna Lin (Draft Central) - Oakleigh Chargers
Jess Low (Draft Central) - Claremont
Olivia Meagher (Draft Central) - Eastern Ranges
Amber Micallef (Draft Central) - Oakleigh Chargers
Darcy Moloney (Draft Central) - Geelong Falcons
Maggie MacLachlan (Draft Central) - Subiaco
Jess Matin (Draft Central) - Dandenong Stingrays
Ellie McKenzie (Draft Central) - Northern Knights
Ellie McKenzie (womens.afl) - Northern Knights
Eliza McNamara (Draft Central) - Sandringham Dragons
Grace McRae (Draft Central) - Gippsland Power
Shanara Notman (Draft Central) - Gippsland Power
Alice O'Loughlin (Draft Central) - Oakleigh Chargers
Isabelle Pritchard (Star Weekly) - Western Jets
Carly Remmos (Draft Central) - Geelong Falcons
Renee Saulitis (Draft Central) - GWV Rebels
Isabella Simmons (Draft Central) - GWV Rebels
Tyanna Smith (Draft Central) - Dandenong Stingrays
Tyanna Smith (womens.afl) - Dandenong Stingrays
Annabel Strahan (Draft Central) - Bendigo Pioneers
Indy Tahau (Draft Central) - South Adelaide
Charile Vandenberg (Draft Central) - Tassie Devils
Charlie Vandenberg (womens.afl) - Tassie Devils
Amelia Velardo (Draft Central) - Western Jets
Daisy Walker (Draft Central) - Sandringham Dragons
Stephanie Williams (womens.afl) - Geelong Falcons

Only one week to go!

EDIT: Added some more articles.
 
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Scratchy05

Team Captain
Sep 16, 2020
433
295
AFL Club
Collingwood
I don't know too much about the AFLW prospects but surely Madison Levi has to be one of the top prospects. Someone who can jump that high at that height and be that quick off the mark will be very hard to stop. Which Qld club is she tied to?
 

AlphaSheep

Debutant
Jul 30, 2020
67
53
AFL Club
West Coast
I don't know too much about the AFLW prospects but surely Madison Levi has to be one of the top prospects. Someone who can jump that high at that height and be that quick off the mark will be very hard to stop. Which Qld club is she tied to?
The Suns. She's clearly the best Queenslander from what I've seen, not even close. Given a bit more polish in a few years with improved ball skills, she might even be the best of the lot.
 

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Scratchy05

Team Captain
Sep 16, 2020
433
295
AFL Club
Collingwood
The Suns. She's clearly the best Queenslander from what I've seen, not even close. Given a bit more polish in a few years with improved ball skills, she might even be the best of the lot.
I don't follow any of the predraft stuff in women so I don't know what her skills are like but to be that fast and quick, wouldn't surprise me if she ends up the best Key Forward in the league if she can read the play well.
 

AlphaSheep

Debutant
Jul 30, 2020
67
53
AFL Club
West Coast
I don't follow any of the predraft stuff in women so I don't know what her skills are like but to be that fast and quick, wouldn't surprise me if she ends up the best Key Forward in the league if she can read the play well.
From what I saw on the U18 game, athletically she's on another level to most of them, as well as being tall, and she tackles like a train. I think she's reasonably new from rugby, so if her skills can match her athleticism, she'll be one of the top players in the comp.
 

Vacuous Space

Senior List
Oct 8, 2004
289
249
Melbourne
AFL Club
St Kilda
Some thoughts immediately post-draft:

I feel really terrible for all the girls that missed out. Obviously, Liv Meagher was somebody I rated really highly, but the clubs didn't. There must be concerns beyond her lack of size, because there's at least a few gun players who are <160cm. Endurance, maybe? I don't know. Also Maeve Chaplin and Ash Snow from the Knights as well as Jemma Finning, Brooke Hards and Annabel Strahan from the Pioneers stand out as girls unlucky to miss out. They're all eligible to go back for another year of NAB League next year and play at the now U19 championships, should such things be able to occur. Obviously there's still a few list spots open, too. We'll see what happens with those.

On a more positive note, AlphaSheep really nailed the early Vic picks. Sheep mentioned Fitzgerald to the Dogs at pick 2, Bannan to the Dees at 5 and the possibility of Smith slipping to the Saints at 6. I, on the other hand, nailed just about nothing, other than picking Ellie McKenzie and the F/D picks (the free squares on the draft bingo card). Very clear who you should listen to going forward.

In terms of the clubs:

Richmond getting McKenzie is obviously the big one. Really glad to see Luka Lesosky-Hay get a shot. She was really unlucky last year as one of the top mids for the Falcons and Vic Country at the champs. I know nothing about Tessa Lavey, but I think they said on coverage that she hasn't played football at all.

The Bulldogs were a real surprise for me. I've got no issue with any of the players they took, but I am surprised they took Sarah Hartwig and Isabelle Pritchard. They already have so many of those ~175cm left-footers in Huntington, Brown, Morris-Dalton up forward and, now, Katie Lynch. Perhaps they'll move Huntington into the forward line and/or play Lynch or Pritchard out of the middle. They also now have 10 players on their list from Burkie's 2019 Metro squad.

I love Melbourne's draft from top to bottom. I'm a big fan of Alyssa Bannan, who should be a matchup nightmare. Eliza McNamara is a really exciting player with a huge tank and great skills who can play centre, wing or forward. Maggie Caris should get time to develop behind some really good rucks at Melbourne. Megan Fitzsimon has the ability to really tear a game apart as a taller mid who's great at the stoppages. Mietta Kendall has played as a small defender for the Ranges and can play defensively and rebound. Lastly, Isabella Simmons is one of those I thought would go earlier, with a great combination of height and athleticism. Probably will need some development time, but should be afforded that opportunity at Melbourne.

The Saints adding Tyanna Smith is obviously a huge pickup. It'll be interesting to see which part of the ground Searle deploys Burke in as well. I really like Renee Saulitis. She's a really dangerous small forward who may be able to come straight in and contribute. I'm not familiar with Vogt, but a quick google looks as though she's an ex-soccer player who has played for the Saints VFLW team.

I got Geelong's first few picks right, just in the wrong order, so it's hard to be too critical. Gardiner and Moloney really performed in their two-week season and Barber's potential is obvious. She won't have as much of a size advantage in the AFLW, so it'll be interesting to see how she copes with the better defenders, but she's probably the best contested mark in the Vic pool. It'll be great to see Williams in a club environment after only seeing her with the Central Allies. Her speed was the main standout feature when I saw her. I believe Remmos' two games this year were her only two games, so obviously Geelong saw something they liked.

Carlton went for endurance mids with all three of their picks. I was a little surprised that Walker went before Laing, since Laing was a starting mid for Sandy and Walker would rotate through there. That seemed to be the way all the draft publications had it in the leadup, so chalk up another one to 'what the hell would I know?'. Mimi Hill is fantastic at ground level and so skilful. I think Carlton have done really well here.

North aren't a team with a lot of needs, so it'll be really interesting to see how much opportunity Eddey and O'Loughlin get early on. Eddey can play anywhere, inside or out and has tremendous skills. I've only seen O'Loughlin once, but she kicked three and had a ton of the footy in that game. I don't know much about Hammond, Brown or Smith. I'm not going to question what the North recruiters are doing.

Last of the Vic sides is Collingwood. Brown is the real prize here - and I hope we get some insight into when the bid came in. She's really elusive in traffic and took a great contested grab in the goal square against Tassie. My guess is they'll move Velardo away from the ruck. She was actually listed as smaller than two of the Jets starting mids in Pritchard and Montana Ham (remember that name for 2022). In the game against the Rebels, she often just conceded the tap to Maggie Caris and played as an extra mid. Lin is a skilful winger who made the NAB League team of the year last year - one of only five players from this draft class to do so. Moloney is more of a medium forward, but she was one of Sandy's main targets up front this year and kicked 8 over three games.

I'll leave the interstate sides to others. I will point out, however, that if the Queensland order seems odd, that's in part because of the split zone they have there. They could take Maddison Levi and Daisy D'Arcy late in the draft without any risk of Brisbane pouncing on them.

Really excited for AFLW 2021, NAB League 2021 and the new format of championships in 2021. Can anyone beat Georgie Prespakis as the number one (Vic) pick? Early signs are it seems like a weaker group than this year's and possibly 2022s, but there's plenty of time to speculate on that. Congrats to all the girls selected and, to all those reading, I hope your team got you something you wanted for footy Christmas.
 
