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Crows lock away AFLW stars to new deals

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Ebony Marinoff of the Crows celebrates during the 2017 AFLW Grand Final match between the Brisbane Lions and the Adelaide Crows at Metricon Stadium on March 25, 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Ebony Marinoff celebrates the 2017 premiership success

ADELAIDE has locked away NAB AFLW stars Ebony Marinoff and Courtney Cramey in its latest batch of re-signings for next season.

Marinoff and Cramey were named in the Virgin Australia AFLW All Australian team and Marinoff also won the NAB AFLW Rising Star award.

The inaugural premiers have now secured 20 members from the list that took all before them in this year's AFLW season. Coach Bec Goddard is set to join them in the coming days.

AFLW rules allow clubs to re-sign up to 22 members from the 2017 season during the signing and trade period, which ends on Friday.

A free agency period follows that enables unsigned players involved in the first AFLW season to join another club. Players who are still unsigned can nominate for the October 18 draft.

League best and fairest Erin Phillips, her co-captain Chelsea Randall and cult forward Sarah Perkins had already re-committed for the South Australian-Northern Territorian combine side.

South Australian-based Jenna McCormick, Talia Radan, Anne Hatchard, Dayna Cox, Jess Sedunary, Justine Mules, Rhiannon Metcalfe, Rachael Killian, Deni Varnhagen, Georgia Bevan and Sarah Allan are also coming back.

As are four members of Adelaide's Darwin crew: vice-captains Ange Foley and Sally Riley, as well as Abbey Holmes and Stevie-Lee Thompson. NT teenager Tayla Thorn did not score a contract, but the Crows are expected to pick her back up in the rookie draft.

Kellie Gibson, a marquee player last season, has already indicated her preference to return home to Western Australia and play for Fremantle.

Adelaide general manager of football administration Phil Harper said the club was delighted to re-sign the bulk of its history making list.

"During the first season, our aim was to build a great culture within the team," Harper said.

"It's great to see our players eager to re-commit and build on what we achieved in 2017."

The Crows opted not to re-sign injured trio Heather Anderson (shoulder), Monique Hollick (finger) and Sophie Armitstead (knee), but they are eligible to be re-drafted in October.

Untried duo Lauren O'Shea and Jasmine Anderson, both from Darwin, were also not offered a contract.

Anderson re-injured her right shoulder in the Grand Final triumph over the Brisbane Lions in March and had a second shoulder reconstruction, plus a bone graft, early last month.

The top-10 draft pick remains in Canberra recovering from her injury and will return to the Top End soon.

A surgeon told Anderson during her last shoulder recovery – which saw 13 months pass between her playing games – that a recurrence may end her career as a Defence Force medic.

But understands the soon-to-be 23-year-old wants to continue her AFLW career, even if injury rules her out for the 2018 campaign.

AFLW squads will next season include 30 players, with 27 on the senior list and three rookies.

Rookies must be under 21 years of age on January 1, 2018 or not have played Australian football or been part of an AFL high-performance program in the three years prior to May 1, 2017.