Tag: Emma Swanson

AFLW H2H Battle: Early 90s v Late 90s

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

Early 90s – 1990-1994:

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

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

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

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

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

VS

Late 90s – 1995-1999:

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend previews: AFLW – Round 2

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

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

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

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

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

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun facts:

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

 

DRAFT CENTRAL TIPPING

Leaderboard:

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

 

Peter Williams

Chief Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Collingwood
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Taylah Melki

Assistant Chief Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Sophie Taylor

Women’s Football Editor

Last week: 3

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Michael Alvaro

Men’s Football Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Matthew Cocks

Guest Tipster

Last week: 3

Round 2 selections:

GWS GIANTS
Collingwood
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

Season reviews: VFLW – NT Thunder

THE NT Thunder was one of the most dominant sides of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season. The Thunder suffered a shock exit in the finals but nonetheless should be proud of a remarkable debut season in the VFLW.

 

Position: 3rd
Win-loss: 11-3
Percentage: 193%

Results:

Round 1: Defeated Darebin by 54 points
Round 2: Bye
Round 3: Defeated Essendon by 72 points
Round 4: Defeated Melbourne University by 69 points
Round 5: Defeated Western Bulldogs by 36 points
Round 6: Defeated Carlton by 36 points
Round 7: Lost against Southern Saints by 20 points
Round 8: Lost against Collingwood by 16 points
Round 9: Defeated Geelong Cats by 65 points
Round 10: Defeated Darebin by 40 points
Round 11: Defeated Richmond by 23 points
Round 12: Defeated Casey Demons by 12 points
Round 13: Defeated Williamstown by 45 points
Round 14: Defeated Collingwood by 10 points
Round 15: Lost against Hawthorn by 25 points
Round 16: Bye

 

Key players:

#3 Angela Foley

The NT Thunder captain was a dominant force in the midfield and was rewarded for her efforts. She came third in the VFLW Best and Fairest and earned a spot in the Team of the Year. Foley consistently racked up high number of disposals, highlighting her ability to find plenty of the footy during the season. She had an impressive game in Round 1 when she gathered 30 disposals, kicked a goal, took five marks and laid three tackles.

#17 Emma Swanson

The Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward was a key player for the Thunder this season. She was able to out-muscle opponents in the forward line and could also float into the midfield to gather some key possessions. This versatility earned her a spot on the interchange bench in the VFLW Team of the Year. She too had a standout game in Round 1 with 31 disposals, two goals, five marks and three tackles.   

#28 Renee Forth

Forth’s excellent season in Thunder colours saw her move over to the Adelaide Crows for the 2019 season. She impressed with her high football IQ and ability to get in the right spots to get the ball. Like Swanson, she was a versatile player who played consistent football throughout her 12 games. One of her best games was in Round 11 when she racked up 18 disposals, five marks and three tackles.

#29 Marijana Rajcic

Rajcic was a player that dominated all over the ground for the Thunder this season. Her marking was quite impressive, as was her long kick. Her run and carry was also a key attribute of her game. Rajcic kicked 11 goals from her seven games for NT. One of her standout games was in Round 1, when she kicked 3.4, gathered 25 disposals and took eight marks.

#31 Jessica Sedunary

Sedunary came fifth in the VFLW goal kicking tally with 15 goals from 11 games. She also earned a spot in the VFLW Team of the Year thanks to her liveliness in the forward line and her excellent goal sense. Sedunary’s strength and fitness stood out as she inflicted her powerful run and carry on opposition sides. She was the star of the day against Geelong, kicking four goals, gathering 17 disposals and laying three tackles.

 

Season summary:

The Thunder recorded the biggest percentage of the VFLW season after some big winning margins throughout the season. The side was one of the most dominant outfits of the season with plenty of AFLW contingent suiting up in the VFLW season. Homegrown talent like Tayla Thorn, Lateesha Jeffrey, Tahlia Holtze, Kylie Duggan and Kristy Irvine also showed good signs during the year, signalling a bright future for the side.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 15

HAWTHORN has spoiled the party for the Northern Territory (NT) Thunder in Round 15 of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s, knocking them back to second on the ladder after a 25-point win at TIO Stadium. Collingwood regained top spot on the ladder with a big win over the Southern Saints, while the other top-four side, Geelong secured a big win over the Casey Demons.

 

Western Bulldogs 2.2 (14) defeated by Melbourne Uni 7.5 (47)

Melbourne Uni is ending its season on an emphatic high, winning its last two games. In the process, the Mugars defeated the once top-four favourites, the Western Bulldogs. The Bulldogs were held scoreless for the first half of this game, with Melbourne University piling on 5.1 to take a handy 31-point halftime lead. The home side finally got that coveted goal in the third quarter but it wasn’t enough, as Melbourne University’s early lead proved to be too big to overcome.

Kaitlyn Ashmore led the way for the Mugars inside 50, kicking two goals from her nine disposals. The North Melbourne recruit also laid six tackles, and was complemented in that department by Maddison Smith, who laid seven. Captain, Ashleigh Riddell also laid six tackles for the day and led the way with a game-high 26 disposals and three marks. Vic Metro midfielder, Madison Prespakis wasn’t far behind with one goal, 25 disposals and two tackles.

For the Bulldogs, Sarah Jolly led the way in disposals with 19 for the day. Ashleigh Guest also contributed well in that department, with 18 disposals as well as four marks and eight tackles. Tayla Dinuccio went one better, laying nine tackles for the day and making an impact, despite recording only three disposals. Premiership players, Kirsten McLeod (one goal, 13 disposals, five tackles) and Hannah Scott (one goal, 17 disposals, five tackles) were the goal kickers for the Dogs.

