Now that the season has come to an unfortunate early end, we can look back on the young stars that truly found their place on the field this season. At 21 and under, these athletes show extreme promise for the future of the AFLW and women’s sport. Here are our players of choice, ranked from 10 to 1.
Huntington was also taken by the Western Bulldogs in the 2017 AFLW draft alongside Conti, after she was selected with the first overall pick.
Unfortunately, the highly-touted forward is another number one pick that has been plagued with injuries since being drafted. In her debut season, Huntington suffered her second ACL injury, ruling her out of the game for a year and reinsured the same knee in the 2019 season.
However, it looks as if the reliable user of the football is back to her best after being moved into defence ahead of the 2020 season and playing predominantly as an intercept defender.
In that role she flourished, showing off her footy smarts and clean hands. She ranked equal first for contested marks, averaging 4.8 marks per game, and second for intercept possessions across the competition.
The Dogs clearly trust her with the ball in hand coming out of defence and value her leadership, having earned a place in the six-person leadership group for the 2020 season despite only having played 5 AFLW games prior to this year.
Huntington earned her first NAB AFLW Rising Star nomination in Round 6 against the Dockers, collecting 15 disposals (14 of those kicks) and 6 marks.
The ever-reliable defender capped off her very impressive season with AFLW Team of the Year honours and a place on the All-Australian squad, announced earlier today.
Two 🐶 stars recognised!@eblackburn2 + @izzyhuntington have been selected in the AFLW All Australia squad of 40.#MightyWest pic.twitter.com/y9YGqWYqrJ— WesternBulldogs AFLW (@BulldogsW) April 3, 2020