The Western Bulldogs have today secured the number one pick in the 2019 NAB AFLW Draft in a trade deal with Richmond, in exchange for midfielder Monique Conti. 

The Club moved quickly to secure the deal with Richmond, following the AFL announcing yesterday that Richmond received the first pick in the National Women’s Draft as a priority selection.

The deal provides the Bulldogs with access to the best available young talent in the Draft, as they continue preparations for the 2020 season.

As part of AFLW expansion and list build rules, four players had already departed the Bulldogs to expansion clubs when Conti requested a trade to the Tigers, meaning she could only move to her club of choice via a trade deal. 

“It is a difficult situation for existing AFLW clubs, with four new teams coming into the competition next season and having to contend with a fluid player movement system that is necessarily designed to support expansion,” said Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains.

“In the circumstances, we are pleased that our football department management has been able to salvage a terrific outcome for the Club by acquiring the first pick through a trade with Richmond.”

Bulldogs General Manager of Women’s Football, Debbie Lee, said:  “Naturally, we were disappointed with Monique’s decision after providing her with two years of AFLW football development, including supporting her with an opportunity to continue to pursue her basketball commitments during the winter and summer periods.

“However, this trade deal will now provide us with access to the best player in what is now a National Draft.  Combined with the players we have already retained, we are in a strong position to add further talent to our list for next season.”

Conti played 15 games and kicked four goals over two seasons with the Bulldogs and was part of the 2018 premiership team.

The Bulldogs also announced today that Angelica Gogos and Elyse Gamble have recommitted to the Club for a further year.

Both Gogos and Gamble have been part of the Bulldogs’ playing list since the beginning of the AFLW competition, and will enter embark on their fourth seasons at the Club in 2020.

And the Club confirmed that Jessie Davies and Tessa Boyd would not be offered contracts for next season.

“We thank both Jessie and Tessa for their contribution to the Western Bulldogs, and wish them all the best with their football endeavours,” Lee said. 

“These decisions are made even more difficult when you’re dealing with great characters, and we wish them both well.”