Class of 2017: AFLW first-round draft picks

AFLW top 8 draft picks-Jodie Hicks-Giants, Monique Conti- Bulldogs,Stephanie Cain - Dockers Isabelle Huntington- Bulldogs, Chloe Molloy- Collingwood,Eden Zanker- Melbourne, Jordan Zanchetta- Lions and Jess Allen- Crows. 18th October 2017. The Age Fairfaxmedia News Picture by JOE ARMAO
AFLW top 8 draft picks-Jodie Hicks-Giants, Monique Conti- Bulldogs,Stephanie Cain - Dockers Isabelle Huntington- Bulldogs, Chloe Molloy- Collingwood,Eden Zanker- Melbourne, Jordan Zanchetta- Lions and Jess Allen- Crows. 18th October 2017. The Age Fairfaxmedia News Picture by JOE ARMAO

Isabel Huntington heard a knock at the front door on Tuesday night. She wasn't expecting to see what she did when she opened it. There stood Western Bulldogs coach Paul Groves, list manager Michael Sandry and director of football Chris Grant. Oh, and some cameras.

They were there to let the key forward know she'd be selected first in Wednesday's AFLW draft.

"I wasn't expecting that. It was an interesting way to find out but very exciting," Huntington said, after things became official on Wednesday afternoon.

Huntington, who missed all of this season following a knee reconstruction, and broke her leg in 2015, had been one of three players perceived to be in the mix for the No.1 spot. The other two, fellow forward Chloe Molloy and basketballer Monique Conti, went at pick three and four respectively, with Molloy heading to Collingwood and midfielder Conti joining her fellow Melbourne University football product Huntington at the Dogs.

In between Huntington and the other Victorians was Stephanie Cain, discarded by Fremantle at the end of last year, but re-drafted by the Dockers with the second overall selection, with Fremantle only having access to players that had nominated to play in Western Australia.

While aware of the status that comes with being a No.1 pick, Huntington said she'd have been happy to get picked at any number.

"It doesn't really matter when you get into the club whether you're No.1 or 100, but I'm pretty honoured that they think of me that highly and I'm just excited to get started.

"There's a degree of pressure always with [being] the No.1 draft pick, as you've seen in boys [footy] often but I think once you get into the club it shakes off a little bit. I'll be fine hopefully."

Huntington said her injury woes had given her extra incentive to perform with the Dogs, who were a relative disappointment in the first AFLW season. Labelled by Groves as the "complete package", Huntington suggested she had a "little bit" of a point to prove.

"There probably wasn't as much vision for the coaches to watch of me. I'm going to try not put too much pressure on myself.

"It's very special. Obviously [I] had a few tough years with a broken leg in 2015 and the ACL in 2016, which meant I didn't play all of this year, so to be here is amazing."

Pre-season is only weeks away, but for now school remains the priority for Huntington, who on Thursday graduates from St Michael's Grammar.

She has Japanese, specialist maths, chemistry, biology and english language exams in coming weeks, with her top football billing not shifting her off-field goal of studying medicine.

"[It's been] a little bit distracting this week," she said.

"A pretty full-on week. I look forward to getting back into things and getting back into it.

"We'll try and get through the exams and then into footy after that."

2017 AFLW DRAFT

1 Western Bulldogs
Isabel Huntington (Melbourne Uni)

2 Fremantle
Stephanie Cain (Swan Districts)

3 Collingwood
Chloe Molloy (Diamond Creek)

4 Western Bulldogs
Monique Conti (Melbourne Uni)

5 GWS
Jodie Hicks (Belconnen Magpies)

6 Melbourne
Eden Zanker (Bendigo Pioneers)

7 Brisbane Lions
Jordan Zanchetta (Yeronga S Brisbane)

8 Adelaide
Jessica Allan (Salisbury)

9 Collingwood
Darcy Guttridge (Cranbourne)

10 Fremantle
Evangeline Gooch (East Fremantle)

11 Western Bulldogs
Jenna Bruton (St Kilda)

12 Carlton
Georgia Gee (Beaconsfield)

13 Collingwood
Iilish Ross (Wodonga Raiders)

14 Melbourne
Madeleine Guerin (Fitzroy JFC)

15 Brisbane Lions
Arianna Clarke (Coolangatta Tweed)

16 Adelaide
Jasmyn Hewett (St Marys)

17 GWS
Tanya Hetherington (Diamond Creek)

18 Fremantle
Jodie White (Coastal Titans)

19 Western Bulldogs
Daria Bannister (Launceston)

20 Collingwood
Sarah Dargan (Pascoe Vale)

21 Collingwood
Kristy Stratton (Box Hill Hawks)

22 Melbourne
Tegan Cunningham

23 Brisbane Lions
Renee Cowan (Yeronga S Brisbane)

24 Adelaide
Eloise Jones (Morphettville Park)

25 GWS
Courtney Gum (Adelaide Uni)

26 Fremantle
Ashlee Atkins (East Fremantle)

27 Western Bulldogs
Emma Mackie (Box Hill Hawks)

28 Carlton
Sophie Li (Adelaide Uni)

29 Carlton
Reni Hicks (Diamond Creek)

30 Melbourne
Claudia Whitfort

31 Brisbane Lions
Kalinda Howarth (Coolangatta Tweed)

32 Adelaide
Marijana Rajcic (Norwood)

33 Fremantle
Emily McGuire (Swan Districts)

34 Western Bulldogs
pass

35 Collingwood
Ashleigh Brazill

36 Carlton
Bridie Kennedy (Cranbourne)

37 Brisbane Lions
Emma Pittman (Queensland Uni)

38 Adelaide
Ruth Wallace (Adelaide Uni)

39 GWS
Phoebe Monahan (UNSW/ES)

40 Fremantle
Alicia Janz (Swan Districts)

41 Brisbane Lions
Ruby Blair (Coolangatta Tweed)

42 Adelaide
Rheanne Lugg (Riverina Lions)

43 GWS
Philippa Smyth (Nelson Bay)

44 Fremantle
Leah Mascall (Coastal Titans)

45 Brisbane Lions
Sophie Conway (Zillmere Eagles)

46 Adelaide
pass

47 GWS
Cora Staunton

48 Brisbane Lions
Jessy Keeffe (Yeronga South Brisbane)

49 GWS
pass

This story Class of 2017: AFLW first-round draft picks first appeared on Brisbane Times.