WITH the AFL Women’s 2020 season officially come to a close now the awards are done and dusted, Draft Central looks back on our Top 50 Players of season 2020. This countdown purely looks at the 2020 season so does not look at past performances and will not include injured stars such Erin Phillips or Chelsea Randall.
In this edition, we look at number 12 in our count, a reliable key defender who has become one of the elite players in the competition over the past couple of years.
#12 KATE LUTKINS
7 GAMES AVE: 13.3 disposals, 4.4 marks, 3.1 tackles, 1.1 inside 50s, 3.3 rebounds, 1 goal
The Brisbane Lions key defender comes in at number 12 on our count with Lutkins named at full-back in the 2020 AFL Women’s All-Australian team. Having played for the full four seasons now, Lutkins has earned two All-Australian honours having achieved the feat back in 2018. That year, Lutkins also won the Brisbane best and fairest.
In 2020, Lutkins averaged a career-high 4.4 marks per game, and while her disposals were marginally down, her defensive attributes such as her tackling and rebounding remained consistent. Turning 32 at the end of the month, Lutkins has showed with her performances this year that she has plenty of quality football left in her.
Aside from her six-touch game against the Cats, Lutkins averaged 14.5 disposals, with a 21-disposal (20-kick) effort against the Gold Coast Suns in Round 3 being the highlight game of her 2020 season. She also took a whopping 12 marks in that drawn match, as well as recorded three inside 50s, four rebounds and two tackles.
What makes Lutkins so impressive is her reliability and strength in the air which she has been able to pass on to younger teammates in a year when there was plenty of changes at the Lions. Outside of the elite level, Lutkins has been a leader at Wilston Grange and spearheaded the success at the club with a premiership in 2018.
With Lutkins expected to continue her success at the Lions in 2020 as vice-captain to Emma Zielke once again, the fearless defender will no doubt find her way into the top 20 players in the competition. Often a measuring stick of the Lions’ success, Lutkins is one player any coach can rely upon to get the job done each and every week.