Tag: Dee Heslop

Starting from scratch no problem for Heslop

PLENTY of AFL Women’s draft hopefuls move to further their Australian rules football career, but not too many do so unknowingly, which is what makes the story of Queensland’s Dee Heslop so unique. The versatile utility hails from New Zealand, with the Kiwi having no idea what the rules were when she first started, having to adjust to things like handballing when she kept throwing it to teammates.

“I’m originally from New Zealand,” Heslop said. “So I moved here in 2012, and started playing footy at Grade 7 at school. “It was just a little cup I ended up playing and I just progressed from there through club and a few more teams. “Then I also used to play netball, then that started to clash as well, but otherwise just kept going on playing more footy and more footy and then getting into more teams and really enjoying it so I ended up having to choose one of the sports, so I ended up choosing footy over netball and honestly I would never go back to it.”

Heslop admits when she first took up the sport, she was pretty naive when it came to rules or the way it was played.

“I thought it was more like touch, really,” she said. “But otherwise, we played nine-a-side. “That’s how we started it off, and then they were teaching me how to handball instead of throwing it. “But obviously I didn’t have any clue what it was back then.”

Her choice to pick football over netball was mostly due to her ability to run across the open field, rather than have limited boundaries where you can move such is the case in netball.

“I think you just go from running around on a massive field and you’re on a field with heaps more people where on a netball court you’ve only got seven on a side so that was a bit different and not having boundaries where to run,” Heslop said. “Where in AFL you can run wherever you want which is a big difference.”

Despite picking up the sport and achieving dreams of representing her state that few could imagine in such a period of time, Heslop understands the journey is far from over.

“It’s obviously been a really hard journey,” she said. “Being here in my final year is obviously really exciting. “Going through all the programs and year-by-year and now it’s my draft year, it’s the biggest year for an 18-year-old and it’s just really exciting to see how it pans out.”

Heslop said the pressure was on for her, but she was “going okay” with it.

“I’ve just been focusing on 18s as much as I can and going by each game, by each day,” she said. “After this obviously don’t know what’s going to happen so just see how that goes, so otherwise really good.”

While the Gold Coast SUNS Academy member has played in multiple positions, her preference is the midfield given her strengths, but she admits she is happy to play anywhere.

“I think the biggest strength that I have is maybe my work ethic and making the second and third efforts and tackling pressure,” Heslop said. “I’m very lucky to be a versatile player, I can play through the mid, forward or back wherever they need me.”

As for her biggest inspiration on her journey from New Zealand to the elite levels of Australian rules football, it was a no brainer.

“My mum and dad,” Heslop said. “We would not have moved over here without them thinking – the reason we moved was mum and dad wanted a better lifestyle for me and my older brother – so that was a massive help. “But otherwise, Craig Starcevich was a big help. “He looked at me when I was very young like five years ago and he’s obviously pushed me through the programs and also through Suns. So Michael Gugliotta, Tim Searle, so just coaches like that have been really helpful as well.”

On-the-field, Heslop’s role model is a player who loves the contested work as much as her.

“Definitely on a Queensland level, it would be Emily Bates,” Heslop said. “I played club with her as well and she helps me through my games and she tells me where to go and I just look up to here and try and do what she does I guess and even when I verse her, I try and match up on her and see how I go against her.”

Now with a National Draft Combine invitation and two Queensland clubs in the running for the top draft talent, Heslop is close to achieving her dream of running out for an AFL Women’s side.

AFL Women’s Draft Combine: Player Summaries

AFTER the 2019 AFL Women’s Draft Combine list of names were announced earlier in the week, we take a look at each player who was nominated, with a quick summary and link to their profile. Check them out below:

2019 AFLW NAB Draft Combine Nominees

NSW/ACT: [3]

Georgia Garnett (East Coast Eagles)
* Eastern Allies captain, member of the GWS GIANTS Academy and a player from the GIANTS heartland of western Sydney

Eloise Hiller-Stanbrook (Dubbo)
* Tireless ruck who averaged 14 hitouts per game at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships

Brenna Tarrant (East Coast Eagles)
* All-Australian in 2019 and a crucial key defender who can move up the ground, also from western Sydney heartland

QUEENSLAND: [8]

Georgia Breward (Coolangatta)+
* Suffered a season-ending injury last year but showed plenty of talent and determination

Isabel Dawes (Maroochydore)
* Classy, smart forward who made All-Australian last year in her middle-age year

Dee Heslop (Yeronga South Brisbane)
* Consistent player who has been reliable in the defensive half and uses the ball well

Tahlia Hickie (Coorparoo)+
* Ruck prospect who played as an over-ager at the championships and performed strongly

Lily Postlethwaite (Maroochydore)
* Dual All-Australian and state captain, super talented midfielder

Taylor Smith (Bond University)+
* Tall target who presented well during the championships up forward, another overage player on the list

Serene Watson (Bond University)
* Another dual All-Australian from Queensland who provided a reliable marking target in the defensive half, repelling opposition attacks time and time again

Tarni White (Coorparoo)
* Returned from an ACL injury to show some promising signs at the championships and has plenty of upside

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: [4]

Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide)
* Dual All-Australian ruck and dual Most Valuable Player (MVP), South Australian and Central Allies captain, South Adelaide premiership player… the list of accolades is unbelievable. Top ruck in the draft crop

Hannah Munyard (South Adelaide)
* Smart user of the footy with elite athletic traits, premiership player at South Adelaide predominantly through the midfield

Madison Newman (West Adelaide)
* One of the top rebounders in the draft crop, an All-Australian in 2019 and consistent as they come

Jaimi Tabb (Woodville-West Torrens)
* Tackling machine who thrives on the contest and has shown a capability to also win the ball on the outside as well

TASMANIA: [1]

Mia King (Launceston)
* Super talented mover through the midfield with burst speed, King won the Eastern Allies’ MVP for the carnival to go with her All-Australian selection. North Melbourne have first priority being Tasmanian

VIC COUNTRY: [10]

Teagan Brett (Murray Bushrangers)
* Small midfielder who came of age in the championships, playing well on the outside and getting the ball from midfield into attack

Millie Brown (Murray Bushrangers)
* Potential Geelong father-daughter selection, Brown was superb across the championships in defence until injury ruled her out of the final game. 2019 All-Australian

Luka Lesosky-Hay (Geelong Falcons)
* Accumulator who just finds the football and works hard into space, a key cog in Geelong Falcons’ midfield with Lucy McEvoy

Lucy McEvoy (Geelong Falcons)
* Hard to even begin with the accolades, but a three-time All-Australian, dual Best and Fairest, premiership captain, Vic Country MVP… just a star and unbelievable leader who has captained for three years at the Falcons

Sophie Molan (GWV Rebels)
* Natural born leader who captained the Rebels this year and is as versatile as they come, can play anywhere and was a 2019 All-Australian

Shanara Notman (Gippsland Power)
* A late bloomer after having last year off, she can play up either end and is strong in the air and very good athletically

Paige Sheppard (Geelong Falcons)
* Raised her draft stocks at the championships with a terrific carnival following on from a consistent year in the NAB League Girls

Brooke Vernon (Dandenong Stingrays)
* One of Dandenong’s best in the NAB League Girls this year, playing as a rebounding defender who is as good in the air as she is at ground level

Nikia Webber (Gippsland Power)
* Tall forward who can also play through the midfield, Webber is an elite kick of the footy, arguably the best in the draft crop with accuracy and penetration

Ella Wood (GWV Rebels)
* Uncompromising midfielder who loves the contested side of footy and relishes winning the hard ball with great courage

VIC METRO: [15]

Alana Barba (Calder Cannons)
* A tackling machine who stood up particularly later in the year, emerging as a genuine draft chance with great defensive pressure

Molly Denahy-Maloney (Sandringham Dragons)
* Athletic ruck who captained Sandringham Dragons this year and held up Vic Metro’s ruck division in 2019

Elisabeth Georgostathis (Western Jets)
* Captain of Western Jets and one who always puts her body on the line, Georgostathis was another who raised her draft stocks at the championships with important moments in big games. Can play anywhere on the field too

Isabella Grant (Western Jets)
* Potential Western Bulldogs father-daughter, she is able to play midfield or forward and can take a grab and hit the scoreboard

