CALDER Cannons fired the first blow of the TAC Cup Girls’ competition, taking out in the inaugural premiership after going through the season undefeated.
In the shorter season which has been earmarked to extend in future years to match that of the boys, the Cannons won all five matches with an ultra-impressive percentage of 412.75 per cent.
Murray Bushrangers were the clear second side, also going undefeated with a percentage of 238.54, but they had to work hard in a couple of their later games including a thrilling win over an equally-talented Geelong Falcons outfit.
Northern Knights finished with a 4-1 record as well only dropping a game to the Falcons, while Eastern Ranges, Dandenong Stingrays, Greater Western Victoria Rebels and Sandringham Dragons all finished on three wins from five matches. Bendigo Pioneers picked up their sole win with a 20-point victory over Gippsland Power, while the Power, Oakleigh Chargers and Western Jets did not register a win in the inaugural season.
There were plenty of highlights throughout the inaugural 2017 season, with Calder’s Chloe Molloy and Dandenong’s Bridie Kennedy sharing the TAC Cup Girls’ league best and fairest award.
Both girls showed off their athletic ability at the AFL’s pre-season testing combine with Molloy finishing second in agility, equal sixth in the vertical jump and seventh in the running vertical jump. Kennedy finished third in the beep test, fifth in the 20m sprint and equal sixth in the running vertical jump.
For the top-age girls, much like their male counterparts, they will now wait until the AFLW inaugural National Draft will be held on October 18. It is particularly exciting with the AFL confirming earlier this month that the list sizes will increase to 30 players – 27 primary players with three rookies. Over the next month, clubs will be able to sign up to 22 primary-list players from May 1-19, before a one-week free agency period from May 20.
Among the many possible 18 year-olds are Sandringham’s Isabel Huntington and Charis Ulu Peniata, Molloy and Calder teammate Monique Conti, Kennedy and Stingrays’ teammate Georgia Gee, Murray’s Iilish Ross, Oakleigh’s Julia Halaseh-Russo, Gippsland’s Darcy Guttridge and Bendigo’s Aisling Tupper.
Among the interstate girls would be those in the AFL Women’s AIS Academy including Queensland’s Kalinda Howarth, Arinna Clarke and Ruby Blair; West Australians Kate Bartlett, Emily McGuire, Sonia Dorizzi and Tayla McAuliffe; Tasmanian Daria Bannister, and Haneen Zrieka from New South Wales.
AFL Draft Central provided a taste of the TAC Cup Girls’ action over the short season and look forward to continuing the coverage next season, and also chatting to players in the lead-up to the draft.