WITH the season proper just around the corner, the Game Changers’ opening round clash with old enemy Collingwood is just days away.
After a gruelling pre-season, here are the Blues you should be keeping an eye on in 2022.
By her own admission, Maddy Prespakis had a season shy of her usual lofty standards in 2021.
By no means did she put together an underwhelming year (averaging 21 disposals and four tackles per game) – however there were adjustments to be made following the added attention which followed her AFLW Best and Fairest-winning 2020.
Let’s not forget that Prespakis’ resume consists of not only that league Best and Fairest, but a NAB AFLW Rising Star award, two All-Australian selections and a dual Carlton Best and Fairest winner – all at the age of 21.
Now armed with the key learnings from the season gone by, expect Prespakis to come out firing in AFLW 6.0.
A fully fit Brooke Walker back out on the football field is a prospect that Carlton fans should be excited about.
After an impressive 2020 campaign, the Game Changers were left without Walker for the majority of the 2021 season due to a foot injury.
Walker managed two games at the back-end of the season and demonstrated exactly why she’s a vital cog in the Blues’ forward line, recording seven score involvements and a goal in each match.
The dynamic forward is ticking all the boxes in her recovery and is on track to be available in Round 1.
2021 was a coming-of-age season for Abbie McKay.
McKay found her consistency in her third year at the senior level, playing every game in 2021 and earning a NAB AFLW Rising Star nomination for her efforts.
McKay well and truly held her own through the midfield, with pressure at the source and disposal efficiency headlining her impressive season.
At just 21 years of age, the best football still lies ahead for McKay.
Grace Egan demonstrated that her debut year in Navy Blue was no accident, following up with nine rounds of consistency in 2021 to solidify her place in the Game Changers’ midfield.
Egan made a name for herself through her tackling pressure and innate ability to win the ball – in three of the Blues’ five wins of the season, Egan notched over 20 disposals.
Still yet to miss a game in Navy Blue, expect Egan to take the next step after a solid pre-season heading into AFLW 6.0.
Often flying under the radar, Gab Pound has quietly gone from strength to strength in each of her five seasons of AFLW.
Despite a hand injury disrupting what had been a previously uninterrupted record, Pound continued to impress in her seven AFLW games in 2021.
Pound will again be a key pillar in a solid Carlton backline, bringing a calm head and important dash from defence.