WITH an opening day win and two admirable performances in the remaining games, the Eastern Allies would be pleased with the performances at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. They had four All-Australians in the squad, but plenty could consider themselves unlucky, and we take a look at some of the key players, and results of the championships.
The clear standout player from the Monday through to the Friday in the Championships and is well deserving of her Most Valuable Player (MVP) accolade for the Eastern Allies. There were big wraps on her ability and seeing her live, she is up there with the best players in the country and has a well balanced game. Her strength in midfield was a clear standout and a few fend-offs were reminiscent of Madison Prespakis, and the pair are not too dissimilar in the way they cover ground and influence a contest. Parker was probably a few unlucky misses away from having a complete carnival. A really well balanced player and does not do a lot wrong.
Hamilton showed she can play at either end, rebounding well in defence, then having stints up forward. Her final game got a massive tick for her ability to play in attack – booting the Eastern Allies only two goals for the game in the first term, and clunking a huge pack mark on the final siren and converting the set shot shortly after. Earned All-Australian squad honours and was consistent in her role throughout the carnival.
Earned All-Australian honours and was one of those players that was consistent across the board in the three games. Leading up from the forward 50, she booted a goal against the Central Allies on the first day, and had a number of other dangerous opportunities up the attacking end. Hailing from Coolangatta, McFarlane would have felt right at home on the southern Queensland grounds.
A classy bottom-ager who showed plenty of potential across the week. She was Tasmania’s only All-Australian squad nominee, and backed up her good form in series one, with consistent form in series two. Playing through the midfield, she showed she is not afraid to crack in and win the hard ball, while spreading well and hurting the opposition on the outside. Will be one to look for next season as she continues to develop.
Overager from Tasmania, but she was ultra-impressive in defence. She rebounds really well, is good one-on-one and backs herself in taking the game on. Stevenson was certainly one of the shining lights across the carnival, because she settles the defence down and runs off her opponent to kick long downfield. Along with Libby and Chloe Haines, she showed Tasmania has plenty of footballing talent that can stand up on the big stage.
Had the one standout game, but boy it was a game to remember. When the Eastern Allies were narrowly up at the final break, two huge goals to Doyle in the last quarter gave the side the separation it needed to defeat the Central Allies. A bottom-ager who can play tall or small roles, Doyle is another one who will be closely watched next year after some impressive forward craft his year.
Played everywhere really, predominantly in defence, but went forward and provided good pressure up there too. She has a long kick, and like her sister, did what she could to help the team. The Eastern Allies had a strong defence which was shown across the three days, and Haines was a big reason for this. She was the best player against Western Australia on the Wednesday, and while the final game was a little quieter, she spent practically the entire game in the back 50.
Spent time through the midfield and in defence, and particularly stood out on the opening day and then against Western Australia in the loss. Strong overhead and moves well, she was able to roam on the outside, while also spending time on the inside to win her own football. Has a long kick and was versatile, nearly always beating her opponent one-on-one.
The X-factor of the team who was remarkably just 15 years old at the carnival. With two more years of development to come, you can see why they have picked her to match it against more experienced players. Her acceleration, speed and hardness at the contest was fantastic, and once she builds more consistency and game sense, she will be a really strong all-round prospect. Played off half-back and on the inside, one of those players you would not want to be chasing you down.
Tough as nails and a classy mover, Garnett was a player who played a really important role in the midfield. She has a very neat sidestep, and while she is not a huge accumulator like others, she uses the ball well and is often the one players turn to in transition. Copped a knock on the final day, but got back up and ran straight to the next contest after choosing to stay on. A real team player.
Monday July 9
EASTERN ALLIES: 2.1 | 3.4 | 3.5 | 6.8 (44)
CENTRAL ALLIES: 0.2 | 1.3 | 2.3 | 2.4 (16)
Eastern Allies: Lillian Doyle 3, Zoe Hurrell, Brea Quinlivan, Brianna McFarlane.
Central Allies: Arthurina Moreen, Katelyn Rosenzweig.
Eastern Allies: Lillian Doyle, Alyce Parker, Chloe Haines, Zoe Hurrell, Brianna McFarlane.
Central Allies: Nikki Gore, Katelyn Rosenzweig, Esther Boles, Montana McKinnon, Arthurina Moreen.
Wednesday July 11
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 1.1 | 3.2 | 4.3 | 7.3 (45)
EASTERN ALLIES: 0.0. | 0.1 | 2.3 | 2.3 (15)
Western Australia: Mikayla Hyde 3, Caitlin Hill, Kate Bartlett, Abbey Dowrick, Sarah Verrier.
Eastern Allies: Chloe Haines, Brea Quinlivan.
Western Australia: Sabreena Duffy, McKenzie Dowrick, Mikayla Hyde, Matilda Sergeant, Abbey Dowrick, Emma O’Driscoll.
Eastern Allies: Chloe Haines, Alyce Parker, Brea Quinlivan, Libby Haines, Alexia Hamilton, Georgia Garnett.
Friday July 13
QUEENSLAND: 1.2 | 3.4 | 4.5 | 5.5 (35)
EASTERN ALLIES: 2.1 | 2.2 | 2.6 | 2.6 (18)
Queensland: Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw 2, Charlotte Hammans, Georgia Eller, Taylor Smith.
Eastern Allies: Alexia Hamilton 2.
Queensland: Lily Postlethwaite, Ellie Hampson, Serene Watson, Chloe Gregory, Jade Ellenger, Zimmorlei Farquharson.
Eastern Allies: Alyce Parker, Netty Garlo, Lauren Stevenson, Alexia Hamilton, Mia King, Alice Mitchell.