IT’S NO SECRET Melbourne’s strategy this off-season was to attack the AFLW Draft.
The club traded out some big names earlier in the year, giving itself the best chance to stack its list for the 2021 season.
And after walking away from Tuesday night’s event with six fresh faces, senior coach Mick Stinear couldn’t have been happier with the result.
“It was a definite plan through the Sign and Trade Period to bring in some young talent and reinvigorate our team in that regard,” Stinear told Melbourne Media.
“But what we’ve been able to do is keep a really strong core group that we think will continue to play finals footy and now we’ve added some quality young players that will improve our chances next season and well beyond that as well.”
Scouting was made difficult for the Demons’ recruiters in the lead up to the draft with a lack of footy being played due to COVID-19, but the club is confident it has still been able to secure the talent it was after.
“I think luckily a lot of the players we’ve drafted played in the Academy and played games last year,” Stinear said.
“Majority of the girls played bottom age NAB League, so they have got some history of games and we’ve got access to watching those.
“Todd (Patterson) has put in a power of work and his attention to detail is brilliant, so we were in a good position in that way.
“But probably without the footage it’s given us more time for Zoom interviews with players, reference checks to watch more vision of the girls from the games we had on file, and it feels like we’re far more prepared for this Draft.
“I’m sure the girls would’ve loved to have been playing but we don’t think it hindered their chances of getting drafted.”
With a lot to look forward to in season five of the AFLW competition, watch below as Stinear provides an insight the club’s most recent additions.
Pick No.5 – Alyssa Bannan
Recruited from: Northern Knights and South Morang Football Club
Pick No.15 – Eliza McNamara
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons and East Malvern Football Club
Pick No.17 – Maggie Caris
Recruited from: Horsham Saints Football and Netball Club
Pick No.35 – Megan Fitzsimon
Recruited from: Sale City Youth Girls and Bairnsdale Junior Football Club
Pick No.41 – Mietta Kendall
Recruited from: Eastern Rangers and Blackburn Football Club
With a big sporting background, our fifth selection is no stranger to pressure.— Melbourne AFLW (@MelbourneAFLW) October 6, 2020
We've selected hybrid defender Mietta Kendall at No.41. #AFLWDraft
??: https://t.co/po2m0w0CDj pic.twitter.com/rYcsDBHbJG
Pick No.47 – Isabella Simmons
Recruited from: Greater Western Victoria Rebels and Ararat Female Football Club