Tag: essendon vflw

AFLW Expansion look: Essendon

WITH four new teams accepted into the AFL Women’s competition, it means there will be at least 120 new players stepping up to the elite level. So just where might the clubs look outside the junior pathway? Draft Central casts an eye over each of the clubs through either their state league team or Academy that might help them get off to the best possible start.

Whilst the makeup of lists and how much compensation the expansion clubs will get is unknown, we take a look at it from a broader sense and who might be some names to remember. The series begins with Essendon, a team that reached the preliminary final of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition and have some great state league players to pick from.

The worst kept secret for the red and black sash when it comes to pre-listing players is current VFL Women’s captain Georgia Nanscawen. The readymade star already has AFL Women’s experience with North Melbourne, and being an elite athlete and professional, Nanscawen is anticipated to get a second crack at the top level, and will be able to gel a group likely made up of young talents entering the system for the first time.

There is no doubt some St Kilda and Carlton fans have been a little nervous with Essendon’s entry given the close ties that Georgia Patrikios and Madison Prespakis have to the club, and whilst there is still a season in between, it would be surprising for the Bombers not to ask the question about bringing that kind of talent into the club. They could immediately have an elite readymade midfield, though there are still those at VFL Women’s level

Alana Barba would be the next choice currently in the red and black behind Nanscawen, with the former Calder Cannons talent always thereabouts for AFLW Draft contention, and would be a prime candidate to don the sash at the elite level. Providing a one-two punch with Nanscawen would give the Bombers plenty of toughness around the ball, but Barba can also go forward and hit the scoreboard.

Courtney Ugle has plenty of class and speed to boot, which gives her a nice point of difference from the Bombers group, and she can play in multiple position as well. Winning the third most disposals behind the aforementioned Nanscawen and Barba, Ugle just makes sense, and she will still only be 26-years-old by the start of the 2022-23 season.

Eloise Ashley-Cooper rounds out a strong core midfield if the former Murray Bushrangers talent gets a call-up, providing good run and carry down the ground, capable of dropping back to help out the defence, or pushing the ball forward and sending it inside 50. She is a readymade talent who could match it with the experienced players now she has had some great form at VFLW level.

Some other names to remember from the red and black VFL Women’s program include ex-Collingwood player and Canadian talent Kendra Heil, as well as defenders Eloise Gardner and Alex Morcom. In the front half, Marianna Anthony became a staple through the middle, whilst Mia-Rae Clifford is a monty to get a fourth chance at AFLW level if the veteran – 36-years-old by the time the 2022 season roles around – chooses so. She is still a damaging forward and one capable of being a source of goals at the top level.

Along with ruck Simone Nalder, midfielder Elisabeth Hosking and Calder Cannons graduates Tamsin Crook, Kasey Lennox and Neve Crowley, the Bombers have a plethora of state league talents to look at, and could upgrade a number of them to the next level. Many will look in anticipation at the Bombers to see what their list shapes like in 12 months time, but one thing is for sure, they will not be short on internal talent.

2021 VFLW team review: Essendon

IN summarising the 2021 Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) season, Draft Central will run through a team-by-team review of how each of the sides fared, and who some of the standout VFLW-listed performers throughout the clubs were. The next team in the firing line is Essendon.

Position: 5th
Wins: 8
Losses: 6
Draws: 0
Percentage: 155.7%

Season in a Sentence: “Essendon was essentially a half of footy away from competing in this year’s grand final, capping a terrific maiden finals campaign as the competition’s best pure standalone side.”

TOP PERFORMERS (VFLW-LISTED):

Alana Barba

A young gun who continues to stake her claim for higher honours, Barba stamped herself as a key cog in Essendon’s midfield-forward rotation. The 19-year-old is a hard-working team player and contributed going both ways with averages of 16.5 disposals and 7.3 tackles while also snaring 11 goals.

Mia-Rae Clifford

A player who was part of the Bombers’ leadership group and brings AFLW experience, Clifford made an impact with each touch up forward. She finished as her side’s leading goalkicker (16) and played every game, proving a consistent scoring threat who made things happen inside attacking 50.

Georgia Nanscawen

The Bombers’ most outstanding and consistent player, Nanscawen hit new heights in 2021 as a standard-setting skipper. The former Hockeyroo averaged 23.5 disposals, 10.5 marks, and 6.2 clearances across 15 games, leading her side to a historic finals berth.

Courtney Ugle

A veteran of the Bombers’ VFLW set-up, Ugle was another who featured in every game this season and brought even more strength to the engine room. The vice-captain averaged 14.2 disposals, 4.6 tackles, and 2.8 clearances in 2021 as an integral leader of the overall group.

AFLW TALENT:

While Essendon is set to enter the AFLW in 2022/23 and thus gain alignment to its VFLW program, there were still a couple of top level players who returned to don the sash. Gold Coast’s Lauren Ahrens was terrific across her handful of games, while Brisbane’s Ruby Svarc turned out nine times in red and black. There were also six recent AFLW draftees who were part of the Bombers’ ranks in 2021, in Georgie Prespakis, Zali Friswell, Emelia Yassir, Tara Slender, Elizabeth Snell, and Tahlia Gillard.

