Four Queenslanders were named in the third AFL Women’s Draft held at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne last night.
Emma Zielke, Emily Bates, Leah Kaslar and Jordan Zanchetta were all selected by the Western Bulldogs and will join Tayla Harris who was retained by Melbourne.
The five are amongst the best 50 female AFL players in Australia who will play in two exhibition matches between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs in 2015.
Melbourne Football Club will host the first game at the MCG on May 24 in a double header with the Western Bulldogs.
The Western Bulldogs will host the second match on August 16 at Etihad Stadium.
Both Clubs have appointed their coach panels. Michelle Cowan again heads the undefeated Demons while AFL Queensland Female High Performance Coach, Craig Starcevich has been appointed the Bulldogs coach.
Starcevich is keen to put the Bulldogs first win on the board. The last time Cowan and Starcevich faced off as head coaches was at the 2014 Youth Girls Nationals. Cowan’s Western Australia team was victorious and went on to become the first non-Victorian team to take the overall title.
The Queensland Contingent
Tayla Harris (Zillmere Eagles) retained by Melbourne
Harris was pick #17 for the Dees in the 2014 draft and at 17, was the youngest player drafted.
She who took the mark of the game and kicked two goals in last year’s match and was one of six players retained by Melbourne for 2015
She is a Queensland State player, four-time All Australian, played for Australia in New Zealand and was named the best player in the south east Queensland women’s competition at just 15.
Emma Zielke (Coorparoo Roos)
Picked up at #7 by Melbourne in 2014, Zielke retains the #7 selection but will this year appear in the Western Bulldogs colours.
Zielke is at the top of her game, winning the QWAFL best and fairest in 2014. She boasts two Premierships, captained Coorparoo in 2013 and 2014, and the Queensland state women’s team in 2014
She has attended the AFL All Australian High Performance Camp and was voted best on Ground for the Tasmania V Queensland state match in 2014.
Emily Bates (Yeronga Devils)
Drafted to the Western Bulldogs #44 in 2013, #14 in 2014 and #21 in 2015, Bates joins the elite group of female footballers who have been selected in each draft.
She was named All Australian at Youth Girls National Championships 2011, 2012, 2013 and captained the Under 18 Queensland team 2011, 2012, and 2013.
She made the QWAFL team of the year in 2013 and 2014 and is captain of the Yeronga Devils for 2015
Leah Kaslar (Coolangatta Bluebirds)
Kaslar joins Bates as one of two Queenslanders selected for three consecutive exhibition match appearances.
Taken by Melbourne at pick #37 in the 2013 draft and retained for 2014, Kaslar will swap change rooms this year having been selected by the Bulldogs with #23.
Kaslar has been a star of Queensland football since moving from WA to Queensland in 2012.
She has has represented Queensland at the Women’s National Championships and captained Palm Beach Currumbin in 2013; earning herself the runners-up position in the League Best and Fairest count.
Jordan Zanchetta (Yeronga Devils)
Zanchetta was named by the Western Bulldogs at pick #31, giving the plucky midfielder her first Exhibition match nod.
Her footy has gone from strength-to-strength over the past few years with Zanchetta finishing just behind Emma Zielke in the 2014 QWAFL Best and Fairest count.
She received Youth Girls All-Australian selection in 2011 and 2012 and has featured in the women’s league team of the year in 2012, 2013 and 2014.