Saints sign up ex-Blue and second-chance VFL star

ST KILDA has signed former Blue Kate Shierlaw and Olivia Vesely to its inaugural AFLW list.

The pair currently play for the club's VFLW side Southern Saints, joining Ali Brown as the club's only open-age signings so far. 

The Saints can sign another four open-age players and three rookies before the cut-off date of August 30. 

Key forward Shierlaw played for Carlton in the first two seasons of the AFLW, before spending last year with VFLW side Darebin Falcons. 

A member of the Saints' leadership group, the 30-year-old has been in the side's best in six of its past eight games. 

Kate Shierlaw celebrates a goal with her then-Carlton teammates in 2018

Shierlaw's partner, North Melbourne player Emma Kearney, visited St Kilda under the guise of presenting to the VFLW squad about elite standards required at AFLW level, and instead broke the good news to the newest Saint.

The club had a similar surprise for Vesely, telling the 19-year-old at the official opening of the club's new AFLW/VFLW facilities on Monday.

The half-forward/midfielder won NAB League side Sandringham's best and fairest in 2017 and was invited to the NAB AFLW Combine that same year but missed out in the draft.

She played for Carlton VFLW in 2018, before crossing to the Southern Saints this year.

Olivia Vesely in action for St Kilda's VFLW team

St Kilda's new facilities will allow the club to host AFLW games at Moorabbin Oval when it enters the competition next year.

"We conducted a lengthy consultation process with our current VFLW players when it came to the design, all the while ensuring that our facilities not only met the agreed-upon league standards, but considerably exceeded them," St Kilda CEO Matt Finnis said. 

"Melbourne's south is the most dense area in the country for female football participation, and we wanted to provide a clear pathway from grassroots football all the way up to AFLW. 

"These facilities form such an important part of the journey toward our inaugural AFLW season, and it would not have been possible if not for the generous support of the state government." 

Richmond has completed its contingent of VFLW players upgraded to its AFLW list after signing midfielder Kodi Jacques.

The 18-year-old former netballer played her first football with NAB League side Bendigo Pioneers and last year represented Vic Country. She has played 11 games for Richmond's VFLW side this year.

Carlton has signed its first rookie, with former rugby sevens player Katie Harrison joining the club.

Harrison, 26, is from Sydney and was a development player in the 2017 Australian rugby sevens side. She is currently training with Sydney Uni, and will be the third rugby sevens player on the Blues list behind Chloe Dalton and Brooke Walker.

Meanwhile, Melbourne has also announced an upgrade to Casey Fields, which hosts matches for its AFLW, VFLW and VFL teams. 

The construction, due to start in September, will see a new drainage system for the ground, as well as a gym, unisex changerooms, an indoor training facility and upgraded facilities for coaches and medical staff.

Due to be finished in April, the development is funded by the Victorian government ($5 million), local council City of Casey ($2.5 million) and the AFL ($500,000). 

"As a club, it's really important that we provide the same level of high-performance facilities for our women athletes that we do for our men, and we will now have the best changerooms in the game," Melbourne CEO Gary Pert told the club website. 

"We're very excited about it, and while it's great news for our elite players, I think it's also really good news for the athletes and teams within the Casey region."

2020 AFLW lists as of August 23

ADELAIDE
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

BRISBANE
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

CARLTON
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: Katie Harrison and two spots remaining

COLLINGWOOD
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

FREMANTLE
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

GEELONG
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

GOLD COAST
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, Maddy Roberts (both open-age), Jamie Stanton (North Melbourne), Kate Surman, Tayla Thorn (both open-age), Sam Virgo (Brisbane), Kitara Whap-Farrar (u/18), Jacqui Yorston (Brisbane).
Rookies: Three spots remaining

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
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

MELBOURNE
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

NORTH MELBOURNE
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

RICHMOND
Christina Bernardi (Greater Western Sydney), Maddy Brancatisano (Melbourne), Katie Brennan (Western Bulldogs), Hannah Burchell (Geelong), Grace Campbell (open-age), Monique Conti (Western Bulldogs), Alice Edmonds (open-age), Sabrina Frederick (Brisbane), Kodi Jacques, Akec Makur Chuot, Rebecca Miller (all open-age), Phoebe Monahan (Greater Western Sydney), Iilish Ross (Collingwood), Tayla Stahl, Courtney Wakefield (both open-age)
Rookies: Gabby Seymour and two spots remaining

ST KILDA
Alison Brown (open-age), 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), Kate Shierlaw, Olivia Vesely (both open-age), Rhiannon Watt (Carlton), Claudia Whitfort (Melbourne). 
Rookies: Three spots remaining

WEST COAST
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, Brianna Green, Courtney Guard (nee Stubbs), Dana Hooker, Alicia Janz, Parris Laurie (all Fremantle), Belinda Smith (Western Bulldogs), Emma Swanson (Greater Western Sydney).
Rookies: Grace Kelly, Niamh Kelly and one spot remaining

WESTERN BULLDOGS
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

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