MELBOURNE has secured another first round AFL Women’s draft pick, in a deal that sees two Demons depart for Carlton.
The trade, which was agreed to on Thursday, sees Melbourne acquire the 9th selection in the Victorian Draft – the 15th pick in the National Draft – while saying farewell to former co-captain Elise O’Dea and youngster Maddy Guerin.
O’Dea has been a big contributor to the red and blue over the years, having been selected by the Demons with pick No.8 in the inaugural AFLW Draft.
The 28-year-old has since played 28 games and kicked six goals for Melbourne, while the 2019 season saw her captain the team alongside Shelley Scott.
Having had open discussions with O’Dea and her management at the end of the 2020 season, AFLW list manager Todd Patterson said he was pleased an agreement that benefitted all could be reached.
“Elise has been a cornerstone of women’s football since well before AFLW came onto the scene and is a well-decorated player,” Patterson told Melbourne Media.
“When we were approached by her management about Elise being at a crossroads with her football career, we were supportive of whichever direction Elise felt would be best for her.”
While O’Dea’s departure may be met with mixed feelings by Demon fans, Patterson reinforced the positive result for both parties.
“With this deal, Elise gets an opportunity for a fresh start to help re-invigorate her love for the game, and we get an opportunity to secure another first round selection, which fits into our desired outcomes for this period,” Patterson said.
“I know Elise has a deep love for the club, and it is no doubt sad for us and our supporters to see her go, but we wish her all the best.
“We have great confidence in our current squad and the players we will add to it later this year.”
O’Dea, who grew up barracking for the Demons, echoed Patterson’s sentiment.
“Thanks to the Melbourne Football Club for selecting me in the first AFLW draft and giving me a chance to live out one of my childhood dreams, which was to play footy in the red and blue,” O’Dea told Melbourne Media.
“I’ll always love the club and I wish it every success.
“The opportunity for me to join Carlton is a great chance to challenge myself in a new environment and gives me a chance to continue playing the game I love so much.”
Patterson also thanked Guerin for her contribution to the club, having been a Demon for the past three seasons.
The 20-year-old, who leaves with six games to her name, will continue her rehabilitation from injury with the Blues.
“Maddy was presented with an opportunity by Carlton to secure a longer contract, as she recovers from her current ACL injury,” Patterson said.
“Talking with Maddy, both parties felt the extra security was a good option for her, while also aiding our plans for the 2021 season.
“Maddy is only young and leaves as a highly thought of person. We hope she can go on to have a great career.”
And while the pair will now line up against the Demons next season, Patterson acknowledged the work involved to reach such outcome.
“Trades involving high profile players can be difficult, but we are pleased with the end result,” he said.
“We thank Carlton for the way in which we were able to come to an agreement that benefitted all.”