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Three from the Big V

Three Priority Picks Named for AFLW The GIANTS' women's team have welcomed Victorians Phoebe McWilliams, Louise Stephenson and Jessica Dal Pos to the side for the 2017 season.
We play because we love the game and now it’s turned into a part-time profession. I never dreamt of that happening and it’s just so surreal to be here.
New recruit Phoebe McWilliams

The GIANTS are delighted to welcome Victorians Louise Stephenson, Phoebe McWilliams and Jessica Dal Pos to the club’s women’s team as priority player selections for the 2017 season.

Over the past week the club has announced the signings of local home grown midfielder Maddy Collier as well as West Australian key defender Alex Williams, with the Victorian trio rounding out the GIANTS’ five priority player selections for the 2017 AFL Women’s competition. 

The GIANTS have secured two more key position players and a hard-running midfielder to complement marquee players Renee Forth and Emma Swanson.

Stephenson, 21, is a 176cm utility player from Melbourne University who loves to run and spends time playing in both the ruck and up forward. 

A stand-out youth girls footballer, Stephenson was just 18 when she was selected to represent the Western Bulldogs in the inaugural Women’s Exhibition match in 2013.

“Knowing we’re locked in and ready to go with the GIANTS is a really surreal experience and we’re so excited to start playing in February,” Stephenson said. 

“When I was presented with the opportunity, I didn’t have to think about it too much. 

“I thought; it’s a developing team, a developing state with great coaches and great facilities.

“I just wanted to follow footy and follow my passion so I pretty much said yes straight away because I’m so excited about playing in the League.”

McWilliams is another key position player who has played for the St Kilda Sharks for 10 years. The 31-year-old is known for her skills up forward but can also be sent back to help out in defence. 

“I had a meeting in Melbourne with the coach Tim Schmidt and Chief Operating Officer Richard Griffiths and I just really felt that they were my sort of people and it was a good place to be,” McWilliams said.

“I immediately got a good vibe about the place so it made the choice pretty easy actually.

“We play because we love the game and now it’s turned into a part-time profession. I never dreamt of that happening and it’s just so surreal to be here.”

The third signing is 23-year-old Jessica Dal Pos who was part of the Women’s VFL Premiership-winning Darebin Falcons outfit last weekend.

A utility player, her hard running and nice left foot kick are suited to the midfield and wings.

“It’s an exciting prospect to be part of something new and something really fresh in a new state,” Dal Pos said. 

“In Victoria women’s footy is on the map and here it’s a little less known and it’s really exciting to break ground with female football in Sydney. 

“The idea that I get to have an involvement in progressing female footy in another state is really enticing. 

“To be able to pass on everything I’ve learnt and the enjoyment I get from it is huge, it’s a massive part of why I’ve come up here.”

The GIANTS received four priority player selections as part of the list establishment rules for the upcoming 2017 AFL Women’s competition.

With marquee player Renee Forth suffering a serious knee injury which will rule her out of the 2017 season, the GIANTS were granted an additional priority player pick.

Last weekend 21-year-old Maddy Collier made history as the first NSW/ACT player to be selected for the GIANTS’ women’s team. A hard inside-midfielder, Collier has developed into one of the top female talents in the state since taking up the game six years ago.

Joining her on the GIANTS’ list this season is tall defender Alex Williams, from Western Australia. The 23-year-old, who counts Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe as a role model, represented West Coast in an AFL exhibition series game against Fremantle earlier this year. 

The GIANTS have two rookie spots to fill with players who have not played a game of community or state football in the past three years, before rounding out their list at the NSW/ACT draft on October 12.

More than 500 fans have signed up to be Foundation Members of the women’s team ahead of next year’s competition with a unique opportunity to be there from the start and be part of history. 

Sign up today!

New GIANTS recruits Louise Stephenson, Jessica Dal Pos and Phoebe McWilliams