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West Coast Eagles

AFLW: Eagles add more star power to inaugural squad

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 10: Western Australia captain McKenzie Dowrick poses during the NAB Under 18 Women's Championships media opportunity at Bond University on July 10, 2018. (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Media)
McKenzie Dowrick is one of the AFLW's most exciting emerging talents

West Coast has swooped late in the AFLW sign and trade period to secure the signatures of excitement machines Kellie Gibson, Alicia Janz and McKenzie Dowrick.

The experienced trio put pen to paper on two-year deals, ensuring they’ll wear the club’s revered wings until the end of season 2021.

Eagles head of female football Adam Selwood said it was satisfying to sign three high calibre players on the eve of the sign and trade period deadline.

“We are really excited to announce our final three signings of the sign and trade period. They are going to be wonderful players and ambassadors of the club,” Selwood said.

“They have each shown how impactful they can be on the field throughout the 2019 AFW campaign and they all possess the precious ability to inspire their teammates in times of need.”

Gibson heads to the Eagles having won an AFLW premiership with Adelaide in 2017.

She was one of the Crows’ marquee signings for its inaugural AFLW campaign and went on to play eight senior games for the South Australian club before moving to Fremantle in 2018.

The 22-year-old only mustered one game for the Dockers in 2018 due to a hip-flexor injury, but was an integral member of this year’s squad that made its way to the AFLW preliminary final.

She is a five-time Western Australian Under 18 representative, two-time all-Australian and, as a side note, a 2014 Youth Olympics Rugby Seven’s gold medallist.

“Kellie is a super talented player who has achieved a lot throughout her sporting career to date,” Selwood said.

“To be able to bring a premiership player into the squad is going to have a profound impact on the team. I know she will thrive in our environment.”

Janz has made 14 AFLW appearances after being recruited to Fremantle as an injury replacement player in 2017.

She led the Dockers’ ruck division in 2018 and was a vital cog in Fremantle’s finals push this year.

Selwood said he was thrilled to have Janz on board in season 2020.

“Alicia is such a competitor on the field and has demonstrated incredible resilience throughout her career,” he said.

“Not only was she able to work herself back from a serious knee injury over the past 12 months, she also forced her way into the Fremantle side late in the season to contribute heavily towards their finals charge.

“We are excited to see what Alicia and Parris Laurie can do leading our ruck over the coming seasons.  

West Coast traded its first selection – pick No.13 – in the 2019 NAB AFLW Draft to secure Brisbane’s McKenzie Dowrick, one of the AFLW’s most exciting up-and-coming talents.

The 19-year-old made a big impression in her debut AFLW season this year, playing every game for the Lions.

A 2018 Under 18 all-Australian, Dowrick possesses a penetrating left boot, reads the game well and has the versatility to play across all lines.

Selwood said he was rapt to get the Kalgoorlie product in West Coast colours.

“To be able to trade pick No.13 for McKenzie is a fantastic result for the football club,” he said.

“She possesses a skillset that only few have in the league have and has the potential to be a long-term player for our club.

“We look forward to driving her development to ensure our supporters get to see the very best of her potential.”