St Kilda and Eagles make first signings

It is less than a year before St Kilda enters into the AFLW competition and they have made their first signing.

Ali Brown makes history as the first ever female footballer to sign with St Kilda Football Club.

The former Carlton player put pen to paper last week, realising a childhood dream for the life-long Saints fan.

“I was a little bit speechless when Pete (Peta Searle) and Jamie (Cox) told me,” Brown said.

“I’m super excited for the opportunity and just very grateful.

“I live just around the corner, so I remember coming and watching training here. It’s pretty unreal to be here now as a player."

West Coast Eagles also made their first signing in Mikayla Bowen. The 17-year-old has represented Western Australia at the NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships.

Gold Coast, Richmond, the Saints and Eagles can pre-list up to 10 players each up until the end of August ahead of joining the competition next year.

Setback for young Dee

Melbourne's first pick in the 2018 Draft, Tyla Hanks, faces the possibility of a delayed start to the season as she deals with bone bruising in her knee.

The midfielder suffered the injury in the late stages of the Demons' practice match two weeks ago.

"We're thinking possibly round two, but if everything goes well then round one (remains an option)," Hanks told

"I'll start running and see how I go. If there's no pain, I'll keep progressing.

"Pretty much two bones hit together, but (there was) no muscle or ligament damage so that was the most important thing to hear."

Captains make their predictions

The captains of the ten teams in the AFLW have given their predictions on the approaching season. They were anonymously polled on five key questions on how they believe the season will unfold

Which other team apart from your own is most likely to reach the Grand Final?
3 – Adelaide Crows
3 – North Melbourne
1 – Brisbane Lions
1 – Melbourne

Who will win the competition Best and Fairest?
4 – Ellie Blackburn (Bulldogs)
2 – Erin Phillips (Crows)
1 – Courtney Gum (GIANTS)
1 – Chelsea Randall (Crows)
1 – Elise O’Dea (Melbourne)
1 – Karen Paxman (Melbourne)
Who will kick the most goals in the competition?
4 – Erin Phillips (Crows)
2 – Phoebe McWilliams (Geelong)
2 – Katie Brennan (Bulldogs)
1 – Darcy Vescio (Carlton)
1 – Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne)
Who will win the NAB AFL Women’s Rising Star?
4 – Nina Morrison (Geelong)
3 – Maddison Prespakis (Carlton)
1 – Tyla Hanks (Melbourne)
1 – Alyce Parker (GIANTS)
1 – Jordan Allen (Collingwood)
 Who will be the best player from another sport?
4 – Ash Brazill (Collingwood)
2 – Yvonne Bonner (GIANTS)
1 – Shae Sloane (Melbourne)
1 – Chloe Dalton (Carlton)
1 – Sarah Rowe (Collingwood)
1 – Erin Phillips (Crows)

Debuts galore

After signing 30 months ago, Fremantle midfielder Kiara Bowers is set to play her first AFLW game.

Bowers, who has missed two years of football with a series of knee injuries, has been named in the side to face Melbourne at Casey Fields

Haneen Zreika will also make her debut after being re-drafted to the GWS Giants The club's top draft pick Alyce Parker, will also make her debut, along with Yvonne Bonner.

Former Australian Diamonds captain Sharni Layton has been named for her first AFLW game with Collingwood, with Irish Gaelic footballer Sarah Rowe also picked to debut.

Veteran to miss historic clash

Geelong skipper Melissa Hickey will miss the club's historic first AFLW match as she continues to recover from an ACL injury suffered last season.

She returned to full training a month ago. It means Bec Goring will lead Geelong in her first AFLW game, having been signed last year.

Davey returns

Carlton skipper Brianna Davey will line up against North Melbourne after rupturing her right ACL in February last year.

She kicked four goals in last weekends practice match.

Davey isn't the only player returning from injury with Melbourne's Sarah Lampard lining up in defence in her first game back from a knee reconstruction.