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Cats unveil top two picks

Geelong selected Nina Morrison with pick one - Geelong Cats
Geelong selected Nina Morrison with pick one

NEWLY crowned No.1 draft pick Nina Morrison says her journey to the NAB AFL Women's competition "escalated very quickly" after her dad's encouragement to attend a talent identification day two years ago.

Geelong's newest young star joins Greater Western Sydney midfielder Nicola Barr (2016) and Western Bulldogs forward Isabel Huntington (2017) in being a No.1 pick in AFLW's brief history.

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"It's a massive honour and I'm super excited and can't wait to get into pre-season and meet all the other girls and get stuck into it," the Geelong Falcons graduate told reporters.

"At the same time, it's important to recognise that with all the different regions and states you can nominate, there are effectively quite a few girls that are going at pick one for their regions, so it's a big honour for those girls as well.

"I started playing football only two years ago, so it's all escalated very quickly and I'm just super excited to be here."

Nina Morrison with parents Julianne and Dougal after she was selected with the No.1 pick. Picture: AFL Photos

Morrison and fellow onballer Madison Prespakis, of the Calder Cannons, emerged as the country's brightest new talents with outstanding respective seasons in 2018.

The Falcons won the TAC Cup premiership, and Morrison and Prespakis were joint-winners of the competition's best and fairest award and co-players of the AFLW Under-18 Championships.

Players nominated a state or in Victoria's case a region – Melbourne metropolitan, Geelong or all of Victoria – in which they could be drafted from.

Prespakis' decision to select Melbourne metropolitan meant Morrison, who grew up a Cats supporter, instantly became the hot favourite to be the first player off the draft board.

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"Maddie and I have shared quite a bit this year," Morrison said.

"I think we played only the one game (together) in Adelaide (the under-18 exhibition match), but she's obviously a really talented player and works really hard at her game.

"It's good to be able to push yourself off her and she deserves everything that comes her way."

Geelong coach Paul Hood was delighted to add Morrison to his squad.

"She brings a fantastic mix of football skills, athleticism and terrific values to her football game and we look forward to developing her for the next few years," Hood said.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels speedster Sophie Van De Heuvel joined Morrison at the Cats with the No.2 selection, while Prespakis went to Carlton with pick three.

No.2 selection Sophie Van De Huevel in action. Picture: AFL Photos

The other player who may have come into the reckoning for the No.1 selection in an open draft was Alyce Parker, who instead went to Greater Western Sydney with the 12th overall pick.

Parker dabbled in football, cricket, basketball, netball, tennis, cross-country running and athletics growing up, before choosing to kick Sherrins about a year ago.

"Coming from a country town, (football) was really popular … and I guess that's what brings the town together," she said.

"I got into it through playing with the boys.

"Especially at my age, the (opportunity for) girls wasn't there, but going into high school, schoolgirls' footy just exploded and that's when my journey began."

Parker's attention had to quickly switch to her studies after the draft, with an agriculture exam to be completed at nearby Melbourne High School on Tuesday afternoon.

"It's very intense," she said of the juggling act between sport and school.

"I guess it's what you have to do and in my circumstance, coming from New South Wales and HSC is bang on this time, it's unavoidable but definitely manageable.

"I'm looking forward to getting through it."

The first round selections in the 2018 NAB AFLW National Draft on Tuesday. Picture: AFL Photos

