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AFLW: The players your team can't afford to lose

Sabrina Frederick-Traub is one of Brisbane's leading lights in AFLW - AFLW
Sabrina Frederick-Traub is one of Brisbane's leading lights in AFLW

THE MAJORITY of AFL Women's competition players are out of contract and expansion clubs North Melbourne and Geelong are circling.

The Kangaroos have been ruthless so far, landing 10 AFLW players: Daria Bannister, Jenna Bruton and Emma Kearney from the Western Bulldogs, Jess Duffin and Jasmine Garner (Collingwood), Brittany Gibson, Tahlia Randall and Jamie Stanton (Brisbane) and Kate Gillespie-Jones and Danielle Hardiman (Carlton).

Geelong has primarily focused on its own VFLW talent, but also signed Melbourne quartet Melissa Hickey, Richelle Cranston, Anna Teague and Erin Hoare.

With the expansion signing period closing on Monday, here is a look at the players your club can't afford to lose.

HAVE YOUR SAY Re-rate your team's trade period

ADELAIDE

The star: Chelsea Randall: Co-captain, inspirational leader and capable of playing any position on the ground.

The role-player: Sarah Allan: Developing nicely into a quality full-back. Takes good intercept marks and generally uses the ball well out of defence.

The young star: Eloise Jones: The former basketballer showed great promise as the season progressed, including a five-minute period against Carlton when she kicked two goals.

BRISBANE

The star: Sabrina Frederick-Traub. More than capable of winning a match off her own boot and did so in the first quarter against GWS, when she booted three goals in 15 minutes.

The role-player: Ally Anderson: Hard-running midfielder who took her game to a new level this year after a full pre-season. Slips under the radar of opposition teams who pay too much attention to Emma Zielke and Emily Bates.

The young star: Sophie Conway: The forward's enthusiasm is infectious, and she's got the knack of kicking difficult goals in important moments.

CARLTON

The star: Brianna Davey: There's been some talk the injured skipper could be on the move, but any push up the ladder from the Blues would require the star defender.

The role-player: Katie Loynes: Aggressive inside midfielder who held Carlton together on the field at times this season.

The young star: Breann Moody: Unlikely to be playing elsewhere now the Blues have recruited her twin sister Celine to their VFLW side, but the 21-year-old is one of the most promising rucks in the country.

COLLINGWOOD

The star: Moana Hope: With Garner and Duffin already signed by North Melbourne, the last thing Collingwood needs is to lose another quality forward. Hope is deceptively quick and knows her way around goal.

The role-player: Brittany Bonnici: Developing a reputation as an effective and irritating tagger but can also be very dangerous if given licence to run through the middle.

The young star: Chloe Molloy: Winning the NAB AFLW Rising Star and nearly taking out the competition best and fairest award in the same season is one hell of a debut from the versatile key position player.

Chloe Molloy took the competition by storm last season.Picture: AFL Photos


FREMANTLE

The star: Ebony Antonio: With just one team in Western Australia, Fremantle wouldn't be overly concerned with losing players, but one it can't do without is the star running half-back.

The role-player: Ashlee Atkins: Unheralded leading forward who added another dimension to the Dockers’ attack this year.

The young star: At 22, Hayley Miller is a little bit older than the others in this category, but the midfielder/half-back has great speed and is a classy ball-user.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

The star: Alicia Eva: Took her game to another level when she joined the Giants from Collingwood this year. Can play as an inside or outside midfielder.

The role-player: After an injury-decimated first season at Melbourne, Pepa Randall was highly impressive in defence for the Giants. They'll be hoping to hang onto the Victorian, who is playing for Hawthorn in the VFLW this season.

The young star: Erin McKinnon was this year selected as the All Australian ruck at just 19. No more needs to be said.

MELBOURNE

The star: Karen Paxman: The general of Melbourne's star-studded midfield and capable of hitting the scoreboard if required.

The role-player: Meg Downie: Injury robbed her of a chance to play properly in the first season but she impressed on tall and small opponents. Even more important now, given the loss of Mel Hickey to Geelong.

The young star: Katherine Smith: Emerging leader who is also an incredibly consistent lock-down defender.

WESTERN BULLDOGS

The star: Ellie Blackburn: Getting Blackburn's signature will be even more important given the loss of Emma Kearney. She’s a strong midfielder who has enough x-factor to turn a match.

The role-player: With relatively small lists, versatile players are worth their weight in gold, and Bonnie Toogood showed in her first season she's more than comfortable at either end of the ground.

The young star: Monique Conti slowly warmed her way into the season after a summer limited by basketball, but the small half-forward showed how classy she could be with a best-on-ground performance in the NAB AFLW Grand Final.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs