WITH 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 is Sturt.
RECORD: 4th (2-2)
R1: lost to West Adelaide by 21 points
R2: lost to South Adelaide by 35 points
R3: defeated WWT Eagles by 8 points
R4: defeated Central District by 11 points
Sturt’s start to the season was indicative of a mid-table team after a couple of losses to top three contenders, and then a couple of wins against bottom four sides. They were neither completely blown away by the top sides, nor completely dominant against the bottom ones, so the Double Blues had plenty they could take out of the opening four rounds. They finished sitting in fourth which would have been interesting to see if they could maintain that by season’s end having missed finals last year.
Georgia Bevan (18.0 disposals, 2.5 marks, 6.3 tackles, 3.0 clearances, 1.8 inside 50s, 2.3 rebounds, 1 goal)
It would not be a shock whatsoever to see Bevan taking out the club best and fairest if it was held after a ultra-consistent four games. She did not pick up less than 19 touches in her first three rounds, and averaged 18 disposals at 69 per cent efficiency across all her matches. Bevan was fierce around the stoppages as one of the top tacklers in the competition, while averaging three clearances a game. She really stepped up her inside presence in the final two wins, and led the team well with a goal in the victory over Central District crucial. Bevan was also equal first in the competition for Dream Team points, averaging 80.3 per game.
Maya Rigter (13.3 disposals, 3.3 marks, 7.3 tackles, 2.8 clearances, 1.3 inside 50s, 1.5 rebounds)
The younger of the two co-captains at just 19-years-old, Rigter started the season on fire with 18 disposals and seven marks in the loss to West Adelaide, and while her next three games did not reach the same ball-winning heights, her defensive pressure and team-orientated game did not waiver. She laid a whopping 29 tackles in the four games, averaging 7.3 per game to be third overall in the competition. She also did not waste too many disposals when she won the ball, recording a 75 per cent efficiency.
THE FUTURE STAR:
Zoe Prowse (13.8 disposals, 3.0 marks, 4.5 clearances, 1.8 inside 50s, 1.0 rebounds)
At just 16-years-old, there is little doubt Prowse is a future talent to watch through the pathway systems and she showed why in 2020. Having made her senior debut last year playing seven matches, she backed that up with the four this year, including her first two goals as well. In her four games, Prowse continued to get better and better each week, dominating through the ruck and spending more time onball to the point of where she picked up the equivalent of football’s triple-double for a ruck with 23 disposals, 20 hitouts and 10 clearances against Central District. Prowse also had the four marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds in one of the performances of the year in a breakout game.
THE YOUNG DEFENDER:
Hannah Prenzler (10.8 disposals, 4.3 marks, 2.0 tackles, 2.3 rebounds)
Like Prowse, Prenzler is young at just 17-years-old but has experience at the level, actually playing a remarkable 23 games at senior level already. Making her debut way back in 2018 as a 15-year-old, she had settled into the defensive role this year as a reliable rebounder. In her four games, she won double-figure disposals three times and had a standout performance in the loss to South Adelaide with 15 touches, six marks, three tackles and four rebounds. Strong above her head, Prenzler was able to clunk some strong marks – equal third in the competition for the stat – and provide an option for her teammates, using the ball at an elite 79 per cent coming off half-back.
THE TEEN TACKLING MACHINE:
Isobel Kuiper (12.0 disposals, 3.3 marks, 6.0 tackles, 2.3 clearances, 1.0 inside 50s)
Another young gun at 17-years-old coming through the Double Blues’ system, Kuiper was able to build on her four games last year with another four this year. She hit double-figure disposals every game, and after a quieter first match in terms of her defensive pressure, ramped it up in the last three to average 7.7 tackles per game from Rounds 2 to 4. Kuipers was also able to extract the ball out of the stoppages with her best performance coming in the tight win over the Eagles, picking up 18 disposals, five marks, four clearances, six tackles and two inside 50s.
THE STRONG HANDS:
Georgia Swan (8.5 disposals, 3.5 marks, 1.0 tackles, 1.0 inside 50s)
Remarkably yet another teenager on the side who is doing some good things is Swan who backed up a solid first season with a best 22 spot in 2020. She averaged 8.5 disposals per game, but was most prominent for her contested marking, where she took five for the season and finished inside the top 10 for the stat. She averaged a total of 3.5 marks per game, with a standout marking performance coming against the Eagles with seven to accompany her 10 disposals. Swan also hit the scoreboard with a couple of goals for the season and at just 16-years-old is another who will continue to develop and trouble opposition sides next season.
Sturt has an array of talented youth as you can see from the top performers throughout the season. Consistency can be an issue when there is an abundance of youth, but the Double Blues showed plenty of excitement and loom as one of the big improvers for 2021 with the players set to take their games to another level around Bevan who is an All-Star quality.