by Peter Argent
For AFLW Season Eight a Supplementary Draft has been held, with 26 players either getting their first opportunity or returning to the competition.
As many as eight former AFLW players were given a second chance, including number one pick Erin Hoare (formerly with the Geelong Cats and Melbourne), midfielder Jasmine Stewart (Fremantle), dual sporting talent Katelyn Pope (West Coast Eagles), Selena Karlson (St Kilda and Western Bulldogs), Kristy Stratton (Collingwood), Bethany Pinchin (Brisbane Lions), Annise Bradfield (Gold Coast SUNS) and Yvonne Bonner (GWS GIANTS).
The number one draft selection, Erin Hoare last played in 2019 and added another child to the family, son Connor, but was keen to return to the fray.
“It’s a really unique set of circumstances that fell into place for my name to be read out first,” Hoare said post draft.
“It’s super exciting, a real privilege, and I’m just excited for all of us who were taken in the Supplementary Draft, to have another chance and do what we can for our respective teams.”
New club in 2022, Port Adelaide, were productive, collecting Stewart with the second pick, along with Katelyn Pope and Georgie Jaques.
Now 24, Stewart returns to the AFLW, after having originally been drafted as Fremantle’s number one pick in 2018 and playing 22 games for the Dockers.
The midfielder decided to take a step away from elite sport in mid-2022 and returned to WAFLW club, Claremont, where she was awarded the best on ground medal in her side’s winning Grand Final effort.
Pope is a former state cricketer who won a WNCL title in 2015-16 and was signed by West Coast as an injury replacement player in 2021. After being a SANFL boundary umpire for six years, she featured in North Adelaide’s SANFLW premierships in 2020 and 2022.
Originally hailing from Canberra and a young Indigenous woman, Jaques, who was born into the Port Adelaide family, is the daughter of 1998 SANFL Premiership player Daniel Jaques.
At 19, Jaques moves from Canberra to challenge herself in one of the country’s best state league competitions this season. She’s a developing tall who can play in the ruck or as a defender.
“We are very excited to have drafted three very promising players through the Supplementary Draft,” Power AFLW List manager, Naomi Maidment, explained.
“Jasmin and Katelyn both have proven experience at AFLW level and we are happy to give them both another opportunity. Jasmin has exciting on-field traits and will be a real asset to our playing group.
“Katelyn was a training partner with us last season and impressed us straight away, so she has certainly earned a spot on our list, while Georgie is a developing tall who we expect to thrive in our high-performance environment.
“Our list is now complete for 2023, and we feel it is versatile and strong, with a perfect blend of youth and experience.”
Details about AFLW season eight have yet to be released but based on the successful seventh edition of the women’s league – which was played from August to November last year – it is likely the competition will follow the same format and dates.