THE 2023 AFLW Draft is complete, with 53 players finding new homes on Monday night.
Each club had specific needs to fill heading into the night, and some exciting talent was up for grabs, so how did your team fare?
Players selected: Brooke Boileau (pick No.22), Tamara Henry (pick No.28), Lily Tarlinton (pick No.34)
With their first pick the Crows nabbed Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy player Brooke Boileau, a tough, contested 169cm ball-winner who will learn from some of the best in Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard at the club. Adding to the Crows' forward/midfield rotation is Tamara Henry, who offers impressive speed and marking ability, while Lily Tarlinton, an overager from Bond University and the North Mackay Saints, is a 180cm forward who can also be used in the ruck, and ideal support with Montana McKinnon heading to Richmond during the Trade Period and Yvonne Bonner retired.
Players selected: Evie Long (pick No.15, Academy bid match), Sophie Peters (pick No.21), Indiana Williams (pick No.27, Academy bid match), Rania Crozier (pick No.35), Jacinta Baldwick (pick No.37)
The Lions loaded up on players from their own Academy program, including Evie Long, Sophie Peters, Indiana Williams, Rania Crozier, and Jacinta Baldwick. Long shot up in draft calculations in recent weeks thanks to her flexibility across the ground and clean use outside the contest, leaning beautifully into the club's running game. She was the first player to be bid on under the new Academy/Father-Daughter system, with Sydney attempting to take her with pick 15, only for Brisbane to match the bid. Crozier is the young key forward the Lions needed to recruit to bolster their attack alongside Dakota Davidson and Taylor Smith, standing at 178cm and an adept contested marker. Meanwhile, Peters is a neat midfielder who, although doesn't win a stack of the footy, really hurts with her disposal. Williams is a 173cm defender who can also be used on other lines, and Baldwick is a 167cm wing/forward who is an impressive decision-maker and disposer of the footy.
Players selected: Lila Keck (pick No.7), Meg Robertson (pick No.31 – father-daughter)
After some speed and chaos in its forward line, Carlton picked up exciting small Lila Keck. Although known mostly for her goal celebrations, Keck offers goal sense and smooth moves deep in attack and will create a formidable partnership with Blues tall Mia Austin for a long time to come. The Blues have also added father-daughter selection Meg Robertson, a midfielder/forward whose dad Ben played three games for the club back in 1992. Robertson had to overcome a broken wrist and some concussion concerns this year to work into draft calculations.
Players selected: Georgia Clark (pick No.8), Lucille Cronin (pick No.9), Amber Schutte (pick No.32)
Collingwood traded up in the draft to get access to two picks within the top 10, opting to take Tasmanian Georgia Clark and bolter Lucille Cronin with those selections. Clark offers genuine forward craft and aerial ability, strengthening a rebuilt Pies attack alongside Nell Morris-Dalton and Eleri Morris, while Cronin offers support at the other end of the ground. Standing at 177cm and boasting impressive speed, she will help to reinvent Collingwood's defence alongside the likes of Selena Karlson and Ruby Schleicher. Adding even more to their backline is Amber Schutte, hailing from Traralgon and boasting impressive athleticism and intercepting skills.
Players selected: Emily Gough (pick No.20), Chloe Adams (pick No. 38)
The Bombers opted for height with their first pick, selecting 180cm utility Emily Gough at pick No.20. Able to play across all lines, strong in the air and super athletic, Gough will perfectly suit Essendon's development. Meanwhile, Chloe Adams is an incredibly well-rounded recruit for the Bombers. Adams is a leader who can play both through the middle and down in defence, thriving on the contest.
Players selected: Holly Ifould (pick No.49), Airlie Runnalls (pick No.54)
Fremantle opted for speedy winger Holly Ifould as its sole new face at the draft. A 167cm winger, Ifould brings not just speed, but also endurance and will greatly complement the side's contested ball-winning midfield. As the Dockers signalled prior to the draft, Airlie Runnalls was re-drafted with pick No.54.
