Tag: AFL Women’s National U18 Championships

Three years of football, three big opportunities for Ranges co-captain, Charlotte Wilson

EASTERN Ranges co-captain, Charlotte Wilson is only into her third year of football, but has made the most of the opportunities that have come her way.

In this short period of time, she was asked to play for and co-captain the Eastern Ranges, represented Vic Metro and on top of that, made her Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s debut for the Southern Saints. The 17 year-old reflects on her journey, as she went from a casual school footballer to an elite VFL Women’s footballer.

“I first started playing at school a few years ago but I never really played local,” Wilson said. “Then last year I started playing TAC for Eastern Ranges and I’d touched a footy like twice in my life. “This year I was kind of more, not expecting it, but felt comfortable (playing for Eastern).”

Into only her second year of the program, Wilson was named co-captain along with Emerson Woods. The defender/ruck was privileged to receive the opportunity and loved having the support of Woods during the year.

“It was exciting but I think it’s a good opportunity to just bring everyone else up and help everyone else out,” Wilson said. “It was good to have like someone else to rely on instead of just feeling it all myself. We could just take turns to do everything.”

She and Woods led the side to six wins and three losses this year, and although the wins were enjoyable, Wilson admits that the losses were a bit disappointing.

“The few losses were a bit disappointing but the wins were good for everyone to get up and about,” the 17 year-old said. “But I think they kind of made the losses hurt more.”

Wilson herself has had a personal win, being selected to represent Vic Metro at the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. She is not only excited by the opportunity but is also looking forward to furthering her knowledge and skills.

The Ranges co-captain had the opportunity to do so a fortnight ago, donning the big ‘V’ at GMHBA Stadium and having a solid performance. She followed this up by debuting for the Southern Saints a week later, as she continues to make the most of her opportunities to play Aussie Rules.

Wilson’s week rotates between basketball and football, as she combines her two sporting loves during her final year of high school. But now with the AFLW up and running – and booming –  Wilson believes that football is the right sporting path for her to follow.

“I’m leaning towards footy because it’s given me more opportunities than basketball has in my shorter period of time,” she said. “It’s achievable (playing AFLW), it’s there. “It’s not just something that’s up in the clouds that you’re never going to reach but if you work hard, the pathway is there.”

Season reviews: TAC Cup Girls – Sandringham Dragons

THE Sandringham Dragons nearly earned themselves a grand final berth with a strong run home. They won six straight games to end their season on a high note, with half of those wins being more than 50 points. The Dragons only lost to the two teams above them on the ladder, demonstrating their ability to put away weaker sides and show their strength in the competition.

Position: 3rd
Win-loss: 7-2
Percentage: 208%

Results:

R1: lost to Geelong Falcons by 20 points
R2: defeated Oakleigh Chargers by 33 points
R3: lost to Northern Knights by 30 points
R4: defeated Dandenong Stingrays by 15 points
R5: defeated Calder Cannons by 55 points
R6: defeated Murray Bushrangers by 15 points
R7: defeated Western Jets by 50 points
R8: defeated Bendigo Pioneers by 71 points
R9: defeated Gippsland Power by 24 points

Key players:

Eleanor Brown: Brown was a prolific ball-user throughout the season, with her clean hands and long kicks allowing swift ball movement. She was a ball magnet in the midfield and could cover ground really well to back up her work in key areas of the ground. Her strong hands were also key in the season, as she took many intercept marks to help penetrate the ball forward for her teammates. Brown has had a busy off-season already, playing a game for both Vic Metro and the Southern Saints in the VFLW, excelling in both matches.

Bella Eddey: Eddey was a great user of the footy in the forward line, often getting on the end of a lot of goals throughout the season. She worked hard in and under the contests to win the footy and also presented well at forward entries to ensure that she could contribute to the Dragons’ fierce attacking. Has a huge tank and can run up and down the ground with the same intensity and effort throughout the game. Eddey was rewarded for her six goals from seven games in the TAC Cup Girls season with a spot in the Vic Metro U16 side in the AFL Women’s National Under 16 Championships.

Jemma Owen: Owen was a great leader for the Dragons and seemed to improve as the season went on. She played every game for Sandringham and was versatile in her approach to winning the football. Traditionally an inside midfielder, Owen always went in hard for the footy and tackled strongly. But she could also work up the ground and make an impact up forward, as she kicked six goals for the season. A hard runner, Owen always did her best to ensure she was first at the footy, which put immense pressure on the opposition. The Dragons captain has already had the opportunity to show off her skills on the big stage, as she lined up for Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium in Series One of the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships.

Abbie McKay: A midfielder that loved to take the game on, McKay was a vital member in the Dragons’ squad. She had the ability to move the ball swiftly through the corridor, which was testament to her clean hands and precise kicking. Had the ability to float into defence where she would use those same attributes as well as strong hands to mop up the footy well for Sandringham. McKay often demonstrated good power to burst out of a stoppage and her work in close was an asset of her game. She was able to display her signature style of football in Vic Metro’s win over Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium, and is training with Carlton’s VFLW side in a bid to play with the club that her father played for.

