Tag: Belle Dawes

Smith taking things “week by week”

POWERFUL prospect Bella Smith has proven herself as one of Queensland’s top draft chances in 2021, but is taking a steady mindset into next week’s big day. The Maroochydore midfielder has been aligned with the Brisbane Lions Academy and there are plenty of former ‘Roos to look towards for inspiration in the same pathway.

“At this point in time I’m just taking everything week by week and just trying to play well in my QAFL games,” Smith said during the season. “But the end goal is definitely to get drafted.”

As a member of this year’s AFLW Academy intake, Smith has picked up plenty of elite standards along the way and got the chance to meet up with her fellow academy members earlier in the year. Queensland’s Under 19 Championships clash with Vic Country also served as a handy “experience”, with Smith notching 14 disposals and five marks despite her side’s 54-point loss.

“It was an interesting game,” she said. “I was very excited for it all, but at the end of the day they were definitely a better side than us. It was still a great experience and good to see friends that we’ve known from the (AFLW) Academy as well.

“(The Academy) is awesome. It’s such a good experience to get around girls that are like-minded. We got to catch up all together not too long ago down in Melbourne.”

At that point in time, Smith had hoped the national academy would be able to play their then-postponed game together, though it never came to fruition. Instead, she honed her craft back home with Maroochydore in a QAFLW campaign which yielded a finals win.

Described by Queensland Talent Manager Mark Browning as a “very, very tough inside mid (who) loves the contest”, Smith says strength and power are her go-to traits. While she is a terrific handler and distributor on the inside, she is still working on her outside game and improving the all-important fundamentals of kicking.

“(I’m looking to improve on) everything really,” Smith said. ” But I’ve been working a lot on my kicking. I’ve been doing work outside of training with Enhanced Football, he’s been helping me over the season on my kicking.”

Cracking the next level would mark another great chapter in Smith’s footballing story, which began at eight years old when she topped up for her brother’s local side.

The likes of Belle Dawes and Lily Postlethwaite have already stepped up from Maroochydore to the Brisbane Lions’ AFLW squad, can Smith be the next Roo to bounce to the bigtime?

AFLW U18 Championship previews: Queensland

AHEAD of the two big clashes between Queensland and Western Australia for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, we take a look at Queensland and how they are shaping up this year after an impressive effort at last year’s carnival. Below we take a look at some of the key players to watch – remarkably all of the below are AFL Women’s Academy members.

Annise Bradfield

Still 12 months away from being eligible for drafting, Bradfield is a 172cm prospect in the AFL Women’s Academy, and another player from the highly successful Bond University team. Has overcome a long-term injury to return and will no doubt be a key player for the home side. She could well play up forward and be the tall target her teammates look to inside 50.

Belle Dawes

A member of the All-Australian side as a middle-ager last year, Dawes is a small forward who provides plenty of excitement inside 50 and can drift through the midfield to have an impact. She is a versatile mover and has X-factor galore, helping her get amongst the goal kickers. Dawes became a premiership player for Wilston Grange last year, matching it against bigger-bodied opponents. A fierce tackler as well, not allowing her opponents time and space.

Kitara Farrar

One of three Gold Coast SUNS pre-listed players in the Queensland team, Farrar showed some exciting bursts off half-back before injuring herself early in the second game on the Gold Coast. She takes the game on, backs herself and can slice up the opposition with her offensive run. Likewise her defensive pressure and tackling ability is also something to watch, with her clean hands and strength to either apply or shrug off tackles another noticeable trait.

Zimmorlei Farquharson

Despite turning 16 a couple of months earlier, Farquharson showed much promise last year at the AFLW Under 18 Championships as a bottom-ager. She played as a key forward, leading out and clunking grabs. For a taller player, Farquharson moves well and uses the ball well, and while consistency is what she will be looking for as she develops, she is genuinely a star when up and going and still has time to develop.

Charlotte Hammans

Another pre-listed player by the Gold Coast SUNS ahead of the 2020 season, Hammans played from defence to midfield and showed great strength and clean hands across the ground. She snuck forward at times as well and showed off her versatility, foot skills and vision, while her composure under pressure was also impressive and it was no surprise to see her pre-listed by the SUNS.

Ellie Hampson

The third pre-listed Gold Coast SUNS player is the agile Hampson whose side-step became a trademark of the carnival last year. Not too dissimilar to Calder Cannons’ Georgia Patrikios, Hampson is able to evade opponents with ease and just steps through traffic like she is in uncontested areas of the ground. Hampson also has a long, penetrating kick that helps her hurt opposition teams and like the other two, it is no surprise to see Gold Coast keen to secure her on their list.

Dee Heslop

A consistent player last year, Heslop featured among the best on most occasions at the carnival and showed a high work ethic throughout the games. Heslop moved the ball quickly and well by hand or foot and played her role well for her side. While others won plenty of the ball, Heslop played a key role in the side and did not waste too many opportunities, showing off her class inside 50 when given the opportunity.

Lily Postlethwaite

The standout player at last year’s carnival across series two, Postlethwaite is an exciting small midfielder who has nice skills and a hard-edge to also apply plenty of defensive pressure to her opponents. She has a penetrating kick and a great technical action, and sets up her teammates with scoring opportunities going forward. Named in the All-Australian side as a middle-ager last season, and it was no shock to anyone here that she was named captain of the Queensland side for the championships.

Serene Watson

A reliable defender, Watson is a member of the Gold Coast SUNS Academy and was named in the back pocket of the All-Australian side last year. She is more of a rebounding defender who excites with her run and carry ability out of the defensive 50. She is calm and composed with ball in hand and has strong hands despite not being the biggest bodied player.

Tarni White

Made headlines from a young age by becoming the first female to play 100 games at her local club, Wynnum Vikings. White made the All-Australian squad as a bottom ager back in 2017, showing off her talent then. She followed that up with the Queensland Women’s AFL Rookie of the Year award and Harry Gordon Medal, for her high work ethic and natural leadership ability.

