Sarah Lakay is an athletic ruck who has come on in leaps and bounds with more opportunities in the WAFL Women’s competition this year. With great athleticism, ruck nous and strong hands overhead, Lakay is the standout West Australian ruck in this year’s draft crop.
Sarah Lakay comes from a basketball background and has relished the opportunity to step up to the League level in the WAFL Women’s competition. The experience enabled her to get some quality minutes against more experienced rucks, and helped her head to the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships with some more tricks and tools to use. There, she learnt even more going up against players who have spent more time in the code, and with plenty of upside, Lakay is a talent who can continue to improve at the next level.
Boasting clean hands when tapping it and strong hands when marking it, Lakay can control the airways against most opponents. Standing at 186cm, Lakay is a target to kick to around the ground, and is able to give her midfielders first use at the stoppages. She not only has an impact in the air, but can produce great efforts at ground level, averaging almost five tackles per game at the championships. Whilst not a huge disposal winner, Lakay is able to find her own football by knowing where to lead and run, having learnt a lot in a short space of time.
A noted improvement for her is her endurance, which she has been looking to build to spend more time through the ruck. She can go forward and hit the scoreboard as a resting forward, but her best attributes lend themselves to the ruck where she is expected to play long-term. Her aerial ability is the most noticeable aspect of her game, and she will no doubt be able to build her knowledge base even further when making the transition up to the next level.
“Lakay was a very dominant tap ruck throughout the game. Early in the second term, Lakay wrapped up an opponent and won a free kick. Getting the free kick early in the second term, she showed she is not only good at rucking, but also very good at ground level as well. The standout ruck on the ground with nine disposals, three marks, 16 hitouts and two inside 50s. One of the better Swans players in the first half of the match.” – Brooke Hards via Academy Watch: WAFLW Grand Final – Peel Thunder vs. Swan Districts”
“The 186cm talent dominated the ruck with her tall vertical leap that was able to punch the ball forward giving the midfielders more of a chance to win it clearly out of the centre. Whilst being tall, Lakay was also very handy at ground level where she was able to hit it and make a contest if it did not go her team’s way.” – Brooke Hards via “WAFLW Eye-catchers: Week 1 Finals”
“A little more raw than the three others, Lakay has developed her game coming from a basketball background at quickly learning the ropes at Swan Districts. The talented tall is just as athletic as the others in this list, and one of the stronger contested marks in the ruck crop. Both West Australian teams would have to be considering Lakay for her upside, particularly given she has the clean hands both at stoppages and around the ground. She moves well and has competed strongly at WAFL Women’s level, and whilst her ruck craft is still always improving and her fitness is another area she cited as a way to build her game, she is a player with exciting potential. At 186cm, Lakay is taller than most rucks, and whilst she even admitted that coming up against Prowse was a challenge at the AFLW Under 19 Championships, she acquitted herself well in the second game against Vic Metro, sharing the ruck load with Lauren Wakfer.” – Peter Williams via “2021 AFLW Draft Positional Analysis: Rucks”
AFLW U19 Championships
|2021||Western Australia Girls||14||12||26||4||0||0||14||25||2||0||0||2||3||4.7||4.0||8.7||1.3||8.3||4.7||0.7||40|