The Gold Coast SUNS have welcomed four new players to the club in the 2021 NAB AFLW Draft.
The SUNS held the number one pick in the draft and selected top Victorian talent Charlie Rowbottom after the midfielder made headlines last week by deciding to nominate for the Queensland draft pool.
The club then selected SUNS Academy midfielder Teagan Levi with pick #6 who became the first Queenslander to be taken in the draft.
With pick #8, the SUNS were able to secure exciting Northern Territory and SUNS Academy product Ashanti Bush, who is a dangerous forward with great football smarts.
The SUNS’ final selection in the draft was pick #30, with the club taking another local Academy product in tall defender Giselle Davies.
SUNS Head of Women’s Football Fiona Sessarago said the club was excited to welcome its newest recruits to the Austworld Centre.
“We’re thrilled to be able to secure four top-quality players in the draft this year,” Sessarago said.
“To have three picks in the top 10 is a fantastic result for the club and it is also extremely pleasing to see three SUNS Academy players progress through the pathway to our AFLW list.
“We think each of the girls selected will be able to add value to different areas of our list and they all have attributes which will be well-suited to AFLW football.”
The SUNS now have a full list of 30 players, with pre-season for the upcoming AFLW season getting underway on September 1.
Rowbottom is viewed as one of the best young talents in the country and was named in the starting midfield of the 2021 NAB AFLW U19 All Australian team while also being a NAB AFLW Academy member. The 18-year-old is a powerful midfielder who can also cause serious damage inside 50 with her finishing skills. Rowbottom’s height and skillset make her difficult to contain as an inside midfielder, while she also has the ability to go forward and hit the scoreboard through her overhead marking and booming kick.
Levi deservedly becomes the first Queenslander to be taken in this year’s draft after a prolific season at Under 19 level. The 17-year-old excels as an inside midfielder where she can use her agility and strength to break away from stoppages. She was named in the starting midfield of the 2021 NAB AFLW U19 All Australian team and is a NAB AFLW Academy member. She posted excellent results in the NAB AFLW Combine tests, finishing second all-time in the vertical jump and equal-fifth all-time in the running vertical jump (left foot). Like her sister, Levi is also a cross-code rugby sevens athlete where she excels with her physicality.
Hailing from Beswick, a small Indigenous community about 80km east of Katherine, Bush has played a handful of games with Hawthorn’s VFLW team this year. She’s a highly skilful forward with strong hands overhead, but is also equally dangerous at ground level with her evasiveness and football smarts. Bush is a NAB AFLW Academy and NT-based SUNS Academy member and follows in the footsteps of fellow NT product Janet Baird who was drafted by the SUNS in 2020.
A tall defender with excellent foot skills, Davies was an Under 15 All Australian and represented Queensland this year at the NAB AFLW Under 19 Championships. She is a Southport Sharks junior who made her senior football debut at that club before moving to Bond University for the 2021 QAFLW season, going on to play in the Grand Final team earlier this month. Standing at 180cm, the 18-year-old is also a capable overhead mark and is able to use her size to out-body her opponents. She has shown the ability to intercept and is a good decision-maker with ball in hand.