Tag: Carlton

EXPLAINER | Pocket Podcast: Club AFL Draft previews (Part 1)

OVER the past few weeks, Draft Central launched its brand new series of pocket podcasts, a collection of short-form discussions which narrow in on a range of topics heading into the 2020 AFL Draft. In the next edition, Special guest Tom Cheesman joined Chief Editor Peter Williams and AFL Draft Editor Michael Alvaro to breakdown how the this year’s draft may pan out for each club.

The clubs featured in part one are Carlton, Gold Coast, Geelong, Richmond, West Coast and Western Bulldogs – all teams which may not feature too heavily among action at the pointy end as it stands. The Tigers, Eagles, and Cats would consider themselves well within the premiership window and thus may not have any pressing list needs to cover at the draft, making them muted players this year. Geelong and West Coast will hope to find a gem with their respective picks 51 and 62.

The Bulldogs’ picks may be wiped off the board if Academy gun Jamarra Ugle-Hagan yields a bid with pick one, leaving little for their recruiters to work with down the line. Meanwhile, Carlton has only just gained another pick in the second round and may only make two selections overall. Gold Coast is again set to be called up in the top five, but it could prove the Suns’ only pick given Academy members Alex Davies and Joel Jeffrey will be automatically placed on their senior list.

Nonetheless, there could be some interesting plays to unfold and some exciting prospects taken with later picks by these clubs, much of which formed the basis of their previews. To listen to the discussion in full, click here.

>> AFL Draft Whispers: 2020
>> Power Rankings: November Update

Past Episodes:

Potential cult heroes
An early top 10 look
The best AFL Draft hands
Best readymade prospects
Best players under 175cm
Best midfielders over 190cm
Logan McDonald vs. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan
Best academy and father-son hauls
Brayden Cook vs. Conor Stone
Key defenders kicking comparison
Offence from defence
Denver Grainger-Barras vs. Heath Chapman
The top non-aligned midfielders

2020 AFL Draft Preview: Carlton Blues

WITH the 2020 trade period done and dusted, it is now time for clubs and fans alike to turn their attention to the draft. Between now and draft day (December 9), clubs will have the opportunity to exchange picks until the final order is formed a couple of days out. While the chaos ensues, Draft Central takes a look at how each club may approach the upcoming intake opportunities with the hand they formed at the close of trade period. Obviously they are subject to heavy change, so perhaps we can predict some of that movement here.

Next under the microscope is Carlton, a side on the up after finishing 11th in 2020 and bringing in some high-end talent during trade period. Having featured at the pointy end of many a draft over the last 20 years, the Blues are only set to enter this year’s event towards the end of round two. It is a signal of their finals intent after elongated rebuilds and a new lease on life under coach, David Teague. As has often been the case for Carlton, academy and father-son options are scarce, despite four prospects being eligible under the latter rule this year. With the Blues only set to use two or three picks, it is difficult to see them making much of an impression on this year’s proceedings, though some late gems may be in the offing with their current hand.

>> Power Rankings: November Update

CURRENT PICKS*: 38, 48, 78
* – denotes as of November 21

>> Podcast: The current best AFL Draft hands

ELIGIBLE ACADEMY/FATHER-SON PICKS:

Charlie McKay, Mackenzie Hogg, Tom Silvagni, Tom Gleeson (all father-son)

>> Podcast: The best academy/father-son hauls

LIST NEEDS:

Ruck depth
Midfield points of difference
Long-term key defensive depth

FIRST PICK OPTIONS:
(Pick 38)

There are a few areas Carlton could look to consolidate with this year’s intake having already covered the need for speed during trade period. The retirement of Matthew Kreuzer leaves the Blues with only two genuine ruck options, while recent delistings sees their long-term key defensive stocks looking quite thin. In the former category, ruckman Henry Walsh, the 203cm brother of Sam already has links to the club having also trained there during preseason, potentially making for a good story and easy transition. He’s a competitive tap ruckman who is working on his running capacity and impact around the ground. Other ruckmen likely to feature in that range include Shannon Neale, Kalin Lane, and Max Heath.

There is not too much in the way of key defenders who would be viable to Carlton in the second round, and perhaps the Blues could further relay their intentions by targeting a mature-age prospect. Tom Highmore fits the bill as a tall defender who seems ready to make the next step after an outstanding maiden SANFL campaign. The 22-year-old former GWS Academy member made the move to South Adelaide this year and was a rare mature-age invitee to the national draft combine. Along similar lines, 21-year-old Woodville-West Torrens goalsneak James Rowe is a name which has been hot on the lips of Carlton fans, who are yearning for a genuine small forward to take over from Eddie Betts in 2022.

If the Blues look towards midfield depth, Zavier Maher could be the explosive type they are after on the inside, and Sam Berry is a hard-working accumulator who remains active going both ways. Should they take the two birds, one stone approach, the likes of Corey Durdin and Charlie Lazzaro may slide far enough to be snapped up as zippy smalls who are likely to begin their careers up forward. However, Carlton has spent first round picks on Paddy Dow, Lochie O’Brien, Liam Stocker, Sam Philp, and Brodie Kemp in recent years, not to mention Sam Walsh and traded-in players like Matthew Kennedy and Will Setterfield, so should back their current stocks to develop over another preseason.

LIVE TRADE OPTIONS:

With the third-lowest total draft points value of all clubs as it stands, the Blues may not have much leverage to work with in terms of live trade options. Should a player they are really keen on slide within the second round, they could package a couple of their picks to move up the order and come away with just two selections. Alternatively, their 2021 picks may be put on the table to extract maximum value out of a deal, though next year’s crop is said to be much stronger than this year’s.

THE KEY QUESTIONS:

Will Carlton take on any mature-age players?

Will Carlton work to move up the order?

Will Carlton back its current midfield crop, or look to add depth?

Will Carlton take a punt on their father-son choices?

Featured Image: Carlton Media

AFL Women’s Draft preview: Carlton & Collingwood

THE AFL Women’s Draft is fast approaching and in the lead-up to the draft, we take a look at each of the AFL women’s sides in pairs and see what they might look for, and who might be available with the selections they have. Next up in our series are the two sides from Victoria, in powerhouse clubs Carlton and Collingwood.

Carlton Blues – Victorian Pool

Draft selections (Vic # in brackets): 12 (7), 28 (20), 36 (25)

Off-season summary:

Carlton was involved in a couple of major trade deals during the off-season, with inaugural Blue Sarah Hosking‘s move to Richmond one of the most notable exchanges of the trade period. It was the first confirmed deal made, and would allow the Blues to then land Melbourne gun Elise O’Dea and fellow former-Demon Maddy Guerin, offloading the pick 15 they received for Hosking. The Blues moved up the draft order ahead of a bumper crop, as defender Jayde van Dyk and pick 46 were swapped for pick 36. Add former Gold Coast youngster Charlotte Hammans to the mix, and Carlton remains one of the big winners out of a busy off-season as it enters the premiership window. Four players – Joanne Doonan, Katie Harrison, Sharnie Whiting, and Emerson Woods – were delisted.

A draft look:

While the O’Dea coup will undoubtedly bolster Carlton’s already elite midfield group, Hosking’s departure arguably leaves room for a fast, outside midfielder to enter the fold. With their first selection back at pick 12, the Blues will have access to the seventh Victorian pick.

There are a bunch of high-end hopefuls in the mix; Northern Knights co-captain Jess Fitzgerald would provide a like-for-like Hosking replacement, able to bring speed on the outside and good balance with her inside toughness, while Alyssa Bannan could be a shrewd pick to develop under her idol, Tayla Harris – though the Blues are well stocked in the key forward department. Carlton has a great relationship with the Northern region, and could continue the trend with their latest crop.

The likes of Winnie Laing, Abbey Jordan, and the silky Bella Eddey could all be in the mix for a share in those later two picks. Laing is a leader at the Sandringham Dragons and is a terrific runner, Jordan fits the bill for outside run, while Eddey is a terrific user of the ball who can rotate through the midfield from up forward.

Collingwood Magpies – Victorian Pool

Draft selections (Vic # in brackets): 19 (12), 25 (17), 26 (18), 31 (21), 33 (22)

Off-season summary:

With an incoming father-daughter selection and a forwardline to bolster, the Pies had a mixed off-season. Sarah D’Arcy and Sarah Dargan were packaged up to Richmond in exchange for picks in the later rounds, with Katie Lynch also headed to the Bulldogs. It leaves Collingwood a touch lacking in that forward department, with D’Arcy and Lynch doubling as tall depth lost. Abbey Green was nabbed from North Melbourne to support Sharni Layton in the ruck, while exciting Melbourne forward Aliesha Newman is another good get. With four retirees – Emma Grant, Kalia Bentvelzen, Eliza Hynes, and Machaelia Roberts – only one player (Georgia Gourlay) was delisted, with a decent turnover rate meaning the Magpies will have to gel quickly in order to continue their steep rise. It was hardly the big-name signing period Collingwood had last time out, but should set the club up well in future and for the upcoming draft.

A draft look:

Parting with their first round pick means the Pies will likely only have to pay a second round price for gun father-daughter selection, Tarni Brown. She is daughter of 254-game former captain, Gavin and sister of current players Callum and Tyler. The Eastern Ranges product has long been on the elite level radar, and is clearly cut from the same cloth as her brothers with terrific footy smarts and agility through midfield.

Elsewhere, Collingwood may look to re-stock its forwardline with whatever picks remain. Greater Western Victoria (GWV) utility Renee Saulitis would be a handy fit to replace Dargan with some x-factor, while Rebels teammate Isabella Simmons may also be a good fit at 185cm. Incidentally, both are Magpies fans. Another GWV tall, Maggie Caris could also be the developing ruck type Collingwood is after, while Mimi Hill is a classy midfield option should the Pies look to continue their Oakleigh link. Norwood’s Matilda Zander could prove a smokey having played under Steve Symonds in South Australia. She was poised to play for Collingwood’s VFLW side this year.

