THE Western Bulldogs took a while to get going in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season. But when they got going, they looked unstoppable, winning six consecutive games to get their season back on track. With seven wins and seven losses in their first season of VFLW, the Dogs can be happy with their 2018 campaign.
Round 1: Lost against Richmond by 38 points
Round 2: Lost against Carlton by 46 points
Round 3: Bye
Round 4: Lost against Collingwood by eight points
Round 5: Lost against NT Thunder by 36 points
Round 6: Defeated Williamstown by 56 points
Round 7: Defeated Casey Demons by three points
Round 8: Defeated Geelong Cats by 22 points
Round 9: Defeated Melbourne University by 21 points
Round 10: Defeated Essendon by six points
Round 11: Defeated Williamstown by 40 points
Round 12: Bye
Round 13: Lost against Southern Saints by 31 points
Round 14: Lost against Hawthorn by 55 points
Round 15: Lost against Melbourne University by 33 points
Round 16: Defeated Darebin by four points
#10 Sarah Jolly
Jolly impressed with her run and carry through the midfield and ability to win the ball in congestion. She played all 14 games this season and kicked six goals. Jolly was also named in the best four times, with one of her standout performances coming in Round 10 when she racked up 20 disposals.
#16 Naomi Ferres
Ferres was one of the Bulldogs’ most consistent midfielders all season, consistently going in hard for the football. She won the Western Bulldogs’ Best and Fairest count on 76 votes, highlighting her ability to capture the attention of others. Ferres had an impressive performance against the Mugars with 20 disposals, two marks and six tackles.
#18 Libby Birch
Birch continued her great AFL Women’s form in defence with the Bulldogs’ VFLW side. She was agile and great in the air and impressed with her run and carry as well as her marking. She came third in the Western Bulldogs Best and Fairest count and made the VFLW Team of the Year, which is a remarkable effort considering she only played eight games this season. One of her best games was in Round 6, when she gathered 19 disposals, took six marks and laid two tackles.
#20 Ashleigh Guest
Guest never disappointed in the midfield for the Bulldogs, impressing with her football smarts. She had clean hands under pressure and kicked the ball well too. Like Birch, she only played eight games this season, but she finished ahead of the defender in the Best and Fairest, coming second with 60 votes. Guest was named in the best five times, with one of her stellar performances coming against Darebin. In that game, she led the way on the ground with 23 disposals, and also took six marks to go along with her four tackles.
#47 Nicole McMahon
In her first year of football, McMahon looked right at home in Bulldogs colours. She was trusted with the ruck duties for the season, and did well to give her midfielders first use of the football. She was awarded the Best First Year player at the Bulldogs’ Best and Fairest after a great year.
The Bulldogs looked in trouble at the start of the season, losing their first four games. But after this, the side kicked into gear, bringing some of its AFL Women’s talent back in to score some much-needed wins. From Round 6, the Dogs won six straight games and looked like possible finals contenders at that point. But a couple of late losses gave them a sixth place finish, which is a respectable feat in their first season of VFLW.