Category: News

2020 AFL Women’s team preview: Collingwood

COLLINGWOOD looms as a big improver in the upcoming 2020 AFL Women’s season, with much of its list fresh off a premiership-winning VFLW campaign. The only way is up for last year’s Conference B wooden spooner, and a handful of elite talents should guide the Magpies close to the finals frame, with added dynamism and depth down the all-important spine boding well for a promising year ahead. Their engine room looks mean, and at full strength the Magpies have some serious potential with talent on every line.

KEY PLAYER:

Brianna Davey (utility)

The prize recruit of the off-season finally gets the chance to prove she was worth the hefty cost, albeit having already contributed heavily to the Magpies’ VFLW premiership triumph. An ex-captain of Collingwood’s arch-rival, Davey brings undeniable leadership quality and can win games off her own boot. She showed just that on an almost weekly basis during Carlton’s run to the 2019 AFLW grand final, taking home joint best and fairest honours in the process. Able to play just about anywhere, the 2017 All Australian is as pure a ball winner as they come and is a player who coaches wish they had one of on each line. She is the complete package and may well be the player to turn games for her new club, making her key to their 2020 season.

RISING STAR:

Sarah Dargan (forward/midfielder)

The basketball convert came on well in her second AFLW campaign, earning a Rising Star nomination for her 16-disposal effort in Round 4 and featuring in all seven games. Her rate of development was highlighted by a move to the midfield, with the tenacious Calder Cannons graduate lauded for her attack on the ball and tackling intent. Given the recruit of Davey left the Magpies with a compromised draft hand, Dargan may well be the youngster to make the biggest rise and help her side challenge for the finals spots. Should she continue to play further afield, Dargan’s ability to find the ball will be a key area she improves on.

WATCH FOR:

Chloe Molloy (key position utility)

Molloy served a timely reminder of her talent during Collingwood’s premiership-winning VFLW campaign, completing her comeback from a lisfranc injury which ruled her out of the entire 2019 AFLW season. But the 2018 All Australian and Magpies best-and-fairest will be keen to get back out on the big stage and into her best form after watching her side’s lacklustre 2019 effort from the sidelines. Able to play off every line, Molloy can provide the key position support the Magpies lacked last year up either end, as well as some class through the midfield with a full VFLW campaign and pre-season behind her. It could be a big year for Molloy, who will look to stamp herself as a top-five player once again.

CONFERENCE OPPONENTS: Carlton, Fremantle, Melbourne, St Kilda, West Coast, Western Bulldogs.

FIXTURE:

Round 1 – vs. West Coast
Round 2 – @ Carlton
Round 3 – @ Fremantle
Round 4 – vs. Melbourne
Round 5 – vs. Bulldogs
Round 6 – @ Brisbane
Round 7 – vs. St Kilda
Round 8 – @ Geelong

Perhaps a deceptively tough draw for the Magpies, with some must-win bouts coming after a softer Round 1 fixture against league newcomer, West Coast. Games against two finalists from 2019 in Rounds 2 and 3 will be conference defining, but a late-season run against the Bulldogs, Lions, and Saints could push the Magpies into the top three depending on how they fare in the first month of the season. An away clash with Geelong, their second crossover opponent, will be a tough ask to see out the season, but it could definitely have been worse.

PREDICTION: 4th/5th Conference B

Last year’s conference wooden spooner should fare much better this time around, helped by the injection of two elite talents in the returning Molloy and prize recruit, Davey to add to the class of Ash Brazill, Jaimee Lambert, and Brittany Bonnici. A VFLW premiership bodes well for team chemistry, and the Magpies have a bunch of leaders among their high-end talents who can steer their side to a much-improved result. The fight for that third finals spot will be fierce in Conference B, and with last year’s results in mind, expect Collingwood to feature on the precipice of that range.

NTFL Men’s Premier League wrap: Round 14 – Tigers roar to big win over Saints

NIGHTCLIFF sent a clear message to its Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League opponents on Saturday, claiming an authoritative win over St Mary’s in a lacklustre top of the table clash. Elsewhere, results saw Southern Districts drop all the way back to fifth, while Waratah notched just its fourth win against fellow bottom three battler, Palmerston. With the top five now set, the race for finals supremacy begins.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 2.3 | 6.6 | 7.10 | 9.14 (68)
TIWI BOMBERS 3.4 | 5.7 | 11.9 | 17.12 (114)

GOALS:

Southern Districts: W. Farrer 3, D. Barry 2, J. Clarke, K. Dingo, J. Innes, D. Hall.
Tiwi: A. Wonaeamirri 3, J. Best 2, A. Hams 2, D. Kruse 2, R. Tungatalum 2, M. Kantilla 2, N. Djerrkura, P. Heenan, C. Abala, S. Munkara.

BEST:

Southern Districts: T. Holman, D. Staunton, J. Watts, M. Pemberton, C. McAdam, D. McLachlan
Tiwi: R. Baird, N. Djerrkura, X. Grant, J. Monigatti, C. Luff, A. Hams

Southern Districts’ hunt for a top two spot has been dealt a major blow, with the Crocs no match for an in-form Tiwi Bombers outfit. The Bombers’ enacted a second half blitz, overcoming a five-point half time deficit to kick away to the eventual 17.12 (114) to 9.14 (68) victory in style.

As the top four status of the clubs coming in would suggest, the opening exchanges were hotly contested as Tiwi edged to a slight advantage at the first break. After the Crocs hit back to find a lead of their own in the following stanza, it was all Tiwi in a 12-goal to three second half as their firepower and run across the board proved too hot to handle. As is often an indicator of their best form, the Bombers had 10 individual goalkickers, with six of them finding the big sticks on more than one occasion. Ex-Melbourne livewire Austin Wonaeamirri led the way with a team-high three majors, with fellow goal-getters Nathan Djerrkura and Ashton Hams named in the best half-dozen players behind Rodney Baird – all of whom played further afield. Will Farrer found some form after going goalless last time out, collecting a handy bag of three majors while Dylan Barry snared two in his return to the senior side. Thomas Holman and Charlie McAdam were also among the Crocs’ best in the losing effort, with plenty to improve on heading into the all-important final home-and-away month.

It does not get any easier next week for Southern Districts though with Nightcliff waiting in the wings, but consecutive fixtures against the bottom three sides thereafter could see the Crocs bounce back into the top three pending other results. Tiwi will hope to prevent that while looking to break into the top two themselves, but face a tough run against three fellow top four sides in the run home.

WARATAH 4.2 | 9.4 | 11.6 | 18.12 (120)
PALMERSTON 0.4 | 2.6 | 9.7 | 10.7 (67)

GOALS:

Waratah: H. Kerinaiua 3, J. Beugelaar 3, W. Gorman 3, B. Carroll 2, M. Graham 2, K. Kantilla 2, N. Gooch, M. Blake, B. Zobel.
Palmerston: T. Freeman 3, D. Nichols 2, A. Davey, J. Berry, W. Shadforth, D. Gaykamangu , K. Holt-Tubbs.

BEST:

Waratah: N/A
Palmerston: W. Shadforth, S. Brock, E. Frank, M. Chester, J. Berry, A. Davey

Waratah brought Palmerston back down to earth with a thud after its maiden win in Round 13, inflicting a 53-point belting on its fellow bottom three side. The Warriors were far too good throughout, withstanding a third term Palmerston swoop to run out 18.12 (120) to 10.7 (67) winners.

The Warriors burst out of the gates with a four-goal to nil opening term, followed up by another block of five to Palmerston’s two in building a 40-point half time buffer. But that was where the game looked to be turning for the Magpies as they piled on seven majors to cut the deficit to eleven points, heading into the final turn with a heap of momentum in hopes of a second-straight win. It was not to be, with Waratah holding strong and proving attack is the best form of defence on the back of seven fourth quarter goals. An impressive six of Waratah’s nine goalkickers booted multiples, with Henry Kerinaiua leading a trio of Warriors to claim an equal game-high three goals. Brodie Carroll snared a double upon his successful return to the line-up, while Kim Kantilla was also not far away from the action. Tom Freeman quadrupled his season goal tally with a haul of three for Palmerston, but was shaded in the Magpies’ best by fellow goalkickers Wade Shadforth, Jack Berry, and Alwyn Davey. It was another case of not being in the hunt for long enough for Davey’s side, conceding costly flurries of goals despite enjoying their own spurts of momentum.

The Magpies’ quest to scrape themselves off the bottom of the ladder will be a difficult one given they face four top five opponents in the upcoming month, but a win in any of those games would help end the year on a high. The Warriors may fancy themselves for consecutive wins as they take on the struggling Wanderers next time out, but have a similarly formidable run home otherwise.

DARWIN BUFFALOES 3.1 | 7.4 | 12.4 | 14.11 (95)
WANDERERS 1.2 | 4.4 | 7.7 | 9.9 (63)

GOALS:

Darwin: B. Hogan 4, I. Palmer 3, D. Shillabeer 3, J. Stokes 2, C. Williams 2, M. Quinn.
Wanderers: W. Williams 2, T. Motlop 2, S. Motlop, D. Braun, B. O’Connell, K. Stephens, L. Dyer.

BEST:

Darwin: B. Hogan, I. Palmer, J. Stokes, S. Foster, D. Shillabeer, D. Lines
Wanderers: B. O’Connell, A. Motlop, L. Dyer, M. Garton, W. Williams

Darwin remains in the hunt for a top two spot after brushing Wanderers aside with a 32-point win on Saturday night. The lights stayed on all the way through this time to shine on the Buffs’ form, as they maintained a steady pace in the 14.11 (95) to 9.9 (63) result.

The Eagles did not get the all-important start they were after given their second half form of late, but the three-goal half time gap was enough to keep them in with a fighting chance. It proved elementary for the Buffs though as they answered each challenge to coast to victory in the end, looking reasonably comfortable without setting the world alight to consign Wanderers to an eight consecutive defeat. Former Port Melbourne forward Billy Hogan was on song with four goals in a breakthrough outing, followed by bags of three from Darren Shillabeer and Ishmael Palmer with skipper Jarrod Stokes also lively. Warwick Williams and Thomas Motlop were the only Eagles to kick multiple goals (two each), with youngster Beau O’Connell starring alongside Aaron Motlop to be named his side’s best in the losing effort. The fall has been steep for Wanderers, which now finds itself dislodged from the sixth place that it has held for most of the 2019/20 season.

Winning chances will run thin for the Eagles towards the end of the year, so a fixture against Waratah next week could be their last realistic shot at a set of four points. They could play spoiler against the three top five opponents, which will serve Darwin well. The Buffs face a mixed bag in the lead up to finals, set to do battle with the other two bottom three sides while also having to face St Mary’s and Tiwi. In any case, there is not much movement to be made.

NIGHTCLIFF 2.0 | 8.4 | 10.8 | 14.13 (97)
ST MARY’S 0.2 | 0.4 | 1.7 | 4.8 (32)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: L. Holt-Fitz 3, J. Butcher 2, K. Winter-Irving 2, B. Filo 2, S. Wilson 2, J. Tsitas, M. Hagan, T. Melville.
St Mary’s: N. Paredes 2, R. Jordon, S. Lampton.

BEST:

Nightcliff: L. Holt-Fitz, K. Winter-Irving, J. Kickett, M. Hagan, S. Wilson, B. Arnold
St Mary’s: T. Davies, J. Long, S. Edwards, A. Long, R. Jordon, J. Long

Nightcliff stamped its authority as the clear competition benchmark, disposing of an undermanned St Mary’s to the tune of 65 points in a top of the table clash. The Saints had no answer for the reigning premier’s firepower forward of centre, hardly making a dent in the 14.13 (97) to 4.8 (32) loss.

After some scrappy opening exchanges, Nightcliff scraped ahead by two goals while keeping the Saints goalless, continuing the theme into the second term while extending their lead to an even eight goals heading into the main break. The Saints’ first goal finally came after half time, and they added another three in the fourth quarter to no avail as the Tigers had free reign over the scoreboard. Liam Holt-Fitz was again electric forward of centre, booting a game-high three goals while big man Kyle Winter-Irving and ex-Port forward John Butcher were terrific in bagging two each. Nate Paredes was one of St Mary’s’ sole forms of resistance as he bagged two of his side’s four goals, but was overlooked in the best six with Thomas Davies, Jake Long, and Shaun Edwards all achieving the honour instead. Fans will be looking forward to the two hopefully tussling at full strength come finals time, with the ledger now squared at one win apiece.

The minor premiership is now all but officially sewn up for Nightcliff as it holds a 12-point lead in top spot, and have two of the bottom three sides in its midst. On the other hand, St Mary’s will have to fight to maintain its top two spot with just four points separating it from a rampant Tiwi side. Two clashes against bottom three sides of their own should put the Saints in good stead.

