DYNAMIC key forward Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner has been selected by the Western Bulldogs with the No.1 pick in the 2023 AFLW Draft.
The foundation club gained three of the top six players in the draft, selecting Brooke Barwick (Glenorchy) with pick No.4 and Elaine Grigg (Central Districts) with pick No.6.
Weston-Turner, 18, is the most local of local products, growing up in the western suburbs of Melbourne.
She played her junior footy with Sunshine Heights and Spotswood and represented the Western Jets.
A tall forward at 178cm, Weston-Turner has all the attributes of a small, clean at ground level, quick and agile, with a good eye for finding the space on the ground.
Weston-Turner, a member of the AFLW Academy, missed nearly three months in 2023 after breaking her wrist playing footy at school, but returned late in the season to play one last game with Vic Metro.
She is likely to combine her football next year with her year 12 studies at Lakeview Senior College in Caroline Springs, and had indicated she would move straight into tertiary study in social work if she was drafted interstate.
Bulldogs captain Ellie Blackburn presented Weston-Turner with her first jumper.
"It means the world to me and my family after growing up being a Bulldogs supporter," Weston-Turner said.
"I think it's just a matter of me communicating with the club and school on what days I need to be where and making sure I'm completing my course work."
Weston-Turner will have a familiar face high up at the club, with Bulldogs football boss Chris Grant coaching her at junior level.
"He (Grant) just told me he was proud of me and that they're happy to have me at the club, it just means the world," she added.
After West Coast picked Greater Western Victoria Rebels midfielder Jess Rentsch (No.2) and Greater Western Sydney selected Western Australian winger Kaitlyn Srhoj (No.3), the Bulldogs were up again.
Tasmanian midfielder Barwick missed the entire 2023 season after hurting her ACL but the Bulldogs had no hesitation in drafting her at pick four.
This year prospective AFLW players had the option of nominating nationally or just for their home state.
Srhoj, who will move to the Giants from Perth after never having been to Sydney before, believes the draft needs to eventually move away from the ability to have state-based nominations.
"If we're going to be semi-professional, we need to kind of just let it be national," Srhoj said.
"But then again, there's not enough support (at the moment) financially to move (anywhere) and it really differs with everyone."
Versatile South Australian Elaine Grigg threw herself into the national pool and the Bulldogs pounced on her at pick No.6.
The Kenyan-born Grigg first loved basketball but stuck with football as she thrives on tackling and causing turnovers in the forward-half.
Melbourne, whose premiership defence ended with a straight-sets finals exit, had the fifth selection and chose Eastern Ranges small forward Alyssia Pisano.
The Demons also brought in a father-daughter pick, selecting Jemma Rigoni, whose father Guy played 107 games for the Demons between 1998 and 2005.