THE AFLW is expected to hold a one-off overage national draft in the coming months as a stop-gap between its shortened seasons.

After completing two campaigns in the space of eight months throughout 2022 to re-align the AFLW fixture, it's understood the next NAB AFLW Draft – expected to fall either in February or March next year – will only consider players 19 years of age or above. understands clubs were briefed on the upcoming plans to hold an overage national draft this week, due to there being no junior girls season between the last draft held in June and the next scheduled for early 2023.

It means clubs will only be able to pick from mature-aged state league talent from competitions like the VFLW, SANFLW and WAFLW, or young players overlooked during the most recent national draft earlier this year.

First round draftees pose for a photo at the 2022 NAB AFLW Draft on June 29, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

It's believed that after next year's overage draft, the League then plans to revert back to a traditional national draft – where the junior season falls more in sync with the AFLW campaign and the majority of the talent pool will be made up of 18-year-olds – from the end of 2023 onwards.

From there, the timing of AFLW trade and draft periods are tipped to fall in line with that of the men's competition and are expected to be held towards the end of each year.

However, the plans have been met by concern from clubs that a compromised draft will limit the short-term ability to trade for rival players at season's end.

Clubs have privately expressed that draft picks will hold less value for 2023, given the restricted access to the best junior talent in the country, and will therefore be more difficult to trade during the player movement window.


A handful of clubs are understood to have since lobbied for the League to consider future trading, mirroring that of the men's competition, as a means of giving them more to play with at the trade table and generating more player movement.

A total of 76 players moved clubs between the 2022 season, which finished in April, and season seven, which began in August. That number considers the expansion sign and trade period, the trade period and delisted free agency.