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 14 – Top two clash headlines finals-refining weekend

FOR the second time in as many weeks, the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League’s top four sides will face off in a finals-defining round of action. This time, the top two square off while third and fourth do battle as the race for ascendancy among the top five heats up.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (4th, 7-5-1) vs. TIWI BOMBERS (3rd, 8-5)
Saturday January 18, 2:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

Southern Districts hosts Tiwi in the weekend’s first top four clash, with the Crocs hoping to reclaim the top three spot they have long held this season. But Tiwi has already proven to be stiff opposition for the Crocs, with a Round 7 meeting between the sides yielding a 35-point Bombers victory. But much has changed since that last outing, with Tiwi coming from outside the top five to cement itself in the top three as it stands and standing now as a much more formidable opponent. It was somewhat of a shock result in November, but the Bombers come in as favourites given their four-game win streak. It may not be that simple though, with their run-in to a month of football against the remaining top five coming after comparatively more comfortable fixtures.

Both sides come in relatively settled, with many of their big names enjoying a consistent run of game time. Jeff Garlett and Richard Tambling are two of those for Southern Districts, possessing the class going forward which can perfectly counteract the damaging Bombers. Add to that the competition’s leading goalkicker, Will Farrer and his midfield-forward brother, Josiah at the feet of Sam Barnett, and you have a dynamic side forward of centre. But the Bombers are one of the most dynamic sides across the park, able to damage opposition with their pace. While last week’s five goal hero Tom Bell is out of the side, along with Charlie Molyneux and Nick Riddle, Tiwi looks set to regain Ashton Hams in what is still very much a stacked line-up. As arguably the hottest side in the competition right now, the Bombers need to capitalise on their winning form ahead of a tough few weeks.

WARATAH (7th, 3-10) vs. PALMERSTON MAGPIES (8th, 1-12)
Saturday January 18, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Fresh off its maiden win for season 2019/20, Palmerston will fancy itself a real chance at going back-to-back when it faces fellow bottom three side, Waratah at TIO Stadium. The Magpies were terrific last time out in a win they were made to earn – 12 weeks in the making – and should come in with similar energy given the buoyancy a wins gives a team. On the other hand, Waratah has suffered two heavy losses to quality opposition since the mid-season break, seeing its finals aspirations dwindle even further. But a massive Round 7 win against the Magpies should give the Warriors great hope of snapping their three-game losing run with a fourth win, and there is nothing to lose at this point.

Waratah’s Kim Kantilla is a man in serious form at the moment, coming of a four goal haul in last round’s loss and booting half of his side’s majors the week before. He and Henry Kerinaiua have been the main source of inspiration inside attacking 50, and the two should get some good service with Brodie Carroll named on an extended bench alongside bigman, Alex Aurrichio. The quartet will be crucial with Abe Ankers‘ name left off the team sheet. Skipper Aaron Lonergan will lead his Magpies out alongside playing coach, Alwyn Davey, whose son (Alwyn Jnr) remains in the line-up. Up forward, spearhead Keiden Holt-Tubbs takes up his usual position, but will not be joined by fellow Round 13 three-goal hauler, Leigh Williams. Pride and bragging rights are the only thing left on the line for the two sides at this point, so the chance of adding to their slim winning tallies should make it a good contest.

DARWIN BUFFALOES (5th, 7-6) vs. WANDERERS (6th, 3-9-1)
Saturday January 18, 7:00pm
TIO Stadium

It is do or die for Wanderers in term of a finals berth as it prepares to face fifth-placed Darwin in a Saturday night showdown. The Eagles are well adrift from the finals pack, but still stand a mathematical chance of making the top five if they can pull off some remarkable wins. After going down to Palmerston last week to extend their losing run to seven games, the Muk Muks will be desperate to get one back over the side which started that streak all the way back in Round 7 – Darwin. The Buffs have had form troubles of their own, going down in three of their last four outings, but have faced the best opposition possible in the only four sides ahead of them. This fixture marks a much lighter run to the end of the home-and-away season and, hopefully for them, a return to form.

The want for a win will only be compounded by the occasion, with much-loved skipper Jarrod Stokes running out for his 150th senior game in Buffs colours. He will be joined in the side by playing coach, Matt Campbell and Darwin spearhead Daniel Stafford in what should form a formidable full forward line at some point in the game. Wanderers’ typical show of young talent will again feature Mark White up forward, who will look to make up the Eagles’ own dangerous forward line alongside Joel Jeffrey and Beau O’Connell. But with Darwin’s side littered with seasoned vets and finals experience, it will prove a challenge for the Eagles to keep their legs and concentration throughout the entire contest.

NIGHTCLIFF (1st, 12-1) vs. ST MARY’S (2nd, 10-3)
Sunday January 19, 4:00pm
PSC BM Oval

Arguably the game of the round will receive a standalone Sunday slot, with Nightcliff hosting St Mary’s in a top-of-the-table blockbuster. A thorn in the reigning premiers’ side, St Mary’s is the only team to have beaten Nightcliff this season – in Round 7 – and sit just close enough to make the race for the minor premiership interesting. With eight points separating the two teams coming in, a win for the Saints would put the pressure right on Nightcliff, but a loss would all but put an end to their hopes of snatching first place come season’s end. Winning has clearly been no issue for either side to this point, with Nightcliff remaining undefeated in the seven games since its sole loss, while St Mary’s is on a five-game winning run.

The Tigers should be up for the occasion, looking to claim the final scalp in their 2019/20 season collection, and should have a some handy additions to lean on with John Butcher, James Tsitas, and Jayden Shaw all named on an extended bench. As one of the more dynamic and experienced sides, they should have all the tools to rectify Round 7’s result. But the Saints are no slouches, coming in with a spine consisting of Shaun Edwards, Jake Long, Maurice Rioli Jnr, and Jackson Paine, despite missing the likes of Davin Ferriera and Nick Yarran. With talent littered across the park and so much to play for, this looms as must-see viewing for all NTFL fans.

2020 AFL Women’s team preview: Carlton

COMING off a grand final loss Carlton will be looking to right their wrongs and claim that elusive first premiership. They showed that they have the skill and talent to perform on the big stage but will have to cover the loss of former captain Bri Davey who defected to arch rivals Collingwood in the off-season. Aside from Davey and Tilly Lucas-Rodd the line-up has remained relatively unchanged giving the Blues another shot at the finals if they play their cards right and continue their form from last season.

KEY PLAYER:
Tayla Harris (forward)

The talented forward is a real barometer for the Blues and can dictate the play for her side with her explosiveness. Harris’ lead up at the footy is hard to stop when on song using her long stride and strong hands to take her fair share of contested marks. Her work in the forward 50 is second to none consistently posing a threat whether the ball is in the air or at ground level. If she can get off to a hot start it will go a long way in forging the Blue’s finals tilt. The forward has proven that she can hit the scoreboard and welcomes the physicality given her boxing background.