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TheTassieHawk

Debutant
Oct 12, 2019
140
98
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Hawthorn
Really excited for AFLW 2021, NAB League 2021 and the new format of championships in 2021. Can anyone beat Georgie Prespakis as the number one (Vic) pick? Early signs are it seems like a weaker group than this year's and possibly 2022s, but there's plenty of time to speculate on that. Congrats to all the girls selected and I hope your team got you something you wanted for footy Christmas.
I think a smart AFLW club should be prepared to tank the 2021 season just to get the number 1 pick in the 2021 AFLW draft I think Prespakis will be that good.

What will be interesting is if a non Victorian side takes the wooden spoon and puts the number 1 pick up for trade.

As far as who is a contender for the second pick I was wondering what had happened with Tess Flintoff from Eastern Ranges who had great bottom age NAB league stats in 2019 but no stats for 2020.

It looks like she is also a gun cricketer who played 13 matches for the Stars in the last WBBL season.

No other obvious contenders come to mind. I will be watching the 2021 NAB league with interest.
 

AlphaSheep

Debutant
Jul 30, 2020
67
53
AFL Club
West Coast
Some thoughts immediately post-draft:

I feel really terrible for all the girls that missed out. Obviously, Liv Meagher was somebody I rated really highly, but the clubs didn't. There must be concerns beyond her lack of size, because there's at least a few gun players who are <160cm. Endurance, maybe? I don't know. Also Maeve Chaplin and Ash Snow from the Knights as well as Jemma Finning, Brooke Hards and Annabel Strahan from the Pioneers stand out as girls unlucky to miss out. They're all eligible to go back for another year of NAB League next year and play at the now U19 championships, should such things be able to occur. Obviously there's still a few list spots open, too. We'll see what happens with those.

On a more positive note, AlphaSheep really nailed the early Vic picks. Sheep mentioned Fitzgerald to the Dogs at pick 2, Bannan to the Dees at 5 and the possibility of Smith slipping to the Saints at 6. I, on the other hand, nailed just about nothing, other than picking Ellie McKenzie and the F/D picks (the free squares on the draft bingo card). Very clear who you should listen to going forward.

In terms of the clubs:

Richmond getting McKenzie is obviously the big one. Really glad to see Luka Lesosky-Hay get a shot. She was really unlucky last year as one of the top mids for the Falcons and Vic Country at the champs. I know nothing about Tessa Lavey, but I think they said on coverage that she hasn't played football at all.

The Bulldogs were a real surprise for me. I've got no issue with any of the players they took, but I am surprised they took Sarah Hartwig and Isabelle Pritchard. They already have so many of those ~175cm left-footers in Huntington, Brown, Morris-Dalton up forward and, now, Katie Lynch. Perhaps they'll move Huntington into the forward line and/or play Lynch or Pritchard out of the middle. They also now have 10 players on their list from Burkie's 2019 Metro squad.

I love Melbourne's draft from top to bottom. I'm a big fan of Alyssa Bannan, who should be a matchup nightmare. Eliza McNamara is a really exciting player with a huge tank and great skills who can play centre, wing or forward. Maggie Caris should get time to develop behind some really good rucks at Melbourne. Megan Fitzsimon has the ability to really tear a game apart as a taller mid who's great at the stoppages. Mietta Kendall has played as a small defender for the Ranges and can play defensively and rebound. Lastly, Isabella Simmons is one of those I thought would go earlier, with a great combination of height and athleticism. Probably will need some development time, but should be afforded that opportunity at Melbourne.

The Saints adding Tyanna Smith is obviously a huge pickup. It'll be interesting to see which part of the ground Searle deploys Burke in as well. I really like Renee Saulitis. She's a really dangerous small forward who may be able to come straight in and contribute. I'm not familiar with Vogt, but a quick google looks as though she's an ex-soccer player who has played for the Saints VFLW team.

I got Geelong's first few picks right, just in the wrong order, so it's hard to be too critical. Gardiner and Moloney really performed in their two-week season and Barber's potential is obvious. She won't have as much of a size advantage in the AFLW, so it'll be interesting to see how she copes with the better defenders, but she's probably the best contested mark in the Vic pool. It'll be great to see Williams in a club environment after only seeing her with the Central Allies. Her speed was the main standout feature when I saw her. I believe Remmos' two games this year were her only two games, so obviously Geelong saw something they liked.

