Suns sign trio of 17-year-olds for 2020 season

GOLD COAST has signed its first three AFL Women's players ahead of its entry to the competition in 2020.

Seventeen-year-olds Charlotte Hammans, Kitara Farrar and Ellie Hampson (pictured left to right, above) will all represent the Suns next year.

The trio are all members of the club's female football academy, the NAB AFLW Academy and represented Queensland in last year's under-18 national championships.

Hammans is a forward and Gold Coast local, having been a member of the club since its inception, while defenders Hampson and Farrar are from Townsville and Cairns, respectively.

St Kilda last week signed winger Molly McDonald, 17, from Dandenong Stingrays.

A former basketballer, McDonald made the switch to footy three years ago and played for Vic Country last year. She is quick, with good agility and endurance.

In earlier signings, West Coast recruited 17-year-olds Mikayla Bowen and Rosie Deegan and the Saints locked away 21-year-old Ali Brown.

Gold Coast, Richmond, the Saints and Eagles can pre-list up to 10 players (including the three 17-year-olds) each up until the end of August.

Richmond did not sign any 17-year-olds.

Both Bowen (from Swan Districts) and Deegan (Claremont) represented Western Australia at the NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships; Bowen, a small inside midfielder, also played in 2017.

Deegan, a key position player, played for Western Australia in 2017 and was in the 2018 squad, but was unavailable for matches due to her basketball commitments (she has represented Australia at under-age level).

"It is a wonderful moment for the football club to welcome our first ever female players," West Coast's head of AFLW Adam Selwood said.

"Not only do they bring special athletic attributes, but they are quality people who are great cultural fits for our AFLW program. We are very lucky."

Saints recruit Brown was on Carlton's list in 2017, playing all seven games. The tall inside midfielder (182cm) played for St Kilda's VFLW side Southern Saints in 2018.

"I was a little bit speechless when 'Pete' (Peta Searle, VFLW coach) and Jamie (Cox, head of emerging programs) told me," Brown said.

"I'm super-excited for the opportunity and just very grateful."

Up to seven of the pre-listed players will be open-age signings from their respective club academies (including former AFLW players), all of whom must have nominated for the 2018 NAB AFLW Draft but not been selected. Brown's signing falls under this category.

Clubs could also pre-list up to three players born in 2001 (the minimum draft-eligible year of birth for the 2019 NAB AFLW Draft), however they must have come from designated development regions.

2020 AFLW expansion team signings

Gold Coast:  Kitara Farrer, Charlotte Hammans, Ellie Hampson
Richmond: None as yet
St Kilda: Ali Brown, Molly McDonald
West Coast: Mikayla Bowen, Rosie Deegan