Alex Docherty’s Top 50 AFLW Players 2018

From My Website: Bulldogs Centre

 

Last year, I released my very first top 50 AFLW players after the inaugural season. Like all the ‘Top 50’ lists I’ve done over the past few years, it has been a lot of fun compiling this one and it was pretty well-received when I released it.

 

Now it’s time to reveal my top 50 AFLW players from Season 2018.

 

It’s funny how much of a difference a year makes. Darcy Vescio, Brianna Davey and Kate McCarthy were all Top-10 players last year, but don’t  feature this year due to form or season-ending knee injuries (Davey), replaced by three women making their debut in the Top 50 this year, including two first-year players. It might sound a little crazy I know, but they have thoroughly earned their spots.

 

Adelaide and Brisbane were the talk of the AFLW town after making the Grand Final in year one. The Lions went into the match undefeated and the Crows managed to pull off an upset for the ages. These two sides had nine and seven players in the Top 50 respectively.

 

It all changes this year. Brisbane have a fifth of the list, it’s littered with Lions players – that’s right – 10 of the Top 50 are Brisbane players.

 

This time last year, Jess Wuetschner (6) barely scraped in, but this year she’s firmly entrenched in the Top 10, however she misses out on a spot in the top five, nor is she the highest-ranked Lion on the list. It’s not Ally Anderson (12), an unknown heading into this year who has improved in leaps and bounds at the conclusion of 2018. And it’s not Sabrina Frederick-Traub (16) who dominated games at various stages of the season.

 

The honour of top Lion goes to Kate Lutkins, who put together one of the most dominant seasons from a defensive stand-point. She was hardly beaten and found plenty of the ball from start to finish and, for that, she was rewarded accordingly. An All-Australian, a club Best and Fairest and if the Lions had won the premiership, she’d definitely have the Best on Ground medal sewn up as well. She gets the number two spot on my list. Her partner-in-crime in defence Leah Kaslar (24) makes the list as well as Emily Bates (22), Jamie Stanton (36), Emma Zielke (39), Tahlia Randall (44) and Sophie Conway (47).

 

The Crows only have five players in this year. Erin Phillips was the number one player last year but her quad injury early in the season hurt her chances of going back-to-back. She still makes the top-half of the top 50, ranked 25th. Chelsea Randall (4) had a magnificent year in the backline and finds herself in the top five after a year that saw her claim the Crows’ Best and Fairest as well as All-Australian captaincy. Ebony Marinoff (14) had another terrific year leading the tackles by a fair length (Averaged 11.7 per game), while the seasons of Sarah Allan (26) and Angela Foley (43) in defence should not be overlooked either.

 

The 2018 Premiers have eight players in this year’s Top 50. If Isabel Huntington wasn’t injured and Katie Brennan was able to get on the park consistently (she missed four games with injury and suspension), that could’ve become 10.

 

Three of the eight are in the top 10 and five are in the top 20, including the new number one player in Emma Kearney. Despite leaving the club to join North Melbourne for 2019, Kearney’s ability to win the ball, break the lines and set team-mates up in the forward line has been critical to the team’s success in 2018. Her partner-in-crime Ellie Blackburn (5) is a lock in the top five, while Hannah Scott (18) is a lock as a top 20 player of the competition.

 

2018’s leading goal-kicker Brooke Lochland (15) is amongst the game’s most improved not just for her ability to hit the goal-sheet, but she consistently gets her hands on the ball and her work-rate is remarkable. The Grand Final’s Best on Ground, Monique Conti (10), started her first season in the AFLW solid enough and improved with each game and culminated in a little piece of history – in any other year, she probably could’ve won the league’s Rising Star award. Kirsty Lamb (38) flew under the radar as a midfielder, and defensive pair Libby Birch (28) and Lauren Spark (37) have been incredible in the back-line all year long.

 

Collingwood, who finished sixth this season, also have eight players in the Top 50 led by first-year sensation Chloe Molloy (9) who enjoyed a cracking year in defence – a position that was completely foreign to her. Molloy won the competition’s Rising Star award and was named an All-Australian defender, providing intercept marks and drive from half-back from start to finish. Jasmine Garner (21) and Christina Bernardi (23) have also been brilliant all-year long.

