Tag: amy prokopiec

2021 AFLW Under 18s Ones to Watch

NOW the curtain has closed on the 2020 AFL Women’s off-season period, we turn our attention to the next group of budding stars across the country who will be vying for a spot on an AFL Women’s list. We have named 25 players who have already shown some great signs in their bottom and middle-age seasons, as well as a number of others to watch out for in 2021.

Georgie Prespakis (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)

A name that has been circulating for a number of years now, it is hard to believe the all-round talent was robbed of what she could potentially do in her middle-age year. She looked more than comfortable at the level in her bottom-age year as a 16-year-old and caught plenty of attention with a seven-goal haul against Greater Western Victoria Rebels. Taller than her sister – AFL Women’s league best and fairest winner Madison – Prespakis is hard at it, has great athleticism and is ridiculously strong one-on-one. A highlight-reel package nearly any time she steps out on the field, Prespakis is a future star and could play just about anywhere, but expect her to play inside midfield and rest forward.

Teagan Levi (Bond University/Queensland)

The sister of recently drafted Gold Coast Suns’ talent Maddison, Levi is 11cm shorter and plays onball rather than forward. Her athletic traits are similar to that of Georgia Patrikios in the way that she can seamlessly get herself out of trouble by wrong-footing and side-stepping opponents with ease. Not only is she able to beat them in congestion, she can run and take the game on down a wing, and then when the opponent wins it, she is the first to lay a strong tackle. Similar to Prespakis, Levi has so many weapons and is as effective defensively as she is offensively, and is the standout Queensland prospect for next year and in the clear top few talents running around.

Courtney Rowley. Picture credit: Owen Davies / Peel Thunder

Courtney Rowley (Peel Thunder/Western Australia)

A player who has been building very nicely over in Western Australia over the past two seasons and then was the most impressive of the middle-agers in the WAFL All-Stars game. A really smooth mover, Rowley often plays off a wing and knows how to distribute the ball so well, winning Peel Thunder’s League best and fairest last year as a 16-year-old competing against senior opponents including AFL Women’s talents. Whilst she had more support in 2020 as the Thunder rose from wooden spooners to premiers in a remarkable turnaround, it is hard not to admire what the talented midfielder could be in her top-age season next year.

Zoe Prowse (Sturt/South Australia)

The standout ruck prospect in next year’s draft, Adelaide will have another promising talent on their radar in Prowse. Winning Sturt’s best and fairest award this year, Prowse was just about the best in nearly every game she played for the Double Blues, particularly in the second half of the season. Despite standing at just under 180cm, Prowse has ridiculous athleticism with a high vertical leap and is almost like a fourth midfielder. She can get down and apply second and third efforts to ground level players, and is one who could also play forward if required. With great ruck nous, she can outwork her opponents around the ground, and it was easy to see why she was the sole South Australian AFL Women’s Academy member in her middle-age year.

Charlie Rowbottom (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

An absolute star in the making. Capable of playing midfield or forward, Rowbottom just knows how to set scoring opportunities up in transition. The sister of Sydney’s James, Rowbottom has similar ball-winning abilities and defensive attributes, but has a lot to offer offensively as well. She showed in the Chargers’ win over Tasmania that she is not only able to hit the scoreboard herself – kicking two goals – but set up a number of chances for her teammates. One that will really surprise in 2021 as a leader for the Chargers.

Charlie Rowbottom. Picture credit: Solstice Digital & Photography

Tara Slender (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)

With quite a few tall defenders in this year’s AFL Women’s Draft, Slender would be putting her hand up as potentially the pick of the bunch. Her intercepting capability and reading of the ball in flight is exceptional, and while she did miss her middle-age year, Slender is one who could catch the attention pretty quickly. Having played alongside some Vic Country representatives in the past – and playing at Under 16s level for her state – Slender is good in one-on-ones and looms as a key lynchpin for the Pioneers. It would also not be too surprising to see her take a similar transition to Isabelle Pritchard and move into the midfield given she has the traits to slot right in there.

Makaylah Appleby (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)

Class personified. Appleby has managed to catch the eye on more than a few occasions over the past few seasons despite playing in such a stacked team at the Northern Knights. She often played off a wing or provided run on the outside like during the 2019 NAB League Finals Series. Appleby is now the top prospect at the Knights for the upcoming season as a member of the AFL Women’s National Academy, and as a damaging ball user, Appleby is one that teammates want to get the ball in the hands of in order to create scoring opportunities up the field.

Charlotte Thomas (Subiaco/Western Australia)

A dangerous forward half player with clean skills and a nous for goals, Thomas is the other AFL Women’s Academy member from Western Australia in her middle-age year along with Rowley and has a big future. Playing in an experienced team like Subiaco, Thomas was able to still stand out, regularly hitting the scoreboard. Standing at 175cm, Thomas has good size and good hands and having made her League debut in 2020, big things are predicted for 2021 with a lot of AFL Women’s talent, and more experienced heads around her.

Nyakoat Dojiok. Picture credit: Draft Central

Nyakoat Dojiok (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)

A player who is not afraid to take the game on and really take it to the opposition is GWV Rebels’ Dojiok who has been developing year-on-year over the last few years. Playing as a 15-year-old a few years back, Dojiok is one who when she gets going is hard to contain, and she has that rich blend of power and speed. She is utilised best as that outside runner, playing off half-back or along a wing, but is eye-catching in the way she plays and the way she can bring teammates into the game. Entering her top-age year, expect her to see even more midfield time as she has some seriously great traits.

