Top Eight: First-Year AFLW Players from the First Three Rounds
2020 may have been a less than favourable year but the 2020 AFLW Draft Class certainly did not disappoint. In a year that had too many lows to even list, the draft was a literal light at the end of the tunnel for the football world—and now that the dust has settled, a lot of these names have only made themselves more well-known.
From standout debut games to consistently strong performances, we have put together a draft class reunion in order to bring to you some of the standout first-year players from the first three rounds of the 2021 AFL Women’s season.
Scroll down to the Top Eight: First Year AFLW Players from the First Three Rounds (Part One).
#8 Sarah Hartwig (Western Bulldogs)
The eleventh pick in the 2020 AFLW Draft and about the only young defender to make Part One of this list; Sarah Hartwig found her footing very early on into her AFLW career. The 18-year old has averaged a solid total of seven disposals a match--brining her season total to twenty-two touches, six marks and three tackles.
#7 Alyssa Bannan (Melbourne)
This Northern Knight product did not take long to show why she was the fifth pick in last year's draft. The young forward showed what she was capable of during her second match when, during the second quarter, she struck with two quick goals. The young Demon has also collected a total of twenty touches, six marks and six tackles; not to mention that she also loves a good goal celebration.
#6 Teah Charlton (Adelaide)
Adelaide's first pick of the 2020 AFLW Draft and the fourth overall, Teah Charlton has not looked out of place in the red, blue and yellow. Donning the same number as she did in the SANFLW, this young Crow has so far collected thirty disposals, sixteen tackles and three marks--which brings her average to exactly ten touches a match.
#5 Eliza McNamara (Melbourne)
Melbourne's eye for young talent continues with their second player to make the list. This time it is young winger and the fifteenth pick from the 2020 draft, Eliza McNamara, who has so far gathered thirty-one disposals, seven tackles and six marks. She has been one to follow since Round One as she burst on to the scene with eighteen touches on debut.
#4 Jessica Fitzgerald (Western Bulldogs)
Jess Fitzgerald was the sixth pick in the 2020 AFLW Draft and so far she has done nothing except impress. Showing she has strength in all the key aspects of footy, she has so far collected thirty-three disposals, nine tackles, seven marks and two goals. She did not take long to shine either as her Round Two performance included fifteen disposals and a goal.
#3 Mimi Hill (Carlton)
This Oakleigh product became a Carlton fan-favourite even before making her debut; and she was quick to repay the favour. Being the twelve pick of the 2020 Draft and wearing the number ten, she has so far gathered thirty-seven touches from her three games. A really impressive on-baller, her Round Two performance was an outstanding display as she finished with nineteen touches.
#2 Tyanna Smith (St Kilda)
The sixth pick from last year's draft, Tyanna Smith has really impressed in the red, black and white. Starting on a real high, she collected sixteen touches and a goal on debut--and has continued to perform at that same high level ever since. Her debut season statistics currently sit at forty-three disposals, sixteen tackles, ten marks and two goals.
#1 Ellie McKenzie (Richmond)
Carrying the weight of expectations as she was the first pick of the 2020 Draft--Ellie McKenzie has done nothing but impressive in the yellow and black. Putting in consistent performances, she has so far collected thirty-nine disposals, ten tackles, eight marks and two goals. Not only is she getting her hands on the footy, but she rarely wastes it either, thanks to her 72 per cent disposal efficiency.
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Special Thanks to all those who nominated players for this list.