The Western Bulldogs have welcomed speedy forward/midfielder Heidi Woodley with their third pick in the 2022 NAB AFLW Draft.
Taken with pick 37 overall, the Calder Cannons product burst onto the scene at this year’s AFLW U18 Championships, catching the eyes of recruiters with her evasiveness and athleticism forward of the ball.
After suffering an injury in the opening round of the 2022 NAB League Girls season, she returned to the action in round seven, averaging 22 disposals, five tackles and five inside 50s in her final four outings.
The 17-year-old has plenty of upside and versatility too, boasting an ability to rotate through the midfield or out on a wing if needed.
Here’s what the 2022 AFLW Rookie Me Draft Guide had to say about Woodley:
Heidi Woodley's rise to earn an AFLW Draft combine invite has been steep, with the Calder Cannons product making the most of important late-season appearances. After getting injured in an otherwise promising Round 1 debut, the 17-year-old quickly got into the swing of things upon returning to NAB League Girls action, and was soon called up for representative duties.
Having come in as a relative unknown compared to many of Vic Metro's midfield stars, Woodley found her spot up forward and caught the eye credit to her willingness to take the game on. With speed and slick evasive technique, the 169cm talent looked up to the level and has some exciting traits to work with.
Whether it be breaking away from congestion or using the space in front of her in transition, Woodley is difficult to catch. She often looks to be attacking in possession, driving her legs forward and snatching valuable meterage before finishing with a kick. Though her end product could do with some polish over time, the raw potential is there and makes her a promising type.
With scope to rotate strongly through midfield or move out to a wing, Woodley has a good amount of upside. In her last four NAB League games, she proved her ability to produce strong numbers across the board and finished with a season-high effort of 25 disposals, six tackles, five inside 50s and a goal against Northern in the repechage round. She built into her top-age campaign nicely and still has plenty of room to develop, making her a prospective option for AFLW clubs to consider.
Heidi Woodley profile
Former club: Calder Cannons/Vic Metro