Elizabeth Dowling (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)

A player who might be flying under the radar that has some casual NAB League Girls watchers reaching for the team lists next year is Dowling. An incredible talent who showed progression in her two games this year, she has only managed to fly under the radar due to the enormous amount of talent coming out of the Falcons’ football factory. She played in defence as a bottom-ager then got time more up the field last year, and expect her to play through the midfield in 2021. She can play anywhere, at that hybrid 171cm-plus size and can be too athletic for talls and too strong for smalls, Dowling is one who should not be forgotten when talking about Vic Country prospects.

Ally Morphett (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)

The standout NSW/ACT prospect for 2021, Morphett is the sole AFL Women’s Academy member from her state. The developing 189cm-plus ruck is one who improved from her bottom-age season and it would have been fantastic to see her going up against the Melbourne-drafted Maggie Caris if their teams had met in the NAB League Girls before the season ended. She is commanding overhead and able to drift forward if required, Morphett is one of the few NAB League Girls prospects to play this year. Representing Belconnen Magpies in the AFL Canberra League, Morphett finished second in the league best and fairest, and then won best on ground in the Magpies’ premiership win. Not bad for a 17-year-old and she is one anticipated to take a huge step in 2021.

Maggie Harmer (Maroochydore/Queensland)

Stood tall at senior level in the QAFL Women’s competition for the Roos and is one of a remarkable three players in the AFL Women’s Academy from the side. Harmer showed in the Queensland All-Stars game that she looms as a strong prospect in 2021 with her overhead marking, read of the play and powerful kicking standing out in a tight game. A member of the Brisbane Lions Academy, Harmer is 170cm and could play at half-back as that intercepting rebounder, or through the middle, seemingly able to break down opposition defences on transition by getting in the way and then pumping it long.

Maggie Harmer. Picture credit: Deion Menzies, Highflyer Images

Amy Franklin (Claremont/Western Australia)

If we are talking upside, then Franklin, not too dissimilar to her West Australian namesake, has plenty of that for the future. A tall marking forward, Franklin has speed that makes smaller opponents envious, and standing at 180cm, she is big enough to outmark most opponents. Still quite raw and lightly built compared to more experienced WAFL Women’s defenders she came across, Franklin is one that once the ball gets goalside, you can almost put the glasses down. Terrific athleticism and one who is threatening to be an even bigger threat in 2021, she is yet another exciting tall forward to come out of Western Australia.

Tahlia Gillard (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)

If you are talking upside and potential in next year’s AFL Women’s Draft crop then take 186cm Gillard as an example. Only turning 17 in December this year, the key position utility can play in all three lines, starting off as a key defender, spending time up forward and has the size if required to play ruck. For a player of her size, Gillard is so good at ground level and able to create something out of nothing. While she is still a raw and developing talent, she is another from the Cannons’ program who has already had plenty of NAB League Girls experience that will only make her better.

Ella Friend (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)

A second GWV Rebels player making the list, Friend did not get many chances this season to show what she is capable of, but what she did in that short space of time was quite remarkable. Another member of the AFL Women’s National Academy, Friend looked comfortable in the tight contest against the Western Jets back in Round 3, racking up a ton of the ball – 19 touches – and having a real influence in the forward half. Not only that, but she iced the game for the Rebels with a match-winning goal, and provided as much offence (six inside 50s) and defence (five tackles) to suggest she is a gamechanger and one to look out for next season.

Jorja Livingstone (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)

Made her debut in the NAB League Girls competition and just has that X-factor about her that makes you sit up and take notice. Elite acceleration out of the stoppage and some really top-end traits, Livingstone came into the Ranges’ midfield and assimilated easily that it was hard to believe she was not a top-ager. Behind the experienced Olivia Meagher and Tarni Brown, Livingstone was the next biggest performer onball, and with another preseason behind her, it will be exciting to see just what she can produce with her athletic traits and ability to get forward and look dangerous.

Emelia Yassir (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)

Yassir is just a fierce competitor who can play through the midfield or as a small forward. Standing at just 161cm, Yassir defies her size and is not afraid to take on bigger opponents, laying multiple tackles and is a contested ball winner. She stood up during Calder’s NAB League Girls finals series as a bottom-ager in 2019, and started strongly in 2020. She will have a bigger role in 2021 and has a bucketload of talent that will have opposition players wary of when she is in the zone.

Mikayla Pauga (Maroochydore/Queensland)

Another small forward and member of the AFL Women’s Academy, Pauga might just stand at 161cm like Yassir, but packs plenty of punch as a damaging forward. The second Maroochydore player in this list, Pauga finished second in her club’s goalkicking with 13 majors in 14 games, and was a clear standout. With an eye for goal and a large endurance base that sees her outwork opponents, Pauga is one who could step up again in 2021 and will be one to watch at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships having shown her wares at senior level in the QAFL Women’s already.

Zoe Venning. Picture credit: SANFL

Zoe Venning (West Adelaide/South Australia)

A hard-nosed midfielder/forward from West Adelaide, Venning came on in leaps and bounds throughout her second season in the red and black. She became a crucial member of the Bloods’ midfield, playing between wing and forward, though her attack on the ball shows she can easily translate into an inside midfielder. Providing great assistance to equal league best and fairest winner, Rachelle Martin as well as young talent Abbie Ballard, Venning is one who is dangerous around goals. She is still developing some areas of her game such as her kicking, but her work rate and intensity in play is superb.

Kasey Lennox (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)

A reliable key defender for the Cannons, Lennox is a fourth member of the Calder side to make this list, and shows just how strong their top-age group will be next season. Lennox is one who is good at ground level for a taller player, being one of the most dominant rebounders in the competition to start the 2020 NAB League Girls season. As a player who stood out on the big stage of the 2019 NAB League Girls Grand Final, Lennox is not afraid of big moments, and will team up well with Gillard as a couple of talls in a really strong Cannons outfit.