Britney Gutknecht (Northern Knights)
* Known for her goalkicking last year, Gutknecht became an inside midfielder this year and was a key player in the Knights’ premiership side

Gemma Lagioia (Oakleigh Chargers)
* Classy user of the football who can play anywhere on the ground, she was able to develop her inside game at the championships to add another string to her bow

Laura McClelland (Eastern Ranges)
* One of only three Vic Metro All-Australians, McClelland can play anywhere on the ground and is strong in the air and capable of kicking terrific goals

Nell Morris-Dalton (Northern Knights)
* One of the most consistent players this season, Morris-Dalton had a massive end to the NAB League Girls season and is so strong one-on-one, particularly in the air

Gabrielle Newton (Northern Knights)
* Dual All-Australian, Northern Knights premiership captain and one who is almost copied and pasted into the best every week, Newton hardly puts a foot wrong and has played literally everywhere on the field from the ruck to all thirds of the ground given her athletic talents

Georgia Patrikios (Calder Cannons)
* Overall MVP of the championships, Patrikios led her Calder side to a grand final and has the best agility of any player in the draft crop. Uses the ball well and is a dual All-Australian too

Marguerite Purcell (Sandringham Dragons)
* Speedy winger who has developed rapidly this year playing for the Dragons and earned a spot on Vic Metro’s list for the championships, holding her own there

Sarah Sansonetti (Northern Knights)
* Reliable defender who stood up in the NAB League Girls Grand Final for Northern and just does the job week-in, week-out

Cleo Saxon-Jones (Western Jets)
* Key forward who is a strong contested mark and powerful set shot at goal, she thrived on one-on-one situations at the championships

Felicity Theodore (Calder Cannons)
* Fierce tackling runner who just works hard all day and attacks the footy and ball carrier with vigour, able to play up either end and provide great defensive pressure

Nicola Xenos (Oakleigh Chargers)
* Talented running defender who uses the ball well off half-back and makes good decisions with ball-in-hand

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: [4]

Sophie McDonald (Claremont)+
* Key defender who repelled opposition attacks and was able to set up attacking plays after some goal-saving moves deep in defence

Emma O’Driscoll (Swan Districts)*
* Did not play up on the Gold Coast, but O’Driscoll is a reliable defender who has good positioning and high level smarts

Roxanne Roux (East Fremantle)
* Exciting key forward who has a massive vertical leap and could become a human highlight reel with her long kicking, goal sense and work rate; another All-Australian

Mim Strom (South Fremantle)
* Really stood out in the ruck as a key player who not only worked well at stoppages, but at ground level and around the ground, providing an impact – 2019 All-Australian too

+Overage player (ie. born 2000)

2019 AFL Women’s Draft Combine invitations announced

FORTY-five players have been invited to the 2019 AFL Women’s NAB Draft Combine, with 25 from Victoria – where eight of the 10 AFL Women’s clubs are based, with Queensland (eight) the next highest. Four players from both South Australia and Western Australia have been invited, as have three from NSW/ACT and one from Tasmania. Among the invitees are five overagers (eligible last year), as well as two father-daughter potential selections in Isabella Grant (Western Bulldogs) and Millie Brown (Geelong). Players who are already pre-listed to clubs such as Gold Coast’s Ellie Hampson, West Coast’s Mikayla Bowen and St Kilda’s Molly McDonald and Isabella Shannon were not included in the invitations.

The combine will be held from October 1-3 to align with the AFL Under-18 National Combine. Western Bulldogs hold the first pick in this year’s AFL Women’s Draft.

Extended content on the invitees will come later in the week.

2019 AFLW NAB Draft Combine Nominees

NSW/ACT: [3]
Georgia Garnett (East Coast Eagles)
Eloise Hiller-Stanbrook (Dubbo)
Brenna Tarrant (East Coast Eagles)

QUEENSLAND: [8]
Georgia Breward (Coolangatta)*
Isabel Dawes (Maroochydore)
Dee Heslop (Yeronga South Brisbane)
Tahlia Hickie (Coorparoo)*
Lily Postlethwaite (Maroochydore)
Taylor Smith (Bond University)*
Serene Watson (Bond University)
Tarni White (Coorparoo)

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: [4]
Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide)
Hannah Munyard (South Adelaide)
Madison Newman (West Adelaide)
Jaimi Tabb (Woodville-West Torrens)

TASMANIA: [1]
Mia King (Launceston)

VIC COUNTRY: [10]
Teagan Brett (Murray Bushrangers)
Millie Brown (Murray Bushrangers)
Luka Lesosky-Hay (Geelong Falcons)
Lucy McEvoy (Geelong Falcons)
Sophie Molan (GWV Rebels)
Shanara Notman (Gippsland Power)
Paige Sheppard (Geelong Falcons)
Brooke Vernon (Dandenong Stingrays)
Nikia Webber (Gippsland Power)
Ella Wood (GWV Rebels)

VIC METRO: [15]
Alana Barba (Calder Cannons)
Molly Denahy-Maloney (Sandringham Dragons)
Elisabeth Georgostathis (Western Jets)
Isabella Grant (Western Jets)
Britney Gutknecht (Northern Knights)
Gemma Lagioia (Oakleigh Chargers)
Laura McClelland (Eastern Ranges)
Nell Morris-Dalton (Northern Knights)
Gabrielle Newton (Northern Knights)
Georgia Patrikios (Calder Cannons)
Marguerite Purcell (Sandringham Dragons)
Sarah Sansonetti (Northern Knights)
Cleo Saxon-Jones (Western Jets)
Felicity Theodore (Calder Cannons)
Nicola Xenos (Oakleigh Chargers)

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: [4]
Sophie McDonald (Claremont)*
Emma O’Driscoll (Swan Districts)*
Roxanne Roux (East Fremantle)
Mim Strom (South Fremantle)

*Overage player (ie. born 2000)

Scouting notes: AFLW U18s – Wednesday, July 10

ON the second day of the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships, we headed down to muddy Southport where Vic Metro and Vic Country picked up another two wins against Queensland and Eastern Allies respectively, while Western Australia defeated Central Allies in the final match of the day. All notes are opinion-based of the individual writer.

QUEENSLAND VS. VIC METRO

Queensland

By: Peter Williams

#4 Lily Postlethwaite

Another strong performance from the Queensland captain who just kept getting better as the game went on. Her last quarter was phenomenal as she tried to lift her side to victory. She finds a way out of tight situations and uses the ball well by hand or foot. A couple of times she was forced to pump the ball inside 50 and it was chopped off, but she set up scoring opportunities by teaming up with Zimmorlei Farquharson. She had a highlight play in the final term, winning the ball on the wing, hitting up Farquharson, running past, sidestepping an opponent after receiving the handball and kicking forward, although it was chopped off in the attacking 50. Overall another impressive game, but particularly in the second half.

#6 Allanah Phineasa

Had a couple of chances on goal in the second term with a quick snap under pressure in the goal square missing before she lead out and took a good mark then converted the set shot. Phineasa kept pushing up and being involved in the play.

#8 Isabel Dawes

Hits the ball at speed on a muddy ground which was interesting but impressive at the same time. She is able to work her way through traffic and generally uses the ball fairly well throughout. Dawes had a chance on goal late in the game but it was stopped on the line.

#13 Dee Heslop

Really strong opening term, using quick hands in defence and was able to use the ball well by hand or foot. She was the key to restricting Metro’s flow in that first half, and also laid a massive tackle during the game on Emily Harley to earn a free kick and save a goal scoring opportunity. She won a free kick in the final term and went to take the game on to try and create something, but was wrapped up and called for holding the ball.

#14 Serene Watson

One of, if not Queensland’s best on the day and she really put together a consistent four quarter effort in the back half. She read the ball well in flight and used quick hands to run the ball out of defence in muddy conditions. Watson was good one-on-one at half-back to spoil a difficult kick that was right to her direct opponent, but she was able to nullify that contest. She also made a good decision under pressure to turn away from her opponent earlier in the game, spin and hit up a short target on the wing, and continually showed composure with ball-in -hand to save a potential goal late in the game and still hit-up a teammate in the back pocket despite being chased.

