AFLW draft 2021: Subiaco’s Charlotte Thomas selected by West Coast with pick three, Fremantle draft Amy Franklin

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Eliza ReillyThe West Australian
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West Coast select Charlotte Thomas while Fremantle draft Amy Franklin with their first AFLW draft picks.
Camera IconWest Coast select Charlotte Thomas while Fremantle draft Amy Franklin with their first AFLW draft picks. Credit: West Coast Eagles, Fremantle Dockers

She only played one game all season, but that was all Subiaco rising star Charlotte Thomas needed to convince West Coast she was the best player in WA’s draft pool.

Thomas, 17, was last night selected by West Coast with their first selection at pick three despite a fractured arm ending her season after one WAFLW game with the Lions, attracting three votes from the umpires in her sole match.

A great user by foot and astute decision-maker, Thomas can play anywhere but all she wants is to play again after a season on the sidelines.

“Missing a whole season of footy makes you miss being out there and have a run around,” she said.

“I’m excited to put my best foot forward at training.

“I’m honoured they took me at number one. It’s a great opportunity and I can’t wait to get into it.”

West Coast draft selection Charlie Thomas poses in Eagles kit for the first time.
Camera IconWest Coast draft selection Charlie Thomas poses in Eagles kit for the first time. Credit: West Coast Eagles

Starting her football career at the Carine junior football club, Thomas spent her junior years playing Auskick alongside boys until she was encouraged to join Subiaco’s Rogers Cup squad.

But her journey started a few years earlier, kicking a footy around with her brother and dad in the backyard.

“I’ve waited for this for a long time and it’s been something I’ve wanted to do as soon as I started playing and heard about AFLW,” Thomas said.

West Coast rounded out their draft hand with All-Australian midfielder Courtney Rowley (21), Peel Thunder premiership defender Beth Schilling (24), Swan Districts ruck Sarah Lakay (40) and Claremont rebounding defender Emily Bennett (47).

Fremantle held WA’s second overall draft pick, drafting Claremont key forward Amy Franklin who senior coach Trent Cooper flagged could have a future in the midfield.

Franklin, 18, was surprised last night by Fremantle midfielder and reigning league best and fairest Kiara Bowers who dropped by to welcome the newest Docker.

Camera Icon Credit: Fremantle FC

“One of the first things she said was ‘hey do you want to shrink a little bit,’” Franklin, 180cm, said of her interaction with Bowers, 164cm.

“I was fangirling over her for a little bit.

“It’s unreal. I don’t have many words.

Camera Icon Credit: Fremantle FC

With Fremantle’s five remaining picks, they selected Swan Districts midfielder Dana East (31), South Fremantle speedster Makaela Tuhakaraina (38), North Melbourne outside midfielder Airlie Runnalls (44), Claremont midfielder Jess Low (52) and Swan Districts ruck-forward Sarah Wielstra (57).

As expected, Victorian product and sister of Sydney Swan James Charlie Rowbottom was selected by Gold Coast at pick one after the Suns convinced her to nominate for the Queensland draft pool.

In total, 59 players were selected ahead of the sixth season of the national competition.

WHO WENT WHERE

WEST COAST

3 - Charlotte Thomas - Subiaco

21 – Courtney Rowley - Peel Thunder

24 – Beth Schilling - Peel Thunder

40 – Sarah Lakay - Swan Districts

47 – Emily Bennett - Claremont

FREMANTLE

14 – Amy Franklin - Claremont

31 – Dana East - Swan Districts

38 - Makaela Tuhakaraina - South Fremantle

44- Airlie Runnalls - North Melbourne VFLW

52 – Jess Low - Claremont

57 – Sarah Wielstra - Swan Districts

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