Home / World News / Dockers Dana East, Mim Strom, Sarah Verrier and Emma O’Driscoll, Eagle Mikayla Bowen in AFLW 22underneath22 squad

Dockers Dana East, Mim Strom, Sarah Verrier and Emma O’Driscoll, Eagle Mikayla Bowen in AFLW 22underneath22 squad

Fremantle’s continued success at the AFLW draft has been recognised with four Dockers named in the AFL Players’ Association 22Under22 squad, the equal second-most of any club.

The Dockers are set to kick off their fourth straight finals campaign on Saturday after beating Gold Coast by 37 points in the final round of the season.

But the emergence of Fremantle’s young stars has been key to the Dockers’ continued contention, with Mim Strom, Sarah Verrier, Dana East and Emma O’Driscoll all named in the initial squad of 40 – which was influenced by Champion Data.

By comparison, only one Eagle named was winger Mikayla Bowen, while reigning premiers Brisbane have the most representatives (five).

Mikayla Bowen was the only Eagle named in the 22under22 squad.
Camera IconMikayla Bowen was the only Eagle named in the 22under22 squad. Credit: Jonathan DiMaggio/via AFL Photos

Of Fremantle’s emerging quartet, skillful defender Verrier and bullocking midfielder East have already received AFLW Rising Star Nominations along with injured forward Mikayla Morrison.

Key defender O’Driscoll was named on the bench of last year’s 22Under22, leaving Strom as the only Docker yet to receive higher recognition.

Named in the 22Under22 squad for the first time this year, Fremantle senior coach Trent Cooper hoped Strom would soon be recognised for her body of work, carrying the ruck load since debuting in 2020.

Emma O’Driscoll.
Camera IconEmma O’Driscoll. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

“She’s been there every week, she just played her 27th game and she’s led the ruck every single time and won 20/21 games as the lead ruck,” Cooper said.

“Her body of work has been quite exceptional and if she’s not nominated (for Rising Star) so be it, but we value her highly for what she does and I think she’s been one of the more influential players of her age group over the years.”

Verrier, 19, has also made inroads as a defender this year after debuting in round one last season.

 Sarah Verrier.
Camera Icon Sarah Verrier. Credit: Will Russell/via AFL Photos

Of Verrier’s 17 kicks against Gold Coast on Sunday, 14 of them were effective.

“That’s her most natural position. I think she’ll develop into a good midfielder as well but we were strong in the backline and midfield last year so to get games into her, we played her forward most of the year which she’d never done,” Cooper told SEN.

“We’ve trained her in the backline all pre-season, a spot was there for her and she’s made it her own. She’s so cool under pressure, it’s like she’s our most experienced player out there but she’s only in her second year.”

For a player to be eligible, they were required to play at least five games this season and be 22 or under this season.

Fans are able to decide on the team itself by voting on the AFLPA website up until March 22.

FULL SQUAD

Adelaide: Teah Charlton, Eloise Jones, Montana McKinnon, Danielle Ponter

Brisbane: Natalie Grider, Courtney Hodder, Jade Ellenger Jesse Wardlaw, Tahlia Hickie

Carlton: Madison Prespakis, Mimi Hill, Georgia Gee

Collingwood: Jordyn Allen, Lauren Butler, Mikala Cann

Fremantle: Emma O’Driscoll, Sarah Verrier, Dana East, Mim Strom

Geelong: Rebecca Webster, Georgie Prespakis, Nina Morrison, Chloe Scheer

Gold Coast: Claudia Whitfort, Ellie Hampson, Serene Watson, Charlie Rowbottom

GWS Giants: Alyce Parker

Melbourne: Shelley Heath, Eliza McNamara, Eden Zanker, Tyla Hanks

North Melbourne: Mia King, Isabella Eddey, Daria Bannister

Richmond: Monique Conti

St Kilda: Tarni White

Western Bulldogs: Eleanor Brown, Isabelle Pritchard

West Coast Eagles: Mikayla Bowen

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