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AFLW 2021 Trade Wrap

Presented by WARF Radio, it’s time for a comprehensive recap of the 2021 AFLW trade period, which saw a number of high profile players traded.

Sabrina Frederick's move to the Pies was the first trade to go through. AFLW 2021 Trade Wrap Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Sabrina Frederick’s move to the Pies was the first trade to go through. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

The 2021 AFLW trade period has ended—albeit later than initially planned—and we saw a number of high profile players find new homes. More interesting, however, was each club’s strategy, what they appear to be targeting and how they are looking to build a list. There were also a few surprising delistings, players who will likely walk to new clubs in the coming weeks.

Adelaide Crows

Current draft hand

17, 20, 34, 47 (1, 2, 3, 4 in South Australia’s draft pool)

Incoming

Pick 20, pick 47

Outgoing

Chloe Scheer (Geelong), Renee Forth (delisted), pick 49

Ebony Marinoff has signed on for a further two years at the Crows, after the Saints pursued her signature. AFLW 2021 Trade Wrap Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Ebony Marinoff has signed on for a further two years at the Crows, after the Saints pursued her signature. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

Current confirmed re-signings

Sarah Allan (2022), Chelsea Biddell (2022), Hannah Button (2022), Ailish Considine (2022), Dayna Cox (2022), Caitlin Gould (2022), Anne Hatchard (2022), Eloise Jones (2022), Ebony Marinoff (2023), Rachelle Martin (2022), Hannah Munyard (2022), Madison Newman (2022), Marijana Rajcic (2022), Chelsea Randall (2023), Deni Varnhagen (2022), Lisa Whiteley (2022), Ashleigh Woodland (2022)

*Jess Sedunary will be inactive for season 21/22

It could be argued that the Crows have come out of this trade period a poorer side, having lost emerging talent Chloe Scheer, but given their unique access to the South Australian draft pool, they are well positioned to make the most of the loss. While Scheer had an enormous impact in 2021, retaining the likes of Marinoff—who was being targeted by the Saints—Hatchard, Allan and Randall is arguably even more important for Adelaide. A steady side who, save for catastrophic injury concerns, should continue on their successful path.


Brisbane Lions

Current draft hand

18, 35, 50, 64 (4, 6, 7, 9 in Queensland’s draft pool)

Incoming

N/A

Outgoing

Lauren Arnell, Jessy Keeffe, Rheanne Lugg, Emma Zielke (retired), Beth Pinchin, Selina Priest, Ruby Svarc, Jordan Zanchetta (delisted)

Lauren Arnell went out on a high, winning a premiership with the Brisbane Lions. AFLW 2021 Trade Wrap Image: Megan Brewer
Lauren Arnell went out on a high, winning a premiership with the Brisbane Lions. Image: Megan Brewer

Current confirmed re-signings

Alexandra Anderson (2022), Emily Bates (2022), Greta Bodey (2022), Shannon Campbell (2022), Gabby Collingwood (2022), Sophie Conway (2022), Dakota Davidson (2023), Belle Dawes (2022), Jade Ellenger (2022), Natalie Grider (2022), Talia Hickie (2022), Courtney Hodder (2022), Breanna Koenan (2022), Kate Lutkins (2023), Maria Moloney (2022), Orla O’Dwyer (2022), Lily Postlethwaite (2022), Cathy Svarc (2022), Indy Tahau (2022), Jesse Wardlaw (2022), Jess Wuetschner (2022)

The Lions look to still be focused on bringing draftees in to support this young premiership side. Despite eight players who won’t be there for season 21/22, just two played key roles in this year’s campaign—Lauren Arnell and Emma Zilke—and the club has got some ready-made replacements at their disposal, largely thanks to their forced rebuild over 2019 and 2020. 


Carlton Blues

Current draft hand

10, 11, 23, 26, 40, 58 (6, 7, 14, 16, 24, 34 in Victoria’s draft pool)

Incoming

Jess Dal Pos (GWS Giants), pick 10, pick 11, pick 23, pick 26, pick 40

Outgoing

Chloe Dalton, Katie Loynes (GWS Giants), Tayla Harris (Melbourne), Jess Hosking (Richmond), Alison Downie, Jess Edwards, Winnie Laing (delisted), pick 12, pick 44

