Tag: AFLW

2021 AFL Women’s Draft Order: Post trade-week

AS AFL Women’s Trade Week was completed on Wednesday, the 2021 AFL Women’s Draft selections were confirmed. Though clubs can add more at the end of the draft depending on the amount of selections they need to pick, the first four rounds are sorted.

In terms of pure numbers, the GWS GIANTS had by far the least in those first four rounds with just two selections at pick 37 and Pick 56, though it mattered little given they have their state-based draft and will fill out their list from relevant nominees. By comparison, grand finalists Adelaide has its own pool to pick from, but have five selections, starting at Pick 17, but the pick numbers ultimately are not a huge factor in a one-club state for the league.

The prized number one selection is held by Gold Coast, which means a Queenslander will be picked with the first pick in this year’s AFL Women’s Draft. Suns’ Academy talent Teagan Levi is a name to remember ahead of draft night, set to join sister Maddison at the top level. The Suns have four of the first five Queensland-based selections, and whilst Brisbane Lions have first access to their zone for the players that nominate, the Suns can select anyone who nominates all of Queensland.

Over in Western Australia, Fremantle will have to wait and see what West Coast does with Pick 3, or the first selection in that state draft, with the likely choice between key position talent Amy Franklin, and smooth-moving midfielder Courtney Rowley. The Eagles have a couple of selections after the Dockers’ first pick in the draft, so can scoop up three of the best four talents, of which the majority are midfielders or smaller forwards.

The Victorian pool will always draw the most intrigue, with 38 picks currently listed, though depending on club numbers that can increase (or even decrease). With the restrictions placed upon trading the first five selections, Geelong holds picks 1, 4 and 5, with only St Kilda and Richmond having selections in between. Georgie Prespakis and Charlie Rowbottom are names touted at the top of the draft, but talls such as Ella Friend and Tara Slender, inside midfielder Tess Craven and versatile utility Stella Reid are all among those in that top bracket.

The Western Bulldogs moved picks around to be finished only one selection after Melbourne – the final team to take its first pick – reads out a name for the first time. Likewise Collingwood traded down to enter the draft and read out three consecutive names. North Melbourne has access to the top Tasmanian talent if it chooses, with AFL Women’s Academy member Perri King the top selection from that cohort.

Georgia Campbell is one of the more interesting selections, with the mobile ruck and Western Bulldogs supporter able to go to the Dogs or Demons under the father-daughter rule due to her dad Adrian. Another potential father-daughter selection is Jorja Livingstone, who could follow in her father Tim’s footsteps. At this stage, Collingwood holds the final pick in the AFL Women’s Victorian draft pool, with Pick 62 or the 38th in that pool. Expect a few more selections to be added at the end once Free Agency is completed and list lodgements are in.

CLUB-BY-CLUB PICKS:

Adelaide: 17, 20, 34, 47, 63
Brisbane: 18, 35, 50, 64
Carlton: 10, 11, 23, 26, 40, 58
Collingwood: 29, 32, 33, 62
Fremantle: 14, 31, 38, 46, 60
Geelong: 2, 7, 9, 15, 52
Gold Coast: 1, 6, 8, 30, 51
GWS: 37, 56
Melbourne: 42, 44, 49, 61
North Melbourne: 13, 19, 28, 45, 59
Richmond: 5, 16, 55, 57
St Kilda: 4, 12, 36, 39, 48, 54
West Coast: 3, 21, 24, 41, 53
Western Bulldogs: 22, 25, 27, 43

STATE-BY-STATE POOL:

NSW/ACT:
GWS: 1, 2

QLD:
Gold Coast: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8
Brisbane: 4, 6, 7, 9

SA:
Adelaide:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

VIC:
Geelong: 1, 4, 5, 10, 31
St Kilda: 2, 8, 22, 23, 29, 32
Richmond: 3, 11, 33, 34
Carlton: 6, 7, 14, 16, 24, 35
North Melbourne: 9, 12, 18, 28, 36
Western Bulldogs: 13, 15, 17, 26
Collingwood: 19, 20, 21, 38
Melbourne: 25, 27, 30, 37

WA:
West Coast: 1, 3, 4, 7, 9
Fremantle: 2, 5, 6, 8, 10

Versatile Parish thrives on physicality

WHEN asked of the key traits she wanted to present at the AFL Women’s Under 19 National Championships, the answer was pretty straightforward and ominous for Jamie Parish.

“Definitely my physicality,” Parish said. “I love bumping, hitting, shepherding.”

The versatile Woodville-West Torrens talent has enjoyed a swift journey into the South Australian talent pathway, crossing from other codes and being thrust into the SANFL Women’s system.

“I started off as a basketballer and a netballer,” she said. “I ended up having to fill in for a local club, I played one game and they were like ‘why don’t you give SANFL a try?’… so then I basically hopped straight into the SANFL, played a couple of years and ended up playing state.”

Parish described her 2021 state league form as “up and down”, but is enjoying the “learnings” of being tested in a variety of roles. Having cut her teeth as a key defender, the 171cm prospect was also thrust into the middle at the National Championships and can even swing forward or provide a handy ruck fold.

“(My coaches) are playing me in a lot of new positions and not just keeping me down back, so that’s been really good.” she said. “I am a key defender but I have been swapping through the midfield recently. “Hopefully I get a run in the midfield but it really just comes down to game day, because sometimes they’ll chuck me up forward as well, so who knows.”

While the 17-year-old was a mainstay throughout the Eagles’ SANFLW campaign, she was restricted to two of a possible three state representative games. Parish took on Western Australia in game one and was “pretty happy” with her performance, before returning for game three against the Allies down in Victoria, after being isolated due to COVID-19 precautions as her side battled Vic Country.

Parish looks up to the likes of Adelaide women’s captain Chelsea Randall and Western Bulldogs superstar Marcus Bontempelli, who she said are “hard at it and great players (she) always looks up to”. Boasting a similar competitive edge and the ability to play on multiple lines, Parish is also clean by hand in tough situations like her two idols. On the flip side, she says she is “motivated” to keep improving her fitness.

In true impartial fashion, the South Australian supports both Adelaide and Port Adelaide in the men’s AFL competition, while backing “all of them” in the women’s league. With expansion continuing at the top flight, there will be greater opportunities for developing prospects like Parish to crack the elite level and potentially run out alongside those she cheers on.

Outside of football, the current Year 12 student says she is one who “enjoys the sunshine”.

“Other than that, I’m just a casual sleep in until 12 o’clock and think about doing something sort,” she said.

2021 AFL Women’s trade period: Final day update

THE 2021 AFL Women’s sign and trade period came to a close at 2:00pm on Wednesday, ahead of dual list lodgement deadlines. A bunch of big deals played out since our week one wrap, with stars like Olivia Purcell and Tayla Harris seeing their big moves get over the line, while West Coast came to life at the death to push a couple of negotiations through.

Check out all the ins and outs below, listed club-by-club, with a quick recap of this year’s trade dealings. There should also be even more movement to come as free agency period remains open.

INS AND OUTS:

Adelaide:

In: Pick 20, Pick 47
Out: Chloe Scheer, Pick 49

Brisbane:

In: Nil
Out: Nil

Carlton:

In: Jess Dal Pos, Pick 10, Pick 11, Pick 23, Pick 26, Pick 40
Out: Chloe Dalton, Katie Lyons, Tayla Harris, Pick 12, Pick 29, Pick 32 Pick 44

Collingwood:

In: Sabrina Frederick, Pick 29, Pick 32
Out: Maddie Shevlin, Pick 16, Pick 48

Fremantle:

In: Pick 38
Out: Evangeline Gooch

Geelong:

In: Chantel Emonson, Chloe Scheer, Pick 15
Out: Olivia Purcell, Pick 20, Pick 37

Gold Coast:

In: Claudia Whitford, Viv Saad, Pick 30
Out: Pick 19, Pick 36

Greater Western Sydney:

In: Chloe Dalton, Jasmine Grierson, Katie Loynes, Pick 37
Out: Elle Bennetts, Jess Dal Pos, Aimee Schmidt, Pick 10, Pick 27, Pick 42

Melbourne:

In: Tayla Harris, Olivia Purcell, Pick 44
Out: Chantel Emonson, Pick 15, Pick 32

North Melbourne:

In: Pick 19 Pick 28
Out: Jasmine Grierson, Viv Saad, Pick 30

Richmond:

In: Poppy Kelly, Maddie Shevlin, Jess Hosking, Pick 57
Out: Sabrina Frederick, Pick 23, Pick 26, Pick 40

St Kilda:

In: Pick 12, Pick 36, Pick 48
Out: Poppy Kelly, Claudia Whitford, Pick 22, Pick 25

West Coast

In: Evangeline Gooch, Aimee Schmidt
Out: Pick 38

Western Bulldogs

In: Elle Bennetts, Pick 22, Pick 25, Pick 27
Out: Pick 11, Pick 28, Pick 57

After Collingwood, Richmond, and St Kilda were the only teams to deal during a truly dour first week of trading, the Western Bulldogs entered the equation with a trade for classy Greater Western Sydney (GWS) rebounder, Elle Bennetts. The cross-code athlete made her move back home to Victoria at a cost of pick 28 for the Bulldogs, which looms as a high-value pickup.

The whole period came to life as a monster five-way trade saw seven players transferred yesterday evening. Among the biggest names to prize a move were Olivia Purcell and Tayla Harris, who both join Melbourne with plenty of credit in the bank. The injured Purcell, a Geelong Falcons graduate, shifts to the big smoke from her home region, while Harris’ much-hyped move sees her join a third AFLW club.

