Tag: Gabrielle Newton

Victorian AFL Women’s Under 18 Championship teams announced

REIGNING premiers, Geelong Falcons have dominated the Victorian representation with nine players in the Vic Country 29-player squad, while minor premiers Northern Knights, finalists Eastern Ranges and fifth placed Oakleigh Chargers have six apiece in the 30-player Vic Metro squad. Of the other sides, Dandenong Stingrays also has six players in the Country team, meaning more than half the squad are Falcons or Stingrays, including St Kilda pre-listed duo, Molly McDonald and Isabella Shannon. Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Sandringham Dragons have five players each in the Country and Metro squads respectively, while Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets have four apiece. Bendigo Pioneers and Calder Cannons have three players in their representative squad, while Gippsland Power has the two.

Vic Country has included eight middle-agers (not eligible to be drafted until next year) in its squad, while Vic Metro has seven. The two coaches will have more than their fair share of AFL and AFLW experience, with Nathan Burke taking the reigns at Vic Metro, while Aasta O’Connor will coach Vic Country. The sides face off on June 22, before squads are reduced to fly to Gold Coast for three games against other states from July 8-12. AFL Draft Central will be on the ground in Queensland providing you all the latest.

State Talent Manager Paul Hamilton said the Championships gave Victoria’s best emerging female footballers the chance to highlight their skills on a big stage.

“The NAB AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships have the potential to put our up-and-coming female players firmly on the radar of AFL Women’s clubs,” Hamilton said. “Our Vic Country and Vic Metro girls will have access to some of the best coaching resources in women’s football in order to develop their games and will be able to experience playing at elite-level venues against the best talent the rest of Australia has to offer. “Travelling to the Gold Coast in July will also provide them an extra opportunity to bond with girls who share a common goal of furthering their careers within the elite talent pathway.”

The Country vs Metro under-18 match on June 22 will be part of a double-header along with an under-16 Country vs Metro clash (commencing at 12pm), with the initial squads for those teams to be announced next week. All the non-Victorian state lists will be posted once the final team lists are completed, with some out, while others are yet to be released.

Tomorrow we will provide more details on each of those players selected in the Victorian squads.

VIC COUNTRY

NO. NAME   DOB HT NAB LEAGUE GIRLS CLUB
1 Elise Vella 05-Sep-01 156 Geelong Falcons
2 Teagan Brett 08-Feb-01 157 Murray Bushrangers
3 Paige Sheppard 23-Apr-01 158 Geelong Falcons
4 Renee Saulitis 14-Aug-02 163 GWV Rebels
5 Luka Lesosky-Hay 07-Jan-01 164 Geelong Falcons
6 Laura Gardiner 21-Nov-02 164 Geelong Falcons
7 Ella Wood 14-Feb-01 164 GWV Rebels
8 Elizabeth Snell 14-Mar-02 165 Bendigo Pioneers
9 Darcy Moloney 20-Nov-02 165 Geelong Falcons
10 Sophie Locke 24-Apr-01 166 Murray Bushrangers
11 Brooke Hards 19-Jul-02 166 Bendigo Pioneers
12 Tyanna Smith 29-Oct-02 167 Dandenong Stingrays
13 Molly McDonald 04-May-01 168 Dandenong Stingrays
14 Abbey Chapman 15-Apr-01 170 Geelong Falcons
15 Nikia Webber 29-Aug-01 170 Gippsland Power
16 Renee Tierney 23-May-02 168 Geelong Falcons
17 Mia Skinner 30-Jan-01 170 Geelong Falcons
18 Kate Douglass 19-Jul-01 171 Bendigo Pioneers
19 Brooke Vernon 20-Oct-01 172 Dandenong Stingrays
20 Zoe Hill 13-May-02 173 Dandenong Stingrays
21 Sophie Molan 24-Mar-01 175 GWV Rebels
22 Millie Brown 15-Jan-01 175 Murray Bushrangers
23 Lucy McEvoy 13-May-01 172 Geelong Falcons
24 Isabella Simmons 19-Apr-02 181 GWV Rebels
25 Olivia Barber 14-Jul-02 184 Murray Bushrangers
26 Isabella Shannon 30-Jun-01 178 Dandenong Stingrays
27 Shanara Notman 27-Jul-01 178 Gippsland Power
28 Georgia Howes 26-Jul-00 183 Dandenong Stingrays
29 Maggie Caris 21-Dec-02 188 GWV Rebels

 

VIC METRO

NO. NAME   DOB HT NAB LEAGUE GIRLS CLUB
1 Olivia Meagher 10-Dec-02 158 Eastern Ranges
2 Felicity Theodore 14-Mar-01 159 Calder Cannons
3 Gemma Lagioia 03-May-01 160 Oakleigh Chargers
4 Nicola Xenos 08-Mar-01 161 Oakleigh Chargers
5 Elisabeth Georgostathis 17-Oct-01 162 Western Jets
6 Madeleine Edwards 19-Jan-01 164 Eastern Ranges
7 Amelia Van Oosterwijck 08-Nov-01 164 Oakleigh Chargers
8 Mimi Hill 04-Oct-01 165 Oakleigh Chargers
9 Bella Eddey 02-Nov-02 165 Sandringham Dragons
10 Alana Barba 26-Sep-01 166 Calder Cannons
11 Tarni Brown 26-Mar-02 166 Eastern Ranges
12 Alice Burke 10-Mar-02 166 Sandringham Dragons
13 Britney Gutknecht 20-Apr-01 167 Northern Knights
14 Laura McClelland 03-Jul-01 169 Eastern Ranges
15 Alyssa Bannan 13-Apr-02 169 Northern Knights
16 Emily Harley 04-Dec-01 169 Oakleigh Chargers
17 Georgia Patrikios 30-Mar-01 170 Calder Cannons
18 Emma Horne 29-Nov-01 170 Eastern Ranges
19 Marguerite Purcell 27-Jul-01 170 Sandringham Dragons
20 Sarah Sansonetti 02-Aug-01 172 Northern Knights
21 Ellie McKenzie 17-Oct-02 173 Northern Knights
22 Sarah Hartwig 04-Dec-02 173 Sandringham Dragons
23 Nell Morris-Dalton 05-Apr-01 174 Northern Knights
24 Isabella Grant 21-Sep-01 174 Western Jets
25 Tahlia Merrett 08-Jan-01 174 Eastern Ranges
26 Gabrielle Newton 31-Aug-01 175 Northern Knights
27 Molly Denahy Maloney 25-Feb-01 175 Sandringham Dragons
28 Isabelle Pritchard 08-Mar-02 176 Western Jets
29 Cleo Saxon-Jones 04-Nov-01 181 Western Jets
30 Amelia Peck 13-Jan-00 183 Oakleigh Chargers

Victorian contingent named for AFL Women’s Academy

TWENTY-two talented future AFL Women’s hopefuls who will run out in the TAC Cup Girls competition next year have been named in the 2019 AFL Academy squad. From the 12 TAC Cup Girls sides, nine are represented in the 22-player squad, which features 12 top-age players, and 10 bottom-age players (eligible for the 2020 draft).

Dandenong Stingrays and Northern Knights lead the way with four representatives each,  while Eastern Ranges, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Western Jets have three members apiece in the squad. Murray Bushrangers have had two representatives make it, while Calder Cannons, Geelong Falcons and Sandringham Dragons each have one in the final squad. The Bendigo Pioneers, Gippsland Power and Oakleigh Chargers are the only sides without a representative.

There are four eligible father-daughter selections to come into consideration over the next couple of years, as Millie Brown (Geelong) and Isabella Grant (Western Bulldogs) will be eligible for the 2019 AFL Women’s Draft, while Tarni Brown (Collingwood) and Alice Burke (St Kilda) will be carefully monitored ahead of the 2020 AFL Women’s Draft.

The AFL Academy features plenty of players who tasted action at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships last year, including versatile key position players, Lucy McEvoy, Gabrielle Newton and Isabella Grant, exciting playmaker, Georgia Patrikios, and ever reliable utilities, Lucinda Cripps and Sophie Molan.

The 22 players will join 26 others from across the country for a series of three camps, beginning on December 16 at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra.

AFLW Talent Manager Aasta O’Connor said after just two years the NAB AFLW Academy is achieving great results.

“At the recent NAB AFLW Draft, 19 Academy players joined AFLW clubs,” O’Connor said. “With four further expansion teams entering the AFLW competition in 2020, the high performance coaching we provide these players is even more important.”

