In the upcoming season of AFL Womens, players from Gippsland are now more present than ever.
Here is a list of players to keep an eye on:
NICOLE GARNER – GEELONG
A former baseballer, Garner has won a best & fairest with Gippsland Galaxy and co-captained the Casey VFLW side in 2019.
She was drafted by Geelong at pick 50 in the 2019 AFLW draft.
TAYLA STAHL – RICHMOND
Previously a Victorian representative in netball at an Under 18’s level, the goal kicking machine from Bass Coast Breakers saw her dominate the SEWF goal kicking table in 2018 with 61 goals from 12 matches and help secure a premiership for the Breakers. She also managed a best & fairest award as well.
Picked up by the Richmond VFLW side in 2019, Stahl 6 goals in Round 1 and was drafted by Richmond’s AFLW side immediately afterwards via the expansion side draft rule. She kicked 19 goals in 14 games in 2019 and was named in the forward pocket of the VFLW team of the year.
HOLLY WHITFORD – RICHMOND
Drafted at pick 4 in the AFLW 2017 rookie draft, Whitford managed four games over two seasons before being delisted in April 2019.
A strong season with Melbourne Uni in the 2019 VFLW season strengthened her credentials and saw her picked up by Richmond at pick 43 in the 2019 AFLW National Draft.
KAILA BENTVELZEN – COLLINGWOOD
After spending two years at Casey’s VFLW side, Bentvelzen made recruiters stand up and notice her when she transformed herself from a forward to a key defender.
She was picked up by Collingwood at pick 67 in the 2019 AFLW National Draft.
TYLA HANKS – MELBOURNE
A highly fancied draft prospect in her final year with Gippsland Power after being named in the TAC Cup Under 18 All Australian side, Hanks was picked up by Melbourne with pick 6 in the 2018 AFLW National Draft.
Despite an interrupted pre-season, she played all 7 home-and-away games in the AFLW 2019 season. She also had a strong 2019 season in the VFLW with Casey.
DARCY GUTTRIDGE – ST KILDA
A former Vic Country captain, Guttridge was drafted by Collingwood at pick 9 in the 2017 AFLW National Draft.
Due to a broken collarbone that kept her out of the 2018 season, Guttridge didn’t make her AFLW debut until 2019, where she managed 3 games before deciding to sign with new expansion team St Kilda.
KELLY O’NEILL – ST KILDA
After playing 17 matches for St Kilda’s VFLW side, the Southern Saints, O’Neill was picked up as an expansion recruit for St Kilda. She is another Bass Coast Breakers product who played ruck in local levels, but can also play as a tall winger.
CASEY SHERRIFF – MELBOURNE
Originally picked up a replacement player for Daisy Pearce as a category B rookie in the 2019 season, the athletic rebounding defender was elevated from the Casey VFLW side. Yet to make her AFLW debut, Sherriff will be keen to break into the side this season.
The AFLW 2020 season begins on Friday February 7th, 2020
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