The QAFLW and Queensland U18s team continues to provide a pathway to the elite level, with five Queenslanders selected in the AFLW Season Eight Supplementary Draft.
For the first time, players were able to nominate for a national pool which meant they could put their name forward for any team across the country, not just their home state.
This one-off draft was restricted to players born in 2004 or earlier, to allow players to finish Year 12 first.
Here’s how it unfolded:
The first Queensland pick of the night was Caitlin Miller from the Southport Sharks who was picked up by the GWS Giants at #8.
A Gold Coast Suns Academy product, Miller is a utility with a forward flare. She kicked six goals in six games in last year’s QAFLW season, including two in Southport’s Preliminary Final. Miller has ties with former Queenslander and GIANTS’ ruck Fleur Davies, with the pair playing in the 2022 AFL National Championships together. Overlooked in last year’s draft, Miller gets her shot this year with GWS.
Poppy Boltz was the second Southport Shark to be selected, with the Brisbane Lions picking the midfielder up with Pick 16.
Named in the 2022 QAFLW Team of the Year, Boltz is known for her physicality and her ability to win her own contested ball and quality tackle pressure. In 2021 she was awarded the prestigious Jo Butland Medal as the best-and-fairest in Cairns’ Women’s competition and was part of the Queensland team which took part in the 2017 NAB AFLW U18 National Championship alongside current Lions players Nat Grider, Tahlia Hickie, Sophie Conway, Belle Dawes, Zimmorlei Farquharson, Dee Heslop, Jade Ellenger and Ellie Hampson.
Boltz is another great story for those young players who don’t get selected in their first draft but continued to work hard for a spot.
Meara Girvan joins the SUNS at Pick 10 from QAFLW outfit Bond University having previously played in the SANFLW for Glenelg.
The 176cm defender, who also has an elite netball background, is renowned for her 1-on-1 contested work and ability to the read the play and will be a strong presence inside SUNS defensive 50.
Annise Bradfield was the third Shark to be picked up in the Supplementary Draft with the Giants picking her up with number 22.
The inside mid is no stranger to the AFLW environment, having been on the Gold Coast Suns list for the past three seasons. She was selected with Pick 7 in the 2020 draft, but her AFLW career has been stunted by an ACL injury in just her second game. The 20-year-old went on to play five games with the Suns and will get another opportunity with the Giants this season.
Beth Pinchin was added by St Kilda with their one and only selection at Pick 21. She unfortunately ruptured her ACL in her one season on an AFLW list, having been an injury replacement player at Brisbane. She moved down to Victoria to play for St Kilda’s affiliate Southern Saints this season and played one VFLW game for the Western Bulldogs in 2021. The steady and experienced defender has strong hands in the contest and isn’t one to back down from a one-on-one.