Sarah Black's Top 30 AFLW players: 20-16

IT BARELY feels like 30 days since the last AFLW top-30 countdown, but two seasons in one year means twice the opportunity to pull a list together.

As always, the criteria is based on form shown in the previous season, with the All-Australian team, club and AFL best and fairest counts providing some guidance.


Feedback was also sought from some club officials and even a player or two themselves.

This pre-season, will reveal the next batch of players every five days (excluding the first out of the blocks).

Apologies in advance for not including every single fan's favourite player, as there are now 540 players to cut down to 30.

Sarah Black's top 30: 20-16

02:01 Aug 9. 2022. 6:00 AM

Check out which players kick off the top 20 in Sarah Black's top 30 AFLW players

No.20 ERIN PHILLIPS (Port Adelaide, Adelaide season six) 

Previous rankings: No.9 2022, No.1 2020

Phillips may no longer be at her very best, but she's still one of the top players in the AFLW.

Finishing fourth in Adelaide's best and fairest, Phillips' ability to line up at centre bounces and lose her opponent in transition moving forward caused no end of headaches for rival clubs.

The superstar averaged 17.2 disposals, 5.5 score involvements, 2.6 clearances and kicked 8.9 in 2022.

Get excited: Erin Phillips returns home to Port

01:27 Apr 28. 2022. 10:16 AM

AFLW champion Erin Phillips set to dazzle at the power in season 7

No.19 MADDY PRESPAKIS (Essendon, Carlton season six) 

Previous rankings: No.1 2021, No.23 2020

Prespakis took out her third straight Carlton best and fairest after another consistent season in the midfield.

She averaged 20.5 disposals, 9.8 contested possessions and 3.6 clearances in 2022.

Prespakis is a fierce player around the stoppages, she uses her vision to spread the footy and set up teammates and is a former AFLW best and fairest.

Maddy Prespakis in action during the R7 clash between Carlton and St Kilda on February 19. 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

No.18 LAUREN PEARCE (Melbourne) 

Previous rankings: No.16 2020

Pearce was awarded her second All-Australian and finished second in Melbourne's best and fairest after another dominant season in the ruck.

While not necessarily the most dominant tap ruck, her ability to consistently win centre clearances in her own right – coupled with her intercept marking around the ground – puts her in the very top echelon.

Pearce averaged 13.5 hitouts, 13.2 disposals, 10 contested possessions and 5.1 clearances in 2022.

Lauren Pearce fends off Charlie Rowbottom during the R5 clash between Melbourne and Gold Coast on February 5, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

No.17 SARAH ALLAN (Adelaide) 

Previous rankings: No.24 2022 S6, No.26 2021

One of the premier key defenders in the AFLW, Allan is now a three-time All-Australian and three-time premiership player.

Finishing third in Adelaide's best and fairest, she averaged 11.2 disposals at 74.6 per cent efficiency, 5.5 intercept possessions and 2.8 rebound 50s.

Usually taking the opposition's tallest and most dangerous forward, Allan plays the last line of defence to perfection, making sound decisions and clearing the footy effectively.

Sarah Allan celebrates Adelaide's Grand Final win over Melbourne on April 9, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

No.16 KIRSTY LAMB (Western Bulldogs) 

Previous rankings: N/A

Despite carrying a foot injury all year, Lamb's sixth season was an absolute breakout.

Finishing equal-first in the Bulldogs' best and fairest and named in her maiden All-Australian side, Lamb's fierce attack on the footy and willingness to win the hard ball, coupled with sound disposal, makes her a very valuable player.

She averaged 18.7 disposals at 70.1 per cent efficiency, 300.8m gained, 8.9 contested possessions and 3.9 clearances.

Kirsty Lamb fires off a handball during the R9 clash between Western Bulldogs and West Coast at Optus Stadium on March 5, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos


No.30 Ashleigh Woodland (Adelaide)
No.29 Tilly Lucas-Rodd (Hawthorn, St Kilda in season six)
No.28 Breann Moody (Carlton)
No.27 Mimi Hill (Carlton)
No.26 Tayla Harris (Melbourne)
No.25 Daisy Pearce (Melbourne)
No.24 Emma Swanson (West Coast)
No.23 Kerryn Peterson (Carlton)
No.22 Tyla Hanks (Melbourne)
No.21 Ruby Schleicher (Collingwood)

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