Queensland and Western Australia top AFL Women’s Academy

QUEENSLAND and Western Australia loom as the big challenges to Victoria in next year’s AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships after both states had a whopping 10 players named in the 2019 AFL Women’s Academy. Following on from the 22 combined played named from Victoria, Queensland – who defeated Vic Metro for the first time in the state’s history this year – and Western Australia – who matched it with the Victorian sides for the most part – have both shown to have plenty of talent pushing through their development programs.

The Victorian contingent of the AFL Women’s Academy can be found HERE.

Of the 26 players named from non-Victorian states, 19 are eligible to be drafted next year – including two that missed out this year – while seven will become eligible for the 2020 AFL Women’s Draft. Among the top players named in the AFL Women’s Academy are South Australian ruck, Montana McKinnon who was named as her state’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the championships and All-Australian in the forward pocket, while Queensland’s Lily Postlethwaite was named her state’s best in each of the three games. Fellow Queenslanders, Serene Watson and Belle Dawes were also named in the All-Australian side along with Postlethwaite.

Western Australia’s 10 nominees included talented midfielders, Mikayla Bowen and Abbey Dowrick, twin sisters, Mikayla and Brianna Hyde, talented sportswoman, Courtney Hodder, and the exciting Roxanne Roux. Outside the two non-dominant states, New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) had three nominees, with Lillian Doyle, Georgia Garnett, and bottom-ager Tarni Evans named, while Tasmanian, Mia King was the sole representative from the Apple Isle.

The players, along with the 22 chosen from Victoria, will take part in a series of three camps, beginning on December 16 at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra.

NSW/ACT [3]: Lillian Doyle (Grafton), Georgia Garnett (Kellyville/Rouse Hill Magpies), Tarni Evans (Queanbeyan Tigers)*
Queensland [10]: Annise Bradfield (Southport)*, Belle Dawes (Wilston Grange), Zimmie Farquharson (Calamvale Leopards)*, Kitara Farrar (South Cairns Cutters), Charlotte Hammans (Bond University), Ellie Hampson (Hermit Park Tigers), Dee Heslop (Yeronga), Lily Postlethwaite (Moreton Bay Lions), Serene Watson (Bond University), Tarni White (Coorparoo).
South Australia [2]: Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide), Jaimi Tabb (Woodville-West Torrens)
Tasmania [1]: Mia King (Launceston)
Western Australia [10]: Mikayla Bowen (Swan Districts), Rosie Deegan (Subiaco, WA), Abbey Dowrick (Subiaco)*, Courtney Hodder (Peel Thunderbirds)+, Brianna Hyde (Swan Districts)*, Mikayla Hyde (Swan Districts)*, Emma O’Driscoll (Swan Districts)+, Tayla Pescud (Swan Districts, WA), Roxanne Roux (East Fremantle), Sarah Verrier (Peel Thunderbirds)*.

* Bottom-age, not eligible until 2020 AFL Women’s Draft
+ Over-age, were eligible for the 2018 AFL Women’s Draft but were undrafted

2018 AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australians – Profiled

IT has been a stellar year of Under-18 female football across the country and it showed on Friday night when the best of the best went head-to-head at the Adelaide Oval. From the Victoria vs. All Stars clash, the initial All Australian squad of 48 was reduced to a team of 24. We describe the attributes of each player which led them to being an All Australian.

 

BACK LINE:

Serene Watson – Queensland

A member of the Gold Coast Suns Academy, Watson is an impressive player who is composed under pressure. She has strong hands in the contest and can find the ball in space. Despite not being the biggest-bodied player, Watson is able to excite with her run and carry across the defensive 50, where she was able to get her Queensland side out of trouble many times during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships.

Lucy Cripps – Vic Country

One of the most consistent players for the Dandenong Stingrays in the TAC Cup Girls competition, Lucy Cripps rarely missed a beat during the season. She continued her good form into the Under 18 Championships, often playing a good lock-down role on some of the star forwards from the other states. She could run the ball out of defence in a flash and was pivotal in Vic Country’s success during the tournament.

Natalie Grider – Queensland

The Queensland captain and Most Valuable Player (MVP) was very unlikely to miss the final cut of the All Australian squad after a sensational Under 18 Championships. Grider had strong hands in defence and her endurance was impressive as she was able to move up and down the ground with ease. Grider’s tackling is also a feature in her game, as it often saved crucial forward thrusts from opposition teams.

 

HALF BACKS:

Jordyn Allen – Vic Country

One of the best on-field leaders, Allen never disappointed during the TAC Cup Girls competition. She was an intercept marking machine, creating a wall of her own across half-back multiple times. She continued to do this in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, and complemented her marking with great run and carry and tackling. Allen is also a versatile player who can head into the midfield when required, where she able to have the same damaging influence.

McKenzie Dowrick – Western Australia

Dowrick is one of the most talented West Australian (WA) Under 18 players and is no stranger to making the All Australian team. A member of the AFL Women’s Academy, Dowrick has been able to show what she has learnt from the academy with slick skills and smart ball-use. She is a clever left-footer who can kick precisely to hit any target, and like Allen, can make an impact in any position. Dowrick’s footy smarts are elite as she is able to read the play and execute the one percenters to get the ball forward for her side.

Sabreena Duffy – Western Australia

Like Grider, Sabreena Duffy was unlikely to miss the final All Australian cut due to her great performance as WA captain during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She was named WA’s MVP of the tournament due to being a rock in defence. Duffy’s hands were solid as she was able to mark the ball well and give off quick handballs to running teammates, opening up the game for her side. She was one that her team relied on, as she would often kick the ball out of full-back and steady the ship for her side with her precise kicking. This is Duffy’s fifth All Australian jumper in what has been an amazing career for her in Under 18s football.

 

CENTRE LINE:

Georgia Patrikios – Vic Metro

Another player who can make an impact in any position, the All Australian selectors could have put Patrikios in any position on the field. During her time at the Calder Cannons, Patrikios played mostly in the forward line and creates excitement when combining her great run and carry with her elite agility. During the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, she often floated back into defence where she was able to use her quick hands and accurate kicking to get the ball forward for Metro. The AFL Women’s Academy member arguably does her best work on the wing though and the selectors have recognised that. This is due to her outside speed and long kicks creating forward momentum for her team.

Madison Prespakis – Vic Metro

What a year it has been for Madison Prespakis. She was awarded the Calder Cannons’ captaincy, won the Best and Fairest for her club, was named MVP for Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, as well as joint MVP of the tournament, and she now has an All Australian spot under her belt. It’s hard to fault Prespakis’ year as she has dominated across all competitions with her high footy IQ. Her kicks are booming, her hands are clean and swift and her tackling is ferocious. She is also an accurate kick for goal, and often made an impact up forward both for the Cannons and Vic Metro. In her last Under 18 game, she racked up 21 disposals, five clearances and four inside 50s to cap off an unbelievable year. She was also the joint TAC Cup Girls best and fairest.

Nina Morrison – Vic Country

Nina Morrison can be talked about on the same level as Prespakis, as she too was the joint MVP of the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships and was named as the MVP of Vic Country. Morrison has made the wing her own during the TAC Cup Girls season, providing blistering speed and aggressive tackling to stop any player in their tracks. Her football smarts allowed her to use quick hands and long kicks to get the ball forward for her side. She is an exciting player to watch and is one of the most promising draft prospects this year. She was also the joint TAC Cup Girls best and fairest.

 

HALF FORWARDS:

Sophie Van De Heuvel – Vic Country

A cricketer, an AFL Women’s Academy member, a Vic Country representative and now an All Australian – Sophie Van De Heuvel’s year has been a solid one. Van De Heuvel played a great role up forward for the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels this season, taking some strong marks and kicking six goals from seven games. Her role was more dynamic in the Under 18 Championships as she was able to rack up plenty of the football as well as get the goals on the board. She was named in the best in all three matches on the Gold Coast, highlighting her consistency in the ‘Big V’.

Gabrielle Newton – Vic Metro

She is only 17, but Gabrielle Newton is already tearing the TAC Cup Girls competition to shreds. Newton is a versatile player who does her best work in the midfield, but finds herself up forward on plenty of occasions. She has one of the cleanest sets of hands in the TAC Cup Girls competition and when she’s on, she is one of the most influential players as she can turn the game on its head. She was one of Vic Metro’s most consistent players across the Under 18 Championships as she consistently racked up high disposals and complemented this with goals, making her an exciting prospect next year.

Belle Dawes – Queensland

Dawes is an exciting forward who provides plenty of X-factor with the ball in hand. She applied sensational forward pressure during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, highlighted by her strong tackling. She’s a player that loves to get amongst the goals and is a versatile mover inside 50. Dawes is a member of the AFL Women’s Academy as well as the Brisbane Lions Academy, and is eligible for the draft next year, meaning she will be able to go to Brisbane or the Gold Coast Suns if she elects to stay in Queensland. She also became a premiership player for Wilston Grange, playing a key role through the midfield.

 

FORWARDS:

Daisy Bateman – Vic Metro

If there’s a game with Daisy Bateman in it, you can almost be certain that she will kick a goal. She kicked 14 goals from seven games in the TAC Cup Girls season this year and five goals from four games in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She has also been kicking goals with Collingwood’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s team, showing that she has been able to match it up against the bigger bodies. Bateman is a great mark of the footy and is a great leading target. She can also crumb the footy off the back of the pack, sneaking in plenty of goals to make her one of the most dangerous draft-eligible forwards.

Lucy McEvoy – Vic Country

Lucy McEvoy played as a defender in the TAC Cup Girls competition, but led the way in goals during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. The Geelong premiership captain ended up with nine goals from four games, including a five-goal haul to kick-start her Gold Coast tournament. McEvoy is known for her strong hands and smart kicking under pressure. She can also bring her teammates into the game with quick hands, making herself known as a great team player. At just 17 years-old, McEvoy captained the Falcons to a premiership this year and still has one more year to show what she is made of before she is eligible to be drafted.

Montana McKinnon – South Australia

A well-deserved addition in the side, McKinnon was extremely impressive during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She had arguably the best hands in the tournament, marking everything that came her way. McKinnon could make an impact at either end of the ground and also worked hard in the ruck when needed. She is a player with a high footy IQ, as her kicks and smooth hands are second to none. Her tackling pressure was also high throughout the tournament and as a result of all these attributes, she backed up her MVP award with an All Australian spot.

 

FOLLOWERS:

Lauren Bella – Queensland

It is no surprise to see Lauren Bella in the All Australian ruck position, as she carried the load in style for Queensland. She gave her midfielders prime use of the football with her clever taps and she also was able to rove her own ball, giving off quick hands to running teammates. Bella is a member of the AFL Women’s Academy and the Gold Coast Suns Academy. She also made the 2017 Under 18 AFL Women’s All Australian team, highlighting her consistency in the ruck position.

Alyce Parker – NSW/ACT

A proficient ball-winner and a bonafide star, it is hard to look past Alyce Parker when watching her play. She is an inside brute, as she is able to extract the ball out of tight contests and boot it out of trouble, opening up the ground for her teammates. She also provides great run and carry with the ball in hand and can float up forward to get some goals on the board too. She was named as NSW/ACT’s MVP after the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships and backed up her All Australian appearance last year with another spot this year. Parker is also a member of the AFL Women’s Academy and she has most recently become a premiership player at her local club, Thurgoona. She was named best on ground in the Grand Final and kicked 18 goals from her six games.

Tyla Hanks – Vic Country

Hanks was the dominant player for the Gippsland Power this year, with the co-captain being named in the best in every game she played this year. A member of the AFL Women’s Academy and a 2017 All Australian, Hanks has now backed up her good form in the perfect way with another All Australian jumper. She is a class above with her clean hands and long kicks, which was a huge reason why the Power experienced plenty of success this season. Her tackling pressure is immense and she can also float up forward to put some scores on the board, showing how versatile she is.

 

INTERCHANGE:

Jacqueline Yorston – Queensland

Jacqueline Yorston impressed in the Under 18 Championships with her precise kicking and tackling pressure. Her hands were also clean on the inside and she was able to extract the ball out of tight contests and create space with her run and carry. She also can match it up with the bigger bodies, playing with Wilston Grange in the Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) and enjoying a premiership alongside fellow Queensland All Australian Belle Dawes.

Lily Postlethwaite – Queensland

Lily Postlethwaite could have also received the MVP award for Queensland at the end of the AFL Women’s Championships, as she was named as best-on-ground in each of the three matches at Gold Coast. Her run and carry in the midfield was exquisite as she was able to clear the ball out of congestion and break away from opponents. Her clean hands and accurate kicks were also a highlight of her game and were pivotal in Queensland’s success in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Postlethwaite is just 17 and a member of the AFL Women’s Academy, making her eligible for next year’s draft.

Olivia Purcell – Vic Country

The Geelong premiership player is a midfield star who knows how to continually rack up the possessions. She was one of the strongest tacklers in the TAC Cup Girls competition, running down opponents with ease and aggression. Her hands on the inside were elite and her kicks allows teammates to find space. Purcell is also a great clearance player and can get the ball out of trouble for her side. She has most recently won the Geelong Falcons’ top award, being named the Best and Fairest.

Eleanor Brown – Vic Metro

Rounding out the side is Sandringham’s Eleanor Brown, who has been a revelation for the Dragons this season. Brown’s run and carry in the midfield has been elite and her kicks were long and created plenty of space. Her quick hands made an impact on both the inside and the outside and she loved to use the space she had to run. Brown played mostly in the midfield during the TAC Cup Girls season but floated back to defence during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, where she was still able to make an impact with her strong hands and precise kicking. She has already had a taste at a high level, playing VFLW with the Southern Saints in the TAC Cup Girls off-season.

AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian Team announced

MORE than one third of the 2018 AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian side is still more than 12 months away from being drafted onto and AFL Women’s list. The 22-player team was announced at the conclusion of the State of Origin match last night, with Victoria making up more than half of the team, while Queensland’s unbelievable talent was rewarded with the most of any non-Victorian state.

Queensland’s six was one more than Vic Metro, while Vic Country had the most of any state side with seven All Australians. Western Australia (two), NSW-ACT (one) and South Australia (one) made up the remaining four places in the side. Of the All Australian side, defenders Lucy Cripps and Serene Watson, forwards Gabrielle Newton, Belle Dawes, Lucy McEvoy, Montana McKinnon, and midfielders Georgia Patrikios and Lily Postlethwaite are all bottom-agers and not eligible to be drafted until next year.

The midfield is star-studded with AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships’ Most Valuable Players (MVPs) Madison Prespakis, Nina Morrison and Alyce Parker making the side, while Western Australia’s Sabreena Duffy made the team alongside the versatile McKenzie Dowrick. South Australia’s MVP, McKinnon was named in the forward pocket and would no doubt share the ruck load with Queensland’s Lauren Bella. Natalie Grider (Queensland MVP) was named in the back pocket after a really consistent season, joined in the side by state teammate Jacqueline Yorston.

Others who made the side include AFL Women’s Academy members Jordyn Allen, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Tyla Hanks and Olivia Purcell. Daisy Bateman and Eleanor Brown are the other two players who have impressed not only at TAC Cup Girls level, but at Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s level as well for their respective sides, Collingwood and Southern Saints.

AFL Women’s Under 18 State of Origin sides announced

VICTORIA’S top junior female footballers will take on the best young stars from around the country in the AFL Women’s Under-18 State of Origin match at Adelaide Oval tomorrow night. The 24-player Victorian team contains 12 Metro and 12 Country players, including five bottom-agers who are predicted to be crucial players for their respective teams in 2019. The All Stars side is even younger, with one third of the players not eligible to be drafted until next year.

Queensland has a remarkable talent base, with 10 players named in the 24-player squad, while Western Australia is the next highest represented in the All Stars side with six. New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW-ACT) and South Australia have three representatives each, while Tasmania and Northern Territory have one player each in the final side.

Gates open at Adelaide Oval at 5.15pm, with the first bounce at 5.25pm. The game is a curtain raiser to the EJ Whitten Legends Game.

Victoria:

#1 Georgia Patrikios (Calder Cannons)***
#2 Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges)
#3 Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons)
#4 Sophie Van De Heuvel (GWV Rebels)
#5 Olivia Purcell (Geelong Falcons)
#6 Daisy Bateman (Oakleigh Chargers)
#7 Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons)
#8 Eleanor Brown (Sandringham Dragons)
#9 Abbie McKay (Sandringham Dragons)
#10 Isabella Grant (Western Jets)***
#11 Jordyn Allen (Dandenong Stingrays)
#12 Courtney Jones (Dandenong Stingrys)
#13 Bec Webster (Murray Bushrangers)
#14 Georgia Clarke (GWV Rebels)
#15 Lucy McEvoy (Geelong Falcons)***
#16 Gabby Newton (Northern Knights)***
#17 Katie Lynch (Oakleigh Chargers)
#18 Hannah McLaren (Oakleigh Chrgers)
#19 Georgia Macpherson (Eastern Ranges)
#20 Mikala Cann (Eastern Ranges)
#21 Lucinda Cripps (Dandenong Stingrays)***
#22 Rene Caris (GWV Rebels)
#23 Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power)
#24 Denby Taylor (Geelong Falcons)

All Stars:

#1 Mia King (Tasmania)***
#2 Mikayla Bowen (Western Australia)
#3 Janet Baird (Northern Territory)
#4 Alyce Parker (NSW-ACT)
#5 Lily Postlethwaite (Queensland)***
#6 Belle Dawes (Queensland)***
#7 Rikkiesha Carling (Western Australia)
#8 Tori Groves-Little (Queensland)
#9 Dee Heslop (Queensland)***
#10 Natalie Grider (Queensland)
#11 Nikki Gore (South Australia)
#12 Sabreena Duffy (Western Australia)
#13 Kitara Farrar (Queensland)***
#14 Katelyn Rosenzweig (South Australia)
#15 Alexia Hamilton (NSW-ACT)
#16 Charlotte Hammans (Queensland)***
#17 Serene Watson (Queensland)***
#18 Jacqueline Yorston (Queensland)
#19 McKenzie Dowrick (Western Australia)
#20 Matilda Sergeant (Western Australia)
#21 Kate Bartlett (Western Australia)
#22 Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide)***
#23 Lauren Bella (Queensland)
#24 Brianna McFarlane (NSW-ACT)

*** bottom-ager

 

Scouting notes: AFLW National Championships – Monday, July 9

IN an entertaining opening day of AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships on the Gold Coast, Vic Country, Vic Metro and the Eastern Allies came out on top. However, their opponents, Queensland, Western Australia and the Central Allies were exciting to watch and were competitive in patches as they tried to get over the line. Peter Williams and Julia Montesano were there to witness all the action at Metricon Stadium. 

