The second AFLW Rookie Draft took place on Friday afternoon, with some clubs finalising their 2018 lists.
While clubs could sign cross code athletes as rookies, many opted for young or new footy talent.
With the expansion of team lists after the 2017 season, each club could select three rookies. Rookies must be either under 21 or have not played football or been a part of any high-performance programs for three years prior to May 2017.
Rookies only qualify to play an AFLW game if promoted to the senior list following long-term injury to a senior player.
The Crows used their picks in the Rookie Draft to select two promising young players in Calista Boyd and Brianna Walling.
Boyd, a pacy midfielder who can find the goals, was one of only two NT players invited to the recent AFLW Combine where she featured in the top ten for the running vertical jump and the 20-metre sprint.
18-year-old Walling is an agile small forward with nearly a decade of footy under her belt.
The Crows signed former Olympic beach volleyballer Becchara Palmer as a rookie in June. The twenty-eight-year-old represented Australia in the 2012 Olympics and is a six-time Australian Beach Volleyball Champion.
The Lions made no rookie signings after the inaugural season so took a full hand into the draft.
They added arguably the best midfielder in the Queensland talent pool in University of Queensland’s Gabby Collingwood alongside Bond University’s Molly Ritson, runner-up in the QWAFA Division 1 best and fairest and member of the Gold Coast Suns Academy. Ritson is a medium midfielder/forward with plenty of potential.
The Lions also selected former tennis player 23-year-old Krystal Scott. Scott was ranked in the top 100 Australian players and only picked up a footy last year.
The Blues signed 20-year-old netballer Maddison Gay and 25-year-old basketballer Kerryn Harrington, a point guard for the Bendigo Spirit, in May this year as rookies but then upgraded them to the main list, meaning they took three picks into the draft.
They selected 19-year-old Tiahna Cochrane from Bendigo Thunder. Cochrane has had a breakout year, winning a flag with the Thunder, a best and fairest and the NFLW Coaches Player of the Year. She also lays claim to a connection to the Blues, with Cochrane’s great uncle Trevor Keogh being a member of the Carlton Team of the Century.
Alongside Cochrane, the Blues selected pacy outside mid, Katie-Jane Grieve from Western Australia, who played her first season of footy for South Bunbury this year. The Blues rounded out their picks with Tasmanian Courtney Webb. A dual sport athlete, Webb is aslo a talented cricketer. One of only four Tasmanian players invited to the AFLW Combine, the 17-year-old made the top ten in the yo-yo and the 2km time trial.
After signing Commonwealth Games gold medallist and former Hockeyroo Georgie Parker and former Australian volleyballer Eliza Haynes earlier this year, Collingwood took the single pick into the Rookie Draft.
They used it to select 18-year-old Holly Whitford. A versatile midfielder and forward, Whitford played for Cranbourne in the VFLW this year.
The Dockers used their first selection to draft midfielder Lisa Webb. The 33-year-old debuted with the Costal Titan this year. An elite runner, Webb has significantly improved over the year, picking up the Titans best first year player award.
Jade De Melo was the Dockers second pick. The twenty-four-year-old debuted for East Fremantle this year, playing in the forward line and earning selection for the WAWFL All Stars team.
Alongside Webb and De Melo, the Dockers drafted Beatrice Devlyn whom they delisted after the 2017 season. The 19-year-old utility, who plays for South Fremantle in the WAWFL, played three games for the Dockers in the inaugural season.
With Kirby Bentley being moved to the long-term injury list, the Dockers selected Tayla McAuliffe for their primary list. The 18-year-old, 185cm ruck, who plays for the Swan Districts, has the versatility to play across the ground and has huge potential.
Touted as a likely first pick for the Giants in the draft, 18-year-old Haneen Zreika was unlucky to miss out. But the strong inside midfielder, who made the top ten in both the yo-yo and the 2km time trial at the AFLW Draft Combine, has found her way onto the list taken with the Giants first pick.
Alongside Zreika, the Giants selected Tait Mackrill, an 18-year-old forward from Adelaide. Mackrill played for the Allies in the U18 State of Origin earlier this year.
Prior to the Rookie Draft, the Giants signed netballer Elle Bennetts. The Victorian played for the Fury in the Australian Netball League and is a four-time premiership player.
Melbourne used their two remaining picks to select 28-year-old Anna Teague who debuted for Geelong in the VFLW this year. The former captain of the Geelong Supercats was a pillar of strength for the Cats in defence, seamlessly transferring her basketball skills to the footy field.
Alongside Teague, Melbourne drafted Maddy Shevlin from the ACT’s Gungahlin Jets. Shevlin was named in the ACT team of the year and was previously a member of the GWS Academy.
The Dees signed 22-year-old Sandringham Sabres basketballer Kate Hore in May. Hore was later elevated to the main list to free up an extra rookie pick.
In mid-August, Melbourne signed 28-year-old former netballer Erin Hoare who debuted for Geelong in the VFLW this year. The 194cm Hoare previously played for the Sydney Swifts and Melbourne Vixens.
The Bulldogs drafted Naomi Ferris from the VU Western Spurs. A silky, fast and physical defender, Ferris joined the Spurs in 2016 and was immediately elevated to the VFLW team. Alongside Ferris, the Dogs selected Southern Saints netballer, Bonnie Toogood.
The Bulldogs signed 19-year-old hockey player Aisling Utri in August.
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