All 18 clubs in the mix: Everything you need to know ahead of the AFLW draft

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How will the expansion clubs slot in?

The four new expansion clubs – Essendon, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, and the Sydney Swans – will feature in the first installment of the night, holding picks 1-13.

Sydney have the prized first selection, along with pick No.5, while Hawthorn have the first selection for Victoria (followed by Essendon) and Port Adelaide will have priority for South Australia.

In the top 10, Hawthorn have four picks, while Essendon, Port Adelaide and Sydney all have two each. Sydney then have picks 10-13.

The first non-expansion club with a selection is West Coast, with picks 14 and 15, followed by St Kilda at 16 and Carlton with 17 and 18. Rounding out the top 20 are Gold Coast with pick 19 and GWS with 20.

How will the draft work with prospects still completing year 12?

Given the draft has been brought forward ahead of season seven starting in August, a common query is how draftees will balance football with completing their year 12 studies.

AFL Women’s has reported that draftees finishing their high school education – known as development players – will undertake bespoke programs that work with the player’s development manager, school, and parents or carers to help manage the balance of football and school commitments, while providing individual support and flexibility with training as needed.

Players who relocate from their home states can remain at home and train at their current clubs until they graduate. Some in the draft pool, particularly those from Queensland, have already graduated, and once development players have finished their schooling, they will join the full AFLW program at their respective clubs.

How does the father daughter rule work?

A player can be nominated for a club if their father played at least one AFL game there. In this year’s draft, defender Caitlin Matthews will be secured by St Kilda, whose father Dean played a senior game for the club in 1995.

The club previously picked up Alice Burke, daughter of club legend and Australian Football Hall of Fame member Nathan Burke, through the club’s father-son/daughter program in the 2020 draft.

Alice, playing with the Saints where her father Nathan used to play, embraces her dad after a game.Credit:Getty Images

Montana Ham in action for the Western Jets.

Montana Ham in action for the Western Jets.Credit:AFL Photos

The Age‘s predicted top 10

The top 10 will not play out as a traditional draft would, given the location of the expansion teams and the state-based nature of the draft. In short, the top-10 picks won’t necessarily reflect the overall best talent in the country, but rather the best available in each state where new teams are coming in to the competition.

The below picks are not in any particular order.

Montana Ham
Vic Metro/Western Jets/Keilor
The 179-centimeter strong-bodied midfielder has been likened to Carlton’s Patrick Cripps as a tall and strong player capable of playing a key position. She is prolific at winning the ball both in the air and at ground level. She recently won the Vic Metro MVP and best on ground in the AFLW Academy game and is all but certain be picked up by Sydney at pick one.

Amber Clarke
Vic Country/Dandenong Stingrays/Narre North Foxes
Clarke is a lightning-quick midfielder/half-forward who has good game sense, clean foot skills and can break games open and hit the scoreboard. She won the NAB League Girls’ best and fairest award this season, was named in the NAB League team of the year, and clocked the fastest time at the 2021 NAB League Girls pre-season testing.

Charlotte Baskaran
Vic Metro/Western Jets/Aberfeldie
Baskaran finished runner-up in the NAB League Girls’ best and fairest and is a clean ball-winner who boasts composure, a good footy IQ, and a dangerous blend of speed and endurance. She has a background in athletics and is prolific at moving the ball through run and carry and dashing away from contests, and averaged 27.6 disposals and 5.3 clearances for the Western Jets premiership side.

Jasmine Fleming
Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers/Ashburton
Fleming, the daughter of former Australian cricketer Damien Fleming, is a quick midfielder and premiership player from the Oakleigh Chargers with her biggest asset a dangerous and penetrating right-foot kick. She averaged 22.5 disposals and 5.5 clearances in the championships, winning All-Australian under-18 honours, and boasts impressive pace and agility.

Jasmine Fleming in action for the Oakleigh Chargers.

Jasmine Fleming in action for the Oakleigh Chargers.Credit:AFL Photos

Sophia Hurley
Vic Metro/Sandringham Dragons/Port Melbourne
Hurley earned NAB League team of the year honors after averaging 26 disposals and was a key playmaker for Vic Metro, where she received All-Australian under-18 selection. An agile and reliable midfielder with speed, she ranked second in the nation in the two-kilometer draft combine testing.

Hannah Ewings
South Australia/North Adelaide/SMOSH West Lakes/Roopena-Whyalla
A strong-bodied midfielder who is proficient around stoppages and able to roll forward and hit the scoreboard with regularity, Ewings averaged 21.3 disposals with 70.3 per cent efficiency in the under-18 championships and earned All-Australian honors playing for South Australia’s undefeated side.

Sachi Syme
South Australia/Norwood/Wilderness School/Port Lincoln
Syme earned All-Australian honors with her clean skills by hand and foot, ability to win the ball and then move it forward through clearances and run and carry. She also has endurance and neat tackles in her skill set and is likely to be picked by Port in the club’s first two picks.

Sachi Syme runs a time trial.

Sachi Syme runs a time trial.Credit:AFL Photos

Mackenzie Eardley
Vic Country/Dandenong Stingrays/Beleura
Eardley is a versatile defender with the ability to roll forward as a marking target. She earned All-Australian under-18 honors after averaging 16.5 disposals, 2.5 rebound-50s and a goal for Vic Metro and displayed impressive skills by both hand and foot. She also earned NAB League team of the year selection and would bolster any club in need of a tall, key-position player.

Keeley Skepper
Vic Country/Murray Bushrangers/Shepparton United
Skepper is an agile midfielder able to roll back into defense who earned NAB League team of the year and All-Australian selection as well as MVP honors for her team in the championship. She’s good at moving the ball forward, particularly with her penetrating kick, and can find and create space using her excellent game sense.

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Rylie Wilcox
Vic Metro/Northern Knights/Fitzroy
Wilcox is a midfielder/small forward who was selected in the All-Australian side after an impressive performance for Vic Metro. She was also an impact player in the recent under-23 All-Stars v Australia under-18s match. She can use her agility to break out of congestion and is able to direct play with her impressive footy IQ.

Each club’s draft picks

Adelaide: 40, 69, 71
Brisbane: 41, 57, 70, 78
Carlton: 17, 18, 48, 67
Collingwood: 30, 56, 76
Essendon: 4, 8, 32, 35, 46, 62, 73
Fremantle: 27, 59, 77, 83, 85
Geelong: 33, 42, 55
Gold Coast: 19, 34, 52, 65
GWS: 20, 64, 66, 75, 82, 84, 86, 87
hawthorn: 2, 6, 9, 10, 22, 25, 26
Melbourne: 44, 72, 79
Melbourne: 28, 39, 50, 51, 54
Port Adelaide: 3, 7, 23, 31, 45, 61, 80
Richmond: 38, 58, 60
St Kilda: 16, 63, 74, 81
Sydney: 1, 5, 11, 12, 13
west coast: 14, 15, 24, 36, 43, 47, 53
Western Bulldogs: 21, 29, 37, 68

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