Category: Womens

SANFL Women’s Finals preview: Semi-Finals – Fans treated to double header at Thebarton

FINALS fever is in the air and the four best teams remain in the race for the 2020 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition. Last year’s grand finalists North Adelaide and South Adelaide do battle in the first game at Thebarton Oval for automatic entry into the grand final, before Norwood and West Adelaide face off to remain in the hunt and head into a preliminary final next week.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Sunday, August 9, 10.30am at Thebarton Oval

It is the clash that many SANFL Women’s fans have been waiting for, the two best teams in the competition going head-to-head at full strength and with so much talent across the field. North Adelaide Roosters, led by Krissie Steen naturally hold favouritism as they are yet to drop a game in 2020. The last time the Roosters looked vulnerable was way back in Round 4 of this season when South Adelaide pushed them for four quarters in an absolute thriller. The four-point margin in favour of the visiting side ultimately determined which order the top sides would finish, as neither side lost another game. South Adelaide might not have been blowing teams off the part to the extent that Roosters have, but Rick Watts has his charges primed for a third consecutive flag knowing the pressure of favouritism is off.

These two teams faced off in the decider last year, where South took control after quarter time and just kept the Roosters at arms-length to get up 4.7 (31) to 1.3 (9). It is expected the scores on the weekend will be much higher with some seriously talented forward lines. In saying that, both teams have remarkable back six’s, so it will not be easy to score against. The aspect about this matchup that people are most intrigued about is that they have not faced off again since their AFL Women’s talents returned.

This arguably gives the Roosters a boost given they have welcomed in arguably the competition’s best player – given she was a club best and fairest winner and All-Australian at the elite level – in Anne Hatchard, as well as reliable and recently retired, Talia Radan, and the dangerous forward in Britt Perry. South Adelaide has added Crows’ teenage ruck Montana McKinnon – who also played games prior to the break while she was waiting to crack into the Crows team – as well as speedster Hannah Munyard, and defender Lisa Whiteley. Both represented Western Bulldogs and GWS GIANTS in 2019, and both have since headed home and will represent the tri-colours next season.

In terms of in-form players from the last two matchups, it is hard to look past South tall, Indy Tahau. Winning the Best on Ground medal in the 2019 SANFL Women’s Grand Final, she booted two goals from 20 touches, and then back it up with a strong 16-disposal, 17-hitout and 10-tackle game earlier this year. Adelaide train-on talent Czenya Cavouras will be a welcome return for the Panthers after missing a couple of games to injury, she is averaging the 21.5 disposals, 3.5 clearances, 4.5 inside 50s and 7.0 tackles. The third Panther to highlight is Teah Charlton who booted a crucial goal in the grand final last year, having 18 touches, four marks and five tackles, before a quieter outing earlier this season with 12 touches, four marks and six tackles.

North Adelaide has changed so much since last year’s grand final with one of the Roosters’ best in Kendall Howell named back in the side this week. She gathered 19 touches and six rebounds in last year’s decider, and had 12 touches and five marks in the 2020 victory over South. Lauren Daniel has been an experienced campaigner who has performed in both matches, picking up 15 disposals, four tackles and three inside 50s in the grand final, and then 18 touches, four marks, three tackles, three clearances and three rebounds earlier this year. Then there is Amber Ward who had eight rebounds from 16 touches and three marks last year, and it was Kristi Harvey this year who won the game with her work in defence racking up 15 disposals, eight marks – two contested, six tackles and eight rebounds.

Fast forward to this matchup today and the Roosters have been in ominous form, only conceding one goal in the past three weeks – not a typo – as they have completely powered past sides, albeit three of the bottom four sides. North Adelaide have booted 33.37 (235) to 1.8 (14) in that time with a percentage of 943. The Roosters are usually accurate but had a down day last round in terms of accuracy with 7.17, but that was as much credit to Central District’s defence as it was to North’s missed chances. In the two matches prior to those three thumpings, the Roosters defeated Glenelg by 18 points, and Norwood by 45 in strong performances.

South Adelaide has had a weird fixture to end the season, playing twice against each of West Adelaide and Central District, as well as Glenelg. The Bloods have provided a great measuring stick against the Panthers, with South getting up by 18 points in Round 7, and and 12 points last round. The trick with South Adelaide is that the Panthers just find a way to get it done. No matter what the score, the Panthers are the best at adapting to a style of playing and then beating the opposition with that style. They might not have belted teams in the last month, but they have beaten quality opposition off the back of terrific defence.

The most exciting area of the ground to watch will be North Adelaide’s forward line up against South Adelaide’s defence, with the likes of Ash Woodland – fresh off another four-goal haul – alongside Cristie Castle, Daniel, Perry and speedster Katelyn Pope going head-to-head with the reliable trio of Jaslynne Smith, Lauren Buchanan and Samantha Pratt, and then no doubt Whiteley and Roosters’ Kelly Barltrop will also be ones who have a bearing on the result of the game.

Up the other end, Ward and Harvey have the best one-two intercept marking and rebounding punch of any side in the competition, but what makes South so good is creating space inside 50 and letting the smaller forwards go to work. Jess Kirk returns and was leading the competition goalkicking prior to injury, while Munyard has kicked multiple goals on occasions, and Madison Bennett is always dangerous at ground level. Tahau and Charlton are South Australia’s top two top-age prospects this year as the pair are in the AFL Women’s National Academy. Radan and Lauren Gauci can provide some good intercepting and run and carry respectively back there, and they will have their work cut out for them.

In the midfield, McKinnon will be keen to impress in her second game back from injury against Bek Rasheed who has been one of the most consistent surprise packets this season since coming to the club. Hatchard leads the Roosters’ onball brigade, but the likes of Leah Tynan and Hannah Ewings will go head-to-head against Nicole Campbell and Tahlia Meyer, with Nikki Gore and Pope providing the dash through the middle, It is likely the team that not only wins the midfield, but has the most effective inside 50 entries will be the winner. Both these teams are capable of locking down the hatches and defending well, while they also know how to score quickly.

If you had to pick a team, North Adelaide is hard to look past given its strength and unbeaten nature, but the general feeling is, if the Roosters are to lose, it will likely be against the Panthers. A grand final spot on the line, this is set to be a ripper.

