NEXT up in our NAB League Girls team review series are the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, a squad with some high-end top-agers and exciting talent to be nurtured for the future. We recap the Rebels’ season, and take a look at some of the top performers across those various age groups.
Position: 9th (4th Country)
The Rebels ended with a negative record in 2021 but were largely competitive along the way. Their campaign kicked off with a 10-point loss to eventual grand finalist, Geelong, before a win against Murray opened the GWV account. Having gone win-for-loss over their first four outings, the Rebels broke through for consecutive wins by beating Western Jets in Round 6. That victory was followed by three-consecutive losses to see out the regular season, but GWV still managed to qualify in the top four of the Country pool and threw a spanner in the works come finals time. A one-point win over the top-ranked Tasmania was one of the upsets of the season, and the Rebels were again up for the fight in their final game, a 14-point preliminary final loss to Geelong.
DRAFT-ELIGIBLE TOP PERFORMERS:
Lilli Condon | Midfielder
25/11/2003 | 155cm
A relentless ball winner who will run all day for her side, Condon was arguably the most unlucky player competition-wide to be overlooked for representative duties. There may not be much of the Rebels midfielder, but she has a real crack and thrives at ground level, competing in contest after contest to help drive the ball forward. Condon’s form earned her selection for the Western Bulldogs VFLW side this year, and she was one of GWV’s most reliable performers.
Nyakoat Dojiok | Defender
7/01/2003 | 175cm
The AFLW Academy member is a prospect with enormous potential, credit to her steep rate of development and fantastic athletic attributes. Dojiok showed some promise as a bottom-ager and continued to come on strongly in 2021, showing marked improvement in her disposal and overall impact across half-back. She reads the play well to intercept, before getting on her bike and thrusting her side forward with a long kick. Adding polish to that disposal will be the next step, but Dojiok has plenty to like already.
Ella Friend | Tall Utility
30/12/2003 | 175cm
One of the most dynamic talents available in this year’s crop, Friend showed her worth as a high-marking forward before being tried up on a wing and at the other end of the ground. Along with Dojiok, she is an AFLW Academy member and for good reason, with her aerial ability and overall versatility pointing towards terrific upside. Friend also went on to represent Vic Country in 2021 and earned a VFLW berth with plenty of her Rebels teammates.
Chloe Leonard | Midfielder/Defender
1/02/2002 | 168cm
A real leader of this squad for a couple of seasons now, Leonard returned after being overlooked in last year’s draft and continued to show great form at NAB League level. She took on a greater amount of responsibility through midfield having cut her teeth as a defender, able to win plenty of the ball and use it cleanly. The top-ager proved one to lead by example, finishing the campaign as one of GWV’s most consistent assets and one not afraid to get her hands dirty.
Tahlia Meier | Forward/Midfielder
19/10/2003 | 155cm
Meier built nicely into the season and by the end of it, became very hard to deny as a genuine prospect. As a forward, she showcased her ability to find the goals with four goals across the first three rounds, before proving her worth a little further afield and getting her hands on the ball at a good rate. She earned a spot in the Vic Country squad and is yet another Rebel to have also slotted into the Western Bulldogs’ VFLW program.
FUTURE ONES TO WATCH:
Paige Scott | Forward/Midfielder
25/06/2004 | 166cm
Already one of the stars of the competition, Scott loomed as a potential game winner in each game she played. The explosive forward has a knack for kicking bags of goals and doesn’t mind a celebration, with her exploits inside 50 proving impactful both for the Rebels and Vic Country sides. She booted multiple majors in five of her nine NAB League outings, including all four of GWV’s goals in its remarkable elimination final win over Tasmania. One to watch at the top end.
Kalani Scoullar | Ruck
27/02/2004 | 190cm
Scoullar ended up leading the league for total hitouts in 2021, averaging 22.7 per game as one of the more imposing figures competition-wide. The 190cm talent was able to give her midfielders first look at the ball where it mattered most, building a good run of form towards the back-end of the season and playing her role well. She was another to crack the Vic Country Under 19 squad, and looks to be improving her follow-up work with strong tackle numbers.
Molly Walton | Key Defender
6/05/2004 | 170cm
Yet another of this talented Rebels crop who earned representative duties in 2021, Walton is a reliable defender who proved a mainstay for GWV this season. She reads the play well and proved strong in one-on-one duels, while also being able to intercept across the defensive 50. Walton led the league for rebound 50s with an average of 4.4 per her 10 games, making for a pretty complete defensive package with more development to come.
Among a raft of key performers, Olivia Leonard was one who constantly dug in for the Rebels in 2021. She and Jenna Burke are a couple more to watch for next year’s crop. Among the 2003-births, Jorja Jones showed her worth across nine games, while top-ager Stephanie Glover had her moments throughout the season.