Today we’re looking at the 10 best AFL Women’s players who have moved clubs this year.
With the introduction of North Melbourne and Geelong, players have flocked to the new sides with Collingwood and Brisbane in particular losing a number of key players.
In order, here’s the 10 best players that’ve moved clubs this year.
1. Emma Kearney (WBD to NTH)
Getting their hands on the reigning league best and fairest is the best thing the North Melbourne Tassie Kangaroos have done so far. Kearney’s speed on the outside and clearance winning skills make her one of the most dynamic midfielders in the competition and North has found themselves a centrepiece to build around.
2. Emma King (COL to NTH)
King may not have received All-Australian honours this year, but remains the number one ruck in the competition. She wins more of the ball than other rucks and is as good as anyone at hit-out work. The marquee will immediately give the Roos a presence in the midfield.
3. Christina Bernardi (COL to GWS)
Bernardi may have been Collingwood’s best player last season. She kicked nine goals, finishing third in the league goal kicking and was damaging both inside 50 and as a high half forward. GWS need match-winners and they’ve got their hands on a beauty here in Bernardi.
4. Mel Hickey (MEL to GEE)
The former Demon is a player who can not only lead Geelong, but someone who can break out next season with more opportunities in the middle. Melbourne’s loaded midfield of Daisy Pearce, Karen Paxman and Elise O’Dea meant Hickey didn’t get to show what she could do and was restricted to a mostly half-back role. She’s recovering from an ACL injury, but will hopefully be ready to go for next season.
5. Jess Duffin (COL to NTH)
Another key Pie departing is the versatile Duffin. She spent a lot of time down in defence last season, but can also be a quality marking option inside 50. She reads the ball in flight brilliantly and uses it well by foot. North are clearly targeting skilful players above all else.
6. Phoebe McWilliams (GWS to GEE)
McWilliams broke out in 2018, becoming one of the most effective key forwards at any club and she’ll likely be the focal point of Geelong’s attack. She’s a massive loss for a Giants team that struggles to hit the scoreboard, but gives the Cats a reliable option to lean on.
7. Kaitlyn Ashmore (BRI to NTH)
The Lions were not happy to lose Ashmore as North lured the Victorian home as one of their free agency signings. Ashmore will provide some polish on the outside of stoppages that compliments Kearney perfectly. Expect her to have an immediate impact for her new side.
8. Jasmine Garner (COL to NTH)
Garner found some great form across half back for the Pies last season, but is a natural key forward who has shown patches of dominance in the VFL Women’s competition. That flexibility is a bonus, but North should certainly try and make the duo of her and Moana Hope work, even if it didn’t catch fire at Collingwood.
9. Renee Forth (GWS to ADE)
Forth gets a spot on this list on potential more than what she’s shown so far. She was signed by GWS as a marquee and was rated as one of the top handful of players in the competition before the launch of AFLW. She missed the 2017 season with an ACL injury and struggled to have any impact for the Giants this year. A fresh start could do her good and it will certainly add to the Crows’ midfield depth – which they desperately need.
10. Moana Hope (COL to NTH)
Hope ended up finishing fifth in the league goal kicking despite a quiet first few rounds and the Roos will be hoping the fresh start allows her to become the player we’ve seen she can be in the state level competition. North has seemingly just imported the entire Collingwood forward line which means Hope will have to make it work with the likes of Garner and Duffin in 2019.