Amy Prokopiec (Clarence/Tasmania)

The sole Tasmanian prospect in the AFL Women’s National Academy, Prokopiec became one of the standout defenders for Tasmania Devils, albeit in just a handful of games in her bottom and middle-age years. As she showed with Clarence in the TSL Women’s competition this year and in the Tasmanian All-Stars game, Prokopiec is capable of playing at either end, and becoming that versatile tall utility. As a long kick and strong overhead, she is a crucial cog in the both the Roos and Devils sides, and will be hoping for a full season next year to test herself against the best in the NAB League Girls.

Amy Prokopiec (right). Picture credit: Solstice Digital & Photography

Gypsy Schirmer (South Adelaide/South Australia)

There are quite a few talls in this list with potential, and Schirmer is another one who just has that look about her that she could be in for a big 2021. In her middle-age season with reigning premiers South Adelaide, she acquitted herself well and while she did have some really outstanding performances, even when she was quieter, there was always a moment or two within games where you could see she was capable of kicking a couple of goals and winning the match for her side. Not far off 180cm, Schirmer can push up to a wing or even in defence, but she always looks damaging inside 50 and a real target for her teammates to kick to.

Eliza James (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

A good size and capable of hitting the scoreboard, the 176cm James is a damaging prospect. She showed in her two games this year how she has developed both her offensive and defensive traits, and even as an Under 16s player for the Chargers, stood up in nine games and booted five goals. As one of a number of Chargers who were able to provide support to the top-end talent this year, James is another leader in the group to standout in her own top-age year in 2021.

Alana Lishmund (Norwood/South Australia)

Was a prominent member of the Norwood side in her debut SANFL Women’s season, then really stepped up as one of the best in the All-Stars match last month. She is predominantly a forward talent who can push up the ground into the midfield, and then play high or deep forward when required. A reliable kick for goal, she has that X-factor about her inside 50 and can be a leading or crumbing target, playing taller than her 166cm size, and one who will be another South Australian jostling for a spot as one of the more prominent talents in the state.

Alana Lishmund. Picture credit: AFL Media

Jaide Anthony (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)

A multi-sport talent for the Stingrays, Anthony also has that something special about her game playing as a forward. She can play at either end, and has progressed through the pathway from V/Line Cup to the NAB League Girls. One who has shared her football journey with cricket duties – she has only managed the five games for the Stingrays – she knows how to hit the scoreboard and provide a presence. Despite standing at just 166cm, Anthony plays like a taller forward and finds space, and will be a top talent to watch out for from the Stingrays in 2021.

Others:

Maroochydore’s Bella Smith is another member of the AFL Women’s National Academy who stood up for Maroochydore this season in the QAFL Women’s, whilst Georgia Hutton and Caitlin Thorne are a couple of Gold Coast Academy members who showed some top-end traits during the All-Stars match.

The South Australian group has been sensational with plenty having senior experience, led by South Adelaide’s Lauren Clifton who stood out in the All-Stars match up forward. Central District’s Madison Lane, North Adelaide’s Kate Case, Glenelg’s Brooke Tonon and Woodville-West Torrens’ Jamie Parish are others who have been ones to watch at SANFL Women’s level this season.

Over in the west, Chloe Reilly remains a dangerous forward option for East Fremantle with her work at ground level and around goals, whilst Swan Districts’ Emma Nanut, and South Fremantle trio, Tayla Whincup, Taylah Cruttenden and Poppy Stockwell are also great talents.

Looking to the NAB League and there are plenty of names to throw up, but a few in the mix include Mikayla Jones (Murray Bushrangers), Jemma Radford (Dandenong Stingrays) and Annie Lee (Geelong Falcons) who have shown to be natural players in their respective areas. From the Vic Metro perspective, Peppa Poultney (Calder Cannons), Stella Reid (Oakleigh Chargers), Caitlin Sargent (Western Jets) and Tarrah Delgado (Northern Knights) were terrific this year, while a host of middle-age Sandringham Dragons got their starts and will no doubt produce a number of surprise packets alongside their elite bottom-age talents.

Perri King is another Tasmanian prospect behind Prokopiec to watch, making history as the Devils’ first goalkicker last season and will be keen to build on that again. From Northern Territory, there is a heap of great young talents coming through from 2022 onwards, with one 2021 draft prospect being Georgia Johnson, a 160cm talent from Waratah who stood out in the NT All-Stars match last month. Playing in defence, she was one to take note of as she regularly mopped up and got the ball down the field for Team Hewett.

Alongside the top-age talents, a number of over-age talents who missed out on being drafted this year will no doubt be trying to stake their case against be it via the NAB League or state leagues, including Brooke Hards, Jemma Finning and Annabel Strahan (all Bendigo Pioneers), Zoe Hill, Abbey Jordan and Jess Matin (all Dandenong Stingrays), Ash Snow and Maeve Chaplin (both Northern Knights), Amber Micallef (Oakleigh Chargers), Olivia Meagher (Eastern Ranges) and Grace McRae (Gippsland Power) who all received AFL Women’s Draft Combine invites but were unlucky to miss out.

In Western Australia, Maggie MacLachlan (Subiaco), Brianna Hyde and Mikayla Hyde (both Swan Districts) head into 2021 as over-agers, while mature-agers Ella Smith and Jess Low (both Claremont), Rosie Walsh (East Fremantle) and Sarah Wielstra (Swan Districts) are others who missed out on the AFL Women’s Draft but will remain ones to watch.

Elsewhere, Northern Territorian Mattea Breed continues to develop for Norwood in South Australia, whilst Abby Favell (Murray Bushrangers), Jayde Hamilton (Queanbeyan Tigers) and Kiara Beesley (Southern Power) were draft combine invitees from NSW/ACT.

