Tag: claremont

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Finals Week 1 – Claremont vs. East Perth

CLAREMONT will face off against WAFL Colts minor premier Swan Districts for the second time in three weeks, after downing East Perth by 41 points in week one of the 2021 finals series. The Tigers were inaccurate early on but found their groove and snared crucial goals at the end of the first two terms to restore leads. A five-goal third quarter then helped Claremont break the contest open, before running out comfortable victors with another four majors in the final stanza.

We highlight a few of the top performers from either side in our Scouting Notes with a particular focus on state representatives, before taking a look around the grounds and up the grades.

>> Player Focus: Angus Sheldrick (Claremont)

SCOUTING NOTES

Claremont 13.9 (87) def. East Perth 6.10 (46)

Claremont:

#17 Hugh Davies

His final stats of seven disposals and two marks hardly do justice to the role Davies played in defence, with the bottom-ager making several important plays on the last line. He looked composed in a series of crises, able to work things out across defensive 50 and apply ample pressure on East Perth’s forwards when the ball hit the deck. In the air, he rose for some timely spoils and was desperate enough to keep the play alive with little margin for error.

#22 Sam Gilbey

Another bottom-aged defender who hardly garnered massive stats (six disposals, two marks, one goal), Gilbey still managed to show glimpses of his massively promising skillset on Saturday. Both of his marks were lovely intercepts up the ground, which he used to move the ball on quickly heading inside attacking 50. On the first occasion, Gilbey showed off his impressive left-foot kick with a booming goal just before quarter time, seeing Claremont regain the lead. He competed well to turn the ball over and pressed a high line, before being used further afield in the final term and even shaving the post with another shot on goal.

#27 Angus Sheldrick

Arguably the best player afield, Sheldrick got to work early and put in an absolute shift out of Claremont’s engine room. While able to win the contested ball with his strength and grit, Sheldrick also displayed a phenomenal work-rate to get his legs pumping with some green ball and find possessions around the ground. He helped drive the Tigers forward and despite lacking a finishing touch at times, put the ball into dangerous spots. He was in the wars during term three with a head knock and big hit from Jye Amiss, but got back to work to finish with a game-high 24 disposals, 12 tackles, and five inside 50s to go with a first term goal.

#29 Jahmal Stretch

The crafty small forward is one who has the ability to light up any passage of play, and certainly did that with his 10 disposals, three marks and two goals. An early rush of blood saw him burn a teammate over the top when running into an open goal, but Stretch built into his best work by hitting the ball at speed and springing up for marks inside 50. His first goal came shortly after a set shot fell short, and he added another in term four with a quick snap which showcased his high level goal sense. With terrific pressure acts and sparks of individual brilliance, Stretch continues to be an eye-catching goalsneak.

#32 Jacob van Rooyen

He doesn’t need too many chances to make a real impact, and that is exactly what van Rooyen did during a three-goal third quarter. The strong-bodied key forward helped Claremont kick away with majors at the beginning, middle and end of term three after a relatively quiet first half. His fundamental strengths were solid throughout without much opportunity, but came to the fore during said period with a couple of strong pack marks and set shot conversions. While only earning a modest seven disposals, he made them count with four marks and those three majors to go with some imposing pressure acts.

#35 Luke Brown

Another bottom-ager who managed to show glimpses of potential, Brown finished up with a couple of really handy goals from his five touches. The 199cm ruck-forward first got his hands on the ball through sheer reach in the ruck, before booting those two majors in the second half. The first was a terrific bit of improvisation, as the bigman volleyed the ball home off a deep spillage. His second goal was also manufactured off a pack, as Brown gathered and quickly snapped the ball through to show great skill for a player of his size.

Others:

Claremont had a bunch of solid contributors on each line, starting with the likes of Talon Delacey (19 disposals, five inside 50s) and Kendyll Blurton (15 disposals, five tackles) in midfield. Arthur Jones was again productive on the wing with 17 touches and five inside 50s, while Campbell Rogers played a key hand down back. Speaking of, Sean Williams’ effort to keep leading goalkicker Jye Amiss scoreless was outstanding, as was Peter Coles’ three-goal haul at the other end. In the way of state squad members, Under 17 prospects Edward Allan (wing) and Will Bailey (forward/wing) had their moments, and top-age tall Eric Benning missed with a calf complaint.

East Perth:

#4 Ethan Regan

The West Coast NGA candidate started in midfield, with the East Perth coaches perhaps looking for him to make an early statement with his size and explosiveness. That did not quite eventuate, but Regan built into the game well from his usual high half-forward post. His kick penetration lead directly to goals on two occasions, as Regan linked East Perth from beyond the attacking arc into more dangerous positions.

#7 Jye Amiss

Having built a remarkable streak of kicking multiple goals in all of his previous WAFL Colts and state Under 19 outings, Amiss was finally shut-out on Saturday. The West Australian spearhead was hardly given an inch inside attacking 50 and did not always receive the best delivery in any case. Most of his work was done further afield, where he ventured on searching leads and showed some really nice moments of poise to hit targets on the way back to goal. He later showed signs of a confidence dip with a couple of dropped marks, perhaps the product of perceived pressure having been under the pump all game.

#9 Kade Dittmar

A strong figure in the East Perth midfield, Dittmar offered plenty of his usual power and contested ball winning prowess on Saturday. His physicality on the inside was evident, as he looked to bustle through tackles and apply some punishing ones of his own. While Dittmar gained a good amount of distance on his clearances, with eight of his 15 disposals sent inside 50, he tended to dump kick at times and couldn’t quite hit the target with a couple of attempts on goal. Still, his intent matched the finals atmosphere.

#11 James Tunstill

Tunstill was one who started the game brightly, producing some eye-catching moments in midfield and rotating forward to snare a first term goal. He was prominent at ground level, collecting the ball cleanly and finding ways to slip or spin to the outer where he could gain a bit more meterage. His goal came from a set shot after marking well overhead, converting the chance well from 40m. Tunstill finished up with 14 disposals and three inside 50s, marking a solid return after his promising opening.

#26 Kaden Harbour

Another who was productive in spurts, Harbour brought good intent and effort to the finals contest. He chased up loose balls and worked up the ground for his side, with one play seeing him break at pace with two running bounces before kicking inside 50. The small forward produced another great inside 50 foray in term three which was not finished off, and his closest attempt on goal hit the post with a snap from the pocket.

#34 Jedd Busslinger

Hardly overawed by the finals occasion as a bottom-ager, Busslinger saved his side’s blushes several times on the last line of defence. The 195cm prospect proved difficult to beat both aerially and at ground level, showing great composure to mop up under pressure and move the ball on cleanly. He was never rushed despite the heavy pressure at times, and proved his commitment with a goal-saving mark which saw him thud into the goal post. Busslinger was swung forward in term four, and finished with four marks from his nine disposals.

Others:

No East Perth player notched over 20 touches on Saturday, but speedy midfielder Jayden Peak was the closest with 18. His run-and-carry proved productive, as did the skills of wingman Oscar Armstrong (13 disposals), who kicked a fantastic long-range goal in term three. Kalani Brooks was another to step up in midfield with 16 disposals and five tackles, while state Under 17 squad member Jordyn Baker showed a bit with nine disposals up on the wing.

AROUND THE GROUNDS:

In the other colts final, East Fremantle advanced in Sunday’s knockout bout against West Perth, downing the Falcons by 29 points after trailing narrowly at the first break. The Sharks, bolstered by an array of quality state squad members, soon clicked into gear and manufactured nearly double the Falcons’ scoring shots (20-11).

It was unsurprising to see Josh Browne top the disposal charts once again, racking up a game-high 32 to go with six inside 50s and a goal. Fellow draft combine invitee Corey Warner and bottom-ager Jed Hagan supported him well, while Melbourne father-son candidate Taj Woewodin also found plenty of the ball. In-form tall Josh Cripps kicked a goal from 19 touches, and Jackson McManus – the nephew of Shaun – snagged a game-high three majors.

A pair of promising bottom-agers fared well for the Falcons, as Kane Bevan notched 31 disposals and six marks, while defender Griff Julian clunked eight grabs among his 23 touches. Luke Michael matched the latter’s marking feats, and Lochlan Paton got his hands dirty with 12 tackles to go with 18 disposals.

There was not as much action to speak of in a draft sense up the grades, but classy midfielder Matthew Johnson caught the eye with a team-high 23 disposals, nine marks and one goal in Subiaco’s finals win over West Perth. At League level, Jesse Motlop bagged a goal from 11 touches as South Fremantle held on in a one-point thriller against Claremont.

Featured Image: The 2021 WA Under 19s squad huddles before facing SA | Credit: WAFL via Twitter

WAFL Colts Player Focus: Angus Sheldrick (Claremont)

WEST AUSTRALIAN midfielder Angus Sheldrick has impressed across multiple levels throughout his 2021 campaign. Most of his appearances have come for Christ Church in the PSA, but Sheldrick has taken the step up to WAFL Colts and state representative level in his stride, consistently finishing amongst his sides’ highest accumulating players while providing high work-rate and pressure around the ground. 

The 179cm inside midfielder put in an arguably best on ground display against East Perth in the recent start to the 2021 WAFL Colts finals series, winning plenty of ball for Claremont as the Tigers brought home a four-point victory.

POCKET PROFILE

Angus Sheldrick
Claremont/Western Australia

DOB: 7/11/2003 (17-years-old)
Height/Weight: 179cm/88kg

Position: Inside Midfielder
Strengths: Contested work, strength, work-rate

2021 Averages:
WAFL Colts (7 games)

26.7 disposals | 3.9 marks | 4.7 tackles | 6.3 inside 50s | 0.6 goals (4 total)

2021 WAFL Colts Finals Week 1 | Claremont 12.9 (87) def. East Perth 6.10 (46)

#27 Angus Sheldrick (Claremont)

Stats: 24 disposals (14 kicks, 10 handballs), 5 marks, 12 tackles, 5 inside 50s, 1 goal

Q1:

Starting the game in the midfield, Sheldrick wouldn’t move from the role for the quarter as his constant work rate and pressure around the contest set the tone for Claremont around the ground. Sheldrick made an early impact with his tackling, causing a stoppage around the forward 50 before getting involved in the handball chain that Claremont would start from the clearance, where he managed to find teammates even when in traffic. His ability to find teammates wasn’t limited to his handballing either – he took the opportunities he had by foot to put the ball to the advantage of teammates inside 50. Unfortunately at times his teammates didn’t react quick enough and couldn’t take full advantage of it.

Claremont had difficulties with it conversion on goal, kicking five straight points to start the game before Sheldrick put the Tigers’ first goal through. With a stoppage inside 50, Sheldrick positioned well to get a backwards handball from his teammate, then tucking the ball under his arm and getting around a couple of opponents to snap it straight through.

Sheldrick’s positioning around the ground was arguably his biggest strength in the first quarter. Whether it was getting onto the end of some handball chains, holding up an opponent after they won the ball at a stoppage, or coming into a contest so he was at the front of a marking pack, he was largely unmatched in that regard throughout, so much so East Perth started giving him some extra attention around stoppages. 

Q2:

Whilst not accumulating as much of the ball in the second quarter, Sheldrick maintained his defensive and pressure work around the ground and in stoppages, keeping East Perth’s major ball winners honest and on their toes. He won a couple of clearances through sheer work-rate and ferocity at the contest, bumping opponents out of the way to get the ball and feed it off by hand to well-positioned teammates, typically looking to move the ball into the corridor.

Something that stood out more about Sheldrick’s game as the quarter went on was his defensive focus in all aspects of the game. In open play he’d work back hard to create a stoppage with his tackling or pressure, and around stoppages he’d often set up on the defensive side to stop opponents running straight through into their attacking 50.

Q3:

Somewhat limited in how much he could impact due to getting a cut on his head that took some time to bandage up, Sheldrick still made the most of his opportunities in the third term and made sure his presence was felt. The theme of Sheldrick’s quarter was courage, putting himself into some uncomfortable situations and coming out on top. The most impressive example of this came late in the third, as the Royals looked to be getting a certain goal as they streamed forward, but Sheldrick put himself in front of a leading Jye Amiss, holding the mark as Amiss knocked a bit of wind out of him. Sheldrick got straight back to his feet and ran the ball out of defensive 50 before kicking into the middle. 

Sheldrick continued to work defensively and apply pressure around the midfield, frustrating opposition players and copping heavy contact that should have seen him rewarded with some more free kicks.

Q4:

Sheldrick played a big role in securing the victory for Claremont in the final term, winning a lot of ball and generally using it well by foot, looking to spread the play wide to teammates or kick it long to a pack for his tall forwards to crash. What was arguably most impressive about his last term in particular was how he started to present as a marking option around the ground, providing smart leads that weren’t overly dangerous but helped Claremont get a more open ground. Sheldrick also started getting more rewarded for his tackles, earning a couple of free kicks with his repeat efforts through the middle of the ground.

Closing Thoughts:

Sheldrick has made a name for himself as one of the premiere draft-eligible inside midfielders from WA and showed exactly why in the first final of the WAFL Colts season. Whilst Sheldrick doesn’t play a particularly flashy game, his work-rate and courage in his approach lifts his team with him and keeps his side in the contest regardless of the score. It’s obvious that opposition consider him a danger with the amount of attention and work that gets put in to him, in an attempt to negate his impact around stoppages.