RISING STAR:
Lucy McEvoy (midfield)

It will be hard to miss the likes of Lucy McEvoy with the Geelong Falcons product and pick number 2 in the draft able to have an impact anywhere on the ground. She is a readymade player who many can expect to hit the ground running with her impressive foot skills, spatial awareness and high footy IQ. She is not overawed by the bigger bodies often embracing the physical battle and prevailing. McEvoy offers plenty of versatility and doggedness across the field not afraid to put in the hard yards and never far away the contest. The natural born-leader captained her side to premiership glory in 2018 while also making the All-Australian team in 2019 making her a hot contender for the overall Rising Star nomination.

WATCH FOR:
Madison Prespakis (midfield)

After winning the 2019 Rising Star expect Prespakis to continue to grow and impose herself on the competition once again. Despite it only being her first season, the talented mid showed nothing but class and was not fazed by the bigger bodied and more experienced players. Much like McEvoy, Prespakis is versatile able to slot into any role and fulfil it to the highest ability. She is already a ball magnet and will only grow with further exposure to the highest possible level making her an exciting prospect for the Blues in 2020.

CONFERENCE OPPONENTS: Fremantle, Melbourne, Western Bulldogs, Collingwood, St Kilda, West Coast.

FIXTURE:

Round 1: @ Richmond
Round 2: vs. Collingwood
Round 3: @ Bulldogs
Round 4: @Adelaide
Round 5: vs. St Kilda
Round 6: @Melbourne
Round 7: vs. West Coast Eagles
Round 8: vs. Fremantle

The Blues will reignite their age-old rivalry with Collingwood in Round 2 with both sides hoping to get off to a flying start. the Blues are lucky enough to not have to make the trip over to Western Australia with both West Coast and Fremantle making the trek down south in back-to-back rounds. The grand final rematch will take place in Round 4 with the Blues travelling over to Adelaide in hope for some redemption.

PREDICTION: 1st/2nd in Conference

Carlton have a good mix of youth and experience with the young ones coming in littered with talent and considering the pool they are in should finish near the top of the ladder. Collingwood will be bolstered by the return of a couple of key players while Fremantle have proven time and time again that they should not be discounted. The 2018 premiers, Western Bulldogs always pose a threat and while they lost a chunk of players last season expect them to comeback with a vengeance in 2020. New teams in West Coast and St Kilda will have their work cut out for them up against some high quality teams that know what it takes to win at the elite level but all in all the Blues should take the cake.

2020 NAB League Girls – Full Fixture

NAB LEAGUE GIRLS FIXTURE:

Round 1:

Saturday, February 29:

Northern Knights vs. Calder Cannons at RMIT Bundoora, 10.15am
Geelong Falcons vs. Gippsland Power at RMIT Bundoora, 12pm
GWV Rebels vs. Sandringham Dragons at City Oval, Ballarat, 11.30am
Bendigo Pioneers vs. Western Jets at QEO, 11.30am

Sunday, March 1:

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Eastern Ranges at Beaconsfield, 11am
Murray Bushrangers vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Wangaratta, 1pm

Round 2:

Saturday, March 7:

Northern Knights vs. Geelong Falcons at RMIT Bundoora, 11.30am
Western Jets vs. Murray Bushrangers at RMIT Bundoora, 1.15pm
Sandringham Dragons vs. Bendigo Pioneers at Highgate Rec Reserve, 12pm
Calder Cannons vs. Dandenong Stingrays at Highgate Rec Reserve, 1.45pm
Tasmania Devils vs. Oakleigh Chargers at North Hobart, TBC

Round 3:

Saturday, March 14:

Northern Knights vs. Dandenong Stingrays at RMIT Bundoora, 11am
GWV Rebels vs. Western Jets at Mars Stadium, 11.30am

Sunday, March 15:

Gippsland Power vs. Sandringham Dragons at Churchill, 11am
Bendigo Pioneers vs. Calder Cannons at Epsom Huntly, 1pm
Eastern Ranges vs. Tasmania Devils at Kilsyth, 1pm

Round 4: 

Saturday, March 21:

Sandringham Dragons vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Trevor Barker Oval, 9.30am
Murray Bushrangers vs. Gippsland Power at Trevor Barker Oval, 11.15am
GWV Rebels vs. Dandenong Stingrays at Mars Stadium, 10.45am
Northern Knights vs. Eastern Ranges at RMIT Bundoora, 11am
Calder Cannons vs. Tasmania Devils at Highgate Rec Reserve, 11am
Geelong Falcons vs. Bendigo Pioneers at Deakin Uni, Geelong, 1.30pm

Round 5:

Saturday, March 28:

Murray Bushrangers vs. Bendigo Pioneers at Deakin Reserve, 11am
Geelong Falcons vs. GWV Rebels at GMHBA Stadium, 12pm
Gippsland Power vs. Dandenong Stingrays at Morwell, 3.30pm

Sunday, March 29:

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Western Jets at Trevor Barker Oval, 9.30am
Eastern Ranges vs. Calder Cannons at Trevor Barker Oval, 11.15am
Sandringham Dragons vs. Tasmania Devils at RSEA Park, 2.15pm

Round 6:

Friday, April 3:

Calder Cannons vs. Western Jets at Highgate Rec Reserve, 6.30pm

Saturday, April 4:

Eastern Ranges vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Kilsyth, 1pm

Sunday, April 5:

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Gippsland Power at Epsom Huntly, 10am
Dandenong Stingrays vs. Geelong Falcons at Epsom Huntly, 11.45am
Murray Bushrangers vs. GWV Rebels at Epsom Huntly, 1.30pm
Tasmania Devils vs. Northern Territory at TBC, 11.15am
Sandringham Dragons vs. Northern Knights at Trevor Barker Oval, 3pm

Round 7:

Saturday, April 18:

Tasmania Devils vs. Bendigo Pioneers at North Hobart, 10am
Gippsland Power vs. Eastern Ranges at Morwell, 11.15am
Murray Bushrangers vs. Calder Cannons at Wangaratta, 12.15pm
Oakleigh Chargers vs. Geelong Falcons at Warrawee Park, 1pm

Sunday, April 19:

GWV Rebels vs. Northern Knights at Mars Stadium, 11.15am
Northern Territory vs. Western Jets at Northern Territory, TBC

Round 8:

Friday, April 24:

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Sandringham Dragons at Shepley Oval, 7.30pm