 

Vic Country vs. Queensland 

Vic Country:

By: Julia Montesano

#1 Shelley Heath

Heath was like a mosquito on the day, pestering her opponents with her speed and ‘never say die’ attitude. She laid great pressure on the ball carrier when she thought she was in space, which created a contest as numbers flooded to the ball. Her tackling was fierce all day, and she was able to win a free kick at the top of the 50 from her effprts to send Country forward. Heath displayed an excellent second effort when she executed great run and carry after dropping  a mark. She created great run down the wing and a scoring opportunity for Country, creating many forward thrusts from her hard work in defence.

#2 Julia Harvey

Harvey played a fantastic game in the forward line, and if it wasn’t for McEvoy’s purple patches, she would’ve been the best forward on the ground. She took a great mark and kicked it well down the line. Also executed an excellent snap around the body, thanks to some great positioning in the forward line. This resulted in her second goal of the day, proving how lively she was inside 50. Harvey led well towards the footy, and provided some X-factor when she spun one way then the other then centered it well towards the middle of the ground.

#5 Emily Haeusler

Haeusler had a really solid game in defence, proving to be important on the day for Country. Her clean hands off the deck were outstanding and she used them to effect on multiple occasions. After a clean pick-up, Haeusler was able to spot a one-on-one contest to kick to or kick the ball nicely down the line. She was an agile mover throughout the day and displayed wonderful acceleration down the line. Took a great intercept mark and executed a great fend off, which enabled her to handball it out of trouble. A highlight of her game was when she displayed great hands to send the ball across the goal line, saving a major.

#6 Tyla Hanks

Hanks began her day with a great goal on the run to get Country on the board. She stayed forward for most of the game, involving herself in as many contests as she could. Her hands in close were on display, and an excellent fend off and kick down the line made for great viewing. Hanks nicely delivered a kick to Julia Harvey on the lead and followed it up with a great chip kick to Nina Morrison when she saw no other option down the line, which demonstrated her elite kicking on the day. When she went back into the midfield temporarily, she had an immediate impact, as she hacked it out of the middle of the ground which resulted in Lucy McEvoy running into a goal.

#7 Olivia Purcell

Purcell got plenty of the ball on the day, playing a lively game through the midfield. She delivered a good handball to reach the player behind her and displayed excellent quick hands out of the contest. Purcell lowered her eyes on many occasions and found the right option rather than hacking it clear, showing her composure in the contest.

#8 Sophie Van De Huevel

Van De Heuvel was lively for Country throughout the day. She was able to pick up the ball off the deck and execute quick hands to get the ball out of trouble quickly. Her hands in general were great all day, allowing for quick transition throughout the afternoon. A highlight of her game was when she used brilliant acceleration to lay a great run-down tackle, earning her a set shot on goal.

#9 Nina Morrison

Nina Morrison was the star of the side on the day, displaying exciting run and outstanding hands throughout the day. She took a great contested mark and executed those signature quick hands on the wing, beginning with a bang. She then executed a good pick up off the deck and fired off a handball to keep the play flowing for her side. Morrison also did well to prevent a mark thanks to her gut-running to involve herself in the one-on-one contest. She was then able to centre it back towards the goal square, creating a forward play for Country. Morrison simply played out of her skin, getting plenty of the ball and demonstrating an incredible work rate. Delivered a magnificent kick into the forward line that rolled through the goals, capping off her great day with a reward in front of the big sticks.

#14 Jordyn Allen

Executed an excellent fend off and a great handball forward. She showed great composure as she always does the on last line of defence. This was shown when she executed a good pick up off the deck and used nice body work to evade her opponent. I thought Allen did well to act as a second hand in defence and a solid link in the chain on the day.

#18 Denby Taylor

Taylor laid a fantastic tackle to stop her opponent in her tracks and win the free kick, starting off her nice day in defence. She delivered a nice long kick into space and followed it up with a great pick up off the deck, hacking into space. Taylor was able to read the play and the situation well, and was courageous in the back line. This was shown when she took a great mark with an opponent coming hard at her.

#20 Isabella Shannon

Took a good mark off a Shelley Heath free kick and displayed a nice kicking action towards goal that just missed on distance. Shannon also chased the ball hard down the line and flicked the ball on well at ground level, demonstrating a high footy IQ.

#21 Rene Caris

Caris was solid in the ruck and shouldered most of the duties throughout the day. She also displayed good hands at the contests, delivering some nice handballs into space. She is an absolute work horse in the ruck and barely took a rest on the day.

#22 Rebecca Webster

Executed fantastic run and carry through a bunch of opponents in the middle of the ground to create the one-two with Nina Morrison, which ultimately resulted in a forward entry for Country. Webster continued to create opportunities thanks to her ability to rack up plenty of the ball. She displayed great acceleration to hunt the ball down and centered it well with a booming kick in the middle of the ground. She was exceptional all day.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

McEvoy was the star of the day for Country, booting through five goals for the match. Her first goal came from a great contested mark, which put Country 15 points in front. Also provided a highlight when she executed an excellent pick up off the deck followed up by a great spin around her opponent on the boundary line. McEvoy proved to be the excitement machine when she kicked three goals in two minutes late in the second quarter, which pretty much sealed the win for Country even at that point in the game. Her marking was outstanding throughout the day. Whether she was on the lead or in a contested situation, it was more than likely that she would take it. On the goal line, McEvoy snatched the ball from the opposition to kick her fourth major of the day, and followed this up with some excellent positioning work to kick her fifth. You just knew it was her day when she celebrated before the ball went through the goals!

