The stars of the future – 2018’s prospective draft standouts

How early is too early to talk about next year’s draft?

We are less than a week removed from the 2017 AFLW Draft and a host of talented footballers have been added to the AFLW ranks, but we would be remiss not to highlight the talent coming through for next year.

Lauren Bella impressed for Queensland in this year’s AFLW Under-18 National Championships. Image: Madolyn Peters/Daily Mercury

To wrap up our draft coverage for 2017, we look ahead to the 2018 AFLW Draft and highlight some of the standouts from this season who aren’t eligible until next year.


Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons/Sunbury, VIC)
DOB: 2/11/2000
Position: Midfielder
If the 2018 AFLW Draft were to occur today, Madison Prespakis would be a sure-fire pick one. She finished one vote behind Chloe Molloy and Bridie Kennedy in the race for the TAC Cup best and fairest earlier in the year, and was named best on ground for Vic Metro in all four of their games in the AFLW Under-18 National Championships. To cap it off, she managed 22 goals in eight games at local level.

Olivia Purcell (Geelong Falcons/St Mary’s, VIC)
DOB: 5/9/2000
Position: Midfielder
In the AFLW Under-18 National Championships, Olivia Purcell served as Vic Country’s rock in midfield. A consistent ball magnet, Purcell also had an excellent year at local level for St Mary’s, kicking 17 goals in 12 games from the centre. Earlier in the year, she was a frequent best player for the Falcons in the TAC Cup.

Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges/Mount Evelyn, VIC)
DOB: 12/7/2000
Position: Midfielder
Emerson Woods’ development is coming along swiftly having only been involved in the game for two years. Coming from a netball and basketball background, Woods is a pacy winger who can break games open. She has that x-factor many clubs look for – best reflected by her 37 goals in 15 games for Mount Evelyn this year – and another year of skills development will only boost her draft stock.

Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power/Beaconsfield, VIC)
DOB: 15/2/2000
Position: Midfielder
Tyla Hanks showed her skills as a top class youth footballer in both the TAC Cup and AFLW Under-18 National Championships, kicking goals from the midfield and impressive with her ball-winning work in both competitions. As Vic Country’s vice-captain, Hanks’ workload will increase in next year’s Nationals, and will give us a chance to see just how good she can be.

Denby Taylor (Geelong Falcons/Newtown & Chilwell, VIC)
DOB: 16/2/2000
Position: Midfielder
A talented goal-kicking midfielder, Denby Taylor developed her abilities in a variety of roles this year. She kicked seven goals in three outings in the TAC Cup as a free-running midfielder, won more football at local level for Newtown & Chilwell, and excelled at a mixture of both roles in the Nationals. She is a very exciting prospect.

Alyce Parker (Thurgoona, NSW/ACT)
DOB: 15/8/2000
Position: Midfielder
The frustration levels for GWS must have been at an all-time high watching Alyce Parker in the National Championships, knowing they can’t select her until next year. She was clearly NSW/ACT’s best midfielder, racking up numbers in the centre and leading her team ably as captain. On her 2017 form, the self-proclaimed ‘farm girl’ looks ready for top tier footy.

Jordyn Jolliffe (Woorinen, NSW/ACT)
DOB: 9/6/2000
Position: Forward
There haven’t been a heap of AFLW calibre young forwards coming through in NSW, but Jordyn Jolliffe bucks that trend. Unsurprisingly, she was NSW/ACT’s leading goal-kicker in the Nationals. Jolliffe has all the traits of a great key forward: strong leader great hands and a pure kick.

Lauren Bella (Bakers Creek/University of Queensland, QLD)
DOB: 12/9/2000
Position: Ruck
During this year’s AFLW Under-18 National Championships, Bella was a clear standout for Queensland with her presence in the centre of the ground, named in the best players four out of five times from the ruck. A sensational tap ruck, Bella is also mobile and a great mark. She was voted Mackay’s Junior Sportsperson of 2016 for her involvement in high performance programs for both footy and netball.

Courtney Hodder (Peel Thunderbirds, WA)
DOB: 8/7/2000
Position: Midfielder
An elusive midfielder with plenty of pace, Courtney Hodder is a natural disposal winner with great skills by hand and footy. Her attack on the loose ball and ability to race off sets her apart. She was named in WA’s best in all five National Championships matches, including best on ground against NSW/ACT.

McKenzie Dowrick (Coastal Titans, WA)
DOB: 3/7/2000
Position: Midfielder
If next year’s draft was open to all states, McKenzie Dowrick would be a top five pick. A consistent tough nut, Dowrick was named best on ground for WA against Vic Country, Vic Metro and Queensland. She also had an impressive year in senior footy, kicking 11 goals in 11 outings for Coastal Titans.

Sonia Dorizzi (South Fremantle, WA)
DOB: 3/6/2000
Position: Defender/Ruck
Sonia Dorizzi is a pacy key defender who can also spend time in the ruck. A dual-threat both in the air and on ground level, she was a strong presence for WA in the Nationals and also has experience playing forward in her time with South Freo. It’s a long way out, but she is the best prospective key back option in next year’s draft.

Chloe Scheer (North Adelaide/Modbury, SA)
DOB: 7/10/1999
Position: Midfielder
Without a doubt, Chloe Scheer would’ve been Adelaide’s first pick in the AFLW Draft had she not suffered a knee injury earlier in the year. Scheer first raised eyebrows in 2016 by winning the best and fairest for both the SAWFL under-18 and senior competitions in the same year as a 16-year-old. She is an elite level player who will be a household name for years to come.

Nikki Gore (Norwood/Christies Beach, SA)
DOB: 12/11/2000
Position: Midfielder
A skillful ball winner, Nikki Gore only played one SANFL Women’s game but sparkled despite playing against much older opposition. She was consistently one of the best players for Christies beach, and was the only South Australian in the AFLW Academy in 2017. Her development in 2018 will be intriguing to watch.

Danielle Ponter (St Mary’s, NT)
DOB: 1/8/2000
Position: Midfielder
Danielle Ponter just missed out on being a part of the 2017 draft class, but no doubt the extra year of footy will have her primed for the 2018 draft. She is remarkably skilled with both feet and prides herself on winning the contested ball. She is another hard nut that the Crows will eagerly want to bring into their side.

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