MELBOURNE has signed three of its AFLW players to the Casey Demons.
Bianca Jakobsson, Jasmine Grierson and Katherine Smith, who will all play for Melbourne in next year’s NAB AFL Women’s competition, have also committed to playing for Casey in the revamped VFL Women’s league in 2018.
Casey has also signed Alicia Johnson (Cranbourne), Cara Moody (Cranbourne), Amy Marshall (Frankston), Kasey Guttridge (Gippsland), Ruby Clayton (Dandenong Stingrays) and Georgia Gourlay (Dandenong Stingrays).
Melbourne AFLW talent manager Todd Patterson said the club was delighted to secure a talented group.
“We are really pleased to have an initial batch of signings of this quality. [We’ve got] a good mix of AFLW, local [players], Cranbourne and TAC graduates. It is really pleasing to see that some of our AFLW players have signalled they are willing to invest into the Casey Demons program from the outset,” he told melbournefc.com.au.
“From a Melbourne perspective, we certainly don’t expect that we will have our full squad down at Casey. The main priority for us is the development of the player and ensuring where they play suits their personal circumstances.
“We are in the fortunate position where we have Jane Lange coaching at Darebin, which will allow our Melbourne players to stay there and be developed, plus a mix of other contacts at other VFLW clubs. In saying that we do expect to have more quality AFLW players joining the squad post their AFLW season.”
Recently retired Melbourne defender, and inaugural VFLW Casey Demons coach, Colin Garland, said he was eager to build talent in the Casey area.
“We are really keen to invest into the region and develop talent – we are searching high and low to bring together a group of strong characters,” he said.
“As a coach, to see the group now starting to come together is really exciting and I can’t wait to help them develop.
“We are putting together a team of competitive characters that we feel can develop to have the best chance possible of reaching their maximum potential – whether that be AFLW or VFLW. We hope to get positive results, but the development of the person and the athlete is the main outcome for our program.”
Patterson was optimistic the club would announce further recruits with Casey Demons soon.
“We anticipate a further batch of signings, which will be announced via the Casey Demons in the coming weeks, with the rest of the squad to be finalised via existing Cranbourne players and a bunch of players that will undertake some group sessions in the lead up to Christmas,” he said.
“We remain very open to any players that may be interested in joining the program and encourage them to reach out.”