Updated: Jul 31, 2020
The AFL Women’s Sign and Trade Period is set to commence on the 3rd of August, and rumours are already running hot, with big-name players set to find new homes across the league.
Sarah Hosking is all but confirmed to be making her way from the Blues to the Tigers, as reported by Daniel Cherny in an Age article on Tuesday, ‘…her manager Alex Saundry (confirmed) on Tuesday that Sarah (is) likely to join Richmond during the AFLW sign and trade period’.
The Tigers, after finishing at the bottom of the Conference B ladder with 0 wins and 6 losses, have to trade their end-of-first-round priority pick for a player, likely being Hosking.
While this may appear as a blow to the Blues, losing one of their original players and twin sister of Jess, they already have replacements in mind. Carlton are looking to be targeting Melbourne dual All-Australian midfielder Elise O’Dea to fill the gap in the midfield group, creating a strong and dynamic group with the likes of reigning league and club best and fairest Maddy Prespakis, Chloe Dalton, Jess Hosking, Katie Loynes, as well as young guns from the 2019 draft Grace Egan and Lucy McEvoy.
Comparing their stats, O’Dea leads Hosking in average disposals (14.3 to 11.7), tackles (3.9 to 3.1) and inside 50s (2 to 1.4). Her greater output will be appealing to the Blues, being able to generate more and better quality inside 50s to their star studded forward line including Tayla Harris, Darcy Vescio, and first year small forward Georgia Gee, who will be looking to back up an All-Australian squad of 40 selection.
O’Dea is only one piece of the puzzle however, with the Blues also aiming to pick up fellow Demon Maddy Guerin. Guerin has only managed to play 6 games in her 3 season with Melbourne, struggling to break into a quality-filled side.
While drafted as a tall midfielder, Guerin is very capable of playing a medium forward role, kicking 8 and 9 goals in her last two VFLW seasons. Additionally she can add strong pressure at ground level, averaging 4.6 tackles in her 2019 VFLW season.
Given a consistent run at AFLW level, Guerin is every chance to come into her own and make life very difficult for opposition backlines, who will have to find suitable match-ups for herself, Harris, Vescio, Gee, Brooke Walker as well as rucks Allison Downie and Breann Moody when they’re resting forward. With a mix of talls, smalls, aerial presence and pressure at ground level, the Blues could become an even more offensively minded side, being the 3rd highest scoring team in 2020.
With All-Australians across every line, Carlton deserve to be the out-and-out favourites coming into the 2021 season, alongside 2020 ladder leaders North Melbourne and Fremantle.