#16 Elle Hampson

A work horse performance in conditions that suited her game style to a tee. While her kicking at times was a bit scrappy, she was able to thrive in the mud with some strong positioning in marking contests and around the ball, firing out crucial handballs at times and suffered leather poisoning with plenty of possessions around the ground. She also had a perfect kick down the middle to a teammate after marking at half-back, and when not in possession was good at protecting the ball drop to mark at half-back.

#19 Zimmorlei Farquharson

Had a much better second game than her first, making a real impact at Southport with strong positioning in marking contests and a presence around the ball that always made her look damaging. Farquhqrson protected the ball drop when leading at the football and was able to simplify her marking by taking it on her chest. She not only showed good offensive attributes, but defensive ones as well, running down an opponent right on the defensive 50 and then producing a lovely kick into Allanah Phineasa.

#26 Maddison Levi

Played well in the back 50 and showed nice composure when under pressure. She won a big one-on-one close to the boundary deep in defence in the first quarter to kick cleanly out of the danger zone. Levi did this a number of times throughout the match and just looked solid throughout. Her work with and without the ball was impressive on the day.

#27 Kitara Whap-Farrar

Had another impressive performance, particularly on the defensive side of things with some great tackles, including a big run-down tackle on Britney Gutknecht on the wing. She showed good acceleration and determination, and put pressure on the ball carrier constantly. Whap-Farrar was also able to use her vision to dispose of the ball cleanly, and showed nice hands when under pressure.

Vic Metro

By: Taylah Melki

#4 Nicola Xenos

Showed good glimpses of spatial awareness to kick to teammates in space and was able to pick the ball up with ease off the deck. Clever read of the play to stay down when all the players went up and used her clean hands to move the ball out of congestion. Good evasive skills to dodge a couple of players and skip through the middle of the ground.

#5 Elisabeth Georgostathis

She made her presence felt going in hard at the contest and competing at every contest possible. Applied good strong physical pressure and showcased her strength to get her arms free in the tackle and dish the ball off. Georgostathis presented hard up at the footy to give Metro options across the ground and used her dynamic movement to cause confusion. Got a good crumbing goal out of the pack midway through the fourth term credit to her consistent attacking pressure and ability to read the play. Had moments of clever play to break away from the pack and break lines but was inaccurate by foot at times.

#16 Emily Harley

Scored the opening goal for Vic Metro credit to a strong mark in the goal square over the top of a couple of players. She showcased her impressive knowledge to out body her opponent and work them under the ball to take a big strong mark and kick truly.

#17 Georgia Patrikios

After a quiet first quarter by her standards Patrikios well and truly imposed herself on the match in the following three quarters. She displayed her football smarts with a perfectly weighted pass in the second term to teammate Britney Gutknecht on the lead. Patrikios steadily built into the game in the second quarter winning plenty of ball and finding good space across the ground. She covered the ground well and ran hard throughout the match to provide options. Really clean hands coming out of defence to work the ball through traffic and hit a teammate in space. Constantly involved in the contest hunting around the back of stoppages and working her way through congestion to win the ball. She provided plenty of attacking and defensive pressure to make her presence felt right across the field with her clever decision making and silky skills.

#20 Sarah Sansonetti

Started the match off with good intent and was clean below the knees to pick the ball up off the ground and dish it off to a teammate. She tracked the ball well at ground level and used her long kick to move the ball out of the back half.

#21 Ellie McKenzie

She worked her way into the match really taking the game on and opening up space credit to her run and carry. Good use of angles and vision to kick to teammates on the lead and displayed her impressive spatial awareness with an over the shoulder handball to a teammate in space. McKenzie’s sheer ability to shrug off tacklers and burst away is second to none while also using her bullet like passes to slice through Queensland’s defence. She is a real bull around the contest going in hard to extract the footy time and time again. McKenzie proved that she is not afraid of the contest laying her body on the line and dishing out some bone bruising bumps to win the ball across the ground.

#23 Nell Morris-Dalton

The forward was awarded a 50 metre penalty in the third term and made no mistake kicking the footy straight through the middle to claim her first for the morning. Grew in confidence as the game went on taking a strong grab in the forward 50 but was unable to convert only registering a behind.

#26 Gabby Newton

Newton showcased her ability to read the play dropping into holes and taking timely intercept marks throughout the match. She was not afraid to apply some strong physical pressure with big tackles through the middle of the ground and used her strong hands to out mark her opponents. Provided a good lead in the forward 50 using her football nous to break away from her opponent. Her cleverly positioned kick put the ball to the top of the square resulting in a mark turned goal to set Metro up for the rest of the game. Utilised her long booming kick to move the ball inside forward 50 and create some possible scoring opportunities. Took a really strong mark on a tricky angle inside forward 50 and made no mistake banging it straight through the middle for her first goal of the game. Good off the deck to take the ball cleanly below her knees and bang it long down the line out of defence late in the fourth term.

#29 Cleo Saxon-Jones

Showcased her ability to be a real presence up forward with her imposing figure and long booming kick. She created a couple of scoring opportunities early in the first half to trap the ball inside the forward 50 but faded out a bit as the game went on.

#34 Jessica Fitzgerald

Really good positioning to take a clever intercept mark in the middle of the ground in the third term. Displayed her footy nous to cut off passes and then quickly transition into attack for Vic Metro. She worked hard throughout the match to win the ball and out position her opponent time and time again.

EASTERN ALLIES VS. VIC COUNTRY

Eastern Allies

By: Peter Williams

#9 Jayde Hamilton

A really strong defensive effort from the forward who capitalised after some hard running in the first term. She ran past her opponent and got to the ball first as it rolled along the ground close to goal for her to soccer it through for the first major of the day. Hamilton was able to create some good run across the ground and also crack in and lay a number of memorable tackles.

#10 Abby Favell

Had a really busy start to the game picking up some early touches, then buzzed around the ground to intercept the ball through either marking, tackling or implied pressure to help her teammates. She showed good hands moving the ball out of defence and was able to get to the right spots around the ground.

#11 Mia King

Got better as the game went on to be an inside machine, laying tackle after tackle with huge amounts of defensive pressure. King not only applied pressure to her opponents, but won the pill herself, racking up the most touches of anyone on her side. What is impressive is she not only uses the ball well, but cracks in at both ground level and in the air and always puts the team first with good bumps and shepherds to lead by example. Once she got going she was hard to stop with good acceleration and a hard edge to her game,

#13 Zoe Hurrell

Booted the second goal for Eastern Allies after a free kick just outside the goalsquare. Hurrell positioned herself well in the marking contest and earned the free, then set up a scoring opportunity for her teammate in Emily Hurley after Hurrell burst away to kick inside 50 nicely. A big tackle on the much taller Olivia Barber on the wing in the third quarter to earn a free kick was an important moment and overall she was really solid across the board.

#19 Sophie Phillips

Did not finish with a huge amount of touches but honestly was one of Eastern Allies’ best. Phillips was terrific in the back half with three big tackles leading to three free kicks and disposals that cleared the danger out of the back half. When the defence was under pressure, Phillips was a shining light and her best tackle came against Sophie Molan, stopping a would-be goal deep in defence.

#20 Brenna Tarrant

Another Eastern Allies player who was strong on the inside and found plenty of it going in hard at the contest. Tarrant showed good vision under pressure to hit-up a target going forward and was able to create some scoring opportunities by moving the ball on in transition. Tarrant also worked hard to push into defence and assist her teammates and play an important role throughout the game.

#21 Olivia O’Donnell

Started the game strongly with a long kick inside 50 to set up a goal, and just patrolled the defensive half of the ground winning the footy and dropping back to assist the defence. She was hard at it around the stoppages on her way to a solid game and the second most touches for her team behind Mia King.

Vic Country

#1 Elise Vella

Went in hard at the footy and was involved in the contest early on. Good attack on the footy to pick the ball up off the ground all in one action and dispose of it. Showed good composure to think her way through the traffic. 

#3 Paige Sheppard 

Found good space and used her long, accurate kick to hit targets. Showcased a safe set of hands to take strong grabs even with players coming at her. Good lead up at the footy in the forward 50 and slotted her first goal of the afternoon from about 35 out directly in front. 

#7 Ella Wood

Worked tirelessly throughout the match winning her fair share of the footy and making the most of her opportunities with ball in hand. Impressive sliding pick up off the ground to regain possession for Vic Country.