 

Collingwood 6.6 (42) defeated Southern Saints 0.4 (4)

Collingwood has returned to form very quickly this week, bouncing back from last week’s loss with a 38-point win over the Southern Saints. The Pies got out of the blocks quickly, kicking the first three goals of the match to go on and kick six unanswered majors. After no goals were kicked in the second quarter, Collingwood fought back with two majors in the third, extending its margin to 36 points at the last break. Unfortunately, inaccuracy hurt the Saints, kicking just four behinds for the match.

Vic Metro forward, Daisy Bateman led the way inside 50, kicking three of her team’s six goals as well as gathering nine disposals and laying six tackles. Her Vic Metro and Oakleigh Chargers teammate, Katie Lynch was also a pivotal player with 24 disposals, two marks and three tackles. Sophie Alexander was able to back up her solid game last week with a game-high 27 disposals. Erica Fowler led the way in tackles with a whopping 13 to go with her six disposals. AFLW ruck, Eliza Hynes led the way in marks for the Pies, taking four grabs to go with her one goal and 13 disposals.

Alison Brown was dominant for the Saints, gathering 24 disposals and laying five tackles in another good midfield performance from her. She was complemented by good delivery from ruck, Rhiannon Watt, who racked up 21 disposals, three marks and five tackles. Jas Rolland took four marks for the day and also laid four tackles to go with her six disposals. TAC Cup Girls players, Shelley Heath (12 disposals, two tackles), Gabriella De Angelis (10 disposals, three tackles), Ashleigh Allsopp (eight disposals, five tackles), Jemma Owen (eight disposals, four tackles) and Courtney Jones (seven disposals, two tackles) all contributed well on the day.

 

Essendon 1.3 (9) defeated by Williamstown 5.7 (37)

By: James Halley

Williamstown was able to outlast Essendon in terrible winter conditions, kicking away in the last term to win by 28 points. For the second time this year, the two sides have played in terrible conditions, yet last time was worse as play had to be halted for five minutes due to hail.

Jasmine Garner was huge for Williamstown up forward, kicking two fourth-quarter goals. She was a threat up forward all day but in the second term was when she managed to convert. Williamstown’s engine room was once again outstanding with Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton leading the way. Duffin ended up being an obstacle in the air for Essendon, taking numerous intercept marks. A highlight for the game was Emily Paterno’s impossible goal on the boundary in the last quarter, which was a kick of high difficulty and capped of a great day for Williamstown. 

Simone Nalder can hold her head up high, as she won the ruck for the Bombers. Due to the conditions, they were not able to capitalise on her dominance. Valerie Moreau was also a shinning light for Essendon on a dark day, kicking the side’s only goal and being lively all day. In Round 16, the Seagulls face Melbourne University while Essendon will take on Carlton at home to finish the home and away season.

 

NT Thunder 4.4 (28) defeated by Hawthorn 8.5 (53)

In the second game of the year at Alice Springs, Hawthorn secured a big win over flag favourites, NT Thunder. The Hawks got out of the blocks early, kicking the first goal of the game and piling on another three in the second quarter to take a comfortable lead into half time. The trend continued in the third quarter when the away side kicked another three goals, making it very difficult for the Thunder to make a comeback.

Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward, Phoebe McWilliams returned to form with three majors for the day, taking her season tally to five goals from five games. McWilliams’ GWS teammate, Rebecca Beeson continued her good form with a best-on-ground performance at TIO Traeger Stadium. She was complemented by a player who has been in consistent form in Sarah Perkins, who kicked two goals to take her tally to 12 goals from 10 games. Skipper, Emma Mackie also got on the board with two majors and has been solid ever since returning from injury.

It was all single goal kickers for the Thunder with Jordann Hickey, Sue Nalder, Jasmyn Hewett and Angela Foley all kicking one major each. Hickey is closing in on her teammate, Jess Sedunary on the goal kicking tally, as she has kicked 14 goals from 13 games while Sedunary has kicked 15 goals from 10 games. Foley was also named best-on-ground for the Thunder in another blistering performance from her. She was complemented by AFLW contingent, Ebony Marinoff and Emma Swanson, as well as Katie Streader, Kristy Irvine and Tayla Thorn.

 

Darebin 1.3 (9) defeated by Carlton 4.10 (34)

Carlton nearly lost this game with its inaccuracy, kicking five behinds to start the first quarter. Darebin then kicked its first and only goal in the second quarter while the Blues kicked three more behinds to take their score to 0.8.8 at half time. They then kicked into gear in the third quarter, kicking two goals to none and wrestling back the lead. The Blues did the same in the fourth quarter, ultimately earning them a surprise 24-point win against one of the better sides in the competition.

Northern Knights captain, Madeline Brancatisano was named best afield for the Blues in a breakout game for her at Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s level. She was aided by good performances from AFLW players, Alison Downie, Tilly Lucas-Rodd and former Dandenong Stingrays winger, Georgia Gee. Nicola Burns and Celine Moody were also solid contributors in the win, with Moody kicking one of the Blues’ four goals. Gee was one of the other goal kickers and was joined by Bailey Schultz and Darcy Vescio on the scoreboard. Vescio now sits one major behind VFLW leading goal kicker, Hannah Mouncey. Mouncey has kicked 18 goals from 11 games while Vescio has kicked 17 goals from eight games, with an average of 2.12 goals per game.

There was not much happening on the goal kicking side of things for the Falcons, with Stephanie Simpson the only one getting on the board. That goal took her tally to 11 goals from 10 games in what has been a good season inside 50 for her. Simpson also earned a spot among the best players for Darebin on the day. Melbourne AFLW ruck, Lauren Pearce played another blinder of a game, being named best-on-ground for her side. Melbourne teammate, Lily Mithen also continued her solid season by being named among the best as well. Gabrielle Colvin, Meghan McDonald and Kathleen Roe also contributed well at Bill Lawry Oval.

 

Casey Demons 2.4 (16) defeated by Geelong Cats 8.5 (53)

The Casey Demons jumped the Cats early, kicking the first two goals of the game to take an eight-point lead into quarter time. Geelong responded immediately though, kicking the next two goals in the second quarter to wrestle back the lead at the main break. The goal kicking continued in the third quarter, as the Cats outscored the Demons three goals to none. After the first quarter, Casey could not register a major, giving the Cats licence to secure a big win as they approach the finals.

Two of Geelong’s eight goals came from Mia-Rae Clifford, who has had a solid season for the Cats. Clifford has kicked 13 goals from 13 games and continues to be a vital player for her side. She shares the same goal kicking tally as Danielle Orr, who was also able to get on the board with a major, and equal her goal kicking tally with Clifford’s. Millie Klingbeil, Courtney Stevens, Kate Darby, Jordan Ivey and Geelong Falcons midfielder, Nina Morrison were the other goal kickers on the day. Ivey was also named best-on-ground for the Cats, while Morrison and Darby also featured in the best. Morrison was complemented by Vic Country duo, Olivia Purcell and Georgia Clarke, who played great games for the Cats. Richelle Cranston also continued her marvellous season with another appearance in Geelong’s best players.

Another player who has had a marvellous season is Maddie Shevlin, who kicked one of Casey’s two goals on Sunday. New Melbourne AFLW recruit, Maddison Gay was the other goal kicker for the Demons, booting a major late in the first quarter. Kaila Bentvelzen was named as the Demons’ best, continuing a solid season in the red and blue. Former Gippsland defender, Darcy Guttridge and former Bendigo forward, Eden Zanker also stood out for Casey. Georgia McLean and Melbourne AFLW recruit, Shae Sloane were the other players named in Casey’s best, contributing well in the loss.

Team selection: VFLW – Round 15

WITH only two weeks left of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Competition, teams are fighting for a chance to play in the finals. Most teams have made minimal changes this week and are trying to create some momentum to finish the home and away season off strongly. Round 15 looks like another important week in the VFLW competition, kicking off with the Western Bulldogs taking on Melbourne Uni.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS v. MELBOURNE UNI

Round 15 – 18/08/2018

02:00PM

Victoria University Whitten Oval

The Western Bulldogs take on Melbourne Uni this weekend and have made four changes for the occasion. After their disappointing loss to Hawthorn last weekend, the Dogs have brought in AFLW premiership player, Hannah Scott to help guide the team to victory. Also included this week are Rachel Ashley and Nicole Paul. Coming in as the 23rd player this week, the Dogs have also named the young Aleshia Bettels to make her debut in the red, white and blue.

The Dogs might have brought home the win in their last encounter, but this week Melbourne Uni will be hoping to back up its Round 14 victory to turn the tables. The Mugars have also made four changes ahead of the clash, bringing in Bendigo Pioneers graduate, Aisling TupperMietta McDonald and debutant, Jacinta Limbrick. Limbrick comes into the VFLW side after being part of North Melbourne’s Tasmanian Senior State Academy and impressing in the Tasmania State League (TSL) Women’s competition. She kicked 24 goals from 12 games this season.

Western Bulldogs

B: 5. R. Martinuzzo, 40. N. Gills, 42. N. Paul
HB: 29. J. Davies, 11. L. Spark, 12. J. Francke
C: 19. T.  Ernst, 9. T.  Dinuccio, 21. B.  Hunt
HF: 20. A. Guest, 32. A. Mifsud, 10. S. Jolly
F: 15. R. Ashley, 6. K. McLeod, 43. A. Goldring
R: 47. N. McMahon, 22. H. Scott, 28. B. Toogood
Int: 31. A. Gunn, 35. S. Ruedin, 41. A. Scott, 30. A. Tessari
23P: 39. A. Bettels

In: A. Bettels, R. Ashley, N. Paul, H. Scott
Out: R. Gastin,  D. Berry,  C. O’Brien

Melbourne Uni

B: 12. M. Cantwell, 29. K. Klatt, 9. K. Price
HB: 4. A. Saundry, 54. J. Limbrick, 55. M. Smith
C: 19. L.  Ahrens, 18. A.  Tupper, 45. M.  McDonald
HF: 22. D. Edward, 6. E. Keaney, 17. E. Hay
F: 38. K. Angelis, 27. J. Anderson, 7. A. Riddell
R: 8. C. Fitzpatrick, 3. K. Ashmore, 46. M. Prespakis
Int: 1. S. Abbatangelo, 20. L. Belza, 26. C. Greiser, 2. H. Ibrahim
23P: 21. R. Webster

In: A. Tupper, M. Smith, M. McDonald, J. Limbrick
Out: K. Gillespie-Jones, L. Haines, D. Hardiman, E. Humphries

 

COLLINGWOOD v. SOUTHERN SAINTS

Round 15 – 18/08/2018

02:00PM

Ted Summerton Reserve, Moe

The Magpies continue to make plenty of changes in the final weeks of the home and away season. After their narrow loss to the formidable NT Thunder outfit in Round 14, they will be desperate to stay in second spot on the ladder with a couple of teams on their toes. AFLW talent comes in and out of their side this week with Emma Grant and Steph Chiocci taking to the sidelines while Eliza Hynes and Chloe Molloy fill their shoes. Also named in are Gabrielle Biedenweg-Webster, Amy Malander, Elise Korteman and Erica Fowler.

