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Melbourne Football Club

Two rookies to complete AFLW list

MELBOURNE women’s coach Mick Stinear says the club will have two selections in Friday’s NAB AFL Women’s Rookie Draft, but will have to adopt a wait-and-see approach, given it is picking after the Victorian clubs.

After gaining four players in Wednesday’s NAB AFL Women’s Draft, Melbourne will complete its AFLW list of 30 on Friday.

“We’re behind the other Victorian clubs in the rookie draft, so we’ll just have to wait and see who’s available,” he told  

“There are certainly a number of players we’ve got on our list and we look forward to adding the final two and then rolling the sleeves and getting to work.

“Our pre-season kicks off on the 21st of November and the girls will be training three sessions a week – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and it’ll be a pretty intensive program. We’re certainly looking forward to the challenge and I know our girls from last year are really driven to get the best out of themselves in the group.

“We look forward to exciting times ahead.”

Mick Stinear on the recruits …

Eden Zanker

“We’re really excited with the outcome of the draft. We came in with a plan and things went according to plan, which doesn’t always happen in footy. Our first pick was Eden, who is from the Bendigo Pioneers footy club, she’s had a fantastic year and has been out of footy for a little while. She’s an exciting young key position player, who is still developing and is a super character. We’ve just been so impressed with her, with our dealings over the last month or so, in terms of interviews. She’s just a person who, once we get into the program, she’ll thrive and I know a number of her teammates are already excited to get to work with her, so we’ll look forward to that.”

Maddy Guerin

“With our second selection, we had Maddy Guerin, so we were hoping Maddy would be available with our second pick. We were really fortunate that played out. Maddy brings a lot of speed and athleticism to our team and she’s another one who has had another great year at under-18 level. She’ll thrive at AFLW, 16-a-side, on big grounds. Once we get her into the program, we’re looking forward to getting to work with her.”

Tegan Cunningham

“Our third selection was Tegan Cunningham. Tegan at 29 [years old] has had a lot of experience at WNBL level and brings a lot of professionalism and competitiveness. We see her having an impact straight away, so she’ll be thrilled. She was desperate for an opportunity to play footy and we’re grateful that the club is able to provide that for her. We look forward to her getting to work.”

Claudia Whitfort

“Our last selection was Claudia, who was identified at an AFL Victoria talent search earlier in the year. She then came to our talent search in the middle of the year. I know Anthony De Jong, our recruiting manager has done a lot of work behind the scenes and we’re really pleased to add her to our group. She’s a really impressive athlete, combining state level netball and surf lifesaving – beach sprints is her pet event. She doesn’t have a huge background in footy, but we see her athleticism helping change the shape of AFLW and how that’s played in the years to come, so we look forward to working with her as well. We walk away really pleased that we’ve added four quality people to our club and who are going to represent the Melbourne footy club really well, so we’re really excited.”