As we approach the AFL Draft, don’t be surprised to hear more and more about Sheldrick with reliability and consistency during an interrupted season two big ticks alongside his name.

Image Credit: Claremont FC

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 22 – Claremont vs. Swan Districts

WAFL Colts minor premier Swan Districts earned a remarkable nine-point comeback victory over Claremont in Saturday morning’s top-of-the-table clash, proving the perfect sighter for finals. The Tigers lead at every break and dominated play in the first half, but two late goals in the second term gave the Swans a sniff. Having wrestled back some momentum but fallen even further back by three quarter time, Swans pounced in term four with five goals to one to cap off a stunning home-and-away campaign. We take a look at a few of the top performers from either side in our Scouting Notes, and take a look around the grounds.

SCOUTING NOTES

Claremont 7.13 (55) def. by Swan Districts 9.10 (64)

Claremont:

#22 Sam Gilbey

One of the most promising West Australian bottom-agers, Gilbey returned a positive performance in just his sixth Colts game for the season. The 185cm defender boasts a few handy weapons, headlined by his penetrating left-foot kick. He hit targets over long distances both on the rebound and going inside attacking 50, weaponising that side of his game in addition to some handy intercept marks. Gilbey finished the game with 21 disposals (15 kicks), four marks and four inside 50s.

#29 Jahmal Stretch

While he only registered nine disposals, Stretch made a big impact on the contest with six tackles and 2.3 as Claremont’s most likely small forward. The National Combine invitee loves to leap at the ball and very nearly pulled in some eye-catching grabs, with his two marks for the day coming at full stretch overhead. The electric Halls Creek native also impacted at ground level, hitting the ball at pace and taking it cleanly, before dishing off to bring others into the play or manufacturing his own shots on goal. His majors came in the second and third term, and could easily have been more as he hit the post twice.

#32 Jacob van Rooyen

Stationed back in his usual key forward post, van Rooyen looked in ominous touch early on. He took a couple of marks inside 50 and began to cause a bit of panic for Swans defenders, attracting a holding free kick for his first goal. The 194cm bigman made it two in a term when he won a wrestle to mark one-on-one, converting another set shot. He would go on to work further up the ground and while his marking influence was quelled, van Rooyen contributed one-percenters like blocks on fast breaks, unrewarded chases, and plenty of follow-up pressure after flying for marks. A quiet second half saw him finish with two goals from seven disposals and four marks.

#36 Eric Benning

One who warmed to the contest and built his impact over time, Benning popped up with some nice moments as a ruck-forward rotation. He began to get his hitout game going in the second term, palming some nice balls down to his midfielders’ advantage and carrying that trend forward. The Fremantle NGA prospect also won his own clearances and a few of them ended up producing marks inside 50. Benning managed 12 disposals, 19 hitouts and six inside 50s for the day.

Others:

Midfield pair Jacquin Ciminata (26 disposals, eight inside 50s, one goal) and Kendyll Blurton (23, five, one) both helped Claremont get on top early with their momentum from the middle, while Arthur Jones (21 disposals, eight inside 50s) was dynamic on the outside. Kieran Kavanagh also got his hands dirty, as Max Mumme flashed forward and bottom-ager Luke Brown took a couple of nice grabs with his long reach.

Swan Districts:

#2 Max Chipper

The Swan Districts accumulator was at it again on Saturday, picking up an unassuming 26 disposals and six marks from the engine room. Chipper showcased his running capacity throughout the day as he often dropped back to help move the ball out of defence, proving neat with his disposal despite relaxing on a few kicks. His consistent output has been terrific on both sides of midfield this season.

#8 Elijah Hewett

Another impressive bottom-ager, Hewett made a genuine impact on the game with his work from midfield. The 182cm prospect has a mature built for his age and used every bit of it to power out of congestion, either with a turn of speed or by dishing off in tackles. He started brightly with nine touches in the first term and went on to collect 24 for the match, also adding a goal in term three. He could have had another in the fourth, but instead made his mark with his intent to move the ball on quickly even if his kicks did not always hit the target.

#20 Bryce Watson

The fast rising defender showcased some of his best traits off half-back once again, racking up a game-high 28 disposals (21 kicks) and five marks. Watson was constantly there to mop up the ground balls, but also set up rebounds by positioning for intercept marks and spoils in the air. He often remained calm under pressure and spun nicely out of trouble, kicking to advantage up the field when moving at pace. While he grubbed a couple of kicks, Watson won some key possessions and ensured plenty of play went through him out of the backline.

#32 Tyrell Metcalf

Swan Districts’ main source of goals throughout the season ended up being a match winner on Saturday, booting 2.3 from 13 disposals and seven marks – including the one to put his side in front. Both of Metcalf’s goals came from set shots and he had a great knack of getting free inside 50, but was also made to work up the ground with few looks in the first half. He could have ended up with a bag if not for some inaccuracy, as he constantly looked to make things happen. Metcalf may well miss some finals action after a very ordinary act at three quarter time, and a few undisciplined moments were the only real blights on an otherwise exciting performance.

#38 Darcy Jones

The zippy bottom-ager again produced some really productive spurts on the wing, speeding his way forward with sharp skills. Jones was dangerous on fast breaks, using his pace to burn opponents behind him, before baulking the ones in front and making something happen inside 50. He was clean at ground level and went on one particularly swift running bounce foray, which we are sure to see more of in future.

Others:

Along with Watson, Lawson Humphries proved a reliable rebounder with his 23 disposals and eight marks from defence, doing most of his work by foot. Ben Hewett notched 18 disposals from midfield, while Angus Laurisson (14 disposals, five marks) played a key role on van Rooyen in defence after quarter time. Elsewhere, Kobe Farmer formed a handy partnership with Metcalf up forward, and 2005-born talent Riley Hardeman popped up with some eye-catching moments off the wing.

AROUND THE GROUNDS

Peel Thunder won out by 15 points against Subiaco in a battle between seventh and eighth, adding a consolation sixth win to their season tally. The Thunder trailed at the final break and had less of the ball overall, but created 51 inside 50s to 22 to overwhelm the Lions at the death. Michael Sellwood racked up a game-high 28 touches for the victors, while draft combine addition Luke Polson booted 2.2 from 17 touches. Bottom-ager Jacob Evitt was again productive for Subi, snaring a goal from his 22 touches.

An eight-goal to nil opening term set the tone for West Perth’s 102-point beatdown of Perth, who finished the season last at 0-16. The Falcons dominated with 126 more disposals and 31 more inside 50s, culminating in 32 scoring shots to five in the run-in to finals. Jack De Marte (30 disposals) lead all comers, while the likes of Darcy Dixon, Kane Bevan, Luke Michael, and Lochlan Paton were the other Falcons to find plenty of ball in an even team spread.