Coming up against the Pies this week, the Saints have made three changes going into Round 15. Vic Metro representative, Gabriella De Angelis has been selected to play this week, alongside Meg McDonald and TAC Cup Girls leading goal kicker, Holly Bate, who has been named as the 23rd player. Coming out of the side this week are Keely FitzgeraldJasmine Tait and Selena Karlson.

Collingwood

B: 72. K. Lee, 18. R. Schleicher, 12. S. Livingstone
HB: 22. S. Casey, 67. H. McLaren, 52. N. Hales
C: 50. G.  Buchan, 2. C.  Molloy, 99. S.  Marsh
HF: 8. B. Bonnici, 66. D. Bateman, 28. H. Whitford
F: 75. E. Fowler, 49. S. Alexander, 3. N. Hildebrand
R: 11. E. Hynes, 54. H. Grubb, 41. K. Stratton
Int: 73. G. Biedenweg-Webster, 70. J. Ferguson, 62. E. Korteman, 61. A. Malander
23P: 59. K. Lynch

In: G. Biedenweg-Webster, E. Hynes, E. Korteman, C. Molloy, A. Malander, E. Fowler
Out: S. King,  P. Nash,  E. Grant,  I. Ross,  S. Chiocci,  J. Edwards

Southern Saints

B: 4. G. Ricardo, 23. J. Rolland, 30. C. Wilson
HB: 45. S. Binder, 29. M. Macdonald, 17. L. Olsen
C: 39. E.  Brown, 2. A.  Brown, 43. S.  Heath
HF: 21. D. Lawrence, 15. T. Bohanna, 24. K. Ripari
F: 36. S. Bolding, 13. C. Munn, 35. G. De Angelis
R: 28. R. Watt, 8. A. Drennan, 32. S. Johnson
Int: 42. C. Jones, 40. M. Maitland, 19. A. Silver, 16. K. Thompson
23P: 3. H. Bate

In: M. Macdonald, G. De Angelis, H. Bate
Out: K. Fitzgerald, J. Tait, S. Karlson

 

ESSENDON  v. WILLIAMSTOWN

Round 15 – 18/08/2018

03:00PM

Windy Hill

Former Diamond Creek player, Maddy Collier and Oakleigh Chargers ruck, Bridie Winbanks are the only inclusions in Essendon’s side going into Round 15. Their side will face Williamstown this week where three new VFLW rules will feature.

Williamstown will be looking for back-to-back wins after its triumph against Richmond last weekend. The Seagulls have made two changes for the clash at Windy Hill, welcoming back Rachel Achampong and Erin Meade who have both recovered from injury. Ashlea Melnikas has also been named as part of the interchange. Belinda Hateley and Jamilla Cranny have both been sidelined due to injury.

Essendon

B: 20. J. Anwyl, 17. T. Hetherington, 41. M. Warburton
HB: 27. A. Morcom, 7. K. Hicks, 25. R. Neaves
C: 18. K.  Heil, 22. N.  MacDonald, 9. L.  Williams
HF: 35. V. Moreau, 16. L. Morecroft, 1. J. Trend
F: 28. C. Portlock, 3. M. DeMatteo, 6. A. Quigley
R: 30. S. Nalder, 8. H. Bullas, 46. C. Ugle
Int: 15. L. Caruso, 44. M. Collier, 26. A. Madden, 19. B. Winbanks
23P: 10. E. Cornish

In: M. Collier, B. Winbanks

Williamstown

B: 19. E. Meade, 20. S. Seabrook, 8. C. Portelli
HB: 1. R. Dardengo, 24. A. Saxton, 34. J. Reid
C: 22. M.  Lowe, 2. J.  Duffin, 11. K.  Smith
HF: 4. E. Paterno, 25. J. Garner, 33. S. Van De Heuvel
F: 16. A. Cameron, 39. S. Whiting, 12. G. Harris
R: 9. R. Achampong, 17. S. Chapman, 35. J. Bruton
Int: 30. A. Melnikas, 44. I. Porter, 13. N. Wallace, 36. M. Williamson
23P: 15. E. Gardner

In: E. Meade, A. Melnikas, R. Achampong
Out: J. Cranny, B. Hateley

 

NT THUNDER v. HAWTHORN

Round 15 – 18/08/2018

04:30PM (AEST)

TIO Stadium

The NT Thunder will be celebrating its last home game for the 2018 season in Round 15, and a host of local talent has been brought back into the side. AFLW talents take over the Thunder’s line up, with Renee Forth, Abbey Holmes, Marijana Rajcic, Courtney Cramey, Jessica Allan and Emma Swanson all being selected to play. Midfielder, Kristy Irvine has also been named in the squad this week, alongside Northern Territory Under 18 representative, Janet Baird, Lateesha Jeffrey and Tahlia Holtze.