Draft Central’s 2020 Top 50 AFLW Players: #2 Madison Prespakis

WITH the AFL Women’s 2020 season officially come to a close now the awards are done and dusted, Draft Central looks back on our Top 50 Players of season 2020. This countdown purely looks at the 2020 season so does not look at past performances and will not include injured stars such Erin Phillips or Chelsea Randall.

In this edition, we reveal the played ranked second for their efforts this year, a youngster who has already reached the highest heights in terms of individual honours despite completing just her second year in the competition.

Any guesses as to who will be number one?

#2 MADISON PRESPAKIS

7 GAMES AVE: 21.3 disposals*, 2.7 marks, 3.0 tackles, 4.3 clearances*, 3.3 inside 50s*, 1.3 rebound 50s, 0.4 goals (3)

*Denotes club-best

This year’s AFL Women’s best and fairest comes in second on out list of the top 50 players, but there will undoubtedly be plenty of opportunity in future for her to take out the top spot. At this point – only two years into her career at the elite level – Prespakis has everything bar a premiership medal in her trophy cabinet as the leader of a new generation which seems to be in an unstoppable hurry.

The tough, diminutive midfielder is already as decorated a player as they come, earning back-to-back All Australian and club best and fairest honours, the 2019 Rising Star award, and now the ultimate league-wide recognition. She is a player who can turn games, carry her side on her back through sheer determination and the will to win.

It was evident as early as in Round 1 this season, as the young gun picked up right from where she left off in 2019. Against Richmond, Prespakis ripped the game apart in with a memorable third term to set the tone for the remainder of her campaign, combining her unmatched ability to find the ball with scoreboard impact. Prespakis loves a goal, if her celebrations did not make that abundantly clear enough.

The 19-year-old, who has taken tips off Carlton men’s star Patrick Cripps for dealing with opposition attention, continued to find plenty of the ball in 2020, leading her side in that department. She dipped below 20 disposals just twice, and racked up a high of 26 against St Kilda in Round 5.

Capping off her brilliant year, Prespakis would also finish top of the tree among her Blues teammates for contested possessions, clearances, inside 50s, and metres gained, showcasing the true damage she can inflict from the middle of the ground. Everything about Prespakis’ game is about getting her side going forward on the front foot, and she does it better than most.

Plenty of records will shatter and be made unattainable by this young champion of the game, who is just getting started. It will be scary to see the accolades she finishes up with should she continue on her projected path, and if she is not already the competition’s most valuable player, she is certainly Carlton’s.

2020 AFL Women’s season review: Carlton

CARLTON earned an AFL Women’s finals berth for the second year running under Daniel Harford, completing the feat of notching another finals win in the process before the season was cut short. Lauded for their ability to adapt and execute a range of gameplans, the Blues achieved their winningest campaign to date en route to finishing second in Conference B at 5-1. With four All Australian members and three Rising Star nominees littered across a talent-stacked squad, the foundation club is coming into its own and produced some memorable moments to relive in our season review.

RECORD: 2nd (B), 5-1 (1-0 finals), 151.8%

RESULTS:

R1: defeated Richmond by 34 points
R2: lost to Collingwood by 15 points
R3: defeated Western Bulldogs by 21 points
R4:
defeated Adelaide by 8 points
R5:
defeated St Kilda by 21 points 
R6:
defeated Melbourne by 16 points
SF: defeated Brisbane by 29 points

The Blues returned a near-bullet proof record in 2020, dented solely by the old enemy, Collingwood two weeks into the campaign. Dealt a relatively tough draw on the back of its grand final appearance in 2019, Carlton made the ideal start in providing a baptism of fire for the incoming Richmond side. Fast-forward to Round 3 and the young Bulldogs were next to be ticked off the list, with an iconic road win over Adelaide in a grand final rematch arguably the crown on Carlton’s year. Melbourne became the third foundation team to fall victim to the Blues, with Brisbane following come finals time after being outsmarted and outlasted. A team with terrific heart, the Baggers overcame some tricky obstacles along the way.

SEASON HIGH: Redemption in the grand final rematch

An historic 2019 season decider did not go the way of the Blues as they fell 45 points short of Adelaide, but the first meeting between the two sides produced a much different result, and an instant classic. On the road once again, Carlton joined the Crows on a 2-1 record and came in as a slight underdog despite the home side’s crushing injury blows. Behind at half-time, the Blues mustered something special to sneak ahead at the final break, holding on via its rock-solid defence and a game-sealing Darcy Vescio goal. Magic.

SEASON LOW: Going down to the old enemy for the first time

A fortnight before the Blues claimed their first-ever win over Adelaide, they suffered their maiden loss in arguably the most important fixture – against old enemy, Collingwood. Having accounted for the Pies in their previous three meetings, the Blues simply had no answers for Collingwood’s swift transition play and sturdy defence – who could forget Stacey Livingstone‘s job on Tayla Harris? In a bizarre twist, the Magpies pulled off the win even without ace recruit, Bri Davey, who went down with an injury scare in Round 1 after switching allegiances in the off-season.

