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Crows welcome first women's draft class

Ebony Marinoff Drafted See the reactions to Ebony Marinoff's selection in the 2016 NAB AFL Women's Draft
It’s fantastic to see athletes with backgrounds in such a variety of sports eager to get involved in our game now that there is the opportunity to do so at the highest level,
Women's Senior Coach Bec Goddard

One of the most promising young players in the country, South Australian midfielder Ebony Marinoff has become the first player selected by the Crows in the inaugural NAB AFL Women’s Draft.

Marinoff, who was drafted with pick No.7 overall, was one of 18 players recruited by Adelaide at the historic meet in Melbourne on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old is already an All Australian and triple premiership player with SAWFL club Morphettville Park. She kicked the winning goal in SA’s clash with NSW/ACT at Adelaide Oval earlier this year.

Marinoff was presented with a Crows jumper on stage at the draft and said it was a special moment.

“It’s a dream come true to be picked up,” she said.

“To be the (Club’s) first pick, to go to Melbourne for the draft and be a pioneer for the Adelaide Football Club is pretty exciting.

“I can’t wait to get started.”

Marinoff was among eight South Aussies selected by Adelaide in Wednesday’s draft. The Crows team, which is in partnership with AFL Northern Territory, also welcomed another six Territorians.

From the Waratah Football Club, defender Heather Anderson was the first player drafted from the Top End, while four-time NTFL leading goalkicker, premiership player and lifelong Adelaide fan Abbey Holmes realised her dream of becoming a Crow.

Four players based in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT, who nominated SA as their preferred state, also joined the Crows including W-League star Jenna McCormick.

The Club’s third pick (No.23 overall), McCormick recently returned to Australia after playing soccer in Iceland and will line-up for both the Crows in the AFL Women’s League and Canberra United in the W-League in 2017.

Another multi-talented recruit is basketballer Anne Hatchard – a current member of the Adelaide Lightning squad. Hatchard, who was SA’s Most Valuable Player at the 2016 AFL Youth Girls National Championships, joins fellow Crow Olympian Erin Phillips in being part of football and basketball at the elite level.

Crows women’s team coach Bec Goddard said it was an exciting day for the Club and the athletes involved.

“We’re building a very competitive team that will proudly represent the Crows on the national stage and we can’t wait to start pre-season training in November,” Goddard said.

“It’s fantastic to see athletes with backgrounds in such a variety of sports eager to get involved in our game now that there is the opportunity to do so at the highest level.  

“We had more than 150 athletes nominate SA as their preferred state for the draft which is great for the future of the game.

“We’re aiming to play an exciting brand of football that people want to watch and which demonstrates the athleticism and skills of our players.

“Our goal is to make the Crows the club of choice for women and girls, whether as participants, administrators or fans.”

The Crows have now filled 24 of the 27 available places on their list for next season.

Marquee players Chelsea Randall and Kellie Gibson (WA), experienced pair Angela Foley (NT) and Courtney Cramey (SA) and rookies Phillips and Jasmine Anderson (NT) were signed prior to Wednesday’s draft.

The remaining three places on the Club’s list will be available for ‘free agency’. Free agents are those players who have nominated for the Draft, but were not selected and may now consider options to play interstate. Free agents must be selected prior to October 31.

Full player bios

Drafted Crows players and current state
Pick No.7 – Ebony Marinoff (SA)
Pick No.10 – Heather Anderson (NT)
Pick No.23 – Jenna McCormick (QLD)
Pick No.26 – Deni Varnhagen (SA)
Pick No.39 – Sally Riley (NT)
Pick No.42 – Georgia Bevan (SA)
Pick No.55 – Sophie Armitstead (NT)
Pick No.58 – Talia Radan (ACT)
Pick No.71 – Rachael Killian (SA)
Pick No.74 – Rhiannon Metcalfe (ACT)
Pick No.87 – Anne Hatchard (SA)
Pick No.90 – Tayla Thorn (NT)
Pick No.103 – Abbey Holmes (NT)
Pick No.106 – Stevie-Lee Thompson (NT)
Pick No.119 – Jessica Sedunary (SA)
Pick No.122 – Sarah Allan (SA)
Pick No.134 – Justine Mules (SA)
Pick No.136 – Monique Hollick (NSW)