Tag: Brittany Bonnici

AFLW H2H Battle: Early 90s v Late 90s

IN our first AFL Women’s Head-to-Head Battle, we have created teams of 24 players to determine which end of the 90s might prevail in a head-to-head clash. For the early 90s team, we have those AFL Women’s players born between 1990-1994, and for the late 90s, we have the 1995-1999 births. We have not included any player that made their debut in season 2019. As you will see from the two different sides, the early 90s is stacked through the forward line with a strong defence, while the late 90s midfield is very deep with strong players up both ends. It made for a very difficult task of picking just 24 players for each side, and picking a winner is just as difficult.

Early 90s – 1990-1994:

B: Nicola Stevens – Chelsea Randall – Hannah Scott
HB: Bianca Jakobsson – Elise O’Dea – Ebony Antonio
C: Alicia Eva – Kara Donnellan – Kaitlyn Ashmore
HF: Christina Bernardi – Katie Brennan – Jasmine Garner
F: Jess Wuetschner – Darcy Vescio – Brooke Lochland
R: Emma King – Dana Hooker – Jessica Dal Pos
INT: Nat Exon – Sarah D’Arcy – Jaimee Lambert –  Kate McCarthy – Sarah Perkins – Deni Varnhagen

The Early 90s team features the best of the best from 1990-1994 births, with a forward line that is All Australian quality, and an enviable spine that would win one-on-ones galore. In defence, captains, Adelaide’s Chelsea Randall and Melbourne’s Elise O’Dea hold down key spots, with Hannah Scott taking the third tall role, and the likes of Nicola Stevens, Bianca Jakobsson and Ebony Antonio providing run from the back half.

In the midfield, the early 90s team features some seriously underrated players. Fremantle duo, Kara Donnellan and Dana Hooker, GWS GIANTS’ duo Jessica Dal Pos and Alicia Eva, and North Melbourne’s Kaitlyn Ashmore fill out the starting five, with Nat Exon, Jaimee Lambert and Deni Varnhagen able to rotate through there, as would O’Dea and Jakobsson who push up the ground. With Emma King in the ruck, the early 90s would have a strong chance to win the hitouts, although the opposition midfield would be hard to combat.

Up forward, it is littered with stars from start to finish, in what is an unbelievably powerful front six. Katie Brennan and Darcy Vescio as a one-two combo would bring the crowds alone, but throw in goal machines, Jess Wuetschner and Brooke Lochland, as well as great playmakers, Christina Bernardi and Jasmine Garner who provide both defensive and offensive pressure respectively, and add a different element to the mix. Add in the likes of Sarah D’Arcy, Nat Exon, Kate McCarthy and Sarah Perkins, and the forward rotation would be the envy of any side.

Even those who missed out could consider themselves incredibly unlucky, with Rhiannon MetcalfeStevie-Lee ThompsonAmelia MullaneMeghan McDonald, Aimee Schmidt, Jacinda Barclay, Lauren Pearce, Catherine Phillips, Kate Gillespie-Jones, Brittany Gibson and Hayley Wildes among some seriously talented depth for the five years.

VS

Late 90s – 1995-1999:

B: Nicola Barr – Libby Birch – Chloe Molloy
HB: Brianna Davey – Tahlia Randall – Emma Swanson
C: Emily Bates – Ebony Marinoff – Ally Anderson
HF: Ashley Sharp – Sabrina Frederick-Traub – Monique Conti
F: Aliesha Newman – Tayla Harris – Rebecca Beeson
R: Erin McKinnon – Ellie Blackburn – Lily Mithen
INT: Deanna Berry – Brittany Bonnici – Jenna Bruton – Sarah Hosking – Breann Moody – Jamie Stanton

The late 90s team has a deep midfield that would worry any opposition midfield with its uncompromising attack on the ball and ball carrier. Around the ground the side has good options in attack and defence, and while they might not be as experienced as their early 90s counterparts, they show the future of the game over the next five to 15 years. In defence, Tahlia Randall and Libby Birch are the two key backs, with Chloe Molloy capable of playing tall or small. Nicola Barr, Brianna Davey and Emma Swanson provide the fierce attack out of the back half, with the ability to roam through the midfield too.

In the middle, talented young ruck Erin McKinnon leads a massively inside midfield brigade, with Ellie Blackburn, Lily Mithen and Ebony Marinoff likely to lay a record amount of tackles in a game between them. Brisbane pair, Emily Bates and Ally Anderson will provide support on the wings, while Sarah Hosking, Brittany Bonnici, Jenna Bruton and Jamie Stanton are able to also rotate off the bench into the team. Breann Moody would be McKinnon’s back-up ruck, and also allows Randall to purely focus on her defensive match-ups.

Up front, Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Tayla Harris join forces inside 50 as the key targets. Around their, feet speed demons, Ashley Sharp, Monique Conti and Aliesha Newman will always have defenders worried, while Rebecca Beeson is consistent as they come. Deanna Berry will add to the pace inside 50 and will add some extra running off the bench.

Among those unlucky, injured talents Jess Hosking and Isabel Huntington would make the team with some luck in the future, while Jasmine GriersonBonnie ToogoodEden ZankerEloise JonesJordan ZanchettaHayley Miller, Stephanie Cain and Maddison Gay are among those in contention for a spot in the 24-player team.

Weekend previews: AFLW – Round 2

AFTER an exhilarating first round, which saw four of the five matches go down to the wire, teams prepare to tweak game styles or mix up team sheets in order to get an advantage over their opponents. Four of the first round losers face off, with Melbourne heading to Victoria Park on Saturday to face the Magpies, while Carlton hosts Adelaide at Ikon Park on Sunday. The two sides who head home without any points face an uphill battle in the race for finals action. The fifth losing side from Round 1, GWS GIANTS has its own mammoth effort – trying to take down North Melbourne who simply blitzed Carlton. A maximum of three sides can remain undefeated after Round 2 with first round winners, Geelong and Western Bulldogs, and Fremantle and Brisbane facing off over the weekend.

GWS GIANTS vs. NORTH MELBOURNE
Friday, February 8, 7.15pm
Drummoyne Oval

In the opening game of the round, new side North Melbourne fresh off a huge victory over Carlton, head to Drummoyne Oval to face the GIANTS. The GIANTS are playing just their second game at the venue, following a loss to the Blues this time last year. The battle within the contest is the All-Australian rucks going head-to-head with Kangaroos’ Emma King and GIANTS’ Erin McKinnon. North Melbourne’s midfield has great depth to it, lead by last year’s League Best and Fairest winner, Emma Kearney, Jamie Stanton, Jess Duffin and Ash Riddell, of whom the latter was ultra-impressive on debut. North Melbourne’s dynamic forward line features former Magpies, Jasmine Garner and Mo Hope, premiership-winning Bulldog Jenna Bruton, and former Lion Kaitlyn Ashmore. With the strength around the ground, it will be hard to contain the Roos if they win the midfield battle.

The one area the GIANTS could get an upper hand is through rebounding forward with an equally impressive, albeit underrated forward line. Jess Dal Pos, former Magpie Christina Bernardi and defender-turned-forward Cora Staunton are all capable of multiple goals, while Haneen Zreika was impressive on debut last week. The midfield simply has to win its fair share of head-to-heads, with Courtney Gum, Rebecca Beeson, Alicia Eva and Alyce Parker leading the way, while Amanda Farrugia, Emma Swanson and Tanya Hetherington will have big jobs coming out of defence. The Kangaroos took a massive 56 marks in last week’s huge win over Carlton, while still laying 66 tackles. The GIANTS laid just the 42 and only five in the forward 50, and will need to show more pressure inside 50 against a side capable of hurting you on the scoreboard really quickly. Both teams are generally good ball users and make the most of their opportunities so it will be fascinating to see which team can take the early advantage and put it on the scoreboard. North Melbourne will head in as favourites, but it is far from completely clear cut, and this will be a huge win for the GIANTS if they can get the job done at home.

H2H: GWS GIANTS 0 | North Melbourne 0 | Draws 0
Venue: GWS GIANTS 0-1-0 | North Melbourne 0-0-0

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

  • Emma Kearney averages 20 disposals, 6.5 tackles, 4.5 clearances, four inside 50s and a goal against the GIANTS from two clashes.
  • Both AFL Women’s All Australian rucks are set to go head-to-head with Emma King taking on Erin McKinnon. In the battle between the pair last year, King won convincingly with 11 disposals and 18 hitouts to McKinnon’s three disposals and 14 hitouts.
  • GWS GIANTS’ only game at the venue resulted in a loss to Carlton last year, while North Melbourne looks to back up its only game – a huge win over Carlton last week.
  • The GIANTS have won two, drawn two and lost three games in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory.

