ON THE EVE OF PRE-SEASON, Melbourne has recruited undrafted free-agent Denby Taylor to complete its 2024 AFLW list.

Taylor, who was drafted in 2018 as an All-Australian junior, played 18 games for Geelong across three seasons of the AFL Women’s competition, and is renowned as an elite ball user.

Versatility is also a strength, having featured across the ground in half back, wing and on-ball positions throughout her football journey.

The 24-year-old’s opportunity comes after injury to Aimee Mackin, who will be unavailable for the upcoming season due to rupturing her ACL while playing Gaelic for Armagh in Ireland.


Todd Patterson, Melbourne AFLW List Manager, wished Mackin best of luck as she begins her recovery.

“We were shattered to see Aimee go down, Patterson said.

“She is such a gifted athlete and more importantly, the type of person you can only dream of having in your club, so we will miss her immensely.

“In saying that, we will be there every step of the way to support her.”

With Mackin set to spend an extended period on the sidelines, the addition of Taylor will now see the Demons head into pre-season with a full squad of available players.

Patterson was excited to explore the opportunities that recruiting a talent like Taylor presents.

“Fortunately, the AFLW rules are designed to enable clubs to enter the season with a full squad, which gives us an opportunity to add another player to our list in Denby Taylor,” Patterson said.

“Denby re-enters the competition as a 24-year-old having previously played for Geelong, and as such, has been well-known to us for around eight years now.

“She made some really tough but mature decisions around where football fit into her life a couple of years ago, and has grown tremendously as a young woman in the years since to return as a hungry, mature, and confident athlete.”

Looking ahead to pre-season, Patterson explained what the process might look like for Taylor to return to AFLW level.

“We viewed signing Denby as a rare opportunity for us to get access to what we assess to be a high-end talent,” Patterson said.

“We will now afford her the necessary time to get her body into the best position possible, to compete when she is ready and required at AFLW level.”

Melbourne’s 2024 AFLW campaign is now only 89 days away, with the Demons to take on Geelong in Round 1 on Saturday 31 August.