Premiership Lion now a Bomber


Tara Murray

A premiership winning Lion is one of three new editions to Essendon’s AFLW list for next season.

The Bombers announced on Saturday that delisted free agent Jess Wuetschner was making the move down to Victoria to be part of club’s inaugural side.

Wuetschner played 38 games for the Lions including the 2021 premiership.

She was named in the AFLW All-Australian team in 2018 and led the Lions goal kicking in 2018 and 2019.

Essendon general manager of football Josh Mahoney said Wuetschner would be a fantastic addition to the Bombers’ inaugural AFLW team.

“To have someone like Jess join the club will be fantastic for our young list,” he said. “With her experience and leadership, she will be an extremely valuable member of our team.”

AFLW contract manager Georgia Harvey said Wuetschner will bring a competitive edge to the Bombers’ forward line.

“With 38 games of AFLW experience, including a premiership, someone of Jess’ calibre joining our squad will be extremely influential on our young group and she will be a fantastic asset to our team,” she said.

“Jess is talented, competitive and dangerous around the ball. She is looking forward to a new exciting chapter at Essendon and we look forward to having Jess make the move down to Melbourne.”

The signing of Wuestschner comes after the club had announced it had signed Alana Barba and Olivia Barton.

Barba, who played her junior football with Roxburgh Park, has been part of the Essendon Victorian Football League Women’s side for a number of years.

She made her AFLW debut last season, after being a late pick up for the Gold Coast Suns.

Joining Barba is Barton, a 172cm defender who is reliable in contests and thrives in one-on-ones.

The 20-year-old has played 13 VFLW games for Port Melbourne this season, averaging 17.1 disposals, 11.8 kicks and 2.9 tackles.

AFLW contract manager Georgia Harvey said both players will bring a competitive nature to the Bombers’ inaugural side.

“Alana is a fierce competitor who can rotate from on-ball to up forward and tackles hard,” Harvey said.

“Olivia is competitive, agile through congestion and will bring a lot defensively to our team structure.

“Both players are young, determined and welcome additions to our AFLW side.”