Player Focus: VFLW – Danielle Ponter (Essendon)

IN 2018, AFL Draft Central will be covering the Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) competition, and this week we have written a player focus piece on Essendon’s Danielle Ponter thanks to the VFLW stream. Her Bombers went down to Hawthorn in the opening round on Sunday. Ponter is an 18 year-old mid/forward from Diamond Creek, who at 171cm provides height up forward and through the midfield. She is a member of the AFLW Academy and hails from the Northern Territory, having represented them at the National Under 18 Championships.

On the weekend, she played forward in the first and fourth quarters, and predominantly played through the middle in the second and third terms, where she picked up nine of her 13 disposals. She capped off her performance with a goal in the final term, and a long effective kick which helped set up a second Essendon goal moments later. Overall she was named third best by the Bombers for her performance.

We run through her interactions below, noting that statistics may be different to that of Champion Data due to definitions, or human error.

1.45 – Charged up to make a tackle but was blocked on the way
9.00 – Pushed up to half-back flank but jogged back once teammates in possession
9.42 – Laid a tackle but her opponent got the kick away
11.06 – Applied a tackle, then put pressure on the ball carrier moments later
13.10 – Held up opponent following an intercept mark, went over her line and was pinged for a 50m penalty, it lead to a goal to Meg Hutchins
17.06 – Roved a palm down, showed clean hands to grab it but handball was ineffective 18.50 – Stole the ball from the opposition on the wing but was immediately wrapped up

Q1 stats: Zero kicks, one handball, one disposal, two contested possessions, one uncontested possession, one free against, two tackles | one ineffective handball 0% disposal efficiency

9.16 – Applied pressure to the ball carrier at half-back 17.48 – Attended a stoppage at half-back against Clare O’Donnell
18.28 – Attended a stoppage on the forward side of the wing opposed to Clare O’Donnell
18.30 – Clean roved the football off a tap, cleared the ball off a step and had an effective short kick to Simone Nalder
18.45 – Handball receive from Simone Nalder off that same play, long effective kick inside 50
19.55 – Attended a stoppage 40m from defensive goal, unopposed
20.07 – Read the tap and cleared long with a long effective kick to a teammate who won the football and kicked inside 50

Q2 stats: Three kicks, zero handballs, three disposals, two contested possessions, one uncontested possession, one handball receive, two clearances, one inside 50, one rebound | two effective long kicks, one effective short kick, 100% disposal efficiency

0.00 – Started at the centre bounce unopposed
0.28 – Handball receive at half-back, turned around and immediately kicked short to hit-up Gabby Golds in the centre circle
0.44 – Laid a bone-crunching tackle on Cassandra Papadopoulous
0.56 – Attended a stoppage in the centre square, handball receive but dropped the ball
2.22 – Went up second in a marking contest and impacted with a spoil
4.53 – Uncontested mark at half-back, ineffective short kick to the wing where Hawthorn won a free
6.10 – Attended a stoppage in the defensive 50, opposed to Clare O’Donnell. Opposition ran in, she stayed out, collected the loose ball, had a clean pick up and sprinted away from the stoppage. Unfortunately her kick was a clanger, straight to Jayde Van Dyk
7.39 – Leapt for a intercept mark but the kick cleared her hands and was marked by Tamara Luke who missed the set shot
9.00 – Attended back-to-back stoppages inside the defensive 50 10.42 – Attended a stoppage on the wing, coming in late 11.09 – Handball receive in defensive 50, rebound and short effective kick to the defensive side of the wing
11.50 – Attended a stoppage in defensive 50, opposed to Julia Crockett-Grills, applied pressure to Clare O’Donnell who ran through the stoppage, but O’Donnell still kicked the goal
12.36 – Attended centre stoppage, collected the loose ball, fended off an opponent and cleared the area with an effective long kick inside 50
15.12 – Attended a stoppage in midfield, and attempted a tackle which did not stick
18.24 – Loose ball get off a marking contest inside 50, gather and snap but just a behind
18.39 – Two pressure acts on ball carrier

Q3 stats: Six kicks, 0 handballs, six disposals, two contested possessions, four uncontested possessions, one mark (one uncontested), three handball receives, two clearances, one tackle, one inside 50, two rebounds, one behind, one spoil, three loose ball gets | one effective long kick, two effective short kicks, two ineffective short kick, one clanger kick, 50% disposal efficiency

2.15 – Jumped at a contest to spoil on the wing but missed
4.39 – Attended a stoppage just outside forward 50
5.45 – Attended a stoppage on the edge of the centre square on the forward side
6.06 – Laid a tackle on an opponent forcing an error
6.18 – Won a contested possession, was tackled and forced to handball but went straight to an opponent for a clanger
12.01 – Attended a stoppage on the wing
12.43 – Handball receive inside 50, turned and had a long shot on goal which she nailed from 45m out
14.14 – Marked on the 50m line and had an effective long kick deep to a pack which resulted in a crumb goal
17.46 – Smothered an opposition kick forcing the kick to go to a teammate
18.19 – Attempted a tackle in midfield but missed the ball carrier

Q4 stats: Two kicks, one handball, three disposals, one contested possession, two uncontested possessions, one mark (one uncontested), one handball receive, one tackle, one goal, one smother | two effective long kicks, one clanger handball, 66% disposal efficiency

Total stats: 11 kicks, two handballs, 13 disposals, seven contested possessions, eight uncontested possessions, two marks (two uncontested), five handball receives, four clearances, four tackles, two inside 50s, three rebounds, one goal, one behind, one spoil, three loose ball gets, one smother | five effective long kicks, three effective short kicks, two ineffective short kicks, one clanger kick, one ineffective handball, one clanger handball, 62% disposal efficiency

Overall, Ponter had an impressive game in her debut for Essendon VFLW, providing some run and ability to clear the ball from congestion. She covered the ground well and was able to win the ball in each third of the ground, naturally more impactful on the contest when playing through the midfield. Her goal on the run in the final term was the highlight for the AFLW Academy member.

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