Essendon’s inaugural AFLW list is taking shape with another five players committing to the Bombers for the upcoming season.
The Bombers have now announced half their list with Sophie Van De Heuvel, Jacqui Vogt, Daria Bannister, Cat Phillips and Jorja Borg going to don the red and black.
Van De Heuvel, Vogt, Bannister and Phillips add more AFLW experience to the list, while Borg has played in the Victorian Football League Women’s competition for the past three years.
Van De Heuvel, a lifelong Essendon supporter, arrives at Essendon after 31 games at Geelong. She has made her name for herself as a half-back.
Phillips is joining her third AFLW club, having played 44 games across six seasons. She was one of St Kilda’s inaugural co-captains, having started her career at Melbourne.
Phillips’ St Kilda team mate Vogt is also making the move across to the Bombers.
Vogt, a former soccer player, played 17 games in two seasons with the Saints, having been a key target in both the forward line and midfield.
Bannister will provide a target inside the forward line, joining the Bombers from North Melbourne.
The Tasmanian, Bannister spent most of her first three seasons at AFLW level on the side lines, having to overcome multiple injuries.
Over the past two seasons, Bannister has played 21 games, taking her career total to 25, establishing a strong presence up forward and regularly hitting the scoreboard.
Borg has developed her ruck craft over the past three seasons in Carlton’s VFLW side.
Essendon general manager of football Josh Mahoney said the five signings would influence the standards and expectations for the Bombers’ inaugural list.
“From the very start, we will be setting high expectations and standards for our women’s team, and these five players will play a key part in establishing this culture,” he said.
“They all have experience in high-performing environments, either at AFLW or VFLW level. Therefore, they can use their knowledge to educate and influence their fellow teammates and, ultimately, the whole women’s program at Essendon.”
It was a big week for the Bombers, with players allowed to officially sign with the club as part of the expansion signing period.
Ten players that had previously announced their intentions to sign with the Bombers, officially did so on Tuesday.
The group is headlined by former league best and fairest winner Madison Prespakis, who joins the club from Carlton.
Sophie Alexander, Stephanie Cain, Joanne Doonan, Federica Frew, Georgia Gee from Carlton, Danielle Marshall, Georgia Nanscawen, Caitlin Sargent, Bonnie Toogood and Jordan Zanchett have also signed.