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Freo finalise list in Rookie Draft

Stephanie Cain was taken with pick no.2 in Wednesday's NAB AFLW National Draft. Stephanie Cain talks about being Fremantle's first pick after being delisted last season.

Fremantle has finalised their AFLW list for the 2018 season, taking three players in Friday's AFLW Rookie Draft.

Elite runner Lisa Webb, rising forward Jade De Melo and 2017 top-up player Beatrice Devlyn and were selected as Fremantle's three rookies for the season with picks two, 10 and 16 respectively.

Each AFLW side is allowed up to three players on their rookie list, with players only permitted to be elevated to the primary list in the event of injury to a primary listed player.

In order to be eligible as a rookie, the player must be under the age of 21 or not have previously played in the past three years prior to the start of the 2017 season.

The trio join Tayla McAuliffe as Fremantle's additions on Friday, with McAuliffe selected to Freo's primary list due to Kirby Bentley being placed on the long-term injury list with a knee injury.

The 18-year-old McAuliffe played in Swan Districts' back-to-back WAWFL premierships in 2016 and 2017.


Tayla McAuliffe (Primary List)
Recruited from: Swan Districts
D.O.B.: 15 March 1999 (18 years)
Position: Ruck / Key Position
Achievements and awards: 2016-2017 WA State U18s representative. 2016-2017 WAWFL Premiership player.

Comments from AFLW manager Wade Spilcker
Tayla is a key position player with the ability to play forward and back. She played centre half-back for WA in their State 18s in their final game this year and also played in the ruck. In the Grand Final for Swan Districts in the WAWFL, she proved her versatility by playing a key position forward. At 185cm and 18 years of age, Tayla has a real upside at Fremantle.

Lisa Webb (Rookie pick no.2)
Recruited from: Coastal Titans
D.O.B.: 27 April 1984 (33 years)
Position: Midfield
Achievements and awards: 2017 Coastal Titans best first-year player

Comments from AFLW manager Wade Spilcker
An elite runner, Lisa has come to the game this year having been to a training session and realising that football was something she wanted to do. She went away and made herself into the player that she is today. Her execution by hand and by foot is very good and her improvement over her first season with the Coastal Titans was quite incredible. Lisa has benefitted from the tutelage of husband Marc Webb, Fremantle's senior development coach, utilising her elite athletic background to become one of the hardest runners in the WAWFL.

Lisa Webb in action for Coastal Titans

Jade De Melo (Rookie pick no.10)
Recruited from: East Fremantle
D.O.B.: 9 March 1993 (24 years)
Position: Forward
Achievements and awards: 2017 WAWFL All Stars representative

Comments from AFLW manager Wade Spilcker
Jade attended an East Fremantle trial day earlier in 2017 and went on to play for East Fremantle in her first season of Australian Rules. She earned selection for the WAWFL All Stars side against the State Under 23s where she really stood out with her speed and agility. She’s still learning the game but has incredible upside and is an exciting player to watch, playing mainly through half-forward.

Jade De Melo in action for East Fremantle

Beatrice Devlyn (Rookie pick no.16)
Recruited from: South Fremantle
D.O.B.: 08/02/1998
Position: Utility
Achievements and awards: Played two AFLW games as a top-up player in 2017

Comments from AFLW manager Wade Spilcker
Beatrice is an extremely hard working player who has the capacity to play all over the ground, either up forward, in defence or through the midfield. Beatrice had the opportunity to play three AFLW games in 2017 and I’m sure that experience will hold her in good stead. She’s a young player who continues to improve and work hard in all facets of the game.

Beatrice Devlyn training with Fremantle during the 2017 season 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs