Another Irish star pulls out of 2021, former WNBL player comes in

GREATER Western Sydney forward Yvonne Bonner is the third Irishwoman to withdraw from the 2021 NAB AFLW season.

Bonner's husband, Paul, was not granted permission to enter the country due to tightened border force rules in response to COVID-19.

Saint Clara Fitzpatrick (residency issues) and Bulldog Katy Herron (personal) are also on inactive lists in a tough year for players coming from overseas.

The Giants' other Irish players, Cora Staunton and Brid Stack, are set to take part in the season and are currently in quarantine.

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Bonner has played 11 games for the Giants over two seasons (an ankle injury disrupting her 2020 campaign), kicking seven goals. Former WNBL player Erin Todd will replace the key forward.

Todd has represented the Giants during VFLW invitational matches, but has a long-standing connection to coach Alan McConnell, who coached her father John Lorenzini at Fitzroy.

"[Bonner has] been here with us for the last couple of seasons, but understandably with everything that's going on in the world at the moment, it just didn't happen for them this year," Giants head of women's footy Briana Harvey told the club website.

"We'll put Yvonne on the inactive list and then hopefully we can get her out again for the 2022 season.

"Whilst we lose Yvonne for this season, we welcome 'Toddy' to the group who we think will fit in seamlessly given her background."

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Todd, 34, has played for Dandenong, Adelaide and Sydney in the WNBL, and also represented Australia at under-21 level.

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A defender, she has most recently played football for Inner West Magpies in the AFL Sydney competition, named in her side's best on eight of 12 occasions.

"In the early years of the AFLW, Al gave me a call and I was eight-months pregnant with my first child and I was like, 'No, I've retired from basketball, I'm not playing anymore professional sport,'," Todd said.

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"And then, just after my second baby, I called him up and I was like, 'Maybe I want to play', and he said, 'All right, come down to winter series'."

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