The Sydney Swans have parted ways with Pick 1 in the upcoming AFLW Supplementary Draft, receiving 20-year-old midfield/forward Laura Gardiner from the Geelong Cats in a direct swap.
With the introduction of a national draft pool that allows prospects to nominate a club in their home state, this trade means that Hawthorn may no longer have access to the best available Victorian player at pick four.
Instead, Geelong will gain the ascendency in the draft while the Swans will hope Gardiner's VFLW form will translate into the big league in her fourth season.
Gardiner was taken by the Cats with pick 20 in the 2020 draft and managed 18 games across three seasons. She established her capabilities in the VFLW however, where she averaged 34.9 disposals in her seven games in 2022.
This form was enough for Sydney to snap up Gardiner's services, while the Cats will search for their second recruit of the off-season to join former Power and Suns forward, Kate Surman.
The Geelong Head of AFLW and Football Pathways Brett Johnson thanked Laura Gardiner for her time at the club.
“We thank Laura for her contribution to the Club over the past three seasons. She has made great strides as a developing midfielder/forward since coming to the club ahead of the 2021 season, and we wish her all the best at Sydney,” Johnson said.
“We are excited by the possibilities that open up by holding the first pick in this year's supplementary draft.”
The 2023 AFLW Supplementary Draft will take place on April 4.