After Collingwood’s Nicola Stevens headed out the door for Carlton, new rookie signings quickly dominated talk at the end of the first AFL Women’s Trade Facilitation Day.
The Blues were clearly the busy bees, moving on from their first trade signing to immediately fill two of their three rookie spots.
Under the list management rules for season 2018, rookies are players who have crossed over from another sport and have not played Australian rules in the previous three-year period.
Unlike in 2017, they will only be available for team selection if upgraded to the senior AFLW list due to an injury.
Carlton announced on Tuesday via their social media channels that they had secured the signatures of basketballer Kerryn Harrington and netballer Madison Gay.
25-year-old Harrington was recruited from Northern Football League club, Bendigo Thunder. Prior to this season, the midfielder had played as a point guard for the Bendigo Spirit in the WNBL.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Gay was taken from VFLW club St Kilda Sharks, and had previously played state league division one netball for Melbourne University Lightning and Ballarat Pride.
Carlton coach Damien Keeping told the Blues website that the two rookies would help strengthen his side’s midfield.
“We believe Maddison and Kerryn will help drive elite standards amongst our playing group,” Keeping said.
“Maddison is an outside-mid with great balance, while Kerryn is an inside-mid who covers the ground exceptionally well.
“They’re both still learning the game but we’re confident they’ll be really exciting prospects for the Club.”
The other rookie signing of the day was another St Kilda Sharks footballer, Kate Hore, to the Melbourne Football Club.
Most recently a basketballer with the Sandringham Sabers in the SEABL, Hore recommenced her footy career with the Sharks this year and was named in their best in her first two VFLW matches.
The 22-year-old attacking wing told the Demons website a story familiar to many female footballers, of having to give up the game she loved during her junior days.
“I grew up playing footy, starting with Auskick and played until Under 12s when I couldn’t play with boys anymore,” Hore said.
“I then took up basketball and went back to footy again at the end of last year.
“I started the pre-season with the St Kilda Sharks and I’m now two games in.”
“It’s an exciting time – it’s all happened very quickly but I’m absolutely loving it and loving playing footy,” she said.
On the same day, the competition’s oldest footballer, Collingwood’s Cecilia McIntosh posted on Instagram that she had re-signed with the club and will be pulling on the black and white again.
The Melbourne University veteran is currently being rested post AFLW season and is expected to be playing again in the VFLW with the Mugars in the coming weeks.
The Magpies also re-signed midfielder Brittany Bonnici, another of the St Kilda Sharks ilk.
In other trade/sign period news, Fox Footy is reporting that Crows marquee Kellie Gibson had been offered a downgraded contract (from her marquee status) and was now looking at a move back home to Western Australia.
The Gibson news, along with last week’s story that Tayla Harris was looking to leave the Lions and move to Victoria, saw a number of people of social media highlight a flaw in the draft/trade system that leaves non-Victorian clubs essentially empty-handed should any of their stars walk-out.
Finally, after the Nicola Stevens trade to the Blues and the three early round draft picks to Collingwood, some have now picked up on the thinking of all four Victorian AFLW sides.
The Western Bulldogs currently hold pick one in the Victorian pool and will zero in on a key forward, while picking up a tall key defender with their later picks.
Carlton believes it has a strong enough side (when fully fit) to have a tilt at the flag to not worry about draft pick position, but might try and pick off a player or two in the free agency period.
Melbourne has the same thinking as the Blues, but will be looking for mid-round draft picks in exchange, should a rumour of Jess Anderson to the Bulldogs prove to be true.
The Magpies are playing the long game, getting the early round draft picks to secure the best 18-year-old talent in the state before the ‘expansion clubs’ enter and their draft concessions have their impact.
Current draft order*
Non-Victorian clubs have exclusive access to players that nominate for their state’s draft pool.