Players selected: Chantal Mason (pick No.18), Bryde O'Rourke (pick No.23, father-daughter bid match)
The Cats have added to their forward depth with first selection Chantal Mason, a 177cm forward who has vastly improved her leading patterns this year and will now get to learn from the likes of Chloe Scheer and Jackie Parry. Geelong was also forced to match a bid from Melbourne for father-daughter selection Bryde O'Rourke, whose rather Ray played two games for the club back in 1969. O'Rourke is a quick, big-bodied midfielder who will add to the Cats' already talented onball brigade. The Cats opted to pass with their final pick of the night, and will look to sign a free agent in the coming months.
Players selected: Keely Fullerton (pick No.36), Taya Oliver (pick No.44), Kiara Bischa (pick No.50), Sienna McMullen (pick No.51), Annabel Kievit (pick No.52)
Although not holding a pick until the 30s, Gold Coast snapped up small forward/winger Keely Fullerton, a Bendigo Pioneer who is quick and offers great forward pressure. Taya Oliver is a handy rebounding defender who could also find a home on the wing, while Kiara Bischa is a Suns Academy product who offers accountable and competitive defence. Another Academy recruit, Sienna McMullen is a highly athletic outside midfielder who will add plenty of run and carry. Annabel Kievit is a selection out of the Northern Territory, and a rare player who earned a Combine invitation without playing in the Coates Talent League or national championships. She is a tall, 176cm utility who moves neatly both in the air and on the ground.
Players selected: Kaitlyn Srhoj (pick No.3), Indigo Linde (pick No.40)
Swooping on top West Australian talent Kaitlyn Srhoj with pick No.3, the Giants have bolstered their midfield group. Highly rated both as a player and a person, she has a basketball background with Mandurah Magic in the NBL1 and also has goals of studying medicine at university. On the field she is a reliable midfielder who can be used both inside and outside the contest. The Giants also brought in 170cm defender Indigo Linde who averaged 16.6 disposals with the Eastern Ranges this year. GWS opted to pass on its last pick, leaving space for a free agent signing over the coming months.
Players selected: Mikayla Williamson (pick No.17), Sophie Butterworth (pick No.45)
Hawthorn got lucky with highly talented midfielder Mikayla Williamson sliding down the draft order to pick No.17. Williamson smashed the 2km time trial at this year's AFLW Combine, and offers some serious athletic traits. After several tall options retired, or were moved on by the club, the Hawks have also added big key forward Sophie Butterworth who can form a handy partnership with Bridie Hipwell in attack. She's a strong marking target who can take the game by the scruff of the neck.
Players selected: Alyssia Pisano (pick No.5), Ryleigh Wotherspoon (pick No.12), Jacinta Hose (pick No.24), Jemma Rigoni (pick No.29 – father-daughter bid match), Delany Madigan (pick No.55)
The Demons snuck the first big surprise of the draft, taking little-known Queenslander Ryleigh Wotherspoon, a raw, athletic talented player who can be developed into anything the club needs. Jemma Rigoni also landed at the Demons by way of a father-daughter selection, following in dad Guy's footsteps after he played 107 games for the club between 1998 and 2005. After a knee injury curtailed her top age draft year in 2022, she returned to her best this year to return to draft calculations. She is an explosive defender who boasts plenty of speed. Highly rated small forward Alyssia Pisano was Melbourne's first selection of the night, a crafty player who can get on a roll in front of the big sticks, while also adding Eastern Ranges ruck Jacinta Hose as she makes her way back from an ACL injury. Delany Madigan is an overage forward option standing at 174cm, who can develop alongside Eden Zanker and Kate Hore. Melbourne passed on its final pick in order to sign a free agent in the coming months.
Players selected: Ella Slocombe (pick No.26), Georgia Stubs (pick No.30), Lucy Burke (pick No.46)
Another slider of the draft, highly rated West Australian talent Ella Slocombe has landed with 2023 grand finalist North Melbourne, adding to the Roos' midfield/forward rotation. The Roos have also selected midfielder/defender Georgia Stubs out of the Eastern Ranges. Strong at the contest, she averaged 15 disposals across her three games with Victoria Metro at the national championships this year. They also re-drafted utility Lucy Burke as signalled prior to the draft, and passed on their final selection, leaving space for a free agent to join the side.
