Women's Footy AFLW 2022 - GWS Giants: Last gasp 1 point win against Dogs in praccy match

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Giant Strides

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This is a pretty reasonable overview of the Giants' situation regarding the draft.


The next wave of AFLW talent will officially join the League on Wednesday night at the 2022 NAB AFLW Draft.

It's the first draft of the 18-team era, with Port Adelaide, Essendon, the Swans and Hawthorn to make history as each side drafts its first female player.

Clubs will all be at Marvel Stadium to submit their picks live for the first time since 2019. The first round of selections will be announced on stage, with the following rounds to be announced to the public via AFL.com.au.

Each club must take a minimum of three picks to the draft. At least one player must be taken by each club through the draft, but there is the option to pass on one, or two, of their finals selections in order to sign an undrafted free agent – players who nominated for the draft in another state but were not selected.

The draft is a state-based draft with the GIANTS and Swans to pick from the NSW pool. As the AFLW is still not a full-time competition, it is tough to ask players to abruptly move interstate for a six-month contract. Prospective players choose which state they nominate in, and only teams within that state may consider them in the draft. While most players will nominate in their home state, this is not always the case, as with Victorians Montana Ham and Sofia Hurley and Queenslander Fleur Davies all switching states.

The GIANTS have eight available list spots after re-signing the bulk of their 2022 list. They’ll enter the draft with their first pick at pick 20, after the Swans were handed the first five picks based on their inaugural list build.

New South Wales Draft Selections
  1. (1 Overall) Sydney
  2. (5) Sydney
  3. (11) Sydney
  4. (12) Sydney
  5. (13) Sydney
  6. (20) GIANTS
  7. (64) GIANTS
  8. (66) GIANTS
  9. (75) GIANTS
  10. (82) GIANTS
  11. (84) GIANTS
  12. (86) GIANTS
  13. (87) GIANTS
The GIANTS were bracing themselves to lose a few players this off-season with cross-town side the Swans joining the competition, but have maintained the bulk of their top-end talent, while also bringing in All-Australian Isabel Huntington. Although Huntington won't be able to take to the field in season seven, she is a valuable long-term addition to the side.

Swans Academy recruit Jess Doyle has re-signed with the club for the next two seasons and a cohort of experienced players have all extended their contracts until next year as well.

The GIANTS have gone from an abundance of rucks to none following the trade period and will be looking to address this need in the Draft on Wednesday night as well as looking for forwards options to support superstar Cora Staunton and selecting the best local talent.

View the top Draft prospects here: The Home of AFL Women's - Draft Prospects

The 2022 NAB AFLW Draft will be broadcast live, free and exclusively on womens.afl and the AFL Women's app from 7pm on Wednesday, June 29.

GIANTS current signings: Nicola Barr, Bec Beeson, Ally Dallaway, Chloe Dalton, Jess Doyle, Alicia Eva, Tarni Evans, Georgia Garnett, Alyce Parker, Emily Pease, Pepa Randall, Haneen Zreika (signed until 2023), Jasmine Grierson, Annalyse Lister, Tait Mackrill, Kat Smith (signed two year deals last year), Georgie Fowler, Tanya Hetherington, Brodee Mowbray, Casidhe Simmons, Brid Stack, Cora Staunton (signed for season seven), Isadora McLeay (inactive in season seven), Isabel Huntington (new recruit)
 

Brave New World

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The Australian did a review of which new, young talented players maybe be drafted by Clubs. For the Giants they named:

"ZARLIE GOLDSWORTHY

Age: 17

Club: Allies/NSW-ACT/Murray Bushrangers/Lavington

Border talent who has nominated New South Wales as her destination of choice, with the Giants looming large. A member of the AFLW Academy who has a strong soccer pedigree as a former young Matilda that has switched her hand to football seamlessly. A strong and physical inside midfielder who brings plenty of grunt."

The Giants recruit a "strong and physical inside midfielder"?.

Nah.
 

