MELBOURNE will look to add fresh youth to its playing list for the 2021 AFL Women’s season.
Starting on Monday, clubs will have the chance to lock in or part ways with players during a Sign and Trade Period, with the Demons expected to feature from the outset.
“We want to remain a strong and competitive side, in line with the club’s strategic plan,” AFLW List Manager Todd Patterson told Melbourne Media.
“As part of that, we need to add further young talent to our list and ultimately improve our position heading into the draft later this year.
“There will be some turnover of our list throughout this upcoming period, which will place us in the best position possible for this.”
The Demons, who have fallen short of reaching the ultimate success since the competition began, have maintained a relatively familiar list in recent years.
Twelve players of 2020’s playing group were with them since the inaugural season, while they only welcomed four draftees at last year’s event.
But having discovered plenty of young talent in this year’s draft pool, the Dees have a more aggressive plan in mind this time around.
“Being one of the stronger sides over the history of the competition, our access to young talent has been limited,” Patterson said.
“We have identified that this is a stronger draft pool, and adding young talent through better draft picks than we are assigned will give us a chance to build on our list moving forward.
“We have had a very stable list over the journey compared to most clubs, but we’re anticipating that different opportunities will arise for the club and players over the next couple of weeks.”
While Melbourne will be hopeful of adding some young, up-and-comers to the mix, its premiership ambitions certainly haven’t wavered.
“Our immediate aims of being the best side in the competition remain, and we have as much belief as ever that we can achieve this,” Patterson said.
“We look forward to a busy Sign and Trade Period.”
The Sign and Trade Period will run until Wednesday 12 August, before a further free agent signing period opens later this month.
Clubs are permitted to re-sign up to 27 players, with a minimum of three list changes to occur each year.