 

COLLINGWOOD vs. MELBOURNE
Saturday, February 9, 4.45pm
Victoria Park

At one of the homes of traditional football, Collingwood hosts Melbourne in what has become a must-win for both sides. After heart-breaking losses in Round 1 despite leading at the final change, neither team can afford to go 0-2, with the reality that teams need at least four wins to secure a finals berth. A second loss means they must win four of their final five games as a minimum and with both still to play their respective conference favourites, it would spell trouble for their post-season hopes. However, for the winner, it is a chance to balance the ledger and get back on track early in the season. Collingwood has been a slow starter in year’s gone by, and has been overhauled with youth since last season, while Melbourne has also brought a number of young players into the team, furthering the development of players who got their starts last season. With both teams defensively capable, it will make for a great clash. The sides also sit at one win each in the head-to-head, funnily enough after the losing side in each game got a head start, but was run over the top of in the second halves.

Both teams have made two changes, with a debutant and a return from a long-term injury headlining the selection moves. Oakleigh Chargers’ tall, Katie Lynch comes into the side after Sophie Alexander’s concussion last week ruled her out of the game. Kristy Stratton was also ruled out through injury, with the Magpies opting to go tall by bringing in Eliza Hynes to try and stretch the Melbourne defence when forward, while rotating with Sharni Layton and Eliza Fowler. Melbourne have brought in Ainslie Kemp who has not played since 2017 due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear – sadly replacing Shae Sloane who suffered the exact same injury. The Dees have also brought in Ashleigh Guest for Claudia Whitfort. The key to victory for the Demons is restricting the run of Collingwood’s defence, which helped the Magpies hold up against Geelong last week with Ash Brazill causing all sorts of headaches, while Jordyn Allen was equally as impressive. They also need to clamp down on Jaimee Lambert who has the ability to turn a game with great plays, while Catherine Phillips could be the one asked to restrict Sarah D’Arcy from dominating in the air. For the Magpies, they need to be wary of Melbourne’s firepower with Tegan Cunningham and Eden Zanker likely to stretch the defence, while Aliesha Newman has pace to burn and both Kate Hore and Maddison Gay are capable of getting over the back and hurting teams on the rebound. Elise O’Dea, Karen Paxman and Lily Mithen are up there with the best midfields in the competition, and will look to control the stoppages around the ground and give their forwards early opportunities.

H2H: Collingwood 1 | Melbourne 1 | Draws 0
Venue: Collingwood 0-0-0 | Melbourne 0-0-0

Last time they met: Collingwood 9.4 (58) defeated Melbourne 3.6 (24) at TIO Traeger Park, Round 4, 2018

After booting the opening two goals of the match and keeping Collingwood goalless in the opening term, the Demons only managed 1.4 for the rest of the match as the Magpies piled on 9.4 to run away with the match by 34 points. Magpies captain, Steph Chiocchi played one of her best games under lights, booting a goal from 17 disposals, two marks, four clearances and three inside 50s, while Jaimee Lambert had a team-high 19 disposals as well as three inside 50s and two rebounds. Caitlyn Edwards and Mo Hope both booted two goals in the victory, but arguably the best performance was that of Brittany Bonnici who tagged Melbourne captain, Daisy Pearce and restricted her to a career-low nine disposals. For the Demons, Elise O’Dea was the top performer with 19 disposals, two clearances, three inside 50s and a goal, while Karen Paxman had 18 touches and three rebounds.

Fun facts:

  • Of the 42 players to take the field in last year’s clash in the Top End, just 24 players remain available for selection in season 2019. Even more remarkably, just eight players from Collingwood’s first match against the Demons – two years ago – remain on the list.
  • Elise O’Dea (17 disposals) and Karen Paxman (16.5 disposals) average the most disposals against the Magpies from their two clashes.
  • Sarah D’Arcy and Emma Grant average the most disposals against the Demons, with 10 touches apiece.
  • Both sides were in the lead at three quarter time after holding their opponent scoreless in the third term last week only to go on to lose the game in heartbreaking circumstances.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS vs. GEELONG
Saturday, February 9, 7.15pm
VU Whitten Oval

H2H: Western Bulldogs 0 | Geelong 0 | Draws 0
Venue: Western Bulldogs 4-3-0 | Geelong 0-0-0

In the other game that will be the first time these teams go head-to-head is between reigning premiers, Western Bulldogs and new side, Geelong. Both teams had a win in Round 1 and this weekend marks the first home game for the Bulldogs, which means they will unfurl the 2018 AFL Women’s flag in front of what is predicted to be a strong crowd at VU Whitten Oval. The winner will most certainly get an early advantage given the strength of their opponent, and it marks the first game for the sides which sees them pitted against a non-conference rival. Both teams also know how to close out tight games, having survived one-point thrillers in the opening round to secure the four points. Given their experience and depth across the field, Western Bulldogs will head in as favourites, but Geelong are expected to throw down a challenge with a couple of key players returning.

The Cats have welcomed back key forward, Phoebe McWilliams and ruck, Erin Hoare to bolster their side against the reigning premiers. Georgie Rankin and Maighan Fogas have been the two unlucky players omitted from the victorious side last Saturday night, with Fogas and key defender, Georgia Clarke named as emergencies for the clash. The Dogs will unveil Irish debutant, Aisling McCarthy who comes into the side, replacing the omitted Belinda Smith. The enticing battle will see which defence holds up the best as both sides proved to have their respective opposition’s measure last week. Co-captain, Katie Brennan booted the Bulldogs’ two goals against the Crows, while Meg McDonald, Rebecca Goring and Madeline Keryk were among the Cats’ best under pressure when the Magpies were attacking. While the heartbreaking story of Nina Morrison doing her ACL at training will dominate headlines, Geelong still has a huge core of youth including Denby Taylor, Olivia Purcell and Sophie Van De Heuvel who will face established young talents in Monique Conti and Bonnie Toogood, and first round draftee, Eleanor Brown. Co-captain Ellie Blackburn is always a crucial player for the Dogs and will look to take control in the midfield, while the Dogs’ defence of Lauren Spark, Libby Birch and Hannah Scott will provide plenty of rebound.

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

  • The Western Bulldogs lost three consecutive matches at VU Whitten Oval in 2017, but have since won all three games they have played there, and is the Dogs’ first home game since winning the 2018 AFL Women’s flag.
  • Aasta O’Connor will play against her old side for the first time, lining up in the ruck to face Kim Rennie, while sharing the ruck duties with Erin Hoare in the blue and white hoops.
  • Ellie Blackburn averaged 16.9 disposals, 2.9 marks, 3.25 tackles and 3.25 clearances last season, the most of any current Western Bulldogs player.
  • With Brooke Lochland injured for the season, Phoebe McWilliams will be the leading goal kicker from last season in the match, booting seven goals for the GIANTS.

 

CARLTON vs. ADELAIDE
Sunday, February 10, 4.05pm
Ikon Park

H2H: Carlton 0 | Adelaide 2 | Draws 0
Venue: Carlton 4-1-2 | Adelaide 0-0-0

For the first time in 2019, Ikon Park hosts a match with the Blues heading back home to welcome the Crows in a Sunday evening game. The ground has traditionally been the host of the opening game of the year between bitter rivals, Carlton and Collingwood but that has changed in 2019. These teams are both heading into the match off the back of a loss, with Carlton’s heavy defeat to North Melbourne not the ideal start to the season following a wooden spoon, while the Crows will rue missed opportunities in front of goal after booting 1.11 against the Bulldogs at Norwood Oval. Adelaide is yet to play at Ikon Park, while Carlton has made it somewhat of a fortress winning four and drawing a fifth game from its seven matches at the venue. Considering they have only won one match outside Ikon Park, it has been a comfort zone and the Crows cannot afford to take them lightly. With Adelaide in the tougher conference, they would not want to drop this game and go 0-2 to start the season, while Carlton will look for its first win under Daniel Harford who would have learnt plenty from the round one defeat.

Looking at the Round 1 matches, efficiency inside 50 looks to be key, with Adelaide having a 75 per cent scoring efficiency with 18 shots from 24 attempts, while Carlton had just 10 shots from 29 attempts – 35 per cent scoring efficiency. Both sides have impressive forward lines on paper, but they will need to convert their opportunities. Any forward 50 with Darcy Vescio, Tayla Harris and Brianna Davey – who has actually been named in defence – is going to worry opposition defenders, while Erin Phillips is as good as anyone one-on-one and is lining up at full-forward, while Chloe Scheer is a young star who will only get better. Speaking of young stars, Madison Prespakis carried the weight of the midfield on her shoulders last week and was ultra-impressive on debut, so the Crows will need to be aware of her presence. The Adelaide midfield has greater depth and the Blues should look to limit the influence of Ebony Marinoff who racked up 23 disposals and laid 11 tackles in Round 1. If Carlton can restrict her influence on the inside and win the contested ball – with the likes of Jess Hosking and Katie Loynes getting on top, it will go a long way to causing an upset. Chelsea Randall leads the defence, while the experience of Renee Forth through the midfield will be important. Carlton will need to control the ruck contest through Breann Moody, and break even in the middle, while the Crows will focus on clearance domination to give their forwards first opportunity and more importantly, those forwards need to convert.

