2021 AFLW Draft club review: Carlton

NOW the AFL Women’s Draft is done and dusted, Draft Central will review each club’s draft hand, and provide supporters with all the content they need to know about the latest additions to their AFL Women’s programs. We continue the club-by-club reviews with Carlton.

#10 Annie Lee (Defender)
28/08/2003 | 169cm
Geelong Falcons / Vic Country

One of the standout prospects from a talent-stacked Geelong Falcons region, Lee proved a ‘best available’ kind of selection for Carlton at pick 10. As was seen on draft night, the 17-year-old is an avid Blues fan which makes this match all the more sweet. Throughout this year’s NAB League season, Lee looked a class above with her reading of the play and composure on the ball in defence, with that class translating well during her time representative level and even VFLW football. The Blues somewhat struggled in transition during last season, so likely valued Lee’s decision making and execution by foot, while her intercept abilities will suit a backline already strong in that department. She may even roam up the ground to a wing given the competition for defensive spots.

ANNIE LEE CONTENT:

>> 2021 Nationwide Power Rankings
>> AFLW Draft Positional Analysis: Tall/Medium Defenders

Annie Lee in action for the Geelong Falcons

#11 Keeley Sherar (Midfielder)
29/11/2003 | 170cm
Eastern Ranges / Vic Metro

In need of midfield depth and running power, Carlton pulled off somewhat of a surprise at pick 11 by snapping up Sherar. Another Blues fan, the Eastern Ranges midfielder offers a handy point of difference to her new side’s midfield with her raw athleticism and burst of speed out of congestion. While time to refine her disposal would be ideal, Sherar may have a role to play in her maiden AFLW season alongside a very sturdy Carlton engine room which already features Madison Prespakis, Grace Egan, Lucy McEvoy, and Abbie McKay. With a lot of similar types in that lot, Sherar could be the dynamic turn what Carlton is after around the ball, especially given who the Blues have lost and will be without. Her upside is enormous and her highlight reel, impressive.

KEELEY SHERAR CONTENT:

>> 2021 Nationwide Power Rankings
>> Ones to watch: AFLW Draft surprise packets

Brooke Vickers on the ball for Oakleigh Chargers

#23 Brooke Vickers (Wing / Defender)
6/03/2002 | 171cm
Oakleigh Chargers / Vic Metro

Adding to the much-needed running power Carlton obtained in this year’s crop, Vickers can tear sides up on the outer but isn’t afraid to crack in and win the hard ball. The Oakleigh Chargers premiership player started out the season at half-back, but later found her place on the wing where she was able to join in attacking transitions and deal some serious damage to the opposition with her penetrative kicking. With fellow Chargers graduate Mimi Hill sidelined due to injury, Vickers could prove a like-for-like replacement option or bide her time with a shift back to defence. A popular teammate, ‘Chook’ could well become a fan favourite too if given the opportunity.

BROOKE VICKERS CONTENT:

>> VFLW Player Focus: Brooke Vickers
>> 2021 Nationwide Power Rankings
>> Positional Analysis: Medium/Tall Defenders
>> Ones to watch: AFLW Draft surprise packets

#26 Imogen Milford (Tall Forward)
2/12/1999 | 179cm
Casey Demons VFLW

Carlton said it would target a forward and with its final pick, swooped on a mature-ager in Milford. The 21-year-old is obviously still quite young and has taken some time to develop, but began to really hit her stride in 2021 with 19 goals across 15 VFLW games – the second-highest haul in this year’s competition. At 179cm, she may well prove the readymade key forward option Carlton seeks with Tayla Harris out the door, potentially also allowing more time for the likes of fellow talls Serena Gibbs and Paige Trudgeon to develop their own craft. A handy addition.

IMOGEN MILFORD CONTENT:

>> Top mature-agers to watch
>> Positional Analysis: Tall/Medium Forwards

DRAFT SUMMARY:

After securing a top talent in Lee with pick 10, Carlton drafted for needs and picked up players with plenty of upside. Their ball movement will be aided by the likes of Lee and Vickers behind the ball, while Sherar could unlock a different element in midfield with her turn of speed and overall dynamism. There is a really positive blend of reliability and upside among those three Victorian youngsters, while the addition of 21-year-old key forward Milford ensures the Blues’ tall stocks are, well, stocked. Two Carlton supporters in the mix sweetens things further, and Blues fans should be excited by what these prospects can offer to the squad both immediately and in the future.

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