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Giant Strides

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The Australian did a review of which new, young talented players maybe be drafted by Clubs. For the Giants they named:

"ZARLIE GOLDSWORTHY

Age: 17

Club: Allies/NSW-ACT/Murray Bushrangers/Lavington

Border talent who has nominated New South Wales as her destination of choice, with the Giants looming large. A member of the AFLW Academy who has a strong soccer pedigree as a former young Matilda that has switched her hand to football seamlessly. A strong and physical inside midfielder who brings plenty of grunt."

The Giants recruit a "strong and physical inside midfielder"?.

Nah.
She will complement Alyce Parker very well, but can also go forward and kick goals.
 

Giant Strides

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GWS first pick, overall 20th pick - Zarlie Goldsworthy!

Welcome Zarlie, looking forward to seeing you in the midfield with Alyce & Alicia.
 

captainMyCaptain

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From the Recruitment team:

“Zarlie is a player who shot onto everyone’s radar with an excellent NAB League season for the Murray Bushrangers. She then went on to win the MVP for the Allies in the U18 National Championships. We are extremely happy she chose to nominate for NSW and to have the opportunity to add her to our list. She will show her athleticism and power through the midfield while also being able to go forward.”

 

Giant Strides

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Pick 64 - Fleur Davies: a talented ruck/forward from Queensland, who nominated for the NSW/ACT pool to grab a first grade spot (which she'll get!)
Pick 66 - Meghan Gaffney: a hard-running midfielder/winger from Tasmania, who nominated for the NSW/ACT pool for the opportunity

Welcome to GWS ladies!
 

captainMyCaptain

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Pick 64 - Fleur Davies: a talented ruck/forward from Queensland, who nominated for the NSW/ACT pool to grab a first grade spot (which she'll get!)
Pick 66 - Meghan Gaffney: a hard-running midfielder/winger from Tasmania, who nominated for the NSW/ACT pool for the opportunity

Welcome to GWS ladies!

Nice to see Gaffney get a chance in the aflw, and should be first of at least two Tassie girls and nice to see us add some much needed speed
 

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Giant Strides

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Final GWS picks:

75 - Madison Brazendale: Tasmanian winger looking for opportunity
82 - Jodie Hicks: inside midfielder, former GWS player returning to the list
84 - Cambridge McCormick: another ruck from Eastlake in Canberra (formerly from Port Macquarie)
86 - Tess Cattle: another tough inside midfielder from Canberra
87 - pass

Welcome all the new draftees (and the returning one!) to GWS.
 

Giant Strides

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The surprise for me was that Riverina girl Zara Hamilton, who eschewed the NSW pool to nominate for Victoria, was not selected. SHe was in SHifter's top 30 for the draft, so seems strange.

I wonder if we left a spot open to see if she'd come to GWS (is that an option now?)? Or do we need to find another tall (but Zara is 174 cm, so somewhat taller than many of our so-called tall defenders in past years)?

Zara Hamilton

Allies/NSW/-ACT/Murray Bushrangers/Belconnen
DOB: 14/10/04
Height: 173cm
Prolific ball winning outside midfielder, who can also play as a rebounding defender to great effect. In her nine matches with the Bushrangers this year, she averaged 24.1 disposals winning team of the year recognition and continued that form into the championships averaging 17 disposals in three matches (NSW-ACT/Allies) with her athletic ability eye-catching.

NABMbNT22MHP788128929.JPG

Murray Bushranger Zara Hamilton takes another kick against Northern Territory. Picture: Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos
 

Giant Strides

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Overall, that's probably as good as it could get for GWS. The biggest issue for us was the end of season loss of both our (talented) rucks, and with a third unavailable due to Army duties, so having had a complete wipeout in that position. We'd also lost other talls (Privetelli, Lorenzini, Stephenson) with little in the NSW/ACT pool to replenish.

The pre-draft win for GWS was Swans persuading not one but two talents from Victoria to defect to the NSW/ACT draft pool, leaving us some talent to actually select. And we achieved this in Zarlie Goldsworthy, who will be an excellent tough inside-midfielder addition, and in persuading the leading Queensland ruck talent to defect to the NSW/ACT pool, in Fleur Davies. Fleur is equally adept at the tall forward role.

