Got the Blues: McEvoy's exit cuts deep amid Carlton turmoil

IN 2020, Carlton's AFLW side qualified for a preliminary final, and were a decent chance of knocking off North Melbourne to earn a second straight Grand Final berth before the season was cancelled.

Three seasons on, just nine of the 30 players remain, while both the coach Daniel Harford and head of footy Brett Munro have been moved on after a wide-ranging external review.

Darcy Vescio, Gab Pound, Breann Moody and Nat Plane are the only inaugurals left from 2017, while Abbie McKay, Mua Laloifi, Kerryn Peterson, Brooke Walker and Serena Gibbs were also on the list in 2020.

The recent departure of Lucy McEvoy to Sydney – as first reported by on Monday – is yet another in a string of high-profile players to move on from the club.

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Tayla Harris, Sarah and Jess Hosking, Nicola Stevens, Chloe Dalton, Grace Egan, Lauren Brazzale, Jayde Van Dyk, Charlotte Wilson and Courtney Jones have all departed the club via trades.

Most painfully for fans, Maddy Prespakis and Georgia Gee left the club to go to Essendon via expansion, with nothing coming back the other way.

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED All the PSP moves as they happen

While McEvoy's exit is still a blow to fans, the Blues will receive compensation this time. This will be decided upon by the AFL in the form of picks for the draft (much like the AFL men's competition and free agency) ahead of 2024, when the elite 18-year-old talent will return to the selection pool.

Trade Out

Trade In


Sarah Hosking

Pick No.15

On-traded for Elise O'Dea and Maddy Guerin

Jayde Van Dyk + pick No.42

Pick 36

Used on Winnie Laing

Chloe Dalton + Katie Loynes

Jess Dal Pos, picks 10 + 27

Pick 10 used on Annie Lee, pick 27 pushed to 28 and used on Daisy Walker

Tayla Harris + 44

Pick 32

On-traded to Collingwood, resulting pick used on Imogen Milford

Jess Hosking + 55 + 57

Picks 23 + 40

Pick 23 used on Brooke Vickers, pick 40 passed and Jess Good signed

Nicola Stevens

Pick 28

On-traded for pick 18, used on Mia Austin

Charlotte Wilson

Pick 42

On-traded as part of Phoebe McWilliams deal

Lauren Brazzale + 38 + 89

Amelia Velardo, pick 73


Grace Egan

Pick 25

On-traded for pick 18, used on Mia Austin

Courtney Jones

Pick 49

Used on Lily Goss

Maddy Prespakis

Nil, expansion signing


Georgia Gee

Nil, expansion signing


Lucy McEvoy

TBC, PSP signing



Since 2020, Carlton has brought in Mimi Hill, Daisy Walker, Annie Lee, Keeley Sherar, Brooke Vickers, Imogen Milford, Jess Good, Keeley Skepper, Mia Austin and Lily Goss through the draft as well as now-delisted duo Winnie Laing and Jess Jones.

If she isn't already, Hill will be a genuine star, Good has slotted in well after crossing from basketball, Sherar and Walker have shown promising signs and Austin's first season ended after round two following a bad ankle injury at training.

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Recruit Phoebe McWilliams made a strong start to her Carlton career before a serious foot injury, Elise O'Dea and Jess Dal Pos have provided steady leadership but their on-field output has not been overly consistent, while Maddy Guerin ruptured her ACL last season.

Two veterans in Alison Downie and Katie Loynes were delisted and subsequently found new homes, while Jess Edwards, Emerson Woods, Jo Doonan, Sharnie Whiting and Katie Harrison also weren't offered new contracts.

The Blues still have a strong defence to build from, with Peterson, Laloifi, Pound, Paige Trudgeon, and Vickers off half-back, as well as a multiple All-Australian ruck in Moody, and a game-changing small forward in Vescio – when they have a tall forward to help bring the ball to ground.

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The steady stream of talent leaving the club all had their individual reasons for moving on. Some were due to strained relationships with the footy department or teammates, others had logistical issues.

Jones was keen for a fresh start in a new state, Egan wished to return to her former VFLW club Richmond, Prespakis was a lifelong Bombers fan, Jess Hosking wanted to reunite with twin Sarah at the very last minute of trade period and Wilson had simply been squeezed out of her spot in the best 21.

At the macro level, some of the above are simply the consequences of dealing with humans who have lives outside of football, and happens at clubs around the country.

Carlton's Jess Hosking and Richmond's Sarah Hosking after round four, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

But some of it comes down to instability at the club itself, which is understood to be one of the reasons behind McEvoy's departure, its lack of a full-time AFLW coach (for which the Blues are now in the market) and recruiting.

It's a long road back to the success of the early days of 2020 for Carlton.

Which begs the question, should clubs in the lower rungs of the ladder – the Blues, West Coast, St Kilda, and to a lesser extent, Greater Western Sydney and Fremantle – have been able to lose any players to the PSP?

Clubs who finished 9-18th, including the expansion four themselves, are able to lose up to one player under PSP rules, which we have already seen with former All-Australian Fremantle defender Janelle Cuthbertson moving to Port Adelaide.

(L-R): Grace Egan, Tayla Harris and Lucy McEvoy pose for a photo on November 24, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

By contrast, the top four sides can lose up to five players, with Brisbane having currently lost the most with two – season six AFLW best and fairest Emily Bates and All-Australian Greta Bodey.

Surprisingly, reigning premier Melbourne remains untouched for now; with players opting to stick fat despite, in some cases, the limited game time on offer.

MYTH BUSTERS What you can really expect during the PSP

In the case of McEvoy, should the PSP rules have protected Carlton (among others) a little better? Quite possibly.

But does a portion of the blame fall at the feet of Carlton itself? Quite possibly.

There's no black (or navy blue) and white answer.