We are allowed to grab 3 Cannons or Pioneers prior to this coming draft – this is the final concession given to the expansion teams.
Calder Cannons midfielder Amy Gaylor has joined Essendon’s AFLW list as an expansion pre-signing.
An inside player with slick skills and clean hands, the 18-year-old impressed in her six Coates Talent League games in 2023, averaging 17 disposals and seven tackles per game despite missing most of the season through injury.
Rewarded for her return from injury with an appearance in Vic Metro’s final match of the 2023 season, Gaylor accumulated 10 disposals and six tackles in a win over Vic Country.
Gaylor’s physical attributes make her an enticing prospect for the Bombers. She recorded the highest vertical leaps at the 2023 draft combine and performed strongly in both and speed and endurance testing.
AFLW List and Recruiting Manager Georgia Harvey is excited to see Gaylor join a budding young Essendon list ahead of 2024.
“We’re really pleased to welcome Amy to the football club,” Harvey said.
“Amy is a player that we’ve tracked for several years through the talent pathways at junior level. She has some really exciting attributes that will complement our list moving forward.
“She has genuine speed but is also aerobically well-balanced, so we look forward to developing her further in our program.”
Leg speed is very much lacking at the moment, so good to see we are trying to address that.
LOL, I was thinking the same thing.
Barracked for us as a kid. We should pick her up. Luke Darcy thinks she will be a genuine superstar of the competition; best in the business.
- Darren Bewick
In the video, she said she went for the Bulldogs, I thought.
Went to the same primary school as my daughters, so I’m claiming her.
None of what I said may be true, except the Darren Bewick part.
I was hoping for a Kobe Bewick.
Maddy getting some help welcome Amy
August video Q&A at:
TL;DR extracted quote from the below: “the perfect inside midfielder”
- Explosive speed
- Defensive pressure
- Contested work
- Clean hands
- Outside game
- Kicking under pressure
Gaylor has had quite the journey over the last two years, from bursting onto the scene as a bottom-ager with Calder, to progressing through to play in the Under 17 Futures match, get into the AFLW Academy and then a top-age Vic Metro selection. But it was far from smooth sailing for the teenager who initially thought she would be out for 12 months.
Told she had torn an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), Gaylor feared the worst when heading into surgery, but was pleasantly surprised when it was found not to be as severe as first thought. After facing the possibility of missing the entire 2023 season, Gaylor returned for Vic Metro’s final AFLW Under 18 Championships match, and then played out the remainder of Calder’s season.
On-field, Gaylor’s mix of athletic and footballing profile makes her a damaging player. From an athleticism point of view, there’s little that she does not excel in. Boasting the biggest vertical jump in the country (62cm standing and 74cm running), the 171cm midfielder also clocked a 3.2-second 20m sprint, and a sub-eight minute 2km time trial.
Essentially, Gaylor can run all day, and still have her burst speeds through contests all over the ground. Her inside work in particular is what stands out, with some of the cleanest hands, best vision and natural contested game that shines, Gaylor is a prospect with potential to only get better in the future.
When the ball is on the deck at a stoppage, Gaylor is a one-touch player, and her understanding of winning the ball - which usually features a blind turn out of traffic - is sensational. She can run full pelt at the groundball, scoop it up and dish it off lightning quick to a teammate on the outside. That move is her bread and butter, and by hand she is as damaging as any player going around.
When it comes to her kicking, she can also be influential, but mostly when on the move going forward. She has a sound kicking action and her best efficiency is a low bullet inside 50. When under pressure or confronted by an oncoming opponent, she tends to lean back more on her kicks and though they still get to the designated area, is a way for her to further develop that technical aspect of her game.
Defensively, Gaylor is elite. There is no doubt her ability to lay run-down tackles or apply pressure to the opposition is among the best in the draft class. That balance of offence and defence is rare, and the Cannons midfielder certainly has that in spades.
Unfortunately the knee injury did stop Gaylor’s momentum in season 2023, and it was only towards the end of the season - and just prior to the knee injury - where she found her best form. At times her production can be down, but her consistent four quarter effort allows her to keep pushing and her impact-per-possession - particularly by hand - is always high.
Going forward, Gaylor can further improve her outside game, as he inside game is superb. Not a potent aerial player or one to win it via handball receive, Gaylor could utilise that explosive speed to even more advantage by taking off and burning off an opponent in transition.
Overall, Gaylor’s blend of athleticism, endurance, contested game and defensive pressure makes her the perfect inside midfielder, and one who will be a very good player at the top level.
Amy Gaylor is clearly among the better players in this year’s AFLW Draft. Though she is club-tied to Essendon and the Bombers are tipped to take her in the upcoming pre-listing period, no doubt a suite of clubs across the country would be keen to draft her. With some continuity and luck over the off-season, she is one who can make an immediate impact in whatever role she plays at the elite level.
Calder Cannons’ Amy Gaylor leapt into the history books in both the standing and running vertical jumps, reaching 62cm in the standing and 74cm in the running to be equal third and equal fourth of all-time in those areas.
Even on her non-dominant right side, Gaylor was one of only two players to leap past 70cm.
oh yeah we have,
I’m not too sure if it was her, but I think she was doing rehab at the club during VFLW training sessions.
I may be confusing her for Jayda Richardson.
Peter Williams was pretty forthright that we would take her, months ago, so that’s quite plausible. He didn’t specify anyone else similarly.
Interview in March. I’m sure Bonnie will introduce her shortly to Ella (was at our final vs Geelong, and the after-match do).
Also, the photo used is 3/3 for Cannons–> Bombers.
By Peter Williams
CALDER Cannons midfielder Amy Gaylor is a fan of the red, white and blue, and therefore it should be no surprise the tenacious midfielder emulates her game around Western Bulldogs skipper, Ellie Blackburn. The AFLW Academy member is a hard, but clean in-and-under player and is hoping to develop the outside hurt factor that separates Blackburn from many of her contested ball-winning peers.
“I am a Doggies supporter so a bit biased,” Gaylor said. “I think her contested work is really, really impressive, but she’s also got that outside where she can kick and hit targets as well so that’s where trying to build my game from.
“I’d say (my) strengths are probably contested work, clean hands, tackling, my athleticism as well. Weaknesses that I’ve been working on preseason is probably kicking, a bit of endurance as well, a bit more long distance running.”
The Vic Metro representative averaged 15.9 disposals, 1.6 marks, 2.1 inside 50s and 2.2 rebound 50s in the 2022 NAB League season. Perhaps most incredibly for the the 2005-born Gaylor was her 7.7 tackles laid per game, indicating her fierce desire at the coalface.
“Last year was my first year in the NAB League and now I’m used to the competition, it’s obviously a big step up from local footy,” Gaylor said. “Especially in Vic Metro as well, it’s been really good playing against the best competition to prepare me (for 2023).”
Gaylor is likely to resume her inside midfielder role in the newly-named 2023 Coates Talent League, but is still keen to add extra strings to her bow by playing off half-back. After experiencing a preseason with the Cannons for the first time in 2022, the natural leader said the one leading into 2023 was on another level.
“It’s been a big preseason compared to past years,” Gaylor said. “We’ve had three training sessions a week and it’s been incorporating a lot more running and gym work as well, so it’s been a good preseason.”
In between her work with the Cannons, Gaylor spent a weekend with the most talented young players across the country as part of the AFLW Academy. When asked what her big takeaways from the January camp was, Gaylor said the off-field knowledge. In particular, she learnt more about post-game recovery, and nutrition both pre and post-game, as well as throughout the week.
Her father has been the top-age talent’s number one mentor along the way, helping her develop her football and providing advice and support for her.
“He definitely thinks he knows more than he does, but he’s always there if I need to go for a kick, always after a game giving me advice so he’s been a good mentor for me,” Gaylor said.
Looking ahead to the season that kicks off next weekend, Gaylor’s goals for 2023 included to keep improving both on and off the field, and eventually land on an AFL Women’s list.
“Just being the best player I can be,” Gaylor said. “Just keep on improving. Also my leadership I’m looking to improve whether that be part of the leadership group at Cannons.”