The full list is as below:

Calder Cannons [1]: Georgia Patrikios
Dandenong Stingrays [4]: Lucinda Cripps, Molly McDonald, Isabella Shannon, Tyanna Smith*
Eastern Ranges [3]: Tarni Brown*, Laura McClelland, Olivia Meagher*
Geelong Falcons [1]: Lucy McEvoy
GWV Rebels [3]: Maggie Caris*, Sophie Molan, Isabella Simmons*
Murray Bushrangers [2]: Olivia Barber*, Millie Brown
Northern Knights [4]: Alyssa Bannan*, Britney Gutknecht, Ellie McKenzie*, Gabrielle Newton
Sandringham Dragons [1]: Alice Burke*
Western Jets [3]: Isabella Grant, Isabelle Pritchard*, Cleo Saxon-Jones

*Not eligible until 2020

2018 AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australians – Profiled

IT has been a stellar year of Under-18 female football across the country and it showed on Friday night when the best of the best went head-to-head at the Adelaide Oval. From the Victoria vs. All Stars clash, the initial All Australian squad of 48 was reduced to a team of 24. We describe the attributes of each player which led them to being an All Australian.

 

BACK LINE:

Serene Watson – Queensland

A member of the Gold Coast Suns Academy, Watson is an impressive player who is composed under pressure. She has strong hands in the contest and can find the ball in space. Despite not being the biggest-bodied player, Watson is able to excite with her run and carry across the defensive 50, where she was able to get her Queensland side out of trouble many times during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships.

Lucy Cripps – Vic Country

One of the most consistent players for the Dandenong Stingrays in the TAC Cup Girls competition, Lucy Cripps rarely missed a beat during the season. She continued her good form into the Under 18 Championships, often playing a good lock-down role on some of the star forwards from the other states. She could run the ball out of defence in a flash and was pivotal in Vic Country’s success during the tournament.

Natalie Grider – Queensland

The Queensland captain and Most Valuable Player (MVP) was very unlikely to miss the final cut of the All Australian squad after a sensational Under 18 Championships. Grider had strong hands in defence and her endurance was impressive as she was able to move up and down the ground with ease. Grider’s tackling is also a feature in her game, as it often saved crucial forward thrusts from opposition teams.

 

HALF BACKS:

Jordyn Allen – Vic Country

One of the best on-field leaders, Allen never disappointed during the TAC Cup Girls competition. She was an intercept marking machine, creating a wall of her own across half-back multiple times. She continued to do this in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, and complemented her marking with great run and carry and tackling. Allen is also a versatile player who can head into the midfield when required, where she able to have the same damaging influence.

McKenzie Dowrick – Western Australia

Dowrick is one of the most talented West Australian (WA) Under 18 players and is no stranger to making the All Australian team. A member of the AFL Women’s Academy, Dowrick has been able to show what she has learnt from the academy with slick skills and smart ball-use. She is a clever left-footer who can kick precisely to hit any target, and like Allen, can make an impact in any position. Dowrick’s footy smarts are elite as she is able to read the play and execute the one percenters to get the ball forward for her side.

Sabreena Duffy – Western Australia

Like Grider, Sabreena Duffy was unlikely to miss the final All Australian cut due to her great performance as WA captain during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She was named WA’s MVP of the tournament due to being a rock in defence. Duffy’s hands were solid as she was able to mark the ball well and give off quick handballs to running teammates, opening up the game for her side. She was one that her team relied on, as she would often kick the ball out of full-back and steady the ship for her side with her precise kicking. This is Duffy’s fifth All Australian jumper in what has been an amazing career for her in Under 18s football.

 

CENTRE LINE:

Georgia Patrikios – Vic Metro

Another player who can make an impact in any position, the All Australian selectors could have put Patrikios in any position on the field. During her time at the Calder Cannons, Patrikios played mostly in the forward line and creates excitement when combining her great run and carry with her elite agility. During the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, she often floated back into defence where she was able to use her quick hands and accurate kicking to get the ball forward for Metro. The AFL Women’s Academy member arguably does her best work on the wing though and the selectors have recognised that. This is due to her outside speed and long kicks creating forward momentum for her team.

Madison Prespakis – Vic Metro

What a year it has been for Madison Prespakis. She was awarded the Calder Cannons’ captaincy, won the Best and Fairest for her club, was named MVP for Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, as well as joint MVP of the tournament, and she now has an All Australian spot under her belt. It’s hard to fault Prespakis’ year as she has dominated across all competitions with her high footy IQ. Her kicks are booming, her hands are clean and swift and her tackling is ferocious. She is also an accurate kick for goal, and often made an impact up forward both for the Cannons and Vic Metro. In her last Under 18 game, she racked up 21 disposals, five clearances and four inside 50s to cap off an unbelievable year. She was also the joint TAC Cup Girls best and fairest.

Nina Morrison – Vic Country

Nina Morrison can be talked about on the same level as Prespakis, as she too was the joint MVP of the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships and was named as the MVP of Vic Country. Morrison has made the wing her own during the TAC Cup Girls season, providing blistering speed and aggressive tackling to stop any player in their tracks. Her football smarts allowed her to use quick hands and long kicks to get the ball forward for her side. She is an exciting player to watch and is one of the most promising draft prospects this year. She was also the joint TAC Cup Girls best and fairest.

 

HALF FORWARDS:

Sophie Van De Heuvel – Vic Country

A cricketer, an AFL Women’s Academy member, a Vic Country representative and now an All Australian – Sophie Van De Heuvel’s year has been a solid one. Van De Heuvel played a great role up forward for the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels this season, taking some strong marks and kicking six goals from seven games. Her role was more dynamic in the Under 18 Championships as she was able to rack up plenty of the football as well as get the goals on the board. She was named in the best in all three matches on the Gold Coast, highlighting her consistency in the ‘Big V’.

Gabrielle Newton – Vic Metro

She is only 17, but Gabrielle Newton is already tearing the TAC Cup Girls competition to shreds. Newton is a versatile player who does her best work in the midfield, but finds herself up forward on plenty of occasions. She has one of the cleanest sets of hands in the TAC Cup Girls competition and when she’s on, she is one of the most influential players as she can turn the game on its head. She was one of Vic Metro’s most consistent players across the Under 18 Championships as she consistently racked up high disposals and complemented this with goals, making her an exciting prospect next year.

Belle Dawes – Queensland

Dawes is an exciting forward who provides plenty of X-factor with the ball in hand. She applied sensational forward pressure during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, highlighted by her strong tackling. She’s a player that loves to get amongst the goals and is a versatile mover inside 50. Dawes is a member of the AFL Women’s Academy as well as the Brisbane Lions Academy, and is eligible for the draft next year, meaning she will be able to go to Brisbane or the Gold Coast Suns if she elects to stay in Queensland. She also became a premiership player for Wilston Grange, playing a key role through the midfield.

 

FORWARDS:

Daisy Bateman – Vic Metro

If there’s a game with Daisy Bateman in it, you can almost be certain that she will kick a goal. She kicked 14 goals from seven games in the TAC Cup Girls season this year and five goals from four games in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She has also been kicking goals with Collingwood’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s team, showing that she has been able to match it up against the bigger bodies. Bateman is a great mark of the footy and is a great leading target. She can also crumb the footy off the back of the pack, sneaking in plenty of goals to make her one of the most dangerous draft-eligible forwards.

Lucy McEvoy – Vic Country

Lucy McEvoy played as a defender in the TAC Cup Girls competition, but led the way in goals during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. The Geelong premiership captain ended up with nine goals from four games, including a five-goal haul to kick-start her Gold Coast tournament. McEvoy is known for her strong hands and smart kicking under pressure. She can also bring her teammates into the game with quick hands, making herself known as a great team player. At just 17 years-old, McEvoy captained the Falcons to a premiership this year and still has one more year to show what she is made of before she is eligible to be drafted.

Montana McKinnon – South Australia

A well-deserved addition in the side, McKinnon was extremely impressive during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She had arguably the best hands in the tournament, marking everything that came her way. McKinnon could make an impact at either end of the ground and also worked hard in the ruck when needed. She is a player with a high footy IQ, as her kicks and smooth hands are second to none. Her tackling pressure was also high throughout the tournament and as a result of all these attributes, she backed up her MVP award with an All Australian spot.

 

FOLLOWERS:

Lauren Bella – Queensland

It is no surprise to see Lauren Bella in the All Australian ruck position, as she carried the load in style for Queensland. She gave her midfielders prime use of the football with her clever taps and she also was able to rove her own ball, giving off quick hands to running teammates. Bella is a member of the AFL Women’s Academy and the Gold Coast Suns Academy. She also made the 2017 Under 18 AFL Women’s All Australian team, highlighting her consistency in the ruck position.

Alyce Parker – NSW/ACT

A proficient ball-winner and a bonafide star, it is hard to look past Alyce Parker when watching her play. She is an inside brute, as she is able to extract the ball out of tight contests and boot it out of trouble, opening up the ground for her teammates. She also provides great run and carry with the ball in hand and can float up forward to get some goals on the board too. She was named as NSW/ACT’s MVP after the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships and backed up her All Australian appearance last year with another spot this year. Parker is also a member of the AFL Women’s Academy and she has most recently become a premiership player at her local club, Thurgoona. She was named best on ground in the Grand Final and kicked 18 goals from her six games.

