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2014 AFL Women’s Draft selections

Leesa Catto and Matt Burgan  May 19, 2014 11:19 PM

2014 AFL Women’s Draft selections

No.1 – WB – Tiah Haynes (Coastal Titans, WA)

No.2 – Melb – Meg Hutchins (Eastern Devils, Vic)

No.3 – WB – Darcy Vescio (Darebin, Vic)

No.4 – WB – Melissa Caulfield (East Fremantle, WA)

No.5 – Melb – Kellie-Marie Gibson (Swan Districts, WA)

No.6 – WB – Rheanne Lugg (Swan Districts, WA)

No.7 – Melb – Emma Zielke (Coorparoo, Qld)

No.8 – WB – Dana Hooker (Coastal Titans, WA)

No.9 – Melb – Kaitlyn Ashmore (Melbourne Uni, Vic)

No.10 – WB – Moanna Hope (East Burwood, Vic)

No.11 – Melb – Lauren Stammers (Coastal Titans, WA)

No.12 – WB – Brooke Whyte (Melbourne Uni, Vic)

No.13 – Melb – Phoebe McWilliams (St Kilda, Vic)

No.14 – WB – Emily Bates (Yeronga, Qld)

No.15 – Melb – Renee Forth (Coastal Titans, WA)

No.16 – WB – Stephanie Walding (East Fremantle, WA)

No.17 – Melbourne – Tayla Harris (Zillmere, Qld)

No.18 – Western Bulldogs – Stephanie Simpson (Darebin, Vic)

No.19 – Melbourne – Hayley Miller (Coastal Titans, WA)

No.20 – Western Bulldogs – Lauren Morecroft (Diamond Creek, Vic)

No.21 – Melbourne – Dianna Haines (Diamond Creek, Vic)

No.22 – Melbourne – Nicolette “Sissy” Dunne (Pioneer Girls, NT)

No.23 – Western Bulldogs – Madeline Keryk (Vic) – emergency

No.24 – Melbourne – Courtney Cramey (Morphetville Park, SA) – emergency

The 2014 AFL Women’s Draft: profiles 

No.1 – Western Bulldogs - Tiah Haynes (Coastal Titans, WA)

Haynes is always one to add excitement to a game. She lurks around contests inside 50, often reading the ball off hands to slot through accurate snaps for goal. Haynes was a member of WA’s 2009 Schoolgirls team before moving into the role of Captain for the State Youth Girls teams in 2010-11. In 2010, she was named Player of the Finals and Rookie of the Year for the WAWFL. In 2012, she was one of the youngest members of the AFL Academy. In 2011 and 2013 Haynes stepped up to be a member of the Senior Women’s State side. Her tenacity and uncanny goal scoring made her a good contributor for the team that lost to Victoria in both champs. Haynes also displays excellent leadership skills having been in the role for her former club, East Fremantle. Now a Coastal Titan, Haynes will be hoping to continue to improve her football skills.

No.2 – Melbourne – Meg Hutchins (Eastern Devils, Vic)

The 31 year old Hutchins has a lot of experience in the women’s football scene playing 140 games mostly at the Eastern Devils Women’s Football Club as a centre half back position. Hutchins also has numerous football achievements including vice-captain of the Eastern Devils, the Eastern Devils’ Team of the Decade, Devils’ leading goal kicker 5 times, 2003 VWFL Best First Year Player and the Helen Lambert Medalist for the best player in the VWFL. Her brother was the main reason for Meg’s passion for the game, as he was significantly involved in football and she always loved tagging along wherever he went, giving her chances to kick around with him and gain more interest for footy. Hutchins did not nominate for the Draft in 2013 but rued that decision after her Nationals campaign for Victoria, which resulted in her earning All-Australian selection. In order to make the Draft, ‘Hutchy’ as she is fondly known, has got herself as fit as she has ever been, to the point where she led many of the Vic Draftees test results. A determined defender who can be switched into the ruck, Hutchins will give the team her best effort.

No.3 – Western Bulldogs – Darcy Vescio (Darebin, Vic)

Vescio has only played 20 VWFL games, but has made an enormous impact in that time. She first started at Whorouly Auskick centre in country Wangaratta alongside her brother before moving into school footy. A forward with clean hands and good pace, Vescio was always encouraged by her Dad to play better and reach her potential. Her AFL highlights to date are beating St Albans in the semis of the VWFL last year and representing Victoria at the Women’s Nationals.

