FOLLOWING the conclusion of the 2021 NAB League Girls season, Draft Central has named its extended 48-player squad for its Team of the Year. The 48 players are comprised of those NAB League Girls talents who compiled the most Team of the Week nominations throughout the season, with three or more nominations earning automatic selection into the squad, and then the majority of the two or more nominations also earning a place in the squad.
From here the 48-player squad will be divided up into two teams – the Draft Central NAB League Girls Team of the Year and the Second Team of the Year, recognising the efforts of the most consistent performers in 2021. The players with the most nominations will earn the captaincy and vice-captaincy for the Team of the Year, with the team to be released line-by-line on social media.
Of the team-by-team nominations, finalists Eastern Ranges and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels have the most with six players, ahead of fellow finalists, Dandenong Stingrays (five). Four of the remaining five finalists had the four representatives with Oakleigh Chargers, Geelong Falcons, Calder Cannons and Tasmania Devils having a quartet of players in the squad. Northern Knights had the three as the other finalist, while Murray Bushrangers, Gippsland Power and Western Jets had the three players. Bendigo Pioneers (two) and Sandringham Dragons (one) had the least representatives, mostly due to injuries or absences to key players – such as Tara Slender and Bridie Hipwell – at different points during the season.
In terms of constructing the Team of the Year, those players with four or more Team of the Week nominations will automatically make the side. With 16 players having received four or more nominations, they will be the centrepieces in the side, and the remaining eight players chosen from the other 32 available players. Those not selected in the Draft Central NAB League Girls Team of the Year will be in the Second Team.
Of the 48 players, 33 are eligible for the draft, in their 18th or 19th year this season, with a further 13 eligible for the draft next year and remarkably, two players – Alyssia Pisano and Ava Jordan – not eligible until the 2023 AFL Women’s Draft. There was also a minimum five-game limit for players to make the squad, with the likes of Emily Shepherd just missing out due to injury having played just the four games (prior to finals).
Bendigo Pioneers : Octavia Di Donato, Elizabeth Snell
Calder Cannons : Zali Friswell, Tahlia Gillard, Georgie Prespakis, Emelia Yassir
Dandenong Stingrays : Jaide Anthony, Amber Clarke, Felicity Crank, Zoe Hill, Jemma Radford
Eastern Ranges : Mia Busch, Georgia Campbell, Bridget Deed, Alyssia Pisano, Cadhla Schmidli, Keeley Sherar
Geelong Falcons : Tess Craven, Annie Lee, Poppy Schaap, Renee Tierney
Gippsland Power : Grace Matser, Matilda Van Berkel, Lily Rose-Williamson
GWV Rebels : Lilli Condon, Nyakoat Dojiok, Ella Friend, Chloe Leonard, Paige Scott, Molly Walton
Murray Bushrangers : Ally Morphett, Keeley Skepper, Aurora Smith
Northern Knights : Maeve Chaplin, Tara Delgado, Ava Jordan
Oakleigh Chargers : Amanda Ling, Stella Reid, Charlie Rowbottom, Brooke Vickers
Sandringham Dragons : Sofia Hurley
Tasmania Devils : Amy Bissett, Perri King, Claire Ransom, Jemma Webster
Western Jets : Charlotte Baskaran, Montana Ham, Jemima Woods
The 2021 Draft Central NAB League Girls Team of the Year and Second Team will be announced next week in the lead-up to the NAB League Girls Grand Final.