FIVE KEY PERFORMERS:

Madison Prespakis (21.3 disposals, 2.7 marks, 3 tackles, 4.3 clearances, 3.3 inside 50s, 282 metres gained, 3 goals)

Last year’s Rising Star winner picked up right from where she left off, putting in a scintillating third term of the season opener to set up another outstanding season. The nuggety midfielder is Carlton’s prime mover, winning the ball at will despite heavy opposition attention and standing up in the clutch moments. A game changer among the game changers, and potential league MVP this year having already gained All Australian squad recognition.

Kerryn Harrington (13.7 disposals, 81% efficiency, 4.4 marks, 1.9 tackles, 2.6 rebound 50s)

The co-captain and leader of a solid defensive unit, Harrington’s outstanding reading of the play and sound use on the rebound was again a key feature in her side’s success across 2020. Her astonishing 13-mark effort against the Crows was crucial to the Blues holding on for the win on that day, and exemplary of how Harrington led the club for marks, intercept possessions, rebound 50s, and disposal efficiency in 2020.

Sarah Hosking (11.7 disposals, 70% efficiency, 2.6 marks, 3.1 tackles, 1.4 inside 50s, 2 goals)

Akin to the Energizer bunny in the way she can run all day and get to a wealth of contests, Hosking continued to prove she is all heart in 2020 with phenomenal attack on the ball and a fearless approach. A foundation member of the Blues’ squad alongside twin sister, Jess, the 24-year-old has become a leader in her actions on-field and is a much-loved figure around the club. Doesn’t miss a beat.

Katie Loynes (9.6 disposals, 1.9 marks, 4.6 tackles, 2.9 clearances, 2.7 inside 50s)

Pure numbers may not always stack up in terms of conveying a players’ impact, and Loynes is a competitor whose value is better felt in the immesuarables. A fierce leader who gives it her all each week, the 34-year-old co-captain led her club for tackles in 2020, while also featuring highly in the clearance and contested ball stakes on the back of her tireless work as an inside midfielder. Leading from the front, Loynes was a key part of Carlton’s tough midfield group.

Tayla Harris (10.4 disposals, 3.7 marks, 2.4 tackles, 2.6 inside 50s, 4.4 score involvements, 8 goals)

The spearhead of Carlton’s attack, Harris retuned another solid year from centre half-forward as one of four Blues to earn All Australian squad recognition. In addition to finishing as her side’s equal leading goalkicker, the athletic and aggressive 179cm forward also led the club for score involvements overall. Her work in bringing the ball to ground when unable to mark brought others into the game, and Harris looked as if she had a point to prove post Livingstone’s “useless” jibe.

THE RISING STARS:

Rd 1 – Lucy McEvoy (13 disposals, 1.9 marks, 4.1 tackles, 2.1 clearances, 2 inside 50s, 3 goals)
Rd 4 – Grace Egan (14.3 disposals, 2 marks, 4.6 tackles, 2.9 clearances, 1.1 inside 50s, 2 goals)
Rd 5 – Charlotte Wilson (10.8 disposals, 6 intercept possessions, 4.5 marks, 1.7 tackles, 2 rebound 50s)

Arguably the most fearsome aspect of Carlton’s squad this season was the performance of their Under-21 talents, with McEvoy, Egan, and Wilson joining Prespakis as young guns in the elite category. McEvoy’s debut was one to savour, and the youngster continued to show flashes of her best throughout a season where she seemed unfazed by the step-up in competition. ‘Greg’ Egan also became an instant hit, thrown into the engine room and quickly becoming an asset with her physicality and ability to find the ball. Last, but not least is Wilson, who improved out of sight this season, particularly after her Round 4 return to the side. A strong key defender who marks confidently, Wilson was often the Blues’ last line of defence and made it a hat-trick of Rising Star nominees in Round 5.

THE CROSS-CODER:

Chloe Dalton (14 disposals, 1.6 marks, 3.3 tackles, 2.4 clearances, 1 rebound 50, 2.7 inside 50s)

After impressing in her debut season last year with her ability to find the goals, Dalton made another significant step with her run-and-carry from midfield in 2020. The former Rugby Sevens player has transitioned seamlessly into life at Princes Park, improving each week and having a real impact on games. While she is still somewhat raw, Dalton’s rate of development has been exceptional thus far.

THE GOALSNEAK:

Georgia Gee (10.1 disposals, 1.1 marks, 3.6 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 3.1 score involvements, 8 goals)

Another Under-21 prospect who continues to excel at the highest level, Gee came up clutch for Carlton a number of times in 2020 – most notably in its semi final win against Brisbane where she booted three second half majors. That haul helped the 20-year-old finish equal with Harris as the Blues’ leading goalkicker, and the energy Gee brought to the side just when they needed it helped her earn All Australian squad honours.

VERDICT:

There is a lot to like about this Carlton side going forward, with its experienced foundation members aiding the development of some of the league’s most exciting young talents. The three-pronged tall attack up forward was exceptional, with the inside midfield grunt protecting a more-than-capable defensive unit. The flexibility of the side will hold it in good stead, with more finals victories surely again the goal going forward.

