EXPLAINER: Everything you need to know about the AFLW Draft


The 2022 NAB AFLW Draft is almost upon us, and for the first time in three years it will be an in-person event, with players from around the country to convene at Marvel Stadium with the hopes of being drafted. 

When is it?

The draft will be held on Wednesday June 29 from 7pm AEST. It will again be a studio show presented by Sarah Olle, Sarah Black and Riley Beveridge. 

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How can I watch it?

Everything will be streamed via womens.afl and the AFLW Official App

How will clubs lodge their selections?

Clubs will all be at Marvel Stadium to submit their picks live for the first time since 2019. The first round of selections will be announced on stage, with the following rounds to be announced to the public via the studio show. 


Isabella Grant speaks to the media with her dad Chris during the 2019 NAB AFLW Draft on October 22, 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

What picks does my team have?

Each club must take a minimum of three picks to the draft. At least one player must be taken by each club through the draft, but there is the option to pass on one, or two, of their finals selections in order to sign an undrafted free agent – players who nominated for the draft in another state but were not selected.  

How has Sydney ended up with pick No.1?

As this is the final expansion year for the foreseeable future, the first 13 selections have been reserved for the four incoming teams. The order of those picks was then based on the number of experienced players already signed to those four clubs during the expansion signing period.  

What is a state-based draft, and why is it in use?

As the AFLW is still not a full-time competition, it is tough to ask players to abruptly move interstate for a six-month contract. Prospective players choose which state they nominate in, and only teams within that state may consider them in the draft. While most players will nominate in their home state, this is not always the case, as with Montana Ham, Sofia Hurley and Fleur Davies. 

2021 NAB AFLW Draft first round Victorian draftees pose for a photo on July 28, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

What about players from the Northern Territory and Tasmania?

Gold Coast has an alliance with the Northern Territory, and North Melbourne with Tasmania, although players from those regions may nominate for whichever draft pool they choose. 

The NAB AFLW Draft Combine has been held. What is it?

Some of the best young talent in the country is invited to state-based events around the country to undergo a series of athletic tests. In order to be invited to the Combine, players' junior clubs must nominate them for selection. 

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What are clubs looking for at the Combine?

Various tests such as a 2km time trial, 20m sprint and the vertical jump are conducted which allows clubs to compare the traits of various top prospects. While the results are unlikely to significantly change clubs' opinions of players, they may add to the whole picture of a player once at the draft. 

How did this year's NAB Under-18 Championships play out? 

For the first time in the pathway's short history, Vic Metro was felled, with South Australia clearly the strongest team throughout the Championships. Four state MVPs were named, with Montana Ham, Keeley Skepper and Ella Roberts taking out Vic Metro, Vic Country and Western Australia's awards respectively. Shineah Goody took out South Australia's award, but must wait until next year before being eligible for the draft. 

Shineah Goody (left) and Montana Ham celebrate being awarded their team's MVPs after an U18 AFL Championship match on April 22, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Who should my team draft?

This is an exciting draft pool, particularly in Victoria and South Australia. Womens.afl has profiled some of the top prospects in our hub

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What about the stories behind the potential draftees? 

Several players from across the country have been profiled on womens.afl and in the Official AFLW App. Read about what sister Lexi's AFLW journey has taught Cynthia Hamilton, the rapid rise of WA ruck Lauren Wakfer and talented Queenslander Alana Gee

What about father-daughter selections?

If a prospective draftee's father played at least one VFL/AFL game, they are able to join the same club through a nomination and bidding process. Past father-daughter selections have included Millie Brown, Abbie McKay and Amy Smith.