East Fremantle was another side to show ominous form on the eve of finals, besting fellow top five contender East Perth by 31 points. State Under 19s pair Josh Browne and Corey Warner both racked up over 30 touches, while recent draft combine additions Taj Woewodin and Josh Cripps each booted two goals in big performances. Promising tall Jack Williams also snared three goals for the Sharks. James Tunstill lead the Royals’ disposal count with 26 as Kade Dittmar managed 17, and Jye Amiss registered a steady 2.2 in the defeat.

Up the grades, Peel Thunder utility Brady Hough was exceptional on League debut with 22 disposals, nine marks and a goal playing off half-back and the wing. Over-age defender Jack Avery rounded out a solid season with Perth, while Jesse Motlop proved his worth in South Fremantle’s side ahead of finals with 2.2 from 13 disposals.

Image Credit: Swan Districts Football Club

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 18 – Claremont vs. Subiaco

CLAREMONT extended its WAFL Colts winning streak to nine games in Round 18, after thumping an undermanned Subiaco to the tune of 68 points at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday morning. The Tigers were in ominous form from the first bounce, and all but wrapped up the result by half time having poured on 17 scoring shots to set up a remarkable 52-1 lead at the main break.

Subiaco fought to make for a more competitive game thereafter, booting two goals in each of the closing terms with the Lions’ first majors coming at nearly 15 minutes into the third quarter. The percentage-booster sees Claremont sit pretty in second with a game to both first and third, while Subiaco’s premiership defence may require swift saving as the Lions are currently poised in seventh after three-straight losses.

We take a look at a few of the top performers from either side in our Scouting Notes, and go around the grounds with some of the other outstanding Colts performances out of Round 18.

SCOUTING NOTES

Claremont 13.16 (94) def. Subiaco 4.2 (26)

Claremont:

#27 Angus Sheldrick

Having played a starring role in Western Australia’s Under 19 trial games, Sheldrick transferred that form into his latest Colts outing. The strong-bodied midfielder was typically prominent at the coalface, cracking in to win his own ball and making repeat efforts in tight scrambles. He found plenty of the pill and complemented his inside game well by finding a bit of green ball on the outer, bursting forward and delivering punchy kicks into attack. While his execution was sometimes inconsistent, you couldn’t fault Sheldrick’s work rate as he collected a game-high 28 disposals.

#29 Jahmal Stretch

Another who really boosted his stocks in representative colours, Stretch plays the small forward role so well. He again proved a dynamic part of Claremont’s balanced front six, creating a wealth of opportunities and diverse avenues to goal. His forward pressure caused spills and chaos around goal, his speed off the mark saw him get off the leash when leading, and his evasiveness caused plenty of headaches for Subiaco’s defence. Stretch also poses a marking threat with his leap, and nabbed his lone goal of the game by lurking at the back of a contest and judging the ball well to mark overhead in the goalsquare. He had a couple of long-range set shots fall short and was unselfish enough to give a couple off, too.

#32 Jacob van Rooyen

After a foray to defence while pressing his claims in the state squad, van Rooyen looked back to his ominous best up forward on Saturday. The bullocking key position prospect was an imposing force in the early stages, launching himself into marking contests and taking opponents with him. His strength drew panic from defenders in one-on-one situations, where van Rooyen would protect the drop zone and take marks despite being fouled from every angle. At ground level, he made things happen with punishing tackles and fend-offs, bullying the undermanned opposition at times. After attending a single centre bounce and working well up the ground, van Rooyen was stationed deeper to cap a fine game which yielded 22 disposals, nine marks, and six goals. He looks far too developed to be playing Colts footy, at least when he shows this sort of form and confidence.

#35 Luke Brown

From a matured tall prospect to one with plenty of development left, Brown continues to show glimpses of his potential. The raw 199cm talent rotated between the ruck and key forward posts on Saturday and earned plenty of chances to impress with his 10 disposals, five hit-outs and four scoring shots. While the bottom-ager snapped home a terrific goal in the second term, he put another three chances wide and showed his rawness with a couple of dropped marks inside attacking 50. But with his height, reach and overall upside as a tall, Brown still has plenty of time to fill out and refine his skills at the WAFL Colts grade.

#36 Eric Benning

Playing almost exclusively as a key forward this time out, Benning was on fire with four goals and arguably the best highlights package of anyone afield. He looked unbelievably confident, proving difficult to spot on the lead and plying his trade both in the air and at ground level. The Fremantle NGA prospect presented strongly inside 50 and got separation with his turn of speed, while using that same trait to apply good forward pressure. His best goal came after smothering a kick-in before mopping up and snapping home, but Benning also finished from the pocket and via a 45m set shot. He made good on terrific service and has shown a steep rate of development in recent weeks to give the Dockers – and other recruitment teams – something to think about.

Subiaco:

#12 Jacob Evitt

Arguably Subiaco’s best and most damaging player on a tough day, Evitt produced a good amount of drive from midfield. The bottom-ager is built well for a smaller prospect and showcased his handy turn of speed, helping the Lions move to the outer and break forward with intent. Evitt backed his pace and was able to generate more run as the game wore on, while also hitting the scoreboard with two excellent second half goals. His first major came on the back of pure gut running, as the 17-year-old streamed through midfield to deliver a long kick forward, before getting the ball back and slotting it home from just inside 50. His second was converted closer to the big sticks, as he crumbed a long ball to the hot spot and snapped through on his left foot.

#21 Jed Kemp

Kemp was up against it given Claremont’s depth and strength in midfield, but did well to finish the game as his side’s most consistent ball winner with 27 disposals. He worked into the game but was made to think quickly, bombing clearing balls forward and flicking away handballs under heavy pressure at the contest. His best moments came in the final term; finding a bit of space and showing poise to hit Evitt inside 50, before staying down as Claremont defenders flew to swoop on the ground ball and nab a goal late in the piece.

AROUND THE GROUNDS

Swan Districts continues to soar atop the WAFL Colts ladder after defeating Peel Thunder by 38 points, proving more productive forward of centre with double the scoring shots in a 12.14 (86) to 7.6 (48) victory. After streaming ahead with eight goals to one in the first half, they proved too good to topple thereafter.

Max Chipper was back to his accumulating best with 39 disposals and eight marks for the Swans, as Noah Hannan also ticked up over 30 touches to go with six marks and five inside 50s. Tyrell Metcalf snared three goals for the second week running, while in-form midfielder Ben Hewett managed two. State Under 19s defender Rhett Bazzo showcased his aerial game with eight marks.

Joel Rush was Peel’s sole multiple goalkicker with two, as the likes of Scott Tuia and Byron Finch also hit the scoreboard to complement their 20 disposals apiece. State Under 19s utility Brady Hough notched a team-high 33 touches, while Luke Polson found it 13 times after making his League debut last week.