Hawthorn has made only one change going into Round 15, bringing in Mikala Cann for Emily McIlvena. Cann was named as one of the 36 players invited to the AFL Women’s Draft Combine, and will be a key cog in the midfield for this exciting battle.

NT Thunder

B: 8. S. Riley, 10. S. Barnett, 13. L. Roberts
HB: 14. C. Cramey, 55. T. Thorn, 22. J. McCormick
C: 24. G.  Bevan, 3. A.  Foley, 32. K.  Streader
HF: 4. S. Nalder, 29. M. Rajcic, 17. E. Swanson
F: 25. J. Allan, 26. A. Holmes, 11. J. Hickey
R: 20. J. Hewett, 52. E. Marinoff, 28. R. Forth
Int: 18. T. Holtze, 21. K. Irvine, 9. L. Jeffrey, 38. M. Keeble
Emg: 12. J. Anderson, 46. S. Bishop, 7. L. O’Shea, 45. K. Rosenzweig
23P: 39. J. Baird

In: T. Holtze, J. Baird, C. Cramey, G. Bevan, A. Holmes, M. Rajcic, E. Swanson, K. Irvine,  R. Forth, J. Allan, L. Jeffrey
Out: G. Cusack,  A. Hatchard,  J. Mules,  J. Sedunary,  K. Duggan,  S. Armitstead, M. Gault,  S. Thompson,  S. Allan,  M. Roberts

Hawthorn

B: 5. C. Perera, 32. K. Ebb, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 25. M. Hutchins, 36. J. Van Dyk
C: 4. S.  Carroll, 6. J.  Crockett-Grills, 12. T.  Nestor
HF: 14. O. Flanagan, 8. R. Beeson, 33. E. Gilder
F: 22. T. Luke, 28. S. Perkins, 7. P. McWilliams
R: 19. L. Wotton, 45. M. Cann, 1. E. Mackie
Int: 24. R. Dillon, 11. D. Haines, 35. C. O’Donnell, 43. E. Woods
23P: 44. S. Kendall

In: M. Cann
Out: E. Mcilvena

 

DAREBIN  v. CARLTON

Round 15 – 19/08/2018

12:00PM

Bill Lawry Oval

Darebin, who is sitting just outside the top four, has made some important changes ahead of its match-up with Carlton this weekend. Some big names have been called to the sidelines in Jessica Dal Pos, Hannah Mouncey and Nicole Callinan. However, plenty of talented fresh legs will be taking their place. Vic Metro defender, Lauren Szigeti comes in this week alongside Anna Morrow, Lena Skipper and Esther HonybunChelsea Delbridge has been named as the 23rd player.

Returning from its Round 14 bye, Carlton has made three changes to this weekend’s line-up. Former St Kilda Shark, Danica Pedersen returns to the side this week and she will be joined by TAC Cup Girls duo, Isabella Gietzmann (Oakleigh Chargers) and Mika Suzuki (Northern Knights).

Darebin

B: 31. E. Gardner, 10. G. Lawson-Tavan, 21. K. Roe
HB: 32. G. Colvin, 14. M. McDonald, 49. R. Hibbert
C: 15. A.  Lister, 9. M.  Eastman, 11. K.  Tyndall
HF: 28. A. Morrow, 45. N. Deiter, 13. K. Shierlaw
F: 44. S. Fairchild, 17. S. Simpson, 46. L. Szigeti
R: 40. L. Pearce, 20. M. Guerin, 7. L. Mithen
Int: 22. G. Hammond, 1. E. Honybun, 24. B. Patterson, 35. L. Skipper
23P: 50. C. Delbridge

In: L. Szigeti, A. Morrow, L. Skipper, C. Delbridge, E. Honybun
Out: H. Mouncey,  J. Dal Pos,  N. Callinan

Carlton

B: 50. J. Borg, 25. T. Morgan, 24. R. Hicks
HB: 34. A. Chuot, 12. S. Last, 6. G. Pound
C: 55. C.  Dalton, 8. M.  Brancatisano, 90. B.  Walker
HF: 18. T. Lucas-Rodd, 5. D. Pedersen, 36. C. Moody
F: 20. C. Bromage, 3. D. Vescio, 27. K. Cox
R: 30. A. Downie, 19. G. Gee, 66. O. Vesely
Int: 82. N. Burns, 31. R. Caris, 15. I. Gietzmann, 37. B. Schultz
23P: 11. M. Suzuki

 

CASEY DEMONS v. GEELONG CATS

Round 15 – 19/08/2018

01:00PM

Casey Fields

The Casey Demons will be looking to bounce back after their loss in Round 14 but will be faced with the hard task of taking on the in-form Geelong Cats, who are sitting just inside top four. For the clash, the Demons have named six key ins including Shelley Scott, Amy Harrison, Kasey Guttridge, Shae Sloane, Marlee Tatham and Holly Bailey. On the other hand, AFLW trio, Katherine Smith, Kate Hore and Catherine Phillips alongside Jemma Turner and Lorianne Lowerson have all been named out.

Geelong, who is sitting just within finals contention, will be fighting hard for two straight wins in the final weeks of the regular season. Coming off last week’s big win over Essendon, the Cats have only named three changes to their squad. Vic Country key defender, Georgia Clarke will be a welcome addition to the side this week, as will Jordan Ivey and Courtney Stevens.