In Queensland, Beth Pinchin has shown great resilience as a mature-ager coming back from multiple injuries, while Courtney Bromage and Brooke Spence are other mature-agers who caught attention this year. Christine Okesene, Ebony Peterson, Laura Blue, Chloe Gregory and Madison Goodwin were also in the mix this year with Draft Combine invites so will be kept on close watch in 2021. The other two players to receive AFL Women’s Draft Combine invites but miss out were the exciting Freda Puruntatameri (Calder Cannons/Northern Territory) and Charlie Vandenberg (Wynyard/Tasmania) who have plenty of development left in them.

TSL Women’s weekend wrap: Semi-finals – Glenorchy win thriller to face Launceston in final

GLENORCHY booked its spot in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s Grand Final with a thrilling four-point victory over Clarence. The tight second and third semi-final lived up to the hype, whilst minor premiers Launceston got the job done in the other semi-final, defeating fourth placed North Launceston by 43 points.

It was a seesawing clash between the Magpies and Roos with Clarence taking a quarter time lead by six points. In what would become a titanic struggle, the Magpies booted the only goal of the second term to draw within one point, before the Roos kicked the only score of the third quarter – a behind – to lead by two points at the final break. Both teams hit the scoreboard in the final term, with Glenorchy’s two goals to one seeing the Magpies home in a four-point thriller, 4.1 (25) to 3.3 (21).

Tiarna Ford booted two goals and was amongst the best for the Magpies, as Molly Mitchell and Elise Barwick also converted majors. Macklyn Sutcliffe, Perri King and Rebecca Clifton were named amongst the best to send their team into the grand final. For the reigning premiers, Rachel Archer and Natalie Pearce both booted a goal and were named amongst the best as young gun Amy Prokopiec also kicked a major. Megan Harper and Nicole Bresnehan were among the most influential players on the ground for the Roos despite going down in a narrow defeat.

In the other semi-final, Launceston was too good for North Launceston, starting strongly and not looking back. The Blues booted three goals to one in the opening term, before piling on 4.4 to 1.0 to race away to a 34-point advantage at the main break. To North Launceston’s credit, the Bombers actually won the third term by a point as they kicked 1.2 to 1.1, but it would only reduce the deficit to 33 points. Holding their opponents scoreless in the last term, Launceston went on to boot a somewhat inaccurate 1.4, but got up 9.9 (63) to 3.2 (20).

New Roo, Brooke Brown kicked five goals in a best on ground performance for the Blues, as Molly Clark (three goals) and Meg Sinclair (one) were also named amongst the best. Melissa Smith, Georgia Hill and Mia King also stood out in the win as Launceston looked the goods against their northern rivals. For the Bombers, Maggie Cuthbertson and Ella Maurer both kicked goals and were named among the best, as Sophie Farrow also kicked a major. Kartley Broad and India Viney stood out as the top players for North Launceston with the Bombers’ season coming to a close.

Next week Glenorchy will try and make it three consecutive wins against Launceston this season, whilst the Blues will hope it is a case of third time lucky when the teams face off in the 2020 TSL Women’s Grand Final.

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s Semi-finals preview: Blues and Magpies host do-or-die matches

THERE is no turning back for any of the four Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s sides when the four finalists battle it out in two do-or-die semi-finals. Last year’s runners-up Launceston host the fourth placed North Launceston at Windsor Park, before the classic contest between big improvers Glenorchy and reigning premiers Clarence.

The Magpies have knocked off Launceston twice this season, a feat that they did not manage to achieve last season – nor did anyone until the grand final – and now must overcome a 0-2 head-to-head in 2020 against the Roos to book a spot in the TSL Women’s Grand Final. It will be a tough game to pick with Glenorchy snatching the home ground advantage with a massive 63-point win over North Launceston in the final round, so now the sides will play out at Abbotsfield Park.

Fresh off her leading goalkicker title, Sarah Skinner (18 goals) will be one the Roos need to contain, whilst up the other end, second placed Jessie Williams (17) is a key component of Clarence’s attack. She is one of three players inside the top five for goals however, with Jacinta Limbrick (12) and Amy Edmand (nine) up there, as is Magpies’ Molly Mitchell (nine).

Skinner has been an outstanding force this season for the black and whites, with Zoie Crawford the other one who has caught the eye of coaches, named among the best on seven occasions each. Young talent Jemma Webster has also had a great year, whilst former AFLW player Libby Haines has rebounded strongly through the league.

For the Roos, Nicole Bresnehan provides much-needed experience in the red and white, whilst the likes of Bronte Scott, Limbrick, Amy Prokopiec and Brianna Oates have all had some strong season, with the latter ones impressing beyond their years. Clarence start favourites in this clash given their 2-0 head-to-head record, but expect Glenorchy to bring the heat because the Magpies would back themselves in the decider against Launceston.

Speaking of Launceston, they are heavy favourites to roll through to another grand final when they come up against North Launceston. The Bombers pushed them in the opening round of the season, but have only managed the two wins – both against the winless Tigers – whilst Launceston has only lost to Glenorchy this year. The Blues grabbed the all-important top spot as the top three in the five-team competition were so even, and now have a chance to build some confidence.

Daria Bannister is third overall for goals with 13 this season, and has been amongst the Blues’ top performers throughout 2020. Launceston tend to share the goals around with recently drafted North Melbourne forward Brooke Brown (five goals), Angela Dickson (four) and Meg Sinclair (four). Bannister’s fellow AFL Women’s teammate Mia King has also found herself in the bests on five occasions, with Dickson, Camilla Taylor and Kelsie Hill all making it in four times.

There is no doubt the game is an uphill battle for North Launceston, but the Bombers have nothing to lose, and the likes of Zoe Bourne (five bests), Maggie Cuthbertson (four), Ruby Slater (four), Jodie Clifford (four) and Kayla Sheehan (four) will not shy away from a challenge. They have struggled to score against the big three teams, and will need to conquer that to have a huge upset, but finals footy is a different ball game.

