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New Dog Chiocci caught Ablett’s eye

Bulldogs' Director Sue Alberti presents Steph Chiocci with her hoops guernsey at the inaugural AFL Women's Draft
“That girl could play for (an AFL club) she is so good.” Those were the words of Brownlow medallist and Gold Coast superstar Gary Ablett Jr, and that girl is Steph Chiocci - the Western Bulldogs’ first pick in Wednesday night’s inaugural AFL Women’s Draft.
 
The pacey midfielder was selected with pick two in the historic draft event, and is flattered at the opportunity to wear Bulldogs’ colours on the Melbourne Cricket Ground, in the curtain raiser to the Dogs’ round 14 clash against Melbourne.
 
“I’m honoured to have [been] drafted in the first place but to go pick number two to the Doggies, I am absolutely wrapped – I can’t wait to pull on the jumper,” Chiocci said.
 
“To think that the Bulldogs were on board really early in supporting women’s football and then Melbourne Football Club - for them to come together on this night as well as the AFL and women’s football, it is fantastic.”
 
Boasting speed and clean hands, the Diamond Creek recruit is accurate by foot having played the majority of her football through the midfield.
 
“I am very lucky in that I am quite quick, I have an athletics background, I’m obviously not the biggest girl, so I rely on my pace a lot,” she said.
 
“I play a lot of my time on the wing at the moment at club level… I’m sure I will rotate between… [playing] on-ball or on the wing.”
 
It was Chiocci’s pace and skills that has Ablett Jr singing her praises after the 2009 National Championships grand final.
 
“It’s a massive honour to have words of that regard from the great man himself,” she said.
 
“I had actually forgotten about that story but Jan Cooper, the head of women’s football, hasn’t let me forget it - that’s an absolute honour.”  
 
Bulldogs’ Recruiting Manager Simon Dalrymple worked alongside current VFL side Port Melbourne’s Assistant Coach Peta Searle in finalising the Club’s first women’s representative side at last night’s draft at the MCG.
 
“It was a really enjoyable night, obviously having Peta Searle as a coach of the Western Bulldogs [women’s team], her knowledge of the players was outstanding and it was really good working with her,” Dalrymple said.
 
“We were looking to get a good balance of players who could play in about three different areas and Peta’s knowledge of those players made it easy to do.”
 
Drawing similarities between yesterday’s inaugural event and the NAB AFL National Draft in November, Dalrymple said the atmosphere and excitement in the room was immense.
 
“It is fantastic and as the AFL commissioner Linda [Dessau] mentioned, it is a historic night,” he said.
 
“The joy and the positivity of the whole room was fantastic and just being here now with the girls, they are catching up with each other, they are that excited.
 
“It’s very reminiscent of draft night on the Gold Coast.”
 
The two women’s sides will go head-to-head in an exhibition match on the MCG in round 14, as a curtain raiser before the Bulldogs play Melbourne during women’s round.
 
The full draft list from the 2013 AFL Women’s Draft can be found below:
 
Number 1: Daisy Pearce (Darebin Falcons, Vic) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 2: Steph Chiocci (Diamond Creek, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 3: Chelsea Randall (Swan Districts, WA) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 4: Aasta O’Connor (Darebin Falcons, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 5: Kara Donnellan (Swan Districts, WA) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 6: Karen Paxman (Darebin Falcons, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 7: Kirby Bentley (East Fremantle, WA) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 8: Katie Loynes (Diamond Creek, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 9: Lou Wotton (Eastern Devils, Vic) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 10: Emma Kearney (Melbourne Uni, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 11: Mel Hickey (Darebin Falcons, Vic) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 12: Lauren Arnell (Darebin Falcons, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 13: Ellie Blackburn (Beaconsfield, Vic) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 14: Rebecca Privitelli (Darebin Falcons, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 15: Mel Caulfield (East Fremantle, WA) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 16: Elise O’Dea (Darebin Falcons, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 17: Jasmine Garner (St Kilda Sharks, Vic) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 18: Nicola Stevens (Melbourne Uni, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 19: Kiara Bowers (Coastal Titans, WA) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 20: Natalia Thomas (Yeronga, QLD) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 21: Madeline Keryk (VU St Albans Spurs, Vic) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 22: Katie Brennan (Darebin Falcons, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 23: Bree White Club (VU St Albans Spurs, Vic) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 24: Leah Mascall (Coastal Titans, WA) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 25: Courtney Gum (UNSW-ES, NSW) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 26: Louise Stephenson (Melbourne Uni, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 27: Alicia Eva (Melbourne Uni, Vic) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 28: Kate Lukins (Yeronga, QLD) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 29: Emma Swanson (Peel Thunderbirds, WA) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 30: Lauren Spark (Melbourne Uni, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 31: Brooke Whyte (Coastal Titans, WA) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 32: Kira Phillips (Peel Thunderbirds, WA) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 33: Bianca Jakobson (Berwick, Vic) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 34: Sarah D'Arcy (Eastern Devils, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 35: Jennifer Lew (Sydney Uni, NSW) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 36: Ally Anderson (Zilmere, QLD) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 37: Leah Kaslar (Palm Beach Currumbin, QLD) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 38: Courtney Cramey (Morphetville Park, SA) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 39: Kaitlyn Ashmore (Melbourne Uni, Vic) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 40: Jenna Brunton (Ballarat Youth Girls, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 41: Rene Forth (Coastal Titans, WA) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 42: Penny Cula-Reid (St Kilda Sharks, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 43: Stephanie Walding (East Fremantle, WA) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 44: Emily Bates (Yeronga, QLD) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 45: Amy Catterall (St Kilda Sharks, Vic) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 46: Jess Dal Pos (Darebin Falcons, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 47: Alexandra Price (Port Adelaide, SA) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 48: Kellie Marie Gibson (Swan Districs, WA) drafted by Western Bulldogs
Number 49: Bronwyn Davey (Greenacres, SA) drafted by Melbourne FC
Number 50: Natalie Wood (Darebin Falcons, Vic) drafted by Western Bulldogs