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AFLW: Your club's draft bounty

Sarah Black (AFL Media)  October 23, 2017 11:57 AM

BulldogsTV All Access: Hunting One Watch the BulldogsTV All Access premiere of "Hunting One," the mini-documentary taking you inside the meetings and deliberations on the number one pick in the NAB AFLW Draft, and capturing the house visit in which Isabel Huntington learnt of her draft fate

In: Isabel Huntington (pick 1, Melbourne University Vic), Monique Conti (4, Melbourne University Vic), Jenna Bruton (11, St Kilda Sharks Vic), Daria Bannister (19, Launceston Tas), Emma Mackie (27, Box Hill Vic), passed pick 34

The Bulldogs were the big winners from the draft, selecting the versatile Isabel Huntington with their No.1 pick and classy midfielder Monique Conti with their second.

While Huntington can play any position, ideally she'll form a fearsome two-pronged attack up forward with captain Katie Brennan.

The Dogs were on the hunt for midfield depth, adding Conti, the hard-bodied Jenna Bruton and former Australian cyclist Emma Mackie. Tasmanian Daria Bannister is strong for her height (163cm) and can play either forward or in the middle of the ground.

The addition of so many midfielders will allow some of the Bulldogs' existing midfielders – such as Ellie Blackburn and Kirsty Lamb – to spend more time up forward, supporting Katie Brennan, Huntington and recruit Deanna Berry.

In: Jess Allan (pick 8, Salisbury SA), Jasmyn Hewett (16, St Mary's NT), Eloise Jones (24, Morphettville Park SA), Marijana Rajcic (32, Norwood SA), Ruth Wallace (38, Adelaide University SA), Rheanne Lugg (42, Riverine Lions ACT), passed pick 46

Ruck Jess Allan was one of the most impressive players in this year's under-18 crop and could well be a 10-year player for Adelaide.

The Crows will have a fearsome forward line next year with the addition of Jasmyn Hewett and Ruth Wallace, who will line up alongside Sarah Perkins, Abbey Holmes and a resting ruck (Allan or Rhiannon Metcalfe). Hewett has yet to remain goalless in her short playing career in the NTFL, while Wallace was the leading goalkicker in the Adelaide Footy League.

They also added some midfield run in under-18 Allies MVP Eloise Jones, former Adelaide United (W-League) captain Marijana Rajcic and winger Rheanne Lugg. Lugg seems like an obscure selection, but she plays for the Riverine Lions in the ACT (coach Bec Goddard's old stomping ground) and is a former Swan Districts teammate of co-captain Chelsea Randall.


In: Jordan Zanchetta (pick 7, Yeronga South Brisbane Qld), Arianna Clarke (15, Coolangatta Qld), Renee Cowan (23, Yeronga South Brisbane Qld), Kalinda Howarth (31, Coolangatta Qld), Emma Pittman (37, University of Queensland), Ruby Blair (41, Coolangatta Qld), Sophie Conway (45, Zillmere Qld), Jessy Keeffe (48, Yeronga South Brisbane Qld)

The Lions loaded up at the draft, filling up their list with local talent. First-round selection and midfielder Jordan Zanchetta would have been selected last year but for an ACL injury. Medium defender Renee Cowan, 28, shapes as a like-for-like replacement for the injured Sam Virgo, and will be joined in defence by Queensland under-18 captain Arianna Clarke, former W-League player Emma Pittman and small Ruby Blair.

Exciting forward Kalinda Howarth (who works for cross-town rivals Gold Coast) slid somewhat in the draft, but should slot straight into the Lions' 22 following the loss of Tayla Harris to Carlton. Queensland under-18 teammate Sophie Conway is a solid selection across half-forward.

Jessy Keeffe, 21-year-old ruck and sister of former Magpie Lachlan, will add some much-needed height (186cm) to the Lions' line-up.


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In: Georgia Gee (pick 12, Beaconsfield JFC Vic), Sophie Li (28, Adelaide University SA), Reni Hicks (29, Diamond Creek Vic), Bridie Kennedy (36, Cranbourne Vic)

After a fairly aggressive trade period and some rookie elevations, Carlton only had four picks coming into the draft and used them almost exclusively on midfielders.

Winger Georgia Gee was one of the best performers in a very strong Under-18 Vic Country side and could take now-Lion Nat Exon's spot in the Blues' line-up.

Experienced Sophie Li is more of an inside mid and had a career best year in South Australia. She was second in the SANFL's best-and-fairest (run co-currently during AFLW), and was named in Adelaide University's best in nine out of 12 matches during the Adelaide Footy League season.

