18 Lions AFLW players have confirmed their loyalty to the Club, recommitting for the 2020 season during the AFLW Trade and Sign period.
The list of re-signings is flooded with star players including 2019 Lions Best and Fairest Ally Anderson, leading goal-kicker Jess Wuetschner and inaugural Captain Emma Zielke.
2020 will see the return of young gun Sophie Conway, who was unfortunate to miss this season after rupturing her ACL in the off season.
Lions award winners including Kate Lutkins (Most Competitive), Jesse Wardlaw (Best First Year Player), Sharni Webb (All For One Award) and Shannon Campbell (Most Relentless) join the abundance of talent returning next season.
Ally Anderson, Lauren Arnell, Emily Bates, Shannon Campbell, Arianna Clarke, Sophie Conway, Gabby Collingwood, Jade Ellenger, Natalie Grider, Breanna Koenen, Jessy Keeffe, Kate Lutkins, Brianna McFarlane (rookie), Jesse Wardlaw, Sharni Webb, Jess Wuestchner, Jordan Zanchetta, Emma Zielke.
Expansion Signings and Trades
The 2020 season will see the expansion of the AFLW competition, with Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast joining the league. The nature of this expansion means eight players could depart the Lions for expansion clubs without compensation.
Players that departed via expansion rules included Skipper Leah Kaslar, Vice-Captin Sam Virgo, Lauren Bella, Paige Parker, Jacqui Yorston, Tori Groves-Little and Emma Pittman to Gold Coast. Nat Exon also left the Lions to join St. Kilda.
The departure of inaugural players Kate McCarthy (St Kilda), Sabrina Frederick (Richmond) and first year defender McKenzie Dowrick (West Coast) sees the Club receive three first round compensation picks from the AFL for the upcoming 2019 NAB AFLW Draft.
The Lions now hold four first round draft picks, including Pick No. 2, 11, 12 and 13
Delistings and Retirements
Bella Ayre informed the Club in late March of her decision to retire from AFLW, after suffering a number of injury setbacks throughout her career. While, Ruby Blair also retired this month.
Krystal Scott and Megan Hunt were delisted from the Lions.
The Club would like to thank all departing, delisted and retiring players for their contributions to the Lions.