NORTH

F: Daniel, Castle, Woodland
HF: Pope, McKendrick, Perry
C: Greet, Hatchard, Case
HB: Gauci, Ward, Sundstrom
B: Clark, Harvey, Radan
R: Rasheed, Tynan, Ewings
INT: Arthur, Barltrop, Gallio, Howell, Reynolds, Taylor, Woodards

IN: Hatchard, Howell, Pope

SOUTH

F: Bennett, Kirk, Munyard
HF: Tahau, Cavouras, Schirmer
C: Hammond, Campbell, Charlton
HB: Copley, Pratt, Buchanan
B: Haylock, Smith, Northcott
R: McKinnon, Meyer, Whiteley
INT: Gore, Wedding, Flanagan-Sjoberg, Gibbs, Clifton, Pennifold, Ross

IN: Gore, Kirk, Cavouras, Bennett
OUT: Rothwell, Peters

 

NORWOOD vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Sunday, August 9, 12.20pm at Thebarton Oval

The loser of the first game will have the best opportunity to scout its next opponent when Norwood tackles West Adelaide in the second game. Unlike the North Adelaide-South Adelaide clash, there is no turning back for the loser with the defeated team out of contention this year. These teams have played twice this year, and both have been thrillers with Norwood getting the job back in Round 9 with an 11-point win over West Adelaide, while neither team could be split in Round 4 when they headed home with a draw prior to the extended break.

For most of the season, West Adelaide had held third spot on the table, going toe-for-toe with the top two sides, but two losses against them kept them in third. The draw and then loss with Norwood saw the Panthers drop back to fourth in the final round as the Redlegs enjoyed a huge win over a depleted Glenelg, while the Bloods went down in a fight against South Adelaide. In their most recent encounter back in Round 9, it was only a final term burst that saw Norwood create separation and celebrate a 4.9 (33) to 3.4 (22) victory.

The Redlegs almost kicked themselves out of it with seven straight behinds, before midfield dynamo Matilda Zander put through a crucial snap out of congestion. West Adelaide immediately trimmed back the deficit to under a kick through the great work of AFL Women’s teammates, Stevie-Lee Thompson and Chelsea Biddell, but it was loose checking on the defensive goal line that ultimately cost the Bloods third spot. With a free kick near the behind post, Tessa Hankinson was brought back on a sharp angle, but her opponent opted to stand on the goal line leaving the mark unguarded and Hankinson ran in to kick a goal from a couple of metres out, bettering the angle and helping her team to victory.

It was not the first time that Norwood had escaped ill-fated mis-kicking in front of goal. A week earlier, they kicked a frustrating 2.8, in what was a strange match. The Redlegs booted the first goal of the contest, then eight consecutive behinds against a Sturt side that refused to give in. It took until Kate Fenton‘s after-the-siren goal to give the visitors another major, and it levelled the scores and ensured the fourth placed team walked away with some points. A week later they knocked off the Bloods, and then took apart Glenelg in a strong performance.

West Adelaide did enough against Central District back in Round 8 to win by 22 points as Madison Newman and Thompson were dominant, booting four goals to zero in the middle two quarters to guarantee a win. The loss to Norwood cost them third spot, but they would have been pleased by the effort against South Adelaide early. They looked on from the first bounce, but could not sustain it across four quarters as quick goals to the Panthers was the difference.

Looking at this match, the battle of the midfields is absolutely crucial. Rachelle Martin had 21 touches and five clearances against the Redlegs in the Round 4 draw, and Norwood must find a way to try and stop her if they are to win. But she is far from alone in that onball brigade with the young talents of Abbie Ballard, Zoe Venning and Olivia Smith running around, with Mattea Breed a taller option who could play at either end or through the middle. Leah Cutting is one of the league’s best rucks so expect her to have a say on the contest as she leads a strong midfield group in Adelaide AFL Women’s talent and last year’s SANFL Women’s best and fairest, Najwa Allen, as well as Zander, Jess Macolino and Sophie Armitstead in there. The entire midfield is not afraid to get its hands dirty and win the contested ball.

Both these sides have some seriously underrated players in the competition, with Jade Halfpenny able to play at either end, as could Bella Smith who has been relishing the intercept marking role at centre half-back. The Norwood defence is strong, with Armitstead able to drop back there, and the likes of Rhiannon Busch mopping up everything that comes her way. The West Adelaide forward line is one of the most damaging when up and firing, with Biddell a key target, and Rachael Killian filling the role of Melanie Elsegood perfectly. Throw in midfielder Isabel Martin who can hit the scoreboard, along with Kasia Culhane, Thompson and Venning who both float down there, and the Bloods have a formidable group.

Up the other end, Norwood has Breed and captain Alison Ferrall as the targets to watch for, with Breed able to fly and Ferrall powerful on the lead. The latter returns for this game, and with Fenton a known goalkicker, and Zander and Allen both able to rest forward, the Redlegs have a versatile front six. The Bloods half-back line of young guns, Newman and Keeley Kustermann, as well as captain Lauren Rodato is the best in the business, but as Helen Maidment showed last week, she is more than capable of playing high half-back with Rodato dropping back deeper.

Both these sides have some incredible talent which showcases what they are capable of on their day. They can match it with the best sides, but they can also struggle against the lower sides at times. The team that plays its most on-brand game will win this, which by Round 8 looked certain to be West Adelaide, but the last two weeks have shown that Norwood probably deserve to be favourites. West have struggled through the midfield of late, and the Bloods have to win that to take home the points, while Norwood have to be smart with the inside 50s to stop the elite half-back line of the Bloods taking easy intercept marks.

NORWOOD

F: Smith, Bigg, Gould
HF: Tsoumbris, Zander, Macolino
C: Hiscock, Busch, Ferrall
HB: Avery, Cutting, Fenton
B: Allen, Breed, Armitstead
R: Halfpenny, Sporn, Gallagher
INT: Lishmund, Martin, Samuel, Hankinson, Rochow, Zerella, Barisic

IN: Ferrall, Lishmund, Martin, Tsoumbris, Samuel, Barasic
OUT: Karamoshos, Murison

WEST

F: Ballard, Scholar, Scutchings
HF: Kustermann, Biddell, Venning
C: Culhane, Rodato, O. Smith
HB: Newman, Thompson, Martin
B: Maidment, Killian, Doupis
R: Walsh, James, Greer
INT: E. Smith, Mason, Gray, Davis, Hooper, Harfield

IN: Scholar, Gray, Doupis, Hooper
OUT: Hardwick, Griffiths

QAFL Women’s weekend preview: Round 8 – Top of the table clash highlights weekend action

A TOP of the table clash between Yeronga South Brisbane and Coolangatta Tweed highlights a huge Round 8 in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s action, as a number of other ladder-defining clashes take place.