No.4 – Western Bulldogs – Melissa Caulfield (East Fremantle, WA)

On a day when being selected as the No.15 draft pick for Melbourne would have sent any player off in an excited spin Melissa Caulfield was left in tears. It was the day that injuring her ACL was confirmed so instead Mel was devastated. In 2009 Caulfield won the WAWFL Rookie Award in her first year of AFL and she followed this up with the League’s Fairest and Best in 2010 and 2011. Playing for East Fremantle, Caulfield helped the Sharks to their first premiership. In 2011, Caulfield was selected in the All-Australian team following a hardworking performance at the Adelaide Women’s Nationals. In 2012, Caulfield was the joint Fairest and Best for the WAWFL alongside Lauren Stammers. A small forward who has worked hard on her fitness to resurrect her football, Caulfield is showing good early form in season 2014, reminiscent of her 2012 highs.

No.5 – Melbourne – Kellie-Marie Gibson (Swan Districts, WA)

A hardworking forward, Gibson was delighted to be a key member of the victorious WA Youth Girls team in the recent Championships. She was named All-Australian twice at Youth Girls and won the Grand Final Fairest and Best in 2013. Whilst she plays the ball hard, the extra bit of competitive attitude she displays intimidates opposition players. Clean overhead, the hard running Gibson was delisted by the Western Bulldogs in 2013. Ferocious tackling is also a key feature of Gibson’s game and has helped her maintain a spot in the Australian U23 Rugby 7s team to tour China and attempt to gain a berth at the 2016 Olympics in this Exhibition Sport in Rio.

No.6 – Western Bulldogs Rheanne Lugg (Swan Districts, WA)

Lugg is one of the most dedicated and hardworking footballers. In her fifth AFL season, Lugg has participated in more than 70 games. She represented WA at the Youth Girls in 2011 when it was runner-up to Victoria then continued to progress her skills to be a member of the Women’s State team that lost to Victoria in 2013. An onballer, Lugg pushes hard into her forward 50 at every opportunity. She likes to be first to the ball, but if not, provides pressure on the player who is. A player who reads the play well, she was instrumental in helping her beloved Swan Districts win their first premiership in 2013.

No.7 – Melbourne - Emma Zielke (Coorparoo, Qld)

Zielke is no stranger to a challenge. A highly decorated Queensland state player and All Australian she also works in the football industry as a development officer. Her All Australian selection meant she was also a member of the first AFL Academy for females, who played on the MCG in 2010 in front of around 10,000 people. Zielke leads from the front both on and off the field. When her junior club did not have anywhere for the older girls to play, she started a women’s league team. Playing under the famous navy blue of Carlton, Coorparoo entered the SEQAFL for the first time in 2013 under the leadership of Zielke. That year she was named in the League’s Team of The Year. In her fifth year, Zielke is enjoying very good form. She can be found at the bottom of packs or bustling to get the ball to her team mates. A feisty onballer Zielke provides plenty of drive to her team.

No.8 – Western Bulldogs – Dana Hooker (Coastal Titans, WA)

Dana was a schoolgirl star and was disappointed that there was no Youth Girls competition for her to play in. She was patient and when old enough to play women’s league, grasped her opportunities with both hands. A member of the Coastal Titans, Hooker has played in their WAWFL premierships of 2010 and 2012 as well as representing her State in 2011 and 2013. Dana had to play in the ruck when WA lost their first choice ruck to injury prior to the carnival, and accepted the task willingly. She is more suited to being a tall, high leaping forward providing much needed overhead strength. Not one to shirk a contest, Hooker found herself selected for the All Australian team concluding the 2013 Championships after the outstanding form she displayed.

No.9 – Melbourne – Kaitlyn Ashmore (Melbourne Uni, Vic)

The 23 year old Ashmore is a tall athletic defender who could tear any opponent apart – literally. She is also a State level black belt in Karate as well as being a National title holder at javelin. In fact, her javelin achievements read as long as her AFL ones! A Ballarat footballer initially, Ashmore rates her 2012 Vic Country Youth Girls experience as one of her most amazing. In this year, she also won the Pierre de Coubertin Award from the Victorian Olympic Council for the most outstanding athlete. Ashmore will love to run out for Melbourne again being a delisted player from 2013.

