IN a new series focusing on the up and coming AFL Women’s Draft hopefuls, we take a look at some names who would be among their respective states’ top draft prospects for the 2020 AFL Women’s Draft.
Next under the microscope is Murray Bushrangers’ Abby Favell, a ball-winning midfielder with a high work rate across the ground.
Abby Favell (Murray Bushrangers/Eastern Allies)
Strengths: Accumulation, clean hands, tackling pressure, contested marking
2019 NAB League Stats: 8 games | 15.8 disposals | 3.9 marks | 3.3 tackles | 2.5 inside 50s | 1.5 inside 50s | 1 goal
2019 Under 18 National Championships stats: 3 games | 11 disposals | 2.7 marks | 2.7 tackles | 2.0 inside 50s
Hailing from Griffith, a rural town in New South Wales, Favell already makes a massive sacrifice to play the game she loves with more than three hours from Griffith to Wangaratta – where the Bushrangers play a number of home games – and more than five hours to Melbourne. While restricted to only two games this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Favell showed enough in her middle-age year to suggest she has the talent to continue to grow in her game.
She burst onto the scene for Murray Bushrangers in the NAB League Girls competition, winning 15.8 disposals, 3.9 marks and 3.3 tackles per game. Watching her on the field, it is clear she has a high work rate because she would continually pop up in different areas of the ground after being up the other end only moments early. In one particular game against Dandenong Stingrays at Shepley Oval, Favell had the ball on a string early as she won plenty of it through midfield. As she rotated into other positions she had less of it, but her work rate and involvement on the game never dropped because she might give off a handball at half-back and then receive the ball at half-forward less than a minute later.
Her efforts saw her called into the Eastern Allies side again where she had been identified as a talent previously. She played the three games and while she spent less time onball and had to play against higher quality opposition, she still maintained a firm double-digit disposal count and impressive tackle effort. In terms of her game style, Favell has no trouble finding the ball when in the middle, and her tackling pressure and clean hands are standout traits. Despite standing at 166cm, Favell is one of the stronger players overhead for her size, not often needing a few bites to clunk grabs.
While Favell’s work rate allows her to often find space on a wing or at half-forward, she can push hard defensively to win the ball at half-back or even deeper in defence. Hard to beat in the air, Favell can outwork her opponents and give her teammates the run in transition needed to set up attacking forays. While it is unknown what football might be on the horizon, if the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships do go ahead, it is hard to look past Favell when talking about the Eastern Allies players to watch.