Your club's state league gem for season 2019

AFL WOMEN'S draftees can roughly be split into three categories: those graduating from the under-18 pathways, players who have crossed directly from another sport and mature-age selections from the state leagues. 

Of the three groups, it's often the latter that receive the least amount of attention but have the most impact in the compact seven-week AFLW season. has combed through Champion Data's 2019 AFLW Prospectus to find your team's state league gem, a player who is ready to have an immediate impact for their club.

Players who played in both the state league and the under-18 competition in 2018 did not qualify.


Jess Foley

The 35-year-old Foley is no stranger to success, having previously represented Australia in basketball. Her first year of football was in 2018, where she dominated in the ruck for Sturt in the SANFLW. Foley averaged the most hitouts per game, as well as having the second-highest number of contested possessions, the equal-highest number of marks and the most contested marks in the competition.


Paige Parker 

The only player drafted by Brisbane who did not play in the under-18 championships, Parker fills this spot by default. Saying that, Brisbane selected Parker with the club's first pick in the 2018 NAB AFLW Draft (pick 9), after the running defender spent two seasons training with the club. She has played 20 games in two years with QWAFL club Coorparoo, including two losing Grand Finals. She played for Gold Coast in the northern states' Winter Series, winning its development award. 


Rhiannon Watt 

Drafted with pick 40 from VFLW side Southern Saints, Watt will provide great ruck support for Alison Downie. Most promising for a ruck, Watt rated elite for contested possessions, ground-ball gets, clearances and hitouts to advantage. Finishing equal first in the Saints' best and fairest with North Melbourne recruit Alison Drennan, Watt was also named in the ruck in the VFLW team of the year. 

Watt starred in the VFLW. Picture: AFL Photos


Maddie Shevlin 

Shevlin, originally from Canberra, was delisted from Melbourne's rookie list without playing a single game in 2018. She stayed with the club, playing for VFLW affiliate Casey Demons, where she won the best and fairest after a strong season. The outside midfielder was ranked first at Casey for disposals, contested possessions, inside 50s and score involvements.


Philipa Seth

Taken with pick 28, Fremantle's third selection, Seth comes into 2019 on the back of some strong finals form for WAWFL side East Fremantle. Capable of playing either in defence or as a tagger, Seth played in East Fremantle's 2018 premiership, was awarded player of the finals series for her club and came runner-up in the best-and-fairest. Speed, agility and endurance are her strong points.


Renee Garing

She may have only played five games before a back injury ended her VFLW season with Geelong, but Renee Garing was one of the form midfielders of the competition in the early stages of the season. She averaged 27 disposals and 18 contested possessions a game, the most of any VFLW player. Garing, who is now recovered and back in full training, also averaged a whopping nine tackles a match.

Garing is a tackling machine. Picture: AFL Photos


Brittany Perry 

Midfielder Perry racked up awards for fun in 2018, coming third in the SANFLW best and fairest playing for North Adelaide (held in the first few months of the year), before backing up by winning the Adelaide Footy League's best and fairest playing for Salisbury. Champion Data rated her North Adelaide season very highly, ranking elite for disposals, ground-ball gets, intercept possessions, score assists and goals. 


Casey Sherriff 

While not strictly selected in the draft (Sherriff was a compensation/replacement signing for the pregnant Daisy Pearce), Sherriff had a very strong season for Melbourne VFLW affiliate Casey Demons. Champion Data said she was one of just three general defenders to rate elite for disposals, intercept marks, intercept possessions and tackles. The other two were Chelsea Randall and Jess Duffin, excellent company to be in. 


Alison Drennan

Another product of the Southern Saints VFLW side, Drennan may fly under the radar in North Melbourne's star-studded line-up. The midfielder was rated the fourth-best player to have played at least 10 games in the VFLW in 2018 by Champion Data. She was ranked elite for contested possessions, ground-ball gets, tackles and clearances, the only midfielder to be so.

Drennan is yet another success story from the Southern Saints. Picture: AFL Photos


Jessie Davies

The Bulldogs know exactly what they're getting with Davies, who was drafted directly from the club's VFLW side. Capable of playing on the flank at either end of the ground, Davies had more of an impact in attack, with Champion Data rating her above average for inside 50s and score assists.

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