Eliza McNamara: An exciting young midfielder that showed class and skill on the field. McNamara showed impressive endurance and great ball movement throughout the season, and was a key cog in the Sandringham midfield. She often provided excellently delivered kicks to her teammates and her hands in close were exceptional. It was difficult to identify that McNamara was a bottom-ager as her ball-use and ability to fight hard for the footy against a bigger body displayed extreme maturity on her behalf. Testament to this, she got to pull on the big ‘V’ and run out with Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s National Under 16 Championships.

Holly Bate: Bate was the TAC Cup Girls leading goal kicker of the season, booting through 18 goals from nine games. She particularly hit her straps inside 50 towards the end of the season, where she backed up a five goal performance with a seven goal performance in two consecutive weeks. Bate provided a good target up forward for the Dragons, as she often positioned herself well against an opponent or did enough to put pressure on them to turn the ball over. Her season was capped off with a spot in the Vic Metro side in the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships.

Alice Burke: Playing in defence, the Vic Metro Under 16s representative became one of the shining lights throughout a positive season, making the switch from the round ball game to seem natural in the back half. She rebounded well and pushed up the ground when required, named among the best on a number of occasions. One of a number of Under 16s that will continue to develop at the club holding out hope for sustained success.

Season summary:

The Dragons had a strong season where they were able to record some big winning margins and some narrow losing ones. With a long list of players, the Dragons had plenty of options to choose from each week and used young players like Winnie Laing, Sarah Hartwig and Alice Burke to create some excitement in their line-up. With a strong 2018 season, they are right in the mix for a top two spot next year.

Season reviews: TAC Cup Girls – Oakleigh Chargers

THE Oakleigh Chargers often had to change their side throughout the season, due to school commitments, injuries and rotation. But this enabled plenty of players to get a chance to experience football at TAC Cup Girls level. Despite only three wins for the season, two were by massive margins and the other was a tough slog near the end of the season.

Position: 9th
Win-loss: 3-6
Percentage: 77%

Results:

R1: defeated Gippsland Power by 67 points
R2: lost to Sandringham Dragons by 33 points
R3: lost to Eastern Ranges by 28 points
R4: lost to Geelong Falcons by 70 points
R5: lost to Northern Knights by 51 points
R6: defeated Bendigo Pioneers by 67 points
R7: lost to Dandenong Stingrays by 28 points
R8: defeated Western Jets by 15 points
R9: lost to Greater Western Victoria Rebels by 25 points

Key players:

Hannah McLaren: The Oakleigh captain led by example throughout the season with aggressive tackling, clean hands and good ball-use in general. McLaren is also a strong marker of the footy, as she could intercept and control the play for her side. She could play anywhere throughout the season, often playing behind the ball to counteract opposition scoring. Her best work was arguably done in the midfield, where she would burrow into contests and also provide good run on the outside to assist her teammates. She is currently playing for Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s U18 National Championships.

Gemma Lagioia: Lagioia often worked in tandem with McLaren to put pressure on the opposition midfield, tackling hard and winning the ground balls. She demonstrated a high footy IQ throughout the season, reading the play well and taking some nice intercept marks. Her long kick was crucial, as it gave her teammates chances to create scoring opportunities. Lagioia showed consistent hunger for the footy, demonstrated by her ability to go hard at the footy and win it cleanly.

Daisy Bateman: Bateman was an exciting forward who came equal second in the TAC Cup Girls goal kicking tally. She had the highest average of the season, averaging two goals per game to register 14 goals from seven games. The highlight of her season was when she kicked five majors against the Bendigo Pioneers, being her dominant self inside 50. Bateman often demonstrated strong hands and her positioning inside 50 was outstanding. Her forward pressure was an asset of her game as was her ball movement. She booted a goal in Vic Metro’s first game of the AFL Women’s National Championships, getting her Nationals campaign off to a good start.

Bridie Winbanks: Was not only a standout ruck for the Chargers, but was also a standout in the competition. Winbanks did well aerially to win the ball and also fought hard for the ground ball, showing constant fight to win the footy. She was able to tackle hard and used her long kick to get her teammates out of trouble. She has already had an opportunity to feature in Essendon’s VFLW side, competing hard in the ruck in new colours. Winbanks also made the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year, which was reward for a consistent year in the ruck.

Katie Lynch: Lynch was a game-changer for the Chargers when she had the opportunity to play, often dominating through the midfield. Her strong hands were a huge asset in her game, as she was able to intercept or mark overhead which helped to open up play for her teammates. Her long kick can clear the ball out of congestion while her tackling is fierce and can give opposition midfields headaches. Lynch had a blistering start to the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships, displaying her eite ball use and high footy IQ which we became so accustomed to seeing during the season.

Season summary:

A three-win season would not dishearten the Chargers, as they got the opportunity to unveil some wonderful young talent that will hold them in good stead for years to come. With just two of its six losses being over 50 points, it shows that Oakleigh have been able to keep in the contest for the majority of its games. With players like Alana Porter, Nicola Xenos and Alice O’Loughlin playing exciting footy and the side having a solid connection with Collingwood, the Chargers have a bright future ahead of them.