Tyla Hanks – Vic Country

Hanks was the dominant player for the Gippsland Power this year, with the co-captain being named in the best in every game she played this year. A member of the AFL Women’s Academy and a 2017 All Australian, Hanks has now backed up her good form in the perfect way with another All Australian jumper. She is a class above with her clean hands and long kicks, which was a huge reason why the Power experienced plenty of success this season. Her tackling pressure is immense and she can also float up forward to put some scores on the board, showing how versatile she is.

 

INTERCHANGE:

Jacqueline Yorston – Queensland

Jacqueline Yorston impressed in the Under 18 Championships with her precise kicking and tackling pressure. Her hands were also clean on the inside and she was able to extract the ball out of tight contests and create space with her run and carry. She also can match it up with the bigger bodies, playing with Wilston Grange in the Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) and enjoying a premiership alongside fellow Queensland All Australian Belle Dawes.

Lily Postlethwaite – Queensland

Lily Postlethwaite could have also received the MVP award for Queensland at the end of the AFL Women’s Championships, as she was named as best-on-ground in each of the three matches at Gold Coast. Her run and carry in the midfield was exquisite as she was able to clear the ball out of congestion and break away from opponents. Her clean hands and accurate kicks were also a highlight of her game and were pivotal in Queensland’s success in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Postlethwaite is just 17 and a member of the AFL Women’s Academy, making her eligible for next year’s draft.

Olivia Purcell – Vic Country

The Geelong premiership player is a midfield star who knows how to continually rack up the possessions. She was one of the strongest tacklers in the TAC Cup Girls competition, running down opponents with ease and aggression. Her hands on the inside were elite and her kicks allows teammates to find space. Purcell is also a great clearance player and can get the ball out of trouble for her side. She has most recently won the Geelong Falcons’ top award, being named the Best and Fairest.

Eleanor Brown – Vic Metro

Rounding out the side is Sandringham’s Eleanor Brown, who has been a revelation for the Dragons this season. Brown’s run and carry in the midfield has been elite and her kicks were long and created plenty of space. Her quick hands made an impact on both the inside and the outside and she loved to use the space she had to run. Brown played mostly in the midfield during the TAC Cup Girls season but floated back to defence during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, where she was still able to make an impact with her strong hands and precise kicking. She has already had a taste at a high level, playing VFLW with the Southern Saints in the TAC Cup Girls off-season.

Eastern Ranges lead the way in TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year

THE TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year has been announced, with the Eastern Ranges getting the most spots in the team. Defender, Georgia Macpherson, midfielders, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann, ruck, Sarah Kendall and forward, Laura McClelland were the Ranges who made the side.

Premiership side, Geelong Falcons were next best with four nominees, headlined by premiership captain, Lucy McEvoy. She was joined by Falcons Best and Fairest, Olivia Purcell, AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships joint Most Valuable Player (MVP), Nina Morrison and Grand Final Player of the Match, Denby Taylor. The players were joined by coach, Jason Armistead, as the premiership coach capped off his wonderful year by being named the TAC Cup Girls Coach of the Year.   

The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Sandringham Dragons also fared well with three members each in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year. All Australians, Eleanor Brown (Sandringham) and Sophie Van De Huevel (GWV) headline the team for their TAC Cup Girls sides.

The Calder Cannons, Northern Knights and Dandenong Stingrays were the next best in line with two players from each team making the side. Cannons captain, Madison Prespakis was named in the middle while fellow captain, Jordyn Allen slotted into the back line. Georgia Patrikios joined teammate, Prespakis after a stellar year while Lucy Cripps lined up with Allen in the back line.

Knights duo, Gabrielle Newton and Madeline Brancatisano were both named in the forward line after leading their side to a Grand Final.

Oakleigh’s sole member is All Australian forward, Daisy Bateman while Rebecca Webster leads the way for the Bushrangers. Gippsland co-captain, Tyla Hanks was the only Power nominee and slotted into the star-studded midfield.

No Western Jets or Bendigo Pioneers players made the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year.

AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian Team announced

MORE than one third of the 2018 AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian side is still more than 12 months away from being drafted onto and AFL Women’s list. The 22-player team was announced at the conclusion of the State of Origin match last night, with Victoria making up more than half of the team, while Queensland’s unbelievable talent was rewarded with the most of any non-Victorian state.

Queensland’s six was one more than Vic Metro, while Vic Country had the most of any state side with seven All Australians. Western Australia (two), NSW-ACT (one) and South Australia (one) made up the remaining four places in the side. Of the All Australian side, defenders Lucy Cripps and Serene Watson, forwards Gabrielle Newton, Belle Dawes, Lucy McEvoy, Montana McKinnon, and midfielders Georgia Patrikios and Lily Postlethwaite are all bottom-agers and not eligible to be drafted until next year.

The midfield is star-studded with AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships’ Most Valuable Players (MVPs) Madison Prespakis, Nina Morrison and Alyce Parker making the side, while Western Australia’s Sabreena Duffy made the team alongside the versatile McKenzie Dowrick. South Australia’s MVP, McKinnon was named in the forward pocket and would no doubt share the ruck load with Queensland’s Lauren Bella. Natalie Grider (Queensland MVP) was named in the back pocket after a really consistent season, joined in the side by state teammate Jacqueline Yorston.

Others who made the side include AFL Women’s Academy members Jordyn Allen, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Tyla Hanks and Olivia Purcell. Daisy Bateman and Eleanor Brown are the other two players who have impressed not only at TAC Cup Girls level, but at Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s level as well for their respective sides, Collingwood and Southern Saints.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup Girls – Grand Final

THE big day has finally arrived. The Geelong Falcons and the Northern Knights have been the two in-form teams of the TAC Cup Girls competition and will play out the first ever TAC Cup Girls Grand Final. We decided to take an in-depth look at both of the teams ahead of the historic day set to take place at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday.

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

2018 TAC Cup Girls Grand Final – Saturday, May 19, 12.30pm

Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee

Form line

Geelong Falcons:

Ladder position: 1st
Wins: 9
Losses: 0
Percentage: 294%

Northern Knights:

Ladder position: 2nd
Wins: 8
Losses: 1
Percentage: 243%

 

Last time they met

Geelong Falcons 4.7 (31) defeated Northern Knights 3.5 (23)

The Geelong Falcons made it eight from eight against fellow undefeated team, Northern Knights with an eight-point win. The Falcons came out of the blocks with a three goal to none first half, then the Knights fought back with a three goal to one second half.

AFLW Academy members, Lucy McEvoy, Denby Taylor, Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison were some of the best players on the ground yet again. McEvoy and Taylor held down the fort well in defence while Purcell and Morrison chased and tackled in the midfield. They were complemented by Zoe Inei in the ruck, who delivered some nice taps towards her gut-runners. In the forward line, it was Sachi DeGiacomi who put in all the hard yards to keep her side’s undefeated streak alive.

For Northern, midfielder, Marnie Jarvis found herself up forward on a couple of occasions, slotting through two of the Knights’ three majors. Gabrielle Newton was a star, this time in defence, proving she can play just about anywhere on the field. Young gun, Ellie McKenzie had another standout performance for the Knights, as did Nell Morris-Dalton. Other solid contributors included Paije Kearney and Ashleigh Snow.

GOALS

Geelong Falcons: S. DeGiacomi, S. Walmsley, R. Tierney, P. Sheppard

Northern Knights: M. Jarvis 2, A. Bannan

BEST

Geelong Falcons: L. McEvoy, D. Taylor, O. Purcell, S. DeGiacomi, Z. Inei, N. Morrison

Northern Knights: G. Newton, E. McKenzie, P. Kearney, N. Morris-Dalton, A. Snow, M. Jarvis

 

Players to watch

Geelong Falcons:

#18 Nina Morrison

Times in Best: 6

Morrison is one of the most hard-working midfielders in the competition. She has electric speed and is a brilliant ball-user. She often gets the ball on the outside and clears it into space, but can also find the ball in the heart of the contest.

#42 Sachi DeGiacomi

Times in Best: 5

DeGiacomi has been pivotal for the Falcons at centre half-forward. She has kicked 13 goals from nine games and if stats were taken for TAC Cup Girls, they would say that she has also had plenty of assists. She is an unselfish player that knows how to find the goals when needed, and she also has a fantastic set of hands.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Times in Best: 5

The Geelong captain has been remarkable this season. McEvoy does her best work in defence, but can also play a role as a tall midfielder when required. She is a versatile player that has a booming kick, and always goes in hard at the contest.

#7 Olivia Purcell

Times in Best: 4

Olivia Purcell is one of the toughest inside midfielders in the competition. She is an aggressive tackler and a good clearance player, thanks to her innate ability to find space. Her acceleration is a huge asset for the Falcons and will serve her in good stead on Saturday.

Northern Knights:

#21 Ellie McKenzie

Times in Best: 6

Ellie McKenzie is the most exciting 15 year-old in the competition. She has been amongst Northern’s best players in every game she has played, and has kicked 10 goals to go along with it. McKenzie is a vital forward for the Knights and can work some magic with the ball in hand.