Last time they met: Adelaide 8.7 (55) defeated Carlton 2.8 (20) at Norwood Oval, Round 5, 2018.

Adelaide flexed their muscles against the Blues when the sides were heading in opposite directions. The Crows at home booted six goals to one after quarter time to run away from the Blues, but counted the cost of the win with injuries to Erin Phillips and Courtney Cramey. Ruth Wallace booted three goals, while Eloise Jones finished with two, as Ebony Marinoff and Chelsea Randall shared 31 disposals. Breann Moody was dominant in the ruck for the Blues with 29 hitouts from 11 disposals and four clearances, while Tayla Harris had 11 disposals, three marks and booted a goal.

Fun facts:

  • Despite winning the wooden spoon last season, Carlton has a strong record at Ikon Park, having won four and drawn one from seven attempts.
  • If Carlton lose the match, it will mark more than a year since they won their last match.
  • While she picked up an injury in the second game, Erin Phillips was everywhere in the Crows’ first win over the Blues, racking up 21 disposals and eight clearances. In the same game, Ebony Marinoff laid 14 tackles from 16 disposals, her exact disposal average against Carlton.
  • Of the Carlton players to play against Adelaide in both games, the omitted Tilly Lucas-Rodd averages the most disposals with 13.5, while Darcy Vescio averages two goals per game against the Crows.

 

FREMANTLE vs. BRISBANE
Sunday, February 10, 3.05pm
Fremantle Oval

H2H: Fremantle 0 | Brisbane 2 | Draws 0
Venue: Fremantle 2-3-0 | Brisbane 1-0-0

Both sides won against the odds in Round 1, with Fremantle toppling Melbourne in scorching weather at Casey Fields after being 14 points down at the final break, while Brisbane knocked off GWS GIANTS a fortnight after succumbing to the GIANTS in a heavy practice match loss. Both sides had plenty to be positive about last week, most importantly securing an early four points, while also having plenty to improve upon for this week. Fremantle are back at home in Western Australia, but at their only other clash at the venue, Brisbane took home the points, though it was two years ago. Both teams look to be very different to that clash, with the Lions having a host of youth coming through, as do the Dockers while also filtering in some experienced local talent. Brisbane will go in as favourites given their history in the competition, but Fremantle’s performance last week certainly raised eyebrows and showed that everyone could be underrating the Dockers.

Both sides play a different brand of football which is really exciting for this clash. In Round 1, Fremantle battered and bruised their way to an impressive contested ball style, getting the pull forward to record a huge 11 marks inside 50, while laying 10 tackles in the arc. They harassed and pressured the Demons into making uncharacteristic mistakes, laying 77 tackles in the process. The Lions have tall targets up forward, but opted for a balanced possession game and spread well around the ground. They intercepted the GIANTS 51 times and took the game on, trying to unsettle the defence with possession football, but going when required. This game could well be a combination of both styles and sets up for a huge clash. The Lions forward line is severely underrated with Sabrina Frederick-Traub the dominant key position player, while McKenzie Dowrick and Jess Wuetschner are incredibly clever and dangerous around goals. Throw in Jordan Zanchetta, Emma Zielke and the defensively-minded but strong, Lauren Arnell and the Lions front six is as good as any. Ebony Antonio and Tayla Bresland were strong in defence last week, while the midfield of Dana Hooker and Kara Donnellan are not huge ball winners, but always effective. They tackle the biggest ball-winning duo of Emily Bates and Ally Anderson who had the ball on a string last week, while the potential match-up of Kiara Bowers and Sam Virgo could be entertaining based on Round 1 form. Both teams have immensely talented youth coming through, and both teams’ first round picks, Sabreena Duffy and Paige Parker, have been named in the side.

Last time they met: Brisbane 3.4 (22) defeated Fremantle 2.3 (15) at South Pine Sports Complex, Round 4, 2018.

In a low-scoring affair that saw just one goal kicked in the first half, Brisbane held on in a thriller to win by seven points and remain on track for a grand final berth. Dynamic forward, Jess Wuetschner booted two goals from 18 disposals, three marks and four inside 50s, while Kate Lutkins and Ally Anderson both had 18 touches in the win. For the Dockers, Lara Filocamo had 18 disposals and laid five tackles. Kara Donnellan laid a whopping 10 tackles and had five clearances and 15 disposals.

Fun facts:

  • In their only clash at the venue, Brisbane defeated Fremantle by 13 points in Round 2, 2017. Fremantle has a 100 per cent winning ratio at Fremantle Oval over Victorian sides, but a zero per cent winning ratio over non-Victorian sides.
  • Jess Wuetschner has been the dominant goal kicker in the matches between these sides, averaging two goals per game.
  • Lara Filocamo averages the most disposals between the sides, with 17.5 per match.
  • Both sides won their opening round matches by less than a kick, with Fremantle getting a dress rehearsal for the scorching West Australian heat, winning at Casey Fields in 38 degrees Celcius.

 

DRAFT CENTRAL TIPPING

Leaderboard:

Eq. 1st : Sophie Taylor, Matthew Cocks [ 3 ]
Eq. 3rd : Peter Williams, Taylah Melki, Michael Alvaro [ 2 ]

 

Peter Williams

Chief Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Collingwood
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Taylah Melki

Assistant Chief Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Sophie Taylor

Women’s Football Editor

Last week: 3

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Michael Alvaro

Men’s Football Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Matthew Cocks

Guest Tipster

Last week: 3

Round 2 selections:

GWS GIANTS
Collingwood
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

AFLW season previews: Collingwood

COLLINGWOOD has been hit the hardest by the introduction of the two expansion teams, losing a host of stars to North Melbourne. The Pies also lost the experience of Bree White and Meg Hutchins, as well as the exciting Caitlyn Edwards, as the trio retired at the end of the 2018 season. Collingwood had to capitalise on the draft pool and it did, selecting some exciting young talent and some Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s experienced players.

Last season: 6th – three wins, four losses.

Changes:

In: Nicole Hildebrand, Sarah Rowe, Sophie Alexander, Erica Fowler, Jordyn Allen, Katie Lynch, Lauren Butler, Mikala Cann, Maddie Shevlin, Georgia Gourlay, Jordan Membrey, Sharni Layton

Out: Caitlyn Edwards, Bree White, Christina Bernardi, Moana Hope, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner, Emma King, Amelia Mullane (nee Barden), Lauren Tesoriero, Meg Hutchins, Tara Morgan

Collingwood has lost seven of its top 10 in last year’s Best and Fairest, with Jasmine Garner, Christina Bernardi, Amelia Mullane, Jess Duffin, Emma King and Moana Hope all jetting off to other clubs. Add the loss of Chloe Molloy to injury and Caitlyn Edwards to retirement, and you have a depleted list. Thankfully, the Pies picked up one of most talented players in the Under-18 crop in Jordyn Allen. Allen is a known leader, captaining the Dandenong Stingrays and Vic Country in 2018, and is a pillar of strength through the midfield and the back line. To back that up, the Pies selected the powerful Katie Lynch, who thrives in the middle of the ground but can use her booming kick and strong hands to effect in the forward line. They also boast two of the most exciting new crosscoders in the league, with former Australian netballer, Sharni Layton and Gaelic footballer, Sarah Rowe, who broke a club record in the 2km trial, set to take the field in 2019.

Area of strength: Midfield

Out of all the areas left with holes by the departed players, the midfield is the least unscathed. The Pies still boast a potent midfield containing Jaimee Lambert, Emma Grant, Brittany Bonnici, Melissa Kuys and Kristy Stratton. They will also be able to add Eastern Ranges dynamo, Mikala Cann to the mix, who has intense tackling pressure and immense speed. The experience of Maddie Shevlin will also be a vital addition, as she starred for the Casey Demons during the VFLW season. There’s also some flexibility in the side, with Stephanie Chiocci able to move from defence to the midfield, while Katie Lynch and Sophie Casey can roam the forward line and move into the middle of the ground when needed.

Area of weakness: Defence

Collingwood’s defence has taken a big hit over the off season, waving goodbye to Jess Duffin, Meg Hutchins and Jasmine Garner. Although the Pies lost more forwards in the off season, they were able to fill the void quite well with the recruitment of Erica Fowler, Sophie Alexander, Jordan Membrey and Katie Lynch. However, their defence remains vulnerable, as the Pies will have a young defensive 50 leading the brigade. Darcy Guttridge and Georgia Gourlay are both a risk with injury troubles, but will be keen to play a big role for the Pies. Iilish Ross is still a developing player who has been in and out of the Collingwood line-up, but was convincing during the VFLW season. She does not often trouble the disposal count, so this could be an area where she seeks to improve in 2019. It will also be interesting to see how Lauren Butler fares in this defensive line-up with her light build. Expect the loss of Chloe Molloy to really be felt for the Pies this season as unpredictability surround their defensive make-up.

