Hopefuls await second women’s draft

By Mark Perriman

Australia’s brightest female talents will converge in boardrooms across the country tonight as the second Women’s AFL Draft is streamed live.

Taking place in the Limelight Room of Etihad Stadium, the draft will see the selection of teams to represent the Melbourne and Western Bulldogs football clubs on June 29, a match serving as the curtain raiser to the Demons v. Bulldogs clash.

The AFL-sanctioned match will see the nation’s fifty best players run onto Etihad stadium in competition for the  Hampson-Hardeman Cup.

Now in its second year, the event is gathering attention as a means for women to achieve their sporting dreams, seen as a key step towards developing a national women’s competition.

Last year’s number one pick, Daisy Pearce headlines a list of 26 players returning for this year’s match, with clubs able to retain 13 players each.

‘The realisation that female players could play on the MCG in AFL club colours in an AFL-sanctioned match and that I was the first player selected to do so was quite overwhelming,” she said.

Coolangatta’s Leah Kaslar is the sole Queenslander to have been retained, but a number in the mix to be drafted tonight, including three-time Youth Girls All-Australian, Tayla Harris.

Whilst special invitations are issued to members of academies, state and All-Australian teams, draft nominations are open to all players seventeen and older.

In Brisbane, nervous faces will congregate in the Brisbane Lions Board Room as they vie for the opportunity to fulfil their dreams of playing on the biggest stage.  

In a mark of the wider support for the program, this year will see the return of Demons co-captain Jack Grimes, with two-time Geelong premiership winning captain Tom Harley also lending his support. 

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