#23 Gabrielle Newton

Times in Best: 5

Newton has been a star in the ruck, up forward, in defence, or basically wherever she is needed. She plays any role that she is asked to play and does it with class. Newton is a wonderful ball-user and knows how to find the right option.

#5 Madeline Brancatisano

Times in Best: 4

The Knights captain has been outstanding in the midfield this season. What stands out about Brancatisano is her defensive efforts, as she lays some strong tackles and can also play a shutdown role on the opposition when needed. She has displayed quick hands throughout the season and is an unselfish player.

#18 Sarah Sansonetti

Times in Best: 4

Sarah Sansonetti has been a key player in defence for Northern this season. She often finds the ball at the heart of the contest and can clear the ball out of defensive 50 with ease. Sansonetti is an agile player who can move off her opponent well to create a contest.

 

Preview

The two most-deserving teams will face off in the inaugural TAC Cup Girls Grand Final on Saturday. The teams last met in round eight, where only eight points separated the sides.

Geelong Falcons coach, Jason Armistead is all too aware of the Knights’ fire-power and knows that his side must combat their high-scoring if they are to win the historic game.

“They’re the highest-scoring team in the competition and their ability to score quickly has been a strength,” Armistead said. “We need to be mindful of stopping their momentum if they get on a roll.”

Their high-scoring has come in the form of some big last quarters, where the Knights have piled on the goals to ensure a big percentage-boosting win. In fourth quarters alone, Northern has outscored its opposition 159-46. The 46 points is the combined total of each of the nine teams that the Knights have played, which is a remarkable feat.

Northern coach, Marcus Abney-Hastings has been really impressed with his host of players this season, who have worked together to achieve some big wins.

“Our captain Maddy Brancatisano has had a really good year and really led from the front,” Abney-Hastings said. “Gabby Newton has been playing in a range of positions and is also a good leader on the field. “Neve O’Connor will be really important in the ruck; she gives our midfielders first use of the ball. Marnie Jarvis has been really important with her run and carry on a wing and Britney Gutknecht has also been important for us going forward.”

But Geelong’s defence has been a highlight for them this season, with the trio of Denby Taylor, Lucy McEvoy and Abbey Chapman playing some fantastic footy in the defensive half. Their depth, like Northern’s, is also phenomenal, with players such as Mia Sheppard, Tarryn Love and Sophie Walmsley stepping up on various occasions.

Expect a high level of skill, talent and class on display at Avalon Airport Oval, as the best of the best in this magnificent competition battle it out for ultimate glory.

 

GEELONG FALCONS:

NORTHERN KNIGHTS:

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls- Round 9

THE 2018 TAC Cup Girls grand final has been set. The Northern Knights successfully defeated Murray Bushrangers in the first game of the day, booking themselves a grand final spot against the Falcons. But the other games throughout the day at Craigieburn were no less entertaining! 

 

Northern Knights vs. Murray Bushrangers 

By: Julia Montesano

Northern Knights:

#4 Neve O’Connor

Laid a nice tackle after her kick got smothered, displaying a good second effort. Got nice elevation in the ruck and was able to tap the ball down nicely. Attempted to take a great mark running back with the flight, but when she didn’t mark it, she laid a strong tackle to hold the ball up.

#5 Madeline Brancatisano

Did well to trap the ball on the ground and got quick hands away. The captain did that on a couple of occasions, showing that she has really good agility to bend down and get straight back up.

#18 Sarah Sansonetti

Great smother off her body which stopped a forward thrust for Murray. Tackled hard throughout the day, especially when she laid a great defensive tackle that saved a goal in the goal-square for Murray. Took a great mark in defensive 50 and stepped up her game in the second half.

#22 Britney Gutknecht

Elevated her body well to get her arms free in a tackle. Was able to take a nice mark in space but her kick got smothered by Webster’s body. Gutknecht again worked some magic in a tackle, getting a handball away while under pressure. Did well to pursue the ball on the boundary line to try and keep it in. Got a great pick-up off the deck and kicked it off one step while being tackled.

#23 Gabrielle Newton

Tapped the ball down well and came down with it swiftly to receive the quick hands from a teammate. She then kicked it into space, creating a forward thrust for Northern. Gave off two great handballs under pressure and stood tall in the tackle. Computed her weight well to gently tackle Tamara Smith, and got a holding-the-ball free kick. Newton took a great mark running back with the flight of the ball. Ended up with two holding-the-ball free kicks from strong tackles.

 

Murray Bushrangers:

#1 Julia Harvey

Got on the end of some quick hands by Millie Brown. Was a good link in the chain throughout the day and was able to showcase her speed. Harvey was a quick thinker and used the ball well, whether it was by hand or by foot. Was on the bottom of the pack plenty of times.

#17 Rebecca Webster

Read the tap well and got a nice kick away. Webster did well to follow up the kick and trap the ball after she got a handball she wasn’t expecting. Great pick-up and acceleration out of the pack. Webster was really good at reading the ball in the air and was able to bring it down to ground on plenty of occasions. Kicked nicely, smothered nicely, and tackled nicely. Produced some good run and kick off half-back. Webster excellently burst off half-back and ran well into space. She then tripped over but somehow managed to get a handball away on her knees. Good all-round performance from her. 

#19 Millie Brown

Did a good job kicking out of full-back when she was required to do so. Nice long kick around the body. Kicked it nicely inside 50, where the ball fell out the back but just went through for a behind. Read the tap well and got a good clearance away.

#22 Tamara Smith

Kicked the ball nicely inside 50 to create a scoring opportunity for Murray. Did well to break away from congestion. Never stopped trying for the Bushrangers all day, showcasing her speed and aggression in the depths of the contest.

 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Oakleigh Chargers 

By: Taylah Melki

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

#2 Renee Saulitis

She was instrumental up forward for the Rebels, bagging two goals for the game and competing hard to win the footy in the forward 50. Saulitis applied plenty of good forward pressure and looked promising when she had the ball in hand.

#16 Lauren Butler

She showed some really good footy smarts throughout the game and helped to open up space across the field with her strong leads. Butler applied plenty of good strong tackles and showed a lot of fight to win the footy both at ground level and in the air. She took a good intercept mark and used her long penetrating kick to propel her team forward. Her clean hands in and around the contest and at stoppages were important for the Rebels.

#18 Sophie Van De Heuvel

Presented a good option up forward and constantly offered good leads. She showcased her ability to run hard and covered the ground really well for the Rebels. In difficult conditions, Van De Heuvel displayed her impressive strong kick and was quite dynamic up forward.  

 #23 Sophie Molan

Molan was a clear standout for the Rebels and worked hard all game to win the ball at the coalface. Her effort in and around the stoppages allowed her to release her teammates and open up space, creating scoring opportunities for GWV. She constantly went in hard at the stoppages and scored a goal in the second term from a free kick. Molan looked dangerous all game and really showcased her footy smarts by putting the ball into space and applying plenty of forward pressure to keep the footy trapped inside their forward 50.

#25 Georgia Clarke

Clarke was solid down back once again for the Rebels and showed great composure with ball in hand. She was a real general down back and helped to control the flow of the play in the defensive end for her side. She went down with a possible back injury and received treatment at three-quarter time but returned to the field in the final term. Clarke impressed with her ability to shut down her opponent.

#35 Rene Caris

Competed really hard in the ruck and showcased her impressive leap. Caris got her hands to plenty of the ball in the ruck and displayed some good tap downs to advantage. Her follow-up work around the ground was also important for the Rebels.

 

Oakleigh Chargers:

#2 Mimi Hill

Hill showcased her physicality, applying plenty of good tackling pressure throughout the match. She fought hard to win the ball and create opportunities for her teammates.

#11 Bridie Winbanks

Had a really consistent game but laid a really strong tackle in the third quarter that affected a shot at goal. She showed great fight for the ball and never gave up around the contest, competing hard to win the ball both in the air and at ground level.

#14 Hannah McLaren

McLaren competed hard all game for Oakleigh and was never far from the contest. She covered the ground really well and was a key player for the Chargers.

#30 Gemma Lagioia

Lagioia shone with her good tackling pressure and persistent fight to win the footy at ground level. She was really clean in and around the stoppages and showcased her footy smarts throughout the match. Her ability to read the play allowed her to take important intercepts and propel her team forward into attack. Lagioia applied plenty of good forward pressure and tried hard all game to create scoring opportunities for her teammates with her long penetrating kick into the forward 50.

#38 Daisy Bateman

In difficult and windy conditions Bateman competed hard all game to try and win the footy when it came her way. Her intensity really lifted in the final term as she showed plenty of run and carry. The full forward imposed herself on the contest and applied some good forward pressure, laying a strong tackle in the last quarter. Bateman used her speed and footy knowledge to try and break through the Rebels pressure and open up space for her teammates. 