#9 Darcy Moloney

Almost kicked an impressive goal on an impossible angle in the first term with the ball hitting the post. She showed good goal sense to take a step and bring it back around but just missed out. Good hands out of congestion and impressive vision to find her teammates. Tracked the ball well at ground level and applied strong tackles. 

#10 Sophie Locke

Played her role across the field doing the little things right and regaining possession many times. Laid a huge tackle in third term and showed good awareness to come off her player and influence the play.

#12 Tyanna Smith 

Impressive through the midfield and at stoppages extracting the ball out of the packs and working it to a teammate in space. Good tackling pressure and intent to win the footy. Lovely kick and pass to McDonald to set up a scoring opportunity for Vic Metro.

#13 Molly McDonald

Good evasive skills to dodge a couple of opponents in the middle of the ground and still dispose of the ball. Good awareness to soccer the ball forward and keep it moving into their forward 50 to help supply forward pressure. Nailed her first goal of the game in the fourth quarter showcasing her good kicking action and strong hands to take a big mark inside 50.

#15 Isabella Shannon

Good long kick, always looking to move the ball on quickly and down the line. Slick hands out of the middle to bang it on the boot and push the ball forward. Clever burst of speed through the middle to kick the ball deep into the forward 50.

#19 Brooke Vernon

Clean pick up off the ground and good sense of spatial awareness to sight a teammate and handball the footy off to her.

#21 Sophie Molan

Really good run and carry through the midfield in the second term to open the ground right up. Strong in and around the contest to extract the footy and dish it off to teammates. Good tackling pressure to bring her opponent to ground. Beautiful snap around the body after reading the tap out of the ruck to top off her solid performance. 

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Hot start once again, finding good space and using her body to put muscle her opponents in the contest. Good both in the air and at ground level scrapping hard to win the footy time and time again. McEvoy showcased her tackling prowess with plenty of strong tackles to bring opponents to ground. Strong hands and displayed her football knowledge to float back into spaces and pick off errant passes and then quickly transition into attack. Really good angled kick through the middle of the ground to open up the whole field. Impressive evasive abilities to sidestep her opponent and palm off a handball. Took a huge contested mark in the fourth quarter using her body and brute strength to win the ball and penetrate inside 50.

#25 Olivia Barber 

Really strong mark above her head and good spatial awareness to move the ball on quickly into an open forward 50. Her forward thrust created a scoring opportunity for Vic County. Constantly stayed in the contest laying strong tackles and making her presence felt across the field. 

#27 Shanara Notman

Really injected herself into the contest going in hard at every opportunity. She worked hard in the ruck contests to try and out body her opponent and tap it to her teams advantage. Really good elevation to get up high and get a tap. Good clean pick up in the second quarter in the forward 50 with the ball rolling forward and kicking her first goal of the game. Showed good intent to keep the ball moving taking a strong mark in the forward 50 and playing on but just missed only managing a behind. Really good hands and composure to stand under the high ball but was unable to convert from a tricky angle in the forward 50. 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA VS. CENTRAL ALLIES

By: Taylah Melki

Western Australia

#9 Isabella Lewis

Contested hard to win the footy on the ground and proved that she was not afraid to take on the physicality of the game. Nailed an impressive goal from the boundary line midway through the second term. Highlighted her attacking abilities and footy smarts to go back and think her way through the shot. Lewis consistently

#10 Mikayla Hyde

Displayed her solid kicking action and strong hands to take a big grab and then convert from directly in front about 30 out in the third quarter. Hyde was clever in traffic to work her way through the players and deliver the ball to teammates in space.

#13 Kia Buckley

Good strong hands to take a contested mark on the chest. Found good space and in the forward 50 to set up play for her teammates. Created a real presence in the forward half using her footy smarts to get into damaging positions and having a ping at goal but just missing.  

#17 Mikayla Bowen

Lifted in intensity hitting the contests hard and using her voice to help set up play. Presented well up at the footy and capitalised on her opportunities in front of goal nailing her first goal in the last quarter. 

#22 Nyra Anderson

Electric around the stoppages always hunting the ball and applying strong tackles in and around the contest. Good evasive skill to get around her opponents and then bomb it long down the line.

#23 Mikayla Morrison

Displayed good footy nous to drop back into an open goal square and dribble one through for her first of the afternoon. She ran hard across the ground and showed good composure to not blaze away. 

#29 Roxanne Roux

Showcased her defensive pressure with a good smother in the midfield to stop the forward foray of Central Allies. Constantly involved in the contest and used her aerial abilities to contest the ball in the air and attack the hands of the opposition. Took a really big leap in the third quarter but was unlucky to not come down with the footy. Roux applied plenty of physicality and worked overtime to try and win the ball for WA. Applied plenty of physical pressure laying bone crunching tackles but copped a head knock in the third and forced her to come off with a blood rule. 

Central Allies

#9 Jaimi Tabb

Real bull around the contest applying strong physical pressure. Did not take a backwards step throughout the game. Good burst through the stoppage in the forward 50 having a shot at goal but had more time than she thought with the ball going out of bounds.

#10 Madison Newman

Good with ball in hand and showed great composure across the field to work the ball through traffic and dish it out to a teammate. Used her long penetrating kick to move the call forward. Good hands in close and impressive spatial awareness to spin out of trouble and into open space. 

#11 Teagan Usher

Impressive diving mark to regain possession for the Allies showcasing her skills and desperation to put her body on the line. Strong booming kick to move the ball forward and great scoring opportunities for the Allies. She was constantly involved in the action and worked tirelessly to try and win the ball.

#13 Kiana Lee

Imposed herself in the forward 50 with a good strong mark directly in front but was unable to covert with the ball just dropping short. Really good strong contested mark on the wing to our body her opponent and bomb the ball forward. Won her fair share of the footy and found good space to work the ball into.

#23 Stephanie Williams

Displayed her speed and skill to burst down the wing and create some run and carry. Good user of the footy and always looked to move the ball on and down the field. She was competitive throughout the match and had glimpses of real excitement.

#26 Montana McKinnon

Really good in the defensive end picking off errant passes and applying good pressure. Strong one on one and tried hard to limit the forward thrusts from Western Australia. She was a real lynchpin down in defence using her voice to help set up play. McKinnon out bodied her opponents on multiple times and showcased her strength above her head to clunk some important and timely marks.

Scouting notes: AFLW U18s – Monday, July 8

ON the opening day of the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships, there were wins to both Victorian sides over Queensland and Western Australia, while Central Allies got over the line against Eastern Allies. We were there and took notes on some of the players that impressed us throughout the day at Metricon Stadium. All notes are opinion-based of the individual writer.

Queensland

By: Peter Williams

#4 Lily Postlethwaite

Was prominent throughout the midfield as we have come to expect from the Queensland captain. She produced a four-quarter effort and in wet conditions when many others were struggling to be clean, Postlethwaite added a touch of class to the game and was able to win the ball in every third of the field. She was able to hit targets more often than not with her ability to kick across her body or on the move. Postlethwaite also applied good defensive pressure, laying a nice bump to allow a teammate to win the footy. She mopped up in defence at times and then got forward to hit-up Taylor Smith who marked inside 50 and goaled in the final term.

#11 Tiarna Ahwang

Ahwang showed some very nice glimpses with some clear scope for the future. She has great acceleration which she used at times to keep the ball in front of her, and she did so late in the game where she was unable to take the ball cleanly on the wet surface at first, but then got hold of it and then kicked it forward well.

#13 Dee Heslop

Cracked in and got the hands up to handball out of the contest on a number of occasions. Heslop was able to position her body well when sliding in or approaching an opponent to fairly bump and go to win the contested ball. A nice mover around the ground, Heslop found space under pressure and kicked long to the wing in the second term in what was a nice piece of play.

#14 Serene Watson

The reliable defensive general, Watson was solid all game in a defence that was under siege at times. She was able to use the ball fairly well and read an errant kick from Isabella Simmons in the second term to mark on the last line and settle the team down. Watson has great composure with ball-in-hand and proved a strong intercept mark and a player who stopped quite a few Country forward forays. In the final term she took an unbelievable mark, pushed under the ball but was able to get hands to it to keep it in front of her and pull it down. Unfortunately, she played on and had to rush a handball after slipping, but overall a really impressive game.