Carlton bolstered its draft hand in the deal as Melbourne sent Chantel Emonson down the highway along with an exchange of picks. The Blues also dealt with GWS to secure Jess Dal Pos, seeing Chloe Dalton‘s wish granted in exchange along with former Carlton skipper, Katie Loynes. Adelaide got involved by allowing Chloe Scheer to move to Geelong, with pick 20 coming the other way.

A bunch of fallout was left to come, with Carlton then looking to shift slightly up the draft order in lop-sided deals with Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs. The Blues relinquished picks 12, 27, 29, and 32 to gain selections 11, 26, 55 and 57. The Bulldogs acted on their gains, securing St Kilda’s picks 22 and 25 for that 12th selection, while Collingwood’s ended with a solid hand after that deal, and the one to nab Sabrina Frederick – with Maddie Shevlin going to Richmond.

Elsewhere, the Saints were involved earlier as they moved on Claudia Whitford, who yielded pick 36 from the Gold Coast SUNS. Jasmine Grierson landed at the GIANTS for pick 28, which came from the Western Bulldogs, as Aimee Schmidt crossed to West Coast as a delisted free agent. The Eagles also signed Evangeline Gooch from cross-town rivals Fremantle, at the cost of pick 38.

While sides like Fremantle, Gold Coast and North Melbourne were involved in straightforward one-player exchanges, reigning premier Brisbane was the only team not to get involved – a welcome change for Lions fans after seeing their list previously dismantled by expansion clubs.

Jess Hosking sought a late move to Richmond to join sister Sarah, after the deadline passed with picks exchanged both ways. The free agency market remains open, while clubs have been scrambling final list changes and delistings ahead of list lodgement dates on June 16 and 25.

Image Credit: Melbourne FC (@MelbourneAFLW via Twitter)

2021 AFL Women’s Trade Wrap: Week 1

AFTER a huge first trade on day one, the AFL Women’s first week of Trade Period slowed to a grinding halt, as just one more trade was completed over the next five days to make two in the opening week. Ahead of the second week of Trade Period, we take a look at the trades that were completed and how it affected both the teams and the draft order.

COLLINGWOOD:

In: Sabrina Frederick, Pick 26, Pick 55
Out: Maddie Shevlin, Pick 16, Pick 48

RICHMOND:

In: Maddie Shevlin, Poppy Kelly, Pick 16
Out: Sabrina Frederick, Pick 26, Pick 55

ST KILDA:

In: Pick 48
Out: Poppy Kelly

The big-name trade to kick off the Trade Period was Sabrina Frederick getting her wish to be traded to her third AFL Women’s club in Collingwood. The trade allows the Magpies to pick up a tall target up forward and provide extra height in the ruck given the retirement of Sharni Norder at the end of the 2021 season. Frederick was traded with a second round and fourth round pick, in exchange for Maddie Shevlin, and Collingwood’s first and third round selections.

As the Magpies finished higher than any other Victorian team, they had Pick 10 in the Victorian draft pool (Pick 8 before priority picks were handed out to Geelong), which now gives the Tigers two selections inside the Top 10. Whilst Richmond is unable to trade Pick 5 – effectively third in the Victorian pool – they can still deal that Magpies selection if need be, as they did with Pick 48.

That third round selection was sent to St Kilda in order to acquire another tall, with Poppy Kelly landing at Punt Road in a straight swap for the selection. It will enable Kelly more opportunities, and gave the Saints another draft selection to use. Whilst the Magpies did trade out Pick 10 in the Victorian pool, they effectively received Pick 13 back from the Tigers, so it was not a huge drop despite being 10 picks apart in the overall scheme of things.

Richmond’s Trade and Draft selection period will be one to watch, holding the third pick which could shape how the draft forms. With Vic Metro duo Charlie Rowbottom and Georgie Prespakis likely to land in the opening couple of selections, the Tigers will have the chance to pick between talls or smalls, with some AFL Women’s Academy members such as Tara Slender and Ella Friend providing the height, or potentially look to spoil the party for Geelong who hold the next two Victorian selections, with Falcons inside midfielder Tess Craven, or one of the Oakleigh Chargers standout midfielders in Stella Reid or Amanda Ling.

An action packed last three days of Trade Period commences today and closes at 2pm on Wednesday. From there, the first list lodgement opens, whilst a re-signing period will begin next Wednesday. A Delisted Free Agency period also takes place for a week as the AFL Women’s Draft order is confirmed on Friday, June 25.

Picture credit: Collingwood Women’s

Class shines through as Vic Country dominate Queensland

IT was a clinical four quarter performance from Vic Country, never taking the foot off the pedal on their way to a 76-22 triumph on Sunday afternoon in the winners’ final game of the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships. Breaking away in the second term, Country were dominant on all facets of the ground, maintaining control of the ball for majority of the game, and were given free reign for most of the contest. There were brilliant goals up forward and their back six were as solid as you could ask, as they constantly found a way to extract the ball and thwart Queensland attacks.

The game started in seriously contested fashion, with neither side able to break free. The ball lived in the 50m arc for either side, with each fantastic play of transition football followed up by scrappy, hard-fought contests. The drought was broken by Tahlia Meier, who booted VIC Country’s first goal. They say good things come in twos, as Country kicked their second shortly after through Zoe Garth, and suddenly Queensland found themselves on the back foot. Queensland were able to conjure a response through Imogen Evans, and suddenly the momentum looked to sway the other way. The game remained contested, until a late goal on the run from Paige Scott saw Country take a handy lead into the first break.

The remainder of the game was dominated by Country, as they never gave their opponents enough of the ball to hurt them on the scoreboard. In the midfield, the battle was even for a lot of the time, but it was Country’s ability to rebound from the defensive 50 that hurt the opposition. Queensland entered the game with an extremely tall defence, and this was an advantage early in the game, with plenty of long bombs cut off. Country quickly adapted to this, as they constantly lowered their eyes when entering the forward line to great effect. The final quarter saw a slight fightback from Queensland and they ended up producing an equally as effective fourth term, but the final margin still remained at 54 points.

Defender Jaide Anthony was fantastic all day with 19 disposals from the backline. Her spread from contests was something to marvel, as she was constantly an outlet option for her side, finishing off a remarkably consistent 2021 campaign. Up forward, Meier booted three goals in a strong outing, while Scott was dangerous all day. Aurora Smith (15 disposals, two clearances and three inside 50s), Chloe Leonard (14 disposals, seven tackles and four rebound 50s) and Octavia Di Donato (12 disposals, four marks, two inside 50s, two rebound 50s and two goals) were also among Country’s best.

For Queensland, Teagan Levi (16 disposals, six clearances) fought hard all day to provide a spark for her side, alongside Abby Hewett (16 disposals, eight tackles and eight clearances in the midfield. Alana Gee (17 disposals, six marks, three tackles and four inside 50s), Lucia Liessi (18 disposals, six marks, four tackles and two rebound 50s) and Bella Smith (15 disposals, five tackles, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s) were also among the best.

While Vic Country’s AFLW U19 Championships come to close, Queensland face off against Vic Metro in the final game of the carnival next Saturday at Metricon Stadium from 10:45am.

VIC COUNTRY 2.0 | 6.1 | 10.2 | 12.4 (76)
QUEENSLAND 1.1 | 2.1 | 2.3 | 3.4 (22)

GOALS:

Vic Country: Meier 3, Scott 2, Di Donato 2, Garth, Schaap, Featherston, Richards, Tierney.
Queensland: Evans, Tarlinton, Sheridan.

DC BEST:

Vic Country: J. Anthony, T. Meier, A. Smith, C. Leonard, O. Di Donato
Queensland: T. Levi, A. Hewett, L. Liessi, A. Gee, B. Smith

2021 Academy Watch: SANFL Women’s Round 11

IN the ultimate round of regular season action, there were a number of standout performances from the current South Australian State Women’s Academy members. In our latest Academy Watch edition, we look at those talented state representatives who ran out for their respective South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s sides in Round 11. All notes are the opinion of the individual writer.

NORWOOD vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS 

By: Liam Badkin

Norwood:

#15 Alana Lishmund

A quiet day statistically but did some good things defensively. Pressured opponents constantly and the effort never dropped. While she had only the four disposals, her mark on the game couldn’t be measured on the stat sheet.

#22 Jade Halfpenny

Rotated through the midfield and the forward line as expected, and was damaging for the majority of the game. Had the first set shot of the game early in the first quarter, but pushed it across the face of goal, and missed another to open scoring in the second quarter. Her tackling pressure and attack on the ball were as prevalent as ever as she pushed her way to 11 disposals and four tackles in a solid outing for the Academy player.

#30 Sarah Branford

Did some nice things with her eight disposals, including launching the ball inside 50 three times as she hit targets on multiple occasions during crucial passages of play. Kicked a nice running goal to end the second quarter to find her highlight of the day. The goal displayed her speed and evasiveness as she gave her side a commanding lead.

WWT Eagles:

#8 Charlotte Dolan

Did most of her work defensively, as she laid an impressive five tackles throughout the match. With the opposition constantly having the ball in their hands, Dolan was ruthless with her attack on the ball and the player, with her crunching tackles even earning her a couple of free kicks. Eight disposals in what was an ugly day at the office for her side.