TSL WOMEN’S SEMI-FINALS FIXTURES:

Launceston vs. North Launceston
Glenorchy vs. Clarence

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s weekend preview: Round 11 – Top two battle for minor premiership

THE Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s minor premiership will be decided on the weekend when top of the table Clarence locks horns with second placed Launceston in a potential Grand Final preview. Indeed, those teams were last year’s grand finalists, with the Roos upsetting the Blues on the big day after Launceston had gone undefeated throughout the 2019 regular season. Fast forward to 2020 and Launceston got the better of Clarence earlier in the year, but now the stakes are higher with the minor premiership on the line.

Clarence sits four points clear on top of the table, and with both teams playing their last clash, it is a simple scenario. The Roos win and they secure the minor premiership. The Blues win, and due to their higher percentage, grab top spot and cannot be knocked off their perch. Third placed Glenorchy cannot grab top spot regardless of the result, with the Magpies having a bye and then facing North Launceston in the final round. However a Launceston loss would see Glenorchy leapfrog them with a Round 12 victory over the Bombers and gain home ground advantage for the semi-finals.

The winner of the clash not only secures the minor premiership, but will face North Launceston in the first week of finals. The Bombers have been more competitive than last placed Tigers, but there is minimal difference between the top three teams, and second has to take on third in the other semi-final. The last time the teams played, Launceston got up against an inaccurate Roos outfit, 6.5 (41) to 1.6 (12) at Windsor Park.

Abbey Green played what would be her only game of the season, slotting three goals in a best on ground performance, whilst the likes of regular performers, Camilla Taylor and Daria Bannister also slotted goals, as did Sian Beeton. Abbie Hoiberg-Cox and Melissa Smith also impressed in the win. For the Roos, leading goalkicker Jessie Williams booted the only goal of the match, whilst Louisa Marmion, Bronte Scott and Nicole Bresnehan all stood out.

Given Glenorchy is playing North Launceston in the final round, it is the last chance for Williams (16 goals), Jacinta Limbrick (12) and Bannister (11) to hit the scoreboard in the search of the leading goalkicker award. Magpie, Sarah Skinner has slotted 15 goals this season and is a huge chance to take the award if the Blues’ defence can hold the dangerous Williams. Others to watch for from a Clarence perspective are young guns, Amy Prokopiec and Netty Garlo, whilst Mia King and Angela Dickson have also had superb seasons.

Whilst that is the feature game, fourth placed North Launceston takes on fifth placed Tigers in a bottom two clash. For Tigers to get off the bottom, they would need to win by a substantial amount, though a win would close out the season with confidence, The Bombers can head into the final round off the back of a second win this season to try and upset Glenorchy in Round 12.

For the Bombers, the players to watch are Jodie Clifford, Kayla Sheehan and Maggie Cuthbertson who have all stood out this season, with Zoe Bourne another who has found her way into the best on multiple occasions. Hailee Baldwin has been named in the Tigers’ best on five occasions, whilst Mikayla Absolom, Mimosa Middleton Miller and Priscilla Odwogo have also stood out in a trying season for the young Tigers.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 11 FIXTURE:

Clarence vs. Launceston
Tigers vs. North Launceston

TSL Women’s weekend preview: Tigers to host Roos in standalone game

CLARENCE will hit the road to take on Tigers in the standalone game of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s season on Saturday. The Roos sit second on the ladder and cannot be dislodged from the top three, but can temporarily take top spot by moving four points clear at the top of the table. For the Tigers, they are running out of time to grab a couple of wins and sneak into finals, and will hope that they can cause an upset in this one.

Clarence has won five of its six games, with its only loss coming against Launceston in mid-August. This will be the first time since then they have played back-to-back games over two weekends, with a bye following that loss, and then also in between the Roos’ wins over Glenorchy and then last week, North Launceston.

Tigers have struggled this season, but after not being able to score a goal in their opening match, have been able to put one through the past five matches. They still have some way to go to catch North Launceston on percentage, but an upset win here and a victory against the Bombers would see them avoid the wooden spoon and play finals.

The last time these sides faced off, Clarence won by 10 goals, booting 6.3 to 0.0 in the first half, before securing a 10.6 (66) to 1.0 (6) win at Richmond Oval. Amy Edmand slotted four goals in a best on ground performance for the home side, as Brianna Oates, Louisa Marmion and Amy Prokopiec all impressed for the red and whites. In the yellow and blacks, Lilly Ellis kicked the sole Tigers goal in the third term, while Mimosa Middleton Miller, Priscilla Odwogo and Hailee Baldwin were all among the best in a losing side.

As a whole this season, Jessie Williams is leading the goalkicking for Clarence, slotting 12 goals for the season to sit three off the pace from Glenorchy’s Sarah Skinner. With the Roos playing Launceston in their final game, this could be a huge chance for Williams to catch up to Skinner in the run home. Other major goalkickers are Edmand (seven), Jacinta Limbrick (seven) and Prokopiec (four). In terms of top performers, the experienced North Melbourne talent in Nicole Bresnehan, as well as Bronte Scott have both stood out.

For Tigers, they have had five individual goalkickers, with Ellis, Odwogo, Brooke Phillips, Elsie Lamb and Phoebe Parsons all getting their name on the board this season. Odwogo and Baldwin have been the stars, showing why they are so highly rated as teenage talents, among the bests four times, with Mikayla Absolom and Middleton Miller also featuring in the bests heavily.

