Sarah Black's 2022 Phantom Draft: Who goes where, your club's whispers


WHILE Montana Ham is all but a lock for Sydney and pick No.1, there still remains quite a few questions around the 2022 NAB AFLW Draft.

With the first round reaching out to a whopping 36 selections thanks to expansion and a handful of priority assistance picks, has drawn the line at 20 for this year's Phantom Draft.

WATCH IT LIVE The 2022 NAB AFLW Draft exclusive broadcast

Essendon's choice at pick No.4 could swing the top end of the draft in two different directions, while Hawthorn and Carlton could throw a few curveballs in the mix with both having back-to-back selections.


Pos Midfielder
Ht 180cm, DOB 29/03/04
From Western Jets/Vic Metro

For the second year running, the No.1 selection is set to be a Victorian nominating out of her home state. Following in the footsteps of Charlie Rowbottom (Gold Coast), another tall midfielder in Ham will be the top pick. Has been likened to Jas Garner by one recruiter for her intercept marking ability, and she's difficult to stop charging out of a pack. Can also play forward if required.

If not her? This is as close to a lock as possible. Other top New South Wales-nominated prospects are Sofia Hurley and Cynthia Hamilton.


AFLW draft class 2022: Montana Ham

01:28 May 23. 2022. 3:00 PM

Get to know the Vic Metro midfielder ahead of the 2022 NAB AFLW Draft


Pos Midfielder
Ht 165cm, DOB 5/11/04
From Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

The daughter of Australian cricketer Damien, Fleming is a smooth-moving midfielder with a deadly sidestep. Can break a game open with her elite ball skills and pace from stoppages, and is calm and composed under pressure. Is already a noted strong leader and eloquent speaker.

If not her? Fellow mad Hawthorn supporter Amber Clarke is up in the top Victorian echelon, but the Hawks are unlikely to let Fleming slip.

DRAFT PROFILE Jasmine Fleming

Jasmine Fleming runs with the ball during the NAB AFLW U18 National Championships match between Vic Metro and Vic Country on March 20, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos


Pos Midfielder
Ht 168cm, DOB 17/3/04
From North Adelaide/South Australia

The top South Australian selection is likely to be the powerful North Adelaide midfielder Ewings. Difficult to throw off her line, Ewings is a noted ball-winner and a strong player around the clearances. Can move into a dangerously quick gear when accelerating from stoppages, and also has the ability to cause havoc around goals.

If not her? There are a handful of South Australian talent in the mix for Port's first AFLW draftee, including Sarah Goodwin, but it's likely to be Ewings.


Hannah Ewings in action during the U18 Championships game between South Australia and Vic Country on April 16, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos


Pos Defender
Ht 183cm, DOB 13/1/04
From Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country

Pick four is early to define the direction of the draft, but this selection could do it. The best defensive prospect in the draft, Eardley stands taller than some AFLW rucks at 183cm. Has great hands overhead, reads the play well and is a tough prospect in a one-on-one contest. Can also push forward if required.

If not her? Both Essendon and Hawthorn are very keen on Eardley as a long-term defensive pillar. Pick No.4 is generally quite high for a key back, but the Bombers might want to get in before the Hawks here. Dynamic forward/mid Amber Clarke and tenacious midfielder Charlotte Baskaran are other options.

DRAFT PROFILE Mackenzie Eardley

Mackenzie Eardley in action during a U17 Championship game on April 13, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos


Pos Midfielder
Ht 166cm, DOB 30/1/04
From Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

A silky midfielder, Hurley is another top Victorian product to have made the switch to Sydney. Finds the footy seemingly at will and with very little fuss, and is a handy link player pushing inside 50. Hurley has a well-balanced inside and outside game, and doesn't mind laying a tackle, either.

If not her? Hurley will end up at the Swans regardless, but Queanbeyan's Cynthia Hamilton is the other option at this selection.


Sofia Hurley evades a tackle during the U18 Championships game on March 20, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos


Pos Forward/midfielder
Ht 171cm, DOB 22/12/04
From Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country

There are few players in this draft pool who possess the combination of athleticism, ball skills and natural football smarts that Clarke does. A national-level hurdler who had the Commonwealth Games in her sights before a foot injury a few years ago, Clarke is a powerful mid-sized player who knows exactly where the goals are.

If not her? If Clarke has already been snaffled by Essendon, Hawthorn look likely to take Mackenzie Eardley. It's very much a draft of dominoes.


AFLW draft class 2022: Amber Clarke

01:16 May 18. 2022. 3:00 PM

Get to know the Victorian Country midfielder ahead of the 2022 NAB AFLW draft


Pos Defender/midfielder
Ht 168cm, DOB 9/7/04
From Glenelg/South Australia

A running machine, Goodwin is at her best either off the half-back flank or on the wing. Goodwin is a lovely user of the footy with good vision, and often kick-starts attacking forays with her disposal. Has looked more than comfortable against the bigger and older bodies at SANFLW level.

If not her? Yasmin Duursma looks set to be drafted by Port Adelaide, but could be taken at pick 23 or 31 before Adelaide's entry in the draft. Midfielder Sachi Syme is another who might be up there.


