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Melbourne Football Club

AFLW: Draft Preview

AFLW recruiters at work during the 2016 draft (Photo: Justine Walker)
We’re really comfortable that we’ll bring in some high-quality talent with the selections we have
Todd Patterson

MELBOURNE is confident in securing its next group of talented players, heading into the 2018 AFLW National Draft with five selections.

The Demons hold picks No.6, 15, 31, 44 and 52 in Tuesday’s event, which will be held at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.

AFLW list manager Todd Patterson said he was anticipating some great additions to the red and blue’s list.

“We’re always just looking to add more good players to the team, who have sound fundamentals, and we’re really comfortable that we’ll bring in some high-quality talent with the selections we have,” AFLW list manager Todd Patterson told Melbourne Media.

“I expect a couple of them to roll into our round one team, and the others to certainly put a bit of pressure on the girls as well.”

With significant player movement in the off-season – Melbourne saw several players depart to expansion teams – it will be building on its relatively fresh list.

The Demons welcomed former Blue Maddie Gay and Talia Radan from Adelaide during the Trade Period, before signing previous Australian volleyball captain Shae Sloane and cricketer Chantel Emonson as their cross-code rookies.

New recruit Maddie Gay in action for former club, Carlton, in 2018 (Photo: Scott Barbour)

Athletic halfback flanker Casey Sheriff is the most recent to have joined the red and blue, coming in to fill Daisy Pearce’s position, following the announcement of her pregnancy.

But despite the substantial changes, Patterson was confident in a cohesive group.

“We’re really lucky now that we’ve got the Casey Demons structure, and the fact that we’ve been able to recruit heavily from that program really shows its strength.

“A lot of the girls have been playing together throughout the VFLW season, so we think they’ll adjust pretty quickly.”

And with Melbourne eager for success in its third AFLW season – the Demons finished third on the ladder in the past two years – Patterson reinforced the importance of versatility among the group.

“We’re really confident in our development guys, so we’re looking for good players and good characters, as opposed to positional needs,” he said.

“They might come in as a forward pocket or a halfback flank, but we will just work on their skill set, before they naturally find their position in our team.

“We’re just looking forward to finalising our list and getting one step closer to AFLW3.”