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AFLW: Dream still alive for those who missed draft

with Sarah Black (AFL Media)  October 19, 2017 11:11 AM

AFL 2017 Media - AFLW Draft Combine Day 2

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 04: Haneen Zreika of Auburn Giants takes part in the 20m sprint during the AFLW Draft Combine at Etihad Stadium on October 4, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images/AFL Media)

WITH just 49 picks on offer, there was always going to be unlucky players to miss out in the 2017 NAB AFL Women's Draft on Wednesday.

There's still hope for unsigned players, with a brief free agency period open until 5pm AEDT on Thursday.

While players had to nominate a particular state they wished to go to for the draft, the free agency period allows them to be approached by interstate clubs.

This was the case last year when forward Sarah Perkins, who missed out on being selected by a Victorian club, was offered a contract by Adelaide after the draft.

Clubs can only sign free agents if they have room to do so on their primary list of 27.

A rookie draft will also be held on Friday. Each club started with three rookie selections, but some have already filled some of those positions.

Players qualify as rookies if they are under the age of 21 or are crossing from another sport.

So, who could still find their way onto an AFLW list? The following are listed in their state of origin, and could yet play elsewhere as a free agent.

New South Wales
Haneen Zreika. Was one of the most highly-touted youngsters from NSW and is a hard-tackling, fearless midfielder. Is a bit undersized, but it hasn't held her back so far.

Kate Bartlett. The key forward from Western Australia decided to nominate for the NSW draft to increase her chances at selection, but was surprisingly overlooked. She has good instincts but is a bit raw, so would make an ideal rookie.

Jade Ransfield. The forward was on the Brisbane Lions' list last season but failed to play a game. She was the equal-leading goalkicker in the QWAFL this year.

Gabby Collingwood. The busy midfielder was one of Queensland's best throughout the under-18 championships and can swing forward if required.

South Australia/Northern Territory
Calista Boyd. Bec Goddard has said the tiny midfielder has one of the best "goose-steps" she's ever seen. Her pure pace and game sense can't be ignored, even if she is only 157cm.

Heather Anderson and Sophie Armitstead. Cheating a bit by putting the two together, but the once-injured duo who were delisted by Adelaide are now fully fit and also experienced at AFLW level.

Ashleigh Riddell. The midfielder has had an excellent debut year for Diamond Creek, named in the VFLW team of the year.

Tahni Nestor. Was an injury-replacement player for Carlton, where she impressed with composure in defence. Tested well at the Combine.

Sophie Abbatangelo. A small forward who set the VFLW alight with her quick hands and goal sense in just her first year of football. The 27-year-old is a former ice hockey player.

Georgia Ricardo. The 18-year-old is a nuggety medium-sized forward who can move onto the wing. Highly competitive with clean skills, her marking is a stand out.

Western Australia
Kira Phillips. Fremantle has shown it is willing to re-list players, and Phillips has had a stand-out year in the WAWFL, finishing as the leading goalkicker.

Sonia Dorizzi. Tall, skilled midfielder who can even give a helping hand in the ruck when required. A standout at under-18 level.