Sarah Goodwin in action during an U18 Championships game on April 16, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos


Pos Midfielder
Ht 165cm, DOB 9/12/04
From Western Jets/Vic Metro

A tough-as-nails midfielder, Baskaran is a tackling machine. Premiership captain of the Western Jets and the NAB League Team of the Year, Baskaran has an elite athletics background which helps her speed and endurance. Quick from stoppages and has great disposal skills.

If not her? The last piece of the top-four Victorian puzzle, the remainder of Fleming, Clarke, Eardley and Baskaran should be taken here.

DRAFT PROFILE Charlotte Baskaran

AFLW draft class 2022: Charlotte Baskaran

01:57 May 28. 2022. 12:00 PM

Get to know the Vic Metro midfielder ahead of 2022 NAB AFLW draft


Pos Forward/midfielder
Ht 174cm, DOB 15/6/04
From Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

A highly versatile player, Hipwell is a taller inside midfielder who can be a marking target in attack, or even hold down a defensive role if required. Hard to beat overhead and is clean at ground level too.

If not her? This is the knock-on effect of the Essendon-Eardley selection. If the Hawks end up with Eardley, a smaller runner like Rylie Wilcox or Keeley Skepper come into the frame.

DRAFT PROFILE Bridie Hipwell

Bridie Hipwell kicks the ball during a game between the AFLW Academy and the U23 All Stars on May 8, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos


Pos Midfielder/forward
Ht 158cm, DOB 12/3/04
From Northern Knights/Vic Metro

A smaller player, Wilcox knows how to find the footy, whether that's in attack or rotating onto the wing. Has an excellent sidestep and turn of speed, which holds her in good stead, knows how to find the footy – and arguably more importantly – uses it well.

If not her? The Hawks have been fairly closely linked with Wilcox, but Hipwell and Skepper could also be in the mix here.


Vic Metro's Rylie Wilcox in action during the 2021 NAB AFLW U17 Championships. Picture: AFL Photos


Pos Midfielder
Ht 170cm, DOB 2/2/04
From Queanbeyan/Allies/GWS Academy

A consistently strong performer at top junior level, Hamilton took at the Allies Under-19 MVP at just 17 last year. The younger sister of Sydney's Lexi, Hamilton is a fierce tackler with a strong contested ball game, and is a four-time Australian judo champion. A very smart player who also uses the footy well.

If not her? Sofia Hurley is the other option with this selection, if Hamilton is taken earlier.

DRAFT PROFILE Cynthia Hamilton

AFLW draft class 2022: Cynthia Hamilton

02:28 Jun 16. 2022. 2:42 PM

Get to know the NSW/ACT midfielder ahead of the 2022 NAB AFLW draft


Pos Defender/forward
Ht 180cm, DOB 8/8/01
From Gunnedah (NSW)

A Sydney local from the northern beaches, Mitchell was announced as an open-age signing, but was not eligible as she had not previously nominated for the draft. Mitchell is a versatile tall with strong hands who can play at either end, but the Swans have primarily earmarked her for defence. Has come through the pathways, but a broken ankle halted her momentum.

If not her? The other option with this selection is fellow open-ager Montana Beruldsen.

AFLW DRAFT ORDER Which picks does your club have?

New Sydney coach Scott Gowans and Alice Mitchell. Picture:


Pos Midfielder/forward
Ht 169cm, DOB 25/2/99
From Hawthorn VFLW

Like Mitchell, Beruldsen has already been announced as an open-age signing, but wasn't eligible as she hadn't previously nominated for the draft. A raw talent who has played a handful of games for Hawthorn's VFLW team, Beruldsen has a strong athletics background, competing at national level in both the 100m and 400m sprints and hurdles.

If not her? If Beruldsen is selected with pick No.12, Mitchell will slot in at No.13.

TOP PROSPECTS Bios, highlights, more

New Swans (L-R) Kate Mahony, Montana Beruldsen, Sarah Ford, Molly Eastman with coach Scott Gowans. Picture:


Pos Forward/Midfielder
Ht 175cm, DOB 17/12/04
From Peel Thunder/Western Australia

Comfortably the top prospect in Western Australia – if not the country – the mercurial Roberts can turn a match on its head. Was named player of the Under-19 national championships before she turned 17. Roberts has excellent hands overhead, is clean at ground level and can also move into the midfield where her clearance game is excellent.

If not her? Lock it in, Eddie. The Eagles would pull off the biggest surprise in AFLW Draft history if Roberts doesn't go with the first selection in Western Australia.


AFLW draft class: Ella Roberts

02:49 May 5. 2022. 9:00 AM

Get to know the Western Australian forward ahead of 2022 NAB AFLW draft


Pos Ruck
Ht 179cm, DOB 23/4/04
From South Fremantle/Western Australia

The best ruck prospect this year, Wakfer unfortunately ruptured her ACL a few weeks ago and will be unavailable for the season. In a shallower Western Australia draft pool, her talent is still undeniable. Still relatively inexperienced, the netballer is very athletic around the ground and has strong tap work.