 

Gippsland Power vs. Sandringham Dragons

By: Taylah Melki

Gippsland Power:

#6 Emily Haeusler

Haeusler showcased her strong hands for the Power, taking a few strong grabs down in defence and using her long penetrating kick to move the ball forward. Her run and carry for Gippsland was important, and she showcased her footy smarts with a clever shepherd to allow her teammate a free run at the footy.

 #8 Chandra Abrahams

Abrahams imposed herself around the ground, applying strong tackling pressure and applying an impressive smother against her opponent

#27 Nikia Webber

Webber was on fire in the opening minutes of the match, kicking the first major of the game and putting the Power in good stead. She worked hard to try and open up space and displayed her strong set of hands, taking a few big grabs. Webber showcased her versatility and clean hands to pick the ball up in difficult and windy conditions.

 #28 Tyla Hanks

Hanks continued her hot form, dazzling with her impressive evasive skills and clever footwork along the boundary line to turn her opponents inside out. She also showed great composure to be able to hit targets while under pressure. Her ability to read the play allowed her to create opportunities for teammates and help propel her team forward. Whenever Hanks had the ball in hand she seemed to have plenty of time and space to think her options through and impact the play. Hanks took a huge contested grab and her ability to create a contest even when out-numbered was invaluable for the Power.

#45 Lily Van Berkel

Van Berkel took a huge pack mark in the second quarter in blustery conditions. Her ability to read the play and her strong hands made for a good marking contest for the Power. 

 

Sandringham Dragons:

#25 Isabella Eddey

Eddey really stood up in the last quarter, scoring a huge goal to get the Dragons back in front. In testing conditions she showcased her booming and accurate kick that helped to propel her team forward. Eddey applied a lot of good forward pressure to help trap the ball inside Sandringham’s forward 50 and get repeat entries. 

#30 Eleanor Brown

Brown is a really smooth mover and covers the ground well to get herself into damaging positions. She was really good with her follow-up efforts and competed hard to win the footy, whether it be aerially or on the deck. Brown also impressed with her clean pick-ups and quick hands in and around the contest. Her speed and ability to open up space across the ground was really important in creating spread for the Dragons.  

#33 Molly Denahy Maloney

She imposed herself on the contest and covered the ground really well in wet and cold conditions. Denahy Maloney positioned herself well throughout the game and moved into damaging positions to try and create forward pressure.

#36 Jemma Owen

Owen showcased her footy smarts and ability to read the play, bagging an impressive soccer goal in the last quarter of the game. Her forward pressure lifted in the final term, scoring two majors within six minutes which helped her team secure a big win. She worked really hard throughout the game to win the footy at the coalface and was not afraid to go in and scrap for the ball.

#50 Holly Bate

Kicking into the wind, Bate missed a set shot in the second quarter but went on to make amends later in the match, slotting a goal in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter. She impressed with her strong hands and took an impressive mark at full extension in the last quarter.

 

Geelong Falcons vs. Western Jets

By: Peter Williams

Geelong Falcons:

#7 Olivia Purcell

Another top performance from the talented midfielder who enjoyed many tough one-on-one contests with the Jets midfielders. She was the dominant clearance player on the day and won the football on both the inside and outside. Purcell is able to find space where there seems to be none, and can kick out of a stoppage well.

#18 Nina Morrison

Played almost exclusively at full-forward and gave us more of a sneak peak into her versatility as a permanent forward. The wind reeked havoc on any attempt on goal, with Morrison finishing with three majors and a number of behinds as well. She was strong in the air and unbeatable on the lead, she also provided serious forward pressure and continually harassed the ball-carrier to win the football back.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

An anchor off half-back, McEvoy was always there to clean up the crumbs and propel the ball forward. A noticeable trait for the captain is her ability to weigh her kicks and take power off them to find teammates 20 metres away with a “chip” kick over the top of an opponent. She is a fierce tackler and often forces her teammates to lead or run into open space and she puts it to their advantage. A booming kick who was able to be effective going long from half-back to half-forward.

#27 Denby Taylor

Played at both ends like she did in the AFLW Academy match against Geelong. She seems to have a natural aggression at the football and is more of a marking player than a spoiling one which is why she has been able to influence up forward. A huge grab in the second term was a highlight, but she just missed the set shot. Did well with a couple of handballs to teammates in the third term.

#38 Renee Tierney

The forward played her role once again for the Falcons, kicking two goals in the match and also pushed up the ground. She won a contested ball on the wing and had the vision to handball to Stephanie Williams on the outside by putting it in front of her in space.

#39 Tarryn Love

A consistent midfielder who applies fantastic pressure on the ball carrier. For a smaller player she can roost the ball a fair way and just continually buzzes around the contest. Along with Purcell, Love was one of the best midfielders on the ground.

#42 Sachi DeGiacomi

The other permanent Falcons forward had another good day out, booting two goals and causing headaches on the lead for the opposition. Almost assisted in a goal in the second term as well but the shot was touched on the line. DeGiacomi showed good bodywork in one-on-one contests and provided a presence in attack for Geelong.

 

Western Jets:

#16 Elisabeth Georgostathis

A really impressive game from Georgostathis, whose performance is always littered with pressure acts and strong tackles. She wins free kicks from her tackling pressure, and one of her best efforts was a fantastic run-down tackle on Olivia Purcell in the second term when her opponent tried to side-step her. She was composed under pressure and able to dispose of the ball quickly, winning plenty of it throughout the game. In one instance in the third term she won a 1v2 contest when she was out-numbered and was able to clear the ball to a teammate. Really held her own against a number of AFLW Academy midfielders on the day.

#30 Isabelle Pritchard

Saw plenty of the ball down her end but showed good composure when flying for marks. In the third term she took a good contested grab and did push up the ground at times, particularly when Western was kicking with the wind. Early in the fourth term she stopped a certain goal when a couple of Falcons opponents tried to handball through the defence but her pressure was enough to cause a mistake and force a throw in on the boundary line.

#43 Caitlin Greiser

Greiser kicked Western’s first and only goal late in the opening term before heading to defence. She nailed a powerful set shot with the wind to open the Jets’ account then showed off her versatility by playing in the defensive half, most notably at full-back. In one instance of a kickout she cleared the 50 metre line with the aid of the wind in the third term, and won a one-on-one on the defensive side of the wing, protecting the ball drop area and clearing the ball with a long kick to half-forward.

 

Calder Cannons vs. Eastern Ranges

By: Peter Williams 

Calder Cannons:

#2 Felicity Theodore

A composed user of the ball, Theodore spread well across the course of the game and showed sure hands in the wet conditions with a good mark on the lead at half-back. She can take the game on at times and back herself in as well.

#3 Madison Prespakis

There is not much more that can be said about Prespakis that has not been said 1000 times before. Another best on ground performance and vintage display from the midfielder who just continues to battle hard throughout four quarters. She was a dominant player once again, and aside from working hard and kicking clear of the congestion on a number of occasions, she impacts up forward week-in, week-out. Booted an early foal from a set shot 45 metres out and assisted in more forward entries. Rarely puts a foot wrong.

#21 Georgia Patrikios

I would probably have her up there as one of the most naturally intuitive forwards going around. Every time she gets the ball inside 50, you get a sense that she could kick a clever goal and she did it again on the weekend. In the first term she got goal side of a contest and kicked a fantastic goal, but her second was one for the ages. Bucketing down at times and a heavy ball and wet ground, Patrikios managed to somehow kick a goal from the boundary line with an outside of the boot snap under pressure in which should not only be one of the highlights of the round, but highlights of the season.

#23 Grace Dicker

Talented bottom-ager who has a great blend of courage and natural talent. She won a free sliding into a contest to take a mark in the second term and moments later went back with the flight in another marking contest to impact in defence. She zipped around the ground and showed good acceleration, missed a couple of kicks with the wet ball, but just kept applying enormous amounts of defensive pressure, and applied a great spoil on a much taller opponent in the third quarter.

 

Eastern Ranges:

#3 Emerson Woods

The co-captain has put together a really consistent second half of the season and in the wet, she showed good leadership with strong hands. She wins the ball on the inside and often handballs into the path of her teammates running on the outside, directing them where to run and therefore leading by her actions. She is a quick thinker and has lightning quick hands in a stoppage. Knew to keep the ball moving and get it forward at all costs in poor conditions.

#21 Mikala Cann

A classy display in the wet with another good balance of offensive and defensive acts. Cann provided good tackling pressure and just continued to attack the contest hard throughout the four quarters. Despite the wet ball she seemed to be clean with her disposal and not flustered by the slippery conditions.

#38 Laura McClelland

Not a great day for forwards but McClelland did her best in the wet. She showed good hands out in front and in the pouring rain of the second quarter, managed to collect the ball off the deck with one swift pick-up, turned and disposed of it inside 50. She applied a good shepherd on the wing in the third term to allow her teammate to win the ball and then showed good defensive pressure inside 50 with a bone-crunching tackle.

 

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Bendigo Pioneers 

By: Julia Montesano

Dandenong Stingrays:

#1 Shelley Heath

Displayed a good quick burst out of a stoppage and delivered a nice kick inside 50. Displayed good work to hold the ball up for a stoppage and did nicely to trap the ball in a two-on-one. She won that battle as she got up on her feet first.

#3 Courtney Jones

Executed a nice wrap-around tackle, and her all-round tackling was great on the day. Jones worked hard to get the ball and when it didn’t go her way, she followed up with a second effort and created a stoppage. Took a great mark when she read the ball really well off Brooke Struylaart’s centring kick, just letting the ball go onto her chest. A highlight for me was when she had a set shot at goal. Jones dropped the ball lower on her run-up and just kicked it gently through the goal, which was smart play as she knew she couldn’t hack it because the wind would just take it. Displayed a high footy IQ in that instance. Executed a great one-two with Zoe Hill and then delivered a huge kick on the run which sailed through the goals. Jones really stepped up her game in the fourth quarter but had a good all-round performance.

#15 Jordyn Allen

Executed a great passage of play when she took a nice mark on the lead, gave off a quick handball and performed a nice one-two with a teammate. She was able to evade a tackler and gave off a quick handball on the inside to Lucy Cripps. She then evaded another tackle and got a kick away once the tackle stuck, showing great strength in the contest. Executed a great pick-up and spun her way out of trouble to kick well to a lead. Displayed excellent gut-running throughout the game, despite the trying conditions. 

 

#26 Isabella Shannon

Read the conditions well when she picked up the ball and kicked it along the ground. Executed a nice kick forward and took a great contested mark. Shannon played a good all-round game, not just inside 50 but all around the ground. Did well when she won a free kick for holding the ball, got a 50 metre penalty and scored a goal.  

#35 Lucy Cripps

For wet conditions, Cripps played the boundary line extremely well. This was shown when she displayed some nice work to keep the ball inside the boundary line and keep it alive for the Stingrays. In one instance, she got tackled but followed up well to pursue the ball. Executed a great pick-up on the boundary line and then gave off a nice quick handball to Isabella Shannon. Cripps displayed good work to follow up the ball and kept running after it after it got away from her. She did really well in one instance to shepherd the ball and got a kick into space. A highlight of Cripps’ game was when she managed to kick the ball out of the pack perfectly towards a target.

 

 

 

Bendigo Pioneers:

#19 Kodi Jacques

Jacques was outstanding for Bendigo. She displayed good hustle at the contest and good running to be involved wherever she could. Jacques fought hard for the footy and it paid off when she picked up the ball swiftly off the deck and got the ball into space. Executed a nice clearance, always seeming to find the footy. Jacques was able to get good penetration on her kicks and was rewarded through winning a couple of free kicks. Laid a good smother then did well to trap the ball to ensure it didn’t go anywhere. Executed a nice kick out of a stoppage and a nice fist over the boundary line. Did well in the heart of the contest where she got a few great clearances on the day. She read the taps perfectly and did everything she could for Bendigo. 

#20 Kate Douglass

Took a great mark in the back line and was able to follow up after missed marks. Worked really hard back there.  

#28 Megan Williamson

Displayed hard running towards the footy and was a general on-field leader. Williamson is a great role model for her teammates, always going in hard at the contest. She used the footy really well on the day and tackled hard when she needed to do so. She’s not so much a ‘wow factor’ player, but she’s certainly one that never stops working, and her efforts certainly don’t go unnoticed. 

 

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls – Round 7

THE Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights have proven themselves as powerhouses of the TAC Cup Girls competition, with both teams keeping their winning streaks intact. Dandenong also made it two consecutive wins, getting the job done over Oakleigh. While the top two has already been determined, the two sides will go head-to-head in round eight in a season that continues to deliver. As with last week, we narrowed our focus on a number of players who had been consistent over the past month.

GWV Rebels vs. Murray Bushrangers

GWV Rebels:

#2 Renee Saulitis

An exciting player who uses her outside run to good advantage off a wing and down forward. She just bursts away with a few quick steps and seems to know where to crumb the ball down forward. She snapped a goal off the side of the boot in the second quarter and showed a clean pair of hands picking the ball up at speed but just rushed her snap on goal a little. She took a good mark later in the game but her set shot just dropped short, however continued to buzz around though there was not much action deep inside 50 in the final term for the Rebels.

#16 Lauren Butler

Butler seems to pop up at the right times and get to positions where she can switch play or drive momentum forward. She is quick to dispose of the ball when under pressure, raising her arms in a tackle and handballing clear. Butler drifted into defence at one stage, took a strong intercept mark and kicked long to Saulitis on the wing. With ball in hand, she looks composed and in one instance, took a mark and just calmly side-stepped her opponent with good agility to kick deep inside 50. She defended well through the middle of the ground in the final term, pumping the ball long into the forward line, and took an important intercept mark at half-forward from a kick-out but unfortunately her set shot drifted to the left.

#18 Sophie Van De Heuvel

Across the first three quarters I thought she was best on ground because of the damage she was causing up forward and her ability to bring teammates into the game. The first memorable moment for Van De Heuvel was a great kick in the opening quarter tight against the boundary under pressure. The AFLW Academy member had the composure to hit-up Alyssa Humphries leading out at her. The most noticeable trait about Van De Heuvel is her ability to not waste a possession and she is also strong overhead. She finished the game with two goals, had another from close range in the third term which just missed, and a set shot later on that hit the post. She did kick one of her goals from a powerful set shot. Laid some good tackles as well which was good to see.

#23 Sophie Molan

I have not seen her play a bad game to date, Molan is just that consistent midfielder who is still bottom-age but stands out with or without her AFLW Academy teammates. Molan is clean at ground level with a good burst of acceleration, kicking a great goal after hard running out of midfield. She set up another goal to Saulitis with a fantastic smother on Rebecca Webster, winning the ball and kicking long to the forward. In the third term she found herself all alone inside forward 50 for an uncontested mark, but her set shot just missed. Finished a great game with a lovely kick on the run to hit-up Saulitis again.

#25 Georgia Clarke

The centre half-back was enormous in the first half, pushing up into the midfield when required and winning some crucial one-on-one battles. She laid a couple of tackles to stop Bushrangers in their tracks, and she just reads the ball so well from the half-back line. She positions herself in dangerous positions to both intercept and rebound, and just keeps running all day. She picked up three disposals in one chain of possession in the third term, running from half-back to half-forward.

#35 Rene Caris

Caris had a solid game, particularly standing out early. Her ruckwork is very good, knowing where her midfielders are, and palming down to them with effect. She has quick hands in close and moves well for a taller player, offering up as an option across the ground.

Murray Bushrangers:

#16 Eloise Ashley-Cooper

Returned to the Bushrangers side and had a few solid moments throughout the game. Playing off half-back, she was opposed to Van De Heuvel at times and created some run out of defence. She put pressure on her opponent and is able to defend in the air or at ground level. She moved up into the midfield at times, providing an inside presence at the stoppages.

#17 Rebecca Webster

A typical hard working performance from the AFLW Academy member. She continually hit the packs hard and never took a backwards step. She was often accompanied by a crowd of Rebels, but still stood out with her good vision and quick hands. She was particularly involved heavily early and she reads the game so well through the midfield. Webster’s strength was underlined at one stage in the third term, fending off two players consecutively. She had a thumping shot on goal from outside 50 but her attempt just fell short. She kicked an important goal in the final term, evading an opponent inside 50 with a feint snap before actually snapping on her other side and nailing the goal.

#22 Tamara Smith

A tireless worker throughout the game, Smith just continued to work hard over four quarters. Early on she won a good one-on-one contest against Molan, showing good body work, but her kick forward was intercepted by Clarke. Smith was composed under pressure and moved well through traffic, laying a good smother to start the third term which saw her win the footy, kick forward and lead to a goal to Claudia McKimmie. A great piece of defensive play was a huge rundown tackle in the fourth term, winning the football moments later on the wing, taking a couple of bounces and kicking forward. Overall, Smith has a good balance of inside and outside traits, showing fantastic closing speed with some bone-crunching rundown tackles.

#25 Grace Egan

Wore a different number in the clash strip to her traditional #42, and was solid, particularly through the middle patches of the game. She often looks for the quick handball off half-back and laid a few great tackles pushing up the ground or as a wall at half-back. She rebounded well and looked to switch play on different occasions. Moved forward in the last term and laid a bruising hip-and-shoulder in the final play when the ball was deep inside 50 and the Bushrangers almost got a score-levelling goal.

 

Eastern Ranges vs. Gippsland Power 

By: Taylah Melki 

Eastern Ranges:

#3 Emerson Woods

She was one of the best on field for the Ranges with her clean hands in and around the stoppages and her ability to compete well in the air. Even when she did not win the footy in the air she competed hard and brought the ball to ground to give her teammates the chance to win the footy. She took a few strong marks and provided a good option when coming out of defence for the Ranges. Woods was not afraid to go in hard for the footy and scrap for it at ground level to win the ball credit to her courage and commitment to the game.

#37 Georgia Macpherson

She had some really good patches throughout the game laying an impressive smother in the third quarter that stopped her opponent from banging the ball inside their forward 50. Macpherson applied plenty of physical pressure in and around the contest and was clean at ground level, helping to release the run and carry of her teammates.  

 #38 Laura McClelland

Her physical pressure was really good, harassing players and trying hard to win the footy. She laid plenty of strong tackles and used her body well to set up play. McClelland also showcased her ability to read the play and create an option for the Ranges to kick to up forward.

Gippsland Power:

#6 Emily Haeusler

She worked really hard throughout the match for Gippsland and was probably one of the best for the Power. She was very clean across the ground and consistently imposed herself on the contest. Haeusler was very agile and good in tight spaces, helping to release her teammates. She used her good strong kick and running ability to help propel her team forward especially in the fourth quarter. Her follow-up efforts in the last quarter helped to inspire her teammates.

#28 Tyla Hanks

She was a clear standout for Gippsland once again. She dominated across the ground, taking plenty of strong marks and creating space to help release her teammates into space. Her clean hands in and around the contest were invaluable along with her ability to run and carry. Hanks laid plenty of strong tackles and copped plenty of attention from her opponents, but that did not seem to bother her as she went on to slot an important goal on a tight angle. She showcased her footy smarts and her ability to turn and hit a target, credit to her good kicking ability. Her work at stoppages and clean pick-ups helped to propel the Power forward.

 

Sandringham Dragons vs. Western Jets 

By: Carly McClen 

Sandringham Dragons:

#50 Hannah Bate

Dominant in her role at half-forward. Nobody could get near her. Strong marking and delivery into attacking 50. Great third-quarter goal from 30 metres out, threading it straight though the middle. Kicked another good goal in the last quarter. She kicked the ball into the mark from 20 metres out early on but recomposed and took her time to secure goals for her team. Good marking at half-forward and delivery into attacking 50.

#25 Isabella Eddey

Strong tacking all day and hustling at half-forward. Huge impact in keeping the ball in the attack for the Dragons. 

#30 Eleanor Brown

Good marking and setting up opportunities for goal. Good team play in shepherding and following through. Great running and kept her feet, showing good agility. 

#64 Eliza McNamara

Played the roving position well. Ran all day with quick hands and following up, pushing the ball forward for her team. Creative inside midfielder who showed great attack on the ball.

#43 Abbie McKay

Good running to collect the ball on the run and jab it through for goal. Played her centre role convincingly. 

 Western Jets:

#16 Elisabeth Georgostathis

Strong tackling creating turnarounds in defence and nice left-foot kicking on the run. Laid a great tackle in the last quarter against the running Eleanor Brown, who is tough to catch.

#30 Isabelle Pritchard

Strong kicking out of defence and pressure on forwards particularly in the last quarter. Great long kick left-foot kick.

#39 Cleo Saxon-Jones

Good direct kicking and was dominant in the ruck. 

#40 Sharnie Whiting

Strong and long kicking out of half-back.

 

Northern Knights vs. Bendigo Pioneers 

By: James Halley 

Northern Knights:

#23 Gabrielle Newton

She is very good at picking up the footy below her knees. She was playing out of full-forward at stages and won herself a shot on goal with a great lead, but pulled the kick to the right-hand side.

#4 Neve O’Connor

Dominated the ruck taps all day convincingly. She had a big presence on the field.

#24 Alex Pronesti

She showed great footy knowledge to set up Britney Gutknecht for a goal when she had a set shot on an acute angle. Early in the last quarter she was unselfish once again to set up Gutknecht for a centering pass. Pronesti is becoming a well-rounded player.

#5 Madeline Brancatisano

She is a smooth mover, and dangerous in the small forward role. In the third term she got through two opponents to kick her first goal on the run, in what was a very impressive passage of play.

#22 Britney Gutknecht

Gutknecht was dangerous all day, presented well and was very influential. She capitalised perfectly from a set shot straight in front in the second term from a wonderful Alex Pronesti pass. She kicked her second for the term when she played on from a set shot in a lack of concentration from Bendigo’s defence. This allowed her to ease the pressure and create an easier shot on goal for herself. Late in the third term she kicked her third major from a scrimmage in the goal-square. Pronesti and Gutknecht combined for the second time, where a selfless act from Pronesti displayed the epitome of putting the team first. Gutknecht absolutely dominated the last quarter, finishing off with adding another two goals to her total of six.

Bendigo Pioneers: 

#11 Jemma Finning

She played a role on Northern’s Ellie McKenzie and was beaten, but was able to curb her influence at times, such as winning a holding-the-ball decision in the last quarter.

#19 Kodi Jaques

Won a high free kick in the third term and kicked truly for Bendigo’s first goal since the first quarter. She played in the midfield and laid countless tackles. Jacques recorded numerous pressure acts, as the Knights had the ball most of the time. She was amongst the best for Bendigo, and was often found at the bottom of the pack all day, trying her heart out for her side. 

 

Calder Cannons vs. Geelong Falcons

Calder Cannons:

#3 Madison Prespakis

Dominant game as usual by the Cannons star midfielder. What impressed me most during this game was her leadership. When she went off in the first quarter, she was pacing up and down the boundary line and following the play. She yelled out spirited instructions to teammates and even the runner. Prespakis is a player who not only knows her own game but also knows her teammates’ games. She has a great ability to execute structures and can play anywhere. This was shown when she was moved to full forward in the second half and had an immediate impact, kicking two goals. It was the first time I’ve seen her in a one-on-one role and you guessed it- she can do that as well!

#21 Georgia Patrikios

Patrikios was her usual aggressive self. She ran hard all game and worked well up the ground. She kicked a great goal at start of the third quarter which gave Calder some momentum. Patrikios worked hard up forward and got deep into the contest at times. Took a good mark running back with the flight of the ball and cleverly kicked it to the top of the square. Demonstrated her high footy IQ with a really smart kick to hack the ball out of a tight stoppage. Patrikios of course executed her famous side-step wonderfully, continuing to demonstrate her impressive agility. She got to play on-ball at times, which suits her. This gave Patrikios the opportunity to find some space and dominate.

#18 Carla Rendelmann

Played her best game for the Cannons this season. Has an incredible leap in the ruck and won plenty of hit-outs. She also had an impact around the ground, using her body to keep the Falcons away from the ball. Took a huge mark later in the game and demonstrated great hands throughout the day. Had good awareness to be on the goal-line inside defensive 50 when Geelong was pressing forward.

 

 Geelong Falcons:

#7 Olivia Purcell

Purcell’s gut-running was really impressive against Calder. This was shown when she sprinted forward to assist Renee Tierney, who tripped in a one-on-one in the goal-square, keeping the ball in the hot zone for Geelong. Delivered nice kicks into space and demonstrated good run and carry. Purcell moved across the ground well and when she couldn’t pick up the footy, she provided a good defensive effort through a shepherd or a tackle. In one instance, she cleverly side-stepped her opponent to buy her some time and find an option.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

McEvoy’s handballing was on display against Calder. She gave away plenty of quick-fire handballs and at times, gave stronger, loopier handballs to create the run and carry for the Falcons. The highlight of her game was when she laid a goal-saving smother in the defensive goal-square, which demonstrated huge courage and simultaneously halted the momentum that the Cannons had in the third quarter. In one instance, McEvoy did really well to trap the ball with her feet rather than bend down and pick it up. She was really calm and composed on last line of defence, shown when she still got a handball away while being tackled.

#18 Nina Morrison

Morrison took a composed chest mark and perfectly hit a target inside 50, something she has been able to do consistently throughout the season. Had good run and carry throughout the game and was speedy with the ball in hand as usual. Had good agility and picked the ball up cleanly off the deck when she needed to. Morrison consistently stopped Cannons midfielders in their tracks while hunting the ball herself. Always completed one effort then followed up with another. Took a great contested grab where she just snatched it out of her opponent’s hands. Morrison is ball magnet and a fantastic reader of the footy. She consistently provided an option for her teammates.

Player of the Week: TAC Cup Girls – Round 7

IT is usually a difficult decision to pick the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls’ Player of the Week, but in round seven, one individual performance in the forward line stood out from the rest. Northern Knights’ Britney Gutknecht booted six goals against the Bendigo Pioneers and was awarded the best afield, and the best of the round from our point of view. 

Gutknecht has been one of many impressive performers in Northern’s line-up this season. She is a versatile midfielder who can make an impact up forward or in defence. Gutknecht is the second Knights player to be awarded the Player of the Week, joining AFLW Academy member, Gabrielle Newton as nominees. Gutknecht would undoubtedly be hoping to produce some heroics again in round eight, as her undefeated side takes on the other undefeated TAC Cup Girls side in the Geelong Falcons. 

Scouting notes vs. Bendigo Pioneers 

#22 Britney Gutknecht 

Gutknecht was dangerous all day, presented well and was very influential. She capitalised perfectly from a set shot straight in front in the second term from a wonderful Alex Pronesti pass. She kicked her second for the term when she played on from a set shot in a lack of concentration from Bendigo’s defence. This allowed her to ease the pressure and create an easier shot on goal for herself. Late in the third term she kicked her third major from a scrimmage in the goal-square. Pronesti and Gutknecht combined for the second time, where a selfless act from Pronesti displayed the epitome of putting the team first. Gutknecht absolutely dominated the last quarter, finishing off with adding another two goals to her total of six.

Weekend wrap: TAC Cup Girls – Round 6

GEELONG Falcons and Northern Knights have continued to dominate the TAC Cup Girls competition, with each side making it six wins from six games this week. The Bushrangers were hot on their heels prior to round six, but fell to the Sandringham Dragons, who are playing some fantastic football at the moment. Meanwhile for the Stingrays, they got on the winners’ list this round with a dominant display against the Western Jets. It means all teams now have a win in the TAC Cup Girls competition, making the competition even across the board.

 

Geelong Falcons 4.11 (35) defeated Eastern Ranges 0.4 (4) 

At the start of the year, this was one of the most highly anticipated matches of the TAC Cup Girls competition. But after Eastern lost to the Western Jets a week prior, the in-form Falcons were able to capitalise at Belmont, with a 31-point win, keeping the usually solid scoring Ranges goalless.

Geelong’s Sachi DeGiacomi was a force in the forward line once again, kicking half of her side’s goals. While the Falcons were inaccurate, their AFLW Academy stars stood up on their return to TAC Cup Girls football. Lucy McEvoy was named as Geelong’s best player, while Olivia Purcell got on the scoreboard for the home side. AFL Draft Central’s round one TAC Cup Girls’ Player of the Week, Zoe Inei had a wonderful game for the Falcons, and was complemented by the likes of Paige Sheppard, Sophie Walmsley and Kaitlyn Haustorfer. 

Eastern co-captain Charlotte Wilson was the Ranges’ best player for the second week in a row. This time, she had fellow co-captain Emerson Woods back in the side to complement her, after Woods was missing last week due to the AFLW Academy match. Versatile forward Olivia Meagher also returned to the side this week and was prominent at Belmont, being named in Eastern’s best players. Midfielder Gabriella De Angelis was able to continue her sublime form at Belmont and although Laura McClelland did not get on the scoreboard, she still had a solid outing. 

 

Gippsland Power 4.4 (28) defeated by Northern Knights 6.7 (43)

By: Peter Williams 

In a game between two of the most in-form sides of the competition, the unbeaten Northern Knights kept their winning streak alive with a 15-point victory over Gippsland Power in Morwell on Saturday. The Knights had it most of their own way in the first three quarters, booting six goals to one and looking like they were going to run away with a huge victory as they had done on so many other occasions. But to the Power’s credit, they ripped up the script and booted 3.3, charging home to fall short in a gallant effort. Since round one the Power have been ultra-competitive in every game they played and it continued on the weekend.

Britney Gutknecht was the difference between the two teams in the first half, booting two goals for the game and covering the ground sensationally. Captain Maddy Brancatisano kept Tyla Hanks at bay, particularly early on with some good body work around the stoppages. Alyssa Bannan and Alexandra Pronesti both hit the scoreboard, while Gabrielle Newton, Marnie Jarvis and Sarah Sansonetti were all among the best. Coming into the game it was the Knights incredible depth that looked to be the difference, and in the first half it was, with so many contributors it was hard to pick the best players.

For Gippsland, Emily Haeusler continued her great recent form off half-back rebounding tirelessly against the Knights attacks, while Tyla Hanks got better as the game wore on and was a huge impact in the final term. Along with those two, Chandra Abrahams, Tahlia Dower and Lily Van Berkel all performed well for the Power and further indicated the increased depth that Gippsland has built this season.

 

Murray Bushrangers 3.4 (22) defeated by Sandringham Dragons 6.1 (37) 

The Sandringham Dragons are making a late charge towards the top two, having won their last three games in the TAC Cup Girls competition. The Dragons claimed their biggest scalp yet in round six, defeating the Murray Bushrangers, who only had one loss in the TAC Cup Girls competition going into the match. 

Molly Denahy Maloney was the star of the day for the Dragons and was complemented by Sandringham’s usual suspects. Eleanor Brown, Alice Burke and Maddison Wilson were all named in the Dragons’ best, and continue to be dominant forces in the Sandringham line-up. Midfielder Eliza McNamara managed to etch her name onto the scoreboard, and had two other multiple goal-kickers to complement her. Sophia Rothfield was able to kick two majors for the day, while Isabella Eddey continued her great form inside 50 with three goals. 

The Bushrangers also had a multiple goalkicker with Claudia McKimmie booting two majors for the day. Emilee McPherson chipped in with the other goal. Grace Egan was Murray’s best on the day, continuing to dominate in her side through playing a role wherever she is needed. This week, she was complemented by her partner-in-crime, Rebecca Webster who returned from AFLW Academy duties. Tali Verhoeven, Hayley Doohan and Sophie Locke were the other standouts in the Murray line-up. 

 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels 5.9 (39) defeated Calder Cannons 5.0 (30) 

By: Cameron Ross 

An inspirational four-quarter performance from Calder captain Madison Prespakis was not enough, as the Rebels ran out nine-point victors in the TAC Cup Girls match at MARS Stadium on Sunday. 

Although the Rebels could not kick a goal in the first quarter, they had the majority of the possession and the inside 50s. The midfield battle was key, as Rebels captain Lauren Butler and fellow onballer Ella Wood were pivotal in not only the first quarter, but for the game. Wood had a ton of possession and was extremely important for the Rebels, who were struggling to move the ball and retain possession. The classy midfielder showed composure while she was one and was one of the top GWV players. Sophie Van De Heuvel kicked an important goal for the Rebels at the end of the second term to make it a one-point game at half-time, which gave the Rebels important momentum heading into the second half. 

Assisting Madison Prespakis in the midfield battle was fellow AFLW Academy member, Georgia Patrikios, who kicked a contender for TAC Cup Girls Goal of the Year. Patrikios’ goal was a drop-punt that got a kind bounce from outside 50, and drew applause from the MARS Stadium crowd. The goal proved to be one of the most exciting pieces of play for the whole day and will be remembered by all who witnessed it. Butler had to battle hard, going head-to head against Prespakis. The Calder Cannons midfielder did everything she could for her side, winning contested possessions, clearances and even kicking a goal.

 

Bendigo Pioneers 1.2 (8) defeated by Oakleigh Chargers 11.9 (75) 

Both sides headed into this game without experiencing a win since round one. But on Sunday, it was the Chargers who were hungrier for victory, getting a big win over the Pioneers at Golden Square Oval. 

Daisy Bateman had an absolute day out, bagging five majors for the day in a clinical display inside 50. Emily Harley was the other multiple goal-kicker for Oakleigh, adding three goals next to her name. Midfielder, Katie Lynch was named the Chargers’ best, kicking a goal to complement her dominance in the middle of the ground. Captain, Hannah McLaren and midfielder, Gemma Lagioia returned to the side this week after being sidelined by injury. The duo made their presence known immediately, and were named in Oakleigh’s best as the side ran rampage against the Pioneers. 

For Bendigo, it was captain, Megan Williamson who stood up for her side once again. Williamson kicked Bendigo’s only goal of the day and continued to provide wonderful on-field leadership. Usual suspects, Maddy Baldwin and Kodi Jacques played their role throughout the day, and were named in the Pioneers’ best. But it was Eloise Gretgix who provided a shining light for Bendigo, after being named the Pioneers’ best player in their 67-point loss. 

 

Dandenong Stingrays 9.14 (68) defeated Western Jets 2.2 (14) 

It was a glorious day for the Stingrays, who were able to sing their song for the first time this season. Dandenong have been winless up until round six, but won their first game in style with a 54-point win over the Western Jets. 

The Stingrays welcomed back captain, Jordyn Allen this week and while there was not much for her to do in the first half, she worked her way into the game in the second half by moving from defence into the midfield. All the damage was done in the forward line though, with Isabella Shannon and AFLW Academy member, Courtney Jones each kicking two majors for the day. Tyanna Smith was involved in plenty of forward thrusts on the day and was rewarded for her efforts with a place in Dandenong’s best. But it was Brooke Vernon who was the star of the day, booting through a goal to go with her consistent effort across the ground. 

The Western Jets gladly welcomed Isabella Grant back into their line-up, after she missed round five due to AFLW Academy duties. Grant made an impact on the game immediately and her composure throughout the day was a shining light for the Jets. Caitlin Greiser was kept quiet on Sunday but still managed to kick a major, despite the ruthless Dandenong pressure. Sister of Majak Daw, Mary Daw played a wonderful game, always following her opponent closely and moving swiftly across the ground. Jasmine Goodman was the other goal-kicker for the Jets, and was named in the best for her efforts, alongside Carle Myors-Moore and Allison Chivell.