BRISBANE has landed an experienced leader as part of the first AFL Women’s trade to drop in the 2018 Re-signing and Trade Period.
The Lions have brought in former Carlton skipper Lauren Arnell, in a three-way trade which saw Nicole Hildebrand head to the Magpies, and Collingwood’ pick 40 traded to Carlton. Arnell was the inaugural skipper of the Blues, and played 11 games in the first two seasons at Ikon Park. After missing out on selection in a number of games last season, Carlton’s Head of Football Andrew McKay told the Carlton website Arnell was keen for more senior opportunities.
“We are tremendously grateful to Lauren. She played an instrumental role in establishing our women’s football program and will always be acknowledged as an integral contributor to the Carlton Football Club,” McKay said. “With an eye on the future, Lauren was looking for more opportunity in an on-field capacity, so we fully supported her decision to pursue the opportunity up north and believe this deal is a win for all involved. “We wish her well for the coming season as she continues her career at the Lions.”
Brisbane Lions Womens’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Breanna Brock is excited about the experience Arnell brings to the young Lions list.
“Lauren will provide great mentoring for our young group and new players coming on to the list,” Brock said. “She’s an outstanding person and has done so much for the women’s game. We look forward to working with such an experienced campaigner and can’t wait to see her pull on the Lions colours.”
Collingwood’s Strategy and Performance Manager Marcus Wagner said Hildebrand would fit in well, slotting into defence.
“We’re thrilled to have Nicole join the Pies. She’s a tough defender whose AFL Women’s knowledge will be a welcome addition to our backline,” Wagner said. “Trading for Nicole in exchange for pick 40 leaves us in a strong position. We’re really excited to have been able to secure an experienced player without compromising our draft position.”