Reni Hicks can play as a midfielder or as a shut-down small defender and will become the sixth Diamond Creek player at the Blues. Key defender Bridie Kennedy, who was the equal best-and-fairest in the TAC Cup, could be the steal of the Victorian draft pool, sliding to the last Victorian pick.

In: Chloe Molloy (pick 3, Diamond Creek Vic), Darcy Guttridge (9, Cranbourne Vic), Iilish Ross (13, Wodonga Raiders Vic), Sarah Dargan (20, Pascoe Vale Vic), Kristy Stratton (21, Box Hill Vic), Ashleigh Brazill (35, netball)

With one of the older lists in the competition, Collingwood clearly had a focus on elite youth with its early picks. Coach Wayne Siekman has a detailed knowledge of the Victorian youth girls system, having coached Vic Metro from 2013 to 2015.

Forward Chloe Molloy (pick three) could have been a No.1 pick in another year, while Vic Country defender Iilish Ross bolted up the ranks to be selected with pick 13. Running half-back and under-18 All-Australian captain Darcy Guttridge is an ideal long-term replacement for Nicola Stevens, who is now at Carlton.

Sarah Dargan, 18, is a comparatively unknown quantity at state level having playing at Pascoe Vale in the Northern Football League, but she also represented Vic Metro this year.

Collingwood netballer Ash Brazill, who played football back home in Western Australia, won't have to travel far to her new club, while Kristy Stratton will provide run through the midfield.

In: Stephanie Cain (pick 2, Swan Districts WA), Evangeline Gooch (10, East Fremantle WA), Jodie White (18, Coastal Titans WA), Ashlee Atkins (26, East Fremantle WA), Emily McGuire (33, Swan Districts WA), Alicia Janz (40, Swan Districts WA), Leah Mascall (44, Coastal Titans WA)

Fremantle was fairly brutal in its delistings, cutting 12 players from its list. But coach Michelle Cowan showed she was not averse to rewarding improved form, re-signing speedy midfielder Steph Cain and ruck Alicia Janz. Cain worked so hard during the WAWFL season she won Swan Districts' best and fairest in a premiership season.

With Fremantle getting exclusive access to the Western Australian pool, the order of draft picks is more honourary than practical, so the regard Cowan holds Cain's improvement in is demonstrated by taking her with the club's first pick.

The Dockers loaded up on talls, selecting 37-year-old WAWFL best-and-fairest winner and ruck Jodie White, young key forward Emily McGuire and Janz. Ashlee Atkins and Leah Mascall, who has recovered from an ACL injury suffered last year, will provide much-needed run through the midfield.

In: Jodie Hicks (pick 5, Belconnen Magpies ACT), Tanya Hetherington (17, Diamond Creek Vic), Courtney Gum (25, Adelaide University SA), Phoebe Monahan (39, UNSW/ES Stingrays NSW), Phillipa Smyth (43, Nelson Bay NSW), Cora Staunton (47, Gaelic footballer from Ireland), passed pick 49

The Giants sprung the first surprise of the draft, plucking midfielder and Sydney Sixers cricketer Jodie Hicks from Belconnen. She finished second in AFL Canberra's league best-and-fairest this year.

Veteran key defender Tanya Hetherington gets her chance at AFLW level and will most likely take the opposition's most dangerous forward each week. Gaelic footballer Cora Staunton, from Mayo in Ireland's north-west, is expected to play as a key forward. Staunton has also played soccer, rugby union and international rules. The high-leaping Phillipa Smyth adds another dimension to the Giants' forward line.

The Giants also added some experienced, hard-bodied mids in Courtney Gum (35 years old) and Phoebe Monahan (24). Monahan in particular will help out the undersized Giants midfield of Jess Dal Pos, Amanda Farrugia and Alicia Eva.


In: Eden Zanker (pick 6, Woorinen Vic), Maddy Guerin (14, Fitzroy JFC Vic), Tegan Cunningham (22, basketball), Claudia Whitfort (30, netball/lifesaving)

Melbourne only had a few draft picks available, and made some interesting selections.

Young key forward Eden Zanker will take now-Bulldog Deanna Berry's spot as a third marking target and at 183cm, can help out in the ruck if required.

Even though Melbourne was quick forward of centre last season, it didn't have too many line-breakers from defence. Speedster Maddy Guerin will fill that need nicely.

The Demons have two unknown quantities in Tegan Cunningham and Claudia Whitfort. Cunningham, who is 186cm, has played WNBL since 2010 and is expected to play as a key forward. Whitfort has not played any football, but has represented Victoria in netball, surf lifesaving and athletics at just 18. The Demons do have a good record at developing cross-sport athletes, with Australian ultimate Frisbee representative Cat Phillips one of the finds of the inaugural AFLW season.