Casey Demons

B: 18. K. Bentvelzen , 27. A. Harrison, 26. S. Sloane
HB: 34. D. Guttridge, 41. T. Mesiti, 16. C. Sherriff
C: 7. B.  Jakobsson, 47. M.  Hogg, 9. A.  Johnson
HF: 38. J. Allen, 29. E. Zanker , 22. K. Guttridge
F: 31. H. Bailey, 12. G. McLean, 8. M. Tatham
R: 14. T. Orgill, 28. M. Gay, 17. S. Scott
Int: 3. R. Clayton, 23. G. Gourlay, 25. M. Shevlin, 20. C. Whitfort
23P: 50. A. Dunn

In: S. Scott, A. Harrison, K. Guttridge, S. Sloane, M. Tatham, H. Bailey
Out: J. Turner,  L. Lowerson,  K. Smith,  C. Phillips,  K. Hore

Geelong Cats

B: 26. R. Pearce, 44. R. Goring, 40. A. Teague
HB: 25. E. Coventry, 1. J. Woollett, 34. A. McDonald
C: 3. H.  Burchell, 45. M.  Keryk, 20. N.  Morrison
HF: 5. J. Ivey, 2. D. Orr, 33. H. Trevean
F: 7. M. Clifford, 6. M. Boyd, 13. M. Fogas
R: 8. K. Darby, 4. C. Blakeway, 30. R. Cranston
Int: 55. G. Clarke, 11. M. Klingbeil , 41. C. Stevens, 10. L. Taylor
23P: 16. O. Purcell

In: J. Ivey, G. Clarke, C. Stevens
Out: H. Mangan, Z. Inei

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 14

ROUND 14 is another huge round of footy with several teams battling for positions as we head towards September action. In perhaps the game of the season, Collingwood battle the Thunder at Victoria Park in a game with huge implications at the top of the ladder. Important games for both Hawthorn and Geelong will also take place, as they look to lock up a top four position before they both face tough challenges in their final two games. 

 

Casey vs Melbourne Uni

Saturday August 11th, 11:30am
Casey Fields, Cranbourne

Round 14 action kicks off with Casey hosting Melbourne Uni. The Demons come off a solid victory over Carlton, as they improved their record to five wins from 11 matches. Sitting two and a half games out of fourth place, the Demons will be looking to continue their momentum against a struggling Melbourne University side. Eden Zanker starred again last week, as she continues to be a huge positive in an otherwise disappointing season for the side overall. Kate Hore also turned out another strong game as she continues to build some good form. Melbourne University, who is fresh off the bye, is looking to close the season on a high and move its way up the ladder. Vic Metro midfielder, Madison Prespakis has been in great form for the Mugars, consistently racking up over 20 possessions. She will be joined in the side this week with fellow state representatives, Rebecca Webster (Vic Country) and Libby Haines (Tasmania and Eastern Allies), who could cause some headaches for their opponents. 

 

Collingwood vs NT Thunder

Saturday August 11th, 12pm
Victoria Park, Collingwood

A massive encounter takes centre stage on Saturday as the ladder-leading Collingwood takes on the second-placed NT Thunder at Victoria Park. The teams met in Round 8, with the Pies getting the better of the Thunder in a blowout. The Thunder has since gone on to win its next five matches following the defeat and has kept pace with the Magpies, who have continued their undefeated season. Chloe Molloy will miss the game again this week in what could be a huge out for Collingwood, as well as Jaimee Lambert, who has been an impact player for them this season. Steph Chiocci played herself back into form last week with a strong 13-possession, two-goal performance in just her second game back from injury. The Thunder has been unbelievable in the past month and registered another blowout win last week against Williamstown. With dominant performances across the board, NT comes into the game in as good of form as anyone in the competition. Anne Hatchard kicked four goals and was extremely effective inside the forward 50 with five marks to go along with 15 possessions. She was complemented by fellow AFLW player, Emma Swanson, who was a ball magnet through the midfield with 27 touches. This is a huge game which will shape the entire season, as the winner will move into top spot with just two games remaining.

 

Darebin vs Southern Saints

Saturday August 11th, 12pm
Bill Lawry Oval, Northcote

Darebin appears to be hitting its stride at the right time of year, but it may be too little, too late. Following a huge win over premiership fancies, Hawthorn, the Falcons take on the Southern Saints at home. A huge midfield match-up this week could see Falcons star, Elise O’Dea go head-to-head with Saints gun, Alison Drennan in one of the best individual match-ups of the season. O’Dea was prolific last week with 26 possessions, and continued what has been an incredibly strong stretch of play. Lily Mithen also continues to develop nicely and is playing a big part in the Falcons’ late season surge. The Saints enter the game with extreme confidence, having beaten the Bulldogs comprehensively last week to end their six-game winning streak. Alison Brown was dominant through the middle of the ground with 28 possessions, and Tara Bohanna also had an impressive outing up forward. Her three-goal haul last week pushes her into the top five goal kickers for the season. Although finals are out of the question for the Saints, they have the opportunity to play the spoiler role and end the Falcons’ season.

 

Geelong vs Essendon

Saturday August 11th, 4:30pm
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

The Cats host the Bombers in the final game of Saturday action as they look to continue their premiership quest. Geelong sits in fourth position and will be looking to move up the ladder in the final three rounds, with this round especially looming as important. The Cats find themselves in a game they should be able to take care of business in, while the sides above them face tough competition as the Hawks take on the in-form Bulldogs and Collingwood battles the Thunder in a head-to-head match-up. A win for the Cats allows them to close the gap on those above them and push towards a home final. Essendon continues to struggle with just one win to its name at this point in the season. A strong second half against Collingwood last week should give the Bombers the belief that they can hang with the best teams in the competition, with it just being a matter of putting together a full four quarter effort. Tanya Hetherington has been fantastic for the Bombers in recent weeks and will once again be a key performer if the Bombers are able to pull off one of the upsets of the season.

 

Richmond vs Williamstown

Sunday August 12th, 12pm
Swinburne Centre, Richmond

Sunday action kicks off with Richmond taking on Williamstown down at Tigerland. In a game with no impact on finals, both sides will be hoping to end their respective losing streaks and build some momentum heading into next season. The Tigers come in on a six-game losing streak and will need to bounce back following their worst loss of the season last week in a 10-goal loss to Geelong. Richmond’s forward line continues to be an issue, kicking just one goal last week, in what has been a poor stretch offensively for the team. Two big ins should boost the Tigers’ chances with Lauren Tesoriero and Christina Bernardi making their return to the line-up. Williamstown has just one win to date, with that being in Round 4 against Richmond. The Seagulls are also coming off a poor performance last week, losing by 45 points against the Thunder. The consistency from their middle to low-end players continues to be an issue with Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton continuing to carry the load, with more help required from their depth. With games against Essendon and Melbourne University to follow, the Seagulls have an opportunity to close the season out strong and put some wins together heading into the off-season.

 

Western Bulldogs vs Hawthorn

Sunday August 12th, 2pm
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

The Bulldogs saw their magical winning streak come to an end last week in a poor performance against the Saints. The Dogs were simply noncompetitive after the first term and have put themselves in a vulnerable position with only three games remaining. Needing to win their remaining games, as well as have results go their way, finals now look unlikely for the champions of the AFLW. The Dogs will need a number of big outings across the board and will hope that their inclusions this week, lead by Deanna Berry and Bonnie Toogood, will have an immediate impact in their entry to the side. The Hawks find themselves firmly entrenched within the top four and have the opportunity to officially clinch their finals berth with a win this week. They will be looking to bounce back following just their third loss of the season last week in a thriller against the Falcons. Emma Mackie returns to the line-up in what should be a boost to the team and help cover the loss of Melissa Kuys, who will be a key out.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 13

THIS round’s Team of the Week is evenly spread out, with no team having more than two representatives in the best 22. After their disappointing losses on the weekend, Williamstown and the Western Bulldogs are the only two teams to only have one player represented. Every other team has two players who made the cut in a week with many solid performances.

Eden Zanker had a breakout game for Casey up forward in its win against Carlton. She kicked three goals and had a real presence up forward all game. Anne Hatchard was also superb up forward for the Northern Territory, kicking four goals from 15 disposals in its big win over Williamstown. These two were locks in the Team of the Week after their stellar performances.

In the midfield, Alison Brown dominated for the Saints with 28 disposals. As well as Brown, the Thunder’s Emma Swanson was also a lock in this week’s midfield as she kicked one goal from 27 disposals. In the back line, Hawthorn’s Jayde Van Dyk and Richmond’s Jacqueline Graham once again held their spots after 18 and 20 disposals each, respectively. Tanya Hetherington from Essendon and Iilish Ross from Collingwood both managed to get forward and kick goals from the back line as well as racking up a number of disposals each. The back line was easy picking this week with performances like these.

Jess Sedunary can count herself as unlucky not to be in the best 22 this week after a really good game for NT on the weekend. She kicked 21 disposals from the half forward flank and also managed to kick a goal in a really positive performance. Jenna Bruton is also in the same position, as Bruton and Jess Duffin were fighting for the same spot and Bruton unluckily missed out. She lit up the midfield for the Seagulls with 22 disposals in a losing effort to the Thunder.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 13

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

 

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

By: James Halley

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Darebin 4.5 (29) defeated Hawthorn 3.7 (25)

By: Taylah Melki

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 13

WITH only a month remaining in the home and away season; the competition heats up as teams battle for top four positions and a finals berth. Collingwood, Hawthorn and the NT Thunder appear to have separated themselves from the pack as they sit comfortably in the top three, while Geelong will have a number of teams chasing them for the final position as we head into September action. A very important round of footy ahead.

 

CASEY DEMONS v. CARLTON

Saturday August 4, 10:30am
Casey Fields, Cranbourne

Despite not registering a win last week, the Demons were extremely impressive against the Thunder, almost pulling off a monumental upset in Darwin. After trailing by 42 points at half-time, the Demons held the Thunder to just three behinds after half-time as well as piling on five goals of their own to create an intriguing final minutes before ultimately falling just short. One of the keys for Melbourne’s AFLW campaign this past summer was Shelley Scott, and she improved how important she was when she made her Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s debut last week and turned out an impressive 15 touches to go along with two goals. Star Demon, Bianca Jakobsson will also be pivotal in this clash as she continues to be in spectacular form.

Carlton continued its mini resurgence with its second win from three games in a dominant performance over the Tigers. The leading goal kicker in the competition, Darcy Vescio extended her lead with another two goal performance. She was assisted by captain, Kristi Harvey’s two goals as she continues to look damaging. A strong game from defender, Gabriella Pound was also exciting as she had a game-high 27 possessions. Although finals are very unlikely for the Blues, they have shown over the past month that their best footy can match it with anyone.

 

WILLIAMSTOWN v. NT THUNDER

Saturday August 4, 11.30AM
Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee

Williamstown sit only percentage from last-placed Essendon, having registered only one win through the first 10 games. The Seagulls take on an in-form Thunder side, who have routinely recorded big victories over lower-placed teams. Williamstown has had a number of standout individual performances this season, most notably by Jess Duffin who has been unbelievable week in and week out, as well as Jenna Bruton who has really hit her stride of late. But the team is yet to put together an all-round performance, and this will be a key in staying competitive against the Thunder, who have been known for having a number of different contributors and consistent performers each week.

The Thunder as mentioned came out of the blocks on fire against the Demons last week and looked to be on their way to another big victory. They did stagnate in the second half however, only kicking the three behinds, which will be a concern heading into this contest. Another fast start will be crucial as the longer the Seagulls are able to compete with the juggernaut Thunder, the more belief they will get. Angela Foley and Emma Swanson will be key through the middle of the ground this week, especially with Jenna McCormick set to miss the game through injury.

 

GEELONG CATS v. RICHMOND

Saturday August 4, 11.30am
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

After the men face off at the MCG on Friday night, Geelong’s VFLW side plays host to Richmond at GMHBA stadium. With several teams gunning for the Cats’ position on the ladder, they will need to come out focused and ready in a game they should be able to take care of business and continue to push towards September. After a poor month of footy in June where Geelong lost its only two games for the season, the side has been able to bounce back nicely and return to their form from early season. This has coincided with the return of Richelle Cranston, with the new recruit putting together an unbelievable season for the Cats.

Richmond continues to be disappointing in its campaign, with yet another blowout loss last week at the hands of Carlton. The biggest issue for the Tigers has been the play of their forward line, as they’ve struggled to kick big scores all year. To make matters worse, their number one target up forward, Courtney Wakefield will miss the game with injury. Phoebe Monahan continues to do it all for the Tigers, getting plenty of the ball through the midfield with 20 possessions last week, and helping register the team’s only goal against the Blues. In order to beat Geelong, they’ll need strong performances across the board, however the forward line will be particularly crucial, given the quick scoring ability of the Cats.

 

DAREBIN  v. HAWTHORN

Saturday August 4, 12pm
Bill Lawry Oval, Northcote

Darebin come into the game with six wins and four losses from its 10 encounters and sit just a game and half behind Geelong for fourth place on the ladder. The Falcons take on the third-place Hawks, who continue to play terrific football. The game presents the Falcons an opportunity to truly announce themselves as a contender as well as help close the gap between them and the other top four sides. Lauren Pearce has been fantastic for them in the ruck, setting up their midfield for plenty of clearances in recent weeks, including her AFLW teammate, Elise O’Dea, whose return has been enormous for Darebin. 

The Hawks sit in third place on the ladder with only percentage separating themselves and the Thunder, whom they have a game in hand on. As mentioned last week, the Hawks have perhaps the toughest run home of all the teams in the competition and this week will be no different. They come into the game off of a strong last quarter against the Saints, coming back from a goal down at three quarter time to run out nine-point winners. Sarah Perkins returned back into some form last week with a strong game, although she will be hoping for a more accurate day in front of goal, having kicked just one goal to go along with three behinds last week.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS v. SOUTHERN SAINTS

Sunday August 5, 12pm
Henry Turner Memorial Reserve, Footscray

The Bulldogs remain the hottest team in the competition, having won their past six encounters. The win streak has put the Dogs right back into contention for a finals berth, with just a game and a half separating them from Geelong. Ellie Blackburn has returned to the line-up in recent weeks and has been in as good of form as she was over the summer in the AFLW season, as well as several other premiership teammates returning to their best. They’ll have to look for their seventh win in a row without her, and continue to offset their poor start which saw them lose their first four games; something which may come back to haunt them.

The Saints will be disappointed they let one slip away last week in their battle against Hawthorn. Leading by four points at three quarter time, the Saints only managed to register four behinds in the last quarter to the Hawks’ three goals, as they ultimately fell victim to a nine-point defeat. The loss puts them at four wins and six losses from 10 games and with finals now unlikely, they must focus on finishing strong and building for season 2019.

 

ESSENDON  v. COLLINGWOOD

Sunday August 5, 1pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

One of the best rivalries in all of football is renewed on Sunday afternoon when Essendon and Collingwood meet in the final game of the round. It is a battle between two teams on the opposite ends of the table as the Pies sit atop the ladder, whilst the Bombers sit at the bottom of the table. Despite just the one win, the past month has been a positive one for Essendon, as the Bombers were able to register their inaugural VFLW victory and have remained competitive in recent games. The midfield duo of Maddy Collier and Hayley Bullas has been very beneficial for the Bombers, and have given the team the belief that they can pull off a victory.

Collingwood registered another impressive win last week; topping Melbourne Uni by 19 points. Chloe Molloy starred once again with 23 possessions and her usual efficiency, however she will miss the game this week in what could play a huge factor. The Pies were bolstered last week by the return of Steph Chiocci who played her first game of football since Round 4 of the AFLW season, where she missed the last three games due to suspension and an early season injury setback which forced her to miss the first nine games of the VFLW season. The Magpies forward line will be a challenge for the Bombers, as it has been for most teams all year. Sophie Alexander continues to put up great numbers each week and has been hitting the scoreboard consistently.

Number Crunching: VFLW – Round 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Games For Each Player

PLAYER

TEAM

DATE

BST

G

BHD

KE

KIE

HE

HIE

HR

CM

UM

MKS

TKS

Chloe Molloy

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

Jaimee Lambert

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

Jess Duffin

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

Richelle Cranston

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

Emma Kearney

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