With the recent release of the AFLW All-Australian squad of 40 of the top players, we thought we would have a go at putting together the final 21. A tough task you think? Absolutely. Here’s The Women’s Game’s All-Australian Team.
Kate Hore – Even though Kate is rather undersized for a key forward, she was able to provide a tremendous and crucial presence up forward. Averaging almost a goal a game and 3 marks a week to help propel the Dees to their first final.
Caitlin Greiser – Maybe a surprise selection for some, but what a debut season from the young forward! Competed hard in the contest, kicked goals regularly, but also able to put them through from a long way out.
Sabreena Duffy – Arguably becoming the leading small forward in the competition alongside Georgia Gee, Duffy bagged 12 goals and was a constant threat up forward for the Dockers.
Jasmine Garner – Showed promising signs in her first season at North Melbourne, but stepped up to the elite category in her second season with the Roos. She won the ball regularly, constantly setting up her teammates inside 50 and scoring several goals herself. Such was her form, she may have won the AFLW Best and Fairest and led her team to a premiership.
Tayla Harris – Despite having her colours lowered by Stacey Livingstone in Round 2, Tayla had a very strong, consistent season up forward for the Blues. She scored goals as usual, but also contested hard and turned the game in the second half in Round 4 at Richmond Oval against the Crows.
Madison Prespakis – What more can you say about Maddy? She was so impressive in her first season but stepped up to another level in 2020, winning the ball regularly in the midfield. She works so hard and delivers with precision up forward to her teammates. A natural leader, I see her as a future captain at Carlton.
Anne Hatchard – After a brilliant season in 2019, she’s another that continued to develop this year. Starting with a monster game in Round 1 against the Lions, she was consistent in winning the ball, gaining ground and finding her teammates regularly. Anne works so hard from start to finish, doing everything in her power to help her team win.
Olivia Purcell – Continuing her great work from her first season with the Cats, Olivia continued to impress this year, winning mass amounts of ball in the midfield and scoring goals as quality midfielders do.
Daisy Pearce – What a return season from one of the best midfielders in AFLW! An inspired move to shift Daisy to centre half back, where she was able to control the game, provide amazing leadership and great rebound for the Demons, helping them to their first final in four seasons.
Jenna Bruton – We saw an ultra consistent season from the half back, constantly winning the ball and rebounding strongly to teammates further afield. Even more impressive was her tackle count of 41, showing a desire to hunt the opposition and win the ball back for her team.
Libby Birch – A great season down back, constantly halting opposition attacks with her intercepting ability and obvious marking prowess, as well as rebounding out of the Demons defensive 50. She was a crucial component of the Demons team that took them to their first AFLW final.
Sarah Allan – An impressive 2019 season continued into 2020, with Allan constantly thwarting opposition attacks. She has a cool, calm and collected approach to finding teammates afield that plays a crucial role in the Crows’ defensive line, beautifully filling the gap left by the absence of the brilliant Chelsea Randall.
Kate Lutkins – Lutkins has been a brilliant performer for the Lions in their three seasons, and didn’t disappoint in the short 2020 season. She is a force to be reckoned with when the opposition brings the ball inside her defensive 50, always being quick to rebound the ball to teammates further afield. Her uncanny ability to place herself in the right space at the right time, combined with her courage and leadership skills, make her an invaluable addition to any team.
Sharni Layton – Layton showed promise in her first season but brought her game to a new level this year, both as a Ruck and as a forward, to help lead Collingwood to their first final. A star netballer brimming with athleticism, agility and competitiveness, she is a cross-code athlete whose AFLW career looks to be heading in all the right directions.
Karen Paxman – l keep hearing the word ‘underrated’ associated with Karen and just don’t understand this. An absolute star midfielder since the very first game of AFLW. She is so consistent, such a great ball winner, a great leader, and great user of the ball. She has been one of the best midfielders to play in the AFLW so far and she is most deserving of a fourth All-Australian guernsey.
Jaimee Lambert – Jamie was nothing short of show stopping this season. She wins mountains of the ball in dangerous parts of the ground to provide her teammates with valuable scoring opportunities and is just as capable of putting them away herself. Along with Jazzy Garner, Lambert has to be one of the favourites for the AFLW Best and Fairest.
Ebony Marinoff – It was another very impressive season from the young Crow. We watched her win the ball consistently and be an absolute tackling machine (47 tackles). She formed a great partnership with Anne Hatchard in the midfield.
Kiara Bowers – A tremendous season as we have come to expect from Fremantle’s best midfielder. She wins the ball by applying enormous pressure and physicality on the opposition, breaking a record this season with a competition leading 99 tackles.
Emma Kearney – In another extremely consistent season from Kearney, we saw her average over 20 possessions per game. But where she wins the ball is the key to setting up her teammates up forward with scoring opportunities. A natural leader, working seamlessly with her fellow Kangas, she helped them make and win their first final.
Ash Riddell – After playing just two games in her debut season, Ash stepped up to become a leading midfielder in the competition, averaging over 21 disposals and constantly propelling her team forward. One of the many Kanga players that stepped up to lead them to their first final.
Alyce Parker – We saw an absolutely brilliant season from the young Giant in just her second season, averaging over 20 disposals but consistently showing great running ability both forward and back as all great midfielders do. She was instrumental in the Giants’ great win over the Crows in Round 6.
Honourable mentions also have to go to Georgia Gee, Emily Bates and Britt Bonnici. I’m sure anyone could make a strong case for them but equally for all the nominees. Finally, we appoint Kate Lutkins to the position of captain and Karen Paxman to vice-captain.
What a great season we saw from new and seasoned players in 2020; we can now look forward to the exciting games and players that 2021 is sure to bring.