The West Coast Eagles have completed their squad for the inaugural AFLW season by selecting six players in the NAB AFLW draft.
The Eagles picked four WA based players and two from Hawthorn’s VFLW side.
Opting for prospects with speed and skill, the Eagles took dynamic Swan Districts forward Imahra Cameron with their first selection in round two, pick 19.
Cameron starred in the WAFLW, helping drive Swan Districts to the 2019 Grand Final.
“She’s got real x-factor about the way she plays, she’s explosive and we were excited to get her with our first pick,” said head of women’s football Adam Selwood.
At pick 39, pre-draft selection Sophie McDonald is a strong, attacking defender who switched from elite hockey to become one of WA’s most talented prospects of 2019.
West Coast’s third choice has a story of perseverance and dedication. Originally from Broken Hill, Tarnee Tester moved to Western Australia in 2016 to pursue her football career.
Beginning at South Fremantle, the small forward switched to Subiaco in 2019 and went on to win the Joanne Huggins award for the competition’s leading goal kicker.
“Tarnee is a really mature person and she has set her goal to make AFLW, she has sacrificed a lot, she has earnt this opportunity,” noted Selwood.
Kate Orme became the fourth selection for the Eagles. A member of the club’s communications department, Kate only began playing in 2018 when she joined Claremont.
Her acceleration in skill and game sense has been rapid and the pacey defender led the Tigers backline in 2019.
“We’re really proud of Kate, her connection at the club wasn’t a factor in selection but her training standards, her pace, she has a lot of upside and will be a valuable member of our squad going forward,” Selwood said.
At pick 92, the Eagles list management team opted for another mature pick with former Adelaide and Melbourne defender Tahlia Radan. The 31 year old played for Hawthorn’s VFLW side in 2019.
The club’s final pick, Chantella Perera is an experienced defender who led Hawthorn to the 2018 VFLW premiership.
Selwood remarked that securing two experienced VFLW players provided leadership in the club’s defensive 50,
“We’re rapt to get two experienced VFLW players, with their experience in the game and leadership in our defensive unit, what they both do when our team doesn’t have the ball is exceptional.”
Selwood summarised the draft as a success for the club as it builds towards its first game in 2020.
“We went in with a focus, we wanted the best available talent in the draft, but we also wanted to bring in some experience and mature people, we are now really well balanced all over the field with our team, and we feel we ‘re ready for our first AFLW match.”
West Coast Eagles AFLW preseason training begins in November.
West Coast Eagles NAB AFLW Draft selections:
19. Imahra Cameron (Swan Districts)
39. Sophie McDonald (Claremont)
56. Tarnee Tester (Subiaco)
70. Kate Orme (Claremont)
92. Talia Radan (Hawthorn VFLW)
101. Chantella Perera (Hawthorn VFLW)