East Fremantle moved up into fourth place with a crucial win over South Fremantle, leading at every break in the 50-point triumph. The Sharks were served well by returning stars; namely Taj Woewodin (25 disposals, six inside 50s), Jed Hagan (20 disposals, one goal) and Jack Williams (17 disposals, seven marks, 5.3). Joshua Cripps, the brother of Carlton’s Patrick, was also prominent with 23 touches and three goals. For South, Chase Bourne and Caleb Stephens flew the flag as the only Bulldogs to register over 20 disposals.

Meanwhile, East Perth consolidated its standing in third with a 91-point thumping of Perth. Midfielders Oscar Armstrong and Kade Dittmar both snared two goals from over 20 disposals each, but Royals spearhead Jye Amiss was the star of the show. The rising key forward booted six majors from 18 disposals and 11 marks, bringing his season goal tally up to 47 from 11 games. On a tough day for the winless Demons, no player registered over 13 possessions.

Plenty of prospects were also away on PSA duties, while a few also played up the grades. Perth’s Jack Avery continued his good form with 20 disposals and six marks in Perth’s League loss to East Perth, while bigman Jake South (13 disposals, 14 hit-outs) and highly-touted midfielder Matthew Johnson (seven disposals) suited up for Subiaco’s reserves in a 28-point loss to Claremont.

Image Credit: Claremont Football Club

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 10 – Claremont vs. Peel Thunder

CLAREMONT shot clear in third with a 21-point win over Peel Thunder on Saturday morning, overcoming the impact of multiple changes to come away with its third-straight victory. Peel started the brighter side and opened up an early three-goal buffer through superior conversion, before being pegged back to trail at half time. Claremont took over from there, with four goals to two in term three setting up a more comfortable run home.

We take a look at a few of the top performers from either side in our Scouting Notes, and go around the grounds with some of the other outstanding Colts performances out of Round 10.

SCOUTING NOTES

Claremont 9.14 (68) def. Peel Thunder 7.5 (47)

Claremont:

#12 Talon Delacey

Having narrowly missed out on state Under 19s selection, Delacey served a reminder of his talent with a dominant stoppage display. The Claremont ball winner was constantly able to get his hands on the ball at stoppages, while also working hard around the ground to accumulate an equal team-high 22 disposals. He tended to hack kicks away from congestion but gained decent meterage in doing so, helping the Tigers break from the middle. He looked hungry and showed good intent in an overall solid outing.

#32 Jacob van Rooyen

The highly touted key forward is getting back to his best form, and bagged another strong haul of goals with four on Saturday. He started the game in midfield though, spending about a quarter of his total game on-ball as he returns to full-time minutes. While he provided a big body around the ball, van Rooyen was much more impactful inside attacking 50 despite copping a tricky matchup. He converted his side’s opening goal in the first term from a set shot and snapped another in the following period after marking strongly overhead. His third term double helped Claremont break clear, with two classy snap finishes from tight angles on either side of the goal bringing his tally to four goals on the day. He could have had more too, also registering three behinds.

#36 Eric Benning

Benning was able to show glimpses of his athletic best despite copping a heavy knock in the opening term, which slowed his output. The Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect leapt beautifully in the ruck and produced a couple of eye-catching running clearances, pointing towards his potential. He spent a fair bit of time resting deep forward as the game wore on though, even finding the goals on one occasion. Hopefully he shakes off the knock and finds some even better form ahead of his state’s Under 19 campaign.

#37 Henrick Alforque

Another NGA talent, only for West Coast, Alforque continues to dazzle with his speed and repeat efforts forward of centre. The zippy small forward worked up past the attacking arc to find the ball, before wheeling back towards goal with pace and looking to get creative. He is still very raw in terms of his end product, missing some gettable chances once he had done all the hard work beforehand. He did manage to snare a couple of goal though, serving as good reward for his effort.

Peel Thunder:

#2 Scott Tuia

One of Peel’s top ball winners for the day, Tuia defied his size to consistently crack in at ground level and prove a really productive midfielder. He was a constant in the engine room and managed to get his hands on the contested ball, while also using his pace on the outer as the Thunder broke forward. That kind of play provided real drive for his side, making for a solid contribution overall.

#8 Brady Hough

A state Under 19s bolter, Hough showed why he is in line for representative honours with another promising outing for Peel. Stationed on the wing, he competed well for possession and tracked back to accumulate touches, while helping Peel generate some momentum with clean skills on the rebound. He found himself in a more advanced position during term three, marking on a break at half-forward and kicking nicely to Luke Taylor inside 50 to notch a goal assist. Hough should provide solid depth to the Black Ducks’ midfield come National Championships time.

#23 Luke Polson

One who is capable of playing in multiple positions, Polson started in the ruck and while beaten early on by Benning for pure leap, he went on to show his upside. The versatile tall is mobile for his size and not afraid to take on players in front of him, weaving through traffic and disposing with poise. He used his running capacity to win the ball around the ground while rucking, but also did some nice work up forward. A couple of strong marks late in the piece capped off his game, which should again put him in the frame for League selection after being teased with it this week.

#30 Jarrad McIlvinney

McIlvinney is often tasked with tough assignments in defence and it was no different on Saturday, as he took on van Rooyen and Benning at different stages. He proved a terrific matchup for van Rooyen, reading the play well and competing aerially against his fellow state Under 19 squad member. The tall defender positioned well to intercept when away from lockdown duties, and generally used the ball calmly by foot as Peel looked to rebound. In a state squad full of promising talls, McIlvinney should provide some solid key defensive fold.

AROUND THE GROUNDS

There was only one other WAFL Colts fixture in Round 10, with East Perth getting the better of South Fremantle on Sunday. Spearheading the Royals’ comprehensive 61-point victory was Jye Amiss, who brought his season goal tally up to 30 with another bag of five to continue his hot form. Fellow state squad members Ethan Regan and Kaden Harbour each snared two majors, while wingmen Oscar Armstrong (25 disposals) and Jake Littleton (20) were productive on the outer. On the inside, Kade Dittmar also had it 20 times and James Tunstill found the goals once from 18 touches.

In case you missed the West Australian Under 19 squad announcement, you can find everything you need to know here, while the recent Under 17 squad unveiling can be observed below.

Image Credit: Claremont FC

WAFLW wrap – Round 14: Subiaco claims last finals spot with one-point win over Claremont

SUBIACO has secured the last finals spot in the 2021 West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s, after coming from behind to down third placed Claremont in a nail-biting one-point contest. The Lions booted the opening goal of the game, but then conceded the next three, trailing by 14 points at half-time. They kicked three of the final four goals however to run over the top of the higher ranked opponents and maintain a two-game and percentage gap on fifth placed East Fremantle with only one game remaining.

In what was billed as a tight contest by two likely finals combatants, it lived up to expectations, with a goal in the opening two minutes going the way of the visitors. Tiah Toth hit-up Kia Buckley straight in front of goal for the youngster to convert and hand her side the early lead. Claremont took control after that though, with plenty of forward entries and capitalising in front of the big sticks.

