Essendon sign young gun

Amy Gaylor (right) (Joe Mastroianni). 265355_35

Harper Sercombe

Calder Cannons midfielder Amy Gaylor has joined Essendon’s AFLW list as an expansion club pre-signing.

The Bombers announced on Friday that Gaylor had agreed to join the Bombers ahead of the draft next month.

An inside player with slick skills and clean hands, the 18-year-old impressed in her six Coates Talent League games in 2023, averaging 17 disposals and seven tackles per game despite missing most of the season through injury.

Rewarded for her return from injury with an appearance in Vic Metro’s final match of the 2023 season, Gaylor accumulated 10 disposals and six tackles in a win over Vic Country.

Gaylor’s physical attributes make her an enticing prospect for the Bombers.

She recorded the highest vertical leaps at the 2023 draft combine and performed strongly in both speed and endurance testing.

“It’s pretty amazing, I’m pretty excited to be at the Essendon Football Club, it’s a great club and I can’t wait to meet all the other girls and get started,” Gaylor said via a video released by the Bombers.

“At the start of the year I had a knee injury, it was an expected ACL but we went to surgery and it turned out it wasn’t, so it was great news.

“But obviously that three month span was pretty tough, with footy being my outlet, especially in year 12, so that was pretty tough, but after the surgery I had six weeks to get back for the Vic Metro game.

“So I worked my ass off and it paid off I guess.”

With Essendon coming off the back of a maiden finals appearance in just its second season within the AFLW, Gaylor said she can’t wait to get stuck in for next season.

“You can tell from the group that all of the players are driven and especially being led by Bonnie [Toogood] and Steph [Cain],” she said.

“They look like they push each other each and every day, so I’m really excited to get into that.

“I think that’s part of my identity, working hard and determined and to be the best, so I think I’ll fit in well.

AFLW list and recruiting manager Georgia Harvey is excited to see Gaylor join a budding young Essendon list ahead of 2024.

Gaylor was rated one of the highest prospects heading into the season and was part of the AFLW academy.

“We’re really pleased to welcome Amy to the football club,” Harvey said.

“Amy is a player that we’ve tracked for several years through the talent pathways at junior level. She has some really exciting attributes that will complement our list moving forward.

“She has genuine speed but is also aerobically well-balanced, so we look forward to developing her further in our program.”

Gaylor’s local club is Strathmore and she was part of the club’s Essendon District Football League division 1 women’s premiership in 2022.