Clarence are strong favourites here and expect the Roos to get the job done comfortably, but the Tigers would love to improve their highest score and also try and restrict the Roos’ scoring.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 10 FIXTURE:

Tigers vs. Clarence

Byes: Launceston, North Launceston, Glenorchy

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s weekend wrap: Round 9 – Magpies and Roos secure top three spots

GLENORCHY and Clarence have secured their top three spots in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s finals series with impressive wins over bottom two sides, Tigers and North Launceston. While the existing 12-point difference was all but certain to be enough, the wins allowed the sides to move 16 points clear, rather than have that cut to just eight. It also allowed both sides to draw level with Launceston on 20 points, and the Roos having a game in hand.

The Magpies continued their great form with a comprehensive 76-point triumph over Tigers at KGV. Glenorchy had an inaccurate start to the game, booting 1.5 in the first term, 3.8 by half-time and 5.13 by the last change. The 43-point margin was not indicative of what the lead could be for the home team, though they had kept the league’s last placed team scoreless in the first three quarters. Keeping up with their recent form though, Tigers booted a goal in the final term to ensure they score, but Glenorchy also found its kicking boots, piling on 6.3 in the final term to run away with an 11.16 (82) to 1.0 (6) victory.

Sarah Skinner proved a match-winner with four goals, as the Magpies had seven other individual goalkickers chipping in. Among those who kicked goals and were also named in the best, were Elise Barwick, Zoie Crawford and Laura Negri. Madison Shaw and Gennaveve Sullivan were the other players named among their side’s best in the win. Elsie Lamb kicked the Tigers’ sole goal in the final term, while Priscilla Odwogo, Olivia McKee and Hailee Baldwin all impressed for the visitors.

Clarence did all of its work in the first half, then held on against a determined North Launceston side to win by 21 points at Richmond Oval. The Roos booted three goals to one in the opening quarter, then repeated the effort in the second term to lead 6.3 to 2.1 at half-time. The 26-point lead was comfortable, but the Bombers would go on to kick the last goal of the game in the third term, and draw within 21 points prior to the game being called off in the quarter due to an injury.

Melanie Wise and Jacinta Limbrick were stars for Clarence, kicking a couple of goals each and named among the best for the Roos, while young guns Netty Garlo and Amy Prokopiec also hit the scoreboard. Katherine Johnson and Brianna Oates were also impressive in the victory. For the Bombers, Zoe Bourne was nominated her side’s best and kicked one of the three goals, while Bonnie Farrell and Emily McKinnell also snagged majors. Carly Farrow and Sophie Townsend also stood tall despite the defeat.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 9 RESULTS:

Glenorchy 11.16 (82) defeated Tigers 1.0 (6)
Clarence 6.4 (40) defeated North Launceston 3.1 (19)

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s weekend preview: Round 9 – Top three sides lock to officially secure spots

GLENORCHY and Clarence can officially rule out finishing outside the expected top three spots with Round 9 wins in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s competition. Whilst dropping outside the top three would nearly be impossible as is, victories to the Magpies and Roos just make it mathematically impossible, especially given the matches are against the bottom two sides in Tigers and North Launceston respectively.

First up, Glenorchy hosts Tigers at KGV with the Magpies’ confidence sky high off the back of a remarkable second win against ladder leaders Launceston. The Magpies are yet to beat the second place Roos, but easily too care of Tigers back in Round 3 with a thumping 85-point victory. Since then, they have only lost one match – to Clarence by 12 points, so have strung together four wins from five games ahead of a double-bye in Rounds 10 and 11. This match will be the last time the Magpies will play in almost a month, with the next clash against the Bombers on October 3.

Tigers are so far winless in season 2020, and their highest score came against North Launceston, which was 1.2 (8). After only scoring a behind in their first match against Launceston, they have kicked a goal in each of their past four games. The Tigers have also reduced the average points against, going from 86.5 conceded in the first two rounds, to a much lower 54.3 points per game. Coming in against Glenorchy, Tigers will hope to do better than their Round 3 defeat of 85 points. Having had their double-bye the last two weeks, Tigers have three consecutive games – against Glenorchy, Clarence and North Launceston – before finishing up with a final round bye.

Sarah Skinner has been so damaging up forward this season, booting 11 goals, including a haul of four against the Tigers in their last encounter. She has made it into the black and whites best on five occasions, while Molly Mitchell has converted eight goals this season. Tiarna Ford (six goals) and Elise Barwick (five) both had big days out against Tigers too, booting three goals in that 14-goal win. Whilst not notable goalkickers, Zoie Crawford (one), Jemma Webster and Libby Haines have all been named in the bests at least four times and are among Glenorchy’s top performers this season.

For Tigers, they have had the four individual goalkickers in Brooke Phillips, Lilly Ellis, Phoebe Parsons and Priscilla Odwogo. Hailee Baldwin, Mikayla Absolom, Mimosa Middleton Miller and Odwogo have also been named among the best for the Tigers on three occasions, having consistent years in the yellow and black. While Tigers have been improving and come off a long break, expect the Magpies to be far too strong in this contest.

In the second match, the 4-1 Roos host North Launceston as Clarence looks to keep in touch with top of the table Launceston. The Magpies did the Roos a favour by knocking off the Blues last week, not completely ruling Clarence off finishing on top, especially given they are only four points behind with two games in hand. The reigning premiers are a dangerous side, and whilst they did lose to the Blues a few weeks ago, were able to topple the Magpies in between two byes in the past three weeks. Having only played the five games, they still have three more to go, with North Launceston, Tigers and Launceston coming up, the latter of which is the Blues last remaining game – effectively deciding the minor premiership.

North Launceston has only had the one win – against last placed Tigers – but competed against Glenorchy a few weeks ago, and kept Launceston to just four goals in the opening round of the season. The top four make finals so expect the Bombers to be there at the pointy end of the season, but an upset of the Roos would be a huge scalp. They have another bye next week – coming off a Round 8 bye last week – and then finish the year with games against Tigers and Glenorchy prior to finals.