Current confirmed re-signings

Lauren Brazzale (2023), Grace Egan (2022), Georgia Gee (2022), Serena Gibbs (2023), Kerryn Harrington (2022), Mimi Hill (2023), Courtney Jones (2022), Vaomua Laloifi (2022), Lucy McEvoy (2023), Abbie McKay (2023), Breann Moody (2022), Natalie Plane (2023), Gab Pound (2023), Madison Prespakis (2022), Nicola Stevens (2023), Paige Trudgeon (2022), Brooke Vernon (2022), Darcy Vescio (2023), Daisy Walker (2023), Brooke Walker (2023), Charlotte Wilson (2022)

Nicola Stevens has signed on at the Blues until 2023. AFLW 2021 Trade Wrap Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Nicola Stevens has signed on at the Blues until 2023. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

While on the surface it looks like a player exodus at Carlton, upon another inspection each player has left for a particular reason and shouldn’t be interpreted as a cultural issue at the club. Carlton had already resigned itself to move on its two oldest players—Katie Loynes and Alison Downie—who both found new homes, Chloe Dalton relocated so as to better balance her footy and Rugby 7s commitments, and there was a contractual impasse with Tayla Harris. The surprise, however, was Jess Hosking’s request to be reunited with her sister at Richmond, which came in the final minutes of the trade period and was confirmed after Wednesday’s 2pm deadline. 

Overshadowed by all these outgoing players is the addition of inaugural Giant Jess Dal Pos, who will reunite with Darebin Falcons teammates Darcy Vescio and Elise O’Dea at the Blues. Her composure and leadership will be very valuable through the middle of the ground for Carlton, and they take a strong hand into the draft.


Collingwood Magpies

Current draft hand

29, 32, 33, 62 (19, 20, 21, 37 in Victoria’s draft pool)

Incoming

Sabrina Frederick (Richmond), Alison Downie (Carlton – delisted free agent), pick 29, pick 32

Sabrina Frederick has joined Collingwood. AFLW 2021 Trade Wrap Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Sabrina Frederick has joined Collingwood. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

Outgoing

Abbey Green, Sharni Norder (retired), Maddie Shevlin (Richmond), Kristy Stratton (delisted), pick 16, pick 48

Current confirmed re-signings

Sophie Alexander (2022), Jordyn Allen (2022), Britt Bonnici (2022), Ash Brazill (2023), Tarni Brown (2023), Lauren Butler (2023), Mikala Cann (2023), Sophie Casey (2022), Steph Chiocci (2023), Brianna Davey (2023), Erica Fowler (2022), Jaimee Lambert (2022), Joanna Lin (2022), Stacey Livingstone (2022), Chloe Molloy (2023), Abbi Moloney (2022), Aliesha Newman (2022), Ebony O’Dea (2022), Alana Porter (2022), Imogen Purcell^ (2022), Sarah Rowe (2023), Ruby Schleicher (2023), Aishling Sheridan (2022), Bella Smith (2022), Amelia Velardo (2022)

*Jordan Membrey will be inactive for season 21/22 ^Rookie

Collingwood has retained the bulk of their list. AFLW 2021 Trade Wrap Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Collingwood has retained the bulk of their list. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

The Pies have quietly come away with some ideal inclusions this trade period without having to give up too much. Frederick looks to be the final piece to their puzzle—a strong, contested marking forward to get on the end of entries from players like Davey, Bonnici and Schleicher—and a ruck to help cover the retirement of Sharni Norder for the short term. While they don’t have the best of draft hands, it’s not a big priority at Collingwood thanks to the even side they have developed over the past two years, meaning they’re not reliant on draftees to come in and have an immediate impact.


Fremantle Dockers

Current draft hand

14, 31, 38, 46, 60 (2, 5, 6, 8, 10 in Western Australia’s draft pool)

Incoming

Pick 38

Outgoing

Leah Mascall (retired), Evangeline Gooch (West Coast), Tarnee Tester, Jess Trend, Alex Williams (delisted)

Hayley Miller is on board for season 21/22. AFLW 2021 Trade Wrap Image: Megan Brewer
Hayley Miller is on board for season 21/22. Image: Megan Brewer

Current confirmed re-signings

Ebony Antonio (2023), Kara Antonio (2022), Stephanie Cain (2023), Janelle Cuthbertson (2023), Mikayla Hyde (2022), Hayley Miller (2022), Laura Pugh (2023), Roxy Roux (2022), Matilda Sergeant (2022), Ange Stannett (2023), Jasmin Stewart (2022), Mim Strom (2022), Tiah Toth [nee: Haynes] (2022), Bianca Webb (2022)

*Ashley Sharp will be inactive for season 21/22

Fremantle is another club which has largely backed in its existing list for next season, focused on adding depth via the draft rather than targeting talent at other clubs. Evie Gooch’s trade did, however, prove to be a surprise. The defender played just three games this year due to a combination of work commitments and injury, which allowed the Dockers to structure a defence without her, led by All Australian Janelle Cuthbertson.


Geelong Cats

Current draft hand

2, 7, 9, 15, 52 (1, 4, 5, 10, 30 in Victoria’s draft pool)

Incoming

Chantel Emonson (Melbourne), Chloe Scheer (Adelaide), pick 15

Bringing in premiership player Chloe Scheer has been a coup for Geelong. AFLW 2021 Trade Wrap Image: Megan Brewer
Bringing in premiership player Chloe Scheer has been a coup for Geelong. Image: Megan Brewer

Outgoing

Aasta O’Connor (retired), Olivia Purcell (Melbourne), Maddie Boyd, Richelle Cranston, Kate Darby, Nicole Garner, Rebecca Goring, Mia Skinner (delisted), pick 20, pick 37

Current confirmed re-signings

Millie Brown, Julia Crockett-Grills, Danielle Higgins, Madeline Keryk, Amy McDonald, Meghan McDonald, Nina Morrison, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Rebecca Webster (all 2022)

After a bleak year, the Cats are well poised to redevelop their list swiftly thanks to some priority selections and the addition of Chloe Scheer and Chantel Emonson. They have a genuine chance to address some key issues—particularly the ability to maintain structures and transition from defence to attack—through young talent out of the draft. Scheer is an ideal addition in these terms, able to play as a strong half forward who can win the ball, take contested marks, execute clean field kicks and also hit the scoreboard. Chantel Emonson can also assist in their rebound out of defence, taking the game on through the corridor with confidence. The loss of Purcell, while certainly significant, stings less given how well Amy McDonald controlled the contest this year, especially once Purcell was unavailable due to injury.


Gold Coast Suns

Current draft hand

1, 6, 8, 30, 51 (1, 2, 3, 5, 8 in Queensland’s draft pool)

Incoming

Vivien Saad (North Melbourne), Claudia Whitfort (St. Kilda), pick 30

Vivien Saad has made the move to Gold Coast. AFLW 2021 Trade Wrap Image: Megan Brewer
Vivien Saad has made the move to Gold Coast. Image: Megan Brewer

Outgoing

Sally Riley, Sam Virgo (retired), Georgia Bevan, Jordan Hickey, Leah Kaslar, Paige Parker, Molly Ritson (delisted), pick 19, pick 36

Current confirmed re-signings

Daisy D’Arcy, Maddison Levi, Lucy Single (all 2023)

The biggest priority for the Suns this off season had to be locking down their young talent who largely propped up the side this year, and they’ve begun that process with D’Arcy, Levi and Single all signing on for two years. Bringing in a utility like Vivien Saad from North Melbourne and a reliable mid/forward Claudia Whitfort will further help the side, which was hit hard by injury this year, exposing a frightening lack of depth in some areas. Outside of this, the Suns are well placed to snatch up the best talent in Queensland when it comes to the draft, in order to follow Brisbane’s lead and further develop a young core that will ideally stick around for the long term.


Greater Western Sydney Giants

Current draft hand

37, 42, 56 (1, 2, 3 in New South Wales’ draft pool)

Incoming

Chloe Dalton, Katie Loynes (Carlton), Jasmine Grierson (North Melbourne), pick 37, pick 42

Outgoing

Elle Bennetts (Western Bulldogs), Jess Dal Pos (Carlton), Aimee Schmidt (West Coast – restricted free agent), Sarah Halvorsen, Jodie Hicks, Erin Todd, Britt Tully (delisted), pick 10, pick 27

Current confirmed re-signings

Rebecca Beeson, Alicia Eva, Tait Mackrill, Alyce Parker, Rebecca Privitelli, Pepa Randall, Louise Stephenson (all 2022)

*Jess Allan will be inactive for season 21/22

The Giants have had one of the busiest trade periods in their history, bringing in some players who will fill important roles in the 21/22 season. Chloe Dalton, above all, fills a need the Giants have had for a number of years—outside attacking run. Katie Loynes will provide some of the on field leadership lost in the Jess Dal Pos and Elle Bennetts trades, while Jasmine Grierson’s clean kick will be helpful off the half back line. While losing Dal Pos, Bennetts and Schmidt isn’t ideal, a bit of disruption in GWS’ typical first choice 21 might just see some more creativity in the way they play. Britt Tully is weighing up her footy future, and for this reason requested to be delisted—a loss to their midfield, but an opening for Loynes—and Jess Allan will be inactive next season, putting all that ruck pressure back on Erin McKinnon.