Blues assert dominance with 16-point win over Dees in Alice Springs

IT was a hot start in hot conditions in Alice Springs on Saturday night, with Conference B rivals Melbourne and Carlton fighting for an elusive finals opportunity with the loser of this match in danger of missing out. While the Demons took out an early lead, the Blues were not to be left behind, keeping a firm hand on the Dees to dominate the second half, denying a goal from the red and blue after half-time, with the hosts going down 3.6 (24) to 6.4 (40).

Both sides switched on early, and while both sides were unable to put a goal on the board for the first half of the quarter there was no lack of pressure across the field with quick movement and little clean chances to put ball to boot. The Dees were more patient with ball in hand, chipping the footy around the ground but wasting chances up forward. Kerryn Harrington was on song early, applying defensive pressure with her read of the play and intensity proving key for the Blues, aided by Vaomua Laloifi who was unafraid going into any contest. Melbourne were quick to take advantage of the Blues playing down, locking up their back 50 thanks to rebounding efforts of Libby Birch and speed of Daisy Pearce and keeping the Blues tracking through the middle of the ground. A head knock to Aliesha Newman had fans scrambling but Kate Hore was quick to create some cheer, sprinting down the wing with three bounces and finding the first goal of the match at the end of it. But Carlton returned fire almost instantly, with Brooke Walker on the end of a Tayla Harris kick at centre bounce to keep the side in the mix. Harrington missed much of the first after a head knock saw her take the bench with a cheekbone issue, with Nat Plane lining up in her place against a real mismatch in opposition against Sarah Perkins. It saw Perkins do what she does best inside 50, booting a goal and getting the Dees up and about and in control once more, owning the footy on the outside to lead by eight and dominating the mark count 22-9 at quarter time.

A slow second term followed up the first, with both sides continuing in similar fashion. While Harrington rejoined the fray, Melbourne’s Irish recruit Sinead Goldrick went down with a corky, leaving the Dees down one in the back half for the rest of the match. Quick hands from Harris saw Georgia Gee put her first on the board as the Blues switched on the pressure, but while they flooded Melbourne’s forward 50 they were unable to take advantage of turnover footy with little option left in their forward half to make the most of opportunities. A late goal from Shelley Scott saw the Dees reestablish an eight-point lead heading into the main change, with a massive second half to come.

The match flipped in the second half, with the Blues doing what the Dees did best early, cleanly and patiently chipping the footy down the field to apply the forward pressure they so sorely lacked early. It was a tense start, with both sides going in hard to the contest but it was the Blues ultimately getting the better of the Dees, coming out full throttle to prove they had plenty left in the tank. Melbourne lost some cleanliness in defence but were lucky to get out relatively unscathed in the early stages of the term, pressured in their back 50 in a way they had not been early in the match. But while the Blues had difficulty applying the scoreboard pressure, all was released with a likely anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury to Sarah Lampard, with a much-needed goal from Harris breaking the flood and youngster Grace Egan following up minutes later to put the Blues in front for the first time. The Dees just could not catch a break, down two on the bench and the bounce just not going their way in front of the big sticks, with Newman just one of many who could not apply the scoreboard pressure, with a scarily similar run and bounce down the wing to Hore’s first quarter major dribbling through as a behind. A late knock to Harrington saw the key defender head off the field for the second time, with the Demons finishing the third term with a lacklustre two behinds to Carlton’s two majors.

Both sides started the final term ready for a tough slog, with neither side ready to give up in what shaped up to be an even contest. Carlton’s intensity was paying dividends with Melbourne’s defence tiring thanks to little bench rotations in the heat, with a goal to Maddy Prespakis opening up a crucial nine point lead and all the momentum going the way of the Blues. Plenty of opportunities saw the Dees pepper the scoreboard but to no avail, with the footy continuing to evade the goalposts and the clock ticking down. The last five minutes saw frantic footy, with much of the play in the Melbourne forward 50 but impatience causing more issues from the usually composed side. A second goal to Walker saw the Blues lock up victory with only three minutes left on the clock, extending the lead to 16 points and giving the Dees little chance of taking back the win.

Despite not getting hands to the footy in the first half, Carlton young gun Lucy McEvoy finished among the best with 19 touches, joined by Prespakis who once again starred with 23 disposals, four marks and a goal. Laloifi and Plane provided a crucial defensive buffer down back while Harris and Darcy Vescio put on a veteran performance getting hands to plenty of the footy and creating a constant pressure pushing up the ground. For Melbourne, Paxman lead the charge once more with 27 touches while Hore put on a stellar performance with 19 touches, six marks, six tackles and a goal in her best match of the season so far. Pearce put her experience out on the field, collecting 16 touches and five marks while Maddi Gay racked up 17 touches and five tackles, aided by Eden Zanker who impressed in the ruck with 17 hitouts and 13 touches, while Birch was influential in defence.