WILSTON GRANGE vs. ASPLEY HORNETS
Saturday, August 8, 2pm – Hickey Park

  • A bottom two clash here between the seventh placed Wilston Grange and seventh placed Aspley Hornets
  • The Gorillas have the one win and cancellation draw this season, whilst the Hornets are yet to taste success
  • A win to the home side could see them level University of Queensland on 10 points, while Aspley can draw within two of the Gorillas with a victory
  • Wilston Grange is on a four-game losing streak since the return, but have only lost by more than five goals once, and one of them was a heartbreaking one-point defeat
  • Kaitlyn Day has been sensational this season, with Catherine Svarc using all her experience since returning, Rheanne Lugg also impressive for the Gorillas
  • Lucia Liessi and Luka Yoshida-Martin lead the goalkicking for Wilston Grange
  • Michaela Campbell and Rachel Crawford have been the multiple goalkickers for the Hornets this season
  • Courtney Daniec outstanding for the Hornets, whilst Isabella Kotatis and Lucy Pengelly will also be up there in the club best and fairest votes

 

YERONGA SOUTH BRISBANE vs. COOLANGATTA TWEED
Saturday, August 8, 2.45pm – Leyshon Park

  • Top of the table clash between first placed Yeronga South Brisbane and second placed Coolangatta Tweed
  • Both teams have achieved 20 points, with the top of the table Devils only losing the one game this season, while winning four and having two draws, while the Bluebirds have had a fifth win, but an extra loss with no draws
  • Winner takes top spot, and loser could theoretically fall as far as fourth
  • Since the break, Yeronga South Brisbane are two draws and two wins, Coolangatta Tweed had two losses then two wins, so both are in form the last fortnight
  • Lucy Bellinger is in terrific form with eight goals in six games, named among the best in four games, while Madison Goodwin (four) is next in line for goals, as 18 Devils players have hit the scoreboard
  • Emily Bates, Jordan Zanchetta and Vanessa Hart are among the Devils players in great form this season
  • Selina Priest (four goals) leads the goalkicking for the Bluebirds, ahead of Ahlani Eddy and Uma Brennan (both three)
  • Youngster Keyshia Matenga has been named amongst the best four times, more than any other player, while Alexandra Hamlyn, Casey Samuels, Georgia Breward and Sally Riley have also been strong

 

COORPAROO vs. MAROOCHYDORE
Saturday, August 8, 4.45pm – Giffin Park

  • A real ladder-defining clash for both the fourth placed Maroochydore and the fifth placed Coorparoo
  • Both teams have plenty of AFL Women’s experience, with the Kings sitting at 4-3 and two bonds off both the Roos and Bond University, though have played an extra game
  • A win to Maroochydore will see them at least move up to third, and if Bond University loses, second, while Coorparoo cannot drop below fifth, but could be a win behind fourth with a loss
  • Maroochydore had its first loss a fortnight ago to Coolangatta Tweed, and was not able to avenge it since, with the postponed match against Bond University
  • Coorparoo has been on fire of late, winning four of their past five games after two losses to start the season
  • Emma McKenzie (nine goals), Jess Wuetschner (eight) and Chelsea Chesterfield (six) are all in great form, as is match-winner Jamie Stanton who booted three last quarter goals last week to win the game for the Kings
  • Jade Ellenger is a contender for the best and fairest this season with a really consistent performance each week, as are McKenzie and Brooke Spence, while Emma Zielke and Ally Anderson are just another couple of stars running around
  • Ashleigh Hales and Mikayla Pauga (both five goals) are leading the goalkicking as Chloe Gregory and Jacqueline Dupuy are just behind on four
  • Maggie Harmer and Ruby McDowell have been named amongst the best more than anyone else (four times), while the likes of Lily Postlethwaite and Isabel Dawes are ever-dangerous

 

UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND vs. BOND UNIVERSITY
Saturday, August 8, 4.45pm – UQ Oval 2 St Lucia

  • Huge game for both sides with Bond University able to keep in touch with the top two if the Sharkettes win, though have a game in hand, while University of Queensland can really go a long way to securing a finals spot with a victory
  • If the Red Lionesses lose, they could well sit only percentage ahead of Wilston Grange, and if Coorparoo get up, there will be an eight-point gap to fifth
  • For Bond University, they could slip to fourth with a loss, favoured by the fact Maroochydore and Coorparoo face off this round
  • University of Queensland have a mixed bag since the return of the competition in July, with two wins, a draw and a loss, while Bond University have had the unfortunate situation of a forced cancellation draw before the break, and potentially another one last week, depending on if that match with Maroochydore is rescheduled or not
  • Jasmyn Davidson leads the Sharkettes goalkicking with six majors ahead of Taylor Smith (five) and Lydia Pingel (four)
  • Youngsters like Annie Muir, Maddison Levi and Annise Bradfield have been superb in 2020, alongside the likes of Ellie Hampson and Lauren Bella
  • Dakota Davidson is the other Davidson to be sharp in front of goal, booting eight majors for the Red Lionesses in 2020, while Greta Bodey (seven) and Megan Hunt (four) are next in line
  • Hunt has been in blistering form for the home team this season, while Jane Childes, Alexandra Moran and Breanna Koenen are others who have stood out

Tasmanian weekly preview: Top of the table TSL clash highlights Round 5 action

A TOP of the table Tasmanian State League (TSL) clash between Launceston and North Hobart is the highlight of a big weekend of Tasmanian football action. Lauderdale and North Launceston lock horns in a third against fourth clash, as Clarence and Tigers will meet in both the TSL and TSL Women’s competitions. In the other TSL Women’s meeting, Glenorchy and Launceston lock horns in a much anticipated clash.