The dominant duo of Tessa Doumanis and Amy Franklin were having it on a string once inside there, with Doumanis almost kicking one on the run – though it bounced into the post – then handing one off to Franklin who took a bounce and nailed it in style. Doumanis then took her chance by sidestepping an opponent to get back on her trusty left foot and put one home, before Franklin kicked a third, beating two opponents in marking contest, getting it to ground and keeping her feel to slam it home. Up the other end, McKenzie Dowrick had a set shot in the final 90 seconds but missed, to make it a straight two-goal ball game.

Both defences held up well in the second term and neither side could really take control. Emily Bennett and Jess Low were among those standing out in the game, and Claremont captain Ella Smith rued an open goal chance that came off the side of the boot. The Tigers kept attacking in the final few minutes, but the Subiaco defence was outstanding, as Claire Ortlepp held her own.

Subiaco made its move in the third term with a couple of goals to cut the deficit to just one point at the final break, with an end-to-end play 10 minutes into the term through Holly Hyder to McKenzie Dowrick and then Madi Wilkens running into an open goalsquare. Amy Hunt put one through after a great mark off a well-weight Liana Burchell kick inside 50, as Hunt played on to just get the distance with the open square. Both sides had some chances, but the quarter mostly belonged to the Lions, as Smith’s early set shot fell short, and the Tigers were held scoreless for the term.

It set up an exciting fourth quarter which lived up to expectations, as Doumanis steadied the ship for Claremont’s first since the opening term in the opening couple of minutes. With the lead out to seven points, the Tigers were able to kill time off the clock thanks to the reliable Bennett and the defence, while Emily Elkington and Sarah Garstone were also having strong impacts across the ground. Buckley was lively for the Lions, as her attack on the contest was particularly noticeable. In fact, she was the one who got the ball to Hyder who had a shot from an almost-identical spot to Franklin in the first term, but the ball sat up on the line and was rushed through to make it a straight kick.

With the time ticking down and just over five minutes left, Dowrick took a terrific contested pack grab and made no mistake from 40m out to level the scores. Claremont was now under pressure as Subiaco was coming hard, with Low and Mikayla Western both trying their best to get it forward. Up the other end, Jamie Rust laid a massive tackle to keep it up the forward end, then Bennett won a two-on-one to lock it inside defensive 50 without a goal out the back. A quick kick from Dowrick for a behind put the Lions up by a point, and holding the lead for the first time since early in the game.

With four minutes on the clock, both sides were desperate in their attack on the footy, as Claremont had some chances in the final couple of minutes. Garstone pushed up to keep the pressure on, Western tried to dance around an opponent but was dragged down, and eventually the Subiaco defence won out, got it down to open space, and a Dowrick tackle on the attacking side of the centre square held the ball up for a turnover and the final kick to be sent inside the Lions’ forward 50 as the siren sounded for a memorable 4.4 (28) to 4.3 (27) win.

CLAREMONT 3.1 | 3.3 | 3.3 | 4.3 (27)
SUBIACO 1.1 | 1.1 | 3.2 | 4.4 (28)
 

GOALS:

Claremont: T. Doumanis 2, A. Franklin 2.
Subiaco: K. Buckley, M. Wilkins, A. Hunt, M. Dowrick.

DC BEST: 

Claremont: E. Bennett, J. Low, T. Doumanis, E. Elkington, S. Garstone
Subiaco: K. Buckley,  T. Toth, M. Dowrick, H. Hyder, J. Ritchie

In the other WAFL Women’s results, Peel Thunder handed Swan Districts their first loss with a comprehensive 21-point win at David Grays Arena, whilst East Fremantle easily accounted for the winless South Fremantle by 70 points in a bottom two clash.

In the top-of-the-table clash, Peel kept Swan Districts to one behind in the second half whilst extending their half-time lead of seven points to 21 with 2.3 themselves. Kate Bartlett continued her awesome season with a couple of majors, as Kaitlyn Hayes, Cassie Davidson and Sabreena Duffy were all named in Peel’s best. Sarah Wielstra kicked a goal and was named the Swans’ best, as Kloe Taylor (one goal), and Eliza Gelmi were also among the losing side’s top players.

There was never any chance for the Bulldogs in their clash as the Sharks put the foot down from the opening bounce, piling on six goals straight to nothing in the opening term to effectively win the game by quarter time. They kept the foot down over the next two terms to lead by 72 points at the final break, but a spirited final term from the visitors – kicking 1.3 to 1.1 helped them cut the deficit to 70.

The Sharks had five multiple goalkickers, with Rosie Walsh and Chloe Riley among those players, while Kahra Sprylan and Gabby O’Sullivan also slotted two apiece and were named among the best with Philipa Seth. For the Bulldogs, bottom-age ruck Lauren Wakfer was a standout, as Liusaidh Gilchrist (one goal) and Ebony Clarkson were also impressive.

In the final round of the season, Subiaco hosts East Fremantle on Saturday, before Claremont and Peel Thunder go head-to-head on Sunday, followed by a top-against-bottom clash between Swan Districts and South Fremantle.

 

Picture credit: via WAFL

Bennett enjoying season after “difficult” 2020 season

WHEN your first draft-eligible year rolls around and you are in the State Academy, the AFL Women’s Championships are the pinnacle of state representation. For Claremont’s Emily Bennett, last year – her second in the Academy – was meant to be the year where she tested herself against the best in the country and put her best foot forward.

Instead, like most of the country, travel was restricted, seasons were cut short, and the championships completely abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fast forward 12 months, and Bennett has finally got to represent her state, running out in each of the three games for Western Australia at the championships.

“It (2020) was definitely difficult because it was my second year of state was last year and I was so keen to just smash it out and it was like a year I was hoping for because I could have been drafted last year as well,” Bennett said. “It was pretty tough, because fitness had dropped off because I didn’t have many people to train with so I’m glad it’s happening this year, but it was definitely hard.”

Bennett cited fitness as an ongoing improvement she could make to her game, to be able to “last the full game”, whilst her ability to clunk grabs and run off half-back – be it through or around people – as some of her impressive traits.

“I would say my main strength would be my clean hands, so being sure I’m still able to get some clean marks and under foot I’d say it’s definitely one of my strengths, going through people,” Bennett said.

The talented teenager was like many other sports-mad people growing up, testing herself at a variety of sports before focusing on Aussie rules where she progressed from local football to her WAFL Women’s club.

“I started footy when I was in Year 7 so high school,” Bennett said. “It was just a fun carnival and I was playing netball, basketball and I did a little bit of athletics at the time. “I just thought I’d give it a go, loved it, so I started at my community club and then got invited to go to West Perth, one of the WAFL clubs and have been recently playing for Claremont for League.”