No.10 – Western Bulldogs – Moanna Hope (East Burwood, Vic)

Hope was a member of the Victorian Youth Girls team (2004); captain of the Under 19 Victorian team, Women’s National AFL Championships (2005-06) and Player of the Championship (2005). A full-forward with an accurate kick, the 25 year old has been the VWFL’s leading goal scorer in multiple seasons. Hope was one of the few AFL players to contest the only Women’s International Rules games in Ireland in 2007. A fine athlete Hope has also represented Vic at cricket on numerous occasions.

No.11 – Melbourne – Lauren Stammers (Coastal Titans, WA)

The 28 year old Stammers is one of the most experienced players in the Draft, having played more than 100 games with Coastal Titans, including premierships as well as being a State player over several campaigns (remembering that Women’s Nationals are every two years.) This included being named All Australian in 2009 on home soil. Stammers is a lively half forward who loves to do the grunt work for her team. Lauren also has been a regular member of the Western Fury cricket team for WA and at times has had to put her AFL plans on hold due to cricket commitments. This included playing cricket in the UK for a season. After being a joint WAWFL winner of the League’s Fairest and Best Award in 2012, Stammers was unable to play more than handful of games in 2013 due to a knee injury. She was sorely missed from WA’s team that played in the Grand Final of the Women’s Nationals in Cairns last year. However during this time she embarked on learning more about coaching and stepped up to coach the Titans reserves team and be a skill development coach of the WA Talent Academy.

No.12 – Western Bulldogs – Brooke Whyte (Melbourne Uni, Vic)

A delisted Melbourne player from 2013, Whyte moved from Perth to Melbourne and despite being in a larger and more challenging League, has acclimatised superbly to Victorian conditions. The 23-year-old Whyte plays half back and is a gun hard runner. Whyte finds space, creates play and is a very good overhead mark. She was a successful and athletic player for Coastal Titans in Perth helping them to a couple of premierships, as well as playing State footy for WA 2011 and 13.

No.13 – Melbourne – Phoebe McWilliams (St Kilda, Vic)

Centre half forward McWilliams is another experienced Victorian footballer who has a stellar career under her belt. At 28 she has been an All Australian in 2009, represented Victoria three times at the national championships, won numerous Fairest and Best awards for St Kilda and been a member of the first AFL High Performance Academy. Phoebe has also assisted with media off the field when required. Don’t let her warm and amiable personality lull you in to thinking she’s a push over. A ferocious competitor with a great long bomb and good hands, McWilliams still provides a great target up forward. It was a dream come true for her to be drafted by Melbourne, having been a Dees fan from a young age – ask her about her bedroom growing up!

No.14 – Western Bulldogs – Emily Bates (Yeronga, Qld)

A delisted Bulldogs player, Bates has performed at a high level for several years. She was a regular member the original Queensland Youth Girls teams playing in four Nationals and gaining All Australian at two of these before stepping up to play Women’s Championships. Bates has also been a member of the AFL’s Academy so has a real taste for a challenge. A hard running centre or half forward Bates is a reliable mark and displays clean hands. With a big heart she displays excellent endurance and is a very team oriented player who will always give her best.

No.15 – Melbourne – Renee Forth (Coastal Titans, WA)

A high flying marker of the ball, Forth is still a relative newcomer to the sport. A country WA girl, Forth really only had a chance to play AFL when venturing to the City after leaving school. A four season veteran, Forth’s Coastal Titans team has played in three of the four grand finals during that time. Forth’s form in 2013 was good enough to get her a place in the WA State team where she performed admirably to achieve All-Australian and draft choice No.31 for the Demons. No doubt she will take some ‘species’.