Full NAB AFLW Draft

ROUND ONE
GEEL 1. Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons, VIC)
GEEL 2. Sophie Van De Huevel (GWV Rebels, VIC)
CARL 3. Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons, VIC)
FRE 4. Jasmin Stewart (Claremont, WA)
COLL 5. Jordyn Allen (Dandenong Stingrays, VIC)
MELB 6. Tyla Hanks (Gipplsland Power, VIC)
GEEL 7. Rebecca Webster (Murray Bushrangers, VIC)
ADEL 8. Nikki Gore (South Adelaide, SA)
BL 9. Paige Parker (Coorparoo, QLD)
WB 10. Eleanor Brown (Sandringham Dragons, VIC)
COLL 11. Katie Lynch (Oakleigh Chargers, VIC)
GWS 12. Alyce Parker (Thurgoona Bulldogs, NSW)
ROUND TWO
COLL 13. Mikala Cann (Eastern Ranges, VIC)
GEEL 14. Olivia Purcell (Geelong Falcons, VIC)
MELB 15. Madeline Brancatisano (Northern Knights, VIC)
CARL 16. Abbie McKay (Sandringham Dragons, VIC)
FRE 17. Sabreena Duffy (Peel Thunderbirds, WA)
COLL 18. Lauren Butler (GWV Rebels, VIC)
COLL 19. Maddie Shevlin (Melbourne rookie list/Gungahlin Jets, ACT)
GEEL 20. Denby Taylor (Geelong Falcons, VIC)
CARL 21. Jayde Van Dyk (Eastern Ranges, VIC) 
BL 22. Natalie Grider (University of Queendland, QLD)
WB 23. Aisling McCarthy (Tipperary, Ireland)
GEEL 24. Georgia Clarke (GWV Rebels, VIC)
NMFC 25. Daisy Bateman (Oakleigh Chargers, VIC)
ROUND THREE
WB 26. Kate Bartlett (Peel Thunderbirds, WA)
CARL 27. Charlotte Wilson (Eastern Ranges, VIC)
FRE 28. Philipa Seth (East Fremantle, WA)
COLL 29. Sophie Alexander (Eastern Devils, VIC)
ADEL 30. Jessica Foley (Sturt, SA)
MELB 31. Jordann Hickey (Northern Territory Thunder, NT)
COLL 32. Georgia Gourlay (Casey Demons, VIC)
BL 33. McKenzie Dowrick (Subiaco, WA)
WB 34. Selena Karlson (Southern Saints, VIC)
GEEL 35. Rene Caris (GWV Rebels, VIC)
NMFC 36. Courteney Munn (Southern Saints, VIC)
ROUND FOUR
ADEL 37. Chloe Scheer (Central District, SA)
COLL 38. Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges, VIC)
FRE 39. Courtney Stubbs (Subiaco, WA)
CARL 40. Rhiannon Watt (Southern Saints, VIC)
ADEL 41. Katelyn Rosenzweig (Salisbury, SA)  
CARL 42. Jessica Edwards (Collingwood VFLW, VIC)
GWS 43. Brittany Perry (North Adelaide, SA)
MELB 44. Shelley Heath (Southern Saints, VIC)
BL 45. Lauren Bella (Bond University, QLD)
WB 46. Jessie Davies (Western Bulldogs VFLW, VIC)
GEEL 47. Maighan Fogas (Geelong VFLW, VIC)
ADEL 48. Danielle Ponter (St Mary’s, NT)
ROUND FIVE
CARL 49. Pass
FRE 50. Parris Laurie (Claremont, WA)
COLL 51. Jordan Membrey (Wilson Grange, QLD)
MELB 52. Pass 
ADEL 53. Hannah Martin (West Adelaide, SA)
GWS 54. Lisa Whiteley (South Adelaide, SA)
NMFC 55. Chloe Haines (Burnie, TAS)
BL 56. Tori Groves-Little (Coorparoo, QLD)
GEEL 57. Elise Coventry (Geelong VFLW, VIC)
NMFC 58. Libby Haines (Burnie, TAS)
ROUND SIX
FRE 59. Laura Pugh (West Perth, WA)
GWS 60. Ingrid Nielsen (UNSW Bulldogs, NSW)
BL 61. Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw (Coorparoo, QLD)
GEEL 62. Madeline Keryk (Geelong VFLW, VIC)
NMFC 63. Nicole Bresnehan (Clarence, TAS)
ROUND SEVEN
FRE 64. Matilda Sergeant (Claremont, WA)
GWS 65. Renee Tomkins (Auburn Giants, NSW)
ROUND EIGHT
FRE 66. Ebony Dowson (Peel Thunder, WA)
GWS 67. Delma Gisu (Wilston Grange, QLD)
ROUND NINE
FRE 68. Pass
GWS 69. Haneen Zreika (Auburn Giants, NSW)
COLL 70. Erica Fowler (Collingwood VFLW, VIC)
GWS 71. Ebony O’Dea (Norwood, SA)
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs