The geographically-driven nature of the AFLW draft limits the options available to clubs. Players can nominate a geographic zone, meaning only clubs from that zone can select her.
Geelong Falcons product McEvoy’s decision to nominate for the Melbourne metro zone rather than the Geelong zone was a boon for the Saints, as it ensured they would land one of the leading trio. St Kilda would have missed out had McEvoy nominated for the Geelong zone, in which case the Cats would have almost certainly picked her up.
Rival clubs suggested on Monday that Northern Knights premiership captain Newton was the favourite to be taken first by the Bulldogs, however it wouldn’t shock at all if Patrikios or McEvoy ended up at Whitten Oval.
Women’s football sources identified midfielder Sophie Molan, forward Nell Morris-Dalton and speedster Gemma Lagioia as some of the Victorian players likely to be taken shortly after McEvoy, Newton and Patrikios are snapped up.
The Dogs have four picks inside the first seven Melbourne metro selections, with picks one, six, eight and nine overall.
The Brisbane Lions are set to take diminutive midfielder Lily Postlethwaite at pick No.3, with the Queensland junior to remain in her home state. Small forward Isabel Dawes should join the Lions later in the first round. Defender Serene Watson has been linked to Gold Coast with the Suns’ first selection (pick 18).
Greater Western Sydney have pick No. 4, with defender Georgia Garnett and forward Maggie Gorham among the top prospects in the NSW zone in which the Giants effectively have full access.
South Australian tall Montana McKinnon will join Adelaide with pick 14 while athletic West Australian Roxy Roux looms as a likely selection at pick No. 12 to Fremantle.
The zone structure is a product of the part-time nature of the competition.
The Bulldogs have pick No. 1 after trading star midfielder Monique Conti to Richmond in April.
Carlton gained the second selection overall in a trade which sent then-Blues captain Brianna Davey to Collingwood.
The Magpies don’t have a selection until pick 67 after trading to land the versatile Davey.
Veteran forward Moana Hope has nominated for the draft as she searches for a third AFLW club after stints with the Magpies and North Melbourne.
St Kilda, Richmond, Gold Coast and West Coast are finalising their lists ahead of their respective entries into AFLW next year.
Round 1 order
1 Western Bulldogs
3 Brisbane Lions
4 GWS Giants
5 St Kilda
6 Western Bulldogs
8 Western Bulldogs
9 Western Bulldogs
10 North Melbourne
11 Geelong Cats
14 Adelaide Crows
15 Brisbane Lions
16 Brisbane Lions
17 Brisbane Lions
18 Gold Coast Suns
Daniel is an Age sports reporter