#16 Elle Hampson

Copped a number of knocks throughout the first half but kept bouncing back and playing an important role through midfield. She continually hit the opponent hard with fierce tackles, and even fended off a couple of players to win an important contested ball in midfield. Hampson took a big grab at half-back in the second term, but her subsequent kick was smothered. Her first half was terrific and continued her good work after the break, with some neat kicks along the wing. Did get pinged for a high tackle late in the game.

#20 Charlotte Hammans

Reliable as ever, Hammans was strong in defence, getting back to take the ball and clear it up the field on a number of occasions. At times she pushed up the ground to try and get the ball deeper down the ground, and played a good team role throughout the game, doing the hard stuff in the back half of the ground.

#21 Taylor Smith

Smith had a couple of set shots on goal, one in the third term and one in the fourth. The first one was a good attempt but fell short to the right, the second went through however. She provided a tall target inside 50 in the game and was able to capitalise with the last quarter major.

#27 Kitara Whap-Farrar

One of the cleanest players out there, Farrar was able to control the wet pill at ground level by protecting the zone and handballing out to teammates. On a number of occasions, she stepped around opponents like it was a dry track and set up teammates up the ground by opening the game up with her agility. She also showed good hands in close.

Vic Country

By: Taylah Melki

#4 Renee Saulitis

Impressive goal in the second quarter with a clever snap from the pocket. She showcased her goal sense to turn and bang it through the middle. She worked hard to pose a threat up forward running hard and winning a free kick but was unable to add another major to her name with the ball just dropping short.

#7 Ella Wood

Proved that she was not afraid to go hard at the footy and apply strong physical pressure with tackles and bumps to put her opponents off balance. She showcased her long strong kick and ability to sight players in space.

#9 Darcy Moloney

Worked well through the midfield to win the ball and dispose of it cleanly and cleverly, won a free kick in the first term in the forward 50 and moved the ball quickly. Broke free in the forward 50 and found good space to create opportunities. Moloney worked hard at ground level to win the ball and force contests. Kicked an impressive goal off a step and around the body in the third quarter working hard to use her feet and body to out position her opponent.

#12 Tyanna Smith

Clean hands and good vision to move through the packs and create forward thrusts. She worked hard to use the ball well and covered the ground with ease laying off a pass and then receiving it back in the forward 50 in the second quarter. She tracked the ball well at ground level given the tricky slippery conditions. Good hands under pressure and good direction to work the ball through traffic. Really good run and carry through the middle of the ground to open the forward 50 up.

#21 Sophie Molan

Really good strong hands and clever ability to read the play. Kicked the ball well supplying cleverly weighted kicks to teammates on the lead. She showcased her strength to hold up in the tackle and shake her opponent off to then dish a handball off to a passing teammate. Worked herself into the game in the last term roving the packs and getting involved at the stoppages.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Long penetrating kick into the forward 50 and applied good pressure. She showcased her strong hands to win the ball cleanly and used her good hands at the stoppages to feed the ball out of the contest and to a free teammate. McEvoy was not afraid to apply strong physical pressure putting her body on the line to win the ball in the air and on the ground. Used her body well throughout the game to barge through congestion and deliver the ball to teammates. Showcased her general footy smarts to create forward opportunities for Vic Country. She is a real bull in and around the contest and showcased her spatial awareness to lay the ball out to teammates in advantage. Topped off her impressive performance with a snap in the last quarter credit to her goal sense and strength to break free and win the ball. McEvoy kicked her second goal moments later reading the tap out of the ruck and snapping truly.

#24 Isabella Simmons

Simmons worked hard to get into the right place at the right time nailing her first for the morning with a goal right on the goal line. Simmons used her body well and showcased her general footy smarts to work her way to the goal line and capitalise on her opportunities.

#25 Olivia Barber

Kicked the opening goal for Vic Country credit to her strong hands to take a contested mark and then back it up with a strong kick. She quickly followed that up slotting her second goal in the first quarter off the deck after a booming kick from McEvoy into the forward 50. Barber continued her goal kicking form nailing her third in the dying minutes of the second quarter. Continued to be an imposing force in the forward 50 create scoring opportunities but was unable to capitalise scoring two points straight. Barber proved to be a force to be reckoned with in the forward 50 slotting her fourth goal in the opening few minutes in the last term.

VIC METRO VS. WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Western Australia:

Peter Williams

#9 Isabella Lewis

Got the first inside 50 for Western Australia with a quick kick, and kept battling in the forward half with some fierce tackles. She was often trying to win the hardball and feed it out, and whilst Lewis did give away a few free kicks in the process, showed great attack on the ball.

#10 Mikayla Hyde

A human highlight reel in the air, Hyde had a number of high-flying attempts throughout the match. Hyde reads the play well and was able to chop off a kick in-board to the middle in the second term, and then handball quickly to a teammate quickly. She has great strength overhead and while she did not take every mark she flew for, still created a presence in the air. A damaging player in the forward half and still a year to go in her development.

#13 Kia Buckley

Played in the forward half and showed some nice offensive and defensive traits. Buckley was able to use her body well in on-on-one contests, taking a strong mark while being held at one stage, then took another good mark on a lead just outside the 50. Her kick inside set up a goal for her team.

#14 Sarah Verrier

One of the important inside midfielders, Verrier was superb with her tackling and clearance ability in a role often understated in a hard slog. She continually fought hard in the middle to win the footy and then kick long, getting it out of congestion and into the forward 50. She gave away a few free kicks, but her use with the ball was telling in the conditions, just looking to kick rather than handball.

#17 Mikayla Bowen

An outstanding game from Bowen who showed once again why West Coast made the decision to pre-list her ahead of next season. She was everywhere, using the ball well, playing the team role and leading from the front. When her side was down early, she was cracking in trying to win the ball and thump it forward. Her tackling was not just often, but fierce and made her opponents earn every possession. Her clearance work was the best on the ground and she never stopped running. Bowen’s smarts should also not be underrated, kicking off the ground to gain distance in congestion and give her side a chance to run onto it early in the game. Brought down Elle McKenzie in a tackle too which is no easy feat.

#23 Mikayla Morrison

Not a huge amount of ball, but she was classy in the big moments late. Her last quarter in particular was a highlight, winning the ball tight in the pocket and getting the ball by hand over to Lily Bird who converted a goal, then got on the end of one herself after marking terrifically under pressure and nailing the set shot from 35m – bringing the deficit to just 11 points.

#29 Roxanne Roux

Along with Bowen, Roux was a standout player, with a dominating presence in the air and capitalising on the scoreboard. She booted two goals during the game – both from set shots – and could have had a third. She booted a goal early in the second which was Western Australia’s first major, then launched from long range in the third quarter for a huge goal. Her contested marking was a treat, and while she did not take as many marks as she has in the past, she fly a number of times, almost bringing down a cracker at half-forward in the second term. She then moved into the ruck in the final term, having a huge game and finishing with 18 hitouts to complement her game further, and had a massive leap that was too hard for the opposition to combat.

#35 Mim Strom

Really impressive throughout the day because while Strom was clearly the number one ruck on the ground, it was her work around the ground that also looked good. She worked within usual ruck limitations of aiming to handball to running teammates, but did not mind doing the hard stuff, laying a terrific tackle on Elisabeth Georgostathis who tried to evade her, and winning a free on the wing. Worked hard in close and became like a fourth midfielder at times.

Vic Metro:

By: Sophie Taylor

#2 Felicity Theodore

Great clearing kick down ground. Right in the contest when needed, putting in the hard yards especially in the late stages of the match to apply constant pressure on the scrap and be the crumbing player to clear back out of the contest. She may not have had the influence on the ball that she wanted, but produced plenty of stoppages credit to her tackling pressure and ability to force her opposition to be unsure about the contest.

#17 Georgia Patrikios

Patrikios was one of the best on ground for the afternoon, if not best for Metro in an altogether successful match. Showcased her skill to produce a great clearing kick from the midfield toward the forward, and was right up in every contest from the get-go. Had a great read of the play, finding the ball with ease and producing some impressive marks in among the contest. Had a run on goal in the first that was punched on the line but showed good intent and ability to find space to line up in front, following it up with a successful goal moments into the second after a 50m penalty. Also showed off some of her game smarts late, proving her great read of play as she spotted Saxon-Jones one on one inside 50, leading to a goal.