OTHERS:

As a settled and established VFLW outfit, the Bombers had a great team spread throughout 2021. Cecilia McIntosh and Kendra Heil were both reliable down back, while the likes of Alex Morcom, Natalie McDonald, Jesse Davies, and Eloise Ashley-Cooper were among the list of eight players to feature in all 17 games. Elsewhere, ruck Simone Nalder had a strong campaign, as did Federica Frew up forward.

AFLW draftees: How they fared in VFLW Preliminary Final

GEELONG advanced through to the 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Grand Final with an impressive victory over Essendon in the preliminary final. In that game, there were seven recently drafted players who will step up to AFL Women’s level next season and we took a look at how they performed. All notes are the opinion of the writer.

ESSENDON:

#24 Tahlia Gillard

Stats: 5 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 16 hitouts, 1 clearance, 3 rebounds

The towering ruck/forward predominantly provided a target inside 50, and then rotated through the ruck with Simone Nalder. On a number of occasions, Gillard showed her height through a one-on-one marking contest, able to stand over her opponents and pull down marks by snatching it over the top. She had a couple of shots from those marks inside 50, for one behind and one falling short. There was a moment she would probably like to forget where she dropped a chest mark inside defensive 50 which resulted in a tackle, subsequent throw against, set shot and goal in the third term, but Gillard kept pushing hard throughout the four quarters.

#40 Emelia Yassir

Stats: 6 disposals, 3 tackles, 1 clearance

Was a predominant handballer given a lack of space in the hot finals atmosphere, she showed good strength in the second term to rip the ball from a contest close to the line and show quick hands to dish it off well. She earned a free kick from Darcy Moloney in midfield at one stage to begin a team move in transition and set up a scoring chance in that quarter for Alana Barba to kick a behind.

#43 Georgie Prespakis

Stats: 17 disposals, 12 tackles, 7 clearances, 4 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s, 1 goal

One of the best on the ground, and gave Cats fans some bittersweet feelings. Along with Georgia Nanscawen and Ruby Svarc, Prespakis was the key resistance for the Cats, racking up game-highs in tackles (12), clearances (seven) and inside 50s (four) to not only win it at the coalface, but drive it forward for goal-scoring opportunities. When the Bombers needed a response late in the first term, Prespakis was the one to give it with a clever snap around her body to get her side on the board. Her fierce tackling was a standout of her game, and she was able to move through clearances well, extracting it out and down the field for her teammates on the outside.

#47 Zali Friswell

Stats: 4 disposals, 1 marks, 1 tackle, 1 inside 50

Played forward and worked really hard, but once again was not in her most dominant position – onball. One passage of play which showcased Friswell’s athleticism was her gut running through the middle in the second term, and put it long inside 50 for Barba to run onto and kick the Bombers’ second goal. Whilst not able to hold some of her marking opportunities, Friswell kept presenting, though did only finish with the four touches in what was a tough day for Bomber forwards.

GEELONG:

#13 Olivia Fuller

Stats: 14 disposals, 4 marks, 6 tackles, 35 hitouts, 2 clearances, 3 inside 50s

The standout ruck on the ground amassing 35 hitouts, but it was Fuller’s spread around the field that caught the eye. She was strong overhead and was able to provide a target at both half-forward and half-back, taking a strong intercept mark early in the match and pumping it forward. At ground level, Fuller laid a number of strong tackles to be a dominant defensive player.

#42 Annabel Johnson

Stats: 16 disposals, 4 marks, 1 tackle, 1 clearance, 2 inside 50s, 1 rebound 50, 1 goal

After a slower start, Johnson got busier as the game progressed and found more of the ball around the ground. Aside from a rushed kick – after a nice spin out of trouble – on the wing which went out of bounds, Johnson hit the scoreboard with a monster goal from just inside 50. It was a terrific set shot and ignited her game and her second half was quite productive. Johnson was neat with ball-in-hand off half-back and then even did the defensive running well, marking on the goal line to stop a Barba snap from going through.

#60 Claudia Gunjaca

Stats: 19 disposals, 4 marks, 5 tackles, 1 hitout, 2 clearances, 6 inside 50s

An eye-catching performance and one of the Cats’ best on the day, Gunjaca started forward and was strong with her leading and aggressive at the ball carrier. Her aerial work matched her ground intensity, and she picked up a fair amount of disposals (19), marks (four) and tackles (five), and most importantly, was able to put plenty of passes inside 50 (six). She was great at reading the ball in flight, taking back-to-back intercept marks at half-forward in the first term. On a couple of occasions, Gunjaca also spun out of trouble to kick the ball forward and moved well in traffic.

Cats claw their way to victory with dominant second half performance

IT took until the final quarter, but Geelong booked its redemption battle with Collingwood in the 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Grand Final, following a terrific 6.9 (45) to 2.5 (17) win over Essendon. The teams were neck-and-neck for the first half, but the Cats shook off their opponents after the main break, booting 4.7 to 0.3, including two last quarter majors to Renee Tierney to earn their spot in the decider.

The first quarter was mostly played on Geelong’s terms, having plenty of chances early, but the staunch Essendon defence did well to hold them up. Georgia Clarke had the best chance of the quarter with a good lead and mark out in front, converting the set shot with the breeze blowing left to right into her. A couple of more chances went begging, and up the other end, Tahlia Gillard had her opportunity with a strong mark pinching it from a Geelong defender inside 50. Her kicked sprayed wide for just a behind, but soon the momentum with the Bombers was going to be rewarded.

New Cat still in the red and black, Georgie Prespakis sunk an early dagger into her soon-to-be teammates’ hearts with a clever snap out of traffic from a forward stoppage, to give Essendon reward for effort and a late reprieve. Kicking into the breeze, it was relief for the Bombers to get one on the board and keep within a point at quarter time.

The second term was yet again neck-and-neck with Clarke being the target inside 50 and kicking her second cleverly to give her side the seven-point lead. Essendon had more of the play with the breeze, but the Geelong defence was up to the task. That was until in transition, Zali Friswell – another soon-to-be Cat – won it in midfield and put it into the path of Alana Barba, and, after sidestepping her opponent close to the line put it on the outside of the boot and snapped it home.

Trying a similar thing in the dying moments of the half, Barba was run down and the shot went astray for one behind, but the sides were level heading into the main break. Georgia Nanscawen suffered leather poisoning in the first half, proving everywhere with a massive 19 disposals and six tackles, unrelenting on the inside. She teamed up well with Prespakis (12 disposals, nine tackles), whilst Rebecca Webster (15 disposals), Darcy Moloney (11) and Sophie Van De Heuvel (11) were showing their AFLW experience.

Geelong had an early opportunity from the first clearance, with Clarke almost getting her third, but she was cleverly dragged down on the line by Tamsin Crook for a rushed behind. Forward pressure soon proved overwhelming however, as recently drafted Cat Annabel Johnson took a mark and then went back from long-range and slammed a massive goal home – both in distance and in the context of the game, to give the Cats another seven-point lead.

Geelong had stepped it up in the premiership quarter and a kick inboard to a dangerous spot looked to be covered by Gillard but the ball slipped from her hands and soon the tall was called for throwing it as she mobbed, handing Clarke with a chance of her third. She made no mistake and put it straight through the middle for the largest margin of the game. No sooner had the goal been put in the book and Clarke was having another shot on goal, this time from a tight angle. This time however it proved too great, pulled a bit tight and just one behind.

It was Essendon’s chance to have chances with Jessie Davies having a shot but floating off the side of the boot. Barba was again dangerous, sidestepping and snapping towards goal but it was Johnson playing the role of goalkeeper on the line that saved the day. She played on before the line for it to be deemed a rushed behind, and yet another Barba snap just missed, but the Bombers were lively. Unfortunately for the home team, the time would beat them, and the deficit was 11 points at the final break.

It was tight and contested to start the fourth, that was until a Tamara Smith kick inside bounced to Tierney’s advantage and the teenager swung around and slammed it home for a game-high 17-point lead early in the term. Essendon were desperate to atone and Natalie Macdonald won a free kick for being held close to goal. Her set shot was on target but marked on the line by Maddy Boyd in a goal-saving effort. The Cats ran it down the other end as Madisen Maguire had a chance to win the game, but it just went to the side but put it to a flat three straight kicks.

The intensity had lifted and the pace of the game was red hot, with pinball like footy from end to end as both sides were willing to open the game up and try and take it on. Geelong had the 18-point advantage though, and every minute off the clock was a minute closer to victory. Smith was proving vital around clearances, getting multiple thrusts forward. Geelong was starting to win the territory battle however, and with another behind meaning the Bombers needed four straight kicks to victory, the game looked done and dusted.

The frustration was starting to show on the Bombers’ faces and a 50m penalty was given away after Ruby Svarc tried to charge forward but was brought down well. The subsequent set shot from the Cats went to the right, but meant the Bombers would need the four goals to win. Tierney almost had a second goal in the last quarter but the ball beat her to the line for one behind. Then her moment came again and a terrific snap out of trouble from Tierney put the game beyond doubt with her second successive goal and the Cats were headed to a grand final.

Webster finished with a match-high 29 disposals, three marks and two tackles, leading teammates Van De Heuvel (20) and Gunjaca (19), while Nanscawen recorded 26, as well as 10 tackles, with Prespakis (17 and 11) and Barba (18 disposals, five tackles, 1.2) also among the more impressive players for the red and black.

ESSENDON 1.1 | 2.2 | 2.5 | 2.5 (17)
GEELONG 1.2 | 2.2 | 4.4 | 6.9 (45)

GOALS:

Essendon: G. Prespakis, A. Barba
Geelong: G. Clarke 3, R. Tierney 2, A. Johnson

DC BEST:

Essendon: A. Barba, R. Svarc, G. Nanscawen, G. Prespakis, C. Ugle
Geelong: R. Webster, C. Gunjaca, D. Moloney, G. Clarke, O. Fuller

Stat leaders: 2021 VFL Women’s – Finals Week Two

THE second week of Victorian Football League (VFL) women’s finals action has come and gone, with plenty happening across the two rounds.

This week Essendon’s Georgia Nanscawen was on fire out on the field when her side took on Collingwood. It is no surprise her name appears several times in the list. Overall, Nanscawen currently is in the top 10 for disposals, tackles and kicks, and also ranks seventh in the competition for handballs. Essendon once again sees another name on the list with Georgie Prespakis registering the most handballs this round. Prespakis equalled Geelong Cats star Darcy Moloney with 13. Georgia Clarke scored the most goals this week with four during her side’s semi-final clash against the Southern Saints as Geelong’s Paige Sheppard dominated the marks category with 13. Meanwhile, Olivia Fuller impressed yet again, this week improving her number of hit-outs with 36.

Finals (Week 2) Leaders:

Disposals:
Georgia Nanscawen (Essendon) – 29

Kicks:
Georgia Nanscawen (Essendon) – 21

Handballs:
Georgie Prespakis (Essendon) and Darcy Moloney (Geelong Cats) – 13

Goals:
Georgia Clarke (Geelong Cats) – 4

Marks:
Paige Sheppard (Geelong Cats) – 6

Tackles:
Georgia Nanscawen (Essendon) – 13

Hitouts:
Olivia Fuller (Geelong Cats) – 36

2021 SEASON STAT LEADERS:

Disposals:
Meagan Kiely (North Melbourne) – 337 / 24.1

Kicks:
Megan Kiely (North Melbourne) – 251 / 17.9

Handballs:
Laura Gardiner (Geelong Cats) – 146 / 12.2

Goals:
Imogen Barnett (Collingwood) – 21 / 1.4

Marks:
Meagan Kiely (North Melbourne) – 74 / 5.3

Tackles:
Tamara Smith (Geelong Cats) – 155 / 9.7

Hitouts:
Sarah King (Collingwood) – 342 / 22.8

 

Picture credit: VFL

2021 VFLW wraps: Semi-Finals – Pies fly high as Cats claw back to victory

COLLINGWOOD became the first team into the 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Grand Final after continuing its unbeaten record, knocking off Essendon in their semi-final, whilst the Bombers get another chance by taking on other semi-final winner Geelong in the preliminary final next week.

COLLINGWOOD 0.4 | 1.4 | 2.6 | 2.6 (18)
ESSENDON 0.3 | 0.4 | 1.4 | 1.5 (11)

Collingwood moved one win away from defending its VFL Women’s crown with a hard-fought, low-scoring seven-point win over Essendon at Victoria Park. The Magpies had eight scoring shots to six, but neither team was able to capitalise completely, kicking 3.11 between them for the match. The Magpies kicked the first major in the second term through Mikala Cann, with competition leading goalkicker Imogen Barnett putting another one through the big sticks in the third. Jessie Davies kicked the only Bombers’ goal of the match in the third term, with a late Alana Barba behind – along with some forward half possession for the Bombers – being the final score of the match.

Cann was impressive with 21 disposals, two marks, seven tackles, four clearances, four inside 50s, two rebound 50s and a goal, as youngster Olivia Meagher had an equal team-high seven clearances to go with 16 disposals, working well on the inside with Ebony O’Dea (18 disposals, seven clearances, eight tackles and three marks). Chloe Molloy had her usual impact with 16 touches, three marks, three tackles and three inside 50s, whilst fellow AFLW talents, Alana Porter, Lauren Butler, Joanna Lin and Amelia Velardo all featured heavily in the disposals. Ruck Sarah King (seven disposals, 34 hitouts and five tackles) and defender Jasmine Ferguson (11 disposals, three tackles) were among the top VFLW-listed Magpies.

The Bombers trio of Georgia Nanscawen, Georgie Prespakis and Barba took control in the midfield to share in 22 clearances between them. Nanscawen was a standout best on ground in the loss, racking up 29 disposals, two marks, 13 tackles, eight clearances, three inside 50s and four rebound 50s, while Prespakis (21 disposals, 13 tackles, seven clearances and two inside 50s) and Barba (18 disposals, 10 tackles, seven clearances and four rebound 50s) were both prolific. Eloise Ashley-Cooper (10 disposals, four tackles and three rebound 50s) and Ruby Svarc (13 disposals, four tackles, three clearances and two inside 50s) and Lauren Ahrens (22 disposals, three marks, six tackles and five rebound 50s) were also among the Bombers’ best in the loss.

Collingwood now advances through to the grand final, as the Bombers prepare to face Geelong in the preliminary final.

GOALS:

Collingwood: M. Cann, I. Barnett.
Essendon: J. Davies.

BEST:

Collingwood: S. King, C. Molloy, J. Ferguson, E. O”Dea, I. Barnett, K. Lee
Essendon: G. Nanscawen, G. Prespakis, E. Ashley-Cooper, L. Ahrens, R. Svarc, Z. Friswell

GEELONG 0.2 | 1.4 | 3.4 | 6.4 (40)
SOUTHERN SAINTS 1.2 | 3.3 | 3.3 | 5.3 (33)

Geelong kept its premiership hopes alive by accounting for the Southern Saints by seven points and advancing through to the preliminary final. In a contrasting game to the other semi-final, both matches ended with a seven-point difference and the home team booted three final term goals to secure the win. The game was evenly poised at three quarter time as the Cats lead by a solitary point, before booting 3.0 to 2.0 in the a high-scoring final term, which saw the Saints get within a point twice, but two of Georgia Clark’s four majors came in the term to win the game for her side. They had the two more scoring shots, and it was the five goals to two in the second half to secure the victory.

Clarke was named best-on four her four goals, also picking up 14 disposals, four marks and three tackles in the win. Paige Sheppard (19 disposals, five inside 50s and six marks), Rebecca Webster (21 disposals, eight tackles, six clearances and four inside 50s) and Sophie Van De Heuvel (18 disposals, six tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s) all found plenty of the ball. Annabel Johnson (17 disposals, three marks and five tackles) had her fair share of the pill, with teenager Chloe Leonard (14 disposals, three marks) holding her own in the win. Madeline Keryk (14 disposals, three marks, seven tackles and four rebound 50s) was also named in the best.

Alice Burke (23 disposals, two marks, two tackles and nine rebound 50s) was enormous in defence for the Saints, with fellow AFLW listed talent Tyanna Smith (18 disposals, eight tackles, five clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s) busy through the midfield. Gabi De Angelis kicked a couple of goals with her 13 touches, four marks and four inside 50s to be voted the Saints’ best, with Alex Hynes (six disposals, 18 hitouts, four tackles and two marks) also impressing. Hannah Stuart (20 disposals, three marks and eight tackles) and Tara Bohanna (18 disposals, six hitouts and two marks) continued their consistent seasons for the red, white and black.

Whilst Southern Saints’ season came to a close at the end of the match, Geelong has a chance to reach the 2021 grand final when it takes on Essendon next week.

GOALS:

Geelong: G. Clarke 4, P. Sheppard, R. Webster.
Southern Saints: G. De Angelis 2, J. Matin, A. Peck, K. Ripari.

BEST:

Geelong: G. Clarke, P. Sheppard, R. Webster, M. Keryk, A. Johnson, C. Gunjaca
Southern Saints: G. De Angelis, A. Hynes, E. Vanderheym, A. Burke, T. Smith, H. Stuart

 

Picture credit: Essendon Twitter

2021 VFLW Finals – Week 2 preview

FOUR teams are set to become two as the second week of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s finals begins on Saturday. If the ladder is anything to go by, Collingwood is a clear contender given their monumental season that consisted of a clean sweep of wins in the competition. Despite Collingwood coming into the semi-finals with the upper-hand, there is no doubt that all the four teams will be facing the heat, as the pressure builds up to see who will take out the premiership this year.

COLLINGWOOD vs. ESSENDON
Saturday, July 10 @ 12:00pm
Victoria Park

Essendon will be heading into the opening game with a vengeance as they take on the team with a 14-game winning streak. The last time these two sides met was in Round 8 when the Bombers were overpowered by 10 points as a result of a dominant Collingwood side. Expect the likes of Georgia Nanscawen to play a pivotal part of their game, with her performance in last week’s win against the Casey Demons unstoppable as the 29-year-old impressed with her versatility on the field. Eliza West is another name from Essendon in the mix to play on Saturday, whose consistency with handballs and kicks have massively contributed to the Bombers’ performance so far. Lauren Ahrens, Cecila McIntosh and Georgie Prespakis will also be beneficial in the Bombers quest to overthrow the Pies. Collingwood’s aim to continue their perfect run so far has some easy picks. Midfielders Joanna Lin and Mikaela Cann are two youngsters who both got in amongst the action during the first elimination final with Geelong. The trio of Chole Molloy, Lauren Butler and Amelia Velardo would be ones to watch given their performances were stellar in the game against Geelong last week, while Jennifer Guy returns to the fray.

GEELONG vs. SOUTHERN SAINTS
Saturday, July 10 @ 2:00pm
GMHBA Stadium

It will be important for Geelong to get the win given that they saw defeat against Collingwood in the first final last week. There will be no more chances for either side come Saturday. The Cats will want to keep momentum, as the last time these two sides met Geelong took out the win on both occasions. Despite the winning streak advantage for the Cats, the Southern Saints are looking to put everything on the line in an effort to progress to the prelim next week. Among the best performers for Geelong, they will be looking to Laura Gardiner, Tamara Smith and Paige Sheppard who rank among the top ten in the competition for disposals, kicks and handballs. Olivia Fuller and Madeleine Boyd’s consistency throughout the season can contribute a healthy amount to Geelong on Saturday afternoon. For the Southern Saints, Gabriella De Angelis‘s fierce impact during last week’s final will prove a valuable asset for the side, as will the dynamics of Tara Bohanna and Hannah Stuart. Both players delivered equally impressive performances particularly last week against Port Melbourne.

