PRACTICE MATCH TEAMS: Host of new faces, draftees named for first hitout

AFLW football will mark its return on Saturday and Sunday with a host of practice matches.

The 2020 season was cancelled after one week of finals at the end of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this weekend presents the first opportunity for clubs to face off since then.

A number of West Coast players will be pulling on the blue and gold for the first time, including star recruit Aisling McCarthy, top draftees Shanae Davison and Bella Lewis and defender Brianna Green, who missed 2020 with injury.

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Opponents Fremantle have opted not to field skipper Kara Antonio, ruck Mim Strom and defender Alex Williams (who hasn't played since a torn ACL in 2019).

Swan Districts ruck Sarah Wielstra has been named for the Dockers, who are otherwise at full-strength. Draftee Sarah Verrier will play, while re-drafted Tiah Haynes will make her Docker return.

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All five Geelong draftees – Darcy Moloney, Olivia Barber, Laura Gardiner, Steph Williams and Carly Remmos – will play against Melbourne.

Only Nina Morrison (ACL), Madisen Maguire (leg soreness) Maddy McMahon and Danielle Higgins (minor knocks) will miss, with new vice-captain Jordy Ivey set to play in defence.

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It'll be a field of young players, with the Demons also naming all six of their draftees. 

Star ruck Lauren Pearce missed most of 2020 with knee soreness and will be a welcome presence, while Shae Sloane and Sarah Lampard (ACL) and Maddy Gay will miss.

Gabby Colvin, Chantel Emonson and Shelley Heath will all run for the Demons against Geelong on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Irish trio Sinead Goldrick, Niamh McEvoy and Lauren Magee only left Dublin last week due to Gaelic football commitments and are currently in quarantine.

Boom recruit Elise O'Dea heads Carlton's squad to take on St Kilda, and will be joined by fellow new Blues Maddy Guerin (making her return from an ACL) and Charlotte Hammans.

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The Blues will be without some senior heads, with managed pair Tayla Harris and Katie Loynes, Gab Pound and Grace Egan (both finger injuries) sidelined.

It'll be a different St Kilda line-up taking to the field, with seven new faces, headlined by recruits Bianca Jakobsson and Jayde Van Dyk, and top draftees Tyanna Smith and Alice Burke.

Nadia von Bertouch, Tarni White (both ACL) and Kate McCarthy (knee) will make welcome returns from injury, while co-captain Rhi Watt won't play.

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Basketballing Tigers Monique Conti and Tessa Lavey will play after spending December in the WNBL hub.

They'll be joined by all the Tigers' recruits – Sarahs Hosking, D'Arcy and Dargan, and Harriet Cordner – as well as No.1 pick Ellie McKenzie.

Opponents Western Bulldogs will welcome father-daughter Issy Grant for the first time (missing 2020 with a toe injury), but won't have Gabby Newton, Kirsten McLeod or Hannah Scott (ankle).

Issy Grant, daughter of Bulldogs great Chris, will play for the first time after missing last season. Picture: AFL Photos

It'll be a near full-strength trial of the QClash, with both sides fielding healthy teams.

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Gold Coast will unveil all their draftees and recruits, including much-loved forward Sarah Perkins and former Saint Ali Drennan, and will only be without Emma Pittman and Ellie Hampson.

At the other end of the field, Brisbane has named every player bar Lily Postlethwaite, meaning athletic draftees Indy Tahau, Zimmie Farquharson, Ruby Svarc and Courtney Hodder will play for the first time.

*All matches are closed to the public

Saturday January 16

West Coast v Fremantle at Mineral Resources Park

WEST COAST
1 M Bowen 2 K Gibson 3 B Green 6 I Lewis 7 S Goranova 8 M Collier 9 A Atkins 10 E Smith 11 A McCarthy 13 E Swanson 14 B Smith 15 G Kelly 17 D Hooker 20 T Bresland 22 A Gilmore 23 D Liddle 24 H Bullas 25 P Laurie 26 L Gauci 27 J Low 28 S Davison 32 K Orme 33 A Ward 35 S McDonald 37 R Walsh

FREMANTLE
1 A Sharp 2 K Bowers 3 E O'Driscoll 4 A Stannett 5 S Verrier 6 S Duffy 7 J Stewart 8 E Gooch 12 E Antonio 13 K-J Grieve 14 M Hyde 16 M MacLachlan 17 R Roux 18 P Seth 19 H Miller  20 S Cain 22 G O'Sullivan 23 M Sergeant 26 B Webb 27 G Houghton 29 J Cuthbertson 32 L Pugh 33 T Haynes 44 S Wielstra 55 J Briggs

