From Phoenix to Footscray: Dogs make history by signing first American player

THE WESTERN Bulldogs have made history by signing the first American player to the NAB AFLW competition.

The Bulldogs added Danielle Marshall, 27, as a rookie after the former soccer player impressed playing up forward in three games for the club's VFLW side this winter.

From Phoenix, Arizona, Marshall is no stranger to Australian Football, having played the sport for the Arizona Hawks in the USAFL competition.

 As flagged by a month ago, Irishwoman Katy Herron has also joined the Bulldogs as a rookie.

Herron, 28, is the captain of county Donegal's Gaelic football side, and becomes the 13th Irish player on an AFLW list for 2020, up from just one (Cora Staunton) in 2018.

"Katy's workrate in her Gaelic football was what really stood out to us initially," Western Bulldogs AFLW list manager Michael Sandry said.

"Her repeat efforts in transitional running is exceptional and something we think will be really valuable in our team. Katy has quickly adapted to the oval ball and is able to kick on both sides of her body, which we also value highly.

"Not only did Dani display an ability to convert around goals, but also she showed she can play as a key defender. Her versatility will be a key strength to her game at the highest level, and her determination and appetite for the contest will hold her in great stead."

The rookie rules state players must not have been on a football list in Australia for three years up until May, excluding a number of local cross-sport athletes who have recently taken up the game.

Consequently, the number of international rookies has exploded, with the similarities between Gaelic football and Aussie rules making Irish athletes an attractive option.

Clubs must sign their three rookies by 30 August, with the four expansion clubs – Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast – also needing to finish their open-age academy signings by that date.

In other news, Adelaide small forward Hannah Martin will miss the 2020 season after rupturing her right ACL playing for VFLW side NT Thunder.

The Crows have had a torrid run with knee injuries this year.

Crow blow: Hannah Martin will miss the 2020 season after rupturing her right ACL

Ruck Rhiannon Metcalfe was the first to need a reconstruction, injuring her knee in a pre-season match, before superstar Erin Phillips and NAB AFLW Rising Star nominee Chloe Scheer both ruptured their ACLs in the premiership win.

In previous years, clubs have been able to place players on an "inactive list" if they have been signed but later become unavailable for the entire AFLW season through either injury or personal reasons.

This then opens up another list spot, usually filled through an extra pick in the draft, which is expected to be the case for Adelaide and Martin.

Brisbane had a similar situation last year when Sophie Conway ruptured her ACL playing in the VFLW for Richmond.

2020 AFLW lists as of July 11

Sarah Allan, Dayna Cox, Courtney Cramey, Angela Foley, Jessica Foley, Renee Forth, Nikki Gore, Anne Hatchard, Eloise Jones, Sophie Li, Ebony Marinoff, Hannah Martin, Rhiannon Metcalfe, Justine Mules, Erin Phillips, Danielle Ponter, Marijana Rajcic, Chelsea Randall, Chloe Scheer, Stevie-Lee Thompson, Deni Varnhagen, Ruth Wallace.
Rookies: Ailish Considine, Maisie Nankivell and one spot remaining

Ally Anderson, Lauren Arnell, Emily Bates, Shannon Campbell, Arianna Clarke, Sophie Conway, Gabby Collingwood, Jade Ellenger, Natalie Grider, Jessy Keeffe, Breanna Koenen, Rheanne Lugg (Adelaide), Kate Lutkins, Jesse Wardlaw, Sharni Webb, Jess Wuestchner, Jordan Zanchetta, Emma Zielke. 
Rookies: Greta Bodey, Brianna McFarlane, Orla O'Dwyer

Lauren Brazzale, Chloe Dalton, Alison Downie, Jess Edwards, Georgia Gee, Kerryn Harrington, Tayla Harris, Jess Hosking, Sarah Hosking, Katie Loynes, Abbie McKay, Breann Moody, Natalie Plane, Gabriella Pound, Madison Prespakis, Nicola Stevens, Jayde Van Dyk, Darcy Vescio, Brooke Walker, Charlotte Wilson, Emerson Woods. 
Rookies: Three spots remaining

Sophie Alexander, Jordy Allen, Britt Bonnici, Ashleigh Brazill, Lauren Butler, Mikala Cann, Sophie Casey, Steph Chiocci, Sarah D'Arcy, Brianna Davey (Carlton), Sarah Dargan, Erica Fowler, Emma Grant, Georgia Gourlay, Eliza Hynes, Jaimee Lambert, Stacey Livingstone, Katie Lynch, Chloe Molloy, Ruby Schleicher, Maddie Shevlin, Kristy Stratton. 
Rookies: Sharni Layton, Sarah Rowe, Aishling Sheridan

Ebony Antonio, Kiara Bowers, Tayla Bresland, Steph Cain, Mia-Rae Clifford (Geelong), Kara Donnellan, Sabreena Duffy, Evie Gooch, Katie-Jayne Grieve, Gemma Houghton, Leah Mascall, Hayley Miller, Gabby O'Sullivan, Laura Pugh, Matilda Sergeant, Philipa Seth, Ashley Sharp, Angelique Stannett, Jasmin Stewart, Alex Williams. 
Rookies: Kate Flood, Lindal Rohde and Aine Tighe

