2022 AFLW S7
Games Won 9
Ladder Position 3
Premiership position: 3rd (9 wins, 4 losses). 3rd after minor round (8 winds, two losses).
Coach: Matthew Clarke
Captain: Chelsea Randall
Adelaide’s dream of winning two AFLW premierships in the same year ended one win short of reaching another grand final.
There had been lots of change for the Club and the competition during the short off-season after Adelaide’s third premiership in April but the Crows remained a contender in season seven’s expanded competition, launched with a new late-August start date.
Sydney, Port Adelaide, Essendon and Hawthorn joined the AFLW for the first time, completing the set of 18 teams. The ten-round minor round was retained but the top eight played finals over four weeks.
The Crows added former West Coast duo Niamh Kelly and Amber Ward (originally from South Australia) in exchange for 2017 premiership player Jess Sedunary, who had been on the inactive list. From Ireland, Kelly was an accomplished Gaelic player who captained County Mayo’s representative team in 2019 and led the county to an All-Ireland final, before the Eagles selected her as an international rookie.
The season six grand finalists opened their season at Glenelg Oval under lights on August 26, after heavy rain forced a move from water-logged Norwood Oval. Melbourne won by three goals but Adelaide responded by winning its next six games.
Two final quarter goals from Abbie Ballard helped Adelaide overrun Richmond by nine points at Punt Road in round two and then the reigning premiers rallied against North Melbourne at Unley Oval with a gutsy 14-point win after conceding the first two goals of the game.
Adelaide defeated previously unbeaten Collingwood by five points at Victoria Park in round four and then recorded the biggest win in AFLW history, demolishing Greater Western Sydney by 96 points at Unley Oval.
A new chapter in Showdown rivalry started in round six when Port hosted the first AFLW Showdown at Adelaide Oval. But the Crows dominated in front of a crowd of 20,652 and held Port goalless to win 8.15 (63) to 0.3 (3). Captain Chelsea Randall was inspirational for the Crows, kicking three goals and collecting a game-high 27 possessions to be awarded the inaugural Showdown Medal.
Adelaide won its sixth consecutive game by kicking four unanswered goals in the last term to overcome Fremantle by 18 points at Unley Oval but the streak ended the following week against Brisbane at Metricon Stadium.
The path to the finals was testing. Adelaide held on to claim a thrilling two-point win over Geelong and then survived a scare from St Kilda to finish the minor round in third place.
Danielle Ponter booted a goal after only 19 seconds (the fastest in AFLW history) in the first final and Caitlin Gould kicked another three minutes later to give the Crows a great start but Melbourne steadied and kicked away to win by 21 points.
Adelaide defied both the elements and Collingwood to win its semi-final at Unley Oval. A 30-minute delay to the start of the game due to lightning was followed by another 45-minute delay at quarter-time as a severe thunderstorm caused havoc.
The two-goal win sent the Crows through to a preliminary final against Brisbane but in the week before the clash the Club and community was rocked by news of the sudden death of inaugural Crow and 2017 premiership player Heather Anderson.
After a moving pre-game ceremony featuring a minute’s silence in memory of Anderson, Brisbane kicked the first five goals of the match and ended Adelaide’s season with a 23-point win.
Three-time Adelaide premiership star Anne Hatchard became the first player to claim the AFLW Club Champion award three times. The 24-year-old, who won the award in seasons four and six, polled 343 votes ahead of second-placed Ebony Marinoff (339) and defender Chelsea Biddell (336).
Marinoff led the count after the first final against Melbourne before the strong performances by Hatchard in the semi-final and prelim lifted her into first place. Marinoff, who won the award in 2021, has finished in the top three of the club champion count every year since the Crows entered the AFLW in 2017.
Hatchard, Marinoff, Randall and Biddell also were chosen in the All-Australian side. It was Biddell’s first selection, recognising her rapid improvement after successfully moving into defence earlier in the year.
Five players made their AFLW debut for the Crows in season seven, adding to the five newcomers from season six earlier in 2022.
Awards and Achievements
All Australians: Chelsea Biddell, Chelsea Randall, Ebony Marinoff, Anne Hatchard,
Players’ Player award: Chelsea Biddell
AFC Leading Goalkicker: Ashleigh Woodland
Defensive Player of Year: Chelsea Biddell
Showdown Medal: Chelsea Randall
- The Disney+ docu-series Fearless: The Inside Story of the AFLW was released in August and featured Adelaide’s journey to the season six premiership.
- Anne Hatchard became the fourth Crow to play 50 AFLW games, in the opening round of season seven. Eloise Jones was next, in round ten, and Marijana Rajcic played her 50th game in the preliminary final.
In: Niamh Kelly (West Coast), Amber Ward (West Coast), Keeley Kustermann (West Adelaide), Kiera Mueller (Sturt), McKenzie Dowrick (redrafted), Jess Waterhouse (South Adelaide).
Out: Erin Phillips (Port), Ange Foley (Port), Justine Mules (Port), Nikki Gore (Fremantle), Dayna Cox (inactive list) Jasmyn Hewett (inactive list)
First game players
Niamh Kelly, v Melbourne at Glenelg Oval, 26/8/22 (debut order 59)
Amber Ward, v Richmond at Punt Road, 3/9/22 (60)
Jess Waterhouse, v GWS at Unley Oval, 25/9/22 (61)
Keeley Kustermann, v Fremantle at Unley Oval, 8/10/22 (62)
Kiera Mueller, v Geelong at Unley Oval, 21/10/22 (63)
|Club Champion top ten|
|1: Anne Hatchard 343 votes|
2: Ebony Marinoff 339
3: Chelsea Biddell 336
4: Sarah Allan 286
5: Stevie-Lee Thompson 274
6: Cailtin Gould 273
7: Chelsea Randall 266
8: Teah Charlton 261
9: Madison Newman 193
10: Ashleigh Woodland 187
|14 Ashleigh Woodland|
11 Danielle Ponter
8 Chelsea Randall
7 Caitlin Gould
5 Anne Hatchard
|AFL Women’s B&F|
1 Dowrick, McKinnon
The 2022 squad (Season Seven)
Back row (from left): Keeley Kustermann (7), Kiera Mueller (13), Hannah Munyard (20), Brooke Tonon (28), Teah Charlton (25), Najwa Allen (8), Madison Newman (17), Ailish Considine (16), Niamh Kelly (23), Hannah Button (6). Middle row: Jess Waterhouse (19), Abbie Ballard (27), Chelsea Biddell (12), Zoe Prowse (4), Amber Ward (3), Montana McKinnon (21), Jasmine Simmons (11), Caitlin Gould (1), Ashleigh Woodland (24), McKenzie Dowrick (9), Lisa Whiteley (22), Rachelle Martin (5). Front: Marijana Rajcic (32), Anne Hatchard (33), Ebony Marinoff (10), Chelsea Randall (26), Matthew Clarke (coach), Sarah Allan (39), Stevie-Lee Thompson (14), Eloise Jones (2), Danielle Ponter (15).
2022 jumpers (Season Seven)
As reigning premiers, the AFLW badge on the front of the guernseys had a gold base for season seven. The AFL sponsors on the front also moved. The Crows wore three guernseys, including one for Pride Round.
Sarah Allan in the home jumper; Anne Hatchard regularly wore the long sleeves version; Indigenous/away design; Marijana Rajcic wears the Pride guernsey.