This piece was originally published in the Spirit of Carlton newsletter.

THE 2021 off season has been jam packed for the girls down at IKON Park, with many new faces joining us as we welcomed draftees Annie Lee, Keeley Sherar, Brooke Vickers and Imogen Milford, as well as mature age ruck Jess Good to the side.
 
Annie is a half back drafted from NAB side Geelong Falcons. From opposition side Eastern Ranges, Keeley plays as a midfielder. Brooke plays as a wing or half forward; she joins us from the Oakleigh Chargers. To provide some height up in the forward line, Imogen was picked from the Casey Demons’ VFLW side. With our final pick, Jess was taken from Sturt SANFLW and will be able to provide support for our All-Australian ruck Breann Moody.
 
We were so excited to welcome the new draftees to the team and can’t wait for you and all Bluebaggers to see them in action out on the field in 2022.

In addition to our new Game Changers, the Club also recently secured the appointment of former Blue Shaun Hampson as our ruck and bodywork coach. While working with our key position players, he will provide enormous support for everyone in the team and will be another great resource to help us develop further. Shaun joins Kade Simpson as the second former player on the Club’s AFLW assistant coaching panel.

01:51 Mins
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Hampson returns to join AFLW program

Shaun Hampson spoke to Carlton Media after joining the AFLW coaching staff.

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For me personally, since the 2021 season ended, I have been busy studying and working. I study a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts at Monash and have a year to go until I’m finished. Working as a support carer and football coach at my junior club and high school has also kept me busy when I’m not studying. I also managed to sneak away to the Gold Coast (pre-lockdown), which was initially meant to be a one-week trip that ended up being four weeks, with lockdown hitting Melbourne while I was there. 

As always during these unprecedented times, things are constantly changing within the AFLW world. Initially beginning on Wednesday 1 September, pre-season will now officially commence on Thursday 14 October. Alongside this, the season start date was also pushed back from the first week of December this year to Thursday 6 January 2022.
 
We can’t wait to see everyone back at our games next season and on behalf of the team, thank you for your continued support throughout 2021.