 

Picture credit: Collingwood VFLW

Stat leaders: 2021 VFLW Women’s – Finals week 1

IT is finals fever in the Victorian Football League (VFL) women’s with six teams heading into action over the weekend. We run through the top stats across the first week of finals action.

Olivia Fuller was out in full force in the first week of the finals, with the Geelong Cats star getting in amongst the action to take out the top spots for most disposals (22), handballs (15) and hitouts (32). Despite her side’s six-point loss to Collingwood, Fuller continued to impress with her performance during the weekend. Another big name is Georgia Nanscawen who has been a key part of Essendon’s finals berth this season. Nanscawen impressed with the most kicks with 18 and also leading the tackle count with 12. The 29-year-old has shown an exceptional performance throughout the competition so far as she trails just behind Megan Kielly in disposals and kicks. To cap off the dominant trio this round is Tara Bohanna. The Southern Saints gun this week booted two goals and equalled Alyssa Bannan for the most marks, as the duo earned six apiece.

Round 14 STAT LEADERS:

Disposals:
Olivia Fuller (Geelong Cats) – 22

Kicks:
Georgia Nanscawen (Essendon) – 18

Handballs:
Olivia Fuller (Geelong Cats) – 15

Goals:
Tara Bohanna (Southern Saints) – 2

Marks:
Tara Bohanna (Southern Saints) and Alyssa Bannan (Casey Demons) – 6

Tackles:
Georgia Nanscawen (Essendon) – 12

Hitouts:
Olivia Fuller (Geelong Cats) – 32

 

2021 SEASON STAT LEADERS:

Disposals:
Meagan Kiely (North Melbourne) – 337 / 24.1

Kicks:
Megan Kiely (North Melbourne) – 251 / 17.9

Handballs:
Laura Gardiner (Geelong Cats) – 138 / 12.5

Goals:
Imogen Barnett (Collingwood) – 20 / 1.4

Marks:
Meagan Kiely (North Melbourne) – 74 / 5.3

Tackles:
Tamara Smith (Geelong Cats) – 150 / 10.0

Hitouts:
Jorja Borg (Carlton) – 321 / 24.7

Picture credit: Celie Hay

2021 VFLW Player Focus: Georgie Prespakis (Essendon)

IN our latest Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Player Focus, we take a look at Essendon talent and Calder Cannons graduate Georgie Prespakis after an outstanding performance in her first VFL Women’s final on the weekend.

Q1:

Prespakis started very strong in the midfield being used as Essendon’s main target, continuously kicking it forward to keep the ball alive. Prespakis made use of the football whilst on the ground, resulting in a forward 50 entry their way. With Prespakis laying hard tackles, it gave Essendon’s forwards more opportunity to score. Setting up behind the back of the ball ups let Prespakis the chance to get it over the back and to run and carry because of all the space she already created for herself.

With Casey Demons scoring the first goal of the match, it had Essendon hungrier for the football with Alana Barba being another outstanding player who viciously attacked the ball with everything she has got. Tara Slender showed a lot of effort to boar into the pack inside their 50m goal square but unfortunately could not keep it alive as Casey earned the ball back through a kickout. Prespakis on the other hand kept the ball alive 10 minutes and 45 seconds into their first quarter, laying tackle after tackle to create another ball up as it’s on top of their 50m. With only four minutes to go in the first term, Prespakis bashed through the pack and kicked too much to the right side for one behind.

Q2:

Early start again for Prespakis with a free kick on the left side of the field within 40 seconds in the second term. Holding space around the ball shows Prespakis’ game smarts not just at stoppages but even when the ball is a 50/50, that resulted her in getting the ball and turning side on and banging it into her teams inside 50 that turned into a goal from teammate Jessie Davies. With 10 minutes passed in the second term, Prespakis made her way back onto the ground heading straight for the ball as per usual, with her tackling pressure nailing a Casey Demons opponent and winning a free kick.

She waited a few seconds and opted to play on and boots it deep into the goal square with teammate Mia-Rae Clifford taking a beautiful mark that resulted as a behind for the Bombers making it a 16-point lead. Not long after, Slender met the ball out in front as she does and receives the kick from 30 metres out straight in front of goals and nails it with her left foot.

Q3:

Third term starts with Prespakis starting in the middle again, already showing her elite her ball movement across the ground. Giving away a free quick early, it made her eager to win it back for her team as she tracks the ball very smartly and leaves space at ball ups so she can run through with her speed and be free. After Casey Demons kicked their second goal of the match, Prespakis held her ground in the middle where the ball started to flood the opposite way but turned back and she set herself up perfectly putting pressure on the opposition to not get the ball cleanly. Second efforts late in the quarter helped Essendon put it in their favour but unfortunately time ran out.

Q4:

The Casey Demons 4.1 (25) were catching up to Essendon 4.5 (29), with Prespakis on again in the midfield. She showed a lot of good passages of play throughout the previous three quarters. With a hot heated three minutes into the last quarter being in Casey’s end the whole time, it put Essendon under pressure, but with Prespakis’ tricky skills with a backwards handpass to her player trying to clear the ball out of the oppositions 50 was becoming a struggle. With Essendon only up by three points it was crucial everyone stayed focused. Prespakis tried her hardest to keep up with the play, but it became a little bit difficult after her enormous endurance effort throughout the whole game, but she still continued to run, and push hard to make contests.

SUMMARY:

Georgie Prespakis showing her talented skills throughout four consistent quarters, with ending up with 14 disposals, 10 tackles, nine clearances and two inside 50s. The promising young talent showed her game smarts are a level up from what she is used to playing, and playing with and against senior opponents who have already had the taste of playing the top level. The athleticism shown from her from a tough game shows a really exciting and bright future for the young talent becoming something real.

2021 VFLW Round 12 wrap: Finals picture still unclear after upsets

AS it draws closer to the end, Round 12 of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s saw some important wins from North Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Carlton, Collingwood, Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs.

ESSENDON 1.3 | 2.5 | 3.6 | 3.7 (25)
NORTH MELBOURNE 0.2 | 1.2 | 3.4 | 4.5 (29)

For fifth placed Essendon, their main aim was a win after their defeat to Western Bulldogs in round 11. Quarter one saw them with a rushed behind before North Melbourne booted the first goal of the game thanks to Daria Bannister. The rest of first quarter went Essendon’s way, as they took the lead early on with 1.3. Essendon continued with their lead in both the second and third quarters. However, North Melbourne slowly began to catch up towards the end of the third and ultimately causing disappointment for Essendon to secure the win.

Alana Barba who scored two goals and had 16 disposals for the Bombers in the loss, while Alex Morcom had 10 disposals and six handballs to her name, however it was not enough to stop a strong North Melbourne outfit. Meagan Kiely dominated for the winning side with 25 disposals, 17 kicks and eight handballs. North Melbourne’s score was also bolstered by their two goal scorers of Daria Bannister and Ella Maurer.

GOALS:

Essendon: A. Barba 2, A. Marcom.
North Melbourne: M. Sinclair 2, D. Bannister, E. Maurer.

BEST:

Essendon: E. Yassir, L. Ahrens, L. Caruso, E. Ashley-Cooper, N. MacDonald, G. Nanscawen
North Melbourne: B. Brown, M. Kiely, V. Saad, A. Hamilton, A. Smith, M. King

_


CASEY DEMONS 1.3 | 3.3 | 4.4 | 5.5 (35)
PORT MELBOURNE 2.0 | 3.0 | 7.0 | 8.1 (49)

Port Melbourne caused a finals-defining win for Casey Demons last weekend at Casey Fields, knocking off the Demons to keep the Borough in contention for a top two spot. Right from the start of the first quarter, Casey held onto a strong start with a goal and two behinds scored. A response of two goals from Port Melbourne was not keeping Casey away from the tight contest. A string of goals in the third quarter from Port saw the Borough dominating the scoreboard, snatching the lead away from Casey. A even final term saw the Borough’s lead enough to win by 14 points on the road.

Emily Harley and Katherine Smith played a significant part in Port Melbourne’s win, both scoring two goals in the match. Kodi Jacques also was important for Port. 17 disposals, 1 goal and 12 tackles during her second VFLW game. Meanwhile, Eliza McNamara had a stellar performance for Casey with 23 disposals and 17 kicks.

GOALS:

Casey: L. Milford 2, C. Emonson, E. West, E.Zanker.
Port Melbourne: E. Harley 2, K. Smith 2, O. Barton, M. Brancatisano, K. Jacques, L. Stutt.

BEST:

Casey: E. Birch, M. Macdonald, G. Colvin, E. McNamara, M. Harasimiuk, C. Conroy
Port Melbourne: H. Cordner, K. Smith, C. Dyett, A. Edmonds, K. Jacques, I. Stutt

_

CARLTON 0.3 | 2.4 | 2.6 | 4.7 (31)
GEELONG 1.2 | 1.2 | 2.2 | 3.4 (22)

Second placed Geelong Cats were looking to keep up their streak after their win last week against the Southern Saints. Despite an early lead from Carlton with two behinds added to the scoreboard, Geelong’s Georgia Clarke snagged the first goal of the game. Both teams responded with behinds until the second quarter where the game slowly began going Carlton’s way. By the time the third quarter came around, Carlton had already started to make a comeback and snatched the lead from their opponent. It was not long until Carlton had sealed the deal with a win at the end of the fourth quarter, leading Geelong to be defeated.

The winning side showed a strong force during the match with Abbie Mckay and 27 disposals. Grace Egan’s 21 disposals and Bry Gurr’s 10 kicks proved valuable for Carlton as well. Whilst Geelong came short from the win, they showed promising signs. Renee Garing impressed with 23 disposals, 15 tackles and 13 handballs. Meanwhile, Laura Gardiner had 22 disposals and 12 tackles.

