IN our Top Performers for the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s competition, we took a look at the two streamed games between Swan Districts and South Fremantle, and Claremont and East Fremantle.
Emily Bennett (Claremont)
Playing out of defence, Bennett provided a lot of one percenters for her team with tackles, shepherds or fend-offs to buy and extra second before disposing of it. She fiercely charged out of defence, and whilst she would occasionally rush her kick or lay a high tackle, when she had time and space was able to hit a kick down the wing.
Jess Cox (Swan Districts)
The tough inside midfielder had a ripping game, using her penetrating kick, strong body and tackling pressure to win plenty of contested ball and pump it forward. She laid tackle after tackle, and took a number of contested grabs, using good vision to hit up targets on the outside streaming forward. In a case where she did not take a grab early in the fourth, she backed up with a good second effort and handballed to a teammate to run on with it. Late in the game, Cox showed her strength by fending off a couple of opponents at half-forward and got the ball away.
Dana East (Swan Districts)
A tricky customer to try and bring down, East has great movement in close and is one that cannot be left unattended inside 50. An outside runner, East was able to stamp her mark on the contest with back-to-back goals in the second term, slotting a set shot from 25m out on a tight angle, then moments later kicked truly with a clever snap around her body which bounced home whilst being under pressure. She also set up a shot on goal with a nice pass inside 50, then had a highlight-reel play by taking a run, sidestepping an opponent and shrugging them off, and chipping inside 50 to the leading Nyra Anderson.
Emily Elkington (Claremont)
Had a few nice moments for the Tigers through the game, which started with a good run and low kick inside 50 to a target early in the game. She might be lightly built but had a crack throughout, marking at half-back in the second term, missed her target but laid a great tackle to win the ball back and dispose of it more effectively the next time. In the last term she had a nice sidestep and fend-off to get the handball away.
Bella Edgley (Swan Districts)
After kicking two goals last week, Edgley backed up that effort with another two goals in Swan Districts’ Round 2 win. After a quieter first quarter, she made her mark literally with a strong grab leading out then converting the set shot three minutes into the second term. She continued to lead out and attack the footy, taking several marks then moving it on to set up teammates, but had a few shots herself missing three chances with two set shots and a quick snap during the second half. Edgley finally netted her second goal with serious style, dribbling home a Goal of the Day contender from deep in the pocket.
Amy Franklin (Claremont)
Not as prolific as she could be, Franklin shared her time between forward and ruck. She took a strong leading out mark in the second term then lowered the eyes and found Jacinta Valentini for a Tigers goal 14 minutes into the quarter. She moved well through the middle in the third term with a quick handball to keep the ball transitioning into attack. She took a number of good marks in the final term, with her set shot 12 minutes into the game just falling short and spoiled across the line.
Jaime Henry (Swan Districts)
The 15-year-old talent has such strong hands and is one who can be a target at either end. Playing off half-back and through midfield, Henry holds a firm line, and even intercepted the ball at half-forward in the second term. She used the ball well and has a powerful kick, then even when she was not able to get involved as much due to the ball being inside 50, she remained active and kept holding her line in the side.
Sarah Lakay (Swan Districts)
An exciting and athletic talent, Lakay had a number of chances in the forward half, with her first shot on goal a scrubber that floated to the left, but her second nailed Hayley Cole on the chest. She took a huge grab in between two opponents late in the first term, and then went into the ruck in the second term to five Sarah Wielstra a rest. She had a long-range shot from late in the quarter that registered a behind, then remained active late in the game by taking a good intercept mark 40m out from goal and hit a teammate coming out from goal.
Emma Nanut (Swan Districts)
In fairness, playing in defence Nanut did not have to do as much as usual, but she took a really strong contested, juggling grab early in the piece. Throughout the middle two quarters the Swans just dominated and the defence was mostly unsighted, but when required, Nanut pushed up to the wing, and in the last quarter showed a great second effort. She won it, lost the ball under pressure, then laid a fierce tackle to win it back at half-back and kick to a teammate on the wing. She was lively in the early stages of the final term when she took a more offensive approach up the field.
Anjelique Raison (East Fremantle)
A raw talent who attacks the ball hard on the lead, Raison already protects the ball drop well and gets to the front of her opponent when one-on-one inside 50. Her first kick on goal fell short, and she almost took a juggling mark in the second term but could not quite pull it down. She is still developing different areas of her game, but her attack on the contest and her ability to get into the right spots is what catches the eye.
Chloe Reilly (East Fremantle)
Had a really productive first quarter playing in defence, and was one of the best on the field in the opening term. After switching ends over the off-season, Reilly showed she has the offensive run and defensive pressure to make it as an attacking defender. She kept pumping the ball out of the back 50 when her side was under siege, and took a huge intercept mark late in the quarter. After a poor bounce deep in defence sold her into trouble, Reilly managed to smother a shot on goal with her leg and then went in hard to win a free kick. While she was quieter later in the game, she still had some highlights such as a nice spin one way and then the other to pump the ball into space for teammates to run onto.
Poppy Stockwell (South Fremantle)
Had a tough day playing up forward when the ball was not down there a great deal, but kept attacking the contest where possible. Often had extra numbers against battling her for the ball, but never gave in despite copping a knock midway through the game.
Tara Stribley (Swan Districts)
After being a little fumbly in the opening couple of minutes of the game, Stribley went to work and used her speed and skill to impact the contest. Her first term was massive, running hard from the wing to the forward line, and regularly looked to put the jets on and arch the back. She knew where to put it inside 50, and whilst she might have made the odd mistake, was prolific in her attack. Late in the game she had a quick shot from the tightest of angles but it was marked in the goalsquare.
Rosie Walsh (East Fremantle)
Returned to the team and spent more time in the ruck as she had touted ahead of the season start. Whilst still developing her contested marking, she showed clean hands at ground level and is quick to dispose of the ball by hand or foot, and move it on in transition.
Sarah Wielstra (Swan Districts)
The mature-age ruck had an impressive game not only at the stoppages, but up forward, having a number of scoreboard opportunities inside 50. She took several contested or one-grab marks both inside 50 and around the ground, and her athleticism from the ruck made her hard to stop. A set shot late in the third term just faded to the right which would have capped off an even better day for the late developer who received a AFL Women’s Draft Combine invite last year.
Picture credit: Tony Lendrum Photography