ALTHOUGH there wasn't a lot of player movement in the NAB AFL Women's trade and signing period, a few big deals were completed.
The much-discussed Tayla Harris trade finally went through on the second last day of the two-week trade period, with Carlton investing heavily in the young key-position player.
Monday marks the start of the four-day free agent period, with all delisted players becoming unrestricted free agents and able to sign with any club.
Unsigned players at the end of this period can then nominate for the state-based NAB AFLW Draft, choosing which state they want to play in. For example, a player from Western Australia could nominate South Australia. In that case, only the Adelaide Crows could draft her. If she nominated Victoria, any of the four Melbourne-based AFLW clubs could puck her.
How did each club fare in the trade and signing period?
Out: Kellie Gibson, Jasmine Anderson, Tayla Thorn, Sophie Armistead, Monique Hollick, Heather Anderson and Lauren O'Shea (delisted).
Former marquee player Kellie Gibson had requested a trade home to Western Australia, but a deal could not be done with Fremantle. On Monday, as expected, the 20-year-old signed with the Dockers as a free agent.
Heather Anderson was delisted after dislocating her shoulder in the Grand Final triumph. The top-10 pick played every match in 2017. She may be re-drafted in October, depending on how she recovers from the injury, her second shoulder reconstruction.
While playing lists are bigger in 2018 than they were this year (from 25 and two rookies to 27 and three rookies), clubs cannot afford to carry injured players for a whole season.
The smaller lists this season resulted in several teams (Fremantle, Carlton and Melbourne) requiring injury replacement players when they had less than 24 fit players available.
Northern Territory-based utility Tayla Thorn is expected to re-sign as a rookie, as she is under 21 years of age.
In: Nat Exon and Bella Ayre (Carlton).
Out: Shaleise Law, Kate Deegan, Jade Ransfield, Selina Goodman, Caitlin Collins, Nikki Wallace, Delissa Kimmince and Jordan Membrey (delisted); Tayla Harris (Carlton).
Tayla Harris requested a move to a Melbourne-based club at the start of the trade period, and while the dynamic key forward will be a big loss to the 2017 runners-up, the Lions did very well out of the deal.
Nat Exon, a rookie with an athletics background, was a revelation in the midfield for Carlton. She breaks lines, uses the ball well and will be a more than handy addition for the Lions.
The 18-year-old Bella Ayre is still developing as a key forward, but the NAB AFLW Rising Star nominee will go some way to filling the hole Harris has left.
Delisted pair Nikke Wallace and Selina Goodman can count themselves unlucky, having played every game in 2017.
In: Tayla Harris (Brisbane Lions); Nicola Stevens (Collingwood); Maddison Gay and Kerryn Harrington (rookies).
Out: Bianca Jakobsson (Melbourne); Bella Ayre and Nat Exon (Brisbane Lions); Kate Darby, Rebecca Privitelli, Tahni Nestor, Jess Kennedy, Alison Brown, Jordan Ivey and Hayley Trevean (delisted).
The Blues were aggressive in the trade period, going all-out to land Collingwood's best and fairest defender Nicola Stevens on the second day of trading, and Tayla Harris in a deal sealed late last week. The combination of Harris and League-leading goalkicker Darcy Vescio will cause some sleepless nights for defenders.
Stevens can play either across half-back or in the midfield, and could even allow Brianna Davey to move into the middle (as she does at VFLW level).
Exon will be a big loss in a midfield that looked slow at times, but the Blues will be hoping a fully fit Jess Hosking (who did not play a game in 2017) will offset that somewhat. Harris will be a stronger player in the short-term than Ayre.
The Blues did give up their first three draft picks to land Stevens, a sign they are going all out to win the flag in 2018. They did receive a second-round pick from Melbourne in exchange for Bianca Jakobsson, whose long kicking – highly coveted in women's footy – will be a loss across half-forward.
Defender Rebecca Privitelli stands the best chance of signing elsewhere. The unlucky Jordan Ivey tore her ACL at VFLW level and requires a knee reconstruction.
In: Jaimee Lambert (Bulldogs)
Out: Nicola Stevens (Carlton); Alicia Eva (GWS); Penny Cula-Reid, Kendra Heil, Helen Roden, Lou Wotton, Kate Sheahan and Georgia Walker (delisted).
Two big outs for Collingwood in Nicola Stevens and Alicia Eva, who finished first and second respectively in the club best and fairest. Stevens' intercepting skills across half-back will be missed, while Eva was a standout in a struggling midfield.
Jaimee Lambert played sore in quite a few games for the Bulldogs in 2017, and will add some much-needed grunt in the middle of the ground.
The addition of several early draft picks will benefit the older Magpies list. Coach Wayne Siekman was in charge of the under-18 Vic Metro teams from 2015-17, and his detailed knowledge of young Victorian talent will be a bonus in October’s draft.
Key defender and VFLW St Kilda captain Penny Cula-Reid could find a home elsewhere after struggling to break into the Magpies line-up.
