THE NEW Priority Signing Period (PSP) kicks off on Wednesday, with Essendon, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and Sydney able to sign a cumulative 13 players without trades.
While initial thoughts upon the announcement went to high-profile players switching clubs at the drop of a hat – and Chloe Molloy has signalled her intention to move to Sydney – for the most part, it's likely to be younger players searching for greater playing opportunities or pay rises.
FROM 2017 TO NOW Where are your club’s inaugural players?
Those who have spent three seasons on AFLW lists are eligible to be signed under the PSP, with the Bombers able to sign two, three for the Hawks and Power and the Swans having the ability to add five.
Players are also eligible for PSP even if one of their minimum three seasons was spent as an inactive player (e.g. due to a long-term injury, illness, pregnancy or work commitments).
After last week's announcement, it has since been clarified that even expansion clubs themselves can lose up to one player to a fellow expansion club through PSP.
So, who should clubs be eyeing off as a possible PSP selection?
BELLE DAWES (BRISBANE)
Dawes put together two excellent seasons in the midfield last year and, at 21, is coming into her own as a star in her own right. She's tenacious, works hard and is an extremely clever player, never taking a backwards step and often the one who stands up even if the Lions have a rare off day. Unfortunately for Dawes, she's one of a large number of excellent players at Brisbane, and with a limited number of tier one and two payments, it wouldn't surprise if expansion clubs come forward with strong offers.
ROXY ROUX (FREMANTLE)
Roux's highlights reel makes for extraordinary viewing, blessed with a natural leap and with the footy smarts to go with it. But the forward had a tough 2022, playing eight of 12 games in an injury-affected season six and eight of 10 in season seven, dropped in the second half of the year despite a mounting club injury list. While things may be a little different now under new coach Lisa Webb, a fresh start may be just what the (Fremantle) doctor ordered for Roux.
NELL MORRIS-DALTON (WESTERN BULLDOGS)
Another talented young forward, Morris-Dalton played more football in 2022 than in years prior, but is still struggling to cement her spot. A former first-round selection, Morris-Dalton played nine out of 10 games in season six, but that dropped to five of 11 in the second half of the year after the return of Gabby Newton from injury. The 21-year-old is an athletic player who is capable both overhead and at ground level, and at 176cm, could be the missing piece of a forward set-up for a club pushing for finals.
HANNAH BUTTON (ADELAIDE)
A two-time premiership Crow, Button found herself in an unfamiliar defensive role in season seven. She was then dropped twice, missing round nine, the semi-final and preliminary final as draftee Kiera Mueller cemented her spot in the team. The versatile 26-year-old has a nice turn of speed, plenty of experience at the pointy end of the season and has five seasons (one injured) under her belt in the strong Adelaide program.
MONTANA MCKINNON (ADELAIDE)
The Crows have struggled to settle on their preferred ruck/talls arrangement, and the highly talented McKinnon found herself third in line behind Caitlin Gould and Zoe Prowse. She was dropped in rounds two and three, and then for the semi- and preliminary finals, where Prowse's ability to play in defence came to the fore. There's a limited number of players in AFLW who have McKinnon's tap-out ability, so don't be surprised if the question is asked by expansion clubs.
LUCY SINGLE (GOLD COAST)
Single struggled to get going in season six after a stellar debut season in 2021, but had started to find her feet under Cameron Joyce in season seven. From a rugby sevens background, Single has speed to burn and can break lines wide open. Only attended the centre bounce in one of her seven games in season seven, and may be open to more midfield time elsewhere.
JORDI IVEY (MELBOURNE)
She had a tough first season at the Demons after four years at Geelong, a suspension taking her out of the first 21 in round four before a foot injury ruled her out for another month. Ivey has since had foot surgery, but was named an emergency in round 10 and the subsequent three finals. Ivey's versatility and reliability means she's an attractive prospect to expansion clubs, capable of playing as a mid-sized forward or defender with a strong attack on the footy. She has six AFLW seasons under her belt to boot.
CHARLOTTE WILSON (MELBOURNE)
Moved to the Demons after getting squeezed out of the 21 at Carlton, but was then overtaken by the emerging Tahlia Gillard at the Dees. A young, reliable key defender (who don't grow on trees), Wilson has experience at two clubs now. Played four games in the Demons' premiership campaign of season seven, and was named emergency on the remaining nine occasions, meaning she was never far from the selectors' calculations.
GABBY SEYMOUR (RICHMOND)
A unique ruck prospect, Seymour's one who may fall into the pay tier category due to a number of big-name players at Punt Road, rather than a lack of chances at the top level. One of the shortest rucks across the 18 clubs at just 175cm, the former volleyballer's leap allows Seymour to both compete against much taller players and be a crucial linking player around the ground.
MADDY BRANCATISANO (RICHMOND)
Taken with pick No.15 by Melbourne in 2018 (No.9 in the then-Melbourne metro pool), the speedster moved to Richmond ahead of its debut season in 2020 after failing to make her debut. Brancatisano hasn't quite found her "spot" at Richmond, which has a number of midfielders ahead of her, and she has been more commonly on the forward flank. Played eight of 12 games in season seven (missing one with COVID), but only two of Richmond's final five.
Number of players eligible to leave their club via PSP
Adelaide: 22 players eligible, can lose up to five players
Brisbane: 24, can lose up to five players
Carlton: 18, can lose up to one player
Collingwood: 25, can lose up to two players (one of which will be Chloe Molloy)
Essendon: 12, can lose up to one player
Fremantle: 18, can lose up one player
Geelong: 18, can lose up to two players
Gold Coast: 18, can lose up to one player
Greater Western Sydney: 19, can lose up to one player
Hawthorn: Nine, can lose up to one player
Melbourne: 22, can lose up to five players
North Melbourne: 17, can lose up to five players
Port Adelaide: 13, can lose up to one player
Richmond: 21, can lose up to two players
St Kilda: 22, can lose up to one player
Sydney: 11, can lose up to one player
West Coast: 15, can lose up to one player
Western Bulldogs: 25, can lose up to two players