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How the 2020 expansion sides are doing


THE NEXT season seven of the NAB AFLW competition marks the fourth time that Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast will have fielded an AFLW team.

With four more new teams just joining the competition, it’s time to look back at the latest phase of expansion and how these teams have evolved over the past two and a half years.

Golden Coast


st kilda

Western coast

Still on the list





play elsewhere















* The Eagles had a roster of 32 (down from 30) due to two inactive players in 2020


Gold Coast’s retention of its initial 30-man squad was heading towards best-of-four until Port Adelaide struck last offseason, losing five players and dropping its inaugural player count from 13 to eight.

The remaining players are all top 21, although Jade Pregelj is out this season with a torn ACL.

Structurally, the Suns have retained two key backs, their No. 1 ruck and two of their best midfielders, but the forward line has been a constant area of ​​reinvention heading into their fourth season.

The club’s four top managers in 2020 – Sam Virgo, Leah Kaslar, Tiarna Ernst and Sally Riley – have all hung up their boots, opening the door for the next generation to lead the club.

Still on the list: Lauren Ahrens, Lauren Bella, Tori Groves-Little, Ellie Hampson, Kalinda Howarth, Jade Pregelj, Jamie Stanton, Serene Watson
Play elsewhere: Hannah Dunn, Cheyenne Hammond, Brittany Perry, Kate Surman, Jacqui Yorston (all in Port Adelaide), Charlotte Hammans (Carlton), Dee Heslop, Taylor Smith (Brisbane), Jasmyn Hewett (Adelaide), Lexi Hamilton (delisted, now Sydney)
Deleted: Georgia Breward, Jordann Hickey, Paige Parker, Emma Pittman, Molly Ritson, Maddy Roberts, Tayla Thorn, Kitara Whap-Farrar
Retired: Tiarna Ernst, Leah Kaslar, Sally Riley, Sam Virgo

The Gold Coast players laugh during the official team photo day on August 12, 2022. Image: AFL Photos


Surprisingly, Richmond has a similar roster spread across Gold Coast, but retained a few more players than the Suns.

The Tigers cut hard and early, with the majority of their write-offs coming after seasons one and two, making significant changes to the original roster.

Things stabilized somewhat in the last offseason, but opposing teams came hard for players removed from Richmond’s roster, seeing value where the Tigers had none or had an oversupply. In the region.

Bec Miller is the only defender still on the roster as of 2020 (with Laura McClelland able to play at either end), with the forward line and midfield remaining relatively unscathed.

Still on the list: Maddy Brancatisano, Katie Brennan, Hannah Burchell, Monique Conti, Kate Dempsey, Kodi Jacques, Laura McClelland, Bec Miller, Sophie Molan, Gabby Seymour, Courtney Wakefield
Play elsewhere: Phoebe Monahan (deregistered, now Brisbane), Alice Edmonds (deregistered, now Western Bulldogs), Alana Woodward (Sydney), Sabrina Frederick (Collingwood), Sarah Sansonetti (deregistered, now Collingwood), Akec Makur Chuot (deregistered, now Hawthorn), Grace Campbell (North Melbourne)
Deleted: Christina Bernardi, Nekaela Butler, Ciara Fitzgerald, Emily Harley, Emma Horne, Ilish Ross, Cleo Saxon-Jones, Holly Whitford
Retired: Laura Bailey, Tayla Stahl, Lauren Tesoriero, Ella Wood

Richmond players pose during their official team photo day ahead of the AFLW’s seventh season on August 9, 2022. Photo: AFL Photos


Perhaps reflecting having won the most games from the expansion quartet, the Saints have also retained the most players.

Isabella Shannon is also expected to return to the club, having paused the upcoming season due to study commitments.

The Saints also have the most players listed in 2020 plying their trade at another club, with a number of them having been written off and finding new homes.

The backline has seen the most movement – ​​only Clara Fitzpatrick remains a pure defender, with Hannah Priest and Tarni White spending time in midfield.

Still on the list: Rosie Dillon, Nat Exon, Clara Fitzpatrick (re-enrollment), Caitlin Greiser, Darcy Guttridge, Molly McDonald, Georgia Patrikios, Hannah Priest, Kate Shierlaw, Liv Vesely, Tarni White, Nicola Xenos
Play elsewhere: Alison Brown, Samantha Johnson, Rhi Watt (all debarred, now Melbourne), Alison Drennan, Claudia Whitfort (Gold Coast), Tilly Lucas-Rodd (Hawthorn), Tamara Luke and Kate McCarthy (debarred, now Hawthorn), Jess Sedunary (West Coast), Poppy Kelly (Richmond), Cat Phillips (Essendon)
Deleted: Melissa Kuys, Kelly O’Neill, Isabella Shannon (currently on temporary study break), Nadia von Bertouch
Retired: Selena Karlson, Emma Mackie, Courteney Munn

St Kilda players rush onto the pitch ahead of a training match against Brisbane at RSEA Park on August 12, 2022. Photo: AFL Photos


The Eagles almost completely revamped their inaugural roster, opting to start over in their build.

They have also comfortably had the most players to completely hang up their boots, with five dropping out after the 2022 season alone.

One of the contributing factors to the lower number of players still on rosters elsewhere and the higher number of strikes may be the state nature of the AFLW, as it is more difficult to find another home without traveling across the country. .

Dana Hooker and Emma Swanson have been the core of the midfield, while Belinda Smith has been a mainstay at half-back and Sophie McDonald has become a key defender.

Still on the list: Kate Bartlett (re-enrolled), Hayley Bullas, Imahra Cameron, Kellie Gibson, Dana Hooker, Sophie McDonald, Belinda Smith, Emma Swanson
Play elsewhere: Ashlee Atkins (deregistered, now Gold Coast), Mikayla Bowen (Geelong), Maddy Collier (Sydney), McKenzie Dowrick (deregistered, now Adelaide), Grace Kelly (St Kilda), Niamh Kelly (Adelaide)
Deleted: Mhicca Carter, Cassie Davidson, Rosie Deegan, Beatrice Devlyn, Brianna Green, Alicia Janz, Emily McGuire, Kate Orme, Chantella Perera, Danika Pisconeri, Tarnee Tester
Retired: Emily Bonser, Melissa Caulfield, Andrea Gilmore, Courtney Guard, Ashton Hill, Parris Laurie, Talia Radan

West Coast players at the official team photo day on August 10, 2022. Photo: AFL Photos