Under-18 Championships: 14 players who enhanced their draft prospects

THE CONCLUSION of the NAB AFLW under-18 championships saw six footballers named MVPs of their team, and Vic Metro's Georgia Patrikios (pictured above) crowned player of the tournament.

With the NAB AFLW Draft on the horizon, who else boosted their chances of having their name called out in October?

Womens.afl takes a look at the 14 of the best draft-age talents (excluding the six players recognised last week), which is the same number of teams that will be playing in the AFLW next year.

The players have been split into states, to reflect the state-based draft.


Georgia Garnett

The pick of the bunch out of New South Wales, Garnett missed the second game of the champs through illness, but impressed with her drive out of defence when playing. A courageous player who finished with a lump on her head after going back with the flight of the ball, attempting to take an intercept mark.

Georgia Garnett is one of the top prospects out of NSW

QUEENSLAND (Ellie Hampson MVP; Brisbane and Gold Coast)

Isabel Dawes

Moved well off half-back and through the middle of the ground. Pacy and clever, Dawes often brought teammates into the game with creative handballs and space-creating kicks. The NAB AFLW Academy member has strong skills and has represented Brisbane in the QW Winter Series.

Isabel Dawes is a creative and skilled player through the middle

Lily Postlethwaite

The tenacious Postlethwaite was a strong ball-winner for Queensland. The midfielder spread well, moving into dangerous spots on the ground and providing a link between the middle and the forward line. Has a clean kick, and like Dawes, has played for Brisbane this year in the QW Winter Series.

Queensland's Lily Postlethwaite in action against Vic Country


Jaimi Tabb

It's almost impossible to evade a Tabb tackle. If the hard-nosed midfielder didn't win the ball, she desperately wanted it back. A strong clearance player, Tabb has clean hands out of the contest and can clear a path for teammates. Runs hard both in defence and attack.

Jaimi Tabb is as tough as they come

VICTORIA/TASMANIA (Mia King (Tas), Lucy McEvoy (VC) and Georgia Patrikios (VM) MVPs; Carlton, Collingwood, Geelong, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs)

Millie Brown

Missed the final game with injury, but the full-back impressed with her steadiness and long, clearing kick. Eligible to be selected by Geelong as a father-daughter selection as her dad Paul played for the club. Has strong hands in the air and looks to be a natural defender who can out-body her opponent.

Millie Brown could find herself at the Cattery next season

Isabella Grant

The other father-daughter selection available (dad Chris was a star for the Western Bulldogs), Grant played mostly up forward but was swung into defence in the final game. Is a strong contested mark and as a former basketballer, is surprisingly elusive for her height. Also a steady set shot.

Britney Gutknecht

A classy midfielder, Gutknecht played her second under-18 championships on the wing and on the ball. She rarely makes mistakes and is often in the middle of scoring chains. Flies under the radar sometimes but was named in Metro's best in its first two games of the week.

Midfielder Britney Gutknecht was one of Vic Metro's best in the first two games

Laura McClelland

A strong key-position player, after playing most of her NAB League season up forward McClelland spent the carnival mainly in defence. Reads the ball well in the air and has a safe pair of hands. A calm presence on the field, McClelland swung forward for the second half of the final game and slotted two goals.

Laura McClelland proved her worth at both ends of the ground

Sophie Molan

The Vic Country product was consistently in her team's top players. The versatile tall played in multiple positions, with her strong marking and ball-winning ability standing out. Reads the play well and is adept at bringing teammates into play with clever handballs out of stoppages.

Vic Country's Sophie Molan is extremely versatile

Nell Morris-Dalton

The powerful forward seems to play taller than her height of 176 centimetres, and continually raised the eyebrows of recruiters watching on with her agility at ground level. Morris-Dalton is an excellent mark and top-scored for Metro with six goals over its four games. Also demonstrated an impressive "don't argue".

Gabby Newton

Rotated through the wing and the middle over the week but was equally adept leading out of forward 50. Newton has elite disposal and makes the right decisions at the right time. Is a very good mark overhead and has good agility for her height. Slated for a top-five Victorian pick.

Cleo Saxon-Jones

Another tall who impressed across the championships, the 182cm ruck often gave her midfielders first use of the ball. Worked hard across the ground and wasn't afraid to get low and lay a tackle. Was also a dangerous presence up forward where few were able to match her size in the air.

Cleo Saxon-Jones has size on her side

WESTERN AUSTRALIA (Mikayla Bowen MVP; Fremantle and West Coast)

Roxy Roux

Remember the name. Roux is a high-flying forward who can also spend time as an undersized ruck due to her impressive leap. She crashes packs and is a steady set-shot for goal. Struggled at times to get into games when the ball wasn't delivered cleanly, but her versatility around the ball meant she wasn't out of action for long.

Mim Strom

Fremantle is desperately on the hunt for a tall player or two after losing ruck pair Parris Laurie and Alicia Janz to West Coast, and Strom did her chances of being drafted no harm. Impressed with her jump and tap work in the ruck and was competitive when the ball hit the ground.

Western Australians Roxy Roux and Mim Strom were highly impressive