#25 Jamie Parish

The defender was constantly under the pump as the ball was constantly driven inside the opposition’s defensive 50. Only had the seven touches, but a promising sign came as she took a strong contested mark on the wing in the first quarter when the game was still up for grabs. Will only get better for the experience.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. WEST ADELAIDE

By: Michael Alvaro

South Adelaide:

#1 Tahlita Buethke

The athletic midfielder showed good explosive traits out of congestion, as she constantly looked to get on the move at stoppages and spark some forward momentum for South. While she fumbled a touch when over ground balls, Buethke proved an active participant at the contest and naturally faced forward once she prized the ball, which meant she could also wheel around and kick down the line. Kicking to targets and getting more purchase on each disposal are areas of development, but Buethke’s intent and effort cannot be faulted. She had a couple of key disposals late in the piece, with one a kick within the forward 50 which went towards the hot spot, but was intercepted.

#36 Gypsy Schirmer

Schirmer was a player who proved relatively consistent throughout the contest, but seemed to lift when the game was on the line. Roaming the wing, she was able to set up on the defensive side and was not sucked into South’s forward 50, but worked back well to win a good amount of ball. She was clean and effective with most of her touches and used her size to impact defensively when required. One such instance resulted in a free kick against, where Schirmer laid a heavy tackle as she hunted a loose ball on the wing at the start of term three. She hit the scoreboard with a quick shot on goal in the next quarter, sailing the ball home to bring South within striking distance of a remarkable comeback win. Another good moment late in the piece came as she got to a loose ball out of defensive 50 and showed great poise to help her side start a new chain of possession under pressure.

West Adelaide:

#3 Abbie Ballard

Part of the Westies midfield rotation, Ballard was competitive and made her mark going both ways. She consistently dug in at ground level and was quite clean in her distribution having prized the ball out of congestion. While a lot of her good work was done early, Ballard tried to put her side on the front foot to begin term four, reacting first at the centre bounce to soccer the ball forward in a makeshift clearance.

#7 Scarlett Griffiths

It was quite a quiet day in terms of pure numbers for Griffiths, but she still managed to have a couple of nice moments. The forward showed good initiative to actively man the mark, within the rules, during term two and was quick off the mark to pressure the ball carrier once play on was called. Later in the same quarter, she impacted in the air up at half-back to spoil her opponent and force a spill.

#8 Keeley Kustermann

It was a relatively steady return game for Kustermann, whose last outing was also against South Adelaide in April. While she was not as prolific in a ball winning sense from defence, Kustermann tried her best to impact at contests with tackles and some competitive acts when the heat was on. She tracked back well on a few occasions to help mop up ground balls, and was also seen taking a nice mark from the kick-in during term four, but unfortunately turned the ball over with her kick inboard.

#9 Zoe Venning

A prominent part of West Adelaide’s midfield rotation, Venning showed once again that she just knows how to find the ball. Working hard to impact at either end of the ground, she hit the ball at speed and looked to drive her side forward with trademark long kicks on the end of her runs. Venning’s accumulative factor was high in this outing, credit to a bunch of ground ball gets and plays where she would gather some momentum going Westies’ way. She also used that run to get involved in possession chains, continuing them with repeat efforts and good intent on the attack. Kicking to targets and lowering her eyes on the move could pose as ways to get full value from each disposal.

#30 Lauren Young

The superlatives will soon run out for Young, who was again outstanding for West Adelaide as her side clinched a finals berth. While she built into the contest, Young impacted immediately with repeat tackle efforts which saw her earn a holding-the-ball free kick at half-back. Once moved into the centre bounces, she was able to get first hands on the ball and would have learned plenty while running alongside Adelaide young gun, Teah Charlton. While she already boasts a solid built and is able to win the ball with strength, Young’s aerial marking was arguably the highlight of her day. She rose to take four marks overall and competed for plenty more, showing plenty of courage to go back with the flight or stand tall in packs. Her second contested mark came at a crucial time during the last quarter, proving clutch as Westies scrambled to hold onto their lead. She was dominant during a third term purple patch and managed to find the ball in all parts of the ground, also finding the goals with a well-struck set shot.

STURT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE

By: Liam Badkin

Sturt:

#3 Georgia Swan

While she didn’t get the scoreboard impact that she deserved, her hard work up the ground caught the eye as she pushed hard to win the ball for her side. 12 impressive disposals were the highlight as she worked up the field of play and launched the ball inside 50 on numerous occasions. Missed a shot on goal that would have capped off an impressive performance, but can still hold her head high.

#19 Alex Ballard

Once again displayed her knack for delivering strong leads that prove hard to ignore for teammates, clunking the ball four times as she has so many times before. Didn’t get rewarded with the win, or an amazing amount of disposals, but played to her strength on the lead and showed some promising signs going forward.

#20 Hannah Prenzler

Had a tough day being assigned to the backline, and competed a number of times in the air to thwart some North Adelaide attacks. Provided an option on the switch when Sturt were able to get their hands on the ball, and wasn’t afraid to push up the ground to provide a contest. Seven disposals for the day.