#32 Courtney Jones

Took a great mark from a kick in down the line and contested well throughout the day. Followed this up with a  good intercept mark and an excellent handball under pressure. She displayed excellent pressure in the one on one contest to keep the ball in play, tackled her player and won a free kick for it. Using it well as always, Jones delivered a great kick to Sophie Van De Huevel in the forward line, spotting up a great option.

 

Queensland:

By: Peter Williams

#5 Lily Postlethwaite

Really impressed with her game through the midfield. She has that good balance of offense and defence with the way she goes about her football. Postlethwaite has clean hands at ground level or in the air, shows good vision in the way she is able to handpass into space to her teammates, and has a neat sidestep she uses to evade an oncoming tackler. She also lays tackles herself and leads by example. She worked well on the inside and outside, kicking inside 50 to advantage on a number of occasions.

#6 Zimmorlei Farquharson

Queensland’s best for mine because of her ability to show relentless work rate and tackling pressure. Farquharson lead up to the ball on countless times, reading the play well when she noticed her midfielders were about to win the clearance. She laid some strong tackles and was smart when she went into the middle. Farquharson’s strong run-down tackle at half-forward in the second half to win a free was indicative of the effort she showed throughout the match. She also has a handy vertical leap, taking a strong grab in the final term, just missing the set shot.

#7 Isabel Dawes

A really hard runner who laid a fantastic tackle on Nina Morrison in the second term to win a free. She just continued to run and put her hand up as an option on the outside. Dawes also dives in and is not afraid to win the hard ball as well.

#8 Jade Ellenger

Covered ground really well and was one of Queensland’s more prominent ball winners. She laid a number of strong tackles and won a free for a push in the back in midfield and kicked neatly inside 50. She reads the taps well at stoppages and has a good closing speed which helps in marking contests and in congestion.

#17 Brooke Randall

Had a really big third term, laying a bump on Shelley Heath and winning the footy on the wing, then laid a great tackle in defence to lock up the ball after it was knocked down in a marking contest on the last line. Randall showed good vision to handball into space over a long distance.

#18 Ellie Hampson

One of Western Australia’s best, Hampson showed great intent in defence and pushing up the ground when required. She set the tone for a great run-down tackle in the opening minutes as Country ran in to score, forcing a behind. Hampson has a penetrating kick and is strong overhead, with good vision. She attacked the ball at speed and had the smarts to quickly give the ball off to Lily Postlethwaite for her to kick long inside 50. A really promising player off half-back.

#19 Dee Heslop

Started strongly up forward, using good positioning to pounce on a loose ball and snap truly for Queensland. She came off for a break, and almost instantly won the footy upon return, having a long kick to the goal square which just missed. The ball did not go down there as much later in the game, but she presented well and had a lovely kick inside 50 in the third quarter.

#20 Natalie Grider

Started the game really strongly, taking a mark against the flight on the wing in the opening term. She won a free kick inside 50 for holding but her shot on goal just missed. She showed off her good agility and speed to lay some strong tackles through the middle and up forward. Grider was not afraid to go in hard through the midfield.

#22 Georgia Eller

Eller lead up at the football well early and won a free for in the back. She was clean at ground level and kicked the ball to a dangerous area inside 50.

#24 Charlotte Hammans

A strong player across the ground, winning possessions through defence and midfield. She stood up in a tackle and was able to kick the ball to midfield, and then without the pill she lead hard and took a strong mark on the lead and dished off to Hayley Moore. An early snap on goal in the third term just missed, but she was lively inside 50. She produced a great kick on the move to Zimmorlei Farquharson who dragged down a big grab.

#26 Serene Watson

Watson showed good vision at the coal face, able to weigh her kicks and find Natalie Grider on the wing. She also took a good intercept mark on the defensive 50 and once again used top vision to hit-up a teammate up the ground.Good vision to weigh her kick out of a stoppage and find Natalie Grider on the wing. Good defensive intercept mark at back 50, great vision to spot a running player on the wing

#27 Tiarna Ahwang

A smart player who had a good tap at ground level when she knew she could not take possession cleanly, and won a free for in the back for the effort. Ahwang took a good intercept mark inside the attacking 50.

#28 Kitara Farrar

One of Queensland’s best, starting like a house on fire, shrugging off a tackle in defence and showing polish to deliver cleanly. She had a great balance of offensive and defensive qualities, laying a few good tackles, while creating dash out of defence. Farrar was clean throughout the match and was a lovely kick of the football under pressure. She used her hands to advantage and on the final siren took a terrific intercept mark and kicked forward.

#35 Lauren Bella

A strong and clever ruck, she had a good battle with Rene Caris. She palmed down to her midfielders well and then sometimes cleared the zones with big thumps. She turned it on as the game went on.

 

Vic Metro vs. Western Australia 

Vic Metro:

By: Julia Montesano

#6 Madison Prespakis

As usual, Prespakis got plenty of the ball on the day and while she did not provide real X-factor, she was still her talented self. Executed an excellent take on the boundary line and accelerated wonderfully towards her forward end of the ground, which set up a forward opportunity for Metro. Showed great acceleration again when she burst out of a contest and delivered a lovely kick into the forward 50, presenting hard up forward throughout the day.

#7 Mikala Cann

Made her way into the game as each quarter progressed, ending up being the leading disposal-getter for Metro. As always, Cann displayed good hands throughout the day and delivered a good handball under pressure. She always fought hard for the footy and her good handballing often provided a good link in the chain. Cann was particularly explosive out of stoppages, helping Metro get forward on multiple occasions.

#8 Georgia Patrikios

Patrikios was solid all day and provided excitement when she got the ball in hand. In one instance, she spoiled the ball well which saved a certain Western Australia goal. Also displayed excellent acceleration and delivered a lovely kick into the forward line, backing it up with excellent running in the forward line. In this instance, she ran behind Mikala Cann to run into goal but just missed. Despite this, her trademark side step was on show, which is always exciting to watch. Patrikios delivered a great kick into the forward line and displayed excellent run and carry.

