It’s a tough call with so many stand-out players that truly impressed this season, but here are our picks for the ultimate AFLW team of the 2020 season.
Libby Birch (Melbourne) and Stacey Livingstone (Collingwood)
Jade Pregelj (Gold Coast), Kate Lutkins (Brisbane), and Daisy Pearce (Melbourne)
Birch and Livingstone are two of the best lockdown defenders in our game, while Pregelj and Lutkins are some of the game’s very best rebound defenders.
Pregelj finished the season leading the intercept possession count (55) while Lutkins was closely on her toes (47). Daisy Pearce also has the work rate and ability to read the game, meaning that slotting her into half back makes a dynamite defensive line that would seriously complicate any attacking play.
Nobody told Kate Lutkins that defenders don't kick goals. This one is your Round Four @coateshire Goal of the Year winner 😎— AFL Women's (@aflwomens) March 4, 2020
Head to Google and search 'AFLW vote' to have your say in next week's Coates Hire Goal of the Year nominations 💻📱 #AFLWvote pic.twitter.com/JsLEsgC211
Sharni Layton (Collingwood), Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne), Kiara Bowers (Fremantle), Maddie Prespakis (Carlton), Jaimee Lambert (Collingwood), and Karen Paxman (Melbourne)
Layton had a break-out season; proving that she is the dominant ruck at the Pies, she averaged 120 hit outs per game. Layton is just as dangerous everywhere else on the ground, meaning that she could play the tall forward role or take a few intercept marks down back when necessary.
Garner had an outstanding season spending most of her time in the midfield and really dominating for the Kangaroos as she averaged 20 disposals.
Bowers helped bring the Dockers to another level in terms of their pressure, laying 99 tackles across the season, taking 76 contested possessions and averaging 18 disposals.
Prespakis also stood in 2020 to help fill the void in Carlton’s midfield, averaging 21 disposals per game and totalling 30 clearances for the season.
Lambert averaged 22 disposals a game and leads the competition in contested possessions (84). She is a versatile player and can be just as dangerous up forward as she is in the midfield.
Paxman led the comp in clearances and was an absolute jet across the season, helping the Dees with a smooth and consistent transition into their forward line.
Chloe Molloy (Collingwood) and Kalinda Howarth (Gold Coast)
Sabreena Duffy (Fremantle), Caitlin Greiser (St Kilda), and Tayla Harris (Carlton)
These forwards are extremely dangerous when inside their forward 50 and you can tell that their teammates trust them to deliver when ball is in hand.
Chloe Molloy picked up right where she left off this season, after missing out on playing in the AFLW in 2019 due to a nasty foot injury. She finished the home and away season with five goals, scoring a particularly important one in the Pies’ semi-final against North. Molloy is a truly dynamic player that can play anywhere on the ground and make a massive impact for her team.
Kalinda Howarth had a breakout year in her first season at the Suns. The best thing about her game is her ability to manufacture a magic moment out of nothing. When she wasn’t kicking goals, she was helping her teammates do so, and became a really dangerous forward for the Suns inside 50. Howarth finished the Season with nine goals, after two massive outings against the Eagles and the Lions.
Tayla Harris can really break packs up forward and even though she takes a great mark most of the time, when she doesn’t, she continues to push, usually by bringing the ball to ground to allow Carlton’s small forwards to convert. Harris finished the home and away season with seven goals and kicked one goal in the Blues’ semi-final against the Lions. She also had 31 score involvements which proves that she isn’t just dangerous in front of goal, but really anywhere in the forward 50.
Sabreena Duffy also picked up where she left off after a great first season for the Dockers, having another stellar year in 2020. Duffy put away nine goals in the home and away season, and had a day out kicking three in the runaway semi-final against the Suns.
Caitlin Greiser or—as she is known down at Moorabbin—the ‘G-Train’, made a splash in her first season in AFLW, taking out the Leading Goal kicker award in her first season at the elite level. She finished the season with 10 Goals, notably helping the Saints to record their first ever win in the competition by kicking the sealer against the Demons back in Round 3.
Isabel Huntington (Western Bulldogs), Anne Hatchard (Adelaide), Gemma Houghton (Fremantle), Ash Riddell (North Melbourne), and Alyce Parker (GWS Giants)
Isabel Huntington was a stand-out in her first season in defence, even though she missed a few games due to injury. Huntington was a massive asset for the Dogs, totalling 11 contested marks for the season and 42 intercept possessions.
In a poor season from Adelaide, Anne Hatchard was certainly a highlight. In Round 1, she broke the record for the most disposals in a game with an incredible effort of 34. She averaged 25 disposals a game, certainty helping the Crows fill the void left by the injured Erin Phillips.
Gemma Houghton caused havoc for opposition defence this season. She may have scored only four goals of her own, but she led the competition in score involvements totalling 34 efforts that resulted in a positive change to Freo’s scoreboard.
After an injury-riddled first season, Ash Riddell really shone this season, becoming a truly damaging player for the Roos. Averaging 21 disposals per game, she was one of the Shinboner’s most consistent performers, showing the AFLW that she was back with a vengeance.
Alyce Parker also had a fantastic second season in the AFLW as a midfielder with the GWS Giants. She brought her game to another level, totalling 82 contested possessions for the season and averaging 21 disposals per game.