There is little doubt Launceston is the team to beat this season with the best offence and defence, as the only team above 250 points (276) and the only one conceding less than 130 (127) this season. They take on a much improved North Hobart team that has put its wooden spoon season behind it and picked up two wins in three games. The one loss was a gallant one against reigning premiers, North Launceston, but this is going to be an even greater challenge for the young Demons who have some terrific youth prospects.

Stringing back-to-back wins together, Jye Menzie and Nathan Harvey have each slotted five majors with Jake Steele (four) not far behind. Patrick Walker and Sam Collins are a couple of AFL Academy members to watch out for with plenty of talent. The key to stopping the Blues is limiting their damaging forward line, led by Dylan Riley (12 goals), with Jake Hinds (seven) and Mitch Thorp (five) not far behind. Jared Dakin and Collins might go head-to-head at some stage, whilst Tim Auckland is always a challenging player to beat around the ground. Yet to lose a game and sitting pretty eight points clear of their nearest rival – albeit with an extra game – they are the favourites in this clash.

North Launceston’s premiership defence has not started too bad this season, but dropping the Round 2 clash to Launceston would have hurt. They have since accounted for Clarence in a tough clash, and now face another challenger in Lauderdale that is looking to bounce back with a win after two consecutive losses. The Bombers prefer a lower scoring tight contest, and have done enough to keep the opposition under 70 points, but have not scored more than five goals in the past two weeks.

Lauderdale might look to leading goalkickers, Toutai Havea (seven goals) and Adrian Kalcovski (four) to kick a winning score, while their opponents have plenty of firepower up forward led by top-age talent Jackson Callow (five goals), and Brad Cox-Goodyer (four), while the likes of playing coach Taylor Whitford (three) and Corey Nankervis are always ones to watch.

In the final match of the round, Clarence will look to balance the ledger with a win against a winless Tigers side after going down in a tight contest to North Launceston last week. The Roos will be heavily fancied against a Tigers outfit that agonisingly came close to victory last week against Glenorchy but fell a point short. They have been competitive in two of their three losses, with a forgettable defeat at the hands of Launceston in Round 3.

Luke Graham (five goals) and Tyler Carter (four) have been shining lights in attack for Tigers, while Kieran Lovell is starting to get going for the league’s bottom side. Lachlan Gadomski and Oliver Burrows-Cheng are other talents who have been on the draft radar in year’s gone by and will be hoping to put their best foot forward. For the Roos, Noah Holmes booted four goals last week to race to equal second in his club’s goalkicking race with Oliver Preshaw, just behind Jeromey Webberley (five). Sam Banks is a name to watch out for next year while Oliver Davis should have plenty of time in the midfield throughout Clarence’s season as a top-age draft prospect.

TSL ROUND 4:

Clarence vs. Tigers
Lauderdale vs. North Launceston
North Hobart vs. Launceston

In the women’s match between Clarence and Tigers, the Roos are comfortably sitting in second with a massive percentage and will head into the clash with Tigers as heavy favourites. The damaging aspect about Clarence is that the Roos have an even spread of players across the ground. Jessie Williams booted seven goals in the Round 2 win, but only had the one last week as Jacinta Limbrick took centre stage with four. Amy Prokopiec, Netty Garlo and Tahlia Bortignon are among the young talents to watch on the Roos list.

Meanwhile Brooke Phillips broke through for Tigers’ first goal last week in the heavy defeat, whilst Kiira Johns and Mikayla Absolom have been named in the best on both occasions. Priscilla Odwogo was named best-on for the Tigers in the Round 3 loss, while Hailee Baldwin is another player who can stand up on her day.

The red hot Launceston is ready to make it three from three after having a rest in Round 3. They completely dominated Tigers by 81 points in Round 2, after holding North Launceston to the same score (one behind) but found the going a little tougher by only scoring the 26 points. Glenorchy is coming off a thumping of Tigers too, winning by 85 points, though the Magpies fell to Clarence the week before by 32.

Daria Bannister leads the goalkicking after her three goals against the Tigers, and what makes the Blues such a damaging unit is different players stand up on different days. Angela Dickson is the only player to have kicked a goal in both games, with eight individual goalkickers in the Round 2 rout, including one to top AFL Women’s talent, Mia King. Camilla Taylor is an over-age tall to keep an eye on, whilst Jennifer Guy is another named in the best for both games thus far. For Glenorchy, Sarah Skinner and Tiarna Ford have combined for nine majors, with Skinner and youngster Jemma Webster named in the best twice, leading an equally talented young list into battle.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 4:

Glenorchy vs. Launceston
Clarence vs. Tigers

Talented Morrison learns to adapt in new system, eyes improvement

ALWAYS an eye-catching player, Mikayla Morrison has never been short of a highlight or two. The Swan Districts young star and AFL Women’s Academy member spoke to Draft Central about her journey through the West Australian pathway, busy schedule and hopes for the Swans’ season ahead.

Like a number of aspiring AFL Women’s Draft hopefuls, Morrison played Aussie rules as a child before stopping for a few years and taking it up again as an older teenager. Already she has represented a number of teams at school, club and state level.

“I started liking footy when my older cousin came and lived with us,” Morrison said. “Then I just started playing with school which was Lockridge Primary. “Like just in the little girls carnivals. “Then I didn’t start playing club until Year 7, which was at Bassendean Junior Football Club. I stopped footy for a bit after that year and then I went to East Perth in 2016. “Then I was with them until 2019 and then I moved to Swans this year to play League footy.”

Without a League side in 2020, the move from the Royals to the Swans made sense, and Morrison joined a raft of other AFL Women’s Draft hopefuls, including fellow Women’s Academy member Shanae Davisonwho spoke to us last week – and other talents who have impressed on a national stage such as Nyra Anderson, and Mikayla and Brianna Hyde.

Much like other talented West Australian footballers, Morrison was named in the State Academy and represented the Black Ducks at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Alongside the likes of Anderson and the Hyde sisters, Morrison was able to shine on some of the biggest stages. Her efforts earned her a place in the AFL Women’s National Academy – something she admits she had never heard of – despite not rating her own performance at the carnival too highly.