The remaining picks added some experience (Hicks), inside grunt (Cattle), outside speed (Gaffney & Brazendale) and another ruck (McCormick). I can see us playing both McCormick and Davies in the team, and they should both be a touch more mobile than what Erin McKinnon was. McCormick was previously on the brink of selection for Brisbane and Gold Coast, so has talent and experience in lesser competitions (Canberra & NSW North Coast). But Davies could be precociously talented, so is a great pick up for us.

Possible round 1 team, if all players are fit:

B: B.Stack A.Lister
HB: T.Hetherington P.Randall G.Garnett
C: E.Pease A.Parker C.Dalton
HF: N.Barr C.Staunton A.Dallaway
F: F.Davies J.Doyle
Foll: C.McCormick A.Eva (c) R.Beeson
I/C: T.Evans B.Mowbray K.Smith T.Mackrill Z.Goldsworthy
 

Giant Strides

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The GIANTS have continued to build their list for season seven of the NAB AFL Women’s competition, following the addition of eight players at the 2022 NAB AFLW Draft on Wednesday evening. [Note: I only counted 7 players, since we passed on our last pick.]

With all 18 clubs gathered for the first time at Marvel Stadium for an AFLW Draft, the GIANTS entered the evening with eight picks, adding to the 23-player list already signed for the upcoming season. In the new era of the game, the state-based draft had both the GIANTS and the Swans competing for the talent within the NSW pool.

The GIANTS entered the draft with pick 20 (NSW pick six) selecting former young Matilda, Zarlie Goldsworthy. Hailing from Lavington, the NSW product was quick to jump on the radar of list managers following her All-Australian Performance at the U18 National Championships. Goldsworthy’s experience and exposure has been through both the Murray Bushrangers and the GIANTS Academy.

With pick 64 (NSW pick seven) the GIANTS were quick to secure one of the best up-and-coming rucks in Fleur Davies. Joining the GIANTS from the Gold Coast, Davies is a tall utility who is strong in the air but can also compete on ground. One of four girls, Davies is the second family member to sign with an AFLW side, with older sister Giselle already on the Suns’ list for season seven.

Continuing to recruit nation-wide, the GIANTS selected a pair of Tasmanians with Megan Gaffney and Madison Brazendale taken at picks 66 and 75. Despite Victoria being the obvious geographical choice, the pair opted to nominate to NSW in anticipation of joining the GIANTS. It was Gaffney’s speed that appealed to the GIANTS the most, with the recruitment team recognising that as a work on for the current list. Brazendale also impressive via foot, with the former national 400m hurdler identified as an elite runner to join Chloe Dalton on a wing.

A familiar face has also returned to the GIANTS’ list for season seven, with former GIANT and elite level cricketer Jodie Hicks nominating for the draft after a year away from the game. The 25-year-old played 20 games with the GIANTS, before spending the last season playing and coaching with Macquarie University in the AFL Sydney Competition. Hicks returns to the GIANTS’ list in a new-look role, set to start pre-season as a defender.

With pick 82 the GIANTS added a second ruck, recruiting locally from the Eastlake Demons in Canberra, picking up Cambridge McCormick. Originally from Queensland, McCormick spent the inaugural season of the AFLW competition as a training partner with the Brisbane Lions, before relocating to Canberra where she works as physiotherapist.

The GIANTS’ last pick of the night was taken at pick 86, with Academy product Tess Cattle selected. Following a strong year in the Canberra league, as well as her involvement in the GIANTS Academy and Winter Series, Cattle will join the GIANTS permanently for the upcoming season.

AFLW Head Coach Cameron Bernasconi said he was excited by the list of draftees. “Our recruit team headed up by Tyson Bourke have done a fantastic job in securing some of the best talent, not just within with NSW and ACT but nation-wide,” Bernasconi said. “Given the expansion of the competition this year, that is a real testament to both the staff and culture of the club. We clearly didn’t achieve what we wanted to in season six and as a club we’ve had a good look at where we want to go and who we think we need to add to our list to get there. We believe the group of players selected tonight really complement the strengths of the players already signed to our list. We’re two weeks into pre-season and I think we’re at the beginning of being able to build something really great, so I look forward to getting all the girls to Western Sydney and into the mix right away.”

