Fans Players

AFLW: Who to watch for in 2019

With the industry about to immerse themselves in the third AFLW season and welcome two new teams to the competition, spoke to a member of each club to identify a senior player who could take the next step in 2019, and which of the new breed they’re most excited to play alongside.

Adelaide — Chelsea Randall says…

A young player who’s been with us since the inaugural season in Anne Hatchard has come back in outstanding form for the pre-season and is really driving her standards on and off the field and will be one to watch. She was a great contested player and ball-winner for us and now I think she’s become a bit more of a utility for us — anywhere and everywhere — so definitely watch out for her.

It’s really exciting for us because we’ve got 10 new players into our Adelaide Crows side which has added an element of excitement and really pushing each other for positions on field. One person to really look out for and who is exciting is Ailish Considine who is our Irish recruit. She’s packed up her bags and left her family back in Ireland to come and play some AFLW footy. She’s really good on both left and right foot and will be really handy. Obviously, it’s a different shaped ball, but with what we’ve seen from Cora Staunton at GWS, it’s a very similar game in terms of how quick it is so I think she will really move well for us and be a handy player.

Brisbane — Leah KaslAr says…

There’s two players that I can think of that are really going to step up this year, one being Nat Exon. She was really strong for us last year but watching her through this pre-season she is full of excitement and energy and I think she is going to bring something special. The second is Emma Pittman. She’s got an incredible work rate, she finds the ball well and I think that she is really going to take the next step this year.


Paige Parker was our first pick last year in the draft and in the previous years of AFLW has actually been a train-on player with the squad. It’s really great to see her get the opportunity and in our match practice so far she’s really put a lot in and shown a lot of energy and a lot of run so I think she is going to bring something new to our group this year.

Carlton — Katie loynes says…

I’m excited to see what Alison Downie can produce for us this season. She’s a very versatile player that has a big tank for a ruck. The new rules introduced this season will suit her game style perfectly.

For our new recruit, I can’t go past Madison Prespakis. What she has already brought to the group this pre-season is amazing. She’s an elite athlete with outstanding skills and knowledge of the game. I see her being a future leader of this club.

Collingwood — steph chiocci says… 

There’s been a couple of girls that are ready to take the next step. I think also a couple of the younger girls who have now had a full pre-season under their belt and know what to expect have really thrived. Someone like Holly Whitford, who played three games last year, I would expect to play most, if not all, games this season. She’s really impressed on the track. Sarah Dargan is another one who had a really good VFLW patch last year before getting injured but has been really impressive around the ball. I think with a bit of confidence she will be really impressive for us.


I think Jordyn Allen, our first pick in last year’s draft, has been really impressive. Obviously, we lost Chloe Molloy down back and Jordy was recruited as a backline player. She’s super impressive, has a really good tank and reads the game really well so she will replace Chloe down there. Mikayla Cann as well, who played VFLW for Hawthorn last year and obviously a premiership player. She’s a really hard-hitting, hard-nosed 18-year-old and we actually call her the bull. I think she will be really impressive as well.

Fremantle — kara donnellan says…

I think a senior player that will take her game to the next level this year is Kellie Gibson. A fit and healthy Gibbo is hard to stop. I’m really looking forward to her presence all over the ground this year.

I’m also forward to playing alongside Philipa Seth this year. She was pick 28 in last year’s draft and brings a lot of speed and energy. I can’t wait to see her in action this year.

Geelong Cats — MelISSA hickey says… 

I think Meg McDonald, who played with the Western Bulldogs in season 1 before unfortunately being delisted. She went away and worked hard and had a really good season with Darebin Falcons in the VFLW last year and is looking fit. I think she’s going to be one to watch.

I’m going to say a lot of names with all our new draftees and recruits who haven’t played AFLW before. All our 18-year-old players are just phenomenal. Their skill and their attitude is amazing. We’ve got Nina Morrison, our No. 1 draft pick, and Sophie Van De HeuvelOlivia PurcellDenby Taylor and Becky Webster are all girls who could play Round 1. They’re not going to look out of place at all in our team so I’m really excited to see what they can do.

GWS Giants — amanda farrugia says… 

I think some of the girls that maybe didn’t have the season that they wanted to last year have realised the opportunity and done a mountain of work in the off-season to make sure they are a bit more prevalent this season. Some of our smaller girls who did the grunt work in the midfield, like Jodie Hicks and Haneen Zreika, have really stood out in the pre-season so far. I look forward to them having a really good season and setting their position quite well for this year.


As is the tradition from our coach, he likes to look in lots of different places to recruit from and so we have our second Irish recruit this year, Yvonne Bonner. She’s been electric in the forward line so I think she will have a wonderful year in 2019. Our young draftee Alyce Parker has been outstanding in the midfield so far as well. I’m looking forward to them connecting from midfield to forward line and having a wonderful season.

Melbourne — elise o’dea says… 

I think Kate Hore, who is a forward player for our team. It was her first year last year, and even though she had a great year, she’s gone away over the winter and played VFLW and got her body and herself into such great shape. She was already in great shape but she has been able to take herself to the next level.


We’ve got a couple of new players in the likes of Shae SloaneChantel EmonsonCasey SherriffAshleigh Woodland. There’s a few names in there that even though it might be their first year playing AFLW they fit right in with the group and have had great pre-seasons and am really looking forward to them pulling on the Melbourne jumper.

I really love the way Shae Sloane has gone about it though. Coming across from volleyball she had so much to learn about football but she has also taught us so much about leadership at the Australian level. She’s a really great chick and such a tough competitor so I’m hoping she has a ripper season.

North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos — emma kearney says… 

I think Emma King will be really dominant for us. I’m hoping so anyway as a midfielder and having her as our ruck I think she’ll step up a bit.


I think Sophie Abbatangelo or Ash Riddell who played VFLW at Melbourne Uni with me have both had really good pre-seasons so hopefully they’re ready to step up.


Western Bulldogs — ellie blackburn says… 

I’m really looking forward to Katie Brennan being out on the field this season. She’s come back pre-season training in great form and it’ll be exciting to see what she will produce.


Of the new Bulldogs, I’m excited about Aisling McCarthy. She’s got that Irish flair about her and it brings a different element to our game having her a part of our team.

Q&A — Aisling McCarthy