AFLW Draft Combine preview: Gaelic trio makes it 48 participants

GAELIC footballers Olivia Divilly, Vikki Wall and Saoirse Noonan have been invited to this week's NAB AFLW Combine, pushing the number of participants to 48.

Divilly is a running forward from Galway and Wall (Meath) has been compared to Richmond forward Sabrina Frederick due to her strength and size in front of goal.

Noonan is a multi-sport athlete, having played soccer, but is also a forward in Gaelic football, playing for Cork. 

What's the Combine?

The Combine involves a series of physical tests, medical tests and interviews to assist clubs in making informed decisions when it comes to the NAB AFLW Draft. Media interviews are also held during this time. 

When is it?

The AFLW Combine will run on 1st and 2nd October, with the draft occurring on 22nd October. 

Who's participating?

A total of 48 top-flight players, the vast majority of whom have reached the minimum draft age of 18 this year, have been invited. AFLW clubs submitted a short list of players they were interested in, and the final group of invitees was selected from that. See the full list of players below. 

Who attends?

All clubs have slightly different off-field set-ups, but officials who will attend could include the senior coach, the list manager, a recruiter and the head of women's football or equivalent. 

Where is it being held?

The short answer is Melbourne. Previously, the Combine has run at Marvel Stadium, but with facilities unavailable due to the upcoming UFC event, the action has been shifted to the MCG, Margaret Court Arena and Collingwood's Holden Centre (for the 2km time trial). 

What sort of physical tests are we talking about?

The tests are designed to mirror athletic traits which are useful in football. High-speed endurance is tested through the 2km time trial, rucks shine during the vertical jumps, the smaller players enjoy the agility challenge while not many are fans of the yo-yo. The latter is a more appropriate assessment than the beep test of a player's ability to produce repeat efforts, involving a short walk in between shuttle runs. The time allowed for each run decreases as the levels progress.

Geelong's Nina Morrison at last year's NAB AFLW Draft Combine
AFLW Combine records

2km time trial
Nina Morrison (now at Geelong) 7min 14sec, 2018

Standing vertical jump
Jess Allan (GWS) 61cm, 2017 

Running vertical jump (right side)
Jess Allan (GWS) 76cm, 2017 

Running vertical jump (left side)
Jess Allan (GWS) 72cm, 2017 

20m sprint
Emerson Woods (Carlton) 3.129 seconds, 2018 

Yo-yo test
Nina Morrison (Geelong) level 18.1, 2018 

Agility test
Ruby Blair (formerly Brisbane) 8.495 seconds

2019 AFLW NAB Draft Combine Nominees

(All players born 2001 unless stated)

IRELAND (Three players)
Olivia Divilly (Galway, 23 years old)
Vikki Wall (Meath, 21)
Saoirse Noonan (Cork, 20)

NSW/ACT (Three players)
Georgia Garnett (East Coast Eagles, pictured at top of article)
Eloise Hiller-Stanbrook (Dubbo)
Brenna Tarrant (East Coast Eagles) 

QUEENSLAND (Nine players)
Georgia Brehmer (Bond University, 19)
Georgia Breward (Coolangatta, 19)
Isabel Dawes (Maroochydore)
Dion Heslop (Yeronga South Brisbane)
Tahlia Hickie (Coorparoo, 19)
Hannah Hillman (Coorparoo, 24)
Lily Postlethwaite (Maroochydore)
Serene Watson (Bond University)
Tarni White (Cooparoo

SOUTH AUSTRALIA (Four players)
Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide)
Hannah Munyard (South Adelaide)
Madison Newman (West Adelaide)
Jaimi Tabb (Woodville-West Torrens) 

TASMANIA (One player)
Mia King (Launceston)

VIC COUNTRY (10 players)
Teagan Brett (Murray Bushrangers)
Millie Brown (Murray Bushrangers)
Luka Lesosky-Hay (Geelong Falcons)
Lucy McEvoy (Geelong Falcons)
Sophie Molan (GWV Rebels)
Shanara Notman (Gippsland Power)
Paige Sheppard (Geelong Falcons)
Brooke Vernon (Dandenong Stingrays)
Nikia Webber (Gippsland Power)
Ella Wood (GWV Rebels)

VIC METRO (15 players)
Alana Barba (Calder Cannons)
Molly Denahy-Maloney (Sandringham Dragons)
Elisabeth Georgostathis (Western Jets)
Isabella Grant (Western Jets)
Britney Gutknecht (Northern Knights)
Gemma Lagioia (Oakleigh Chargers)
Laura McClelland (Eastern Ranges)
Nell Morris-Dalton (Northern Knights)
Gabrielle Newton (Northern Knights)
Georgia Patrikios (Calder Cannons)
Marguerite Purcell (Sandringham Dragons)
Sarah Sansonetti (Northern Knights)
Cleo Saxon-Jones (Western Jets)
Felicity Theodore (Calder Cannons)
Nicola Xenos (Oakleigh Chargers)

Emma O'Driscoll (Swan Districts, 19)
Roxanne Roux (East Fremantle)
Mim Strom (South Fremantle)