Players to watch:

Mikala Cann

It is hard to believe that this will be Mikala Cann’s second year of competitive football. Prior to 2018, Cann competed in athletics and basketball, and has brought those attributes over to Australian Rules. She has great acceleration and can tackle like no other, always willing to show her tenacity on the field. She was fortunate enough to represent Vic Metro in 2018, and played in Hawthorn’s VFLW premiership side, so she knows how to make an impact on the big stage. Nicknamed ‘the bull’ by her teammates, expect Cann to be one of the toughest players out there.

Sophie Alexander

A dangerous forward with a great leap, Alexander gave a lot of VFLW opposition defenders headaches. In her breakout game for the Pies, she kicked four goals against the in-form NT Thunder, showing she can make an big statement. She ended up with 14 goals from 14 games, and was named in the VFLW Team of the Year for her efforts. What makes Alexander stand out is her ability to rack up the disposals inside 50, which is something Collingwood will need in the 2019 season.

Sharni Layton

Sharni Layton has done it all in netball, winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2014, and winning two Netball World Championships with Australia in 2011 and 2015. Having come from the Collingwood netball team, Layton is accustomed to the attitudes of the club and has been hitting the track hard, working on her running technique in particular. Her leap will be invaluable for the club as will her strength, so it will be interesting to see where she will line up on the field, as these assets are valuable in any zone. With unpredictability comes excitement through, and Layton is sure to put on a show, following in the footsteps of fellow netballer/footballer, Ash Brazill.

2019 prediction: 5th in Conference B

Unfortunately with a list that takes a hit like that, it’s hard to see the Pies making any inroads in Conference B. They will be looking to make a statement in Round 1 against the new kids on the block in Geelong, but it will be hard to do so away from home. They could snag wins against Carlton and Fremantle in rounds three and five, but all eyes will be on the side in Round 6. Not only will they host the first ever AFLW game at Marvel Stadium, but they will be coming up against old teammates at North Melbourne, which will definitely be a challenge. Collingwood still has the players to be a top side, but gelling what is effectively a whole new team together is no easy task.

2019 AFLW Collingwood Fixture

DateEventTime/ResultsVenueArticleMatch Day
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GMHBA StadiumRound 1
Victoria ParkRound 2
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Fremantle OvalRound 3
Morwell Recreational ReserveRound 4
Ikon ParkRound 5
Marvel StadiumRound 6
Victoria ParkRound 7

AFLW Draft review: Collingwood

COLLINGWOOD was hit the hardest in the AFL Women’s off-season, losing many experienced players to other clubs. Moana Hope, Christina Bernardi, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner, Emma King and Amelia Barden will all be playing at different clubs in 2019, while retirees, Meg Hutchins, Bree White and Caitlyn Edwards will also be a big loss for the Pies. It was always going to be interesting to see how Collingwood went about its draft, but overall, versatility has been the theme as the side seeks a quick fix to its punishing off-season.

What they needed:

  • Forwards to replace Moana Hope, Lauren Tesoriero and Christina Bernardi
  • Defenders to replace Caitlyn Edwards and Tara Morgan
  • Versatility to fill the absence of Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner and Chloe Molloy (inactive this season)
  • Experience to fill the void of Meg Hutchins and Bree White
  • Ruck to replace Emma King
  • Midfield depth to fill the void of Amelia Barden

 

Players selected:

Jordyn Allen – Dandenong Stingrays

Allen is a known leader, having captained the Dandenong Stingrays and Vic Country this year. Allen is a star off half-back with her overhead marking and unique ability to build her own wall in the defensive 50. She can also roll into the midfield and have an immediate impact there with her football smarts and long kicks. She will play a big part in helping to fill the void of Chloe Molloy and Jess Duffin.

Katie Lynch – Oakleigh Chargers

Lynch is a real X-factor player who creates excitement when she gets the ball. She has a fantastic long kick and can use it across the field. She is a tall player that plays primarily in the midfield and breaks the lines well with her strength. Despite limited game time in the TAC Cup Girls competition in the last two years, Lynch overcame injury trouble and battling school commitments to represent Vic Metro this year. She will help to fill the void of inside bull, Amelia Barden for the Pies in 2019.

Mikala Cann – Eastern Ranges

Mikala Cann is a remarkable story. In her first year of football, she represented Vic Metro, played in a premiership with Hawthorn and was named in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year. Known for her ferocity in the contest, Cann is a hard inside midfielder who loves to tackle. Coming from an athletics background, she is able to combine her speed and power to haunt opposition midfielders. She will be a great addition to Collingwood’s midfield, and presents a style of play similar to Brittany Bonnici, so the pair should combine well in the midfield.

Lauren Butler – Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels

The skipper of the GWV Rebels had a great year, representing Vic Country and spending some time with the Western Bulldogs in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s. Being a utility, she will add some much-needed versatility to the Collingwood line-up. Her endurance is perhaps one of the most impressive assets of her game and she proved it at the AFL Women’s Draft Combine, placing in the top five in the yo-yo intermittent test and the 2km time trial.

Maddie Shevlin – Casey Demons

Shevlin was perhaps a bit unlucky to get delisted by Melbourne in the off-season, But after some fantastic football for Casey, Collingwood decided to give her a second chance in the AFLW. Rotating through the forward line and the midfield, Shevlin kicked five goals from 14 games and was named in the best five times. She’s a player who knows how to rack up the disposals and uses the football cleanly both by hand or by foot. Another player who will add some versatility to the Pies’ line-up.

Sophie Alexander – Collingwood VFLW

Alexander burst onto the scene for the Pies this year in the VFLW. She kicked 14 goals from 14 games, including four majors against the NT Thunder. She was also named in the best eight times, highlighting her consistency. She is a powerful forward who can kick them from anywhere and is a great mark of the footy. She could be one of the most exciting players in the Collingwood lineup this year and could be a great replacement for Moana Hope.

Georgia Gourlay – Casey Demons VFLW

Georgia Gourlay is another great story from the Pies, as she has bounced back from two knee reconstructions in three years to earn a spot in Collingwood’s AFL Women’s side. She was a promising junior, making the Under 18 All Australian team as a 16 year-old. She is known for her precise kicking, which she uses as an asset of her game on the wing and on the half-back line. She could find a home in defence to replace the likes of Caitlyn Edwards and Tara Morgan.

Jordan Membrey – Wilston Grange

The Pies have picked up another delisted player in Jordan Membrey, who spent some time at the Lions in 2017. Her experience in an AFL Women’s line-up makes her a ready-made player for the Pies, which is a handy acquisition. Membrey got the chance to show her leadership skills this year, captaining Gold Coast in the AFL Women’s Winter series. She can rotate through the forward line and the midfield, and impresses with her clean hands.

Erica Fowler – Collingwood VFLW

Erica Fowler seems to be the solution to replace the departed Emma King. She and Hynes should combine well in the ruck to give the Collingwood midfielders first use of the ball. Fowler can also be a key target up forward, often playing a role for the Pies at full forward during the VFLW season.

 

How they went:

The Pies’ draft strategy appears to revolve around experience and versatility. With the loss of so many players in the off-season, Collingwood needed to kill two birds with one stone, and recruited versatile players such as Erica Fowler, Jordan Membrey and Jordyn Allen to provide a quick solution for the mass loss of players. A lot of midfield depth has been added through the likes of Mikala Cann and Katie Lynch, which will help the Pies get first access to the football. The forward line has also been bolstered through the recruitment of Sophie Alexander, who was one of the most exciting forwards in the VFLW competition. The Pies have a lot of options to work with for 2019, so it will be interesting to see how they fit all these versatile players into their line-up.

AFLW Draft preview: Collingwood

COLLINGWOOD has been hit hard in the AFL Women’s off-season, losing plenty of stars including Christina Bernardi, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner, Emma King and Meg Hutchins. Luckily, the Pies have gained some exciting prospects in former netballer, Sharni Layton and former Gaelic footballer, Sarah Rowe, while Brisbane defender, Nicole Hildebrand will add some experience to the line-up.

 

Last season: 6th

In: Nicole Hildebrand, Sharni Layton, Sarah Rowe
Out: Caitlyn Edwards, Bree White, Christina Bernardi, Moana Hope, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner, Emma King, Amelia Barden, Lauren Tesoriero, Meg Hutchins, Tara Morgan

COLLINGWOOD AFLW LIST (22/30)

  • Brittany Bonnici
  • Ash Brazill
  • Sophie Casey
  • Stephanie Chiocci
  • Sarah D’Arcy
  • Sarah Dargan
  • Emma Grant
  • Darcy Guttridge
  • Nicole Hildebrand
  • Eliza Hynes
  • Melissa Kuys
  • Jaimee Lambert
  • Sharni Layton
  • Stacey Livingstone
  • Cecilia McIntosh
  • Chloe Molloy
  • Georgie Parker
  • Iilish Ross
  • Sarah Rowe  
  • Ruby Schleicher
  • Kristy Stratton
  • Holly Whitford

DRAFT PICKS

5, 11, 13, 18, 19, 29, 32, 51

POSSIBLE DRAFT PROSPECTS

Given Collingwood’s connection with Oakleigh, it is hard to look past Chargers trio, Hannah McLaren, Daisy Bateman and Katie Lynch. The trio all represented Vic Metro and played for Collingwood’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side. Bateman would be a great replacement for Moana Hope, as she positions well in the forward line, and is an solid mark and accurate kick. McLaren will boost the defensive stocks of the Pies while Lynch is a dominant force in the midfield. If Madison Prespakis isn’t taken in the draft yet, the Pies could have her on their radar as well. Eastern Ranges duo, Mikala Cann and Emerson Woods could also be thrown into the mix, as Cann impresses with her explosiveness and Woods is extremely athletic. Others they may consider include Gippsland Power co-captain, Tyla Hanks or Dandenong Stingrays captain, Jordyn Allen. They could provide support to captain, Stephanie Chiocci and vice-captain, Brittany Bonnici in Collingwood’s midfield.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Collingwood vs Hawthorn

HAWTHORN has won its way through to the Grand Final after defeating minor premiers, Collingwood. AFL Draft Central‘s Carly McClen was there to witness the action. The notes for the NT Thunder vs Geelong game will be online tomorrow.

