Your club's best 21: Essendon

IN BUILDING its inaugural list, Essendon was able to recruit the most experience of any new team this year.

With an average of 15.2 games across the playing group, there are established players littering every line.

B: E.Gamble  D.Marshall   
HB: M.Busch  I.Ayre  C.Phillips 
C: S.Van De Heuvel  J.Vogt  S.Cain 
HF: A.Clarke  P.Scott  G.Gee 
F: D.Bannister  B.Toogood 
Foll: J.Borg  M.Prespakis  J.Zanchetta 
I/C: S.Alexander  A.Radford  J.Wuetschner  A.Barba  O.Barton 

Emerg: M.Van Dyk  J.Doonan 

Essendon players at a training session in July, 2022. Picture: Essendon Football Club

Building a list

Up forward is where Essendon looks strongest, boasting Daria Bannister, Bonnie Toogood, Sophie Alexander, Georgia Gee and Jess Wuetschner, who have kicked 115 goals combined across their 171 games. They will be supported by top end draftees Amber Clarke and Paige Scott while a number of the Bombers' midfielders are also adept at pushing forward and hitting the scoreboard.

Maddy Prespakis is a young star who will no doubt be a key cog through the middle of the ground, but several recruits from the club's VFLW program will prove to be vital. Alana Barba is fresh off a best-on-ground performance in Essendon's Grand Final win, and former Lion Jordan Zanchetta's contested work is impressive.

YOUR CLUB’S LIST Every team locked in for AFLW season seven

Hard running duo Sophie Van De Heuvel and Steph Cain look set to take their place on opposing wings, and as their ruck fleet develops Jorja Borg's VFLW experience will see her take the number one role, likely with support offered by Jacqui Vogt.

Experienced duo Ellyse Gamble and Cat Phillips will lead the backline, and in their return to AFLW Bella Ayre and Danielle Marshall will also find a home in defence. 

Georgia Gee in action during an Essendon training session on July 14, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

In the mix

VFLW fixtures Joanne Doonan, Federica Frew, Renee Tierney and young Caitlin Sargent are all very stiff to miss out in the forward line, due to nothing but the depth and experience on offer. Each will be pressing hard for a place in the side with Wuetschner's place looking most vulnerable at this stage.

Ashleigh Van Loon will snap up any midfield opportunity that opens up, raw ruck Steph Wales may get a look in should coach Natalie Wood want more support for Borg, and the versatility of Mia Van Dyk offers some flexibility to cover players across all lines as needed.

Renee Tierney celebrates a goal during the R14 VFLW clash between Essendon and Casey on May 28, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos