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Bonnie Toogood

Toogood arrives at Essendon as an AFLW premiership player for the Western Bulldogs, where she played 37 games across her five seasons as a key forward. 2022 was a career-best season for the exciting forward, kicking 10 goals, averaging 3.5 marks and 3.7 score involvements. She also took home the Bulldogs’ leading goalkicker award and was named in the initial AFLW All-Australian squad for the first time.

Maddy Prespakis

Already an AFLW Best and Fairest winner despite her tender years, Prespakis will bring genuine starpower to the Bombers' inaugural AFLW team. The former Blue is a tough operator in midfield, averaging 20.4 disposals and kicking 15 goals across her 34 games for Carlton.

Georgia Gee

Crossing over from Carlton, Gee is a creative, skillful player who splits her time between wing and forward. She has shown her ability to impact the scoreboard across her five seasons at the Blues.

Georgia Nanscawen

Essendon VFLW co-captain Georgia Nanscawen was announced as the club's inaugural AFLW signing in March. The former North Melbourne AFLW player, Hockeyroo and Olympian joined the club in 2019, making an instant impact to claim the Bombers’ best and fairest in her debut year. The star midfielder was then named VFLW captain for the 2021 season, finishing the year with the league’s highest individual honour – the Lambert-Pearce Medal – and named captain of the 2021 VFLW team of the year.

Sophie Alexander

A member of Collingwood's inaugural AFLW side, Alexander is a utility who possesses strong hands and a long, accurate kick. Her experience and football journey will be an asset to Essendon - the club she grew up barracking for.

Stephanie Cain

Cain's journey to Essendon hasn't been smooth sailing, with the midfielder being delisted after her first season with Fremantle, before being re-drafted and suffering an ACL rupture in 2020. But in a sign of her determination, she returned for the 2021 season and produced career-best performances on the Dockers’ wing, continuing that form into 2022 to average 12.1 disposals, 2.7 marks and four tackles a game.

Caitlin Sargent

Committing to the Bombers from the Western Jets as an open-age player, Sargent is a developing prospect who can read the ball well, is strong in the air and has great goal sense. Her strength in attack was on display during this year’s NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships, where she kicked three majors in Vic Metro’s 53-point victory over Vic Country.

Joanne Doonan

Boasting previous AFLW experience, Doonan played for Carlton in 2020 before heading home to Ireland when the COVID-19 pandemic began. She has starred across midfield and forward for the Bombers in the VFLW this season to earn a second crack in the AFLW.

Jordan Zanchetta

Zanchetta joined the Bombers’ VFLW program ahead of the 2022 season, bringing with her AFLW experience from her four seasons at the Brisbane Lions. She is known for her tough work through the midfield, especially with her ability to extract the ball at stoppages and quickly move it into attack.

Danielle Marshall

Originally from Arizona in the United States, Marshall became the first American to play AFLW when she made her debut for the Bulldogs in 2020. Since joining the Bombers’ VFLW side for the 2022 season, she has become a dominant force across the backline to earn a second AFLW contract.

Federica Frew

Frew has earned her first AFLW contract on the back of a stunning VFLW season for the Bombers, where she's on track to top the league's goalkicking tally. She has been a key pillar up forward and a major part of the VFLW Bombers' dominant 2022 campaign.

Sophie Van De Heuvel

Van De Heuvel, a lifelong Essendon supporter, arrives at the NEC Hangar after 31 games for Geelong, where she made her mark as a versatile half-back. Hailing from Ballarat, the talented all-rounder also played cricket at the national level before transitioning to footy.

Cat Phillips

Phillips played 44 games across her past six AFLW seasons and was the Saints’ inaugural co-captain. A dual-sport athlete, she represented Australia at ultimate frisbee before being drafted by Melbourne as a category B rookie ahead of the Demons’ first AFLW season. Moving to St Kilda ahead of the 2019 season, Phillips has become known for her leadership, unwavering determination and work-rate in the Saints’ midfield.

Jacqui Vogt

Vogt joins the Bombers from the Saints, where she played 17 games since making her debut in round one of the 2021 season. Over her two seasons at AFLW level, Vogt’s football smarts, aerial ability and versatility have made her a key target in the Saints’ forward line and midfield. Originally a defender for Melbourne Victory in the W-League, Vogt transitioned to footy when she joined the Southern Saints for their first VFLW season before being drafted by the Saints’ AFLW team.

Daria Bannister

Hailing from Tasmania, Bannister joins the Bombers from North Melbourne. A talented forward, she spent most of her first three seasons at AFLW level on the sidelines, 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.

Jorja Borg

Adding height to Essendon's AFLW team, Borg has developed her ruck craft over the past three seasons in Carlton’s VFLW side, with the 23-year-old set to realise her potential once in an AFLW environment.

Ellyse Gamble

The Bombers added another 24 games of AFLW experience through the signing of Gamble. The foundation Western Bulldogs player has become known as a reliable and strong intercepting defender. Before making the step to the AFLW, Gamble won two premierships playing for Burnie in the Tasmania Women’s League and claimed the best-on-ground award in the 2016 grand final.

Renee Tierney

Committing to the AFLW Bombers as open-age signing, Tierney has been a constant threat in attack in Essendon's VFLW side this season, kicking 16 goals in her 12 home and away games.

Bella Ayre

Adding more AFLW experience to the Bombers’ inaugural side is Ayre, who has played five VFLW games this year, averaging 13.8 disposals, 7.8 kicks and 2.6 marks. Ayre played 12 AFLW games for Carlton and Brisbane between 2017-19 before retiring to explore career opportunities away from football.

Eloise Ashley-Cooper

Reigning VFLW best and fairest Ashley-Cooper has earned her opportunity at AFLW level after another solid 2022 campaign. The inaugural VFLW Bomber impressed with her versatility across half-back and midfield, averaging 14.9 disposals, 8.6 kicks and 6.3 handballs per game in the home and away season.