Cassie Blakeway, Madeleine Boyd, Rene Caris, Georgia Clarke, Richelle Cranston, Julia Crockett-Grills, Kate Darby, Olivia Deane-Purcell, Renee Garing, Rebecca Goring, Melissa Hickey, Jordan Ivey, Madeline Keryk, Meghan McDonald, Phoebe McWilliams, Nina Morrison, Aasta O'Connor, Danielle Orr, Denby Taylor, Anna Teague, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Rebecca Webster.
Rookies: Maddy McMahon, Georgie Rankin and one spot remaining

Lauren Ahrens (open-age), Lauren Bella (Brisbane), Tiarna Ernst (Western Bulldogs), Tori Groves-Little (Brisbane), Charlotte Hammans, Ellie Hampson (both u/18), Jasmyn Hewett (Adelaide), Jordann Hickey (Melbourne), Leah Kaslar, Paige Parker, Emma Pittman (all Brisbane), Sally Riley (Adelaide), Molly Ritson (open-age), Maddy Roberts (open-age), Jamie Stanton (North Melbourne), Sam Virgo (Brisbane), Kitara Whap-Farrar (u/18), Jacqui Yorston (Brisbane).
Rookies: Three spots remaining

Jessica Allan (Adelaide), Jacinda Barclay, Nicola Barr, Rebecca Beeson, Elle Bennetts, Yvonne Bonner, Ellie Brush, Jess Dal Pos, Alicia Eva, Amanda Farrugia, Tanya Hetherington, Jodie Hicks, Erin McKinnon, Ingrid Nielsen, Alyce Parker, Pepa Randall, Aimee Schmidt, Cora Staunton, Louise Stephenson, Britt Tully, Haneen Zreika.
Rookies: Taylah Davies and two spots remaining

Libby Birch (Western Bulldogs), Harriet Cordner, Tegan Cunningham, Meg Downie, Maddison Gay, Madeleine Guerin, Tyla Hanks, Shelley Heath, Kate Hore, Bianca Jakobsson, Ainslie Kemp, Sarah Lampard, Lily Mithen, Aliesha Newman, Elise O'Dea, Karen Paxman, Daisy Pearce, Lauren Pearce, Shelley Scott, Casey Sherriff, Shae Sloane, Katherine Smith, Eden Zanker. 
Rookies: Chantel Emonson and two spots remaining

Sophie Abbatangelo, Kaitlyn Ashmore, Daria Bannister, Daisy Bateman, Nicole Bresnehan, Jenna Bruton, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner, Britt Gibson, Kate Gillespie-Jones, Jasmine Grierson, Chloe Haines, Libby Haines, Danielle Hardiman, Emma Humphries, Emma Kearney, Elisha King, Emma King, Taylor Mesiti, Tahlia Randall, Ash Riddell, Jess Trend.
Rookies: Beth Lynch, Mairead Seoighe and one spot remaining

Christina Bernardi (Greater Western Sydney), Maddy Brancatisano (Melbourne), Katie Brennan (Western Bulldogs), Hannah Burchell (Geelong), Monique Conti (Western Bulldogs), Alice Edmonds (open-age), Sabrina Frederick (Brisbane), Phoebe Monahan (Greater Western Sydney), Iilish Ross (Collingwood), Tayla Stahl (open-age), Courtney Wakefield (open-age)
Rookies: Three spots remaining

Alison Brown (academy), Alison Drennan (North Melbourne), Nat Exon (Brisbane), Darcy Guttridge (Collingwood), Selena Karlson (Western Bulldogs), Melissa Kuys (Collingwood), Tilly Lucas-Rodd (Carlton), Emma Mackie (Western Bulldogs), Kate McCarthy (Brisbane), Molly McDonald (u/18), Courteney Munn (North Melbourne), Cat Phillips (Melbourne), Isabella Shannon (u/18), Jess Sedunary (Adelaide), Rhiannon Watt (Carlton), Claudia Whitfort (Melbourne). 
Rookies: Three spots remaining

Ashlee Atkins (Fremantle), Kate Bartlett (Western Bulldogs), Mikayla Bowen (u/18), Melissa Caulfield (Fremantle), Maddy Collier (Greater Western Sydney), Cassie Davidson (Fremantle), Rosie Deegan (u/18), McKenzie Dowrick (Brisbane), Kellie Gibson (Fremantle), Brianna Green (Fremantle), Courtney Guard (nee Stubbs; Fremantle), Dana Hooker (Fremantle), Alicia Janz (Fremantle), Parris Laurie (Fremantle), Belinda Smith (Western Bulldogs), Emma Swanson (Greater Western Sydney).
Rookies: Grace Kelly, Niamh Kelly and one spot remaining

Deanna Berry, Ellie Blackburn, Eleanor Brown, Nicole Callinan, Naomi Ferres, Ellyse Gamble, Angelica Gogos, Ashleigh Guest (Melbourne), Bailey Hunt, Isabel Huntington, Kirsty Lamb, Brooke Lochland, Aisling McCarthy, Kirsten McLeod, Celine Moody, Kim Rennie, Hannah Scott, Lauren Spark, Bonnie Toogood, Aisling Utri, Hayley Wildes.
Rookies: Katy Herron, Danielle Marshall and one spot remaining