After selecting Tess Craven with its first pick in the 2021 NAB AFLW Draft, the commitment of the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos to the young midfielder is clear to see.
With Craven having signed a two-year deal, it’s obvious that commitment goes both ways.
AFLW clubs are given a two-week window, post-draft, to sign players to one or two-year contacts. Several North draftees signed two year contracts during this time.
The 13th selection of the draft, Craven was recruited after a superb season in midfield for the Geelong Falcons.
List and performance manager Rhys Harwood says her two-year contract was an exciting addition for the club.
“It was a nice surprise for us to be able to add Tess to our list. We were really happy to be able to select her at the draft,” Harwood told North Media.
“We’re obviously keen to lock her in for the forseeable future. We think she will be a really important part of our midfield group going forward.”
Much like a number of her fellow draftees, including North teammate Tara Slender, Craven is still in the process of finishing high school.
As she’s still based in Geelong, as well as working her way back from injury, Craven has eased her way into pre-season.
“She’s going to be a long-term player for us, so there’s no rush,” Harwood said.
“Tess is slowly integrating into training and increasing those loads every week, but she’s adapted really well.
“She’s coming down from Geelong for a session a week at the moment. She’ll slowly build that up as she gets through the end of her schooling.
“No doubt Tess will give herself every opportunity to make an impact for us, as she continues to build her fitness. We’re really excited about what she can achieve at AFLW level, and she’s really hungry to impact early.”