2021 VFLW team review: North Melbourne

IN summarising the 2021 Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) season, Draft Central will run through a team-by-team review of how each of the sides fared, and who some of the standout VFLW-listed performers throughout the clubs were. The next team in the firing line is North Melbourne.

Position: 10th
Wins: 5
Losses: 9
Draws: 0
Percentage: 63.0%

Season in a Sentence: “North Melbourne was right in contention for a finals spot in the last couple of rounds, but ultimately a few heavy losses hurt the Roos’ percentage compared to their rivals”.

TOP PERFORMERS (VFLW-LISTED):

Meagan Kiely

Leading the competition in disposals and marks, Kiely was incredibly consistent across the board and one of the best players throughout the course of the season. The Tasmanian averaged a massive 24.5 disposals, 5.3 marks, 5.4 tackles, 3.6 clearances, 3.2 inside 50s and 3.2 rebound 50s to lead the way through every game. Her efforts earned her a call-up to AFLW level with Richmond selecting her in the draft.

Sarah Skinner

Producing a consistent season, Skinner easily stepped up from TSLW to VFLW without any issues, averaging 18.0 disposals, 4.1 marks, 4.6 tackles and 3.8 inside 50s. Capable of playing as a forward or through the middle, Skinner possesses an elite kick, and is someone who can still keep improving at the level, unlucky not to be picked up by and AFLW side, though is not too far off.

Airlee Runnalls

Earned interest out west and was picked up by Fremantle in the AFLW Draft which should see the hard-running midfielder provide some outside carry for the Dockers. Runnalls averaged 18.0 disposals, 5.0 marks and 4.1 tackles in her 12 games, predominantly playing down a wing, but also capable of pushing inside if required, giving her side plenty of versatility.

Molly Eastman

Another consistent performer all year, Eastman was one of the most dominant defenders in the VFLW. Averaging more than five rebound 50s per game to go with her 21.0 disposals, 3.9 marks and 4.0 tackles, Eastman was a high accumulator and responsible, accountable defender as well. She caught plenty of eyes with her run out of defence and keeping the ball moving in transition.

AFLW TALENT:

They might have only played a few games all up, but Bella Eddey, Alice O’Loughlin, Mia King and Daria Bannister all impressed, whilst Brooke Brown booted a goal a game at the level. Amy Smith continued her development at the club, with the Roos focused on their VFLW talent throughout the 2021 season. Tasmanians Perri King (15 disposals, five clearances and seven tackles) had a debut to remember, and will join Ella Maurer (9.5 disposals, 2.0 tackles) in the blue and white stripes after being picked up in the AFLW Draft.

OTHERS:

Alexia Hamilton was a reliable ruck/forward for the Roos all season, averaging 13.8 disposals, 3.3 marks, 14.2 hitouts, 4.3 tackles and booting six goals in 12 games. Reni Hicks used her AFLW experience in nine games to pick up 16.2 disposals, 3.8 marks and 8.6 tackles, while Jessica Mourney, Kira Price and Ciara Fitzgerald all played in double-figure games throughout the season.

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