NORTH Melbourne skipper Meagan Kiely has been one of the, if not standout player in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition in 2021. Kiely has racked up an average of 24.5 disposals, 5.3 marks, 5.4 tackles, 3.6 clearances, 3.2 inside 50s and 3.2 rebound 50s in a real all-round effort for the Roos. North Melbourne might have been eliminated from the VFL Women’s title race in the last round of the season, but it did not stop Kiely putting in a record-breaking performance. We take a look at her performance in our latest Player Focus.
First quarter we saw Kiely with some real leather poisoning when she gets the quick handball to the right side of who boots it into their 50m in the first 15 seconds of the game with a beautiful delivery to teammate Elisha King. With a lot of the ball early, Kiely held her space nicely and lead into space that resulted as a mark, continuing with a quick penetrated kick inside their 50m again and hit teammate, Nikki Wallace up, that viciously resulted in their first goal of the game with a hard direct kick to Sarah Skinner. Holding her space early around stoppages wanting the backwards pass, that results in a run and carry. Five minutes into the first quarter Kiely lays a very important tackle for North where it becomes a ball up inside their 50 for another chance on goal. She used her powerful legs to burst through a pack to fight to put another score on the board that was touched and was a behind. Really good footy smarts when she received the ball from the middle and straight away looked to her right side to use her winger to try to create more space.
Second quarter with Kiely starting strongly in the midfield again who quickly got the touch early with a quick kick, that resulted into a turnover, but then we see positively slowly watch her creating and holding space to be the one who will be there to handball backwards to reset or to get the handball receive. Being hardly played on with struggling to get the same touches she was in the first quarter, Kiely stays composed. With 20 seconds left in the second term, North Melbourne have a free kick just outside their 50m, kick goes inside 50 with Kiely flying up for a specky to mark the ball and just misses, but ball hits the ground which lead to North scoring another goal.
It is a tight game with the scores being 3.4 (22) to St Kilda’s 3.3 (21) with North being down by a point. With a kick from the left side of St Kilda’s 50, Kiely clears the ball out. The North captain trying everything she can in the third term but finding it hard to clear it out with St Kilda’s defenders being too strong. Slowly starting to slow the play down while having it in their possession, Kiely has a kick from the middle and slows the play down to keep in control.
Fourth quarter starts with a centre clearance that goes North’s way, with North being hungry for the ball and Kiely trying her best and doing what she does best. With her endurance and speed keeping up with the play from already playing a tough fast three quarters. With St Kilda taking over not only on the score board but the ground as well, it has made it very hard for North’s skipper to continue playing her way, even though she never gave up and continued to put her best foot forward at every opportunity she could
TOTAL STATS: 36 disposals, 11 marks, 2 tackles, 3 clearances, 4 inside 50s, 6 rebound 50s
With a long day for North Melbourne’s skipper Kiely, battling all day against the strong St Kilda team, Kiely never gave up and kept pushing as a strong leader does. Sadly with the loss, there was still impressive plays brought out in this tight game, Kiely with 36 disposals, 11 marks, four inside 50s and three clearances that tells you all how much of a hard worker she is but early start of the game she was all over it with helping her team have a lot of chances to score.