It’s (WA Academy) been really good,” Morrison said. “I only started that in 2018, I started in 16s. “Then 2019 moved up to 18s which was a pretty good step and then from there, got chosen for National Academy as well. At first I didn’t even know what it was. “I had no idea, but then when I realised what it was I felt really proud of myself because in the championships I thought I didn’t play that well.”

Morrison described running out on Metricon Stadium as “unreal” and it just felt “really cool” to be able to play on an AFL ground on the other side of the country. While the midfielder-forward admitted she was nervous at first, she soon settled in, and then took a mark that few would be likely to forget.

“At first it felt like I let my nerves take over me, but as the game went on I started to feel more comfortable and started to play my own game,” Morrison said. “As I took that (mark), I felt so good because I’ve never obviously taken something like that before. “Looking back at it, the video, I dunno it just felt really good.”

While Morrison has spent the majority of her time inside 50, the athletic and smart player said she sees herself as a midfielder in the future. Morrison said the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships helped with her footy smarts, enabling her to get to ball-winning positions and become more involved around the ground. It also allowed her to make new friends, forming connections through mutual friends she had played with in previous carnivals.

I did get to mingle with the other girls, with a lot of the Indigenous girls,” Morrison said. “We played other carnivals together like the Woomeras and Kickstart, so I got to see them again. “Which was pretty good and they just introduced me to their other teammates, and got to know them.”

Morrison said while she wanted to become more of a midfielder, she admitted her fitness was an area of improvement, something her coaches have pushed her to improve in the coming weeks.

I feel like I’m more of a midfield player but I feel like it was my fitness letting me down a bit, I just needed to get that up,” she said. “Along with fitness, it would be my composure when I’m running with the ball (as another area of improvement). “I got told a few times on the weekend that I sometimes rush it, so I need to compose myself and take my time.”

Morrison’s strengths include her athleticism, in particular her speed and overhead marking, with her precision kicking and tackling pressure also among her better attributes. It has helped her adapt to a new side, having captained East Perth last year, but now representing Swan Districts. She admitted it has been a big change for her, but her teammates have been terrific.

It’s been a lot different,” she said. “Because now I’m one of the youngest. “They’ve been really welcoming, and because I’ve known most of the girls through state and through the community. “I think I’ve adapted pretty well, just getting to know everyone.”

The team has gelled well off the field, and now Morrison believes it is time they gelled on it, with some promising signs, but so many young players and limited time playing together has made it difficult to start strongly. They won their opening round clash, but have dropped the past two matches to arguably the two best sides at the moment.

I feel like we’re going fine,” Morrison said. “I just feel like we haven’t gelled properly yet because we have a lot of new people this year. “We are a young side, but I think we all get along well, but on the field it’s more of a gelling thing.”

Off the field, Morrison is at university where she is studying pre-medicine. Not yet decided on her major field of focus, she has narrowed it down to either nursing, medicine or physio. The extra workload has been pretty tough for the teenager who said she might have preferred to do Year 12 in her top-age year, but also conceded that could be due to the extra workload of a medical degree.

At the moment it’s pretty full on because I’m at uni at the moment studying pre-med and some classes I have later in the day, so I have to rush around for training, but that’s about it,” she said.

Morrison credits her cousin Darnell Morrison as her greatest inspiration and support coming through the pathway and on her football journey. Helping her get into the sport she loves, as well as providing plenty of tips along the way, Morrison said he was a huge influence on her growing up.

“He’s the one that got me into footy and he’d always come down to my games and give me tips,” she said. “When I was younger he took me out to kick the footy, and just watching him made me really want to play.”

Now in her draft year, Morrison said she is always keen to develop her game, and while the two AFL Women’s clubs who could be eligible to draft her do not directly communicate, there is a strong communication channel from the elite level to the up and coming players through the terrific West Australian Academy.

I don’t get much feedback directly from the two clubs, it’s mostly through state,” she said. “I’ll just find that ‘Deggers’ (Clint Degebrodt, Talent Manager – Female Programs) will just text me if the two clubs have something to say or any feedback. “So yeah it’s mostly through State Academy.”

The 2020 season has been like none other and whilst the season has been shortened, Morrison said she was just glad to get back into the action.

“Yeah it (pre-season) was a bit much.” she said. “Just trainings after trainings after trainings, but then with some trainings we’d do scratch matches after training so we wouldn’t be out of it. “But yeah, it got a bit much. “I was just glad when Round 1 came around.”

Now preparing for a Round 5 clash with reigning premiers, East Fremantle at home, Morrison said she believes the Swans have the capability of turning around their couple of losses and posting some wins on the board on the run home.

I still have high hopes, I think we could still make finals,” she said. “We just have to really put our heads down and gel this weekend.”

Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year nominations

AS the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition came to a close last week, it is time for the Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year. We name the final team on Sunday night, but the 40-player nomination list – similar to the All-Australian squad – is effectively the extended squad of those in contention.

This list has been compiled of players who had at least three SANFL Women’s Team of the Week nominations, and three additional players who had two, to round up the full list to 40. Two players had seven nominations from a possible 10 rounds, and those players will be nominated as captain and vice-captain.

From the 40-player squad, North Adelaide and South Adelaide lead the league with seven nominations each, ahead of West Adelaide (six) and Norwood (five). Glenelg, Central District and Sturt had four players apiece, while Woodville-West Torrens had three.

CENTRAL DISTRICT: [4]

Sarah Allan
Katelyn Rosenzweig
Shelby Smith
Demi Sonneman

GLENELG: [4]

Sam Franson
Caitlin Gould
Eloise Jones
Tessa Kohn

NORTH ADELAIDE: [7]

Lauren Daniel
Hannah Ewings
Kristi Harvey
Anne Hatchard
Britt Perry
Katelyn Pope
Ash Woodland

NORWOOD: [5]

Najwa Allen
Mattea Breed
Leah Cutting
Bella Smith
Matilda Zander

SOUTH ADELAIDE: [7]

Nicole Campbell
Czenya Cavouras
Teah Charlton
Jess Kirk
Tahlia Meyer
Indy Tahau
Lisa Whiteley

STURT: [4]

Georgia Bevan
Hannah Prenzler
Zoe Prowse
Maya Rigter

WEST ADELAIDE: [6]

Abbie Ballard
Keeley Kustermann
Rachelle Martin
Madison Newman
Stevie-Lee Thompson
Zoe Venning

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS: [3]

Renee Forth
Kiana Lee
Tesharna Maher

SANFL Women’s Team of the Week – Round 10: Even spread for competition in final round

YOUTH is the highlight of the final Draft Central South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Team of the Week. The top three teams shared in 12 of the 24 players this round with North Adelaide, South Adelaide and Norwood all having four representatives in our side this week. Three of the other five teams – West Adelaide, Central District and Woodville-West Torrens – had three representatives in an even team spread, while Sturt (two players) and Glenelg (one) rounded out the side.