GOALS:

Carlton: C. Jones, S. Lawrence, L. McEvoy, E. Wood.
Geelong Cats: G. Clarke 2, A. Johnson.

BEST:

Carlton: N. Plane, P. Trudgeon, E. Honybun, L. McEvoy, D. Walker, J. Borg
Geelong Cats: P. Sheppard, C. Gunjaca, R. Garing, T. Meissner, A. Johnson, J. Foley

_

Darebin Falcons 0.0 | 0.2 | 2.3 | 3.3 (21)
Collingwood 4.0 | 6.1 | 7.2 | 11.6 (71)

Collingwood secured a 51-point win over the Darebin Falcons at Bill Lawry Oval. The win came as a result of a slow start from Darebin, which Collingwood were able to take advantage of immediately during the first quarter with four goals. Darebin’s struggle to get in the game continued during the second quarter, only managing to get in three behinds. It was not until a string of goals from Georgia Hammond and Stephanie Simpson which saw the Falcons finally get some majors on the board during the third quarter. Collingwood’s dominance over Darebin continued in the final quarter with Joanna Lin emerging as the side’s main goal scorer, alongside Mikala Cann who each kicked six goals between them.  For Darebin, Nicole Callinan led with the most disposals. Gena Lawson-Tavan had the most tackles for the side.

GOALS:

Darebin Falcons: S. Simpson 2, G. Hammond.
Collingwood: M.Cann 3, J.Lin 3, I.Barnett 2, C.Molloy 2, S. Livingstone.

BEST:

Darebin Falcons: N. Callinan, A. Mifsud, S. Simpson, J. Dal Pos, G. Lawson-Tavan, K. Roe
Collingwood: M. Cann, I. Purcell, J. Lin, J. Guy, N. Weston, C. Molloy

WILLIAMSTOWN 0.1 | 1.1 | 2.5 | 2.9 (21)
HAWTHORN 2.0 | 4.4 | 6.4 | 6.7 (43)

Hawthorn took control of the game from early on, leaving Williamstown struggling to get only a point on the board for the entirety of the first quarter. Hawthorn’s lead continued well into the second quarter with Sarah Perkins and Ashanti Bush among the side’s goal scorers. Heading into the third quarter, the Seagulls attempted to make a comeback, however, it was not enough as Hawthorn kept holding the lead in the third quarter. The Seagulls had begun to slowly crawl back into the game, but it did not have much impact on the outcome at the end of the final term.

Alison Drennan had a stellar performance for Hawthorn with 22 disposals. Meg Hutchins and Tamara Luke each proved pivotal for the winning side, with 18 and 12 disposals respectively. Although a win was not in the cards for Williamstown, Eliza Straford and Erin Todd were significant for the Seagulls, with both scoring a goal for their side, while young gun Jess Doyle was named best-on for her 13 disposals, three marks and and three tackles.

GOALS:

Seagulls: E. Straford, E. Todd.
Hawthorn: A. Bush 2, N. von Bertouch, S. Perkins, T. Luke, K. Stratton.

BEST:

Seagulls: J. Doyle, E. Graham, E. Baxter, E. Meade, E. Straford, L. Steane.
Hawthorn: C. Perera, G. Bevan, A. Bush, A. Drennan, J. Richardson, K. Stratton.

_

Southern Saints 1.0 | 2.2 | 2.7 | 3.9 (27)
Western Bulldogs 1.0 | 2.0 | 4.3 | 5.3 (33)

In the battle between sixth and seventh, both the Southern Saints and Western Bulldogs started the game off evenly, as Anna Harris and Stephanie Asciak helped their teams get a goal on the board. Despite a slow start to the match and Elisabeth Georgostathis’ goal for the Bulldogs, the Southern Saints responded with a goal from Tyanna Smith and several behinds in the second quarter. The Western Bulldogs had a comeback in the third quarter with Annabel Scott among the players who scored a goal. Although the Saints had managed to have the lead in the first half, they failed to regain the lead once more as the Bulldogs were set for the win.

The tight contest with the Southern Saints was helped by the efforts of Caitlin Sargent, who scored a goal and had nine disposals to her name. Brooke Hards, another goal scorer for the Western Bulldogs was significant for the side’s win with some impressive plays, as well as Elisabeth Georgostathis who managed 15 disposals, 10 kicks and 10 tackles. For the Southern Saints, Hannah Stuart, Jayde Van Dyke and Alice Burke proved important for the side.

GOALS:

Southern Saints: G. De Angelis, A. Harris, T. Smith.
Western Bulldogs: S. Asciak, E. Georgostathis, B. Hards, C.Sargent, A. Scott.

BEST:

Southern Saints: M. McDonald, H. Priest, A. Burke, J. Van Dyk, M. Capsalis, T. Smith
Western Bulldogs: D. Marshall, E. Vale, S. Hartwig, E. Georgostathis, A. Scott, I. Pritchard
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