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AFLW List Retrospective: 2017 to 2020

After a conversation with fellow Siren co-founder Kirby Fenwick as part of a podcast recording (to be released next week!) I was curious about the list transformation of the inaugural eight AFLW teams from 2017 to 2020. Thanks to the nature of short contracts, expansion teams and a part-time league, in just four seasons we’ve seen plenty of player movement, and in particular delisted players getting second (or third) opportunities. We’ve also seen each of the inaugural clubs maintain their list differently, and some raided through the expansion rules.

So I went back, analysed 2017 lists, who is still there, who has moved on and how many players from these lists are still floating around on other club lists in 2020. Get ready for some nostalgia, and surprises.


Adelaide Crows

2017 signings still at the club

Sarah Allan, Dayna Cox, Courtney Cramey, Angela Foley, Anne Hatchard, Ebony Marinoff, Rhiannon Metcalfe, Justine Mules, Erin Phillips, Chelsea Randall, Stevie-Lee Thompson, Deni Varnhagen

Total: 12

2017 signings at other clubs in 2020

Kellie Gibson (FREO, WCE), Sarah Perkins (MEL*), Talia Radan (MEL, WCE), Sally Riley (GCS), Jess Sedunary (STK), Tayla Thorn (GCS)

Total: 6

2017 signings retired by 2020

Jenna McCormick

Total: 1

2017 signings no longer playing

Jasmine Anderson, Heather Anderson, Sophie Armitstead, Georgia Bevan, Monique Hollick, Abbey Holmes, Rachael Killan, Lauren O’Shea

Total: 7

2017-2019 players on other AFLW Lists in 2020

Jess Allan (GWS), Kellie Gibson (FREO, WCE), Jasmyn Hewett (GCS), Rheanne Lugg (BRIS), Talia Radan (MEL, WCE), Sally Riley (GCS), Jess Sedunary (STK), Tayla Thorn (GCS)

Total: 8

How they built their 2020 list

Of Adelaide’s 32 signed players in 2020, 23 of those came via drafts over the years. This makes sense as Adelaide have exclusive access to a huge number of talented players as they are the only one team state in the competition. The remaining nine are made up of three who were signed as rookies (Erin Phillips, Maisie Nankivell and Ailish Considine), and a smattering of priority, free agent and marquee signings from their inaugural list.


Brisbane Lions

2017 signings still at the club

Alexandra Anderson, Emily Bates, Shannon Campbell, Breanna Koenan, Kate Lutkins, Selina Priest (nee Goodman), Sharni Webb, Jessica Wuetschner, Emma Zielke

Total: 9

2017 signings at other clubs in 2020

Kaitlyn Ashmore (NM), Sabrina Frederick (RICH), Brittany Gibson (NM), Tayla Harris (CAR), Leah Kaslar (GCS), Jordan Membrey (COLL), Tahlia Randall (NM), Jamie Stanton (NM, GCS), Sam Virgo (GCS)

Total: 10

Sabrina Frederick and Akec Makur Chuot walk the boundary for Richmond. Image: Megan Brewer
Sabrina Frederick and Akec Makur Chuot walk the boundary for Richmond. Image: Megan Brewer

2017 signings retired by 2020

N/A

2017 signings no longer playing

Caitlin Collins, Kate Deegan, Nicole Hildebrand, Megan Hunt, Delissa Kimmince, Shaleise Law, Jade Ransfield, Nikki Wallace

Total: 8

2017-2019 players on other AFLW lists in 2020

Kaitlyn Ashmore (NM), Lauren Bella (GCS), McKenzie Dowrick (WCE), Nat Exon (STK), Sabrina Frederick (RICH), Brittany Gibson (NM), Tori Groves-Little (GCS), Tayla Harris (CAR), Kalinda Howarth (GCS), Leah Kaslar (GCS), Kate McCarthy (STK), Jordan Membrey (COLL), Paige Parker (GCS), Emma Pittman (GCS), Tahlia Randall (NM), Jamie Stanton (NM, GCS), Sam Virgo (GCS), Jacqui Yorston (GCS)

Total: 18

How they built their 2020 list

After being decimated by expansion over the course of two years, the Lions had to effectively go back to the drawing board and have drafted 21 of their 30 signed players in 2020. Lauren Arnell was traded in from Carlton ahead of the 2019 season, and Rheanne Lugg was a delisted free agent upon whom they lept. Another way the Lions have looked to add athleticism and leadership to their squad was with five players signed via the rookie list (Greta Bodey, Gabby Collingwood, Jade Ellenger, Brianna McFarlane and Orla O’Dwyer). 


Carlton Blues

2017 signings still at the club

Lauren Brazzale, Alison Downie, Jess Hosking, Sarah Hosking, Katie Loynes, Breann Moody, Natalie Plane, Gab Pound, Darcy Vescio

Total: 9

2017 signings at other clubs in 2020

Lauren Arnell (BRIS), Alison Brown (STK), Kate Darby (GEE), Brianna Davey (COLL), Nat Exon (BRIS, STK), Kate Gillespie-Jones (NM), Danielle Hardiman (NM), Jordan Ivey (GEE), Bianca Jakobsson (MEL), Maddie Keryk (GEE), Tilly Lucas-Rodd (STK), Tahni Nestor (NM), Rebecca Privitelli (GWS), Kate Shierlaw (STK)

Total: 14

Kate Shierlaw celebrates a goal with Rhiannon Watt and Nat Exon. AFLW List Retrospective. Image: Megan Brewer
Kate Shierlaw celebrates a goal with Rhiannon Watt and Nat Exon. Image: Megan Brewer

2017 signings retired by 2020

Bella Ayre

Total: 1

2017 signings no longer playing

Laura Attard, Shae Audley, Jess Kennedy, Sarah Last, Hayley Trevean

Total: 5

2017-2019 players on other AFLW lists in 2020

Lauren Arnell (BRIS), Alison Brown (STK), Kate Darby (GEE), Brianna Davey (COLL), Nat Exon (BRIS, STK), Maddison Gay (MEL), Kate Gillespie-Jones (NM), Katie-Jayne Grieve (FREO), Danielle Hardiman (NM), Jordan Ivey (GEE), Bianca Jakobsson (MEL), Maddie Keryk (GEE), Sophie Li (ADL), Tilly Lucas-Rodd (STK), Tahni Nestor (NM), Rebecca Privitelli (GWS), Kate Shierlaw (STK), Rhiannon Watt (STK)

Total: 18

Related—Kate Shierlaw on the St Kilda captaincy, Peta Searle and a team of role players

How they built their 2020 list

Carlton are an interesting case, with eighteen past players now flourishing at other clubs. This suggests that while their talent identification was very good, the club wasn’t equipped, or patient enough to develop them into the players we saw in 2020. Similar to Brisbane, the Blues signed five of their 30 players in 2020 via the rookie list. They also utilised trades, bringing in Tayla Harris and Nicola Stevens, and 22 came via the draft.


Collingwood Magpies

2017 signings still at the club

Brittany Bonnici, Sophie Casey, Stephanie Chiocci, Sarah D’Arcy, Emma Grant**, Stacey Livingstone, Ruby Schleicher

Total: 7

2017 signings at other clubs in 2020

Christina Bernardi (GWS, RICH), Jess Duffin (nee- Cameron, NM), Alicia Eva (GWS), Jasmine Garner (NM), Emma King (NM), Melissa Kuys (STK), Nicola Stevens (CAR), Lauren Tesoriero (RICH**)

Total: 8

2017 signings retired by 2020

Caitlyn Edwards, Meg Hutchins, Cecilia McIntosh, Amelia Barden (nee Mullane), Bree White

Total: 5

2017 signings no longer playing

Penny Cula-Reid, Kendra Heil, Moana Hope, Tara Morgan, Helen Rodan, Kate Sheahan, Georgia Walker, Lou Wotton

Total: 8

2017-2019 players on other AFLW lists in 2020

Christina Bernardi (GWS, RICH), Jess Duffin (nee Cameron, NM), Alicia Eva (GWS), Jasmine Garner (NM), Darcy Guttridge (STK), Emma King (NM), Melissa Kuys (STK), Iilish Ross (RICH), Nicola Stevens (CAR), Lauren Tesoriero (RICH**), Holly Whitford (RICH)

Total: 11

How they built their 2020 list

Collingwood’s 2020 list is probably the furthest away from its 2017 counterpart of any inaugural team. They recruited a much older initial list than most others—reflected in them having the most retirements of any other club—and with a number of players enticed by expansion clubs they’ve had to almost completely rebuild their squad around their seven remaining 2017 players. 23 of the Pies’ 2020 list has been drafted, with two top end inclusions via trade in Jaimee Lambert and Brianna Davey.

