Carlton secured the signing of superstar Darcy Vecchio for a further two years in great relief for fans after the departures of the senior players.
The first to score 50 goals in AFLW history and the second-ever goaltender in the championship, Vescio signed a new deal to stay at Carlton through the end of 2024.
Vescio’s re-signing is a silver lining among another disappointing off-season for the Blues, who have just eight players left on their roster since their final preliminary appearance in 2020.
Sydney picked midfielder Lucy McEvoy as a priority signing earlier this month, while Nat Blaine, who with Vecchio was one of only four players on Carlton’s list, left via trade to St Kilda.
Blues head football coach Brad Lloyd said Vecchio was an “integral part” of the club’s AFLW program as a leader on and off the field.
“We are delighted that they will stay with the club for another two years,” said Lloyd.
“As one of our senior players, Darcy understands where we’ve been, where we want to go, and is determined to help build the program and raise standards from within.
“Darcy is relentless on the field and united in her approach off the field, making her an excellent representative for this club, and we look forward to creating more history together in the years to come.”
Keeping Vecchio a two-time All-Australian would be important to the stability of the Blues after both coach Daniel Harford and women’s football coach Brett Munro were relocated following a review of the club’s AFLW program.
Carlton traded Brook Walker to Essendon on Friday for pick nine in next month’s draft while also trading Serena Gibbs for Fremantle striker Tahlia Reed.
Key defender Harriet Cordner has arrived from Richmond as part of a jet trade, and the Blues also confirmed the signing of Ireland duo Dyna Finn and Aaron Fitzpatrick on Sunday.
Geelong made a big move on Monday, taking the No. 1 pick in the draft from Sydney in exchange for indoor quarterback Laura Gardiner.
The trade-off means Geelong will jump ahead of Hawthorn with the best pick in the Victorian pool, although that draft will not include players who turn 18 this year as the league resets its eligibility after two seasons in 2022.
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