WITH a new TAC Cup Girls premier and the future of the AFLW on show, it was a weekend to sit back and enjoy what looks to be an enjoyable few years as women’s football continues to go from strength to strength.
Geelong Falcons win inaugural Grand Final
Nothing is more memorable than a premiership and Geelong Falcons’ grand final win over a spirited Northern Knights side was one to remember. They had their work cut out for them, but a few positional changes and the belief within the group to fight back from a two-goal half-time deficit saw them etch their names into history. The likes of Denby Taylor, Olivia Purcell, Tarryn Love and Nina Morrison led the way, while captain Lucy McEvoy was everywhere.
AFLW future talent on show
Following on from the memorable moment of a premiership, it is impossible not to sit back and enjoy what will be the future of AFL Women’s in the next three years. Aside from the clear top-end talent to come out of this year’s draft at the end of the season, bottom agers Gabby Newton, Britney Gutknecht, Nell Morris-Dalton, Ciara Fitzgerald, Sarah Sansonetti, Lucy McEvoy, Abbey Chapman and Luka Lesosky Hay were all impressive. Throw in some of the best 15/16 year-olds in the competition in Ellie McKenzie, Alyssa Bannan, Abigail Bennett, Ashleigh Snow, Jess Fitzgerald, Laura Gardiner, Renee Tierney and Jerusha Devarakonda and the 2020 draft crop is already at an advanced level compared to their predecessors.
Brisbane Lions’ maiden win
It was a long time coming, but the Brisbane Lions cubs finally recorded their first win, coming from behind in the opening term to storm home and claim a memorable victory over Hawthorn. It was extra special for veteran Luke Hodge against his old side, while Matt Eagles and Charlie Cameron celebrated their first AFL and Brisbane Lions’ wins respectively. After a few lean years, the Lions are providing supporters with some serious hope going forward.
Big bags are back in fashion
There is nothing quite like a dominant key position forward in a game where athleticism and scoreboard pressure from smalls has been placed at a premium. On the weekend we saw not one, not two, but three key position forwards booting bags of goals. Murray Bushrangers’ Hudson Garoni continued his sensational form with seven majors, while Corey Ellison (Dandenong Stingrays) and Jordan Rossiter (Eastern Ranges) booted six each. Harry Bede who is no shrimp himself, booting four in the Sandringham Dragons’ win.
Teenagers step up to the big time
We are already seeing a number of talented TAC Cup Girls make the transition through to the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition. With a number of players suiting up for different VFL Women’s sides, and not having the National Under 18 Championships on the horizon, Oakleigh Chargers’ Isabella Gietzmann and Eastern Ranges’ Ashleigh Allsopp donned the Carlton and Southern Saints’ jumpers respectively.