The next cab off the rank at the NAB AFL Women’s Draft was the Brisbane Lions with pick number two. With that pick they secured talented midfielder Emily Bates. Despite being only 21, Bates is an experienced leader and big-game player. She has captained Queensland at Youth Girls level and represented the Western Bulldogs in the women’s exhibition series.
(Brisbane Lions player, Emily Bates. Photo: AFL Photos)
Speaking straight after the draft, Brisbane Lions coach Craig Starcevich was pleased they were able to secure the best of Queensland’s home-grown talent and supplement that talent with players from other states.
“We needed to lock away Queensland’s best talent and looking at the ones we took in the top 10, a lot of them have played exhibition games in previous years. That includes Wuetschner and Hildebrand that we added from interstate. Our top eight to 10 have all played exhibition games at some point. But yeah, it was really important to lock away the Queensland talent and make sure we just top that up in a few areas from interstate.” Starcevich said.
And lock away Queensland’s top talent they have. Harris (marquee sigining), Zielke (priority signing), Bates, Randall and Kaslar all have truckloads of exhibition match and representative football experience.
Frederick-Traub, the Lions’ marquee signing from Western Australia is a power forward who can pinch-hit in the ruck. Through the exhibtion series, Frederick-Traub has already proven that she can work well in tandem with the Lions other key forward Tayla Harris. Melbourne University’s Kaitlyn Ashmore (priority signing) will provide crucial run and carry, especially with the 16-a-side rule change. Nicole Hildebrand had an outstanding season in defence with Melbourne University, while Jess Wuetschner (East Fremantle) will provide strength and polish up forward and through the midfield.
2016 #AFLWDraft - GWS
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2016 #AFLWDraft - Western Bulldogs
2016 #AFLWDraft - Collingwood
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2016 #AFLWDraft - Melbourne
With their Rookie selections, the Lions opted for former soccer player Kate Deegan and Brisbane Heat WBBL captain Delissa Kimmince.
While the Lions were pleased to secure Queensland’s best players, Starcevich was quick to spare a thought for those players who were not drafted.
“We’re really happy with our selections, but at the same time we’re feeling for the people that missed out. But there’ll be other opportunities as years go by and even with our train-on group in Brisbane. We’ll be needing another 10 to 15 players as a train-on group as well, so there’ll be some spots there.” Starcevich added.
KEEP AN EYE ON:
If the 18 year-old had’t already announced herself on the big stage during last month’s all-stars game, she certainly will once the AFLW season kicks off. Randall is tall, quick and super athletic and has proven that she can hold down a key position spot. Her athleticism allows her to play a variety of positions, which will be crucial in the AFLW competition. Randall also captained the Queensland Youth Girls team this year and was named an All-Australian.
Another 2016 Youth Girls All-Australian, Law is a super-quick, exciting small forward. As well as her lightening pace and exceptional goal sense, Law brings excellent tackling pressure, which is sure to cause headaches for many opposition defenders. Law also has the ability to play through the midfield.
M: Tayla Harris - Zillmere
M: Sabrina Frederick-Traub - Peel Thunderbirds WA
P: Emma Zielke - University of Queensland
P: Kaitlyn Ashmore - Melbourne University VIC
2: Emily Bates - Yeronga
15: Tahlia Randall - Wilston Grange
18: Nicole Hildebrand - Melbourne University VIC
31: Leah Kaslar - Coolangatta
34: Jessica Wuetschner - East Fremantle WA
47: Alexandra Anderson - Zillmere
50: Breanna Koenen - University of Queensland
63: Megan Hunt - University of Queensland
66: Samantha Virgo - University of Queensland
79: Kate Lutkins - Wilston Grange
82: Kate McCarthy - Yeronga
95: Shaleise Law - Zillmere
98: Selina Goodman - Coolangatta
111: Sharni Webb - University of Queensland
114: Nikki Wallace - Coolangatta
127: Jamie Stanton- Coolangatta
128: Jade Ransfield - Yeronga
141: Brittany Gibson - Burnie Dockers TAS
R: Kate Deegan
R: Delissa Kimmince
FA: Caitlin Collins - Yeronga
FA: Shannon Campbell - Wilston Grange
FA: Jordan Membrey - Coolangatta
M: Marquee Player, P: Priority Pick, R: Rookie, FA: Free Agent