Players selected: Piper Window (pick No.19), Alissa Brook (pick No.25),
Adding to a stack of talent – Lauren Young, Shineah Goody, Molly Brooksby already landing at the Power via the pre-draft signing period – Piper Window has also arrived at the club via pick No.19. A 166cm midfielder/forward, Window won the SANFLW best and fairest this year playing for Glenelg. Port Adelaide has also added rebounding defender Alissa Brook to its list. Standing at 176cm, she is more of a development prospect for the long term.
Players selected: Isabel Bacon (pick No.13), Mackenzie Ford (pick No.43)
Richmond opted to draft powerful midfielder Isabel Bacon with its first selection of the night, adding support for the likes of Monique Conti, Grace Egan, and Ellie McKenzie through the middle of the ground. Standing at 172cm, Bacon averaged 13.2 disposals across her 11 games with the Sandringham Dragons this year. Mackenzie Ford is another addition through the middle of the ground, able to play both inside or outside the contest. She is a hard-working two-way runner out of Kingborough in Tasmania, averaging 13.6 disposals across her 13 games with the Tassie Devils this year.
Players selected: Kiera Whiley (pick No.10), Charlotte Simpson (pick No.47 – father-daughter)
A well-rounded midfielder, Kiera Whiley will nicely complement players like Tyanna Smith and Jaimee Lambert at the Saints. Able to kick neatly with both feet, Whiley isn't just a strong ball-winner, but a reliable conduit into attack. The Saints also added father-daughter selection Charlotte Simpson who is a big-bodied inside midfielder who knows how to win the footy.
Players selected: Sarah Grunden (pick No.16), Lara Hausegger (pick No.33)
After taking a chance and bidding on Lions Academy prospect Evie Long with pick No.15, the Swans went with Sarah Grunden to fill a gap in their forward line. A mid-sized player who is smart and knows where the goals are, Grunden will be a great support for the club's 2023 leading goalkicker Bec Privitelli. With pick No.33 Sydney chose level-headed defender Lara Hausegger. At 170cm she offers coverage in the air, while also a clean rebounding option, adding some flexibility for the side in how it uses co-captain Lucy McEvoy as well.
Players selected: Jess Rentsch (pick No.2), Kayley Kavanagh (pick No.14), Georgie Cleaver (pick No.39), Matilda Sergeant (pick No.42)
Under new head coach Daisy Pearce, West Coast cashed in, taking Greater Western Victoria Rebels barometer Jess Rentsch with pick No.2. She is a quick winger/defender who offers leadership in spades, and knows how to return from hardship after breaking her leg last year. Kayley Kavanagh will add to the club's midfield group and knows how to win the footy after averaging 25.3 disposals across 11 games for the Calder Cannons this year. Top West Australian ruck prospect Georgie Cleaver also landed with the Eagles via pick No.39 after growing up a West Coast supporter. The Eagles also opted to give former Docker Matilda Sergeant another shot at AFLW footy after concussion and injury cruelled her career. Sergeant is a skilful defender who played 19 games for Fremantle from 2019 to season six in 2022, averaging 2.7 intercepts.
Players selected: Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner (pick No.1), Brooke Barwick (pick No.4), Elaine Grigg (pick No.6), Cleo Buttifant (pick No.11), Jorja Borg (pick No.48)
With four picks within the first round, the Bulldogs came away with some serious talent as they work to rebuild their list. Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner was the highly touted first selection, an Alyssa Bannan-type who is willing to take the game on and bounce the footy, and able to play across both the forward line and the wing. Brooke Barwick was the top-rated Tasmanian talent, an agile midfielder on the return from an ACL injury, while Elaine Grigg is a fantastic pressure forward who knows where the goals are. Coming out of the Giants' Academy is X-factor defender Cleo Buttifant who has a touch rugby background and bolted up in calculations, while the Dogs have also opted to draft train-on player Jorja Borg to solidify their ruck stocks after Celine Moody made the move to Carlton. Borg played one game for the Dogs in 2023, in round eight, where she won 29 hitouts.