#21 Ellie McKenzie

Put on a solid performance credit to her ability to take the game on but was stopped in her tracks by a hungry WA side on a number of occasions, unable to find the space to run free with the ball. Produced some great crunching tackles, while also creating play credit to her ability to find a loose player and clear the ball out of the contest in their direction.

#23 Nell Morris-Dalton

Kicked one goal in a mostly successful hitout. Spent a lot of the first term further up the ground than usual, not hanging inside 50 as accustomed to and giving some room to the likes of Cleo Saxon-Jones and Emily Harley. Showcased some of her good marking ability, providing great option inside 50 and taking a great mark right in front of goal in the second, putting an easy goal on the board.

#26 Gabby Newton

Newton was impressive off the stoppage, finding teammates with ease and using her ability to play with smarts to not only create play across the field but use her teammates’ position to advantage as she made opportunities arise. Her booming kick was effective on multiple occasions, while her pressure both on and off the ball forced her opposition to second guess around the footy and rethink their options.

#29 Cleo Saxon-Jones

Early took a good contested mark off the boot of Morris-Dalton, finishing with a snap around the body from the pocket and goal. Wasn’t able to take advantage of sitting alone in the goal square but set up well for open goal if it came to her. Hit the post on second try minutes later but made up for it by putting her body on the line at every opportunity. Kicked a sensational goal in the final term to keep Metro in the contest when WA was hot on their heels, taking a great running mark one on one for a set shot well within her range, straight through the middle for her third goal.

#20 Sarah Sansonetti

Applied very good physical pressure, nullifying influence of her opponent with her one on one play. Read the play well and was able to cherry pick passes. Was both good at ground level and aerially, producing some good linkup play with the likes of Newton and McKenzie. Fumbled a mark late in the game but recovered well, also producing a great clearing kick from a 50m penalty that finished in a goal to Metro.

EASTERN ALLIES VS. CENTRAL ALLIES

Eastern Allies:

By: Taylah Melki

#10 Abby Favell

Clean hands in and around the contest to feed the ball out of congestion and to teammates streaming past. She used her long booming kick to move the ball down the field and push hard forward. Favell worked tirelessly to win the ball and showcased her vision to flick the ball out to teammates in better positions across the ground. Was a real bull at the stoppages bursting through to gain possession and tackled hard.

#11 Mia King

Good intent and attack on the footy at all times. She tracked the ball well in the air and used the footy cleverly delivering well weighted passes across the field. Good burst of speed through the midfield to open up the forward 50. King displayed her strength and courage standing under the high ball and just taking the knock while also applying strong tackles across the ground. Really good kick and ability to measure her passes to hit her teammates on the chest. Stood up in the tackles time and time again and showcased her strength to still dispose of the ball with players hanging off her. Displayed good evasive skills to sidestep her opponents and work through the traffic. Consistently kept her feet in the contest and led up at the footy creating space across the ground.

#14 Jessica Whelan

Hot start to the game finding plenty of the ball early on. Good hands at ground level to pick the ball up off the deck and then follow up her efforts with a lead in the forward 50. Proved that she was not afraid to take the game on laying a big crunching tackle and winning a dropping the ball call. Good read of the flight of the ball to take a running intercept grab and propel the ball forward.

#17 Lillian Doyle

Slotted the first goal of the game on a tricky angle. She presented well up at the footy and showcased her strength to take a big mark under pressure. Doyle was composed under pressure and made the most of her opportunities in front of goal.

#15 Emily Pease

Really took the game on in the last quarter bursting through the middle and chasing her opponents to force turnovers. Went in hard at the contests and showcased her clean set of hands to work the ball out of the congestion time and time again.

#20 Brenna Tarrant

Won plenty of the footy and showcased her footy smarts to read the play. Worked hard throughout the match and applied good physical pressure to try ad regain possession for the Eastern Allies. Presented well up at the footy and showcased her strength to take the mark on her chest. Showcased a good urgency to move the ball on and create attacking pressure in the forward half.

#21 Olivia O’Donnell

Good read out the middle to get the ball cleanly out of the ruck contest and punch the ball forward. She covered the ground well and provided a spark up forward for the Allies. Good hands in close to dish off handballs to teammates and think her way through traffic.

#22 Hannah Stewart

Really good strong mark above her head stretching the mitts out and taking it cleanly in the opening term. Used her body to position well against her opponent and hold her ground. She was unfazed by the physical contest and rose to the occasion multiple times.

#25 Tarni Evans

Hot start to the second half bursting out of the blocks and showcasing her goal sense to kick her first major for the game. Applied good attacking pressure streaming inside forward 50 and using the space to her advantage to go for goal only for the ball to be cut off at the line.

#27 Emily Hurley

The defender tried hard throughout the game to nullify the influence of her opponent. Took a big intercept mark in the second term to try and repel the attacking forays of Central Allies. She had her work cut out for her with the ball entering with great speed and at high volumes but she held her own on a couple of occasions.

#30 Jordyn Jolliffe

She kicked a goal on the siren to keep the Eastern Allies in the game after taking a big contested mark just outside the goal square. She showcased her strong hands and ability to read the flight of the ball to drop back into the space and take the grab.

Central Allies:

By: Peter Williams

Central Allies:

#2 Madisyn Freeman

A tough player who roamed up and down the ground with the wing and provided an option, kicking well down the wing to hit-up Teah Charlton in the first term. Freeman then went forward and took a good mark inside 50 despite fierce contact coming front-on, converting the set shot. Took another great mark under duress from front on contact at half-forward, showing her strong hands above her head.

#6 Hannah Munyard

One of those players that just does not waste a disposal. Seemed like she had 20-plus touches but only recorded the eight such is her impact on the game. Whilst her first quarter was quiet, she stepped up and hit a lovely kick inside 50 to set up Tayla Hart-Aluni on the lead. She had her own chance on goal in the third term after a nice side-step but her shot went to the right. She worked into the game well in the second half, being a playmaker in the forward half, but also laying a couple of strong tackles. Her only mistake was a missed set shot which went out on the full after a good mark inside 50. Overall one of the classier users by foot in the game.

#9 Jaimi Tabb

One of Central Allies’ best throughout the game, particularly having a massive third term and finishing off stronger in the fourth. She was a tackling machine who time and time again locked the ball up and nullified contests. She began to win more of the ball as the game went on and set up attacking plays in the third term, then was rewarded with a goal making the most of a half chance in the goalsquare late in the third term for a crucial goal and one that would prove to be the match winner. In the dying last couple of minutes, Tabb laid some big tackles to lock the ball up, and when not tackling won the footy and was able to keep it locked away in her clutches so the Eastern Allies could not have an easy exit going forward.

#10 Madison Newman

A prominent player throughout the match, Newman won plenty of the ball in the back half, using her foot skills to kick it outside defensive 50 with some nice rebounding. Often able to get back and take a good mark, flying high at one stage and being able to pull down the grab, Newman showed a kick-first mentality out of the defence. She was often the one teammates found to move the ball in transition.

#13 Kiana Lee

A strong mark and hard worker, Lee took an early grab one-on-one 30m out, but just missed the set shot. She then pushed up to the wing and took a great mark there, kicking further down the ground. Lee kept presenting as a marking target going forward and worked hard with great leading patterns.

#23 Stephanie Williams

Had a couple of nice highlights throughout the game with a burst down the middle and kick inside 50 in the first term the best of them. Williams had another interesting moment at one stage at half-back, winning the footy, paddling it to herself in the air and then punching it forward along the wing after not taking possession to avoid being tackled.

#25 Teah Charlton

A dominant player throughout, but particularly the first half, Charlton was pulling down everything with some terrific marks after long leads up the ground. She did miss a couple of targets by foot with her first couple of kicks, but then used it well thereafter, laying some big tackles including a front-on tackle on the wing to win a free kick. Charlton did not hit the scoreboard as she has in the past games, but her work rate and movement in traffic was terrific, really having an impact on the game.

#26 Montana McKinnon

Presented around the ground and was a steadying influence during frantic moments. She flew high to pull down a number of strong marks, including a couple of contested grabs under pressure. Her best were one at half-forward in the second term coming in from the side, and then a huge intercept mark deep in defence late in the game when the Eastern Allies were attacking. She did well around the ground in the ruck with some nice hitouts, and was able to pump the ball forward, using it well by foot. It was her presence that was the most important thing, always looking to be involved and stepping up when her side needed her.