Carlton went for endurance mids with all three of their picks. I was a little surprised that Walker went before Laing, since Laing was a starting mid for Sandy and Walker would rotate through there. That seemed to be the way all the draft publications had it in the leadup, so chalk up another one to 'what the hell would I know?'. Mimi Hill is fantastic at ground level and so skilful. I think Carlton have done really well here.

North aren't a team with a lot of needs, so it'll be really interesting to see how much opportunity Eddey and O'Loughlin get early on. Eddey can play anywhere, inside or out and has tremendous skills. I've only seen O'Loughlin once, but she kicked three and had a ton of the footy in that game. I don't know much about Hammond, Brown or Smith. I'm not going to question what the North recruiters are doing.

Last of the Vic sides is Collingwood. Brown is the real prize here - and I hope we get some insight into when the bid came in. She's really elusive in traffic and took a great contested grab in the goal square against Tassie. My guess is they'll move Velardo away from the ruck. She was actually listed as smaller than two of the Jets starting mids in Pritchard and Montana Ham (remember that name for 2022). In the game against the Rebels, she often just conceded the tap to Maggie Caris and played as an extra mid. Lin is a skilful winger who made the NAB League team of the year last year - one of only five players from this draft class to do so. Moloney is more of a medium forward, but she was one of Sandy's main targets up front this year and kicked 8 over three games.

I'll leave the interstate sides to others. I will point out, however, that if the Queensland order seems odd, that's in part because of the split zone they have there. They could take Maddison Levi and Daisy D'Arcy late in the draft without any risk of Brisbane pouncing on them.

Really excited for AFLW 2021, NAB League 2021 and the new format of championships in 2021. Can anyone beat Georgie Prespakis as the number one (Vic) pick? Early signs are it seems like a weaker group than this year's and possibly 2022s, but there's plenty of time to speculate on that. Congrats to all the girls selected and, to all those reading, I hope your team got you something you wanted for footy Christmas.
Thanks for the nice words, VS (and great writeup too) but unless you've got an inside line to who's doing what behind the scenes, it's really just luck for those of us on the outside. And my WA picks were crap, and those are the ones I was following most closely.

Agree with everything here, it's particularly fun to see just how loaded certain teams are getting. When the AFLW started, everyone looked forward to a time when teams would get some depth, and we're finally getting there. Even Gold Coast, after being the best expansion team, just loaded up with a bunch more really good kids.

Melbourne will be the most excited that I was right about the Bulldogs taking Fitzgerald or Smith, I reckon getting Bannan was always their best case scenario. And that's becoming a seriously tall team.

And for the Saints, that midfield combination of Smith and Patrikios, plus their others, for a team in just it's second year, is impressive.
I didn't think Freo could get much better but they sure have. The Lions and Suns seem to have an unwritten agreement not to take each others Academy players.
Different zones for Gold Coast and Brisbane, not sure if that will last, like the Geelong zone ended this year. And big coup for Brisbane to get Indy Tahau from Adelaide, looks like a serious player.
I think a smart AFLW club should be prepared to tank the 2021 season just to get the number 1 pick in the 2021 AFLW draft I think Prespakis will be that good.

What will be interesting is if a non Victorian side takes the wooden spoon and puts the number 1 pick up for trade.

As far as who is a contender for the second pick I was wondering what had happened with Tess Flintoff from Eastern Ranges who had great bottom age NAB league stats in 2019 but no stats for 2020.

It looks like she is also a gun cricketer who played 13 matches for the Stars in the last WBBL season.

No other obvious contenders come to mind. I will be watching the 2021 NAB league with interest.
Flintoff is a full time cricketer, is in one of the WBBL teams. Be nice if she became a dual sport athlete, but cricket pays way better at the top level, so it makes sense for now. Lucy Cripps too was a very good junior footballer, also now WBBL.

I said a while back that the AFLW should be concerned about tanking this year, given Georgie Prespakis. But if you think that's a concern, wait until the draft after THAT, when Montana Ham becomes available. Georgie's reign as best player in the AFLW may only last one year.
 

briztoon

Wannabe Draft Nuffie
Nov 28, 2015
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I didn't think Freo could get much better but they sure have. The Lions and Suns seem to have an unwritten agreement not to take each others Academy players.
No, it’s actually a written agreement. Suns and Lions academy girls can nominate which club they want to go to, or nominate which State.