Melbourne Demons

Current draft hand

44, 49, 61 (26, 29, 36 in Victoria’s draft pool)

Tayla Harris returns to the Demons, the club she played for during the exhibition series preceding the AFLW. AFLW 2021 Trade Wrap Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Tayla Harris returns to the Demons, the club she played for during the exhibition series preceding the AFLW. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

Incoming

Tayla Harris (Carlton), Olivia Purcell (Geelong), Eliza West (Casey – rookie), pick 44, pick 49

Outgoing

Tegan Cunningham, Meg Downie, Niamh McEvoy, Shae Sloane (retired), Mietta Kendall (delisted), Chantel Emonson (Geelong), pick 15, pick 32, pick 42, pick 47

Related—AFLW Player development: how the Demons are getting it right

Current confirmed re-signings

Alyssa Bannan (2023), Libby Birch (2022), Maggie Caris (2023), Gabby Colvin (2022), Megan Fitzsimon (2022), Maddi Gay (2023), Sinead Goldrick (2022), Tyla Hanks (2023), Shelley Heath (2023), Kate Hore (2023), Sarah Lampard (2022), Lauren Magee (2022), Eliza McNamara (2023), Lily Mithen (2022), Jackie Parry (2023), Karen Paxman (2023), Daisy Pearce (2022), Lauren Pearce (2023), Krstel Petrevski (2022), Shelley Scott (2022), Casey Sherriff (2023), Isabella Simmons (2022), Brenna Tarrant (2023), Eden Zanker (2023)

Alyssa Bannan is one of 13 Demons who have signed on for the next two seasons. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Alyssa Bannan is one of 13 Demons who have signed on for the next two seasons. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

It’s widely accepted that Melbourne are the big winners of this trade period, bringing in Tayla Harris and Olivia Purcell for relatively little, but this was only made possible due to their ruthless attitude this time last year. Without a reliance on high end draft picks this year, the Demons have been able to target elite talent at other clubs. Harris will help spread the load up forward, set to play alongside Shelley Scott, Jackie Parry and Alyssa Bannan in the forward half, while Olivia Purcell won’t need to be rushed back from her ACL injury, but once ready will add even more depth to the midfield. With Meg Downie retiring, it looks probable that Brenna Tarrant will become a permanent backline fixture—given the depth up forward—and Cunningham’s retirement will likely see Maggie Caris get an early debut next season to support Lauren Pearce. Possibly more significant is that Melbourne has locked away 27 players for the 21/22 season, with 13 of those players signing on until the 22/23 season. 


North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos

Current draft hand

13, 19, 28, 45, 59 (9, 12, 18, 27, 35 in Victoria’s draft pool)

Incoming

Pick 19, pick 28

Outgoing

Jasmine Grierson (GWS Giants), Vivien Saad (Gold Coast), Katelyn Cox, Kate Gillespie-Jones, Georgia Hammond, Beth Lynch, Tahni Nestor (delisted), pick 30

Current confirmed re-signings

Sophie Abbatangelo, Kaitlyn Ashmore, Jenna Bruton, Jasmine Garner, Ellie Gavalas, Emma King, Mia King, Talia Randall, Ash Riddell, Sarah Wright (all 2022)

Kaitlyn Ashmore is one of ten Kangaroos who signed on for two years in last year's sign on period. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Kaitlyn Ashmore is one of ten Kangaroos who signed on for two years in last year’s sign on period. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

There were a few surprises at North Melbourne during this trade period—Viven Saad’s move to the Gold Coast came from nowhere—including Kate Gillespie-Jones’ delisting. While it was known that the utility was looking around for a new home, she is too valuable a player to not be listed for the 21/22 season. It seems that the Kangaroos are looking to refresh their list through the draft this year after an underwhelming season.