No.16 – Western Bulldogs – Stephanie Walding (East Fremantle, WA)

Walding commenced her love of AFL in Victoria pulling on the boots for the first time as an 18 year old in the VWFL. Six years later she moved to WA for a change of lifestyle and immediately joined East Fremantle where she remains today as both a player and key volunteer. A versatile player, Walding adapts to any position she is placed in. In defence she plays shoulder to shoulder with her opponent, whilst on the wing she can find space and drive her team in to attack, being particularly accurate by foot. In the forward 50 she reads the play well and works hard to get ahead of her opponent to create opportunities. She is a two-time All Australian and original AFL Academy member.

No.17 – Melbourne – Tayla Harris (Zillmere, Qld)

Still only 17 years of age, Harris has achieved a great deal. As a member of the AFL Academy in 2012, she managed to beat her female role model, Aasta O’Connor in the ruck in a performance that gave a glimpse of what she is capable of. Harris has represented Queensland Youth Girls in all five Championships thus far and has been named in the All Australian team three times. A member of the inaugural tour of New Zealand in 2013, Harris conducted herself as a young leader and coach to the NZ Kahus. Harris is athletic holding the record for the running vertical jump at youth girls’ level. Her ability to tap accurately to her onballers and contested overhead marking are outstanding features that set her apart from her peers. In the recent Youth Girls, coach Craig Starcevich used her in the ruck, at centre half forward and as a sweeper in defence – all to great effect.

No.18 – Western Bulldogs – Stephanie Simpson (Darebin, Vic)

No.19 – Melbourne – Hayley Miller (Coastal Titans, WA)

Miller was drafted at the younger end of the allowable age group for the Exhibition Game. Recently Miller burst into contention with a stunning performance at the Youth Girl Nationals winning the Best on Ground in the Grand Final that was won by WA for the first time. She also gained All Australian selection and was the joint winner of the Championship Fairest and Best. Her style of play can best be described as similar to Collingwood’s Heritier Lumumba  – she dashes off the half back line to crash through packs and drive her team forward.

No.20 – Western Bulldogs – Lauren Morecroft (Diamond Creek, Vic)

No.21 – Melbourne – Dianna Haines (Diamond Creek, Vic)

With 70-plus games behind her, Haines is relatively young to women’s football starting the VWFL in 2010. A 2012 premiership Captain in the VWFL, Haines was one of her team’s best players in this game in an upset win against Darebin Falcons. Her defensive pressure was relentless and she often provided much needed calm in her team’s backline constantly repelling Darebin attacks. Haines wore the Big V in the 2009 and 2011 Championships when Victoria dominated the Carnival. She will provide a focused and committed defensive pressure to any backline.

No.22 – Melbourne – Nicolette ‘Sissy’ Dunne (Pioneer Girls, NT)

Dunne’s midfield skills were in the highlight when she was selected to play for Arafura in Division two of the 2013 Women’s Nationals. Hailing from Alice Springs, it’s a testament to Dunne’s natural athleticism that she was able to make such a wonderful contribution in a team that came together the day before the Champs commenced. Lightning pace, a great reader of the play, and clean and confident, Dunne’s hands set her apart from other midfielders. She was one of the best players in the NT’s All Stars game that was initiated to showcase the best NT had to offer for the Women’s Draft.

No.23 – Western Bulldogs – Madeline Keryk (Vic) – emergency

Keryk has impressed with her on and off field demeanour. Having played from Auskick through to Women’s League, Keryk is a midfielder who reads the play well and attacks the ball hard. In her own words she “loves smashing the opposition up for her team mates!” Yet off field Keryk is a gentle and respectful person who is an Ambassador for AFL Vic. Keryk represented Vic Youth Girls in 2011-12 when she was joint captain. Her excellent play earned her All Australian Youth Girls selection in 2010 and 2012 as well as membership in the AFL Academy 2012.

No.24 – Melbourne – Courtney Cramey (Morphett Ville, SA) – emergency

Cramey has represented SA as a fine player and coach over her career. A delisted Bulldog from 2013, Cramey is a hard working defender. She has the ability to step around opponents coolly whilst driving her own team forward. With a whopping kick, Cramey regularly kicks the ball 40-50 metres on the run if required. A player who thrives on hard work, Cramey concentrated on her fitness in 2013 to give herself the best chance of being drafted. Previously an All Australian and member of the first AFL Academy, more recently she has shown her skill at coaching taking the SA Youth Girls Head Coach role and giving them the benefit of her vast football experience.