If not her? This is where the WA pool opens right up. Abby Bushby was a late call-up to the NAB AFLW Academy, while Bella Mann and Emily Elkington could also be options. Don't expect Wakfer to be overlooked for too long, with Fremantle also keen despite her injury.


AFLW draft class 2022: Lauren Wakfer

02:34 Jun 3. 2022. 3:00 PM

Get to know the Western Australian ruck ahead of 2022 NAB AFLW draft


Pos Midfielder
Ht 163cm, DOB 15/3/04
From Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country

The Saints had been very keen on Sofia Hurley until the Sandringham midfielder opted to make the move north. Skepper is a tenacious inside midfielder who was named Vic Country's MVP at the Under-18 Championships. Attacks the ball despite her light frame and is a strong all-round performer.

If not her? Talented forward Paige Scott has been linked to the Saints, but looms as somewhat of a draft floater. If Hipwell and Wilcox are overlooked by Hawthorn, they could both be options here, while Keely Coyne has also been mentioned in relation to the Saints.

DRAFT PROFILE Keeley Skepper

Keeley Skepper kicks under pressure from Montana Ham during an U18 Championships game on March 20, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos


Pos Midfielder
Ht 171cm, DOB 11/1/04
From Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country

A classy outside runner/winger, Gatt feels like a Carlton player. Runs hard both ways and uses the ball beautifully. Gatt has a long kick at her disposal when required and also has a nice turn of speed when required.

If not her? The Blues would snap Skepper up in an instant if she drops to them, while Hipwell would also fit the bill if still available.


Taylah Gatt in action during an U18 Championships game on April 22, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos


Pos Forward
Ht 178cm, DOB 22/4/04
From Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro

The Blues have been heavily linked to key forward Austin, and have a need to fill that area. Has only played one year of NAB League but was a dominant presence in attack with her strong marking and athletic ability when the ball hit the deck.

If not her? The Blues have two picks in a row, so trying to predict the order is difficult. Taylah Gatt and Keeley Skepper could also come into the mix here.

AFLW DRAFT What does your club need?

Mia Austin takes a mark during the U18 Championship match between Vic Metro and South Australia on April 22, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos


Pos Midfielder
Ht 170cm, DOB 20/4/04
From North Mackay/Southport/Gold Coast Academy

The top Queensland prospect this year across both Gold Coast and Brisbane's pools, Gee looks ready-made for AFLW. An incredibly hard worker, she has a great combination of endurance and speed that carries her well throughout a match. Gee uses the ball nicely and is a smart player, having picked up the game at 14.

If not her? Classy Tasmanian prospect Claire Ransom has nominated Queensland and is expected to link up with former Tassie coach Cameron Joyce at the Suns, while academy player Jasmyn Smith could also be in the frame.


AFLW draft class 2022: Alana Gee

02:00 May 16. 2022. 3:00 PM

Get to know the Queensland midfielder ahead of the NAB AFLW 2022 draft


Pos Midfielder
Ht 169cm, DOB 18/11/04
From Murray Bushrangers/GWS Academy

Crossing from an elite junior soccer background, this was Goldsworthy's first NAB League season and it's safe to say she burst onto the scene. A powerful midfielder with a booming kick, she's a tough player to get past and just makes things happen when she gets the ball. Was considering nominating Victoria but has opted for New South Wales.

If not her? The Giants have the run of the NSW draft pool from here, with Sydney's list full. Silky Tasmanian Madison Brazendale has nominated NSW, as has Gold Coast Academy ruck Fleur Davies.

DRAFT PROFILE Zarlie Goldsworthy

Soccer star dominating the footy field

02:26 May 11. 2022. 3:10 PM

Murray Bushrangers midfielder Zarlie Goldsworthy is taking the footy world by storm in her first year at the top level

Other names to watch in the early rounds

  • Mia Busch (Eastern Ranges, defender)
  • Keely Coyne (Sandringham Dragons, midfielder)
  • Octavia Di Donato (Bendigo Pioneers, midfielder/defender)
  • Laura Elliott (Western Jets, defender)
  • Emily Everist (Bendigo Pioneers, defender)
  • Brooke Plummer (Northern Knights, defender)
  • Charley Ryan (Dandenong Stingrays, midfielder – torn ACL)
  • Paige Scott (GWV Rebels, forward)
  • Kalani Scoullar (GWV Rebels, ruck)
  • Yasmin Duursma (Gippsland Power, midfielder – nominated SA)
  • Keeley Kustermann (West Adelaide, defender)
  • Sachi Syme (Norwood, midfielder)
  • Abbygail Bushby (Swan Districts, midfielder/forward)
  • Emily Elkington (Claremont, midfielder)
  • Bella Mann (Peel Thunder, defender)
  • Madison Brazendale (Tassie Devils, midfielder – nominated NSW)
  • Fleur Davies (Southport, ruck – nominated NSW)
  • Claire Ransom (Tassie Devils, midfielder – nominated Queensland)
  • Ella Smith (Aspley, midfielder)
  • Jasmyn Smith (Bond Uni, midfielder)