Saturday, April 25:

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Northern Knights at Warrawee Park, 10.30am
Calder Cannons vs. Geelong Falcons at Highgate Rec Reserve, 12.15pm

Sunday, April 26:

Tasmania Devils vs. Murray Bushrangers at UTAS, 10am
Bendigo Pioneers vs. Northern Territory at QEO, 10.15am
Eastern Ranges vs. Western Jets at Kilsyth, 1pm
Gippsland Power vs. GWV Rebels at Shepley Oval, 3pm

Round 9:

Saturday, May 2:

Dandenong Stingrays vs. SUNS Academy at Shepley Oval, 10.30am
Oakleigh Chargers vs. Lions Academy at Shepley Oval, 12.15pm
Geelong Falcons vs. Eastern Ranges at Deakin Uni, Geelong, 12pm

Sunday, May 3:

Tasmania Devils vs. GWV Rebels at UTAS, 9.30am
Western Jets vs. Sandringham Dragons at Williamstown, 10.30am
Gippsland Power vs. Calder Cannons at Morwell, 11am
Murray Bushrangers vs. Northern Knights at Wangaratta, 12pm

Round 10:

Saturday, May 9:

Geelong Falcons vs. Sandringham Dragons at Werribee, 11am
Western Jets vs. GWV Rebels at Werribee, 12.45pm
Eastern Ranges vs. Murray Bushrangers at Box Hill, 12.15pm

Sunday, May 10:

Tasmania Devils vs. Dandenong Stingrays at Dial Park, Penguin, 9.30am
Gippsland Power vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Morwell, 11.15am
Northern Knights vs. Bendigo Pioneers at Preston, 12.15pm

Week 1 Finals: Saturday, May 16 (Werribee)

SF1: 1st vs. 4th
SF2: 2nd vs. 3rd

Week 2 Finals: Saturday, May 23 (Werribee)

Grand Final: Winner SF1 vs. Winner of SF2

2020 NAB League Boys – Full Fixture

2020 NAB LEAGUE BOYS FIXTURE:

Round 1:

Saturday, March 21:

Murray Bushrangers vs. Gippsland Power at Trevor Barker Oval, 1pm
GWV Rebels vs. Dandenong Stingrays at Mars Stadium, 2.30pm
Geelong Falcons vs. Bendigo Pioneers at GMHBA Stadium, 2.45pm

Sunday, March 22:

Calder Cannons vs. Western Jets at Mars Stadium, 10am
Northern Knights vs. Eastern Ranges at Mars Stadium, 12.30pm
Sandringham Dragons vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Mars Stadium, 3pm

Round 2:

Saturday, March 28:

Gippsland Power vs. Dandenong Stingrays at Morwell, 1pm
Murray Bushrangers vs. Bendigo Pioneers at Deakin Reserve, 3pm
Lions Academy vs. Tasmania Devils at Blacktown, 11am
Swans Academy vs. SUNS Academy at Blacktown, 1.30pm
GIANTS Academy vs. Northern Territory at Blacktown, 4pm

Sunday, March 29:

Western Jets vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Ikon Park, 11am
Eastern Ranges vs. Calder Cannons at Trevor Barker Oval, 1pm
Geelong Falcons vs. GWV Rebels at Central Reserve, 1.30pm
Sandringham Dragons vs. Northern Knights at RSEA Park, 4pm

Round 3:

Saturday, April 4:

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Gippsland Power at QEO, 10am
Dandenong Stingrays vs. Geelong Falcons at QEO, 12.30pm
Murray Bushrangers vs. GWV Rebels at QEO, 3pm
Lions Academy vs. SUNS Academy at Gold Coast, 11am
GIANTS Academy vs. Swans Academy at Blacktown, 12pm

Sunday, April 5:

Sandringham Dragons vs. Calder Cannons at Trevor Barker Oval, 10am
Eastern Ranges vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Trevor Barker Oval, 12.30pm
Northern Territory vs. Tasmania Devils at TBC, 2pm
Western Jets vs. Northern Knights at Williamstown, 4pm

Round 4:

Saturday, April 18:

Geelong Falcons vs. GIANTS Academy at Werribee, 11am
Sandringham Dragons vs. Swans Academy at Werribee, 1.30pm
Tasmania Devils vs. Bendigo Pioneers at North Hobart Oval, 12pm
Murray Bushrangers vs. Calder Cannons at Wangaratta, 2pm
Gippsland Power vs. Eastern Ranges at Morwell, 1pm

Sunday, April 19:

Dandenong Stingrays vs. SUNS Academy at Shepley Oval, 10.30am
Oakleigh Chargers vs. Lions Academy at Shepley Oval, 1pm
GWV Rebels vs. Northern Knights at Mars Stadium, 1pm
Northern Territory vs. Western Jets at Northern Territory, 2pm

Round 5:

Saturday, April 25:

GIANTS Academy vs. Northern Knights at Blacktown, 10.30am
Swans Academy vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Blacktown, 1pm
Eastern Ranges vs. SUNS Academy at Box Hill, 10.30am
Western Jets vs. Lions Academy at Box Hill, 1pm
Calder Cannons vs. Geelong Falcons at Highgate Rec Reserve, 11am

Sunday, April 26:

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Sandringham Dragons at Shepley Oval, 10am
Gippsland Power vs. GWV Rebels at Shepley Oval, 12.30pm
Tasmania Devils vs. Murray Bushrangers at UTAS, 12pm
Bendigo Pioneers vs. Northern Territory at QEO, 12pm

Round 6:

Sunday, May 3:

Tasmania Devils vs. GWV Rebels at UTAS, 11.30am

Round 7: 

Saturday, May 9:

Lions Academy vs. Calder Cannons at Brisbane, 11am
SUNS Academy vs. Sandringham Dragons at Brisbane, 1.30pm
Western Jets vs. Geelong Falcons at Williamstown, 11.30am
Eastern Ranges vs. Swans Academy at Box Hill, 2pm

Sunday, May 10:

Gippsland Power vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Morwell, 1pm
Tasmania Devils vs. Dandenong Stingrays at Dial Park, Penguin, 11.30am
Murray Bushrangers vs. GIANTS Academy at Albury, 1.30pm
Northern Knights vs. Bendigo Pioneers at Preston, 2pm
GWV Rebels vs. Northern Territory at Mars Stadium, 2pm

Round 8:

Saturday, May 16:

Calder Cannons vs. Tasmania Devils at Highgate Rec Reserve, 11.30am
Gippsland Power vs. Sandringham Dragons at Morwell, 1pm
Eastern Ranges vs. Geelong Falcons at Healesville, 1pm
Dandenong Stingrays vs. Murray Bushrangers at Shepley Oval, 2.15pm

