VFLW 2023 Squad

This 27 is not the entirety of the 2023 VFLW list, but you can make some fairly obvious conclusions from it.

  • There are very few CONFIRMED losses to the squad that are NOT linked to the AFLW (of which there are many, but some may play for us anyway).
  • Those few changes include Marianna Anthony (gone to Norf), Nicole Julian (to Willy), and CBomb (retired).
  • It’s extremely likely there are quite a few more than that (e.g. I don’t think we’ve seen Jesse Davies all pre-season).
  • Various players are named in numbers that have been held by others previously, and fairly obvious conclusions can be made (e.g. Russell in Quigley’s #6, and Jayda Richardson in Nalder’s #30).
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Phone training time!

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#2 Manaia Huta

  • Played for Darebin in 2021 and 2022.
  • Western Jet in 2019 and 2020.
  • Listed in the Bests often at Werribee as a junior.


Got tatts since then, see photo posted earlier. Younger than I had guessed!

#5 Zoe Hurrell

AFLW Bin Chicken, sacked already. Is from Sydney, so… interesting.

Below was clearly written by an AFL apologist, or someone from Sydney who knows no better.

At just 20 years of age, Zoe Hurrell already has 10 seasons of AFL under her belt and a list of accolades to go with it. She spent six seasons playing with her junior club Willoughby Mosman Swans, followed by a year with her senior club at Sydney University, before joining North Shore Bombers in 2020. Hurrell played for NSW/ACT and the Eastern Allies in 2018/2019. She was named in the ‘Team of the Year’ for AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division, while also placing third for the rising star. She also played in the Under 19s QBE Sydney Swans Academy side last year. A versatile player having strengths are at either end of the ground, she is a good reader of the play and likes to play off half-back.

I do remember this goal against us… got her into the first kick first goal club.

Coming full circle:


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#6 Krystal Russell

Identified previously. Her plus Borg (though Jorja will drop out later in the season) is a solid ruck combo.

EDIT: and Morrow.

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#8 Jamiee-Lee Morrow

Name is not a typo!

Came third in Footscray’s B&F last year… likely little competition in a winless season!

Has a volleyball history and played at various clubs around the world 2011-2020.

Height varies between 182 and 177 at different sources.


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#9 Lily Bateman

Maribyrnong Park → Calder Cannons

Medium defender



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#14 Caitlin Grech

As previously identified: Cannons/Strathmore/St Bernards, 166cm defender, 19yo in May


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#17 Leah Spargo

Possible new holder of shortest player honours (157cm). Not a lightweight, though.



#24 Madison Gray

From Shepparton. Co-captain of Murray Bushrangers last year. Twin sister also played there. Made the VIC Country squad the last two years, and played for Port Melbourne. Plays as a wing or rebounding defender?

From above link:

Madison Gray is a highly athletic and clean defender who co-captained the Murray Bushrangers for the 2022 NAB League Girls season. Gray was often stationed out of defence and held a high line to impact the play up the field, and she had a run-and-gun attitude to her style. Not a high possession winner, Gray still caught the eye with her ball use and footy smarts.

In terms of her strengths, Gray certainly has a range, from her athletic capabilities to her natural football abilities. She recorded the highest standing jump and both sides running jumps , finished third overall in the agility and top 10 in the 20m sprint at the NAB League Girls Preseason Testing. She admitted she needed to improve her endurance, and after an injury setback this year where she only managed to play six games, that will still be the case. But as the numbers show, her athleticism alone is one area that catches the eye.

Outside her natural athleticism, Gray is a clean user of the ball and generally a good decision maker. With the amount of grass she takes on one of her runs, she already carries it that 60-metres plus, which is a huge advantage for her side. But not only does she carry it and use it well, she backs up effectively with strong second efforts. As an example she might spoil and opponent then attack the ball hard to win it at ground level and look for an option forward.

The knock on Gray will be her accumulation as she only averaged the 10 touches per game at NAB League level, and her highest disposal game was just 12. When she can build her tank further, she will be able to impact for longer and even spend more time up the field.

On pure football talent alone though, Gray has a great balance of traits and should be considered by an AFLW club.

Madison Gray has crushed the running vertical jumps tests the last two years at the preseason combine, picking up personal bests of 81cm (right) and 80cm (left) to be seven and four clear of the next highest jumpers.

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#25 Melanie Bateman

I’m still confused.

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#28 Tayla Hart-Aluni

Ahhh… this is the sis from photo #1 of the pre-season! Darwin Buffaloes, not Tiwi.


