AFLW Draft: Skepper leads the local contingent

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Draft hopefuls: A number of Murray Bushrangers could get selected at Wednesday night’s AFLW Draft. Photo by Megan Fisher

A swathe of local footballers will have their eyes locked on the AFLW Draft on Wednesday night in the hopes of living out their dreams.

Talents from the Northern Country Women’s League Youth Girls are in line to get selected and join the next crop of future AFLW stars.

Shepparton United star Keeley Skepper is shaping up to be selected in the first round of the upcoming draft.

Skepper, who made the 2022 under-18 All-Australian team, has featured heavily in phantom drafts and is in a strong position of landing on an AFLW list.

The Murray Bushranger finished second in the club’s Daisy Pearce Medal and was named MVP for Victoria Country in May.

Skepper could join former teammate and last year’s first rounder Aurora Smith in the top flight system.

Murray Bushrangers regional talent operations lead Mick Wilson said Skepper and her Bushrangers teammate Zarlie Goldsworthy had strong chances at the draft.

“Keeley has been invited to attend the draft this week which is really exciting because only those expected to go in the first round have been invited along,” he said.

“Her and Zarlie have both been invited which is a great effort.”

Skepper, who spent multiple years at Benalla, has built an extraordinary resume in recent seasons.

“Keeley had a really strong season. She finished second in the best-and-fairest and she was named MVP for Vic Country as well as named in the All-Australian side,” Wilson said.

“She has played rep footy for three years now, when she first entered the Bushies program she had an elite left foot which is a point of difference.

“She can use the ball really well, she reads the game well too. Her footy IQ is really high.”

Wilson highlighted that the Bushrangers had quite a few players who were a chance at Wednesday night’s draft.

Benalla trio Cassidy Mailer (Shepparton United) and twins, Madison and Tayissa Gray (Shepparton Swans), have staked their claims this year.

“It’s really hard to tell but we could have potentially anywhere between three to seven players from the program get drafted,” Wilson said.

“Madi and Tayissa are two that are definitely on the radar. It would be a great story if they were drafted.

“Then we have Cassidy who finished off her year in the VFLW with Port Melbourne. It’s been great to see so many (Tamara Smith and Eloise Ashley-Cooper) who have come through the program do really well.”

Watch the AFLW Draft live on the AFL Women’s app or online at