Sunday, May 17:

Northern Knights vs. Western Jets at Preston, 10.30am
Bendigo Pioneers vs. GWV Rebels at QEO, 1pm

Round 9:

Saturday, May 30:

Tasmania Devils vs. Eastern Ranges at UTAS, 10.30am
Northern Knights vs. Geelong Falcons at Preston, 11am
Gippsland Power vs. Murray Bushrangers at Preston, 1.30pm
GWV Rebels vs. Calder Cannons at Mars Stadium, 1pm

Sunday, May 31:

Western Jets vs. Dandenong Stingrays at Williamstown, 10.30am
Oakleigh Chargers vs. Bendigo Pioneers at Warrawee Park, 2.15pm

Round 10:

Friday, June 5:

Sandringham Dragons vs. Oakleigh Chargers at RSEA Park, 6.30pm

Round 11: 

Saturday, June 13:

Gippsland Power vs. Tasmania Devils at Shepley Oval, 11am
Dandenong Stingrays vs. Eastern Ranges at Shepley Oval, 1.30pm
Calder Cannons vs. Northern Knights at Highgate Rec Reserve, 2pm

Sunday, June 14:

GWV Rebels vs. Western Jets at Mars Stadium, 11am
Geelong Falcons vs. Bendigo Pioneers at Mars Stadium, 1.30pm
Murray Bushrangers vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Wangaratta, 1pm

Round 12: 

Saturday, June 20:

Calder Cannons vs. Western Jets at Highgate Rec Reserve, 11am
Tasmania Devils vs. Sandringham Dragons at Hobart, 11.30am
Oakleigh Chargers vs. Eastern Ranges at Warrawee Park, 2.15pm

Round 13 – Futures Round

Saturday, June 27:

Northern Knights vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Preston, 10.30am
Dandenong Stingrays vs. Gippsland Power at Shepley Oval, 2.15pm

Sunday, June 28:

GWV Rebels vs. Geelong Falcons at Mars Stadium, 1pm
Western Jets vs. Sandringham Dragons at Williamstown, 1.30pm

TBC June 27/28:

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Murray Bushrangers at Victoria Park, Echuca, TBC

Round 14 – Futures Round

Saturday, July 4:

Geelong Falcons vs. Western Jets at Werribee, 11am
Tasmania Devils vs. Oakleigh Chargers at North Hobart, 11.30am
Sandringham Dragons vs. Dandenong Stingrays at Trevor Barker Oval, 2.15pm

Sunday, July 5:

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Calder Cannons at Swan Hill, 12pm
GWV Rebels vs. Eastern Ranges at Mars Stadium, 1pm
Gippsland Power vs. Northern Knights at Morwell, 1pm

Round 15:

Saturday, July 11:

Murray Bushrangers vs. Tasmania Devils at Wangaratta, 12pm

Round 16:

Saturday, July 18:

Eastern Ranges vs. Dandenong Stingrays at Trevor Barker Oval, 11am
Sandringham Dragons vs. Gippsland Power at Trevor Barker Oval, 1.30pm
Calder Cannons vs. Murray Bushrangers at Highgate Rec Reserve, 12pm

Sunday, July 19:

Tasmania Devils vs. Geelong Falcons at UTAS, 12pm
Bendigo Pioneers vs. Northern Knights at QEO, 1pm

Round 17:

Saturday, July 25:

Northern Knights vs. SUNS Academy at Ikon Park, 10.30am
Bendigo Pioneers at Lions Academy at Ikon Park, 1pm
GWV Rebels vs. GIANTS Academy at Mars Stadium, 11am
Geelong Falcons vs. Swans Academy at Mars Stadium, 1.30pm
Tasmania Devils vs. Western Jets at Blundstone Arena, 10.45am
Oakleigh Chargers vs. Dandenong Stingrays at ETU Stadium, Port Melb, 11am
Eastern Ranges vs. Sandringham Dragons at Box Hill, 1pm

Sunday, July 26:

Gippsland Power vs. Calder Cannons at Morwell, 1pm
Murray Bushrangers vs. Northern Territory at Highgate Rec Reserve, 1.30pm

Round 18:

Saturday, August 1:

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Swans Academy at Werribee, 10am
Gippsland Power vs. GIANTS Academy at Werribee, 12.30pm
Geelong Falcons vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Werribee, 3pm
Tasmania Devils vs. Northern Knights at North Hobart, 11.30am
GWV Rebels vs. Sandringham Dragons, Mars Stadium, 1pm

Sunday, August 2:

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Western Jets at QEO, 1pm
Murray Bushrangers vs. Eastern Ranges at Deakin Reserve, 1pm
Calder Cannons vs. Northern Territory, Highgate Rec Reserve, 2pm

Round 19:

Saturday, August 15:

Western Jets vs. Eastern Ranges at Werribee, 10am
Calder Cannons vs. Northern Knights at Werribee, 12.30pm
Sandringham Dragons vs. Oakleigh Chargers at Werribee, 3pm

Sunday, August 16:

GWV Rebels vs. Murray Bushrangers at Mars Stadium, 10am
Bendigo Pioneers vs. Gippsland Power at Mars Stadium, 12.30pm
Geelong Falcons vs. Dandenong Stingrays at Mars Stadium, 3pm

Wildcard Round – August 22/23 at Preston and Mars Stadium

4th vs. 13th
5th vs. 12th
6th vs. 11th
7th vs. 10th
8th vs. 9th

Week 1 Finals (Ikon Park) – August 29/30

Q1: 1st vs. Highest Ranked WC Winner
Q2: 2nd vs. 3rd
E1: 2nd WC Winner vs. 5th WC Winner
E2: 3rd WC Winner vs. 4th WC Winner

Week 2 Finals (Ikon Park) – September 5

SF1: Q1 Loser vs. E1 Winner
SF2: Q2 Loser vs. E2 Winner

Week 3 Finals (Ikon Park) – September 12

PF1: QF1 Winner vs. SF2 Winner
PF2: QF2 Winner vs. SF1 Winner

Grand Final (Ikon Park) – September 19

Winner of Preliminary Finals

2020 NAB League fixtures released

WITH a massively successful 2019 NAB League season in the books, it is almost time for the Under-18s development league to start back once more. A combined 60 players were drafted across the boys and girls leagues in 2019, making this season an interesting one with plenty of young talent hoping to break into contention. The NAB League Girls season will run for 10 weeks with two weeks of finals action, while the NAB League Boys will run for 19 weeks, following by a Wildcard Round and then four-week finals series as per the same as last year.