#30 Zoe Prowse

One of her side’s finest performers, essentially doing it all in the tough loss against a quality opposition. Kicked 1.2 up forward, but pushed up into the contest on countless occasions, where she won seven hitouts, five clearances and laid five solid tackles around the ball. Can play essentially anywhere on the ground and demonstrated this during the match. Opposition sides will certainly be mindful of her in the future.

North Adelaide:

#38 Kate Case

Worked her way around the ground, ending up in defence, as she has displayed the ability to play anywhere in the past. Had five touches in the defensive half of the ground and continued her reputation of harassing opposition players into causing turnovers. Her three tackles echoed this perfectly.

#43 Ameile Borg

Once again locked down Sturt forwards as she built on last week’s performance. She has shown in the past that she can play on opponents of all sizes and did this once again during the match. Five disposals for the match and even won a pair of hitouts as she didn’t shy away from taking stoppages in the defensive 50. Her talent for locking down an opponent catches the eye on a weekly basis and this round was no exception. A promising performance to end the season.

GLENELG vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT

By: Michael Alvaro

Glenelg:

#7 Brooke Tonon

Arguably the pick of this bunch on the day, Tonon was her usual productive self off half-back. The Bays youngster got involved early with a holding-the-ball tackle and was persistent with her pressure game, before coming to life with ball in hand. Tonon positioned well on the last line of defence in a couple of instances to cut off long kicks towards goal, then looked to take the game on immediately with some dash and long kicking. She constantly looked to spark Glenelg’s forward momentum via handball receives, or even by forcing the ball on through paddles or kicks off the ground. One of her final acts for the day was a nice read and sliding intercept touch on the wing, showing good courage.

#12 Tamsyn Morriss

Morriss may not have finished with a flattering statline, but contributed some important plays in defence amid the hard-fought contest. She built into the game, trailing a touch to her direct opponent but making a couple of crucial contest splits in term three. The first was a one-on-one spoil deep inside defensive 50, and the second was a ground ball win in a one-on-two situation, which ended up yielding a stoppage. Morriss went on to lay a solid lock-down tackle on fellow academy member Lauren Breguet, one of her two tackles on the day.

Central District:

#28 Lauren Breguet

Starting forward, Breguet made a splash early with some explosive work around the contest. She looked to bustle away and create space out of tight situations, proving quite lively and difficult to stop at full pelt. Her aggression at ground level matched the overall tone of the game and helped Centrals gain a spark inside attacking 50, as she constantly tried to get her legs pumping and make things happen. Breguet slotted into the midfield group in the second quarter and while she fumbled a touch at ground level, attempted to bring similar intent. She showcased her speed with a nice run-down effort on Brooke Tonon in term three, and capped her game with a solid overhead mark from front position in the corridor, during the fourth quarter.

#41 Laitiah Huynh

Playing almost exclusively in the forwardline, Huynh worked well up the ground and looked to get involved in play all the way up to half-back. She competed at ground level but in the heat of a largely contested game, did much of her work under a great amount of pressure. The zippy mover could not quite generate her usual speed on the outer, instead having to dispose of the ball quickly from more contested situations. She copped contact to hold onto a solid mark on the defensive side of the corridor during term three, and generally made good decisions by foot when given the time, if not for airing her kicks a touch.

Morphett’s football journey all about enjoyment

EVERYONE has different reasons and motivations for playing sports. Whether it’s to be the best in the world or to keep fit, we all have the one thing that drives us to keep going. For Murray Bushrangers ruck Ally Morphett, it’s a simple solution; to enjoy the sport she has excelled at.

“I’m just trying to have fun with my footy,” Morphett said.

“It doesn’t really bother me if I don’t end up at AFLW or not, whether I end up at VFLW, I’m fine with anything at the moment, just to have fun with my footy that’s all.”

Morphett’s philosophy has been something similar throughout her whole football journey. This even applies to her beginnings with the sport, where she only signed up with a ‘why not?’ attitude with some school mates.

Clearly a natural at the sport, the 188cm ruck quickly shot up the ranks, with selections to the state side and All-Australian side coming shortly after. While competing at the state carnival, Morphett was approached by recruiters from the Bushrangers who saw immense potential and offered her a spot in the squad, which was soon accepted.

Three seasons in, Morphett has adapted to the style of football required at the Murray Bushrangers, and is currently enjoying her best season, averaging 11 disposals, 3.2 tackles and 18.6 hitouts per game, all of which are career-highs. This has also resulted in being appointed the captaincy of the Allies side as a well-deserved honour.

The Allies are a side made up of players outside Victoria, and the side competes in the AFLW U19 championships. Unlike sides such as Vic Country and Vic Metro, the Allies get much less preparation, but Morphett says this did not slow the girls down.

“It was really hard for us, we aren’t as other fortunate with camps and everything, so we’ve all sort of come into this program all from different states and territories, and we’ve only had around three days to get to know each other and we didn’t even know each other’s names when we first came in here,” Morphett said.

