The AFLW Draft happened yesterday, a first for the four new teams to the competition, and one of the new team made headlines with their selection.
The Tigers went into the draft with 13 picks ranging from seven to 96 (out of 100). This determines the order they get to pick players in the draft. It was their final choice that turned heads.
Pick 96 went to Lauren Tesoriero, who is a recruiter for… the Tigers. Choosing yourself for the team seems incredibly egotistical, but Kate Sheahan, Richmond’s head of football, said Tesoriero wasn’t involved in making the decisions.
“Technically she removed herself from the decision but (coach) Tom Hunter and myself, in conjunction with (football manager) Neil Balme, who’s been across everything we’ve done, decided that if we could get her to a certain point (physically, Tesoriero could be recruited)” Sheahan told womens.afl.
Tesoriero’s pick is also a surprise because in June the midfielder suffered a season ending ACL injury for the second time. She elected not to undergo the surgery that is usually accompanied by a year-long rehab, and has instead continued to play with a completely ruptured ACL.
“She’s going to do this without the surgery. Very unconventional, and that’s why it is a risk, but it’s a risk that she’s prepared to take and it’s a risk that we’re prepared to take” Sheahan said.