The Northern Territory adds another draftee to the list after Ashanti Bush was taken by the Gold Coast SUNS in tonight’s NAB AFLW Draft at number eight.
The announcement came in front of a group of excited people gathered at the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre in Darwin, including Bush’s family, friends and members from her community TIO NTFL club, Darwin Buffaloes.
Hailing from Beswick, Bush is known to dominate as a strong forward player. This was displayed in her TIO NTFL Darwin Buffaloes performances and after being proclaimed Best on Ground in the Arnhem Crows’ Premiership win during the Big Rivers League Grand Final last season.
After other notable seasons within the Cazalys NT Thunder Academy, Allies and NAB AFLW Academy squad, Bush more recently has been playing with the Hawthorn VFLW squad where she has impressed coaches and gained great experience for her journey to the AFLW.
AFLNT Talent Manager Simon Hargrave said Bush is worthy of this opportunity and is excited to see her run out on the field as a SUN.
“Ashanti is a phenomenal player who stands out in the forward line while showing her agility and composure with the ball,” Hargrave said.
“She has been a huge talent for us in the Cazalys NT Thunder Academy over the past couple of years, was also selected for Allies and I have no doubt she’ll be a great asset to the SUNS squad.
“Ashanti’s drafting is another demonstration of the investment Gold Coast SUNS have in developing our Territory players and we’re thrilled our partnership is continuing to grow.
“It’s awesome to see our partner, Gold Coast SUNS recognise the level of talent we have here in the Territory and I’m looking forward to more opportunities for our girls to get a run with them in the future.”
SUNS Head of Women’s Football Fiona Sessarago said the club was thrilled to welcome Bush and strengthen its relationship with the Northern Territory.
“We’ve been watching Ashanti very closely over the last couple of years and are very excited to have her on board for next season,” Sessarago said.
“The club has a very strong relationship with the NT through our Academy programs up in Darwin and it’s fantastic to have players like Ashanti make their way on to our AFLW list.
“We see great potential in Ashanti as a player who can strengthen our forward line and provide more of a dynamic mix for the season ahead.”
Bush is the 17th NT-affiliated player to be listed on an AFLW squad since the inaugural AFL Women's Draft in 2016 and is following in the footsteps of fellow NT product Janet Baird who was drafted by the SUNS last year.
Club: Darwin/NT Thunder
State: Northern Territory
Date of Birth: 18/08/02