Jessie Williams had a massive day out against the Tigers this season to boot seven majors and lead the Roos with 12 majors this season. Amy Edmand (seven goals) also booted four in that game to put the last placed side to the sword, but it was Jacinta Limbrick (five) who snagged four majors at UTAS Stadium in the last encounter between these sides that did all the damage. Young gun Amy Prokopiec kicked a couple of goals in the last match the Roos played against Glenorchy for a season total of three majors, while Nicole Bresnehan and Bronte Scott are among the top Roos this year.

The Bombers have had three multiple goalkickers this season with Maggie Cuthbertson (three goals), Bonnie Farrell (two) and Hayley Breward (two), while Sophie Townsend (one) is the other goalkicker. Jodie Clifford and Kayla Sheehan have both been named amongst the best on four occasions, with Cuthbertson (three) the other standout this season. While the Bombers will give it a red hot crack, it is hard to see Glenorchy not getting up in this game given what is at stake for the Roos in the final few rounds.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 9 FIXTURES:

Glenorchy vs. Tigers
Clarence vs. North Launceston

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s weekly wrap: Round 7 – Clarence gains separation as Launceston records another big win

CLARENCE has gained some vital breathing space inside the top two with an important 12-point win over Glenorchy at KGV on the weekend. The Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s clash went down to the wire for the most part, but the Roos managed to get the job done and put away the Magpies for the second time this season.

Keeping Glenorchy scoreless in the opening term, Clarence headed into the first break with an eight-point lead. That soon evaporated in the second term as the Magpies booted two goals to one to hit the front by half-time. Clarence dug deep in the premiership quarter, booting three goals to one in what was ultimately the difference between the sides. Both teams kicked a goal in the last stanza, but it would ultimately be the 11-point final break lead – extended to 12 by the last siren – that proved to be enough in Clarence’s 6.4 (40) to 4.4 (28) victory.

Jessie Williams backed up her seven-goal haul earlier in the season with more multiple snags in the win, slotting three and being dangerous up forward. Usually reliable defender, Amy Prokopiec put her best foot forward in her best game this season, slotting two majors and named among the best for the Roos. Hannah Smith, Bronte Scott and Nicole Bresnehan were the others from the visiting side to make a statement on the day.

For Glenorchy, they shared the goals around with four individual goalkickers including regular scoreboard-hitters, Sarah Skinner and Molly Mitchell. Rebecca Clifton and Laura Negri were named the Magpies’ best in the loss, while Gennaveve Sullivan and Libby Haines were also strong.

Meanwhile in the other game, top of the table Launceston had a big win over its northern rivals, knocking off North Launceston by 62 points at Invermay Park. The Blues led in a narrow opening term by seven points, converting the only major of the quarter. They gained some separation after that, booting three goals in each of the final three terms. It helped the Blues lead by 26 and 47 points at the next two breaks, with the Bombers kicking a last quarter consolation goal, but the Blues getting the win 10.10 (70) to 1.2 (8).

Four players booted two majors with Daria Bannister, Molly Clark, Angela Dickson and Brooke Brown all converting a couple of snags. They featured heavily in the bests, with Kelsie Hill (one) and Meg Radford also impressive. For the Bombers, Bonnie Farrell kicked the team’s sole goal, while Kayla Sheehan, Maggie Cuthbertson and Jodie Clifford were all named amongst the losing side’s best.

Next week Launceston takes on Glenorchy as Clarence and North Launceston have byes, along with Tigers having a second consecutive week off.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 7 RESULTS:

Glenorchy 4.4 (28) defeated by Clarence 6.4 (40)
North Launceston 1.2 (8) defeated by Launceston 10.10 (70)

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL/W weekend preview: Blues and Roos set to be pick of the weekend

UTAS Stadium and Windsor Park play host to a day of football for the Tasmanian State League (TSL) and TSL Women’s competitions. North Launceston hosts Tigers in both the men’s and women’s competitions at UTAS, while not far away, Launceston takes on Clarence at Windsor Park.

Last placed Glenorchy takes on a determined North Hobart side that has been gallant this season, pushing the top two teams in both its games. The Magpies finally got a win on the board in its last outing prior to its Round 5 bye, but it was far from convincing, coming away with a one-point triumph over Tigers. They had previously been belted by Clarence the week before after a competitive effort against Lauderdale in Round 2. The Demons have never been out of a match yet, winning two of their four games, and could have got the chocolates in the other two.

From an AFL Draft perspective, the Demons have a host of young talents including AFL Academy members, Patrick Walker and Sam Collins, while Jye Menzie is a clever forward who has drawn interest. With some teenage talls in Jacob Steele and Hamish Allan also coming through the Devils’ program North Hobart has plenty of up and coming talent on display. The Magpies do not necessarily have the same high amount of Devils’ players, but they have some elite talents in former Hawk, Zac Webster and the ever dangerous Jaye Bowden, one of the league’s best players of the past decade. They will need big games from them and across the board if they are to cause an upset over the young Demons.

Tigers will be hoping to cause the upset of the season when they take on North Launceston on Saturday. The Kingborough-based side has begun to turn its season around, and realistically has only been blown out of the water once (an 82-point shellacking to Launceston), with 10 and one-point losses either side of that. The yellow and blacks cracked through for a win last round, defeating Clarence thanks to an impressive opening three quarters.

The experience of ex-AFL talent Kieran Lovell showed in the midfield, while Luke Graham and Tyler Carter both slotted three majors each, and Lachlan Gadomski remains a rock in defence. North Launceston are chugging along nicely to slide into second spot now, and top-age AFL Draft prospect Jackson Callow leads all-comers from his side in front of the big sticks, slotting seven majors this season. Youngster, Baynen Lowe made his debut last round and will be one to track this season as well, while Ollie Sanders and Sherrin Egger are others who create excitement for the Bombers.