A smidgen of VFL experience before via the NT Thunder team. Currently listed as jumping 3cm to 165. Half-forward? Has kicked goals in key games.


Playing five games in her debut Thunder season kicking two goals. She represented the NT as part of the Central Allies team in the 2019 NAB AFLW Under18 Championships. Left foot kick with exceptional leap and strong hands.

Video below is 4 years old, she’s approaching 22yo now.



#33 Chloe Prpic

Gisborne → Cannons → Coburg

Listed as a mid, but Prpic was not prolific at the Cannons.


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#36 Reese Sutton

You likely know my thoughts on her already.


Brother Jake was also a Cannon, and is on our VFL list.

A speedy midfielder whose ball-winning appetite is ravenous, Reese Sutton boasts some eye-catching attributes and a nice balance between her inside and outside game. The Calder Cannons co-captain was overlooked for the initial Vic Metro Under 18 hub this year, but proved undeniable in the end and contributed two terrific outings at representative level, on the back of a consistent NAB League Girls campaign.

One of the standouts out of the Calder Cannons this year has been Reese Sutton, whose feats as co-captain almost helped the region secure a NAB League Girls finals place. Operating through midfield across nine games, the 17-year-old worked her way back into representative contention having turned out for Vic Metro at Under 17 level last year, and eventually earned a spot in the Under 18 side.

Her inside-outside balance was proven by season’s end, with Sutton a prolific centre bounce asset in Calder colours, but a designated winger for Metro. On-ball, she used her smarts, clean hands, and turn of speed to prove an evasive clearance winner, bursting away in a flash or dishing out to her fellow midfielders to help link the ball forward.

On the outside, Sutton’s speed was just as useful as she looked to break the lines and be aggressive each time she earned possession. Despite being of the small-to-medium variety, the nifty ball winner showed enough guts to win her own ball and even from her station on the wing, earned possessions at a 53 per cent contested rate for Vic Metro. Remarkably, she also clunked three contested marks in her two-game carnival.

Completing a relatively well-rounded midfield game is Sutton’s defensive pressure. You have to be able to go both ways, and she certainly did that throughout 2022 with tackle averages of 8.4 in the NAB League and 3.5 during the championships. Again leaning on that speed, Sutton’s efforts to harass the opposition could seldom be questioned.

In the way of improvements, her disposal on the end of each stoppage breakaway may be an area to look at. While clean by hand and technically okay by foot, being more damaging and penetrative on the attack is always possible. Given her stature, speed and defensive acumen, Sutton may be one who specialises in pressure roles at either end of the field, so making every disposal count will be important.

Although, she tends to make good decisions and showed a good amount of potential up on the wing to suggest that may also be her position at the next level, with AFLW midfields always difficult to crack. Overall, Sutton’s output across her top-age campaign was enough to earn deserved plaudits and a draft combine invite, putting her in the conversation as expansion calls for depth of talent.

With Manfre:

Shut up, I know she was previously on our list and therefore nominally needs no re-introduction in this thread.



#37 Maddy Pearson

A Stingray back in 2019.


Last year was named CHB of the year for the VAFA Premier C division. Was playing at St Bedes/Mentone.

(We’ll get to her in the next post, but Maddison Wilson was also at that club last year and was named FF of the division.)

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#49 Maddison Wilson

Has played for Darebin and Fark Carlton over the last three years, plus as above in the VAFA. Was at SBM at least as far back as 2016 as a junior, and at least once has been the comp leading goal kicker (35 in 2020).

Was equal second in the B&F for the VAFA Premier C last year. 31 goals in 11 games.


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Think I’ve forgotten or missed it but whatever happened to Hird and Long’s daughters? They were the face of our AFLW bid at one point.

This gets asked (and answered) very often.

From the practice teams this week, some additional info:

  • Caruso (one of our OGs) has gone to Port.
  • Abbey McDonald gone to Geelong (IIRC, she was an AFLW train-on for them).
  • The list Collingwood named at the start of February did not include DeMatteooooooooooo. But she’s playing for them this week.
  • Port also picked up Hawthorn AFLW cuts in Carbone and Porter.

Stef Hird was okay but she couldn’t really break into the team. She had a tennis background (was very good) and it just didn’t really translate. She has gone on with her studies (double degree - commerce/law) now works for PwC (I think).

Michaela Long had serious knee injuries and ended up back in Darwin. Not sure if she has played any footy since.

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