 

Collingwood vs Hawthorn

Collingwood: 

#2 Chloe Molloy

Collingwood AFLW star Chloe Molloy was in impressive form, in the second quarter after being on the ground a minute and a half she kicked the first goal for the Pies to level the scores. She kicked another in the last, a 40 metre goal on the run that bounced through. It was a rare individual effort and she laid eight strong tackles.

#3 Nicole Hildebrand

Played a steady defensive role, crucial to keeping the margin within two goals. She read the ball better than her opponent and was often prepared to play on and kick long out of defence to clear her team from danger. She was crucial in holding up the momentum of the Hawks.

#4 Sarah D’Arcy

Her speed and slick ball movement was a sharp contrast to the Collingwood outfit on the day. She had 17 kicks, her work rate was high for four quarters.

#8 Brittany Bonnici

Had 12 disposals and laid seven tackles. She was gutsy and attacked hard but found it difficult to break the lines of the Hawks defence.

 

Hawthorn:

#1 Emma Mackie

Continued her strong form with three goals and 18 possessions. Excellent captain’s game. Her influence set the tone for the Hawks and backed it up for four quarters.

#19 Lou Wotton

She outmuscled her in-form opponent Eliza Hynes, generating more positive outcomes from stoppages.

#21 Pepa Randall

Was a dominant force in the backline. She smashed packs for the contested ball and took three good marks.

#24 Rosie Dillon

She broke through traffic to boot the first major and set the tone for the Hawks. She racked up 11 kicks, nine handballs and four tackles and consistently troubled Collingwood’s trademark defensive pressure with her pace and agility at both ends of the ground.

#28 Sarah Perkins

A real team lifter on the day. The one percenters were paramount by Perkins. Her hard chase and run-down tackle followed by an overhead mark and goal before half time really lifted the Hawks.

#32 Kim Ebb

Provided plenty of run down the wing, ran all day and created opportunities for her team and consistently troubled her opponent.

#45 Mikala Cann

A force on the half back line. She had 21 disposals and laid eight tackles for the Hawks. Kept her opponent scoreless and hardly with the ball.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Week 1 Finals

THE home and away season has come to an end and the finals have finally arrived in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season. Collingwood, Hawthorn, NT Thunder and Geelong all battle it out over the coming weeks with the hope of raising the premiership cup.

 

Collingwood vs. Hawthorn

Saturday September 8, Stannards Stadium, 10:15AM

Collingwood and Hawthorn finished the home and away season in the top two spots and as a result have an opportunity to advance straight through to the Grand Final. Collingwood suffered just two slip-ups throughout the season; an early season draw against Geelong and a late season loss against the Thunder, both of whom will head into battle in the elimination final on Sunday. The Pies have a number of huge inclusions into their line-up with Sarah D’Arcy, Sophie Alexander and Brittany Bonnici among others returning to the line-up. The three inclusions will look to re-discover their early season form and re-establish themselves in the side. Collingwood will also be looking for a big contribution from star, Chloe Molloy who has been unbelievable all season long with her poise under pressure, elite decision-making and overall strong play. For the Hawks, they also enter the game with extreme confidence having defeated fellow finalists Geelong and the Thunder in their past two games. The Hawks lost just two games for the season and played consistent footy throughout the year, establishing themselves as a true contender. They make several inclusions (extended bench) highlighted by Melissa Kuys, who can be a real game-breaker at her best. Their forward line featuring Sarah Perkins and Phoebe McWilliams has been dangerous all year and should once again play a huge role in getting the Hawks over the line. The injection of youth, including Eastern Ranges duo Emerson Woods and Sarah Kendall joining Mikala Cann, provides the Hawks with plenty of excitement. Midfielder, Emma Mackie will also look to continue her terrific home and away season form with a big game in the finals to push the Hawks towards the Grand Final and a hugely important week off.

 

Northern Territory (NT) Thunder vs. Geelong

Sunday September 9, Stannards Stadium, 11:45AM

The NT Thunder meet Geelong on Sunday morning in the elimination final with both sides desperate to keep their premiership dreams alive. The Thunder have looked unstoppable at times throughout the season, posting several dominating defeats by high margins. By far the highest scoring team in the competition, their forward line has been firing on all cylinders, with some scoring contributions from the midfield to assist. They will have had plenty of preparation time, having not played since their Round 15 defeat at the hands of Hawthorn, with their bye coming in the final round of the home and away season. Jess Sedunary, Jenna McCormick and Angela Foley have all been huge for the team throughout the season and should once again have a big impact on the outcome. For the Cats, they narrowly missed out on an opportunity to face the Pies in the qualifying final, having lost to Hawthorn in the last round of the season. They look to shake off the disappointment and move into the second week of finals with a win, while also preventing elimination. Erin Hoare and Megan McMahon are among several inclusions for the Cats, with each having played a pivotal role in Geelong’s early season success. Richelle Cranston will be the player to watch for Geelong as she has been the catalyst in a number of victories this season with her commanding presence throughout the ground. A huge game of footy with both sides hoping to keep their dream alive for at least one more week.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 14

MELBOURNE University, Darebin and the NT Thunder all recorded crucial wins in Round 14 of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition. Our writers were there to watch these three teams on their way to victory, and noted down some of the top performers in each cracking match.

 

Casey Demons vs. Melbourne Uni

By: Peter Williams

Casey Demons:

#11 Eden Zanker

Showed good strength around the ground playing through the ruck and spending time forward. Zanker showed off her athletic capabilities, often leaping much higher than the opposition ruck and getting a clean tap to her midfielders. She also laid some great tackles and looked comfortable in the position.

#12 Georgia McLean

Had a few classy moments in the second half, breaking up a series of stoppages with great acceleration, but her shot on goal just missed. She applied good pressure on the ball carrier to force a ball over the boundary line, and read the taps from her rucks well, hitting the ball at top speed to burst away from her opponents.

#16 Casey Sherriff

A prominent player in defence who stepped up in the second half. In the third term she stopped a certain Sophie Abbatangelo goal, going back with the flight to earn a free kick, and then in the next play, used her smarts to keep the ball in play and in front of her, kicking it along the ground to gain extra distance. In wet conditions, Sherriff was one of the cleanest players around and showed good vision and disposal by hand or foot to teammates around the ground. Laid some vital tackles too, balancing between offensive and defensive traits.

#19 Amy Dunn

The Gippsland Power tall contributed in patches on debut, lining up at full-forward as the 23rd player. In the second term she contested strongly one-on-one and won a free kick on the wing for in the back and gave the handball off to a running teammate. In the final quarter, she marked the first ball inside 50, working hard on the lead. Her shot on goal missed to the right and was rushed over.

#22 Jordyn Allen

Showed off her trademark penetrating kick, leading out from half-forward and weighing her disposal well. She applied pressure to the ball carrier and was neat by hand or foot in transition and while she did not win a heap of the football, she laid some great tackles.

#24 Darcy Guttridge

A general in defence, Guttridge just patrolled the backline and showed great attack on the ball carrier. In the opening term she showed good strength to shrug off a tackler at half-back and kick cleanly to the wing. She constantly pushed up to the wing and hit the contest at full speed, trying her best to pump the ball long. She is a straight runner and can kick long inside 50. Copped a knock in the final term and was helped off, but could at least walk to the bench which was promising.

#25 Maddie Shevlin

Had a big day out around the ground, winning plenty of the football in the midfield and taking a kick-first approach. She laid some good tackles, but her highlight of the day was a monster kick from 50 metres which bounced through for a huge goal.

 

Melbourne University:

#1 Sophie Abbatangelo

Played a perfect forwards game, finishing with two goals, but also assisting her teammates in a couple more. She lead out and took strong marks, missing an early chance but then conjured something out of nothing, snapping a ball from the pocket. In the second term she set up Caitlin Greiser with a great lead out and then pass to her advantage, then nailed a second goal from a set shot which bent around the post to curl in. In the final term she marked deep and was unselfish to handball off to Kaitlyn Ashmore who ran in and kicked the easiest of goals.

#7 Ashleigh Riddell

The Melbourne University captain was prominent throughout the four quarters, cracking in hard and winning the ball in tight. She would spread to the outside, and hit the scoreboard with a fantastic goal off a step from the left boot deep in the pocket under pressure. She showed how clean she was at ground level on the wet turf, and also had good vision and decision making to kick to her teammates’ advantage in space. She continued to run hard all game and won her fair share of the ball.

#21 Rebecca Webster

Had a good inside game, working hard and putting pressure on the ball carrier, as well as using her stronger frame to assist her teammates. She laid some good tackling pressure in the opening term to force a turnover, and had a highlight reel moment in the second term where she charged from congestion. Unfortunately she found out how wet the ground was, taking a bounce which saw the ball roll away from her, but she recovered and handballed clear. Really strong in the midfield and clean at ground level.

#26 Caitlin Greiser

A prominent forward on the day who was one of Melbourne Uni’s best, dropping into the hole in the first term and intercepting a quick kick from a Demons defender. Her shot was on target but touched on the line. Not long after she used footy smarts to keep the ball in front of her while being chased, enabling a teammate to pick it up in space. She worked hard inside 50 to outbody her opponent in the second term, turn around and kick the goal from 15m out. She had another chance moments later with a snap under pressure but just missed. In the third term she lead out, protected the ball drop well and kicked inside 50. But her highlight-worthy moment came with less than two minutes to go as she won a one-on-one, picked up the ball tucked against the boundary line and snapped on goal, bouncing once before going through for goal of the day.

#29 Kathryn Klatt

Liked her work out of defence, she rarely made a mistake in her ability to peel off her player, take a good intercept mark and kick long, or think her way out of trouble. She was clean and accurate with her disposal on a day which made it tough considering the conditions, and had a number of crucial rebounds throughout the game.

#37 Libby Haines

Just a handful of touches on debut, but she put pressure on her opponents when down back. She used quick hands to keep the ball moving, and the one thing that stood out, perhaps more than any other player, was her closing speed and tenacity at the ball carrier. She mowed down opponents and in the final term, laid two huge tackles in a row, rewarded for her second effort, working super hard defensively.

#38 Kate Angelis

A tackling machine, Angelis just thrived on the contested ball and applying pressure all over, tackling an opponent in the second term to force a turnover. She also pounced on a loose ball and kicked it off the ground for a great goal.

#48 Madison Prespakis

You begin to run out of things to say about this talent, and it is easy to see why. She wins the ball at ease and just has fantastic vision and ability to fire handballs to teammates at will. She missed a shot at goal running in early, as the breeze tucked it away, and another only after which was intercepted. In the third term, Prespakis showed unbelievable courage going back with the flight to spoil a mark and managed to avoid giving away a free, then got up and a moment later, snapped a goal out of nothing. Bounced off opponents at stoppages and never stopped running, having the ball on a string and dominating. Best on ground again.

 

Darebin vs. Hawthorn

By: Taylah Melki

Darebin:

#2 Nicole Callinan

She was solid throughout the game, winning plenty of the ball and taking a heap of good contested marks. Callinan’s use of the ball was efficient and effective, hitting up targets while under pressure, showing good composure with ball in hand.

#7 Lily Mithen

Mithen applied plenty of physical pressure, laying a really strong tackle and winning a holding the ball call in their forward 50 leading to a goal from a teammate who played advantage. She used the footy well throughout the game showing great composure with ball in hand to check her kicks and hit up a teammate.

#14 Meghan McDonald

Solid down in defence once again, hitting the packs hard and showed good composure under pressure. She showcased her class with a clean pick up off her toes and then good hustle to break a tackle and get boot to ball in the second quarter. McDonald continued her impressive intercept marking game, taking some goal saving grabs down back once again for the Falcons. She was a key player down back proving how important she is to their side.

#15 Annalyse Lister

Lister took a good strong mark going back with the flight in the second quarter and showed good agility to get around her opponent and then bomb it inside 50. Her second efforts were good all game, showing she was not afraid to put her body on the line and win the ball at the coal-face.

#22 Georgia Hammond

Good strong juggling mark just outside the goal square and converted in front of goal. Hammond showed some good hustle to trap and win the footy at ground level in the forward 50 and was clean in and around the stoppages with a really good pick up off the deck in the middle of the ground. She highlighted her footy smarts to dish off to a teammate and create a forward thrust for her side.

#40 Lauren Pearce

Pearce continued her good form, taking a heap of good strong intercept marks which was credit to her ability to read the flight of the ball. She consistently impacted the contest and showcased her footy smarts, winning plenty of taps in the ruck and hitting it to her team’s advantage. She laid a crunching tackle in the third term where she chased down her opponent and won a holding the ball call, showing how important the one percenters are.

# 43 Hannah Mouncey

Mouncey had a really good game for the Falcons taking a heap of contested marks under pressure and offering good leads through the middle of the ground for her teammates to hit up. She provided a good presence in the forward line and was effective in the ruck, showcasing her footy smarts with some good taps to advantage. She worked herself into the game and hit the scoreboard at a critical moment with a clever scrumming goal in the third term. Mouncey also bagged another major in the fourth quarter, helping to secure the win for the Falcons.

 

Southern Saints:

#2 Alison Brown

Brown showcased her good hands in tight and around the stoppages. She used her long kick to clear the ball and move it forward for her team. She really started to work herself into the game in the second half, highlighting her strong hands and ability to read the flight of the footy. Brown worked tirelessly throughout the game, impacting the contest and scrapped hard at ground level to extract and win the footy.

#28 Rhiannon Watt

Watt was solid across the ground for the Southern Saints and showcased her good quick hands to release teammates into space. Her leads up at the footy were strong, helping to create space in the forward half and took a big contested mark. Watt created a real presence up forward and worked tirelessly throughout the game, proving to be one of the key players on the field. 

#36 Sophie Bolding

She showed some good dash and covered the ground with ease, highlighting her ability to run both ways. Bolding burnt off her opponent in the third term while streaming into the forward 50 but missed her shot at goal. She had some good passages of play but just missed a sense of composure with ball in hand, needing a few more steps to balance and compose herself before having a shot at goal or dishing off to a teammate.

#39 Eleanor Brown

Had a really solid game for the Southern Saints and was not afraid to go in hard and win the footy at the stoppages. Brown showcased good clean hands in close and worked hard to release her teammates on the outside. Her ability to get into damaging positions and use the footy effectively and efficiently was second to none. She was strong around the stoppages, scrapping hard and imposing herself on the contest as well as laying some strong tackles across the field.  

#42 Courtney Jones

Jones was cool, calm and collected throughout the game, taking a good strong mark under a heap of pressure from the Falcons. She slotted a big goal from about 40 metres out, showing her footy smarts and composure to go back and take her time to keep the Saints in it. Jones flicked the ball out of congestion with ease and was relatively accurate by foot, ensuring that she checked her kicks and hit her targets.  

#43 Shelley Heath

Heath showed some good break-away speed to burst away from the pack and was good in tight, dishing off effective and clever handballs. She worked herself into the game, gathering a few possessions and tackling well to win the ball for her team. Her strong hands were a highlight of her game along with her good leads into space through the middle of the ground.

 

Collingwood vs. NT Thunder

By: Julia Montesano

Collingwood:

#3 Nicole Hildebrand

Hildebrand delivered a good kick inside 50, penetrating the ball forward. She won a good one-on-one battle against Jenna McCormick. Also delivered a nice centering kick into the centre square.

#8 Brittany Bonnici

Laid some great tackles, showing her intent to win the footy. A highlight of her game was when she streamed through a couple of players and gave off the handball. Also took a good intercept mark.

#28 Holly Whitford

Delivered a magnificent pinpointed pass to Kristy Stratton on the lead inside 50. In another instance, Whitford sold the candy, evaded two tackles and thumped the ball forward, which was a highlight of her game. She also displayed good run and carry towards forward 50 during the game.

#54 Hillary Grubb

Grubb won a lot of the footy and got a well-deserved goal on the board for her efforts. Executed a great fend-off and followed it up with a nice kick inside 50. Grubb also displayed great run and carry through the middle of the ground.

#59 Katie Lynch

Lynch was able to read the play well and show good composure. Delivered a nice short kick to Hannah McLaren and took a good mark on the edge of defensive 50 out of the full back kick-in. Also delivered a good kick to Jessica Edwards, which started a forward thrust.

#66 Daisy Bateman

Had excellent awareness to chip a kick to Stacey Livingstone in the goal square rather than try to attempt the goal from a difficult angle. In another instance, Bateman read the bounce of the footy beautifully and converted her first major of the day.

#67 Hannah McLaren

Played a sensational game for the Pies and was their best-on-ground in my opinion. She executed a good burst of speed and followed this up with quick hands out of the pack. Was able to play on out of defensive 50 to find a target, highlighting her footy smarts out of the back half. McLaren also took some good defensive marks and did whatever she could to get the ball moving. This was demonstrated when she gave off a great handball on hands and knees which opened up the play for the Pies. In another instance, she evaded her opponent well and got the ball forward. Also gave off a nice high handball to get it out of the contest.

 

NT Thunder:

#3 Angela Foley

Took a good intercept mark off a Brittany Bonnici kick. Also read the the play well to get her boot on the ball and kick a goal to bring the margin within one point.

#5 Machaelia Roberts

Roberts did well to kick the ball inside 50, always trying to penetrate the ball forward. She was able to hit targets with her kicks and even did so while being tackled on one instance. Roberts executed a great pick-up of the footy and followed this up by streaming inside 50 to put the Thunder in front in the dying stages.

#11 Jordann Hickey

Hickey was the main target up forward and led hard to the footy all day. She was able to kick the ball nice and straight through the goals, highlighting her sound kicking action. Hickey too showed great run and carry inside 50 with an exciting element of acceleration. She was able to use this acceleration on her leads, bursting away from her opponents to mark the ball lace-out.

#22 Jenna McCormick

Like Thorn, McCormick played a sensational game for NT. Delivered a nice spearing pass to the wing, getting the ball on her boot plenty of times. Also delivered a nice long ball down the wing and also used her hands well, executing a long handpass. Executed a nice kick toward forward 50 and backed it up with some great intercept marking throughout the game. A highlight of her performance was when she stopped Jessica Edwards in her tracks when she was streaming inside 50. Laid another great tackle to dispossess her opponent and kick it down the line.

#31 Jessica Sedunary

Executed a good kick while being pushed, showing her strength in the contest. Did well to burst through traffic and showed good run and carry out of the back half. Sedunary also hit up Sue Nalder nicely inside 50.

#55 Tayla Thorn

She was NT’s best for mine. Executed a good fend-off and burst well into the forward line. She evaded a couple of players and kicked it to Jordann Hickey for a set shot in a marvellous piece of play. Thorn fended off well again in another instance, this time against the strong Emma Grant. Worked well with Hickey inside 50, delivering another good kick to her. Thorn displayed excellent run and carry and combined this with good bursts of speed. Took a great uncontested mark off a Sue Nalder kick that dropped short to give her a shot at goal. Also laid a great tackle on Stacey Livingstone.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 13

BIG wins from NT Thunder and Geelong combined with a loss to Hawthorn made for a shake-up of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s top four in Round 13. In other games, the Casey Demons defeated the Blues, the Saints upset the Dogs and the Pies took care of business at RAMS Arena against the bottom of the table Bombers. 

 

Casey Demons 5.7 (37) defeated Carlton 3.9 (27)

By: James Halley

The Casey Demons held on to a 10-point victory against Carlton as the Blues failed to capitalise on their chances late in the final quarter at Casey Fields. Carlton was 16 points down at the final change, needing four goals in the last quarter to win. However, the Blues had only kicked three majors for the game, making for a very difficult task. They had the advantage of a major breeze in the last term but unfortunately for the Blues, they only were able to kick six behinds in the last quarter, missing crucial chances in front of goal.

The Demons’ dominant first term negated Carlton of any chance of scoring, as they locked the ball inside their forward 50 for the majority of the quarter. Their first quarter dominance was soon squandered as Carlton got its chance to attack with the breeze, as Vescio showed why she is such a star. The Blues denied Casey for a large part of the third term, as they placed a number behind the ball, but Katherine Smith broke the drought with a smart goal out a pack moments before three quarter-time, allowing the Demons to hold on for victory. 

Eden Zanker starred for the Demons up forward as she kicked two goals within the first five minutes of the game, ending up with three for the match. For Carlton, Darcy Vescio stood up when needed, taking big marks and kicking a crucial goal. She made her Demon opponents nervous whenever she was near the ball.

 

Williamstown 4.2 (26) defeated by NT Thunder 11.5 (71)

NT Thunder got another win on the board in stunning fashion, defeating the struggling Seagulls by 55 points. The Thunder led at every break and did the most damage in the third quarter. The away side kept Williamstown scoreless and kicked four unanswered goals to sit a at second on the ladder and a game ahead of Hawthorn.

In her return to the NT lineup, Anne Hatchard did not disappoint. The Adelaide AFLW forward booted four goals while Crows teammates, Jessica Sedunary and Georgia Bevan each kicked one major. Bevan was named best on ground for the Thunder and was complemented by fellow goal kicker, Emma Swanson, who has been in fine form for the Thunder this season. Tayla Thorn also played a great game for NT, kicking two goals and making her way into the best as well.

It was all single goal kickers for Williamstown, as the side only scored four majors for the day. Georgia Harris, Jess Duffin, Sarah Chapman and Sharnie Whiting were the ones who got on the board with a goal each, doing what they could to provide a contest. A standout in that area was Rebecca Dardengo, who was named best afield for the Seagulls in the loss. She was complemented by Belinda Hateley, Chloe Portelli, Jenna Bruton and Jessica Bartolo.

 

Geelong Cats 10.7 (67) defeated Richmond 1.2 (8)

In one of the biggest wins of the season, the Cats took care of the Tigers, easily beating them by 59 points. Geelong held Richmond scoreless for three quarters and used the third quarter to blow the game out of the water. In that quarter, the Cats got out to a 65-point lead, thanks to kicking six unanswered goals.

Mia-Rae Clifford had an absolute day out in the blue and white hoops, kicking four majors for the day, two of which came in the first quarter. Maddie Boyd also joined in the scoring, kicking two goals and being named best on ground for her efforts. Richelle Cranston continued her stellar season at Geelong, as she booted a goal on the weekend and contributed well around the ground. She too was named in the best Geelong players for her great game. Maighan Fogas, Erin Hoare and Cassandra Blakeway also had performances to remember, playing solid games on the day.

For Richmond, it is no surprise to see who was named best on ground. Phoebe Monahan has been an exceptional midfielder for the Tigers this season and was no different on Saturday. Despite the heavy loss, she managed to make her efforts shine through which was a positive for Richmond on a dour day. Monahan was complemented by good games from Murray Bushrangers midfielder, Tamara Smith as well as Ella Ross, Alice Edmonds, Laura Bailey and Lisa Davie. Jess Gardner was the only goal kicker for Richmond, booting through a major in the last quarter.

 

Darebin 4.5 (29) defeated Hawthorn 3.7 (25)

By: Taylah Melki

In a relatively low-scoring affair, it was the Darebin Falcons that took home the four points, knocking off the third-placed Hawks. It was a scrappy game with neither side able to capitalise on their scoring opportunities and often fumbling the ball. Both teams struggled to break away from one another with the final margin being a mere four points, making for a hotly contested match. Most of the game was played between the arcs, resulting in a lot of stoppages and very few shots on goal.

For the Falcons, the experience and class of players such as Elise O’Dea and Jessica Dal Pos stood out with their ability to open up the space and create some good run and carry through the middle. O’Dea bagged an important goal for her side, and showed great leadership in trying times to will her side back into the contest. Teammate, Kate Shierlaw also impressed for Darebin with her composure and ability to take strong marks under pressure while Meghan McDonald starred down back, taking a number of good intercept marks to stop the flow of the Hawks.

The likes of Meg Hutchins and Phoebe McWilliams continued to impress for the brown and gold with their constant intent to win the footy and impact on the contest. Jayde Van Dyk was also amongst the Hawks’ best with her clean hands in close and ability to read the play well. Teammates, Rebecca Beeson and Jessica Sibley also worked tirelessly all game, racking up the touches and imposing themselves around the contest.

 

Western Bulldogs 1.3 (9) defeated by Southern Saints 6.4 (40)

In one of the biggest upsets of the round, the Bulldogs were knocked off their high horse and came crashing back down to Earth against the Southern Saints. They kicked their only goal of the game in the first quarter, and were completely shut down by the Saints for the rest of the game. The Saints were able to increase their lead at each quarter break and ended up taking home a 31-point win.

Tara Bohanna was the focal point up forward with three majors while Courtney Munn, Amy Silver and Holly Bate all chipped in with one major a piece. Kayla Ripari continued her solid season on Sunday, being named best on ground for the winning team. Ruck, Rhiannon Watt was just as impressive and has also had a consistent season, backing it up on Sunday by being named second best. The duo were complemented by Vic Metro Under 18 pair, Eleanor Brown and Gabriella De Angelis, who also earned a spot among the best players.

For the Bulldogs, April Goldring and Libby Birch were the standouts in the loss. In her first game for the season, Hannah Scott contributed well in her first VFLW game, although she would’ve liked to have taken home the win. Fellow AFLW teammates, Angelica Gogos, Lauren Spark and Ashleigh Guest all also did well on the day.

 

Essendon 3.5 (23) defeated by Collingwood 6.13 (49)

Collingwood got off to a fast start in this match, kicking the first four majors of the game. Essendon then fought back in the second quarter, outscoring the Pies two goals to one. But Collingwood’s winning form prevailed, holding onto victory in a tight tussle at RAMS Arena.

Oakleigh Chargers skipper, Hannah McLaren was named best on ground for the Magpies in what was a memorable performance for her. Her Chargers teammate, Daisy Bateman also made an impact by kicking a goal on the day. Iilish Ross, Jessica Edwards and Sophie Casey also kicked singles while AFLW captain, Steph Chiocci booted two majors. Collingwood AFLW teammates, Brittany Bonnici and Holly Whitford also put in solid performances in the win.

Irena Malliaras, Monique DeMatteo and Tanya Hetherington were the goal kickers for the Bombers in windy conditions. Hetherington was also named in the best for Essendon for her great game but she was bettered by one player in Jessica Anwyl, who was named best on ground for the losing side. The duo were complemented solid performances from Courtney Ugle, Natalie MacDonald, Maddy Collier and Alexa Madden.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 12

AN entertaining Round 12 saw traditional rivals, Carlton and Richmond go head-to-head and Collingwood defeated Melbourne University in a tight tussle. Our writers watched both of those matches and noted the outstanding performances from the weekend.

 

Carlton vs. Richmond

Carlton:

#3 Darcy Vescio

Executed a nice pick-up off the deck and gave off a good handball to Natalie Plane. Delivered a great kick inside 50 that started the passage of play that resulted in a Kristi Harvey goal. Vescio moved higher up the ground in this game and created more opportunities through assists, as well as kicking it off her own boot. She combined the two well in a different role for her. Kicked a nice dribbling goal for her first of the game. Her second came from a good mark out the back and an easy conversion.

#6 Gabriella Pound

Took a nice intercept mark and delivered a good clearing kick. Was able to follow up the ball well and got clean hands away on plenty of occasions. Pound ended up getting lots of the ball and used it well both by hand and by foot.

#10 Sarah Hosking

Showed good endeavour to run towards 50 and try and boot through a goal. Followed this up with another bout of good endeavour to run and carry after a free kick. Hosking hunted the footy with purpose and as a result, got lots of the ball. She also won lots of free kicks because she went in hard for the ball and got rewarded. Executed nice run and carry to execute a switch kick.

#19 Georgia Gee

Took a nice mark on the flank and displayed good run and carry throughout the match. Gee seemed to always have space to run into which she was able to use well. Executed a good kick around the corner to Darcy Vescio. Gee’s marking and intent to move the footy on with the ball in hand was impressive.

#20 Courtney Bromage

Took a nice mark and laid a nice tackle laid in the forward pocket. Bromage was able to turn her opponent inside out and showed good footy smarts to soccer the ball along the ground to get it forward. Showed strong hands again and followed it up with a good kick. Also displayed good bodywork to impact the contest.

#27 Katelyn Cox

Delivered a nice centering ball which she used more than once to create scoring opportunities. Executed a nice kick to the top of the square to complement her good attacking work inside 50. Cox was able to evade her opponents well and followed it up with great kicks. Also applied good pressure on her opponent.

#34 Akec Chuot

Chuot played one of her best games for Carlton on Sunday. Displayed nice agility and good pace. This was demonstrated when she followed up her poor kick with sheer acceleration. She took an excellent stretched mark and demonstrated an excellent ability to play on from outside 50 to create a quick passage of play. She did well up and down the ground when rotating through back pocket to forward, excelling in both roles. Also spoiled a Phoebe Monahan kick inside 50, complementing a great game where she got plenty of the ball.

 

Richmond:

#60 Kate Dempsey

Took a good mark and applied good pressure on Georgia Gee who was hunting down the ball fiercely. Executed a nice tap of the ball to get it forward.

#63 Jacqueline Graham

Took a couple of nice intercept marks on the day. Kicked well and showed good intent to hunt down the football. Graham also displayed good work to get rid of the ball before she got tackled and then executed a good follow-up to get it back after she had lost it.

#64 Emma Gunn

Laid a nice tackle laid on Gabriella Pound. Also displayed good run and carry and did well to avoid a chasing opponent.

#69 Evelyn Burry

Laid an excellent smother on the pacey Georgia Gee, which generated plenty of crowd noise. Burry took a good mark on the outer side and laid an excellent run-down tackle to pressure a Kristi Harvey kick towards goal.

#79 Lauren Tesoriero

Got plenty of the ball thanks to her fierce attack. Tesoriero would often run through players, going in hard for the footy on multiple occasions. Took an excellent mark on the boundary line for a shot at goal and laid a good tackle on Gabriella Pound to trap the ball inside 50 after a kick out. Tesoriero was also able to execute good hands, such as when she got clean hands out to Alice Edmonds. Demonstrated good agility and run and carry for a big kick inside 50 toward goal.

#88 Phoebe Monahan

Tried hard for the Tigers all game and racked up lots of disposals. Delivered a nice centering ball to the top of the goal square and did well to cut off a kick on another occasion. Monahan was able to get a handball away while being brought to ground. Gave off a good handball out of congestion while under pressure.

 

Melbourne Uni vs. Collingwood

By: Taylah Melki

Melbourne Uni:

#7 Ashleigh Riddell

Was a ball magnet across the ground. Her ability to run both ways was impressive and provided a good option for her teammates. Was not afraid to go in hard and win the footy, putting her body on the line. Applied plenty of pressure and took a heap of strong marks. Provided a good option across the ground and created a forward thrust for her side.

#15 Emma Kearney

Looked dangerous up forward, scrumming well and reading the flight of the ball. Showed some good dash out of the back half and helped to open up space across the ground. Kearney impressed with her ability to break free from tackles and use the footy effectively and efficiently. She peppered away at the goals and slotted a much-needed major in the third term.

 #19 Lauren Ahrens

Racked up plenty of the ball and used the footy well. Good intercept mark and strong hands, she displayed her ability to read the flight of the ball.

#26 Caitlin Greiser

Strong hands to take a good intercept mark. Kept herself in the contest, bringing the ball to ground and giving her teammates an opportunity to run onto the ball and pick it up. Executed a long booming kick and provided a solid target in the forward line for Melbourne Uni.

 #41 Katherine Gillespie-Jones

She had a stellar game. She was in everything from the get go, working hard to stop the forward thrusts from the Pies. Gillespie-Jones had sticky fingers, impressing with her strong marks and good use of the footy. Her ability to read the play and drop back into holes was important for Melbourne Uni and she provided good link up play through the middle of the ground.

#48 Madison Prespakis

Imposed herself around the contest with her strong body and footy smarts. Good strong penetrating kick and used the ball well. Was never far from the contest and wasn’t afraid to put her body on the line. Had a hard tag throughout the game but that did not seem to phase her, winning plenty of footy across the ground.

#52 Kaitlyn Ashmore

Good strong mark and lead up at the footy. Had a set shot from about 35 metres out directly in front but was unable to capitalise, kicking it out on the full. Good speed to break away through the middle of the ground and set up a forward thrust.

 

Collingwood:

#2 Chloe Molloy

Used her break away speed to open up the space and propel her team forward. She showcased her clean hands and showed good agility to pick the ball up off her toes. Real classy player and displayed great composure given the repeat entries inside 50. Was a real ball magnet and set up a lot of play throughout the match. She showcased her ability to hit targets while under pressure and take strong marks.

#3 Nicole Hilderbrand

Executed a clean pick up off her toes and nailed an amazing goal from an impossible angle in the second quarter. She showcased her ability to dodge players and use the ball cleverly throughout the match.

#4 Sarah D’Arcy

D’Arcy started the game off really well, strongly demonstrating her good hands while under pressure, taking an impressive mark going back with the flight in defence. Was in everything in the opening term and showcased her footy smarts with her clearing kick and ability to hit targets.

#5 Emma Grant

Grant was solid down in defence and applied plenty of strong tackles on her opponents. She showcased her ability to win the footy at ground level, working hard to release the ball to teammates. She impressed with her strong hands and follow up work to provide a back-up play when her team needed her.

#8 Brittany Bonnici

Good clearing kick out of defence for the Pies and showed some good dash with ball in hand. Strong tackling pressure to trap the ball in Collingwood’s forward half. Positions well behind the ball and took a heap of good intercept marks at half back.

#17 Steph Chiocci

Looked a bit rusty to start off with but worked herself into the game, credit to her footy smarts. Laid a strong tackle in the first quarter in which she chased her opponent down. Opened up the space for her teammates and created plenty of scoring opportunities with her quick kicks into one on ones in the forward 50.

#21 Ilish Ross

She was really impressive and worked hard all game to win the footy. Her effort in both defence and attack was second to none, getting involved in the contest. She applied plenty of pressure, tackling hard to trap the footy and taking a number of strong marks.

#49 Sophie Alexander

Alexander was a real play maker up forward for the Pies, bagging two goals for the match. She looked dangerous throughout the match, hitting the packs hard and imposing herself in the forward half with her strong tackling pressure. She showcased her quick hands in and around congestion to move the ball out of the pack and into open space.