The Launceston machine rolled on another week, extending its unbeaten streak to five, but not without a challenge from the plucky Demons. The Blues experience won out in the end to get up by three points, but it was their tightest victory of the season. The Blues are stacked with experience, led by ex-Hawk and playing coach, Mitch Thorp, while Dylan Riley and Jake Hinds have combined for 24 goals this season. Jared Dakin is the draft prospect to watch after some impressive performances this season.

Now it is up to Clarence to not only try and turn around its past fortnight, but bounce back and take down the league’s top side this season. The Roos just conceded too many inside 50 entries last week as the Tigers snatched their first win, pushing the Roos out to a 1-3 record, albeit with a better percentage than the Tigers or Magpies. Oliver Preshaw and Josh Green were damaging inside 50, while Oliver Davis has been sensational this year for the red and whites. Along with bottom-age talents Sam Banks and Noah Holmes, the Roos have a number of players to keep an eye on in season 2020. Although Davis and Holmes will miss not take part in this match.

TSL ROUND 6 FIXTURES:

Glenorchy vs. North Hobart
North Launceston vs. Tigers
Launceston vs. Clarence

Nothing is better than a top of the table clash and grand final rematch all in one, but that is what confronts fans who attend the Clarence and Launceston battle in the TSL Women’s competition. The top of the table Roos have not missed a beat this season, winning all three matches, while the Blues slipped up for only the second time in 18 months, losing to Glenorchy to just sit four points and considerable percentage off top spot. Given the hurt from losing the grand final to the Roos last year, expect the Blues to have pencilled this one in the diary as a must-win.

Clarence has a couple of dominant goalkickers in Jessie Williams (eight goals), Amy Edmand (seven) and Jacinta Limbrick (five), while the young prospects to watch include 2021 AFLW Draft prospect, Amy Prokopiec and speedster Netty Garlo who have both impressed this season. The Blues are stacked with AFL Women’s talent led by Daria Bannister and Mia King who are always amongst Launceston’s best, as forward/ruck Camilla Taylor is an over-ager talent to watch.

The other game in the round is at the opposite end of the ladder when Tigers travel to North Launceston to take on the Bombers. North Launceston has a game in hand, and could well avoid the wooden spoon with a win in this clash, as the teams have scored a combined 16 points this season in five games, but will eye this one off as a game they both believe they can win.

Lily Ellis and Brooke Phillips are the Tigers goalkickers, while youngsters in Priscilla Odwogo and Hailee Baldwin have impressed at times this season. For the Bombers, they are yet to kick a goal in the opening two games, but have had some solid contributions from players such as Zoe Bourne, Ella Maurer and Kayla Sheehan this season.

TSLW ROUND 5 FIXTURES:

Launceston vs. Clarence
North Launceston vs. Tigers

TSL Women’s weekly wrap: Round 4 – Magpies stun Launceston as Clarence takes top spot

GLENORCHY Magpies reaffirmed themselves as a genuine premiership contender in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s competition with an impressive 25-point win over the previously undefeated Launceston. The upset win against a side that has only lost once in the past 12 months – the 2019 TSL Women’s Grand Final – helped Glenorchy move to third on the table, percentage behind the Blues. Meanwhile Clarence’s impressive 10-goal win over Tigers handed the Roos outright top spot.

The impressive Magpies got the job done courtesy of a dominant final term in what had been previously an arm-wrestle against the Blues. Kicking the only two points on the first term, and then leading by a solitary point at half-time, Glenorchy booted the only four goals of the second half, whilst restricting the top of the table Launceston to just one behind in the process. By the time the siren sounded, Glenorchy had won 5.3 (33) to 1.2 (8).

Sarah Skinner booted two goals for the Magpies and was among the best, as Elise Barwick, Molly Mitchell and Angelica Clark all snagged a goal apiece. Former North Melbourne talent, Libby Haines was best-on in the upset win, while Kira Maass and Macklyn Sutcliffe were also impressive. For the Blues, Makenna Hillier slotted the only major of the game, while Kelsie Hill joined AFL Women’s talents, Daria Bannister and Mia King among the best in the loss.

In the other game, Clarence had no such struggles running away with a 10.6 (66) to 1.0 (6) victory over Tigers. The Roos led by 14 points at the first break, but kicked away in the second with four goals to zero to hold the visitors scoreless at the main break. Lilly Ellis broke the goal scoring drought for Tigers in the third term to keep her side on level pegging for the quarter, but the final three goals in the last term went to Clarence as the Roos skipped away to a huge win to take top spot.

Amy Edmand was best on ground with four goals as the only multiple goalkicker, with Clarence teammates lining up in a real team effort with seven individual goal scorers. Nicole Bresnehan, Brianna McDonald, Jacinta Limbrick, Netty Garlo, Emma Blair and Megan Harper were the others who hit the scoreboard, as Brianna Oates, Louisa Marmion and Amy Prokopiec all impressed in the red and white. For Tigers, it was a youth feel among some of the bests with Priscilla Odwogo, Hailee Baldwin and Mimosa Middleton Miller all amongst the bests in the big loss.

Moving onto Round 5 in the competition, and a huge top of the table clash takes place at Windsor Park as Launceston looks to dethrone Clarence and take back top spot in a must-watch encounter. In the other game, the two winless teams in North Launceston and Tigers do battle with the winner to lock up fourth spot on the table for at least a week.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 4 RESULTS:

Glenorchy 5.3 (33) defeated Launceston 1.2 (8)
Clarence 10.6 (66) defeated Tigers 1.0 (6)