Geelong v Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium

GEELONG
1 R Caris 3 A McDonald 4 D Moloney 5 J Ivey 6 J Crockett-Grills 10 G Rankin 11 M McDonald 12 R Garing 14 A O'Connor 15 O Barber 16 O Purcell 17 G Clarke 18 L Gardiner 19 M Brown 20 M Skinner 21 R Webster 22 N Garner 23 P McWilliams 25 S Williams 26 M Boyd 27 S Van De Heuvel 28 D Taylor 29 C Remmos 30 R Cranston 44 R Goring 45 M Keryk 

MELBOURNE
1 T Cunningham 2 M Downie 4 K Paxman 5 T Hanks 6 D Pearce 9 E Birch 10 K Hore 11 C Emonson 12 S Scott 13 M Kendall 14 L Mithen 15 L Pearce 16 A Bannan 18 C Sherriff 19 J Parry 20 B Tarrant 21 M Caris 22 E McNamara 24 M Fitzsimon 25 I Simmons 29 E Zanker 30 S Heath 31 K Petrevski 32 G Colvin

Carlton v St Kilda at Ikon Park

CARLTON
3 D Vescio 4 M Prespakis 5 A McKay 8 V Laloifi 9 K Harrington 10 M Hill 11 J Hosking 12 L Brazzale 13 L McEvoy 14 B Walker 16 B Moody 17 C Hammans 18 M Guerin 19 G Gee 20 C Wilson 21 N Stevens 22 C Jones 23 D Walker 24 W Laing 25 J Edwards 30 A Downie 31 B Vernon 32 N Plane 33 S Gibbs 46 E O'Dea  

ST KILDA
1 M McDonald 2 A Browne 3 A Burke 4 C Whitfort 6 T Smith 8 B Jakobsson 9 K McCarthy 10 J Vogt 11 I Shannon 12 K Shierlaw 13 R Saulitis 14 H Priest 15 N Exon 16 P Kelly 17 C Greiser 18 T Lucas-Rodd 19 J Matin 21 G Patrikios 22 T Luke 25 R Dillon 27 N Xenos 28 N Von Bertouch 29 T White 34 T Meyer 35 C Phillips 36 J Van Dyk

Richmond v Western Bulldogs at Swinburne Centre

RICHMOND
1 S Molan 2 P Monahan 3 K Brennan 4 M Conti 5 M Brancatisano 6 S Bernardi 8 C Wakefield 9 H Burchell 10 K Jacques 11 A Edmonds 12 S Dargan 14 S Frederick 15 R Miller 16 L McClelland 17 S Hosking 18 S Sansonetti 19 K Dempsey 21 I Ross 22 E McKenzie 23 H Cordner 24 T Lavey 26 L Lesosky-Hay 27 S D'Arcy 28 G Seymour 29 H McLaren 34 A Makur Chuot  

WESTERN BULLDOGS
1 B Lochland 2 E Blackburn 3 I Grant 4 I Huntington 7 D Berry 8 B Toogood 9 E Brown 10 K Lynch 11 L Spark 12 G Lagioia 13 C Moody 14 E Gamble 15 S Hartwig 16 N Ferres 17 E Georgostathis 18 B Gutknecht 19 A Guest 20 I Pritchard 21 B Hunt 23 J Fitzgerald 24 K Rennie 25 N Morris-Dalton 26 D Marshall 27 K Lamb 28 A Van Osterwijck 36 A Gogos

Gold Coast v Brisbane at Metricon 2

GOLD COAST
1 P Parker 2 L Bella 3 T Groves-Little 4 J Hickey 6 M Levi 7 L Ahrens 8 S Riley 10 A Bradfield 11 L Kaslar 12 M Ritson 13 L Single 14 S Watson 15 W Randell 16 B Perry 17 J Stanton 18 J Baird 20 D D'Arcy 22 S Virgo 23 K Howarth 24 H Dunn 25 D Heslop 26 K Surman 28 S Perkins 29 C Hammond 30 B Keaney 33 A Drennan 42 J Pregelj 

BRISBANE
1 E Bates 2 J Zanchetta 3 B Koenen 5 J Ellenger 8 E Zielke 9 O O’Dwyer 10 N Grider 11 R Lugg 12 S Conway 13 K Lutkins 14 D Davidson 15 G Bodey 16 L Arnell 17 I Dawes 18 A Anderson 19 S Priest 20 S Campbell 21 C Hodder 22 Z Farquharson 23 J Wuetschner 24 T Hickie 25 C Svarc 26 I Tahau 27 J Keeffe 28 M Moloney 29 R Svarc 30 J Wardlaw 31 T Smith 32 B Pinchin