South Adelaide’s defence on the weekend was ultra impressive and that is why a couple of their back six make the starting team in Jaslynne Smith and Lauren Buchanan. Samantha Pratt made it into the extended side as an emergency, while through the midfield, Nicole Campbell and Tahlia Meyer also made the team. For their opponents West Adelaide, the Bloods had three representatives with key defender Helen Maidment at centre half-back, and youngsters Abbie Ballard and Zoe Venning slotting into the side.

North Adelaide’s quartet starts with captain of this team, Ash Woodland who had a starring four-goal role in the Roosters’ big win. Holding down the fort at full-back is Kristi Harvey, whilst another forward in Britt Perry, and the classy Hannah Ewings all made the side once again.Their opponent Central District had its fair share of defenders in the side too, with Madison Lane making the starting side, and Nicola Biagi and Demi Sonneman both squeezing onto the bench.

Norwood also had the four players make the Team of the Week after a big win over Glenelg. Starting at half-back is Sophie Armitstead who spent a fair chunk of time in the midfield but can slot back there, whilst Matilda Zander is on the wing Up forward, Mattea Breed stands at centre half-forward, whilst Najwa Allen is in the team once again onball and vice-captain in our team this week. The Tigers only had one player in the side with Deni Varnhagen on the bench, though Lucy Armitage came close to making it and is one of our emergencies.

Of the remaining players, there were a combined five players in the Woodville-West Torrens and Sturt clash in the 24-player team. Chloe Forby and dual position player Kiana Lee are inside 50, whilst Anastasia Falkenberg has made it onto the bench. In defeat, Zoe Prowse once again made the side in the ruck position, whilst Hannah Prenzler returned to the side on the bench. Eagles’ Charlotte Dolan is the third emergency in the side after another solid performance in the win.

DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 10

B: Jaslynne Smith (SA) – Kristi Harvey (NA) – Madison Lane (CD)
HB: Sophie Armitstead (NW) – Helen Maidment (WA) – Lauren Buchanan (SA)
C: Matilda Zander (NW) – Nicole Campbell (SA) – Hannah Ewings (NA)
HF: Chloe Forby (WWT) – Mattea Breed (NW) – Abbie Ballard (WA)
F: Britt Perry (NA) – Kiana Lee (WWT) – Ash Woodland (NA) (c)
R: Zoe Prowse (ST) – Najwa Allen (NW) (vc) – Tahlia Meyer (SA)
INT: Deni Varnhagen (GL) – Nicola Biagi (CD) – Hannah Prenzler (ST) – Anastasia Falkenberg (WWT) – Demi Sonneman (CD) – Zoe Venning (WA)
EMG: Lucy Armitage (GL) – Samantha Pratt (SA) – Charlotte Dolan (WWT)

TSL Women’s weekly wrap: Magpies and Roos roll past opponents

GLENORCHY and Clarence were far too good for their respective opponents, combining for a whopping 22.25 (157) to 1.2 (8) in Round 3 of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s competition. With last year’s minor premiers and runners-up Launceston having a bye, it resulted in both reigning premiers Clarence and finalist Glenorchy having some one-sided wins over their opposition.

Clarence held North Launceston to just two behinds for the match whilst having 21 scoring shots for a total score of 9.12 (66). The Roos booted 5.6 in the opening half, then 4.6 in the second half, in a scoreline that could have been even greater with increased accuracy. Jacinta Limbrick starred in a best on ground performance with four majors for the Roos, while Amy Edmand kicked a couple of goals.

Louisa Marmion, Nicole Bresnehan and Bronte Scott were impressive, whilst last week’s seven-goal hero Jessie Williams snagged a major, as did AFL Women’s Academy member, Amy Prokopiec. For the Bombers, whilst they did not score a goal, Zoe Bourne, Maggie Cuthbertson and Ella Maurer were named in the best.

In the other match, Glenorchy stormed to a massive 13.13 (91) to 1.0 (6) victory over Tigers. The first term was relatively even with three goals to one at quarter time and the visitors leading by 15 points. It was all one-way traffic after that however, as Glenorchy slammed home 10 goals to zero in the last three quarters to enjoy a percentage-boosting win, the Magpies’ first of the season after going down last week.

Sarah Skinner (four goals), Elise Barwick (three) and Tiarna Ford (three) provided the Magpies with a triple threat inside 50, whilst Perri King was another dangerous player, kicking a goal. Barwick and Ford were named the Magpies’ best two players, whilst Jemma Webster and Angelica Clark were also impressive in the victory. Brooke Phillips was the sole goalkicker for the Tigers, as young talent, Priscilla Odwogo starred as her team’s best in the loss. Kiirra Johns and Mimosa Middleton Miller were others who stood out.

After each team has now played two matches, Launceston and Clarence loom as yet again the two teams to beat in season 2020. The Roos’ percentage of 536.36 would normally look pretty impressive had it not been for the Blues’ casual 5400 per cent on top. Conceding only two behinds this season, the Blues have been incredible in defence, whilst the Roos are the highest scoring team. Glenorchy is third with a percentage of 191.38, whilst Tigers and North Launceston sit in the bottom two.

North Launceston has the bye over the weekend, with Glenorchy to host Launceston and Clarence to face Tigers in what is sure to be another big weekend of TSL Women’s action.

QAFL Women’s weekly wrap: Round 7 – Top of the table clash postponed as top five create separation

IT was a strange weekend in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) women’s competition, with the highly anticipated top of the table clash between Bond University and Maroochydore postponed due to a COVID-19 precaution. One of the Bond University players was awaiting a COVID-19 test result, and a rightful cautious approach saw the game abandoned, with further discussions to be had about either a reschedule or splitting the points.

