Talent
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2019 AFLW Draft Preview

By ZAC MILBANK

South Australia’s top prospects are nervously awaiting the 2019 AFLW Draft which will be conducted in Melbourne on Tuesday.

With four players – Montana McKinnon (pictured above), Hannah Munyard, Madison Newman and Jami Tabb – attending the AFLW Combine earlier this month, coupled with strong mature-age chances, there are a host of Croweaters waiting to have their names called from 10.30am (SA time).

One player – South Adelaide premiership star and former GWS midfielder Courtney Gum – will definitely be selected after Adelaide committed to listing her with one of its eight picks in the AFLW Draft.

Gum, 38, won the inaugural SANFL Women’s Best and Fairest award playing for Glenelg in 2017 before playing a major role in getting the Panthers across the line to win the flag in 2018.

The naturally gifted ball magnet was an AFLW All-Australian while playing for the Giants in 2018 while also taking out the AFLW Players MVP in the same year.

”I really had retired in my head and I honestly didn’t expect at all to get a phone call from any club about playing at my age,” Gum told The Advertiser.

“Then just randomly, Matt Clarke called me and said ‘how tired are you?’

”Just the thought of being able to play in my home state and being able to train in my home state and run my business was appealing — and that I could get that one last shot at (AFLW) not having to move my whole family and interrupt my business.”

Aside from Gum, Norwood’s Najwa Allen looms as another mature-age candidate for selection after taking the 2019 Statewide Super Women’s League by storm to win this year’s Best and Fairest medal.

The athletic midfielder, recruited from Canberra, averaged more than 25 disposals per game in her first SANFL Women’s season as she displayed her match-winning qualities by carrying the ball across lines and also hitting the scoreboard with seven goals.

Several players selected in the 2019 The Advertiser SANFL Women’s Team of the Year should also be in the mix, including Allen’s Redlegs team-mate Hannah Dunn, West Adelaide utility Chelsea Biddell, South midfielder Nicole Campbell and Glenelg’s Caitlin Gould.

Aside from being selected by the Crows, SANFL-based players can also be chosen by AFLW clubs outside of SA provided the player concerned places herself in the pool of those willing to forge their career at elite level interstate.

Last year, Carlton chose North Adelaide’s Jess Edwards while the Giants selected Rooster Britt Perry and Norwood’s Ebony O’Dea.

Stay tuned to the SANFL’s Website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook platforms on Tuesday for all the latest coverage of South Australia’s selections as they happen from 10.30am.

Montana McKinnon

SANFL Club: South Adelaide
Local Club: Morphettville Park
Age: 18
Height: 183cm
Position: Ruck, Tall forward
2019 SANFL Games: 11
Averaged 12.4 disposals and 15.1 hit outs

Madison Newman

SANFL Club: West Adelaide
Local Club: West Adelaide (SAWFL)
Age: 18
Height: 168cm
Position: Running defender
2019 SANFL Games: 10
Averaged 18.7 disposals and six rebound 50s in 2019

Jaimi Tabb

SANFL Club: Woodville-West Torrens
Local Club: West Adelaide (SAWFL)
Age: 18
Height: 168cm
Position: Utility
2019 SANFL Games: 7
Averaged 14.6 disposals and 5.4 tackles in 2019

Jaimi Tabb in action for the Central Allies at the 2019 AFL Youth Girls U18 National Championships.

Hannah Munyard

SANFL Club: South Adelaide
Local Club: Mount Barker
Age: 18
Height: 163cm
Position: Midfielder
2019 SANFL Games: 12
Averaged 16.3 disposals at 75 per cent disposal efficiency in 2019

Najwa Allen

SANFL Club: Norwood
Local Club: Eastlake Demons (Canberra)
Age: 25
Height: 174cm
Position: Midfielder
2019 SANFL Games: 10
Averaged 25.4 disposals, five marks, three clearances and three inside 50s in 2019

Najwa Allen in action for the Redlegs against West Adelaide in Round 5 this year.

Courtney Gum

SANFL Club: South Adelaide
Local Club: Morphettville Park/Adelaide University
Age: 38
Height: 170cm
Position: Midfielder
2018 South Adelaide Premiership player and 2018 All-Australian and AFLW Players’ MVP

Chelsea Biddell

SANFL Club: West Adelaide
Local Club: West Adelaide (SAWFL)
Age: 21
Height: 178cm
Position: Utility
Averaged 12.3 disposals, four marks and two goals in 2019