Bennett said while the step up to League might have been daunting, the fact she had entered the State Academy prior to playing a game made the transition all the more easier for her to adapt and feel like she belonged at the level before stepping on-field.

“I was quite a fresh player only having four years behind me,” she said. “It was pretty nerve wracking, but getting in the State Academy before League, I felt really ready and it was such a great experience.”

Being able to not only train with the State Academy, but to travel to South Australia and Victoria with them to finally get a taste of the national carnival, Bennett said she enjoyed every minute of it, and was as much about having fun with like-minded people as it was about developing to be the best possible player.

“I would say all the time it’s such a fun place, people to play with, being able to play with people you can trust because they’re just all so elite and they’re all such nice girls,” she said. “It’s definitely what I look forward to and come back each year and do the same.”

As for her inspirations, Bennett said she had to thank her parents for enabling her to achieve what she had so far, and if she can make it to the top level, it would be as pleasing to somewhat repay the faith as it would be exciting for Bennett herself.

“Mum and dad, I would just love to show them what I got,” she said. “I want to prove to them, they’ve always been there for me in any sport I’ve ever done. “They’re definitely people who inspire me.”

As for her goals in football, naturally AFL Women’s is the ultimate goal for the tough defender, but if her career remains at WAFL Women’s level, then Bennett will still have the one goal within her control – becoming the best footballer she can.

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 8 – Claremont vs. East Perth

CLAREMONT staked its claim as a WAFL Colts premiership threat in 2021, upsetting the formerly first-placed East Perth by 48 points on Saturday morning. Conditions were trying at Revo Fitness stadium, but the rain and soaked deck worked to the favour of Claremont’s midfield as they got on top where it mattered most. Benefitting from quick and repeat entries, the Tigers’ host of dangerous small forwards took full toll in the 12.9 (81) to 5.3 (33) victory.

With 21 total scoring shots to eight from 61 inside 50s to 33, the hosts absolutely dominated possession and territory for long periods of time. After the Royals’ second term fightback, Claremont flexed its muscle once again to pull away with four goals to nil in the third quarter, effectively putting the game to bed. The result sees East Perth relinquish top spot to Swan Districts, while Claremont holds onto fourth spot on the same amount of wins (four), albeit with an extra game played.

SCOUTING NOTES

Claremont:

#12 Talon Delacey

On a day where hard-nosed types thrived and precision was largely thrown out the window, Delacey still managed to show enormous class through midfield. He was a constant in the engine room for Claremont, proving a point of difference with his clean hands and refined ball use going forward. While he did not have as much of the ball as others, Delacey made his kicks count with good decision making and finessed passes going inside 50. He broke to the outside well having taken the ball cleanly, which proved no mean feat in the soggy conditions. The 18-year-old was not afraid to get stuck in at the contest too, laying nine tackles in a well-balanced performance for the winners.

#27 Angus Sheldrick

Far and away the best player afield, particularly during the first half, Sheldrick dominated in the wet with his strength over the ball and work-rate leading to a wealth of possessions. He brought great presence to contested situations, but also worked up and back to chase, tackle, and find the ball in other areas. He racked up 22 of his game-high 31 disposals by the main break, as well as two goals, before seeming to spend a little more time resting forward. The hard work had already been done though, as Sheldrick set the tone beautifully and was unstoppable at his best.

#32 Jacob Van Rooyen

The first round draft prospect built on his steady return to the Colts grade with a big outing this time around, finishing with 24 disposals, six marks, and three goals. He did so in unideal conditions for a key forward and on managed gametime, having been diagnosed with glandular fever this year. Van Rooyen presented well up the ground as a marking option, but also worked hard back towards goal, getting involved in handball chains with some run-and-carry on the counter. Two of his three goals came in the opening term, with one a well-struck set shot and the other a handy snap from close range. His third goal proved the cherry on top –  a handball receive on the attacking arc and booming finish from range. In a promising sign for his recovery, Van Rooyen seemed to run out the game well and even earned a spell in midfield during the final quarter.

#34 Dallas McAdam

Another talent out of the prosperous Halls Creek region, McAdam also boasts good footballing pedigree as the brother of Adelaide Crows high-flyer, Shane. The bottom-aged small forward was electric on his Colts debut, starting on the right foot with a classy snap goal from the pocket in term one. He showed a good smarts in the front half and snared a second goal in the third quarter, again finishing with aplomb on the run. He produced a genuine highlight-reel moment too, rising above the pack to take a screamer in the final term, before handing off to Van Rooyen for a goal assist.

Others…

The Tigers were served well by a bunch of solid contributors on each line, starting with Dylan Mulligan in the ruck. He racked up 23 touches and won 13 hit-outs, also rotating forward and finding the ball between the arcs. Eye-catching midfielder Kendyll Blurton had his moments, and zippy small forward Henrick Alforque provided plenty of spark in the forward half for Claremont. Elsewhere, bottom-aged key defender Hugh Davies was resolute as ever, while Rohan Macniell put in a good shift from the wing.

East Perth:

#7 Jye Amiss

The East Perth spearhead was essentially his side’s sole form of resistance in attack, booting three of the Royals’ five goals in trying conditions. Two of his majors were already on the board early into the second term, with his prominent work on the lead and fluent set shot action leading to such impact. Unfortunately, Amiss didn’t see too much desirable delivery when stationed one-out, and was made to work a little further afield to get his hands on the ball at times. He showcased strong hands in those instances and his sharp radar was observed in the final term after marking at the top of attacking 50, turning quickly and slotting a beautiful goal from range on his cannon-like left foot.

#33 Sokaa Soka

The West Coast Next Generation Academy (NGA) member returned his best hit-out numbers by far for 2021, winning 34 in a promising showing. Soka used his raw athleticism and sizeable leap to do so, while also proving mobile in his work around the ground to finish with 12 disposals and three marks. He thrived aerially and was a handy kick-in target for the Royals, but also worked out of tight spaces at the contest to help get his side moving to the outer. While the Claremont midfield was largely on top, Soka was able to showcase his development in a tough losing effort.

Others…

James Tunstill worked hard in midfield as the Royals’ most prominent player in there, with Kade Dittmar kept quiet early before coming into the game later on. Luke Lombardi was kept busy in defence and finished with a team-high 26 disposals, 25 of which were kicks. Wingman Jake Littleton also saw a good amount of ball, as did Jason Kissack while Ethan Regan displayed some of his explosiveness around the contest.