In the final game of the round, it took Coorparoo a half to click into action, but the Kings finally got into the rhythm to overrun a dogged University of Queensland side on the road. The Red Lionesses burst out of the blocks early to boot the first three goals of the game and lead by as much as 20 points at one stage midway through the second term.

While Chelsea Chesterfield scored a drought-breaking major for the visitors not long after, they still headed into half-time with a 13-point deficit. Three consecutive goals the other side of the break – including two to Jess Wuetschner saw the Kings remarkably steal the lead, though a momentum steadier from Grace Bodey saw the home team draw within one.

Refusing to let the momentum go back the other way, Coorparoo slammed home four last quarter goals – including a remarkable three consecutive majors to Jamie Stanton and a third goal to Wuetschner – to run out 8.5 (53) to 4.3 (27) victors. Stanton was best on ground for her match-winning heroics, while Stephanie Filbay and Dania Herdman were also impressive in the win. For the Red Lionesses, Breanna Koenen was named best-on, with the likes of Mia Teubler, Jane Childes and Bodey (two goals) also strong in defeat.

Meanwhile Yeronga South Brisbane became the third team in as many weeks to nab top spot due to no points being handed out for the first against second clash. Only behind on percentage, Coolangatta Tweed leapt up to second, with Coorparoo gaining ground on the top four in fifth with another win meaning just four points separates first from fifth.

The Devils earned top spot with a comprehensive 76-point victory against Aspley Hornets. In what was an accurate display from both teams, Yeronga South Brisbane booted a consistent three to four goals in each term, whilst restricting the Hornets to just the two majors in the 14.4 (88) to 2.0 (12) win.

Lucy Bellinger was on fire with five snags for the winners, while Emily Bates and Adrienne Keeffe also had a couple of majors with eight individual goalkickers all up for the winning side. Courteney Bromage was named best on ground with Bellinger, Bates and Emmii-Lee Zanker-Close also impressive. For the Hornets, Ainsley Rintala-Apps and Morgan Lanigan were the top talents as the usual suspects tried hard in defeat. Angela Lingard, Lucy Pengelly and Isabella Kotatis all worked well in front of a home crowd.

Coolangatta Tweed moved up to second spot with a dominant second half performance to see off Wilston Grange by 22 points. Level at half-time after the Gorillas fought back from eight points down at the first break to hold the Bluebirds scoreless in the second term, the home team booted 4.5 to 1.1 after half-time to run out 6.7 (43) to 3.3 (21) winners.

In her second game back from injury, Kitara Farrar booted two goals in the winning side, as did fellow AFL Women’s talent, Paige Parker. Bethany Pinchin, Keyshia Matenga and Emily Otto were also among the top players for their efforts on the day. For the Gorillas, Lucia Liessi (two) and Kristen Tyquin (one) both snagged goals, while Catherine Svarc and Rheanne Lugg used their AFL Women’s experience to try and drag their side across the line.

QAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 7 RESULTS:

Coolangatta Tweed 6.7 (43) defeated Wilston Grange 3.3 (21)
Bond University vs. Maroochydore – POSTPONED
Aspley Hornets 2.0 (12) defeated by Yeronga South Brisbane 14.4 (88)
University of Queensland 4.3 (27) defeated by Coorparoo 8.5 (53)

WAFL Women’s weekly wrap: Lions continue undefeated streak

SUBIACO has remained undefeated after three rounds of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s competition following a couple of big wins. In the featured game of the round, the Lions won a real grind against a young Swan Districts outfit to ensure Subiaco extended their unbeaten streak.

It was an entertaining contest despite being played between the arcs for the majority of the match, as the the Lions, led by top-age talent Abbey Dowrick won 5.7 (37) to 2.4 (16) in perfect conditions. Dowrick slotted three majors and was the difference between the sides in the end, having an additional couple of chances roaming at half-forward, in what could have been an even bigger day for the talent.

Swan Districts repeated the effort of the game from the week before with an early goal to Sarah Wielstra from the work of Mikayla Hyde who was a little far out to score but found her teammate at the top of the goalsquare. The next 10 minutes of the first term belonged to Subiaco as they dominated forward half possession, and Dowrick took her chance with a snap off a couple of steps, along with a kind bounce that cleared the goalsquare pack to bounce through.

Three minutes later, late inclusion Kia Buckley made sure the coaches gave her some consideration to retain her spot with a strong fend-off on Eliza Gelmi and then put it through from 15m out. Some late pressure from Swans forced the Lions to rush a behind, but then an end-to-end play almost resulted in a second goal to Dowrick who marked all alone but shanked the kick to the right.

The number 23 soon made good on her miss with a chance early in the second term to make no mistake thanks to a thumping goal from 35m out and extend the lead after an earlier Janelle Cuthbertson miss. Jess Cox was having a strong day for the Swans, working well with the likes of Wielstra and Emily McGuire, whilst Mikayla Hyde was busy on the inside. while Mikayla Morrison had a quiet first term, she showed how she does not many touches to do some serious damage with an elite sidestep close to goal and then slammed the Swans’ second major home 12 minutes into the term.

The Swans had some impressive play in the backend of the second term, as Nyra Anderson‘s clean hands at ground level, McGuire’s booming kick and the work of Mikayla Hyde and Tara Stribley through the middle was eye catching. Hayley Cole had a chance in transition but missed to the right as Maggie Maclaughlin took a number of late intercept marks to end the half with Subiaco nine points ahead.

Unfortunately for the young Swan Districts side, it could not muster up a goal in the second half as the Lions had to work incredibly hard for the three they kicked to end the game. The third term was an odd term wither neither side scoring until a behind from Philippa Pienaar in the 15th minute broke the drought. Both sides had battled between the arcs, and it looked like the teams would head into half-time with just one additional behind separating them. Jacqueline Toth had other ideas as she pounced on Shanae Davison who dove on the ball late in the term, won the free kick and then moments before the siren drilled the goal from 15m for a 16-point advantage at the final break.

Swan Districts was not going to roll over though, as Stribley and Brianna Hyde were moving the ball well with some speed, but once again it was the thorn in the side for the Swans all day that broke the camel’s back. After three and a half minutes of early forward possession for Swan Districts, Subiaco rushed the ball inside 50 for the first time to a pack, it spilled and Dowrick did the rest with a quick kick from 40m and had her third for the term.