Out: Taryn Priestly, Taylah Angel, Tarnica Golisano, Kira Phillips, Akec Makur Chuot, Demi Okely, Stephanie Cain, Emily Bonser, Kelly Clinch, Beatrice Devlyn, Brooke Whyte and Alicia Janz (delisted); Kim Mickle (retired).
Fremantle was extremely quiet in the trade period, not bringing in a single player. West Australian native Kellie Gibson signed as a free agent on Monday and will add some spark in the forward line.
The Dockers will also look forward to the return of marquee player Kiara Bowers, who did not play a game due to an ACL injury.
The Dockers responded to their second-last finish with a slew of delistings, although three of those were signed as injury replacements during 2017.
Unless they re-draft delisted players in October, those wishing to further their AFLW careers will need to look interstate, with forward Kira Phillips, ruck Akec Makur Chuot and midfielder Demi Okely the best of the group.
Greater Western Sydney
In: Alicia Eva (Collingwood); Pepa Randall and Maddy Boyd (Melbourne).
Out: Ashleigh Guest (Melbourne); Mai Nguyen, Stephanie Walker, Kristy De Pellegrini, Hannah Wallett, Ella Ross, Alex Williams, Isabella Rudolph, Codie Briggs, Kate Stanton, Clare Lawton and Hannah Dunn (delisted); Jess Bibby (retired).
Alicia Eva is a massive acquisition for the Giants, with the former Collingwood midfielder requesting a trade to NSW for non-football reasons. She will add leadership and excellent ball skills to the wooden-spooners.
Maddy Boyd will be more than handy in the forward line, while midfielder Pepa Randall made the move after failing to break into Melbourne's line-up this year.
GWS also re-signed important Victorian players Jess Dal Pos, Louise Stephenson and Phoebe McWilliams.
The order of draft picks is irrelevant to the Giants, who have exclusive access to the New South Wales talent pool, so the loss of the first draft pick is no big deal.
Mai Nguyen is recovering from a torn ACL, while defenders Kristy De Pellegrini and Clare Lawton could find homes elsewhere.
In: Bianca Jakobsson (Carlton); Ashleigh Guest (GWS), Kate Hore (rookie).
Out: Pepa Randall and Maddy Boyd (GWS); Deanna Berry (Western Bulldogs); Jess Anderson, Mia-Rae Clifford, Harriet Cordner, Stephanie De Bortoli, Sarah Jolly and Elise Strachan (delisted).
Bianca Jakobsson is a big acquisition for the Demons, and will more than offset the loss of Maddy Boyd. She will provide another target up forward and will take pressure off the relatively inexperienced Alyssa Mifsud.
Victorian Ashleigh Guest returns from GWS to provide another option in a star-studded midfield.
Deanna Berry is the costliest loss, the 18-year-old settled into the forward line as the season progressed and is a star of the future. Melbourne received pick 12 in return for Berry, which was on-traded to Carlton for Jakobsson.
The Demons were on the cusp of a Grand Final berth in 2017, and the more experienced Jakobsson will be more effective in the short-term than Berry.
Rookie Cordner, who was the eighth member of her family to play for the club, was unlucky to be cut, having shown glimpses of natural talent around goal.
In: Deanna Berry (Melbourne).
Out: Jaimee Lambert (Collingwood); Kate Tyndall, Lisa Williams, Meg McDonald, Romy Timmins, Lauren Moorecroft, Courtney Clarkson, Rebecca Neaves and Jess Gardner (delisted).
The Bulldogs successfully traded for the No. 1 draft pick, giving them first go at the Victorian talent pool over Collingwood, Melbourne and Carlton.
Deanna Berry will provide a much-needed forward option alongside captain Katie Brennan.
Jaimee Lambert, the Dogs' first selection in last year's draft, is a big loss and the team will miss her run-and-carry.
The Bulldogs were ruthless in their re-signing decisions, delisting eight players. Ruck/forward Meg McDonald is most likely to find a home elsewhere, having impressed in the latter half of the season.
The Bulldogs also acquired former Demon Jess Anderson as a free agent on Monday. The key forward played five matches in 2017, and will slot in nicely alongside Brennan and Berry.
Tigers grab ex-Magpie
Richmond has signalled it is serious in its application to field a women's team in 2019, appointing former Collingwood rookie Kate Sheahan as women's football operations manager.
The Tigers are currently aligned with Bendigo Thunder, who play in the premier division of the mostly metropolitan Northern Football League.
Sheahan, who has a background in coaching elite junior tennis players, will work full-time with the club’s general manager of football talent, Dan Richardson.
Her focus will be developing female talent through Richmond's next generation academy, which provides a pathway for players with indigenous and multicultural backgrounds.
Sheahan played one game for the Magpies this season, lasting only a few minutes before sustaining a serious knee injury that required a reconstruction.
Move for Meg
Collingwood's Meg Hutchins, who juggled a dual playing-footy operations manager role in 2017, has been moved to a new area of the club and will work in the Pies’ Next Generation Academy program.
Hutchins, 35, re-signed to play in 2018, after a strong season in defence.
The Magpies could not confirm a replacement for Hutchins and are on the hunt for someone to fill the role.