Exciting Essendon trio Amber ClarkeSophie Van De Heuvel, and Stephanie Wales have all been named in the 2023 AFLW 22under22 squad.

The 22under22 team recognises the best players in the AFLW competition aged 22 and under for the entirety of the season (including Grand Final Day) to have played at least five games during the season.

Still just 18 years of age, Clarke has enjoyed a promising second season with the Bombers after being taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2022 National Draft.

A breakout performance in round six saw the forward boot two goals from her 16 touches against the Cats, inspiring the Bombers to a comeback victory and landing a Rising Star nomination.


Since moving to Essendon from Geelong ahead of the 2022 season, Van De Heuvel has consistently performed across positions ranging from half-back to the wing.

The 22-year-old has averaged a career-high 14 disposals per game in a more advanced role this season, including a best effort of 19 touches in round six.

Van De Heuvel notched up her 50th career game in the Bombers’ round 10 clash with the Suns.


Wales has become a key cog of the Bombers’ clearance game as the primary ruck option, averaging 21 hit-outs per game this season.

The 20-year-old was nominated for the Rising Star Award after a terrific display in round four’s win over Fremantle, including 19 disposals, six tackles, and five clearances.


The final team for the 22under22 is determined by a fan vote, which will run until November 15, with the side to be officially announced via AFLPA social channels on November 22.

Cast your votes and secure the trio’s places in the final 22 here.