agaiWITH no football on given the current COVID-19 global pandemic, the Draft Central team takes a look at where the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s left off, and will examine each of the eight teams from reverse ladder order. Today’s team summary begins with Central District.
RECORD: 8th (1-3)
R1: defeated Norwood by 4 points
R2: lost to North Adelaide by 54 points
R3: lost to Glenelg by 50 points
R4: lost to Sturt by 21 points
The 2020 season started on a high for the Bulldogs, getting an early win against 2019 minor premiers Norwood after managing only two last season. With the Redlegs needing time to gel, the Bulldogs took full advantage and Katelyn Rosenzweig led the way with four goals to steer her side to victory by four points. It was downhill from there unfortunately for Central as it had back-to-back 50-plus point losses against premiership favourite North Adelaide, and a Caitlin Gould-inspired Glenelg outfit. It was a much closer contest against Sturt in the final round, but the Bulldogs could not quite get the chocolates.
Katelyn Rosenzweig (8.0 disposals, 3.0 marks, 3.0 tackles, 1.3 inside 50s, 8 goals)
The clear shining light for the Bulldogs up forward, Rosenzweig was unstoppable in full flight and it took high quality defenders to try and restrict the teenager from scoring. She booted a goal in every game, including four in the first round in the win against Norwood, and became a barometer up forward. Unfortunately there was not much support around her as she finished the four-game season with eight of the club’s nine goals. A talent who used her AFL Women’s experience with the Crows last season to stamp her authority on the competition early.
THE ROCK IN DEFENCE:
Demi Sonneman (12.0 disposals, 1.3 marks, 1.3 tackles, 4.5 rebounds, 90% disposal efficiency)
With her team often under siege in the back half, Sonneman has stood tall each game and provided good support for her teammates. Looking a just the first three rounds, Sonneman averaged 14.6 disposals and 5.0 rebounds and was constantly driving the ball out of the back 50. Her ball use was sublime, running at an elite 90 per cent efficiency, and she was able to run the ball well using composure beyond her years at just 22-years-old. It is hardly anything new for Sonneman, who took out the Bulldogs’ 2019 Best and Fairest award in the club’s inaugural season.
THE MIDFIELD BULL:
Shelby Smith (14.8 disposals, 3.0 marks, 5.3 tackles, 3.5 clearances, 2.5 inside 50s, 1.5 rebounds)
The most consistent player across the four rounds has to be Smith, who, in her first full season at SANFL Women’s level has not looked out of place. She racked up 20 touches, three marks, three tackles, five clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds in the Bulldogs’ victory over Norwood and has not dipped below 10 touches since. In particularly her clearance work and fierce attack on the ball – she laid a massive 10 tackles in the loss to Sturt in Round 4 – are highlights of her game. If the Best and Fairest was held today, Smith would have to be favourite for pure consistency.
THE YOUNG GUN:
Kimberley Fry (10.5 disposals, 1.5 marks, 2.5 tackles, 3.3 rebounds)
The talented 18-year-old has been a regular fixture in the defensive 50 and had been a key player in driving the ball out of trouble. She represented the Central Allies at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships last year, and it therefore gave her confidence for a promising start to the 2020 SANFL Women’s season. Another really consistent player this year, she has been one of the top five for the Bulldogs most weeks and one who takes on more experienced opponents regularly.
THE MISSING STAR:
Gemma Doughty (8.1 disposals, 1.5 marks, 4.9 tackles, 1.1 clearances, 3.6 rebounds in 2019)
Every side has injuries and unavailabilities, but the loss of Doughty would be one unavailability that would sting for the Bulldogs. Not a huge ball winner, the club’s co vice-captain was a reliable source in defence before suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury last season in the team’s Round 8 loss to West Adelaide. Take out that game from her stats and Doughty averaged 9.2 disposals and 4.1 rebounds per game, providing extra composure and natural leadership in the back half.
THE TACKLING TEEN:
Lauren Breguet (9.0 disposals, 1.0 marks, 6.0 tackles, 2.5 clearances, 1.0 rebounds)
Central may have unearthed a player to watch for the future by blooding 16-year-old Breguet in Round 3 and then she retained her spot for the Round 4 clash. It is disappointing the season has not continued yet because her improvement from Round 3 to 4 was clearly noticeable, picking up double the disposals, three more clearances and two more tackles on her way to 12 touches, seven tackles and four clearances. With her attack on the ball, expect Breguet to develop into an inside midfielder for the Bulldogs in time.
Central might have finished the season on the bottom after four rounds, but the Bulldogs showed plenty of signs during the 2020 season that they will be one to watch for the future. The win over Norwood was huge, while it is hard to see many teams toppling the Roosters anyway. They were not one of the contenders at the start of the season, but the Bulldogs apply fierce defensive pressure and make their opposition earn it. Realistically all they need is an extra couple of scoring options up forward to take the load off Rosenzweig as the defence and midfield have some developing talents.