Related—Your club’s 2020 leaders by the numbers


Fremantle Dockers

2017 signings still at the club

Ebony Antonio, Kara Antonio (nee- Donnellan), Kiara Bowers, Tayla Bresland, Stephanie Cain, Gemma Houghton, Hayley Miller, Gabby O’Sullivan, Ashley Sharp

Total: 9

2017 signings at other clubs in 2020

Emily Bonser (WCE), Melissa Caulfield (WCE), Cassie Davidson (WCE), Beatrice Devlyn (WCE), Brianna Green (WCE), Dana Hooker (WCE), Akec Makur Chuot (RICH), Belinda Smith (WB, WCE)

Total: 8

2017 signings retired by 2020

N/A

2017 signings no longer playing

Taylah Angel, Stacey Barr, Kirby Bentley, Kelly Clinch, Lara Filacomo, Tarnica Golisano, Tish Haynes, Amy Lavell, Kim Mickie, Demi Okely, Kira Phillips, Taryn Priestly

Total: 12

2017-2019 players on other AFLW lists in 2020

Ashlee Atkins (WCE), Emily Bonser (WCE), Melissa Caulfield (WCE), Cassie Davidson (WCE), Beatrice Devlyn (WCE), Kellie Gibson (WCE), Brianna Green (WCE), Courtney Guard (nee- Stubbs, WCE), Dana Hooker (WCE), Alicia Janz (WCE), Parris Laurie (WCE), Emily Maguire (WCE), Akec Makur Chuot (RICH), Belinda Smith (WB, WCE)

Total: 14

How they built their 2020 list

Fremantle have been hit hard by the introduction of the Eagles, but the club has been shrewd with how they have recovered their losses. Bringing in Katie-Jayne Grieve and Mia-Rae Clifford to fill particular needs via free agency, signing four rookies—Kate Flood, Lindal Rohde, Angelique Stannett and Aine Tighe—to join remaining inaugural rookie Gabby O’Sullivan, and enjoying a strong draft position in a strong footy state. It has been very clear that they’ve recruited to fill a specific game style that has served them well.


GWS Giants

2017 signings still at the club

Jacinda Barclay, Nicola Barr, Rebecca Beeson, Ellie Brush, Jess Dal Pos, Erin McKinnon, Aimee Schmidt, Louise Stephenson, Britt Tully

Total: 9

2017 signings at other clubs in 2020

Maddy Collier (WCE), Renee Forth (ADL), Ashleigh Guest (MEL, WB), Phoebe McWilliams (GEE), Emma Swanson (WCE), Alex Williams (FREO)

Total: 6

2017 signings retired by 2020

Amanda Farrugia, Alex Saundry

Total: 2

2017 signings no longer playing

Jessica Bibby, Codie Briggs, Kristy De Pellegrini, Clare Lawton, Mai Nguyen, Ella Ross, Isabella Rudolph, Kate Stanton, Renee Tomkins, Steph Walker, Hannah Wallett

Total: 11

2017-2019 players on other AFLW lists in 2020

Christina Bernardi (RICH), Maddie Boyd (GEE), Maddy Collier (WCE), Hannah Dunn (GCS), Renee Forth (ADL), Ashleigh Guest (MEL, WB), Courtney Gum (ADL), Phoebe McWilliams (GEE), Phoebe Monahan (RICH), Ebony O’Dea (COLL), Britt Perry (GCS), Emma Swanson (WCE), Alex Williams (FREO)

Total: 13

Courtney Gum. AFLW List Retrospective. Image: Dani Brown.
Courtney Gum takes a one handed mark against the Saints. Image: Dani Brown

How they built their 2020 list

The Giants have done more delisting and re-drafting of players than any other club as they develop. This may be a symptom of both wanting to retain players but succumbing to a number of forced list changes each year, and having a thinner selection of players to draft due to the part-time nature of the competition and their NSW home. They have been able to trade in two leaders of the club in Alicia Eva and Pepa Randall, and have also recruited some of the most impressive cross coders via the rookie list in Elle Bennetts and Yvonne Bonner.