From there, the battle between the arcs continued as both half-back lines tried to create something, but neither side was able to really get a good look deep with the back 50s set up well. McGuire was trying her best with her ranking long boot as Davison, Brianna Hyde and Bianca Webb had really worked into the game as the match went on and opened up in terms of space. Lindal Rohde had a chance for Subiaco later in the term after smothering a kick in the forward 50, then having a running shot but missed to the left.

Swan Districts had its best chance for the match with Brianna Hyde and Cox combining, but the latter just did not quite settle on the shot running into goal for a behind, which was the home side’s first score of the final term. Once again up the other end less than two minutes later, Subiaco punished the Swans with a late bump from McGuire on talented middle-ager Charlie Thomas who sensed no one was manning the mark following the 50m penalty and ran in for a nice goal late in the match. The final scoring opportunity of the game came from Morrison who after being loose inside 50, had a shot on goal in the last 15 seconds but missed to the right, signalling a 27-point defeat.

Dowrick was the clear standout for the Lions, with Toth, Pisconari and Miller always damaging, while Maclaughlin, Pienaar and Cuthbertson showed some nice signs throughout the contest. Cole was among the Swans’ best with Cox, McGuire, Wielstra and the Hyde sisters, whilst 15-year-old Olivia Cripps was also strong in defence.

SWAN DISTRICTS 1.1 | 2.3 | 2.3 | 2.5 (17)
SUBIACO 2.3 | 3.6 | 4.7 | 6.8 (44)

GOALS: 

Swan Districts: S. Wielstra, M. Morrison.
Subiaco: A. Dowrick 3, K. Buckley, J. Toth, C. Thomas.

ADC BEST:

Swan Districts: J. Cox, H. Cole, M. Hyde, E. McGuire, S. Wielstra
Subiaco: A. Dowrick, J. Toth, D. Pisconari, H. Miller P. Pienaar

In the other Saturday game, Peel Thunder handed reigning premiers East Fremantle their second consecutive match with an impressive 13-point triumph at David Grays Arena. The Thunder booted the only goal of the first half in a low-scoring match, before booting four goals to three in the second half, and most importantly being more accurate in the half, kicking 4.1 to 3.3 to win 5.5 (35) to 3.4 (22). Kira Phillips booted another two goals for the Thunder, with Krystal Carter, Kate Bartlett and Kate Ditchburn all booting one apiece. For the Sharks, Stephanie Sparke kicked two majors, with Kahra Sprylan snagging one.

On Sunday, it was a cause for celebration in the final term when South Fremantle finally recorded its first goal of the season after two scoreless weeks to open the year for the league’s newest side. Getting a behind on the board in the opening term, the Bulldogs were able to get past the drought of the first eight quarters to finish with a scoreline of 1.3 (9). Unfortunately Claremont was far too good, and as one of the premiership contenders, booted nine goals from 21 scoring shots to win by 57 points. Mhicca Carter booted three goals on debut, with former Calder Cannons and Melbourne AFL Women’s talent, Krstel Petrevski also kicking a major for the Tigers. Brooke Whyte snagged three majors in the win, as did Bella Zadnik and Amy Franklin. for the Bulldogs, Chloe Taylor made history as her club’s first ever goalkicker.

WAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 3 RESULTS:

Swan Districts 2.5 (17) defeated by Subiaco 6.8 (44)
Peel Thunder 5.5 (35) defeated East Fremantle 3.4 (22)
South Fremantle 1.3 (9) defeated by Claremont 9.12 (66)

AFL Women’s Trade and Free Agency update: Monday, August 3 – Richmond, North and Carlton busy on day one

RICHMOND has looked to experience to bolster its AFL Women’s midfield stocks and help Monique Conti out by acquiring Carlton midfielder, Sarah Hosking. The tough ball winner will cross to Punt Road in exchange for Richmond’s end of first round compensation pick, 15th overall. The pick allows Carlton to have two selections inside the top 10 of the Victorian pool, effectively picks seven and nine (12 and 15 overall). Hosking is a clearance player who provides run and will help bolster a Tigers midfield that really struggled in 2019.

However whilst Tigers fans would have rejoiced at the sight of adding an experienced midfielder to the fold, they would also be disappointed to hear one of their brightest stars has left to play for North Melbourne. Grace Campbell will swap her yellow and black for blue and white for the bargain basement price of Pick 43. Campbell averaged 12 touches and six tackles in season 2020, and the 24-year-old showed plenty of promise.

In the game of round-about, Kangaroos’ ruck Abbey Green has headed to the Magpies to provide some support in the ruck for Sharni Layton with the Pies handing over Pick 40 in the process, providing the Roos with another third round pick.

Another trade involving a late swap of picks was between Carlton and St Kilda, with former VFL Women’s Rising Star, Jayde Van Dyk heading to St Kilda with pick 42 in exchange for pick 36, effectively giving the Blues a slight upgrade in the third round. The defender will be a welcome addition to Moorabbin next season, continuing the youth presence there.

Off the trade front, Collingwood 2019 draftee, Machaelia Roberts has called time on her career, joining Eliza Hynes in retirement from the Magpies. Among those also previously having announced their retirements are Adelaide quartet Courtney Cramey, Jess Foley, Courtney Gum and Sophie Li, Richmond duo Laura Bailey and Lauren Tesoriero, St Kilda’s Emma Mackie, West Coast’s Talia Radan, Western Bulldogs’ Nicole Callinan and of course, Demon turned Cats champion, Melissa Hickey.

AFL WOMEN’S TRADE / FREE AGENCY TRACKER:

CARLTON:

IN: Pick 15, Pick 36
OUT: Sarah Hosking, Jayde Van Dyk, Pick 42

COLLINGWOOD:

IN: Abbey Green
OUT: Pick 40

NORTH MELBOURNE:

IN: Grace Campbell, Pick 40
OUT: Abbey Green, Pick 43

RICHMOND:

IN: Sarah Hosking, Pick 43
OUT: Grace Campbell

ST KILDA:

IN: Jayde Van Dyk, Pick 42
OUT: Pick 36