By Matthew Sims
Two Western Jets players have had their football dreams come true overnight, with Charlotte Baskaran and Laura Elliott joining the Hawthorn Football Club’s women’s team.
Hawthorn picked Baskaran at number nine, while it picked Elliott at number 26.
Baskaran led the Jets to their first grand final win earlier this year with an average of 27.6 disposals, 6.6 tackles, 5.3 clearances and 4.2 inside 50s.
A Hawthorn spokesperson said Baskaran was also named captain of the NAB League Girls Team of the Year and was runner-up in the competition’s best and fairest award.
“The highly impressive teenager not only possesses leadership capabilities but incredible football smarts and a high work rate all over the ground,” the spokesperson said.
“The NAB AFLW Academy member has also represented Vic Metro on multiple occasions, averaging 16 disposals, 12 tackles and 3.3 clearances as well as making the under 18 All Australian team in her most recent campaign.”
Having been a keen netballer and state athletics champion, Baskaran turned to football when she was 16 and has never looked back.
Baskaran previously told Star Weekly that her focus was on recovering from an ankle injury.
“Now it’s about getting my ankle back to 100 per cent and doing rehab and a bit of upper body training,” she told Star Weekly.
“I’m still doing as much as I can and not lose any fitness.
“I want to keep that positive mindset.”
Elliott said she and her family celebrated the good news while watching the draft announcements together.
“It still feels surreal,” she said.
Elliott said she was looking forward to starting training with the other Hawthorn players on Saturday.
“Hawthorn is a great club,” she said.
Elliott averaged 13.8 disposals, 4.7 rebound 50s and 3.8 marks at the NAB League level.
A Hawthorn spokesperson said her most impressive performance was in the grand final, in which she surpassed 20 disposals for the first time in 2022 and achieved 12 rebound 50s.
“At the 2022 NAB AFLW National Championships, she averaged 9.3 disposals and 2.7 marks,” the spokesperson said.
“Elliott’s aerial ability is second to none thanks to her immense composure and exquisite positioning around the contest.”
Hawthorn AFLW list manager Mitchell Cashion said the club was thrilled with the results of the draft.
“Coming into our inaugural AFLW draft with seven of the first 13 picks meant we were confident in our ability to select the best talent available,” he said.
“To come out of the draft with some of the most exciting prospects in the country is a huge achievement for our entire Hawthorn community, who I’m sure will really enjoy watching these players develop their skills and craft over years to come.
“With our AFLW list now completed, we are ready to propel into the season and have exciting upside for the future ahead.”