#27 Tayla Hart-Aluni

Had a busy first term by kicking a set shot goal after a lead, then setting up Kiana Lee for a scoring opportunity inside 50. She had another couple of chances, but could not convert on those occasions, finishing with two behinds. Hart-Aluni managed to push up the ground late in the game and ran hard off half-back to keep the ball moving. A clean player who was noticeable throughout.

AFLW U18 Championship previews: Queensland

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

Annise Bradfield

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

Belle Dawes

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

Kitara Farrar

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

Zimmorlei Farquharson

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

Charlotte Hammans

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

Ellie Hampson

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

Dee Heslop

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

Lily Postlethwaite

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

Serene Watson

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

Tarni White

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

Queensland and Western Australia top AFL Women’s Academy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AFL Women’s Under 18 State of Origin sides announced

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

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

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

Victoria:

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

All Stars:

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

*** bottom-ager

 

QWAFL weekly wrap: Round 15

FOLLOWING on from last week’s season wrap thus far, we take a look at how the results fell in Round 15 of the Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL), as well as a brief look at Division 1.

QWAFL:

WILSTON GRANGE 1.3 | 5.3 | 7.4 | 7.9 (51)
COOLANGATTA TWEED 2.4 | 2.5 | 2.8 | 3.9 (27)

GOALS:
Wilston Grange: J. Stanton 2, J. Abbott 2, S. Wheeler, S. Campbell, D. Gisu.
Coolangatta Tweed: L. Turney, S. Goodman, S. Carter.

BEST:
Wilston Grange: K. Lutkins, E. MacNeill, J. Stanton, S. Wheeler, T. Randall, S. Campbell
Coolangatta Tweed: S. Goodman, L. Turney, T. Daly, M. Roberts, H. Sexton, L. Kaslar

The experience of the ladder leaders showed through in their clash with Coolangatta Tweed, fighting back from a quarter time deficit to post a four-goal win. Coolangatta Tweed booted two of the first three goals of the game to head into the first change with a seven-point lead. But the premiership favourites showed why they have been the benchmark this season, bouncing back from a rare loss the round before, to boot six of the next seven goals, restricting the visitors to just one goal – in the fourth quarter. Brisbane Lions’ duo Kate Lutkins and Jamie Stanton were key reasons behind the impressive performance, with Lutkins named best on ground and Stanton booting two majors. Jemma Abbott also booted two goals for the winners, while Emm MacNeill and Sophie Wheeler were also named among the Gorillas’ best. For the visitors, Selinda Goodman and Lucy Turner both booted a goal and were named among the best, while Sandra Carter was the other goal kicker.

 

UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND 2.2 | 3.5 | 7.7 | 8.8 (56)
YERONGA SOUTH BRISBANE 1.0 | 3.1 | 4.5 | 4.5 (29)

GOALS:
University of Queensland: S. Frederick-Traub 4, M. Moloney 2, G. Collingwood, D. Davidson.
Yeronga South Brisbane: J. Keeffe, K. Howarth, C. McDonnell, K. Cantrell.

BEST:
University of Queensland: B. Koenen, M. Moloney, N. Grider, M. Hunt, M. Martin, M. Beaven
Yeronga South Brisbane: E. Bliss, E. Madden, M. Walsh, J. Ransfield, D. Heslop, K. Cantrell

With the return of some serious star talent, the University of Queensland proved too good for Yeronga South Brisbane, recording a 27-point win. Brisbane Lions’ star goal kicker Sabrina Frederick-Traub booted four goals and was the difference in the game, while Maria Moloney chipped in with two majors. The home team lead at every break, but had a scare in the second term when the visitors booted two goals to one to draw within four points at half-time. A five goals to one second half put the game to bed, but not without some resistance from Yeronga. Lions’ Jessy Keeffe and Kalinda Howarth both booted goals, while Emily Bliss racked up yet another best for her side in a dominant performance. For the winners, Breanna Koenen was named best, while Queensland Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Natalie Grider, was also named among the best. Fellow young gun Dee Heslop was named among Yeronga’s best along with Emily Madden and Mia Walsh.

 

BOND UNIVERSITY 2.1 | 6.4 | 7.4 | 10.7 (67)
MAROOCHYDORE 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)

GOALS:
Bond University: K. Scherer 5, A. Evans 2, C. Hammans, R. Adamson, X. Cerutti
Maroochydore: Nil.

BEST:
Bond University: K. Scherer, A. Evans, C. Hammans, G. Eller, S. Watson, T. Smith.
Maroochydore: K. Surman, R. Crack, A. Hales, T. King, N. Stewart, J. Sills.

A best-on-ground performance by Katrina Scherer has guided Bond University to a memorable 66-point victory over Maroochydore. Scherer booted five majors in the win, as Bond University had 17 scoring shots to one, restricting the Roos to just one behind for the game. Along with Scherer, Alexandra Evans booted two majors and Queensland bottom-ager Charlotte Hammans finished with one, as both players were named among the best. Also named among the best was Georgia Eller and Serene Watson who stood out in the senior team. For the Roos, Kate Surman was named the team’s best, along with Rachel Crack and Ashleigh Hales.

 

QWAFA DIVISION 1:

 

Kedron 0.1 (1) defeated by Aspley Hornets 11.12 (78)

Chloe Macdonald booted five goals in Aspley’s 77-point victory over Kedron. A five goals to zero first term set up the visitors for a big win, but the home side knuckled down in the second half, restricting their opponents to just four majors after seven in the first half. Kristie Hudson and Kylie Guarino both booted two goals, while Nicola Clark was named best on ground in the victory, while Angelique Van Walle was the best for the home side.

 

University of Queensland 3.5 (23) defeated by Yeronga South Brisbane 3.8 (26)

Yeronga South Brisbane have held on against a fast finishing University of Queensland side to record a three-point victory. After opening up a 15-point lead at quarter time, the visitors did not score again until the last term where a final quarter goal saw them home in a low-scoring thriller. Erin Sargent booted two goals for the winners, while Jordan Waugh and Ngatai Alapaki were named the team’s best players. For University of Queensland, Paige Murray and Jessica Middleton were named the best.

 

Broadbeach 1.5 (11) defeated by Moreton Bay 2.1 (13)

Moreton Bay have survived a scare from Broadbeach to record a narrow two-point win over their opponents. In a game which saw three goals kicked, the Cats booted their only goal in the first term, with the Lions booting their two over the next two quarters. Inaccuracy cost the home team, having six scoring shots to three, but went down in the tight loss. Amy Higgins was the difference on the scoreboard for Moreton Bay, booting both goals and named second best behind Lily Postlethwaite who continued her good form from the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Meaghan Marr booted Broadbeach’s goal, while Rebecca Goodwin was named the Cats’ best player.

 

Wilston Grange 6.14 (50) defeated Coolangatta Tweed 3.2 (20)

Wilston Grange enjoyed a comfortable five-goal win over Coolangatta Tweed despite being plagued by inaccuracy. The Gorillas had 20 scoring shots to the Blues’ five, largely due to a 1.6 second quarter where they extended their half-time lead to 14 points when it could have been more. However, they put the foot down after half-time booting three of the four second half goals to win. Hetti Malone and Casey Cubis both booted two goals for the winners, while Mica Cubis and Odette Tartak were named the Gorillas’ best. Macey-Leigh Gore was the multiple goal kicker for the visitors with two majors, while Mackenzie Hay booted the third goal and was named the Blues’ best.

QWAFL: The run home

AFTER looking at both Western Australia and South Australia’s top female competitions, we delve into Queensland’s highest grade, with the Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) and also take a glimpse into the first division.

