THE third NAB AFLW Draft saw Melbourne draft four players ahead of the 2019 season.
AFLW list manager, Todd Patterson provides some insight into what we can expect from our new recruits in 2019 and beyond.
Pick #6 – Tyla Hanks
Recruited from: Beaconsfield JFC/Gippsland Power/Carlton VFLW
Tyla Hanks is an AFL Academy member and All-Australian, who has shown that she can compete strongly against both women and her peers.
Currently a year ahead of most of her age group with her schooling having spent the year at university, Tyla is mature, humble and competitive with fantastic skills and goal sense.
She will come in and have an instant impact up forward and I expect her to develop into a midfielder in time.
Pick #15 – Madeline Brancatisano
Position: Inside Midfielder
Recruited from: Montmorency JFC/Northern Knights/Carlton VFLW
Northern Knights TAC Cup captain in 2018, Brancatisano is an inside midfielder who comes from a basketball background.
Her ability to clear space by hand is standout in the draft pool and a real feature of her game whilst also testing well for speed at the draft combine.
Pick #31 – Jordann Hickey
Recruited from: Pinktails/NT Thunder VFLW
Hickey is a powerful third forward who had a good impact at VFLW level for the NT Thunder this season, kicking 14 goals.
Jordann is a terrific story for our football club coming through the Pinktails in Alice Springs.
Expect to see a physical forward who will fight all day for our club.
Pick #44 – Shelley Heath
Recruited from: Mount Martha JFC/Dandenong Stingrays/Southern Saints VFLW
One of the smaller players in the pool but also one of the strongest, when you see Shelley tackle it comes as no surprise that she was an Australian Taekwondo champion at age eight.
With her mix of competitiveness, speed and endurance, Shelley has the ability to develop into multiple roles such as a pressure forward, outside winger or lock down defender.
Pick #51 – Pass
Melbourne passed on it’s fifth selection at the draft. This allowed Melbourne the option to recruit a free agent from interstate.
Free Agent - Ashleigh Woodland
Recruited from: Salisbury/North Adelaide
Ashleigh is someone we have been tracking throughout the year in the event she wasn’t selected in the SA draft. Ash has previously been captain of South Australia as an 18-year-old and comes to us now as a 21 year old who has been in the first two SANFLW teams of the year. Ash can impact the game both forward and defence but will likely start her development in the back half for us.