It was a massive night for the Northern Knights with three players including number one draft pick, Ellie McKenzie, taken in the top five of the AFLW draft.
As expected, McKenzie was taken as the number one draft pick by Richmond as they looked to boost their midfield and forward stocks.
McKenzie, co-captain of the Knights this year, said following the draft that she had no idea until her name was going called out as the first pick.
“I didn’t know at all,” she said. “My manager knew a week or so ago and told my mum, so my mum knew and kept that from me and did a really good job of that.
“I guess it was good to have the genuine reaction and I was really happy to find out on the spot, even though it was really stressful leading up to it.”
The celebrations soon continued with fellow Knights co-captain Jess Fitzgerald, taken by the Western Bulldogs with the next pick.
Fitzgerald was best-on-ground in last year’s NAB League grand final.
The next Victorian pick in the draft was Melbourne at pick five and they made it a trio of Knights players to be drafted, taking Alyssa Bannan.
McKenzie said it was pretty special to see the other two girls drafted as well.
“It’s a credit to the Northern Knights,” she said.
“We’ve built a really good culture down there and it’s just a really strong family culture which I’m proud to be a part of.
“I’m best mates with Jess and we go to school together and she’s picking me up tomorrow for school. I’m sure we’ll have a great chat about everything.
“I’m really stoked for them and they’ve both worked really hard to get to where they are. I’m sure they will be enjoying this moment as much as I am.”
That would be it for the Knights, with Maeve Chaplin and Ashleigh Snow missing out on being selected.
Western Jets duo Isabelle Pritchard and Amelia Velardo were also drafted.
Pritchard won’t have far to travel, with the Spotswood product taken by the Western Bulldogs at pick 16.
Velardo, who has only played a handful of football games, was taken by Collingwood at pick 25.
Former Calder Cannon Alana Barba, who was invited to the state combine, missed out on being drafted for a second straight year.
Williamstown’s hopes of having several players drafted were dashed. Only father-daughter pick Amy Smith, who was taken pre-draft, was picked from the Seagulls.