“I personally think we’ve done really well for our first game just to see how each other played.”

Morphett’s hitout work has always been her strength, with her ability to win ruck contests prominent throughout her short career. She still claims to have plenty of areas to improve on, such as her overhead marking, but her ability to recognise growth areas will help her address these areas.

With plenty of growth to come as a player, Morphett credits her father as her biggest influence, due to his knowledge of her game and ability.

“He knows me really well and he can read me like a book. If I don’t have my kick right and I can’t kick as far, he knows exactly what it is, whether I’m bending over the ball or I’m leaning back when I kick,” Morphett says.

‘He can pick out all the little things that no one else sort of can.”

Morphett isn’t overthinking her future, with her focus being solely on having fun with the support, but with no ceiling on her future, expect the 17-year-old to continue to feature in draft discussions.

Stat Leaders: 2021 VFL Women’s – Round 8

THE 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season rolled on into its eighth round over the weekend, with six fixtures spread from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. There were a number of outstanding individual performances among the Round 8 action, as AFLW-listed talent and state league guns alike topped a range of key categories. We take a look at this week’s stat leaders, as well as the season tallies to this point.

>> RESULTS: VFLW Round 8 wrap

North Melbourne’s thumping 41-point win over Carlton saw a bunch of ‘Roos hop to the top of the charts across multiple categories. Heading the disposals and kicks for Round 8 was Sarah Skinner, who delivered 20 of her 32 total touches by foot. First year AFLW Kangaroo Isabella Eddey also got in on the act, flicking a round-high 15 handballs, while developing tall Brooke Brown clunked a competition-best, nine marks.

Skinner was matched by 2020 St Kilda draftee Alice Burke on 20 kicks, with the father-daughter coup producing some terrific form in the VFLW of late. She was one of the Saints’ better players as they went down to Western Bulldogs on Friday night. While Burke and Skinner returned dominant performances, so did Marla Neal of Collingwood. She was just shy of a couple more round-highs, but did top the tackle charts with 14 alongside Port Melbourne’s Courteney Bromage.

A quartet of goalkickers bagged trios of goals with three of them being AFLW-listed players. Young key forwards Alyssa Bannan and Olivia Barber got on the board in Casey and Geelong’s respective wins, as Sabrina Frederick snared three of the Borough’s four majors as they went down to Bannan’s Demons. Elsewhere, Carlton’s Jorja Borg shot to the top of the season hitouts tally with 34 this week, though her side could not take toll in a heavy loss to North.

Find the full list of Round 8, and 2021 season stat leaders below.

ROUND 8 STAT LEADERS:

Disposals:
Sarah Skinner (North Melbourne) – 32

Kicks:
Sarah Skinner (North Melbourne) – 20
Alice Burke* (Southern) – 20

Handballs:
Isabella Eddey* (North Melbourne) – 15

Goals:
Alyssa Bannan* (Casey) – 3
Olivia Barber* (Geelong) – 3
Mia-Rae Clifford (Essendon) – 3
Sabrina Frederick* (Port) – 3

Marks:
Brooke Brown* (North Melbourne) – 9

Tackles:
Courtney Bromage (Port) – 14
Marla Neal (Collingwood) – 14

Hitouts:
Jorja Borg (Carlton) – 34

2021 SEASON STAT LEADERS:

Disposals:
Eliza West (Casey) – 177 total (22.1 per game)

Kicks:
Meagan Kiely (North Melbourne) – 130 (16.3)

Handballs:
Eliza West (Casey) – 82 (10.3)

Goals:
Imogen Milford (Casey) – 13

Marks:
Meagan Kiely (North Melbourne) – 35 (4.4)
Samara David (Darebin) – 35 (4.4)
Tara Bohanna (Southern) – 35 (4.4)

Tackles:
Tamara Smith (Geelong) – 90 (11.3)

Hitouts:
Jorja Borg (Carlton) – 161 (23.0)

Note: Stats not provided for Hawthorn-Williamstown fixture.

* – denotes AFLW-listed.

Image Credit: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos

Reserves wrap: 2021 VFL Women’s – Round 7

THE Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s returned for Round 7 on the weekend, with six fixtures split evenly across Saturday and Sunday. With the 2021 AFL Women’s season run and done, top flight players are now filing through the state league system at a greater rate, strengthening the eight aligned teams. We take you through how some of the standouts performed over the weekend in our Reserves Wrap.

>> Results: VFLW Round 7 wrap

Collingwood’s unblemished run rolled on as the Magpies accounted for Southern Saints for their seventh win of the year. Key forward Bella Smith was best afield for the victors, booting a game-high three goals having gained valuable senior experience in 2021. Another returning player, Maddie Shevlin notched 25 disposals, as twin talls Abbey Green (two goals) and Abbi Moloney (one) both hit the scoreboard in black and white.