 

Emma King (49) however, has been overthrown as the AFLW’s best ruckwoman in the land. Through no fault of her own though, as the coaching staff thought it was a good idea to play her forward. As a result, GWS’s Erin McKinnon (20) became the All-Australian ruck after another impressive year, however Alicia Eva (8) and AFLPA Women’s MVP Courtney Gum (11) are the top Giants in the list – they have six in the Top 50 this year, including Phoebe McWilliams (31), Jess Dal Pos (48) and captain Amanda Farrugia (45).

 

Last, but certainly not least, rounding out the top 10, it just wouldn’t be one without Melbourne pair Daisy Pearce (3) and Karen Paxman (7), and along with Elise O’Dea (13) who continued their reign as one of AFLW’s most dominant midfield trio. Recruit Tegan Cunningham (19) also capped off a great debut year with a top-20 spot.

 

Dana Hooker (17) is the highest-ranked of three Fremantle Dockers and former Brisbane forward Tayla Harris (29) is the highest-ranked of three Carlton players in what has been a dismal year for the Blues.

 

Alex Docherty’s Top 50 AFLW Players:

50. Breann Moody – Carlton
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 7.6
Average Hitouts: 21
 

49. Emma King – Collingwood
Last Year’s Ranking: 14
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 1
Average Disposals: 8
Average Hitouts: 18
 

48. Jess Dal Pos – Greater Western Sydney
Last Year’s Ranking: 16
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 1
Average Disposals: 11
 

47. Sophie Conway – Brisbane
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 6
2018 Goals: 5
Average Disposals: 7.8
 

46. Jaimee Lambert – Collingwood
Last Year’s Ranking: 41
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 1
Average Disposals: 14.9
 

45. Amanda Farrugia – Greater Western Sydney
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 2
Average Disposals: 11
 

44. Tahlia Randall – Brisbane
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 6.6
Average Hitouts: 17.5
 

43. Angela Foley – Adelaide
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 6
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 13.3
 

42. Richelle Cranston – Melbourne
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 5
Average Disposals: 10
 

41. Stephanie Chiocci – Collingwood
Last Year’s Ranking: 38
2018 Games: 5
2018 Goals: 2
Average Disposals: 14
 

40. Jess Duffin – Collingwood
Last Year’s Ranking: 35
2018 Games: 6
2018 Goals: 1
Average Dispsoals: 13.5
 

39. Emma Zielke – Brisbane
Last Year’s Ranking: 25
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 12.3

 

38. Kirsty Lamb – Western Bulldogs
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 12.8
 

37. Lauren Spark – Western Bulldogs
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 7.5
 

36. Jamie Stanton – Brisbane
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 16.6
 

35. Sarah Hosking – Carlton
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 12
 

34. Melissa Hickey – Melbourne
Last Year’s Ranking: 19
2018 Games: 6
2018 Goals: 1
Average Disposals: 11
 

33. Ebony Antonio – Fremantle
Last Year’s Ranking: 40
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 3
Average Disposals: 13.4
 

32. Tayla Harris – Carlton
Last Year’s Ranking: 18
2018 Games: 6
2018 Goals: 5
Average Disposals: 9.8
 

31. Phoebe McWilliams – Greater Western Sydney
Last Year’s Ranking: 29
2018 Games:7
2018 Goals: 7
Average Disposals: 7.7

30. Bianca Jakobsson – Melbourne
Last Year’s Ranking: 39
2018 Games: 6
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 12.5
 

29. Moana Hope – Collingwood
Last Year’s Ranking: 21
2018 Games: 6
2018 Goals: 8
Average Disposals: 8.7
 

28. Libby Birch – Western Bulldogs
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 6.5
 

27. Kara Donnellan – Fremantle
Last Year’s Ranking: 11
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 1
Average Disposals: 15

 

26. Sarah Allan – Adelaide
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 9
 

25. Erin Phillips – Adelaide
Last Year’s Ranking: 1
2018 Games: 5
2018 Goals: 7
Average Disposals: 12
 

24. Leah Kaslar – Brisbane
Last Year’s Ranking: 42
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 7.5
 

23. Christina Bernardi – Collingwood
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 9
Average Disposals: 11.4
 

22. Emily Bates – Brisbane
Last Year’s Ranking: 26
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 17.4
 

21. Jasmine Garner – Collingwood
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 5
Average Disposals: 12.4
 

20. Erin McKinnon – Greater Western Sydney
Last Year’s Ranking: 37
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 5
Average Hitouts: 24.7
 

