Rising Sydney speedster Nicola Barr has made history today, becoming the first-ever #1 draft pick in the AFL Women’s league.
The league is meeting today to select the 145 players that will comprise the inaugural club playing lists for the historic 2017 season. The top 8 selections in the draft were announced and presented to media and club officials.
Tim Schmidt, senior coach of the Giants women’s side, announced the selection before a packed room at NAB headquarters in Melbourne.
20-year-old Barr only began playing Australian rules a mere three years ago, with today’s historic pick capping off a historic rise through the ranks of the sport. A member of the Swans Academy, Barr featured prominently in the Sydney vs GWS exhibition games held at the SCG throughout the year. Her speed and elite ball skills being of particular note to Schmidt, as the Giants began building their list in the best possible fashion.
Previously, teams in the league had been able to sign marquee players outside of the draft, allowing for high-profile superstar women’s players like Daisy Pearce or Moana Hope to be snapped up prior to the draft taking place.
Today’s draft is a massive moment for the AFL as it pushes towards the start of the first-ever national women’s season next March.
Elsewhere, hard-nosed half-back Emily Bates was selected second overall by Brisbane Lions coach Craig Starcevich, whilst strong centre half forward Bianca Jakobsson‘s long road back from a knee reconstruction was capped off by being taken with the third pick by her childhood favourite club Carlton.
The first round of the draft looks a little something like this: