WEST Coast and Carlton have made last-minute substitutions to their AFLW lists ahead of round one this weekend.
The Eagles have brought in North Adelaide's Katelyn Pope as replacement for rookie Mhicca Carter, who has a navicular foot injury.
Pope, 24, is a speedy winger who has played with Eagle draftees Lauren Gauci and Amber Ward at SANFL level, and is a former bowler with WBBL side Adelaide Strikers.
She only arrived in Perth on Tuesday, with the Eagles scheduled to play on Saturday.
"I’m itching to get over there," Pope told westcoasteagles.com.au before leaving Adelaide on Monday.
"I’ve got my last shift at work at the SACA – I work with the junior girls in the under-19s - tonight so I’m expecting a few tears from me and them, but other than that it’s just been an absolute whirlwind."
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Carlton has finally named a replacement for Olympics-bound Chloe Dalton, with the club holding out until the last minute with the outside hope Dalton's rugby commitments would be cancelled due to COVID-19.
Paige Trudgeon has shot through the ranks to take her place on Carlton's list; the 20-year-old former basketballer has just one season of footy under her belt at local club Montmorency in Melbourne's outer north-east.
At 180cm, the utility will be handy cover at both ends of the ground.
"Paige’s determination and resilience has got her on our list, as well as her talent. She’s dedicated to getting better and we saw that first-hand when she was able to really impress us as a train-on player for our VFLW and then our AFLW program," coach Daniel Harford said.
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"We’re really pleased with the young talent we’ve been able to bring in over the off-season and Paige only adds to that group."
As AFLW lists number only 30 players, clubs are able to replace players who are unavailable for the season until the end of January.
Pinchin has battled knee injuries in recent years, limiting her bid for selection in AFLW drafts, but will now get her chance after she was invited to this year's NAB AFLW Draft Combine.
The 24-year-old co-captained Gold Coast during the 2018 Winter Series held between the Suns and the Lions.
"She's a good intercept mark, uses the ball well by foot and can read the game really well," coach Craig Starcevich said.
MacLachlan, 18, gets her chance at the top level after a strong WAFLW season playing under former Fremantle player and current assistant coach Amy Lavell.
Previously a defender, MacLachlan moved forward in 2020 to great effect, booting both the Lions' goals in the team's WAFLW Grand Final loss.
"We’re really excited to get Maggie. She's always had the ability to intercept mark and has really good foot skills," Fremantle coach Trent Cooper said.
"She's a mid-sized player who will give us options at either end of the ground and has really improved her endurance quite remarkably this year. Her fitness is good enough to play AFLW in round one if needed."
Mikayla Hyde replacing Leah Mascall (ACL)
Clever small forward Hyde gets her opportunity at the top level after being a mainstay of Western Australia's under-18 program, first earning selection at 15.
She impressed during the Dockers' practice match against West Coast, sealing her elevation to the top level.
Hyde - who was overlooked in October's NAB AFLW Draft, the first time she was eligible - will take Leah Mascall's spot in the Dockers' squad of 30, after the defender ruptured her ACL at training.
"She’s developed an engine now, she’s a really good runner and can play up on the wing as well. In the scratch match, she played a bit of wing and forward and she can fill both spots for us," Dockers coach Trent Cooper said.
"She was actually in our best eight players. She was right up there in her possession count and used the ball really well.
"It was great to see her step up to that level and be able to show that she’s improved in a couple of areas that she’s been working on over the past couple of seasons."
Georgia Bevan replacing Jacqui Yorston (ACL)
Premiership Crow Bevan gets her first shot at AFLW level since her delisting at the conclusion of the 2018 season, having played 13 games for Adelaide.
Most recently, the 27-year-old strong midfielder co-captained SANFLW side Sturt, and has also plied her trade at VFLW side Hawthorn.
"When we knew we had the option to add a player due to Jacqui’s long-term injury, we set out to find the type of player we wanted, but someone who also fit within the values of the club," Suns head of women's footy Fiona McLarty said.
"Georgia has had to fight hard for a second chance in the AFLW, but we know she is the type of person who can really add to our group across all aspects of the program."
Greater Western Sydney
Todd, 34, has played for Dandenong, Adelaide and Sydney in the WNBL, and also represented Australia at under-21 level.
A defender, she has most recently played football for Inner West Magpies in the AFL Sydney competition, named in her side's best on eight of 12 occasions.
"In the early years of the AFLW, Al (McConnell) gave me a call and I was eight months pregnant with my first child and I was like, 'No, I've retired from basketball, I'm not playing any more professional sport'," Todd said.
"And then, just after my second baby, I called him up and I was like, 'Maybe I want to play', and he said, 'All right, come down to winter series'."
Katelyn Cox replacing Elisha King (hamstring)
A versatile attacking player who stands at 160cm, the 22-year-old Cox has been elevated from the club's VFLW program and has also previously played for Carlton's VFLW team.
The unlucky King will miss the 2021 season after tearing a hamstring, having previously battled knee injuries including a reconstruction in her junior years.
"Katelyn has been an integral member of our VFLW program, as well as our AFLW train-on program, over the past two years," North list and football performance manager Rhys Harwood said.
"She is a mid-forward with great footy IQ, a high work-rate with and without the ball, and is a really sharp user by foot. We think she will really bolster our forward and midfield depth, and will slot into our program seamlessly.
"'Coxy' has put in a power of work during her time at the club, and is very familiar with our program, players and staff. She couldn't be more deserving of an opportunity to join an AFLW list."
McLaren, the daughter of respected former AFL umpire Scott, has been overlooked in three drafts after a strong junior career as Oakleigh Chargers captain.
She was an elevated train-on player with the Tigers in 2020 but was ultimately not needed to play, and has also represented the club at VFLW level.
The 20-year-old McLaren is a tall defender who is steady overhead and strong in one-on-one contests.
Forward Matin replaces key defender Clara Fitzpatrick in the squad of 30 after the Irishwoman was unable to secure permanent residency in time for the season.
The 18-year-old – who can also push into the midfield – has represented Victoria in cricket as a junior, and will join former Stingray teammates Tyanna Smith, Molly McDonald and Isabella Shannon at the Saints.
While Matin has plenty of footy experience at local level, playing for Beaconsfield, she has played only three NAB League matches due to her cricket commitments.
"She's a natural footballer, is skilful on both sides of the body and quite crafty around goal. We believe she'll slot into our list quite nicely," Saints head of women's footy Jamie Cox said.
Liddle, 21, is a former state-level basketballer who played in Western Australia's NAB AFLW All-Stars match, held before October's NAB AFLW Draft.
Originally from Busselton Football Club, West Coast has described Liddle as "a natural athlete who is not afraid to put her head over the ball" and can play tall or small.
"It is terrific that we are able to provide a wonderful opportunity to Demi, who has shown real promise throughout the 2020 WAFLW season," the now-former West Coast head of women's footy Adam Selwood said.
Annabel Strahan replacing Katy Herron (family reasons)
The 18-year-old Strahan is a recent convert to footy, having played basketball up until two years ago, upon which she joined NAB League side Bendigo Pioneers.
The 172cm Strahan can play in defence – as Herron did in 2020 – and can also push further up the ground into the midfield.
"Her athleticism and turn of pace are key attributes to her game. Annabel’s composure with the ball is a rare talent, and we believe we are only just scratching the surface with how far she can take her football," Western Bulldogs list manager Mick Sandry said.