Who are the players you just love watching? You know, not necessarily favourites from the team you support, but the players from across the league who stop you in your tracks and make you tune in anytime, anywhere?
Welcome to ESPN's first edition of the Top 20 Must-Watch AFLW Players list.
This isn't just a countdown of the competition's biggest names, but a ranking of the players we simply can't wait to watch in action in 2022. It's a mix of the game's superstars, big names who have switched clubs, young guns who look ready to explode, top draftees or basically anyone we will be watching with interest this season.
These are the players ranked 20 to 11, with our top 10 to be revealed next week.
20. Izzy Huntington
It's rare to find a player that's as good in the backline as they are up forward, but that's Western Bulldogs' Izzy Huntington for you. In 2020, the former number one draft pick proved her defensive chops, being selected in the All-Australian defence while also racking up the AFLW Rising Star and club best and fairest awards. Then, she transitioned back into the forward line last season where she contributed 12 goals and took the most contested marks in the league. Basically, if the ball's in sight, she'll hunt it down. And she's definitely one you want in your pack.
19. Erin Phillips
Erin Phillips requires no introductions and no explanations. With a footy brain and the ability to play as a midfielder and a forward, Phillips is just as valuable in the lead up to goals as she is kicking them, as evidenced by her 56 score involvements last season. At 36, she is the kind of player footy fans should be grateful they have been able to see play thanks to fortuitous timing. And this season, which potentially looms as a swan song, is no exception.
18. Kate Lutkins
Watching the 2021 Grand Final, you would have had no idea Kate Lutkins was playing with a torn plantar fascia. Proving just how tough she is, she not only mopped up in the Lions' defence but was awarded best on ground for her performance. As one of the most consistent and reliable defenders in the league, she's a relentless thorn in opposing teams' sides, constantly stopping them in their tracks. She'll knock 'em down while creating opportunities for her team to push forward. Keep an eye out for her intercepts; they're some game-changing stuff.
17. Ebony Marinoff
A known quantity in the AFLW, Ebony Marinoff continues to go from strength to strength. A tackling machine, the 2021 Adelaide club champion has added even more polish and finesse to her game. The ferocity and mongrel she brings to the midfield is complemented by clean ball use and cleverness around the stoppage. Having put on a show for Glenelg in the SANFLW Grand Final -- being judged best on ground in that match -- the 24-year-old will be crucial in the midfield as the Crows look to once again play in the final game of the season.
16. Chloe Dalton
Carlton's loss is GWS' gain as Chloe Dalton returns to the code in an orange guernsey. The Olympic rugby sevens gold medallist (Rio, 2016) took last season off for a second run at Olympic glory before unfortunately being ruled out due to injury just before Tokyo. Now, she's back in the AFLW fold and set to join the Giants' midfield for 2022. Known for creating opportunities, getting the ball forward and being a point of consistency, if her clean ball skills can convert to points on the board, the Giants may be in for another shot at finals.
15. Nina Morrison
A former number one draft pick who's had a torrid run with injury, Nina Morrison is finally back to full health and raring to go. Morrison was taken by the Cats at pick number one in the 2018 draft and had a debut to remember against Collingwood, only to tear her ACL at training the next week. She returned in 2020 and played six games only to do her knee again in the final round of the season. She heads into her fourth season on an AFLW list with only seven games to her name. With an excellent engine and plenty of smarts, hopefully this is the season where Morrison finally gets to show off her full potential.
14. Charlie Rowbottom
Victorian Charlie Rowbottom turned some heads when she nominated Queensland as her preferred destination ahead of the AFLW draft. Taken with pick number one by the Gold Coast Suns, Rowbottom is a tall, versatile player. The younger sister of Sydney Swan, James, Rowbottom is a strong contested mark who is set to be a physical presence in the midfield and in the forward 50. Her handy right foot means she could also prove lethal around goal.
13. Tyla Hanks
Tyla Hanks made her name known last season with a breakout year where she claimed the Rising Star award with the biggest margin in the league's history. With a good disposal count and a commanding presence on the field, it isn't hard to see why she got the gong. She's exactly the type of player you want on your team: a resourceful midfielder with a good goal sense and leadership quality. She'll have many eyes on her heading into the sixth season, so let's hope the pressure only continues to see her rise.
12. Chelsea Randall
Adelaide skipper Chelsea Randall is a veteran of the game and an anchor for her team. Able to have an impact in the backline, forward and midfield, it's not hard to see why she's one of the biggest names in the league. Her ability to read play, make decisive decisions and contribute a versatile skill set has been a huge asset to Adelaide's success thus far. If the Crows make it to another Grand Final, Randall will no doubt have played a big part in getting them there.
11. Georgie Prespakis
There is a trope emerging in footy. Some young player will burst onto the scene, pundits will rightly praise them, and then follow it up with this: 'wait until you see their younger sibling.' Georgie Prespakis is no different. The younger sister of Maddy, an AFLW Best and Fairest winner in her own right, will look to make her mark at Geelong after being selected as the number two pick in July. Having dominated at NAB League level with the Calder Cannons, she is a strong midfielder who will look to dominate in and around stoppages.