The replacements: Who's earned a spot on your club's list?

KATELYN Cox is the latest player added to the AFLW ranks, joining North Melbourne as a replacement player for Elisha King.

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.

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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.

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"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."

As AFLW lists number only 30 players, clubs are able to replace players who are unavailable for the season until the end of January.

REPLACEMENT PLAYERS

Brisbane

Beth Pinchin replacing Sharni Webb (pregnancy)

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.

Beth Pinchin has overcome several injuries to land at the Lions. Picture: lions.com.au

Fremantle

Maggie MacLachlan replacing Jess Trend (unavailable)

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." 

Maggie MacLachlan during a Dockers training session. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Greater Western Sydney

Erin Todd replacing Yvonne Bonner (unavailable/visa issues)

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'." 

Erin Todd has joined the Giants for 2021. Picture: gwsgiants.com.au

Richmond

Hannah McLaren replacing Holly Whitford (foot)

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.

Hannah McLaren has been elevated onto the Tigers' list for 2021. Picture: richmondfc.com.au

St Kilda

Jess Matin replacing Clara Fitzpatrick (visa issues)

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. 

Dual-sporting talent Jessica Matin at RSEA Park. Picture: saints.com.au

West Coast

Demi Liddle replacing Ashton Hill (knee)

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.

Demi Liddle at Eagles training. Picture: AFL Photos

Western Bulldogs

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.

Annabel Strahan in action for Bendigo Pioneers at the U18 Championships in 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

Other players ruled out for the season who are yet to be replaced:

Chloe Dalton (Carlton, rugby commitments)
Leah Mascall (Fremantle, ACL)
Jacqui Yorston (Gold Coast, ACL)