“In just one season the NAB League has had a major impact on the AFL/AFLW national drafts with more than 50 per cent of the total draftees coming from the NAB League,” AFL Head of Talent Pathways and State League Competitions, Tristan Salter. said “Our aim is to continue to build a professional environment across both the girls and boys’ competitions that exposes the players to the best coaching, facilities, training and development.”

The 2020 season of NAB League boys will begin on Saturday, March 21, and will see academy sides in Gold Coast Suns, Brisbane Lions, Sydney Swans, GWS Giants and Northern Territory return once more. Key dates for the season are the annual ‘Country Round’, scheduled for early April, with a Queens Birthday clash between Sandringham Dragons and Oakley Chargers on Friday July 5. The season will end with triple headers at Avalon Airport Oval and Mars Stadium Ballarat respectively, with Wildcard round the following weekend of August 22.

Among big match-ups for both leagues are respective 2019 Grand final rematches, which sees Eastern Ranges take on premiers, Oakleigh Chargers in Round 3 (April 5) while in the girls competition, premiers Northern Knights host a massive Round 1 clash against Calder Cannons to start the season with a bang (February 29). 

Under-18 girls matches will open for three AFL Women’s fixtures this season, and Tasmania Devils will be joining the NAB League Girls full time in 2020 after a successful introduction to the Boys’ competition in 2019. Northern Territory follows Tasmania’s pathway from 2019, playing three matches in the league, while both Queensland pathways in Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns will play invitationals in early May.

Northern Territory will host both girls and boys teams in Darwin in a double header in April, with selected girls fixtures streamed and all boys fixtures live-streamed.

Fixtures will be available on the website shortly.

NAB LEAGUE BOYS FIXTURE

NAB LEAGUE GIRLS FIXTURE

2020 AFL Women’s team preview: Brisbane

AFTER back-to-back Grand Final losses, the off-season changes of 2018 hurt the Brisbane Lions in 2019, as the Lions missed finals for the first time in their history. Going through a mini-rebuild, the Lions continued the theme over the off-season given the poaching of players from cross-state rivals, Gold Coast SUNS. They have a number of reasons to be more optimistic heading into season 2020 with more youth walking in the door, and others having more opportunities to step up. They picked up a host of mature-age players at the AFL Women’s Draft to compliment the youth, and a couple of players are returning from long-term injuries. They are a year away from being a serious contender, but similar to the AFL Lions, expect these Lions to roar to life and provide plenty of excitement this year.

KEY PLAYER:

Jess Wuetschner (forward turned defender)

With plenty of turnover at the club, the Lions fans will look to the experienced players left and someone like Wuetschner packs out a stadium. She is a classy and talented forward who played in defence during the QAFLW and Winter Series and could line-up down there with reliable defender, Kate Lutkins. If thrown forward fans know she can turn a game on its head and hit the scoreboard, making her a headache for whichever opponent has to stand her.

RISING STAR:

Lily Postlethwaite (midfielder)

This midfield gem is not just one to be considered a Brisbane Rising Star, but one of the potential contenders overall. Despite often playing against opponents taller than her, Postlethwaite packs a punch and never takes a backwards step. She has good decision making, covers the ground well and will always look for the team option. She is a player who will be popular at the club, and captained Queensland last year at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships on the back of a huge 2018 where she was named best-on in each of the Series Two of the championships. A back-to-back All-Australian.

WATCH FOR:

Sophie Conway (forward)

The classy forward missed 2019 with a season-long knee injury but has been working diligently to be ready for 2020. Considered one of the best players from her draft year, Conway is 170cm and can play forward or through the midfield but most importantly has a bag of tricks with ball-in-hand. Her fitness and work ethic is just as impressive as her technical ability and while there are plenty of players you could name here, she could be the perfect player to slot into a Brisbane side that had a lot of turnover last season.

CONFERENCE OPPONENTS: Adelaide, Geelong, Gold Coast, GWS GIANTS, North Melbourne, Richmond.

FIXTURE:

Round 1 – vs. Adelaide
Round 2 – @ Geelong
Round 3 – @ Gold Coast
Round 4 – vs. GWS GIANTS
Round 5 – @ Fremantle
Round 6 – vs. Collingwood
Round 7 – @ Richmond
Round 8 – vs. North Melbourne

A tough draw all things considered, with a trip out west to face Fremantle and hosting bogey team Collingwood as the crossover games do not help. Where the Lions finish will be largely determined early in the season with a first-up game at home against reigning premiers, Adelaide. Back-to-back road trips against Conference rivals Geelong and Gold Coast, and a home game against GWS GIANTS, of whom all three are likely to be in the mid-to-bottom end of Conference A. To make finals they realistically will need to win all three of those games, or head into Round 5 with a 3-1 record.

PREDICTION: 5th/6th in Conference A

Losing so many players over the past two off-seasons is always going to be tough, but with the expansion now complete for the SUNS, the Lions know they can begin the process of retaining the players they currently have. The influx of youth and some crucial leaders will guide the club through the season, but Brisbane fans should be patient as success will not happen overnight, particularly with the likes of two-time premiers Adelaide and one of the title contenders in North Melbourne in the Conference.

NTFL Women’s Premier League Preview: Round 14 – Battle of the key forwards in Magpies-Districts match

HEADING into the home stretch, the race for finals in the Northern Territory Football League Women’s is getting tighter with no team undefeated after 13 rounds. Southern Districts will look to bounce back after a frustrating loss last week while Big River Hawks will hope to field a team for the first time this year after forfeiting in both Round 12 and Round 13.

Pint v. Wanderers
Round 14 – 18/1/20
2:00pm
MCG

Wanderers will need to go big this week against Pint after receiving an unprecedented forfeit last round from Big River Hawks. Last time they met, Wanderers were quick to start but were not really in it for the second half of the match, allowing Pint to dominate the contest and ultimately going down by 33 points. The Wanderers now sit in fifth, however, with eight wins behind them and the confidence to reign supreme if they put their minds to it, it could be a real tough contest for the Queen Ants. Pint will hope for Jasmyn Hewitt to continue her strong form, having only played eight matches for the season but booting 10 goals. Emma Greaves and Cara Evans have also been solid with 12 matches apiece, with consistency and cleanliness to boot. For the Wanderers, Morgan Johnston and Shekeine De Satge are among the key performers, with De Satge the leading goalkicker with 11 from her 13 matches.