Richmond Tigers

Current draft hand

5, 16, 55, 57 (3, 11, 32, 33 in Victoria’s draft pool)

Incoming

Jess Hosking (Carlton), Poppy Kelly (St. Kilda), Maddie Shevlin (Collingwood), pick 57

Jess Hosking has been reunited with her sister during the trade period. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Jess Hosking has been reunited with her sister during the trade period. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

Outgoing

Sabrina Frederick (Collingwood), Alice Edmonds, Emily Harley, Luka Lesosky-Hay, Phoebe Monahan, Cleo Saxon-Jones, Akec Makur Chuot, Holly Whitford, Alana Woodward (delisted), pick 23, pick 26, pick 40

Current confirmed re-signings

Christina Bernardi, Maddy Brancatisano, Katie Brennan, Hannah Burchell, Monique Conti, Harriet Cordner, Sarah D’Arcy, Sarah Dargan, Kate Dempsey, Sarah Hosking, Kodi Jacques, Tessa Lavey, Laura McClelland, Ellie McKenzie, Hannah McLaren, Rebecca Miller, Sophie Molan, Iilish Ross, Sarah Sansonetti, Gabby Seymour, Tayla Stahl, Courtney Wakefield (contract lengths TBC)

After being given more priority selections by the AFL, Richmond will again take some high picks into this year’s draft, while also bringing in three players via trades. This was coach Ryan Ferguson’s first opportunity to really have a say in list management after getting the gig after both the trade period and draft last year, and he’s gone all in. Eight players have been delisted—albeit the club has committed to re-drafting Akec Makur Chuot—and Sabrina Frederick has moved on to Collingwood, which sees almost a third of their list turned over. The addition of Poppy Kelly is a great long-term move, set to assist Gabby Seymour in the ruck and have an impact forward, while reliable role players Jess Hosking and Maddie Shevlin will support the top level talent already in the side.


St. Kilda Saints

Current draft hand

4, 12, 36, 39, 48, 54 (2, 8, 22, 23, 28, 31 in Victoria’s draft pool)

Incoming

Pick 12, pick 36, pick 48

Outgoing

Selena Karlson (retired), Poppy Kelly (Richmond), Claudia Whitfort (Gold Coast), Alison Brown, Tamara Luke, Nadia von Bertouch (delisted), pick 22, pick 25

Current confirmed re-signings

Rosie Dillon, Caitlin Greiser, Tilly Lucas-Rodd, Kate McCarthy, Molly McDonald, Georgia Patrikios, Isabella Shannon, Olivia Vesely, Rhiannon Watt, Tarni White, Nicola Xenos (all 2022)

The Saints seem focused on heading to the draft this year, engaging in some trades to shuffle higher up the draft order, adding to their priority selection provided by the AFL. They’ve also said goodbye to some promising young players in Poppy Kelly and Claudia Whitfort, with Kelly especially leaving the Saints with a real lack of ruck depth. It’s worth keeping in mind that St. Kilda will be hoping to get Clara Fitzpatrick, Olivia Vesely and Nicola Xenos back on the park next season, which will be like having three top end draftees in themselves.


West Coast Eagles

Current draft hand

3, 21, 24, 41, 53 (1, 3, 4, 7, 9 in Western Australia’s draft pool)

Incoming

Evangeline Gooch (Fremantle), Aimee Schmidt (GWS Giants – restricted free agent)

Outgoing

Mhicca Carter, Beatrice Devlyn, Brianna Green, Alicia Janz, Demi LIddle, Julie-Ann Norrish, Kate Orme, Chantella Perera, Katelyn Pope (delisted), pick 38

Current confirmed re-signings

Dana Hooker, Parris Laurie, Belinda Smith (all 2022)

Belinda Smith has been a rock in defence for the Eagles. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Belinda Smith has been a rock in defence for the Eagles. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

The Eagles have come away from this trade period quietly on top, bringing in Schmidt and Gooch for just pick 38 (pick 6 in WA). West Coast was one of the hardest hit by injury through season 2020, which has seen them delist a number of players who have struggled to get consistently on the park. Surprisingly, injury-replacement player Katelyn Pope hasn’t done enough to earn herself another contract, so will return to South Australia. As much as their drafted talent will be important next season, the return of players like McKenzie Dowrick, Dana Hooker and Ashton Hill will be just as valuable.

Western Bulldogs

Current draft hand

22, 25, 27, 43 (13, 15, 17, 25 in Victoria’s draft pool)

Incoming

Elle Bennetts (GWS Giants), pick 22, pick 25, pick 27

Outgoing

Lauren Spark, Amelia Van Oosterwijck (retired), pick 11, pick 28, pick 57

Current confirmed re-signings

TBC

Jess Fitzgerald is one of the young stars at the Bulldogs. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Jess Fitzgerald is one of the young stars at the Bulldogs. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

The Dogs have been developing their list through top end draft picks over the last three years, and as they track toward what will likely be a highly successful season, their list remains very steady. Bringing in Elle Bennetts adds some more leadership, and will likely provide support to their young back half, but otherwise Nathan Burke looks to be backing in his young list—which really doesn’t have too many gaps.


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