L-R: Shanae Davison, Casey Sherriff, Katie Lynch. Pictures: AFL Photos

AS AFLW pre-season officially kicks off, a host of players will start their work in new colours in earnest.

Some are after a fresh start at a new club, while others are taking their first steps into the elite football system.

So who is your club's recruit to watch in 2024?

Lily Tarlinton

With the retirement of Yvonne Bonner and Montana McKinnon's trade to Richmond, mature-aged recruit Lily Tarlinton offers Adelaide coverage in both areas. Standing at 180cm, she will be a welcome addition to the forward line, forcing opposition defences to account for not only Caitlin Gould, Danielle Ponter and Eloise Jones – who combined for 57 goals last year – but Tarlinton's height and attack on the footy. Meanwhile, her ability to pinch-hit in the ruck adds support for Jess Allan and allows for Gould to remain forward.

Lily Tarlington poses in Adelaide colours for the first time. Picture: Adelaide FC

Shanae Davison 

The reigning premier has recruited a host of wingers/midfielders in its attempt to go back-to-back. After an ACL injury kept her out in season seven, former Eagle Shanae Davison really came into her own last year, averaging 9.9 disposals and three marks across nine games. Her recruitment will allow for some evolution in how some established Lions are played, which was already hinted at last year with Sophie Conway spending more time as a pure forward and Jade Ellenger starting in defence.


Lila Keck 

Taken with pick No.7 in December's draft, Lila Keck adds a dangerous element to Carlton's attack. Her speed and ground level pressure is something the Blues have lacked up forward in recent seasons, with Darcy Vescio required to play as a taller marking option and Keeley Skepper being used higher up the field. Keck will benefit from sitting at the feet of key forwards Mia Austin and the Moody sisters, gathering any balls they're able to equalise in the air.

Lila Keck is presented her jumper by Kerryn Peterson during the AFLW Draft on December 18, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Lucy Cronin 

A quick, rebounding defender, Lucy Cronin was deemed a bolter when Collingwood selected her with pick No.9 in December's draft. Standing at 177cm, she has seriously impressed throughout the first half of the VFLW season and looks to be key to the Pies' evolving defensive unit. Her willingness to defend, alongside an attacking mindset, also helps to cover the gap Jordyn Allen leaves as her role continues to develop higher up the field.

Lucy Cronin in action during the VFLW R6 match between Collingwood and Essendon at Victoria Park on April 27, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Emily Gough 

Emily Gough's combination of height and versatility makes her a serious asset for Essendon this year. With strength in the air that will complement established players like Bonnie Toogood and Sophie Alexander, she has the potential to become a dangerous target inside 50, releasing Toogood up the field more often. Meanwhile, her ability to play on all lines provides coach Natalie Wood with in-game flexibility to adapt to the situation at hand.

Emily Gough celebrates a goal during the VFLW R6 match between Essendon and Collingwood at Victoria Park on April 27, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Gabby Newton

Former No.1 draft pick Gabby Newton has made the move from east to west over the off-season, reuniting with former Western Bulldogs assistant coach Lisa Webb at Fremantle. Given the absence of important duo Kiara Bowers (pregnancy) and Ange Stannett (ACL) this year, Newton's arrival will be vital for the Dockers' continued improvement. The former Dog can be a dangerous option both as a key forward target and as a big-bodied midfielder, so will help to fill some of the gaps on Fremantle's list in 2024.


Chantal Mason 

Eight goals in eight games across the VFLW season already has last year's pick No.18 established within Geelong's system. Chantal Mason offers somewhat of a succession plan inside 50 for the Cats, with Shelley Scott nearing the end of her career, and Mason is well positioned to learn from some dangerous forward targets in Chloe Scheer and Jackie Parry. Given the depth the Cats boast in attack, it may take some time for Mason to earn a debut, but she is certainly a player in the hoops to keep an eye on.

Chantal Mason in action during the Coates Talent League Girls preliminary final between Eastern Ranges and Geelong Falcons at Shepley Oval on September 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Katie Lynch 

A former All-Australian key defender, Katie Lynch arrives at Gold Coast after two injury-ravaged seasons. With the aim of getting back to her best in brand new colours, her inclusion is vital with inaugural Sun Lauren Ahrens moving to the Western Bulldogs during the off-season. Alongside Vivien Saad and Charlotte Wilson, the trio can create a brick wall behind the ball, with the likes of Daisy D'Arcy and Meara Girvan offering aggressive rebound.