QWAFL:

1 Wilston Grange (11 wins, 1 loss | 381.14% | 44 points)

After a near perfect season, Wilston Grange had a shock loss to sixth placed University of Queensland in the last round, going down by 18 points at home. Prior to that, they had answered every challenge thrown at them and still sit in pole position for the overall premiership favouritism. They face Coolangatta Tweed and Yeronga South Brisbane in the final three rounds, either side of a bye. Courtney Daniec has been the star player for the ladder leaders, named in the best seven times of a possible 10 matches, whilst booting nine goals for the season. Catherine Svarc has been equally as impressive with four goals in 10 games and named in the best six times, but the future of Queensland football has been on show with talented bottom-ager Isabel Dawes who has been named among the best in every game she has played – six matches – and continued that form at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Jacqueline Yorston (seven goals in six games) is another youngster who has stood out, while the experience of Kate Lutkins and Jamie Stanton – before her move to Victoria – has proved invaluable. The Gorillas are well placed heading into the final few rounds.

 

2 Coorparoo (8 wins, 4 losses | 181.92% | 32 points)

Heading into its third and final bye for the season, Coorparoo have locked away second spot with a superior percentage to Coolangatta Tweed. The byes have proven to come at opportune times, with the second placed side losing three of its matches leading into them. They lost two consecutive games early in the season, including one to Bond University in Round 3, have lost both games to Wilston Grange, and went down to Yeronga South Brisbane in its most recent encounter just last weekend. The team has had an even contribution of stars, with Charlotte Edmunds named in the best five times from 11 matches, while Hayley Moore (nine matches), Kayla Geddes (11) and Maili Forbes (11) have all found their way into the team bests four times. Jenae Goven has started up forward with an impressive 25 goals in 10 games, including a haul of eight goals against Bond University. Brisbane Lions’ AFL Women’s player Jessica Wuetschner has made an impact in limited appearances, booting 23 goals in six games, named in the best three times. In terms of youth, Coorparoo has top talents Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw and Tori Groves-Little playing important roles in the side. Both players stood out at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, and in their combined nine appearances, they have booted 13 goals.

 

3 Coolangatta Tweed (6 wins, 5 losses | 123.12% | 24 points)

The Blues had an initial shaky start to the season, losing three of its first six games, but two of its three wins were by a combined 165 points, restricting their opponents to just two goals total. In a remarkable fixture, they played just one game in three rounds with byes either side of the match, and played blocks of six and seven games throughout the season. They come up against the top team Wilston Grange this weekend, as well as Coorparoo in the final round. Maddy Roberts has played just the seven games, but her talent has been evident, named in the best on six occasions, likewise Georgia Breward with five bests from five games. Lauren James has been the dominant goal kicker for the side, booting 16 goals in 11 matches and named in the best four times. Talented youngster and NSW/ACT All-Australian player Brianna McFarlane has booted nine goals in six games and been impressive up forward. Selina Goodman and Tayla Jay Daly have also booted six goals this season.

 

4 Yeronga South Brisbane (5 wins, 6 losses | 56.03% | 20 points)

Yeronga South Brisbane have a game in hand compared to Bond University and hold a narrow percentage advantage over their nearest rivals. They take them on in the penultimate round of the season, after University of Queensland next week and the ladder leaders, Wilston Grange in the final round. Emily Bliss has been the standout player for Yeronga, named in the best an impressive eight times from 10 games. Assisting Bliss are young stars, the small but talented top-age Georgia Brehmer, and bottom-age tall utility Dee Heslop. Both players have been named in their sides’ best in five of the six games they have played. They do not have a dominant goal kicker, with Courtney McDonnell (nine goals), Jade Ransfield (seven), Demi Leach (six) and Kaitlyn Cantrell (five) the leading goal kickers. Brisbane AFL Women’s player Emily Bates has also stood out from five games, booting two goals and named in the best four times.

 

5 Bond University (5 wins, 7 losses | 50.35% | 20 points)

Bond University has a bye in the final round of the season, with games against bottom-placed Maroochydore and fourth placed Yeronga South Brisbane ahead. Their five wins have come against Coolangatta Tweed (two), University of Queensland (one), Maroochydore (one) and an upset win over Coorparoo in Round 3. Kristyl Smith has been the standout player for Bond Uni so far this season, named in the team bests nine of a possible 11 times. Alexandra Evanshas also been a standout performer, named in the best six of a possible 12 matches, while Arianna ClarkeErin Sundstrom and Tamsin Perry have been consistent players as well. Teenage ruck Lauren Bella has played six games and named in the best five times, while bottom-agers Charlotte HammansEmmii-Lee Zanker CloseGeorgia Ellerand Serene Watson have stepped up in the senior side and continued their form at the national carnival. Fellow state representative Taylor Smith has also managed six games and was named in the best twice.

 

6 University of Queensland (4 wins, 7 losses | 87.82% | 16 points)

Whilst the University of Queensland has had just the four wins this season, but their game of the year came last round when they toppled the premiership favourites, Wilston Grange. It was a memorable away match which saw the sixth placed side head home with an 18-point victory. They have also beaten each of the bottom four sides once so far this season. Breanna Koenen has not missed a beat this year in her six games – named best in all of them – while also booting four goals. Megan Hunt has found her way into the best five times from nine games and also booted three goals. But with an eye to the future, Queensland Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the recent AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, and All-Australian squad member, Natalie Grider has been a promising up-and-coming talent, playing eight games, booting four goals and has been named in the best five times. Dakota Davidson is the only goal kicker in double figures with 10 majors, while Sabrina Frederick-Traub has booted seven goals in just three games when not playing for Brisbane in the Winter Series. Gabby Collingwood and Kate McCarthy are other Brisbane AFL Women’s Players who have played limited games with the club.

 

7 Maroochydore (1 win, 10 losses | 36.42% | 4 points)

The bottom-placed Maroochydore started the season with a bang, defeating University of Queensland by 12 points. In that match they booted 10 goals and showed what they are capable of, but have just managed the maximum of three goals a game since. They pushed both Yeronga South Brisbane and Bond University all the way in rounds six and seven, and have restricted their opposition to less than 10 goals in all but three matches showing a good defensive effort. The Roos have also had the benefit of some stability at the top end, with Rachel Crack (10 games), Tayla Gesch (11), Tiffany Dale (11) and Kate Surman (10) all named in the best a total of 27 of a possible 43 times between them. Up forward, Isabella Freeman leads the goal kicking with eight majors, courtesy of a bag of five in the opening round win over University of Queensland. Georgia Doherty has booted seven goals in nine matches, while Marybeth Banks has five in nine. The Roos face Bond University and University of Queensland either side of Coorparoo in the final three rounds, and will be hoping to finish the season off on a high note.

 

QWFA Division 1:

In the 11-team, division one grade, Coorparoo, Aspley Hornets and Moreton Bay lead all comers, with massive percentages to be the clear flag favourites in a three-team race. Broadbeach is fourth with seven wins and a draw from 12 matches, while Burleigh and Kedron are ready to pounce six points behind. Wilston Grange and University of Queensland trail with five wins from 12 matches, while Coolangatta Tweed and Yeronga South Brisbane have two wins apiece ahead of the winless Maroochydore.

In the leading goal kicker stakes, Aspley Hornets’ Chloe Macdonald looks to be a class above the grade with 37 majors in 13 matches, including bags of nine, seven and six. Meg Pullinger is a clear second with the Coorparoo product averaging three goals a game from her eight matches, having booted 24 majors for the season. Aspley Hornets have two more goal kickers in the top five, with Sarah Madden (19) and Shaye Easton (15) either side of Moreton Bay’s Cassandra Chamings with 17. Wilston Grange’s Tamika Hansen (14), Kedron’s Lisiti Asimcdonald (12), Broadbeach’s Talena Irvine (11), Burleigh’s Wendy Bristow (eight), Yeronga South Brisbane’s Erin Sargeant (seven), University of Queensland’s Katherine Heliotis (seven) and Coolangatta Tweed’s Macey-Leigh Gore (seven) as their respective club’s leading goal kickers, while Abbey Main and Jessica Champion are the two multiple goal kickers for Maroochydore.

Sargeant and Moreton Bay’s Amy Higgins are the two leading players so far this season, named in the best 10 times from 12 games, while University of Queensland’s Jessica Middleton has had a perfect start to the season with nine bests from nine games. Teammate, Philomena Stephen, Yeronga South Brisbane’s Charmaine Hass and Coorparoo’s Amy Duxfield have also made their way into their respective team’s best. Looking at the top youth in the grade, Queensland bottom-ager Lily Postlethwaite has been named in the best five times in seven matches, booting eight goals in the process for Moreton Bay.