Melbourne Demons

2017 signings still at the club

Harriet Cordner, Meg Downie, Ainslie Kemp, Sarah Lampard, Lily Mithen, Aliesha Newman, Elise O’Dea, Karen Paxman, Daisy Pearce, Lauren Pearce, Shelley Scott, Katherine Smith

Total: 12

2017 signings at other clubs in 2020

Deanna Berry (WB), Maddie Boyd (GWS, GEE), Mia-Rae Clifford (GEE, FREO), Richelle Cranston (GEE), Jasmine Grierson (NM), Melissa Hickey (GEE**), Emma Humphries (NM), Catherine Phillips (STK), Pepa Randall (GWS)

Total: 9

2017 signings retired by 2020

N/A

2017 signings no longer playing

Jessica Anderson, Stephanie De Bortoli, Laura Duryea, Sarah Jolly, Alyssa Mifsud, Brooke Patterson

Total: 6

2017-2019 players on other AFLW lists in 2020

Deanna Berry (WB), Maddie Boyd (GWS, GEE), Madeline Brancatisano (RICH), Mia-Rae Clifford (GEE, FREO), Richelle Cranston (GEE), Jasmine Grierson (NM), Ashleigh Guest (WB), Jordann Hickey (GCS), Melissa Hickey (GEE**), Emma Humphries (NM), Catherine Phillips (STK), Talia Radan (WCE), Pepa Randall (GWS), Maddie Shevlin (COLL), Anna Teague (GEE), Claudia Whitfort (STK)

Total: 16

How they built their 2020 list

Melbourne have enjoyed one of the more stable lists across the competition, retaining the equal-most inaugural players of any club with 12. On top of this, there are seven of the Demons’ 30 listed players who were recruited via the rookie list—the equal-most of any club. Melbourne is a club that has looked at every avenue to craft the most balanced list, with their main issue proving to be injuries and not recruitment.


Western Bulldogs

2017 signings still at the club

Ellie Blackburn, Nicole Callinan**, Ellyse Gamble, Angelica Gogos, Bailey Hunt, Kirsty Lamb, Brooke Lochland, Kirsten McLeod, Hannah Scott, Lauren Spark

Total: 10

Ellie Blackburn gets a kick away. AFLW List Retrospective. Image: Megan Brewer
Ellie Blackburn gets a kick away. Image: Megan Brewer

2017 signings at other clubs in 2020

Laura Bailey (RICH**), Libby Birch (MEL), Katie Brennan (RICH), Tiarna Ernst (GCS), Emma Kearney (WB), Jaimee Lambert (COLL), Meghan McDonald (GEE), Aasta O’Connor (GEE)

Total: 8

2017 signings retired by 2020

Hayley Wildes

Total: 1

2017 signings no longer playing

Courtney Clarkson, Kimberley Ebb, Jess Gardner, Lauren Morecroft, Rebecca Neaves, Romy Timmins, Kate Tyndall, Lisa Williams

Total: 8

2017-2019 players on other AFLW lists in 2020

Laura Bailey (RICH**), Daria Bannister (NM), Kate Bartlett (WCE), Libby Birch (MEL), Katie Brennan (RICH), Jenna Bruton (NM), Monique Conti (RICH), Tiarna Ernst (GCS), Selena Karlson (STK), Emma Kearney (WB), Jaimee Lambert (COLL), Emma Mackie (STK**), Meghan McDonald (GEE), Aasta O’Connor (GEE), Belinda Smith (WCE)

Total: 15

How they built their 2020 list

Alongside Melbourne, the Dogs recruited seven of their 2020 listed players via the rookie list, including internationals Danielle Marshall, Katy Herron and Aisling McCarthy. After losing a lot of important players through expansion and trade requests, they’ve looked to experienced cross coders to supplement their drafted talent. Interestingly enough, just 17 of their players have come via the draft—the fewest of any club.


* Was used as an injury replacement player in 2020
** Retired upon the abandonment of the 2020 season

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