Both Melbourne and Carlton will face Fremantle in the coming weeks, with this win leaving the Blues in a good position to get through a rough patch if it comes. Melbourne will have a tough time coming back from this match, with the margin seeing their percentage drop drastically and Collingwood right on their tail with only two rounds left in the books. Carlton take on Conference B cellar dwellers, West Coast Eagles next Saturday at Ikon Park while Melbourne travel to Western Australia to take on undefeated Fremantle on Sunday afternoon at Fremantle Oval.

MELBOURNE 2.3 | 3.3 | 3.5 | 3.6 (24)
CARLTON 1.1 | 2.1 | 4.1 | 6.4 (40)

GOALS:

Melbourne: S. Scott, K. Hore, S. Perkins.
Carlton: B. Walker 2, G. Egan, G Gee, T. Harris, M. Prespakis.

ADC BEST:

Melbourne: K. Hore, K. Paxman, E. Zanker, M. Gay, D. Pearce, C. Sherriff
Carlton: M. Prespakis, N. Plane, L. McEvoy, G. Pound, C. Wilson. V. Laloifi

Lifelong footballer Prespakis finally gets to pull on an AFLW jumper

Madison Prespakis’ football journey began at her local club, Romsey as a four year-old.

She played Australian Rules with the boys from Auskick level up to Under 14s, where she was told she had to stop playing football. Now, Prespakis has grasped an opportunity she never thought she would receive. She was selected at pick three in the AFL Women’s Draft, and was the first metropolitan player selected. Prespakis is over the moon to be playing at Carlton, admitting this opportunity looked dead and gone four years ago.

“It’s been a long time coming and for me,” she said. “I thought my career was going to be cut short with the boys. “I didn’t think I’d get this opportunity. “Now that it’s come ahead, I really jumped at it with both hands and worked as hard as I could. “Dreams come true, it’s not fake because it actually happens and for me, it’s come true. “I’m just so happy.”

Prespakis admits she still remembers her time at Romsey, and is thankful for not only her experience at that club, but all of her junior clubs.

“I reflect on those days a lot,” she said. “I went down there (Romsey) a few weeks ago. “For me, that was my home and I was always down there playing with the boys and yeah, I just love everything about that club. “I’m very thankful for them and thankful for every pathway I’ve had to come through to get where I am today.”

Since playing at Romsey, Prespakis has enjoyed time at the Sunbury Lions and the Calder Cannons, excelling at both clubs. At the Lions, she was named best-on-ground in her last Under-18 premiership with the club, while at the Calder Cannons, she won the Best and Fairest this year. Prespakis’ family has been there all the way through, and she is extremely grateful for their support through her football journey.

“For my family, I think it’d mean everything to them to see me achieve the dream that I’ve always really wanted to since I was a little girl,” Prespakis said. “I know my Dad will be so proud of me. “He’s been there from the start to now and unfortunately for my Dad, he has to take that little step back and let me do what I’m doing but it’s all thanks to them.”

Her family was also the reason why she decided to nominate for the Victorian metropolitan region. The decision knocked back her chances of being selected at number one to head to Geelong, but Prespakis says she doesn’t regret her decision.

“Geelong did obviously come into talk and for me, my family comes first,” she said. “For me to be close to the home, I felt that I had to be in a Melbourne-based team. “After nominating metropolitan for the draft, I didn’t have any regrets. “Now I’m a ‘blue bagger’ so I’m really excited.”

The player that did get selected at pick number one, Nina Morrison, has been right up there with Prespakis all year. The pair were the joint winners of the TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest and shared the AFL Women’s Under 18 Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Prespakis couldn’t speak more highly of the Geelong midfielder, and believes she will excel at the Cats.

“Obviously we go back to back with a few things together,” the Vic Metro midfielder said. “She’s a package player. “She is where she is today because of hard work and yeah, she deserves everything that comes her way.”

Focusing on her own football future, Prespakis wants to keep playing her style of football in Carlton colours.

“I suppose just for me, I just want to play good footy and keep playing the footy I play and play my role,” she said. “My first goal probably now is to get through pre-season and hopefully tick off Round 1.”

Season reviews: VFLW – Carlton

IT was hard to make a definitive statement on Carlton’s year throughout the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season, with the Blues experiencing mixed results. A strong end to the season allowed them to finish in the middle range of the ladder.

 

Position: 7th
Win-loss: 14-6
Percentage: 105%

Results:

Round 1: Defeated Southern Saints by 22 points
Round 2: Defeated Western Bulldogs by 46 points
Round 3: Lost against Hawthorn by 51 points
Round 4: Lost against Geelong by seven points
Round 5: Lost against Darebin by 49 points
Round 6: Lost against NT Thunder by 36 points
Round 7: Lost against Collingwood by 37 points
Round 8: Lost against Melbourne Uni by six points
Round 9: Bye
Round 10: Defeated Williamstown by 29 points
Round 11: Lost against Collingwood by 17 points
Round 12: Defeated Richmond by 41 points
Round 13: Lost against Casey by 10 points
Round 14: Bye
Round 15: Defeated Darebin by 25 points
Round 16: Defeated Essendon by 75 points

 

Key players:

#3 Darcy Vescio

Won the VFLW leading goal kicker award (Rohenna Young Medal) with 26 goals from nine games. Averaged 2.89 goals per game due to her liveliness in the forward line and cleverness with the ball in hand. Undoubtedly, her season highlight was when she kicked nine majors against the Bombers in Round 16. Of those nine goals, eight were all of Carlton’s first half goals.

