CARLTON is set to bolster its AFLW attack with a move for highly-regarded Geelong veteran Phoebe McWilliams in a deal that is set to kickstart a busy sign and trade period at Ikon Park.
Womens.afl understands the Blues are on the cusp of an agreement to trade for the 36-year-old McWilliams and are also closing on a move for promising Collingwood midfielder Amelia Velardo.
A trade for Velardo will likely see inaugural Carlton player Lauren Brazzale move back the other way to the Magpies, while Blues defender Charlotte Wilson is set to add to reigning Grand Finalist Melbourne’s hopes of a maiden AFLW flag.
It’s understood Carlton has long sought a deal for McWilliams, a top-10 goalkicker in the AFLW’s history who booted a team-high 10 goals from 10 games in a struggling Cats outfit last season.
The Blues hope she will complement fellow star Darcy Vescio in their forward line, while it’s thought the talented 19-year-old Velardo will add run and carry to a developing midfield group after 11 games in two years for the Pies.
The club will lose experienced onballer Brazzale to its archrivals Collingwood as part of its impending move for Velardo, with the 28-year-old’s time at Ikon Park set to end after 41 games across the last six seasons.
Wilson, a 21-year-old intercept defender who has impressed throughout the early stages of her Carlton career, will then head to Melbourne as the Demons look to strengthen key pillars at either end in their chase for a maiden flag.
PLAYER MOVEMENT Who's going? Who's staying? All the latest news
As previously revealed by womens.afl, Carlton has already lost three-time best and fairest Madison Prespakis and classy forward Georgia Gee to expansion side Essendon amid a busy start to the League’s sign and trade period.
Veteran forward Nicola Stevens will also head to St Kilda, young midfielder Grace Egan will be traded to Richmond, while forward Courtney Jones is set for a move to Gold Coast during next week’s player movement window.
But the Blues have consolidated with a host of important re-signings in the midst of expansion interest, securing NAB AFLW Rising Star winner Mimi Hill, captain Kerryn Harrington and young gun Lucy McEvoy to new deals.