First year Saints midfielder Alice Burke was easily the most prolific ball winner on the day, finishing with 35 disposals in arguably her best effort to date – at any level. Fellow youngster Molly McDonald (19 disposals, five marks) featured among the votes with Jacqui Vogt (14 disposals, eight tackles, one goal), as Poppy Kelly fared well in the ruck to win 30 hitouts.

While Hawthorn boasted some former AFLW talent of its own, the standalone was up against it as Casey fielded a strong crop of senior players in a 13-point win. Ruck prospect Maggie Caris looks primed to crack a senior berth next season having continued her terrific year in the twos, with another 11 disposals and 22 hitouts. Megan Fitzsimon and Mietta Kendall also featured, contributing 12 touches apiece, as Isabella Simmons booted a goal and Irishwoman Lauren Magee returned to the fold in handy form.

Geelong was another side to blood plenty of youth through its VFLW-aligned lineup, with senior players among the best afield in the Cats’ win over North Melbourne. Dynamic tall forward Olivia Barber booted an equal game-high three goals, as Laura Gardiner topped the disposal charts with 27. Sophie Van De Heuvel had it 22 times to join the aforementioned pair in Geelong’s votes, while Georgie Rankin (18 disposals, seven tackles) and Darcy Moloney (14 disposals, one goal) played their parts.

At the opposite end of the ground to Barber, first year ‘Roo Brooke Brown also snared three majors in another promising display. She was joined by Sarah Wright and Amy Smith in the side, with both finishing on 13 disposals in serviceable outings. Wright also got her hands dirty with nine tackles.

The Western Bulldogs snapped a long losing streak on Sunday, defeating Darebin Falcons with a side loaded up on elite level players. A bunch of them got among the goals too; Danielle Marshall led the way with three, while Gemma Lagioia and usual defender Eleanor Brown both snared two. Angelica Gogos (23 disposals, one goal) was named best afield in the win, while Amelia Van Oosterwijck was also among the productive brigade of senior stars to do damage in red, white, and blue.

In the round’s final game, Port Melbourne snuck home against Carlton to keep its perfect record in tact, with imposing Richmond forward Sabrina Frederick (two goals) leading the attack. For the Blues, Paige Trudgeon was awarded full votes for her 12 disposals and seven tackles, as Maddy Guerin led her side’s disposal count with 21, and Charlotte Hammans also earned votes. Among the other senior Blues to feature, Serena Gibbs took on some ruck duties with 11 hitouts to go with her 10 touches.

2021 AFL Women’s draftee watch: Grand Final

BRISBANE was crowned the 2021 AFL Women’s premier on Saturday after defeating two-time winner, Adelaide by 18 points at Adelaide Oval. A number of fresh faces to the competition continued their contributions for the two remaining sides, producing big moments on the biggest of stages. We run you through how Generation W’s generation next fared across the latest weekend, focusing on players who were selected from the most recent draft crop.

2021 AFL Women’s Grand Final
Adelaide 3.2 (20) def. by Brisbane 6.2 (38) 

In Brisbane’s maiden premiership triumph, rookie speedster Courtney Hodder booted a couple of crucial goals to kickstart the Lions’ day. The diminutive mover got her side off to an ideal start, booting the first goal of the game with a typically shrewd snap only a couple of minutes in.

She then followed it up with a ridiculously good soccered effort in term two, trickling the ball home after latching onto a kick deep in the pocket that she had little right to get to first. It marked a terrific end to Hodder’s debut campaign, as she played every game and finished with nine disposals, five tackles, and those two goals in the all important decider.

18-year-old Indy Tahau was the Lions’ other 2020 draftee afield, with the athletic utility notching five disposals (four kicks), two marks, and one tackle. Her first season at senior level was a promising one, having come into the side in Round 4 and established her place among a well-drilled unit, playing every game thereafter.

Explosive first year forward Teah Charlton was a strong aerial presence for Adelaide, claiming five marks among her 11 disposals. The prized draft pick also managed two inside 50s and laid two tackles in her final performance for the year. Having come into a stacked squad with plenty of plaudits, Charlton played every game and lived up to her pick four billing.

Another Crow to have appeared in every game was Ashleigh Woodland, a 22-year-old who is making good on her second chance at the elite level. Her numbers – three disposals, one tackle – were not flattering on Saturday, but the dynamic forward was involved in some key moments during the first half and if not for Brisbane’s immense pressure, would have been involved in more scores for Adelaide.

Exciting small prospect Rachelle Martin was the Crows’ third draftee afield, with the 22-year-old good at ground level for nine disposals (seven handballs), two marks, three tackles, and two inside 50s. Having previously been a top-up player at the Crows, Martin capitalised on finally being included in the senior squad and played every game after Round 6, proving her AFLW worth.

Image Credit: James Elsby/AFL Photos