THE NAB AFLW Draft.
Some supporters spend tough seasons longing for it, dreaming of how it could improve their club's list, while others are looking for that last piece of the puzzle to catapult them into flag contention.
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But what does your club need?
Please note, the draft order (pertinently, the number of selections per club) will be confirmed after rookie signings close on Wednesday, July 21.
The Crows were just a few goals away from a third flag in five years, so it's safe to say no wholesale changes need to be made. They've already added some height in the form of Jasmyn Hewett and Jasmine Simmons, and look set to add another tall in Zoe Prowse, so some shorter players will be on the cards with their remaining picks. Adelaide has had no trouble winning the ball out of the middle, but the quality of disposal inside 50 has been an issue at times.
Current draft picks: 17, 20, 34, 47, 63
What more can you add to the reigning premiers? The Lions did lose some experience and leadership in the form of Emma Zielke and Lauren Arnell, and that's not easily replaceable. Phoebe Monahan looks set to slot into Zielke's spot at half-back, meaning there's a half-forward position up for grabs. The unexpected retirement of Jessy Keeffe has left the Lions a little exposed in ruck depth.
Current draft picks: 18, 35, 50, 64
Carlton was banking on Chloe Dalton's return from rugby sevens to add another layer of quality to the midfield, but she's off to GWS. Jess Hosking is now a Tiger and Mimi Hill will miss most, if not all, of the season with an ACL. Midfielders will be key, and the Blues have quite a few top-end picks, including Nos. 10, 11, 23 and 26 in order to boost their running power. Serena Gibbs looks set to take Tayla Harris' key forward position, but it may be an area the club looks at investing in.
Current draft picks: 10, 11, 23, 26, 40, 58
The Pies have quite a well-balanced list, and were one kick away from making a Grand Final this year. They've addressed the loss of Sharni Norder by bringing in Alison Downie, and will be hoping Bella Smith will be the ruck of the future. Despite the acquisition of Sabrina Frederick, the forward stocks still look a little skinny, with Amelia Velardo playing further up the field this VFLW season.
Current draft picks: 29, 32, 33, 62
Fremantle is hoping to address its midfield issues (below Kiara Bowers and Hayley Miller) internally, rather than recruit heavily in that area in the draft. Sabreena Duffy's decision to sit out the season due to work commitments is a big blow to the forward line, particularly in conjunction with Ash Sharp's pregnancy. Mikayla Hyde should get a few more games, but it's an area that will need to be addressed, particularly if Roxy Roux plays more midfield minutes.
Current draft picks: 14, 31, 38, 46, 60
The Cats' backline has never been an issue in its three years in the competition, but the midfield and forward line needs some help. Recruit Chloe Scheer should cover the departed Liv Purcell's role, and Nina Morrison will be a virtual recruit, but some crash-and-bash type players are needed to help the younger brigade. Goalscoring has been a serious concern for the Cats over the past few years – Phoebe McWilliams will eventually pass the baton to Liv Barber, but they're still a key or two short. Support for Rene Caris in the ruck is also needed following the retirement of Aasta O'Connor.
Current draft picks: 2, 7, 9, 15, 52
While having a fully fit Jamie Stanton, Jacqui Yorston, Ellie Hampson and Sarah Perkins will be an instant boost to the Suns, quality users of the footy are needed to help support some of the more inexperienced cross-coders. Like Geelong, wooden spooners Gold Coast had some serious issues forward of centre, although inconsistent and rushed delivery made life difficult for those inside 50. Teagan Levi and (possibly) Charlie Rowbottom will add some real grunt to the centre circle, and should be able to take advantage of Lauren Bella's ruck work.
Current draft picks: 1, 6, 8, 30, 51
Having hit the trade period fairly hard, the Giants are unlikely to be big players in the draft. Jas Grierson should slot into Elle Bennett's defensive/winger role, while Katie Loynes and Chloe Dalton add midfield strength. Outside of that, Ally Morphett could be the one to fill the role of Jess Allan (inactive), while Jess Doyle looks set to boost forward stocks, given Aimee Schmidt is now at West Coast. Speed is also an attribute the Giants are keen to focus on.
Current draft picks: 37, 56 (will have at least one additional pick once order is finalised)
The Demons have been public in their aim of pushing for a flag in 2022, having added Liv Purcell and Tayla Harris to a side that made a preliminary final. Melbourne already has a two talls who are yet to debut (Maggie Caris and Isabella Simmons), but did lose some depth in that area following the retirements of Meg Downie and Tegan Cunningham. Chantel Emonson (Geelong) and Niamh McEvoy (retired) had provided good coverage on their respective flanks.
Current draft picks: 42, 44, 49, 61
The Roos are keen to restructure their forward line somewhat, having fallen short in several big games despite having one of the deepest midfields around. Talls Kate Gillespie-Jones and Georgia Hammond were delisted, and whether they go for key forwards or more mobile options remains to be seen. They've been public in their desire to bring in quality young players, especially ahead of future expansions which will spread the talent pool more thinly. Keep your eye on whether former Dogs ruck Kim Rennie makes it to the club through the draft.
Current draft picks: 13, 19, 28, 45, 59
The Tigers now have a strong first-choice midfield, but struggle for depth below the likes of Mon Conti, Ellie McKenzie and Sarah Hosking. Recruit Jess Hosking will assist somewhat, but more help is needed. Key forward Courtney Wakefield had an outstanding 2021, but the 34-year-old mum from Mildura is coming into her last season or two.
Current draft picks: 5, 16, 55, 57
The Saints were hit hard by injury last season, and will be boosted by fully fit Liv Vesely (calf), Nicola Xenos (ACL), Kate McCarthy (leg), Nat Exon (shoulder) and Molly McDonald (quad). Quick midfielders should be at the top of St Kilda's list to help support Georgia Patrikios, Tyanna Smith and Rosie Dillon, while the Saints also struggled in front of goal if Caitlin Grieser wasn't firing.
Current draft picks: 4, 12, 36, 39, 48, 54
Dana Hooker (foot) will instantly improve West Coast's midfield, while recruits Evie Gooch and Aimee Schmidt will add leadership and experience at either end of the ground. The Eagles have three of the top four Western Australia picks and should just target the best talent available as the young team continues to build into its third season. Good ball users are a must, having sat last for kicks and marks this year, as well as contested possessions.
Current draft picks: 3, 21, 24, 41, 53
The Dogs usually play with two rucks, and will be keen to find a new partner for Celine Moody after Kim Rennie's departure. They're eager to continue their steady rise up the ladder, but the midfield struggled as the season progressed. Whether that will be addressed through time as players mature, or whether it can be boosted now, remains to be seen. An additional forward may also help matters, with scoring often left on the shoulders of Izzy Huntington, Bonnie Toogood and small Kirsten McLeod.
Current draft picks: 22, 25, 27, 43