#9 Daisy Bateman

As usual, Bateman was as lively as ever up forward, creating plenty of chances and converting two majors herself. For her first goal, she read the ball well when it ricocheted off a teammate’s head to kick Metro’s second of the day. Bateman positioned herself well in the forward line and put herself in prime spots to kick majors. A highlight of her game was when she executed a strong tackle to win a holding the ball free kick and then delivered a great centering ball.

#10 Madeline Brancatisano

Brancatisano worked hard in the midfield and used her strengths to her advantage throughout the day. Executed a great burst of acceleration after a wonderful pick up of the footy following a smother. Followed this up with great strength to battle through a tackle and displayed good hard ball gets in general. Also delivered a good handball that allowed Georgia Patrikios to stream forward, demonstrating her clean hands on the inside.

#13 Molly Warburton

Warburton delivered a good chip kick off the ground to get it forward and did well when she cleverly stopped the ball with her foot. Took a great mark in the back line and followed it up with a second effort to get the ball out of an opponent’s hands who she nearly turned it over to, showing her intent to back up her efforts throughout the day.

#14 Isabella Grant

Took an amazing contested mark running back with the flight of the ball, which was undoubtedly the highlight of her game. Grant collided with her player side on, then saw that nobody was on the mark and streamed forward with a long kick. Also displayed clean hands when she delivered a good handball to release Georgia Patrikios on the outside. Grant’s run and carry out of defence was exciting and excellent throughout the day.

#15 Hannah McLaren

Started off her day when she dived across the goal line to save a certain goal for Western Australia. Also executed a great fend off as well as excellent run and carry in defence. McLaren showed her agility in the back line throughout the day, proving to be a handy player for Metro.

#17 Georgia Macpherson

Took a great intercept mark in the back line and was generally solid as always in defence. Made a rare cameo up forward when she kicked an excellent goal off the back of the pack. She also did well to come to the footy rather than waiting for it, creating opportunities for Metro.

#18 Abbie McKay

McKay was a handy player for Metro, working hard in the midfield. She delivered a nice long kick down the line, and her kicking in general was quite good. She emerged wonderfully out of the pack to kick a snap from boundary line, showing sheer acceleration. Although she just missed, it fell into the hands of Gabby Newton.

#20 Gabby Newton

Newton was one of the leading disposal-getters on the day, finding the ball wherever she went. She ran well throughout the day and her hands and kicking were marvellous as usual. When she went up forward, she missed an easy shot but followed with a goal, displaying good intent to keep going until she gets the reward. Ended up with two majors for the day in a great all-round game. Newton also moved well throughout the day and evaded her opponents with effect.

#22 Katie Lynch

Lynch’s hands were solid as usual for Metro and she created opportunities in almost every instance when she got the ball. Executed a great fend off to free the ball from pressure and get it forward. She then followed this up with a good mark inside 50 for a set shot chance. She always got the ball in different areas on the ground, displaying wonderful endurance and her willingness to win the footy.

#31 Britney Gutknecht

Kicked a great goal on the siren to get the energy up for Metro. Gutknecht also executed a great handball while being tackled and did really well to fend off a couple of players and aim for a snap at goal. She was quite lively when she got the ball in hand.

#32 Lauren Szigeti

Szigeti provided a good link in the chain in the back line, as she was always ready to mop up the ball when her side was in trouble. Continually applied great pressure on her opponent and kept feet while she on the ground, which was crucial in that instance. Also took some great one on one marks on the day.  

 

Western Australia:

By: Peter Williams

#2 Mikayla Bowen

One of the most impressive West Australians through the midfield, she was fierce, but also clean, and showed great closing speed. She covered ground really well, winning the ball in all thirds of the ground and laid a number of big tackles on Metro forwards Georgia Patrikios and Daisy Bateman, who are both very agile. A nice kick of the football, Bowen fought hard at the coal face to win the contested ball as well.

#5 Mikayla Hyde

Finished with one major – coming in the last quarter and was lively up forward. She showed good pace along the wing and was able to execute quick handballs at half-back, covering the ground well.

#9 Sabreena Duffy

A really lively type, she caused headaches up forward for the Metro defence, having an early snap on goal which was spoiled on the last line by Hannah McLaren. In the second term she had a great shot on goal from long range, and also had a clean pick-up off the deck to kick forward. Provided good run between midfield and half-forward.

#10 Matilda Sergeant

One of West Australia’s top prospects on the day, Sergeant was clean with ball in hand and provided great rebound out of the back half. She had a nice sidestep around an opponent in the third term to handball clear to a running teammate. In the final term she clunked a mark on the wing and kicked forward, then took another on the defensive 50 but her kick went a little too wide and was out on the full. A strong tackler on the day.

#11 Shannon Whale

Played more of a defensive role on the likes of Britney Gutknecht and Daisy Bateman, and matched them one-on-one in the contest. She managed to win more of the football in the second half, winning a couple of crucial one-on-ones including one in the final term. She won a free for push in the back and then produced an elite kick to the wing which cleared the zone, found a teammate perfectly and she delivered inside 50 which lead to a Mikayla Hyde goal.

#14 Rikkiesha Carling

Really busy in the first half and just continued to win the football throughout the four quarters. Clean, fast and courageous, Carling sometimes rushed her kicks going forward, but her intent and acceleration was impressive. She kicked to Roxanne Roux’s advantage on the half-time siren resulting in a goal, and after copping a knock in the third term, came back on and still laid some strong tackles.

#16 Tanisha Anderson

Kicked Western Australia’s first goal of the game by pouncing on a loose ball and nailing the goal under pressure from all sides deep in attack.

#17 McKenzie Dowrick

A star on the day, the top-age AFL Women’s Academy member was the most consistent West Australian in the match. She set the tone with a strong tackle on Emerson Woods on the wing, which allowed Sabreena Duffy to take it away. She produced a nice clearance in the second term and gave it to Roxanne Roux on a silver platter and then in turn to Kate Bartlett who converted. A thumping kick, good in traffic and able to intercept behind the ball as well, Dowrick is a really versatile player.

