TASMANIA’S most talented aspiring AFLW players took to the field over the weekend in the first round of the Wrest Point TSLW Under-18 Development Series. The series is a new pathway for young footballers striving to make the State Academy and subsequent squad for the National Under-18 Championships later in the year. It will also assist TSLW clubs in finalising their lists ahead of the upcoming 2018 season.
The first weekend saw the six competing sides split up into their north and south conferences. Burnie, Launceston and North Launceston battled it out in the north conference round robin, while Clarence, Glenorchy and Tigers clashed in the south conference. The matches were more so about development rather than results, with coaches of both teams working together to try and get the best out of every player.
Here is a team by team run down of how the weekend’s top performers went:
Melaine Wise has long been a talented player and looks to have taken her fitness to another level, which could help her make an impact at the National Under 18 Championships. Chloe Wells proved that she has some potential in the ruck; the raw tall has had experience at TSLW level. Bella Goward constantly found space and the football, Netty Garlo excited with her pace, while Tahlia Bortignon kicked the goal of the weekend with a lovely sidestep as her pace and agility gave her space.
Charlie Lovell, one of the youngest players in the series also showed she is one of the most skilled players with ball in hand, and the ability to earn the contested football. Elise Barwick has improved her skills and running patterns which now compliments her elite pace and endurance. Amy Prokopiec and Holly Barwick show exciting flashes of talent, while Hannah Smith looks to have benefited from a stronger preseason.
Hailee Baldwin was impressive as expected, but her ball-winning ability certainly stood out and she has the athletic attributes to take the step up to the National Under 18 Championships. If she continues to develop her skills, she definitely has the potential to receive even higher honours. Priscilla Atim also showed wonderful endeavour, she has previously impressed in the All Nationals Cup and continues to excite selectors with her attack on the ball.
As expected the young Dockers were standouts led by twins Chloe and Libby Haines, who were simply on another level, especially in the air as they showed the benefits of being in the National AFLW Academy. Sammy Langmaid has also taken her game to another level, using her run to break lines and deliver the ball well. Mya Slatter gave the runners first use with good hands, while Shaeli Rodman and younger sister Ashya both played well in several positions.
Camilla Taylor continues to grow in height and as a footballer, classy tall athletic players do not grow on trees, so her future is looking bright. Mia King continues to perform as an inside midfielder with attack and pace. Kelsie Hill stood out with her run and defensive pressure, while Ellen Brickhall and Amy Halaby also continue to impress.
With their first involvement in the female talent pathway, North Launceston have unearthed plenty of talent. Hayley Breward showed her class, Talisha Woolley is a developing tall and showed plenty, while Raigan Kettle won the ball in spades. Hannah Grima was a dangerous forward and Ella McKenzie also impressed.
The remaining fixtures in the Wrest Point TSLW Under 18 Development Series are as follows:
Northern Conference 2 | Saturday, March 17 at Deloraine
11am: Burnie vs. North Launceston
11.50am: Burnie vs. Launceston
12.40pm: North Launceston vs. Launceston
South Conference 2 | Sunday, March 18 at North Hobart Oval
11am: Tigers vs. Clarence
11.50am: Clarence vs. Glenorchy
12.40pm: Tigers vs. Glenorchy
Statewide Carnival | Sunday, March 25 at Deloraine
12pm: Burnie vs. Glenorchy
1.20pm: North Launceston vs. Tigers
2.40pm: Launceston vs. Clarence