MORE than one third of the 2018 AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian side is still more than 12 months away from being drafted onto and AFL Women’s list. The 22-player team was announced at the conclusion of the State of Origin match last night, with Victoria making up more than half of the team, while Queensland’s unbelievable talent was rewarded with the most of any non-Victorian state.
Queensland’s six was one more than Vic Metro, while Vic Country had the most of any state side with seven All Australians. Western Australia (two), NSW-ACT (one) and South Australia (one) made up the remaining four places in the side. Of the All Australian side, defenders Lucy Cripps and Serene Watson, forwards Gabrielle Newton, Belle Dawes, Lucy McEvoy, Montana McKinnon, and midfielders Georgia Patrikios and Lily Postlethwaite are all bottom-agers and not eligible to be drafted until next year.
The midfield is star-studded with AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships’ Most Valuable Players (MVPs) Madison Prespakis, Nina Morrison and Alyce Parker making the side, while Western Australia’s Sabreena Duffy made the team alongside the versatile McKenzie Dowrick. South Australia’s MVP, McKinnon was named in the forward pocket and would no doubt share the ruck load with Queensland’s Lauren Bella. Natalie Grider (Queensland MVP) was named in the back pocket after a really consistent season, joined in the side by state teammate Jacqueline Yorston.
Others who made the side include AFL Women’s Academy members Jordyn Allen, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Tyla Hanks and Olivia Purcell. Daisy Bateman and Eleanor Brown are the other two players who have impressed not only at TAC Cup Girls level, but at Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s level as well for their respective sides, Collingwood and Southern Saints.