AROUND THE GROUNDS

Peel Thunder got the better of Subiaco in a low-scoring slog on Saturday morning, managing 19 scoring shots to 11 from just five more inside 50s. First round draft prospect Matthew Johnson returned to Colts level for the Lions, winning 21 touches and seven inside 50s while also laying nine tackles. Jed Kemp finished with a game-high 30 disposals for Subi, as Blake Morris clunked eight marks in defence and Koltyn Tholstrup bagged two goals. Cooper Osbourne swung forward again for Peel to also claim a pair of goals, as standout prospect Luke Polson impressed with 18 touches, five marks, and one major. Brady Hough and Clay Philpott also had it 18 times each, while Josh Edwards won 26 hitouts in the ruck.

West Perth thumped the winless Perth by 75 points, with the Demons kept to just two goals as the Falcons jumped into the top five. Deklyn Grocott (29 disposals, six inside 50s) proved a bright spot in the Demons’ loss, supported well by Menno Inverarity (26 disposals) in midfield. West Perth skipper Luke Reilly was his side’s top ball winner on 25, as the likes of Harrison Baxter and Lochlan Paton snared two majors apiece while also getting their hands on the ball.

Swan Districts swooped on top spot with a seven-point win over East Fremantle in Sunday’s sole fixture, holding out for its fifth win of the season. It was no surprise to see hard-running accumulator Max Chipper win 33 touches for the Swans, including 12 marks and two goals. Tyrell Metcalf also notched two majors, as Joshua Middleton snagged three in an even Swans performance. Josh Browne continued his dominant stretch of form for the Sharks, racking up 38 disposals and being supported by bottom-age gun Jed Hagan (34, 11 marks, nine tackles). Ed Curley finished with two goals from 26 touches, as rising WA draft prospect Jack Williams booted another three from 13 disposals and seven marks.

Image Credit: (Retrieved from) Claremont Football Club via Facebook

Franklin’s “crazy” and “rushed” journey helps fast-track development

THREE years ago, Amy Franklin did not even realise that there was a women’s football club in her area. Had it not been for the chance suggestion from a classmate that Franklin join her local club, then the AFL Women’s National Academy member and State Academy representative might not have ever taken up the code.

“Back in 2018 a girl who recently just moved to my school, I barely knew her, she came up to me and said ‘hey do you want to come play for our local footy club?’, Franklin said. “I thought she meant soccer, and she said ‘no AFL’ and I didn’t really realise there was such thing as a women’s footy club and so I went down there, tried it out, and I just loved it. “I just loved the environment, the girls and the sport.”

Fast forward a few years and Franklin is thriving at both ends for Claremont Women’s Football Club in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s competition, earning a place in her state side for the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships. It was little surprise to see her included, having been named in the National Academy for the 2021 season after an impressive bottom-age season for the Tigers last year.

“It’s (State Academy) been a great experience especially seeing as last year I didn’t get the opportunity to play, and I missed out on the first round in Adelaide due to a concussion so I was very excited to come over to Melbourne and play a few games,” Franklin said.

“(The AFLW Academy has) been a really good experience. “Especially with COVID it’s been a bit hard to get to know the girls, but we’re having a camp coming up so that will be good to get knowing everyone and the coaches, so that will be good.

“I feel like especially since I only started back in 2018, it’s been very rushed and the journey from community footy to now playing footy and League and state footy, it’s crazy. “The intensity and the girls just in general, it’s a completely different ball game.”

Whilst Franklin said she did prefer playing as a leading forward, she was “more than happy” to play as a defender if the team needed her, knowing the knowledge of playing at both ends could only further help her development. Speaking of her development, the athletic Franklin who has a turn of speed very few her size do, is confident in her ability to clunk grabs.

“I feel like being a tall forward, I feel like it’s a strength for me to have an overhead mark and I think that’s something that I’m very confident in,” she said.

In terms of her improvements, Franklin is looking to work on her ground balls and having more of an impact once the ball hits the deck. Whilst the ultimate goal is to reach the elite level, Franklin said she hoped to play the best football she could at whatever level that might be, wanting to emulate the rise of another talented player who had come from her club.

“I’d like to say Bianca Webb (is an inspiration) because we both started at Ocean Ridge back at 2018 and I’ve just been trying to follow in her footsteps over the past couple of years and she’s just been doing amazing and one day I hope to be like her,” Franklin said.

“I guess (the goal) it’s just to be the best footy that I can play. “It would be great to get drafted, but at the moment I’m really happy with what I’m doing.”

WAFLW Round 12 Preview

WEST Australian Football League Women’s (WAFLW) action returns to its scheduled programming this weekend with plenty of enticing matchups across two days of action.

Peel Thunder v South Fremantle

These two sides will claim a blockbuster 5pm time slot as they face off at David Grays Arena on Saturday evening. In what looms as a one-sided affair, Peel Thunder will look to roll on from last weekend’s triumph over Claremont to the tune of 11 points. In that match, Kira Phillips continued her strong form in front of goal with a bag of four, and will be one for South Fremantle defenders to keep a close eye on. Teammate Ella Roberts has been in excellent form of late, finishing as one of her side’s best on Saturday, and may prove crucial in this contest. The win saw Peel Thunder cement their spot in second place for the time being, but a loss here would be detrimental to holding on to that spot. South Fremantle’s clash with Swan Districts last weekend was abandoned after South Fremantle youngster Cali Hunt was taken away in an ambulance after a brutal collision, though she was later cleared of serious injury. South Fremantle were trailing by 37 points at the time in a game that looked out of reach. An upset seems unlikely this weekend, but nothing is set in stone.

Subiaco v Swan Districts

The two form teams of the competition will do battle as Subiaco look to extend their three-game winning streak up, but face the challenge of taking down the undefeated Swan Districts at Leederville Oval on Sunday afternoon. Subiaco have found themselves on quite a roll with three consecutive wins, with each win boosted by the momentum of the last. With a finals spot within reach, Subiaco kicked away in the second half last week to secure the win against East Fremantle, as their ability to score at will was once again on display. Lara Filocamo was once again in the bests and will be one that Swan Districts will need to lock down early on in the contest. Swan Districts just keep on rolling, recording their 11th win of the year from 11 games last weekend. Through the middle, keep an eye on Dana East, as the young gun will use her cleanliness and toughness to make life hard for opponents.

East Fremantle v Claremont

The final game of the round will see Claremont travel to New Choice Homes Park to take on East Fremantle on Sunday afternoon, with crucial ramifications for both sides. East Fremantle have found themselves dangerously close from falling away from the finals race, compounded by last weekend’s loss to a rampaging Subiaco side. They now sit two wins outside the top five, and with the race to the postseason heating up, they will need to find some victories over the next few weeks. Paisley Prentice fought hard in a losing side, and deserves reward for her weekly efforts. Claremont had the opportunity to snatch second place from Peel Thunder in their clash last weekend, but the opportunity went begging as they fell by 11 points. A response is needed if they are to maintain their position near the top of the pack, especially with Subiaco rising fast. Young gun Tessa Doumanis will be crucial in their side’s chances to get back on track with a win this weekend.

Picture credit: WA Football