#6 Gabriella Pound

Pound was solid in defence all season, using her run and carry to penetrate the ball out of defensive 50. She gave her opponents trouble with her football smarts and could lock down a key player very convincingly. Despite only playing six games, Pound finished in the top 10 of Carlton’s Best and Fairest count. She played one of her best games in Round 16 when she gathered 25 disposals, took four marks and laid two tackles.

#10 Sarah Hosking

The AFL Women’s midfielder showed her trademark ferocity at the contest during the VFLW season. Hosking was able to find the football in congestion and tackle hard, making her one of the most dangerous players on the field. In her seven matches, she was named best-on-ground three times by her coaches. She played one of her best games against Richmond when she kicked a goal, gathered 21 disposals, took five marks and laid 10 tackles.

#17 Tilly Lucas-Rodd

Finished third in Carlton’s Best and Fairest count after a really consistent season. Lucas-Rodd impressed with her long kicks and football smarts around the ground. Was also a key link-up player for the Blues throughout the season, playing a team role. Despite a 49-point loss to Darebin, Lucas-Rodd stood up with 23 disposals, three marks and three tackles.

#40 Kristi Harvey

The Blues skipper was inspirational this season, with some huge tackling and great goals up forward. Her long, booming kick was a highlight of her game and she used it to effect on plenty of occasions. Harvey was able to move the ball really well through the ground, using her high football IQ to do so. She kicked eight goals from 13 games and played a blinder of a game against the Pies in Round 11. In that game, she kicked three majors, racked up 17 touches and took six marks.

 

Season summary:

The Blues stormed out of the blocks early with two convincing wins to kick off their VFLW campaign. It then suddenly looked disastrous for Carlton, losing its next six matches before the bye. The bye however seemed to be a blessing in disguise, as the Blues won four of their last six games to finish seventh. In Round 15, Carlton sat eighth on the ladder with a percentage of 90.85. But their Round 16 thrashing of the Bombers allowed them to rise up the ladder, and see their percentage increase by 14 to finish off a promising inaugural season.

Number Crunching: VFLW – Round 13

IN this week’s edition of Number Crunching, we look at which teams have been the most damaging in this year’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition. While it is easy to look at the ladder and see who is doing well, we decided to take a look at which teams have recorded the biggest winning margins and the biggest average winning margins this season.

The top three biggest winning margins all belong to the dominant NT Thunder outfit. The Thunder defeated the Bombers, Melbourne University and even the fourth-placed Cats all by more than 60 points. It is easy to see why the Thunder have the highest percentage in the VFLW, sitting on 219.20 after Round 13.

These three big wins, among many others, have helped contribute to NT’s average winning margin. This margin sits at 45.2 points after 13 rounds, but it could get reduced by the season’s end, as the Thunder faces the Pies and Hawks in the closing rounds of the competition. Surprisingly sitting behind the Thunder in second is Carlton, who has an average winning margin of 34.5 points. Although the Blues have only won four games this season, they have been able to beat teams convincingly, with their biggest winning margin of the season being 46 points. One team that has had to work hard for its wins is Melbourne University. The Mugars have won three games this season with an average winning margin of 5.67 points, and are therefore no stranger to close encounters.

 

Biggest winning margins (Rounds 1-13)

Round

Score

Margin

3

NT 14.12.96 def Ess 4.0.24

72 points

4

NT 13.10.88 def Melb Uni 3.1.19

69 points

9

NT 13.7.85 def Geel 2.8.20

65 points

13

Geel 10.7.67 def Rich 1.2.8

59 points

6

WB 12.11.83 def Will 4.3.27

56 points

1

NT 12.14.86 def Darebin 5.2.32

54 points

2

Carlton 9.7.61 def WB 2.3.15

46 points

11

Geel 10.8.68 def Casey 4.3.27

41 points

12

Carl 7.10.52 def Rich 1.5.11

41 points

10

NT 7.8.50 def Darebin 1.4.10

40 points

5

NT 13.5.83 def WB 7.5.47

36 points

7

Coll 8.5.53 def Carl 2.5.17

36 points

8

Casey 6.11.47 def Ess 3.3.21

26 points

 

Highest average winning margins

Rank

Team

Average winning margin

1

NT Thunder

45.2

2

Carlton

34.5

3

Richmond

33.67

4

Geelong Cats

31.62

5

Williamstown*

31

6

Darebin

29.86

7

Western Bulldogs

24.67

8

Collingwood

21.9

9

Hawthorn

19.89

10

Southern Saints

19.4

11

Casey Demons

15.4

12

Essendon*

8

13

Melbourne University

5.67

 

*These teams have only recorded one win this season.

