Four days out from the AFLW Draft and it’s exciting to know that we now have a confirmed draft order, as released by the AFL last night.
By confirmed, we mean we now know how many picks each club will have, and how many rounds there will be. Still seems odd that it took until under a week out to confirm that information, particularly with the trade period being so long ago, but I digress – happy times!
On with the show. Today’s Draft Her looks into the future of our game, observing three versatile talents who could have long careers in the AFLW.
The highlighted players’ potential AFL Women’s teams are based on the assumption that the respective players have nominated for their home state’s draft.
Part one: Renee Cowan, Tanya Hetherington and Chantella Perera
Part two: Jenna Bruton, Nicky Steel and Georgia Gee
Part four: Jodie White, Courtney Gum and Anna Teague
Part five: Calista Boyd, Brianna Walling and Gabby Collingwood
Part six: Courtney Webb, Tiahna Cochrane and Rachelle Martin
Sonia Dorizzi (South Fremantle, WA)
Like a lot of tall players in youth football, Sonia Dorizzi has been unable to call any particular position hers, rather excelling in the key positions where she is required.
In the AFLW Under-18 National Championships, she was frequently played as a ruck option. However, she spent more time being used as a utility option for South Fremantle in the WAWFL, developing her defensive skills while also kicking four goals in eight outings.
Dorizzi has plenty of talent, as proved by her making the 2016 All-Australian team and named in the 2017 squad, particularly when it comes to her aerial ability in both ruck and marking contests, but she would be much more of a threat to the opposition if given time in one or two specific roles.
In Fremantle’s line-up, Dorizzi would be given that opportunity with coach Michelle Cowan adept at getting the best out of her playing list.
Draft notes: Freo will pick Tayla McAuliffe early on in the draft to be a potential number one ruck option, but it would also be surprising to see Sonia Dorizzi miss out. As a forward or defender, Dorizzi is more than capable of doing a job, and with the right mentor she could become one of the country’s top forward-ruck or defender-ruck options in years to come.
Daria Bannister (Launceston, TAS)
Tasmania only has a few players considered to be draft material this year, and arguably the best of them is the lone Tasmanian member in the AFLW Academy, Launceston’s Daria Bannister.
The forward-minded midfielder is still relatively new to the game coming from a netball background, but was excellent for both Tasmania and the Allies in the AFLW Under-18 National Championships.
Bannister, who has nominated Victoria as her draft state of choice, is exceptional at creating space and breaking lines, partially due to her agility – she finished second in the agility test at the AFLW Draft Combine.
She averaged just shy of a goal a game in her 23 outings with Launceston over the last two years, and no club is going to turn down a goal-kicking option from the midfield.
Draft notes: Once the expected selections are taken in the first couple of rounds, it will be difficult for any of the four Victorian clubs to look past Daria Bannister, whose ceiling is not yet known. With youth, evasiveness, ball-winning ability and an eye for goal on her side, she could even be selected before some of the VFLW’s top players. Maybe Academy mentor Katie Brennan will have a word to the Bulldogs’ draft staff.
Eloise Jones (Glenelg/Morphettville Park, SA)
The highly-skilled Eloise Jones was a real standout in this year’s AFLW Under-18 National Championships for both South Australia and the combined Allies side.
The midfielder was frequently mentioned on the goal kicking sheet due to her work around the stoppages inside 50, particularly impressive given she spent most of her time on the ball.
She lined up for Glenelg in the inaugural SANFL Women’s competition and played both under-18 and senior footy for Morphettville Park during the season, giving her plenty of experience against senior opposition.
It’s a stacked Adelaide midfield that Jones will try to break into, but she will at the very least be useful in the forward 50.
Draft notes: As mentioned, it might be tough for Jones to get a permanent spot in Adelaide’s midfield rotation, but she will be an extremely handy acquisition. Naming her on the half-forward line will give her experience playing on some of the competition’s best running half-backs, as well as give her the chance to slot some goals.