Inaugural West Coast women’s signing Mikayla Bowen is weighing up significant interest from Victorian AFLW expansion clubs Hawthorn and Essendon.
While a decision is yet to be finalised, The West Australian understands it’s increasingly likely Bowen will continue her career interstate.
The winger is considered one of West Coast’s best young players, having finished third in the club’s best and fairest in 2021 and earning selection in the All-Australian squad.
After claiming the 2022 wooden spoon, Bowen’s departure would come as a massive blow to the Eagles who have barely fired a shot in their first three seasons.
The 21-year-old has not missed a game for West Coast since being pre-listed ahead of the 2020 season and is one of the club’s most powerful runners.
Hailing from Swan Districts, Bowen averaged 12.6 disposals, 5.8 tackles and more than 200 metres gained last season.
West Coast have already lost utility Maddy Collier to Sydney and Irishwoman Niamh Kelly appears destined to land at Adelaide.
While Hawthorn are the only expansion club yet to attract any established AFLW talent after failing in their pursuit of Brisbane league best and fairest Emily Bates and Collingwood star midfielder Jaimee Lambert.
The Hawks have signed four open age talents, including Dominique Carbone from their VFLW side, but coach Bec Goddard has made no apologies for her desire to lure big-name players to Waverly.
“I won’t go into specific names out of respect but we’re not going to wait for a roast duck to fly into the mouth, we’ll go out and get our roast duck,” the former Adelaide premiership coach said last month.
“We’ve thrown the net wide and deep and had some really productive discussions.”
Whereas Essendon have been quick to snap up established talent, luring Sophie Alexander (Collingwood), Steph Cain (Fremantle), Georgia Gee (Carlton), Maddy Prespakis (Carlton) and Bonnie Toogood (Western Bulldogs) to Tullamarine.