It’s the interstate girls who nominate QLD that we compete against each other for.
 

Vacuous Space

Senior List
Oct 8, 2004
289
249
Melbourne
AFL Club
St Kilda
I think a smart AFLW club should be prepared to tank the 2021 season just to get the number 1 pick in the 2021 AFLW draft I think Prespakis will be that good.

What will be interesting is if a non Victorian side takes the wooden spoon and puts the number 1 pick up for trade.

As far as who is a contender for the second pick I was wondering what had happened with Tess Flintoff from Eastern Ranges who had great bottom age NAB league stats in 2019 but no stats for 2020.

It looks like she is also a gun cricketer who played 13 matches for the Stars in the last WBBL season.

No other obvious contenders come to mind. I will be watching the 2021 NAB league with interest.
I expect Essendon to go hard after the Calder girls (2x Prespakis and Patrikios) when they come in. Not saying they'll actually get them, but can you imagine if you tanked for Georgie and then she left within a few years? Honestly, the Dogs and Tiges may be hard to beat to the bottom even if you are trying. Interesting to see what happens if West Coast finishes last - we aren't expecting any of the other interstate sides to be that bad, are we?

I'm not saying she's anywhere close to Prespakis, but Nyakoat Dojiok is extremely impressive as a key defender. Ella Friend (who is only eligible by two days) only played one game this year, but she stood out, too. So GWV will definitely be a team to look out for. Charlie Rowbottom from the Chargers is another ~175cm key forward type is another one to watch.
 

Vacuous Space

Senior List
Oct 8, 2004
289
249
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St Kilda
Thanks for the nice words, VS (and great writeup too) but unless you've got an inside line to who's doing what behind the scenes, it's really just luck for those of us on the outside. And my WA picks were crap, and those are the ones I was following most closely.

Agree with everything here, it's particularly fun to see just how loaded certain teams are getting. When the AFLW started, everyone looked forward to a time when teams would get some depth, and we're finally getting there. Even Gold Coast, after being the best expansion team, just loaded up with a bunch more really good kids.

Melbourne will be the most excited that I was right about the Bulldogs taking Fitzgerald or Smith, I reckon getting Bannan was always their best case scenario. And that's becoming a seriously tall team.

And for the Saints, that midfield combination of Smith and Patrikios, plus their others, for a team in just it's second year, is impressive.

Different zones for Gold Coast and Brisbane, not sure if that will last, like the Geelong zone ended this year. And big coup for Brisbane to get Indy Tahau from Adelaide, looks like a serious player.

Flintoff is a full time cricketer, is in one of the WBBL teams. Be nice if she became a dual sport athlete, but cricket pays way better at the top level, so it makes sense for now. Lucy Cripps too was a very good junior footballer, also now WBBL.

I said a while back that the AFLW should be concerned about tanking this year, given Georgie Prespakis. But if you think that's a concern, wait until the draft after THAT, when Montana Ham becomes available. Georgie's reign as best player in the AFLW may only last one year.
With the benefit of hindsight, I think those top-4 Victorian picks make more sense to me now. Fitzgerald's probably more of an inside players than Smith, who I think will be better suited starting on a wing, probably opposite Molly McDonald. I can see the Dogs starting with a midfield of Blackburn/Fitz/Newton, or they could potentially push Newton forward, as you suggested and play Lamb in the middle. The Saints probably start with Dillon/Patrikios/Vesely in the middle and can rotate Smith through, maybe Burke as well. I'm still trying to figure out what the Dogs will do with all those talls.

I'll definitely be watching more Melbourne games next year. Very keen to see how this group of draftees fits in with the old crowd.

I'm more worried about tanking this coming year than 2022 because there seems to be a much deeper pool of top-end players around Ham than around Prespakis. For me, the nightmare scenario is the league lets the Bombers in for 2023 and they get to pre-sign Jets. They then get Ham and Charlotte Baskaran for nothing and get to poach some great young players of existing teams. The dream scenario is they never let Essendon in because, officially, they are a bunch of dumb-dumb heads. I'm a mature adult.
 