19. Tegan Cunningham – Melbourne
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 9
Average Disposals: 7.9
 

18. Hannah Scott – Western Bulldogs
Last Year’s Ranking: 24
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 1
Average Disposals: 10.5
 

17. Dana Hooker – Fremantle
Last Year’s Ranking: 23
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 5
Average Disposals: 17.6
 

16. Sabrina Frederick-Traub – Brisbane
Last Year’s Ranking: 9
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 8
Average Disposals: 11.4
 

15. Brooke Lochland – Western Bulldogs
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 12
Average Disposals: 12
 

14. Ebony Marinoff – Adelaide
Last Year’s Ranking: 10
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 0
Average Disposals: 15.6

 

13. Elise O’Dea – Melbourne
Last Year’s Ranking: 13
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 4
Average Disposals: 17.6
 

12. Ally Anderson – Brisbane
Last Year’s Rankings: N/A
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 1
Average Disposals: 18
 

11. Courtney Gum – Greater Western Sydney
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 5
Average Disposals: 14.7
 

10. Monique Conti – Western Bulldogs
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 3
Average Disposals: 13.8
 

9. Chloe Molloy – Collingwood
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 1
Average Disposals: 14.4
 

8. Alicia Eva – Greater Western Sydney
Last Year’s Ranking: 45
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 1
Average Disposals: 17.9
 

7. Karen Paxman – Melbourne
Last Year’s Ranking: 5
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 2
Average Disposals: 17.7
 

6. Jess Wuetschner – Brisbane
Last Year’s Ranking: 47
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 13
Average Disposals: 9.6
 

5. Ellie Blackburn – Western Bulldogs
Last Year’s Ranking: 3
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 3
Average Disposals: 16.9
 

4. Chelsea Randall – Adelaide
Last Year’s Ranking: 12
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 1
Average Disposals: 16.3
 

3. Daisy Pearce – Melbourne
Last Year’s Ranking: 2
2018 Games: 7
2018 Goals: 2
Average Disposals: 18.1
 

2. Kate Lutkins – Brisbane
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 1
Average Disposals: 17.8
 

1. Emma Kearney – Western Bulldogs
Last Year’s Ranking: 6
2018 Games: 8
2018 Goals: 3
Average Disposals: 19

For more of my readings – opinions or match previews/reviews – go onto www.adbulldogscentre.com

 

About Alex Docherty

Alex is a diehard footy nut. He loves his Western Bulldogs and loves writing about them every week as much he loves running out and playing footy himself.

Comments

  1. Yvette Wroby says:

    Good list. I would have had Brittany Bonnici in there. She had a much better year.

  2. Rick Kane says:

    Great work Alex, lot to mull over in there. I reckon Paxy would be just ahead of Daisy this year. She had moments in games that either kept the Dees within shot or set up the win. Let the arguments begin!

    Cheers

    Oh, and I trust this makes the book!

  3. Excellent work, Alex.
    Much more instructive than Robbo’s mens list in the Hun

  4. David Henricus says:

    Always very subjective but a good list Alex.
    What has resonated with me lately is the need for more attention given to defenders. Good to see at least three set defenders in your top ten. Commentators and punters alike tend to recognise the forwards as they are measurable by the scores they kick. Likewise, the midfielders by the sheer amount of possessions they accumulate. By these ‘measurable’ terms, the defenders have little to hang their hat on other than possessions and the experts ‘eye.’ (Trivia question: how many Brownlows have been won by defenders?).

    Surely in this day and age of technology and statistical analysis, there could be a system that would find some yardstick to measure the defender. Kicks, marks and handballs are easy tallies. Even the odd scoring shot. But what about punching the ball away – from behind or side? Times they clearly beat an opponent?
    Time on opponent and that opponents possessions (as in lack of possessions)? Shepparding and assists? Many of these I have just stated are already recorded plus many more.

    There could be a multitude of ways and means to concoct a system to acknowledge our defenders. Someone, somewhere could do it!!

  5. Jackie Lynch says:

    I love a good list. I was happy to see Sparky make it. I think that Lauren Spark and Libby Birch had ripping seasons – they’d clearly worked very hard on their craft after AFLW 1.0

  6. Alex Docherty says:

    I would love to see this make the book, but I’ll leave that up to John and the team to decide whether or not this makes the final cut.

Leave a Comment

*