Number Crunching: VFLW – Round 12

IN this week’s edition of number crunching, we look into the best performances from AFLW players in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s 2018 season. Due to so many teams being shuffled around from what they were back in 2017, this season has shown how players can adapt in weaker and stronger teams. In no particular order, here is the best 10 AFLW players in the VFLW.

Williamstown’s Jess Duffin played for Collingwood in the AFLW in 2018 and will play for North Melbourne in 2019. She has had a fantastic season so far in Seagulls colours, playing nine games. Duffin has kicked eight goals and has constantly been chosen as one of the best on ground for her games. Her disposals and mark stats are always high, and that’s something that deserves to be seen in the next AFLW season.

Following Duffin is Collingwood star, Chloe Molloy. Though only a first year player in the 2018 AFLW season, the 19 year-old has made a name for herself with her athleticism and style of play. With only playing six games so far, Molloy has been quieter than expected but has made an impact despite this. Molloy is still a young player, so it’s exciting to see her progress.

The next and final Collingwood player in the top 10 is Jamiee Lambert. Lambert has had a brilliant season for Collingwood, kicking six goals in the eight games she has played. The midfielder is a near shoo-in for the Best and Fairest due to her experience leading to her strong performances. Despite being sometimes overlooked during the AFLW, Lambert shouldn’t be this season.

Richelle Cranston, current Geelong player and former Demons player, has been strong in the Cats midfield. With playing nine games and ranking in the top six in eight of those games, it’s clear that the coaches see how Cranston is a force on the field. Cranston has led the competition for inside 50s and continues to have high stat numbers in disposals.

Reigning AFLW Best and Fairest winner and Bulldogs premiership player, Emma Kearney has picked up where she left off in the AFLW, dominating for Melbourne Uni in the VFLW. Kearney, who recently transferred to North Melbourne, has only played six games for Melbourne Uni this season but has still been strong as their centre. The midfielder has frequently displayed her strong style of play for Melbourne Uni and will continue to show that as the season wraps up.

Following Kearney is Carlton superstar, Darcy Vesico. Vescio is always a prominent face in the AFLW and VFLW, and for good reason. Even though she has played six games this season, Vesico has kicked 15 goals, making her second ranked in the league for goals kicked. The key forward also has one of the highest goal averages in the league, with 2.50 goals per game.

Nat Exon has proven to be an elite player for both Darebin and the Brisbane Lions. Exon has had a great season and is one of the top Best and Fairest prospects for the league, with ranking in the top six for her team in six out of her seven games played. Exon has continuously performed with an unrivaled persistence, proving her necessity in the midfield for Darebin.  

NT Thunder has had a historical debut in the VFLW, currently sitting second on the ladder. It would be unfair to not acknowledge the amazing players like Jessica Sedunary who have put them there. Sedunary, who also plays for the Crows, has had an unbelievable VFLW debut herself, kicking 14 goals in her eight games for NT. She is the third highest goal kicker in the league and has been a key factor in NT’s success.

Another key player for NT has been their captain, Angela Foley. The versatile Adelaide midfielder/defender has been a notable leader for the young Thunder side, kicking seven goals in the nine games she has played for the Thunder. Foley has been a real link in NT’s midfield, allowing her teammates to have a very fluid style of play this season. Her position as in the middle has allowed her to dominate the field for her team.

The final player for this list is NT and Greater Western Sydney’s (GWS) Emma Swanson. Swanson is NT’s fourth highest goal scorer with nine goals in her nine games, leaving her with a nice 1.1 average. The GWS marquee star has been an important player for NT, usually playing in the forward line. Swanson’s dynamic style of play has led to her being an important player for NT, placing her as one of their best players in a team full of weapons.

Best Games For Each Player

PLAYER

TEAM

DATE

BST

G

BHD

KE

KIE

HE

HIE

HR

CM

UM

MKS

TKS

Chloe Molloy

Collingwood Sat 2/6 3 1 3 5 6 2 0 2 1 3 4 1

Jaimee Lambert

Collingwood Sat 23/6 1 0 0 10 6 2 1 7 1 2 3 3

Jess Duffin

Williamstown Sun 13/5 1 3 0 12 2 3 3 6 5 3 8 2

Richelle Cranston

Geelong Cats Sat 14/7 1 0 1 6 9 11 2 6 1 3 4 5

Emma Kearney

Melbourne Uni Sun 3/6 1 2 0 10 7 10 5 10 0 2 2 7
Darcy Vescio Carlton Sat 5/5 2 3 1 10 5 1 1 2 3 2 5 1
Nat Exon Darebin Sat 2/6 1 1 0 8 2 6 0 7 0 2 2 4
Jessica Sedunary NT Thunder Sat 16/6 1 3 1 5 7 1 2 5 1 4 5 2
Angela Foley NT Thunder Sat 26/5 1 0 0 11 6 6 1 9 1 4 5 2
Emma Swanson NT Thunder Sat 5/5 3 2 0 8 10 8 5 9 0 5 5 3