AlphaSheep

Debutant
Jul 30, 2020
67
53
AFL Club
West Coast
With the benefit of hindsight, I think those top-4 Victorian picks make more sense to me now. Fitzgerald's probably more of an inside players than Smith, who I think will be better suited starting on a wing, probably opposite Molly McDonald. I can see the Dogs starting with a midfield of Blackburn/Fitz/Newton, or they could potentially push Newton forward, as you suggested and play Lamb in the middle. The Saints probably start with Dillon/Patrikios/Vesely in the middle and can rotate Smith through, maybe Burke as well. I'm still trying to figure out what the Dogs will do with all those talls.

I'll definitely be watching more Melbourne games next year. Very keen to see how this group of draftees fits in with the old crowd.

I'm more worried about tanking this coming year than 2022 because there seems to be a much deeper pool of top-end players around Ham than around Prespakis. For me, the nightmare scenario is the league lets the Bombers in for 2023 and they get to pre-sign Jets. They then get Ham and Charlotte Baskaran for nothing and get to poach some great young players of existing teams. The dream scenario is they never let Essendon in because, officially, they are a bunch of dumb-dumb heads. I'm a mature adult.
For the Dogs, it'll be interesting to see what they do with Lamb. She's the kind of player who will get phased out eventually, she's kinda slow and can't really kick, but she's a battering ram and wins a heap of contested ball. I reckon for now they'll keep her starting until the more skilful contested ball winners show they can match her, and then her days may be numbered. If they'd picked Bannan they'd still be getting crushed in the midfield next year, but with Fitz they've got a critical mass of clever, athletic ball users who can actually get their forward line the ball. And I reckon the goal with Newton will be to turn her into an Erin Phillips type midfielder/forward who drifts from one to the other and causes matchup nightmares in both. Without Fitz, that's much harder to do because they'll always need her in the middle.

Saints are starting to look FAST. Burke and Saulitis can move, too, and Smith's nearly as fleet as Patrikios. Should be a super fun team next year.

I think if the AFLW just gave Ham to any expansion team, the other clubs would riot. The deal so far has been that expansion teams pick as many existing non-draft players as they can, and then the AFLW will assess how well they've done and allocate draft picks after that. Of course, an expansion team that year could go seriously light on their mature-age recruitment in the hope the AFLW pity them with a No.1 pick, but I can't see any expansion team risking it since they're desperate for depth even more than star power.

And yes, Ham's draft year is going to be crazy deep, especially for agile talls, but I think Ham will still be head and shoulders over them like McKenzie was head and shoulders over this year's. That kind of player can make a team, on and off field. Clubs will be chasing that No.1 pick like Gollum after a ring.
 

Teen Wolf

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Jul 5, 2011
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Despite the draft zone reversions in Victoria, the Cats end up taking all their preferred Geelong Falcons prospects anyway, plus Barber who had already spent time with them as part of the academy program. Couldn't see it working any other way, and it takes their trade with Melbourne back into the realm of sensible.

Fremantle swinging the axe at the end of the 2018 season was justifiable, but Tiah Haynes had to be the liniest of line ball calls. Patience having since paid off with Bowers, it makes sense to gamble on another highly-rated player (went at number 1 in the 2014 exhibition draft, after all) who had a luckless run with injury in the first two AFLW seasons. Could never blame her for not getting through this bodyslam unscathed:

I think if the AFLW just gave Ham to any expansion team, the other clubs would riot. The deal so far has been that expansion teams pick as many existing non-draft players as they can, and then the AFLW will assess how well they've done and allocate draft picks after that.
Not so. The second lot of expansion teams were able to sign up to three junior players from their development region. I don't know how that's riot-worthy, and it's certainly no worse than just handing out heaps of high draft picks (it's better imo).
 

TBOW

Club Legend
Aug 9, 2012
2,663
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AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
For the Dogs, it'll be interesting to see what they do with Lamb. She's the kind of player who will get phased out eventually, she's kinda slow and can't really kick, but she's a battering ram and wins a heap of contested ball. I reckon for now they'll keep her starting until the more skilful contested ball winners show they can match her, and then her days may be numbered. If they'd picked Bannan they'd still be getting crushed in the midfield next year, but with Fitz they've got a critical mass of clever, athletic ball users who can actually get their forward line the ball. And I reckon the goal with Newton will be to turn her into an Erin Phillips type midfielder/forward who drifts from one to the other and causes matchup nightmares in both. Without Fitz, that's much harder to do because they'll always need her in the middle.
I get what you are saying with Lamb and she definitely has her limitations, but she just constantly gets from contest to contest and throws her body in. If not for her Blackburn would be getting worn down so much more and we definitely need her physicality with such a young team. I can't see her being phased out anytime soon.