Waratah v. Big River Hawks
Round 14 – 18/1/20
5:00pm
TIO Oval 2

Waratah will hope for another big win this week but the more pressing issue will be whether Big River Hawks can field a team this round after forfeiting their past two encounters. With skill and scoring ability on their side, Waratah will want to capitalise on every opportunity against the Hawks to continue the stellar form that has them sitting atop the ladder for the seventh round in a row – and not to mention trying to go one better than their last match against the Hawks that saw a whopping 162-point victory for the ‘Tahs. Waratah have improved their accuracy in front of goal in recent weeks so will want to continue that form, with the likes of Lisa Roberts sure to be right in the contest alongside fellow performers in Rebecca Pryer and Lauren Shea. For the Hawks, look to Crystal Browne and Deanna Peckham to put in the hard yards while Jayde De La Coeur will hope to put her second goal of the season on the board.

Darwin Buffettes v. St Mary’s
Round 14 – 18/1/20
5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin Buffettes will want to go one better after narrowly defeating the Southern Districts last round, and this match against St Mary’s is no better opportunity with the Saints sitting in eighth compared to the Buffs in second. The Buffettes are teetering in their spot in the top two, only holding on thanks to dominant form at the beginning of the season and really making this match a do-or-die clash if they want to maintain their hold on the competition. For the Saints, a solid performance is required this week after a sloppy loss against Waratah which featured plenty of missed opportunities. The Buffettes impressed early in the season with their ability to share the load around and are no different now, with plenty of key players who can impact the contest. The likes of Tayla Hart-Aluni and Kylie Duggan are up there with regular solid performances while Dominique Carbone and Jemma Iacono are not far behind with continued execution week after week. For the Saints, consistency has been an issue with not one player taking the field in every single game, though Nikita Long and Sharna Edwards have played 12 from 13 matches to prove they have the game smarts to pull through.

Palmerston Magpies v. Southern Districts
Round 14 – 18/1/20
7:00pm
Cazalys Arena

Southern Districts will have their work cut out for them this week, taking on the Magpies who have been impressive in recent weeks and throughout the season overall. The Districts are not having it quite as easy however, coming off a loss last week to fellow top four side Darwin and their win first of 2020 against mid-tier Pint. Sitting at third and fourth on the ladder expect a close contest with both sides able to whip out stellar form and come from behind to take victory. Iesha Ronberg and Billie Byers have been key performers for the  Magpies, and with the likes of Arthurina Moreen (27 goals) and Freda Puruntatameri (12) inside 50, Ronberg and Byers have done their job well to  ensure the footy gets to them regularly. Southern Districts have their own sharpshooters to contend with however, with the league’s leading goalkicker Ebony Miller (35 goals in 10 games) creating a formidable option in front of goal with accuracy and skill to boot. Tahlia Holtze has also been a consistent performer, listed in the bests on five occasions.

Nightcliff v. Tracy Village
Round 14 – 19/1/20
2:00pm
PSC BM Oval

In the final game of the round, Nightcliff will want to continue their strong start to 2020 when they take on the lowly Tracy Village. The Razorbacks have a lot to prove against the Tigers after going down by 22 points last time they met, and will need to take advantage of every opportunity to get over Nightcliff this time around given they have won their past two encounters in 2020 so far. Coming off a big loss in Round 13, the Razorbacks will need to stay in control of the footy and with Nightcliff able to find space with ease, it will not be an easy job. Nightcliff  have the ability to jump up the ladder if results go their way this round, meaning they will look to the likes of Eliza Morrison and Emma-Lou Wolsey who have kept up the consistency throughout the season. Victorian, Mickayla Ward has contributed well since joining the side, with seven best on ground nominations from nine matches and eight goals to her name, combining well with youngster Shantel Miskin-Ripia who can swing as a key position player where required to bolster the versatile side. Tracy Village will hope the likes of Alexandra Biggs and Gabrielle Young continue to step up to prove the side can do more than just roll with the punches.

Western Australia's Roxy Roux against Vic Metro at the AFLW U18 Championships

2020 AFL Women’s team preview: Fremantle

THE Dockers had a fantastic season in 2019 making them a real team to watch in 2020. While they may have lost a few players to expansion club, West Coast Eagles, Fremantle have plenty of talented names in their ranks and have the consistency to come in and create an exciting season once more. 

KEY PLAYER:

Kara Antonio (midfielder)

The Fremantle captain has been key for the side’s success over the years, with her game awareness and leadership taking the side to a new level in 2019 after slow 2017 and 2018 season saw the Dockers toward the bottom of the ladder. Always involved in the contest, Antonio (nee Donnellan) is a hard worker who leads by example and puts in the hard yards at every opportunity to win the ball and create opportunities for her team. 

RISING STAR:

Roxy Roux (key forward/ruck)

While the Dockers have plenty of exciting talent coming through the ranks, one cannot look past the skill of Roxy Roux. With strong kick and aerial ability to boot, Roux has the ability to play anywhere across the field but has a keen eye inside 50, finding the footy and marking with ease to put goals on the board. Roux has a skill for marking thanks to her impressive leap, with clean hands in the pack a real feature of her game. 

WATCH FOR: 

Ashley Sharp (forward)

With a few seasons and the 2019 Goal of the Year award under her belt, expect Ash Sharp to come out flying after an impressive season for Swan Districts in the Western Australian Women’s Football League (WAWFL) in 2019. With goal sense and speed, Sharp creates an exciting prospect both on the wing and inside 50, able to have an impact where required and can break open a game with her footy IQ.

CONFERENCE OPPONENTS: Carlton, Collingwood, Melbourne, St Kilda, West Coast, Western Bulldogs.

FIXTURE:

Round 1 – vs. Geelong
Round 2 – @ West Coast
Round 3 – vs. Collingwood
Round 4 – @ St Kilda
Round 5 – vs. Brisbane
Round 6 – @ Western Bulldogs
Round 7 – vs. Melbourne
Round 8 – @ Carlton

Fremantle have a fairly straightforward fixture this season, and with matches against overall lower ranked 2019 sides and two expansions early in the season, will look to go one better than their 2019 season. The real test will be the second half of the season, with Conference B rivals Melbourne and Carlton set to deny the Dockers finals chances. Carlton also defeated the Dockers in the finals last season making the final round of the season one to watch.

PREDICTION: 1st/2nd in Conference B

While the Dockers have plenty of tough competition in Conference B, if they can maintain they impressive form they put out in 2019 they could be right in there for finals contention once more. They will also not have to take on reigning premiers, Adelaide, making it an exciting time for Dockers fans, though the real test will be continuing where 2019 left off without some key players on the ground.