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WAFLW Experience Provides Belief for Draft Contender Tuesday, December 12, 2023 - 11:14 AM

Swan Districts midfielder Jaime Henry believes she is physically ready to hold her own in the AFLW if she is selected in next Monday’s Draft. 

Beginning her career as a defender with Swans, Henry has developed into a quality inside midfielder, and at 176cm has the height and strength to cause headaches for rival players. 

Henry knows there are no guarantees in her bid to join an AFLW club. 

“I am hopeful and excited all wrapped up into one,” Henry said. 

“I know I have given myself the best chance possible, so that gives me comfort that I could not have done much more. 

“I have had great support from the WAFC (West Australian Football Commission) State Academy Program and that has developed me both on and off the field. 

“I am a more rounded player and person after coming through the system and regardless of the outcome it’s a super exciting process to be involved in.” 

Trent Cooper, Coaching Specialist – Female Talent Pathways at the West Australian Football Commission, sums up Henry’s season. 

“An injury interrupted season has meant that Henry hasn’t been able to back up her outstanding 2022 season but clubs that have been following her closely will know her capabilities,” said Cooper. 

“She is a very strong clearance player who wins her own ball and puts her teammates in space with clever ball use, and her left foot is a point of difference that can add much needed variety to an AFLW team’s midfield.” 

Henry, who turned 18 in October, believes 2023 was crucial to her development as a player. 

“After an injury interrupted start to the season, I felt I got better as the year went on and I wanted the season to keep going,” she said. 

“It ended too quickly for me, and I felt as a player I matured and as a 17-year-old that was important for my game because you never stop learning.  

“I concentrated more in my vision reviews of matches and looking for areas to improve.  

“The game is always evolving, so you need to stay ahead of the curve.” 

While many AFLW Draft contenders face the immediate challenge of building their bodies to the required level, Henry has no such concerns. 

“I know physically I can match it with the bigger bodied players, having played WAFLW League for three seasons. 

“It has given me self-belief that I can have an impact. 

“I am an inside midfielder and getting first hands on the ball is key and I’m confident I can bring that a team immediately,” she said.