I think the biggest problem with Lamb in the middle is teams know that she is not damaging by foot and is going to try to find Ellie with the handball so they are prepared to sit off her. The other girls that we have run through the middle have not been great at creating space either which means the opposition can really lock us down and our clearances are ineffective. That is why I am so excited to get Fitzgerald into the mix because adding another player with speed and good inside smarts in tandem with Blackburn will mean we are able to work out of stoppages much more effectively.

Maybe we see some of the talls that Vacuous Space keeps mentioning as being the players to eventually phase out Lamb. I can see Pritchard in particular being effective in that big bodied role with her ability to get her hands up in the tackle and find an effective handpass. We are definitely accumulating a tall list so it will be interesting to see how we structure up next year.
 

AlphaSheep

Debutant
Jul 30, 2020
67
53
AFL Club
West Coast
Not so. The second lot of expansion teams were able to sign up to three junior players from their development region. I don't know how that's riot-worthy, and it's certainly no worse than just handing out heaps of high draft picks (it's better imo).
Junior-age players have never been allowed as pre-draft selections in Victoria, only in other states. Announcing affiliations between NAB League teams and AFLW teams as a 'development zone' will disadvantage some teams, as the NAB League is wildly uneven at present. Everyone will want the Northern Knights as their development zone, few will want the Bendigo Pioneers -- Geelong had the Falcons and GWV Rebels for a bit, but Melbourne clubs didn't like that either. Changing that for one expansion team, in the year when a player like Ham becomes available, will be seen as highly problematic. But sure, it won't stop Essendon scheming how to get Ham anyway in that scenario, they'd be stupid not to.
I get what you are saying with Lamb and she definitely has her limitations, but she just constantly gets from contest to contest and throws her body in. If not for her Blackburn would be getting worn down so much more and we definitely need her physicality with such a young team. I can't see her being phased out anytime soon.

I think the biggest problem with Lamb in the middle is teams know that she is not damaging by foot and is going to try to find Ellie with the handball so they are prepared to sit off her. The other girls that we have run through the middle have not been great at creating space either which means the opposition can really lock us down and our clearances are ineffective. That is why I am so excited to get Fitzgerald into the mix because adding another player with speed and good inside smarts in tandem with Blackburn will mean we are able to work out of stoppages much more effectively.

Maybe we see some of the talls that Vacuous Space keeps mentioning as being the players to eventually phase out Lamb. I can see Pritchard in particular being effective in that big bodied role with her ability to get her hands up in the tackle and find an effective handpass. We are definitely accumulating a tall list so it will be interesting to see how we structure up next year.
Yeah, the battle Lamb's going to have to retain her spot over the next few years will be interesting to see as a microcosm of how the AFLW's developing. There's still quite a few players like her in the league -- very good at what they do, and very valuable for now, but with weaknesses that become increasingly glaring as the average standard rises. She remains valuable to the Dogs for as long as she can do things her teammates can't, but if and when Fitz and maybe someone else shows they can win hard ball as well as her, the coaches will start thinking how nice it would be to have one more player in the middle with a damaging kick.
 

The Victorian

Club Legend
Oct 23, 2018
2,962
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Victoria
AFL Club
Gold Coast
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Storm, Western Utd
Shocked that Maeve Chaplin and Ash Snow missed out!!

On Alyssa Bannan- great athlete. She did athletics against us in mixed relays- very quick! She also is a very good umpire in the NFNL winning most promising umpire a few years ago!
 

Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
3,335
4,588
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
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Rancho Carne Toros
Junior-age players have never been allowed as pre-draft selections in Victoria, only in other states. Announcing affiliations between NAB League teams and AFLW teams as a 'development zone' will disadvantage some teams, as the NAB League is wildly uneven at present. Everyone will want the Northern Knights as their development zone, few will want the Bendigo Pioneers -- Geelong had the Falcons and GWV Rebels for a bit, but Melbourne clubs didn't like that either. Changing that for one expansion team, in the year when a player like Ham becomes available, will be seen as highly problematic. But sure, it won't stop Essendon scheming how to get Ham anyway in that scenario, they'd be stupid not to.
 

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