Season seven of the NAB AFLW competition is set to begin at the end of August.
 

captainMyCaptain

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The surprise for me was that Riverina girl Zara Hamilton, who eschewed the NSW pool to nominate for Victoria, was not selected. SHe was in SHifter's top 30 for the draft, so seems strange.

I wonder if we left a spot open to see if she'd come to GWS (is that an option now?)? Or do we need to find another tall (but Zara is 174 cm, so somewhat taller than many of our so-called tall defenders in past years)?

Zara Hamilton

Allies/NSW/-ACT/Murray Bushrangers/Belconnen
DOB: 14/10/04
Height: 173cm
Prolific ball winning outside midfielder, who can also play as a rebounding defender to great effect. In her nine matches with the Bushrangers this year, she averaged 24.1 disposals winning team of the year recognition and continued that form into the championships averaging 17 disposals in three matches (NSW-ACT/Allies) with her athletic ability eye-catching.

NABMbNT22MHP788128929.JPG

Murray Bushranger Zara Hamilton takes another kick against Northern Territory. Picture: Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos

 

Giant Strides

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Hooray for Hamilton!

I did wonder last night whether GWS would make a play for her, but didn't want to put too much hope on it. SHe could have planned for uni or a training course in Melbourne, and elected to play VFLW. But very good for us to get another of the academy girls into the team.
 

captainMyCaptain

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Now official



From the Recruitment team:

“We were stoked to be able to draft Zara as a free agent after the draft as we rated her as a first round talent. Zara has been a member of our Riverina Academy while also playing for the Bushrangers and Belconnen. She is an excellent athlete, who can play inside mid, wing or half back.”
 

Giant Strides

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Excellent news to have it confirmed.

With Zarlie and now Zara (both GWS Academy) and Fleur, we indeed got 3 first round talents IMHO. I probably would have liked another tall forward instead of Tess Cattle or Jodie Hicks, given Zara's come on board now, but happy enough.
 

Giant Strides

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Here's the Rookie Me Central review of the GWS draft hand. (However, PMBangers you might want to tell your buds that they missed one draftee - Megan Gaffney - in their write up!)

SELECTIONS:

#20 Zarlie Goldsworthy (Murray Bushrangers)
#64 Fleur Davies (Southport)
#75 Madison Brazendale (Tasmanian Devils)
#82 Jodie Hicks (Macquarie University)
#84 Cambridge McCormack (Eastlake Demons)
#86 Tess Cattle (Ainslie)
#87 Pass | Zara Hamilton (Murray Bushrangers)

KEY THEME:
Midfield and ruck depth. The GIANTS were able to go about it nicely, getting Top 10 and Albury prospect Goldsworthy to nominate her home state, as well as replace the losses of Erin McKinnon and Ally Morphett with the more athletic Davies who can win her own fair share of the ball. Brazendale provides the outside run, with Cattle the inside ball winner, and Hamilton able to play both roles. They picked up McCormack who is regarded as the best ruck in the state pool, and then also re-drafted Hicks having delisted the dual sports star at the end of the 2021 season.

WHERE THEY FIT:
It is fairly clear all seven selections are best suited in the middle third of the ground, but they can play other roles. Goldsworthy will likely start as a forward, being able to play both midfield and forward, and consistently hit the scoreboard every game in the NAB League. Hamilton similarly has spent time off flanks at both ends, while Davies though likely to start ruck, can also be that tall target inside 50 the GIANTS are looking for going forward.

Those three players, along with Hicks and McCormack will all push for Round 1 selections, with McCormack and Davies likely to be the ruck rotation in Season 7. Hicks will play as a defender this year after becoming known for her impact up the field, while Cattle and Brazendale are those who could earn their spots in time. Brazendale is a year older than the top-age draftees and has the running capacity to step up, just depending on the depth available, while Cattle is one who will look to work her way into the side as the season goes on.

OVERALL:
Considering what they faced at the beginning of the off-season, the GIANTS have done really ell with their draft hand. They convinced a couple of high-impact players to nominate the draft pool, picked up some genuine first round talents without a high pick, and then went about stocking up the depth of the midfield and ruck roles with local players.
 

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