#20 Abbey Dowrick

A fierce attack on the ball, she played through the middle and consistently added pressure into the team. She slowed down opposition defenders from clearing the zone in the second term and took a great intercept mark at half-back later on. A shot on goal in the final term form long range but it missed to the left.

#21 Kate Bartlett

A really impressive game up forward, the overager reads the play well and leads hard at the football. She just clunks marks with Velcro-like hands and also forces turnovers through her run-down tackles. She started the third term on fire, leading up, receiving the handball, going one way and then the other and snapping towards goal with great goal sense and agility. Finished the game with two majors and was the clear standout forward in the match.

#22 Sonia Dorizzi

For a taller player, Dorizzi has great closing speed and is versatile in the way she plays. She can win the ball in the air or at ground level, and is often decisive in the way she palms the ball down. She had a set shot on goal on the three quarter time siren but it hit the post.

#24 Roxanne Roux

Really impressive game with some highlight-reel worthy moments. The first was a huge bone-crunching tackle at half-back to win a free and kick long. Then she took a massive grab, clunking the mark with a big vertical leap and hit-up Caitlin Hill up forward. Another tackle late in the second term forced a turnover and she had a shot on goal in the last quarter but it went too far to the right. Finishing off a terrific game, Roux laid a huge tackle on Marnie Jarvis to stop her running into goal, and then Katie Lynch at half-forward, rewarding the West Australian with a free.

#27 Caitlin Hill

Hill continued to lead up at the football throughout the game and took a number of strong marks. While she did not manage a major in the game, she had a number of opportunities, although had a strange lead-up, swaying the ball a bit side to side, with her set shot hitting the post.

 

Eastern Allies vs. Central Allies 

Eastern Allies:

By: Peter Williams

#1 Alyce Parker

A standout performer and one of the top players on the day. Through the midfield she was everywhere and her clear class shone through in the match. Parker is rarely worried out of it or rushed, she just glides out of congestion with ease, which was shown in the second term when she was in between four players and just worked her way out of it with a quick glide, then had a shot on goal which just fell short. She had a couple of other chances in the game but could not quite convert, but her work rate and ability to impact the contest was evident.

#11 Lillian Doyle

The match winner in the end, Doyle capped off her performance with two goals in the last term and just put the game beyond reach for the Central Allies. All three goals came from opportunistic moments and Doyle has a great goal sense and ability to pounce when required. A great dribble goal to seal the game was a highlight.

#13 Zoe Hurrell

Was solid up forward across the game but hurt the opposition on the scoreboard in the final term, kicking a vital goal. Moments earlier she missed a set shot after taking a good mark, but made no mistake with her second attempt.

#16 Lauren Stevenson

A really good defensive pressure player, she was able to work hard one-on-one and provided a good spoil on the wing pushing up the ground. She also laid some strong tackles and was constantly involved with pressure plays.

#18 Brianna McFarlane

Kicked a great goal in the second term and was among the best across the four quarters, providing an option by leading up and getting involved in the play. One of a number of versatile Eastern Allies players who contributed to the win.

#21 Chloe Haines

Started in defence and took a good mark at half-back and used her raking kick to hit-up a target on the wing. Moments later she was on the receiving end of a free kick inside 50, with her shot on goal just missing. She had a couple more opportunities but could not quite make them count, spraying one out on the full and the other just missing when it came off the side of her boot. Was still clearly in the Eastern Allies’ best and was always involved in the play. A great smother in attack late in the game was indicative of her intent on the day.

#25 Libby Haines

Strong overhead and at ground level, she laid some good tackles and took good grabs in space. Haines’ second efforts were impressive and she covered the ground well and was another player who was versatile in where she could play and impact the contest.

#28 Alice Mitchell

Just had a few impressive moments throughout the game, particularly in the first half. Mitchell showed good hands in passing quickly to teammates and also great strength, producing a good fend-off in the opening half. Just buzzed around and was a solid contributor in the win.

 

Central Allies:

By: Julia Montesano

#4 Madeline Gault

Worked hard to win the footy throughout the day. Showed tenacity and intent to win the footy and when it didn’t work out for her, she kept trying. Never gave up for the Central Allies on the day and did well defensively, laying some great tackles.

#5 Tabitha May

Executed great run and carry down the line and showed sheer speed throughout the day. Took a good mark in defence but also made an impact in other areas of the ground. She was simply in everything and put a lot of pressure on the ball carrier.

#15 Nikki Gore

Gore was an important player for the Central Allies, doing all the little things to ensure her side stayed in the hunt. Laid some good tackles on the day and delivered some nice kicks into space to get the ball out of trouble. In one instance, she laid an excellent run down tackle to shut down an opponent, displaying excellent closing speed. Also took a good mark and followed this up with some great run and carry down the line.

#19 Arthurina Moreen

Moreen is an excitement machine and was responsible for two of the Central Allies’ goals. She converted her side’s first major of the day when she got a free kick and converted the set shot. Her run and carry was also exciting as it created opportunities for her side to stream forward.

#26 Katelyn Rosenzweig

Rosenzweig was one of the Central Allies’ best players on the day thanks to a lively performance up forward. Executed a great pick up and quick kick and took many good marks in the in the forward line. Kicked the ball well around her body to get it forward, creating many forward thrusts for her side. A highlight of her day was when she trapped the ball magnificently and did nicely to get up and kick around the body for her second goal of the day.

#28 Montana McKinnon

McKinnon’s hands were the best of the day for the Central Allies. McKinnon always managed to position herself well and took some memorable grabs. Did well in a contested situation and a one on one situation, showing her versatility. Also displayed great kicking, demonstrated when she delivered a nice high kick out of the contest.

#29 Esther Boles

Boles was huge for the Central Allies, doing everything she could to win the ball. She ran hard to every contest that she was involved in to try and win the footy. Delivered a nice kick to the top of the square and her kicks in general were sound and precise. A highlight of her game was when she took a great one hand grab and executed a great clearing kick from a stoppage.