Mikayla Pauga

Part of Brisbane's premiership side last year, Mikayla Pauga made the move to GWS in the off-season. She is one of seven new faces at the Giants for the 2024 season. Expected to add to both the midfield and forward line, Pauga's ability to play in both positions offers support to the likes of Alyce Parker and Zarlie Goldsworthy, particularly with Ally Dallaway now at Richmond.

Jade Ellenger and Mikayla Pauga celebrate with the premiership cup after Brisbane's win in the 2023 AFLW Grand Final against North Melbourne at Ikon Park.. Picture: AFL Photos

Casey Sherriff 

Arriving from Melbourne during the summer, premiership player Casey Sherriff brings an impressive combination of skill and experience to the Hawks. Sherriff's pace will greatly complement winger Kaitlyn Ashmore in connecting the midfield and forward line, while she also possesses the ability to hit the scoreboard herself. Under new coach Daniel Webster, Sherriff's assets will no doubt suit Hawthorn's gameplan in 2024.

Casey Sherriff poses in Hawthorn colours for the first time. Picture: Hawthorn FC

Alyssia Pisano 

One of the highest rated small forwards in last year's draft, Alyssia Pisano will slot neatly into Melbourne's dangerous attacking line. She has an uncanny goal sense and reads the ball off a contested situation well, often finding herself in the best position to kick a major. Working at the feet of players like Eden Zanker, Tayla Harris and Kate Hore, Pisano will certainly have plenty of supply to do some damage.


Libby Birch 

Reuniting with her Western Bulldogs premiership teammates in Emma Kearney, Jenna Bruton and Kim Rennie, Libby Birch will add another layer of security to North Melbourne's defensive line. Coming off their best season yet, and with a hunger to not only reach another Grand Final but go one better, the Kangaroos' backline is already impressive, but Birch's experience, ability to read the play and organise those around her, could be the piece of the puzzle that helps the club win its first flag.


Shineah Goody

Shineah Goody was one of Port Adelaide's three pre-draft selections, and should she have gone to the draft would have certainly been in the first handful of picks. Her maturity and professionalism have her ready to hit the ground running at AFLW level, while her ability to play various roles, including a tough in-and-under midfielder, and a calming influence in defence, makes her a seriously valuable addition to a young Power side.

Shineah Goody after the 2023 AFLW Draft at Marvel Stadium on December 18, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Isabel Bacon 

Initially drafted as an inside midfielder, Isabel Bacon has proven throughout the VFLW season just how damaging she can be as a rebounding half back. She transitions between shut down, defensive efforts and attacking rebound seamlessly, and will no doubt find her home in defence while developing her midfield craft under the likes of Monique Conti and Ellie McKenzie.

Isabel Bacon in action during the 2023 National Championships match between Vic Metro and South Australia at Avalon Airport Oval on July 9, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Kiera Whiley 

Kiera Whiley is a smooth-moving midfielder who, standing at 173cm, adds a point of difference for the Saints at the contest, particularly with Georgia Patrikios slated to spend more time on the wing. She will no doubt settle well alongside Olivia Vesely and Jaimee Lambert, complementing the duo's relentless contested work with a neat transition from inside to outside at stoppages.

Kiera Whiley in action during the Coates Talent League match between Western Jets and Murray Bushrangers at Highgate Reserve on July 22, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Holly Cooper 

Already showing off her speed and smarts in the club's VFLW stint, Holly Cooper will add plenty to Sydney's forward line. With quick small forward Aliesha Newman now a Giant, and the Swans focused on an aggressive attacking game style, there is a spot inside 50 for the taking. Cooper was signed as the club's sole pre-draft selection and is living the dream now playing for the side she grew up supporting.

Holly Cooper in action during round two of the Coates Talent League Girls series on March 25, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Annabel Johnson 

As a reliable intercepting defender, Annabel Johnson is a handy addition to West Coast's backline this year. Already boasting All-Australian Charlie Thomas and impressive lockdown key Sophie McDonald, Johnson will allow new coach Daisy Pearce to use veteran Belinda Smith in other ways. This is something Pearce has already tried, moving Smith into attack in a recent scratch match against Fremantle, and throughout the season proper it is only with the help of Johnson that moves like this can feasibly be made.

Annabel Johnson in action for Geelong during the 2022 S7 elimination final against North Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium on November 5, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Elaine Grigg 

Draftee Elaine Grigg is gritty and relentless, and exactly the kind of player the down-and-out Western Bulldogs need this year. Generally used across half-forward, Grigg's pressure game, combined with a knack for hitting the scoreboard, will certainly provide a spark for the Dogs as they enter a new era under recently appointed head coach Tamara Hyett, and will complement the defensive work of Elisabeth Georgostathis at the other end of the centre square.