Tag: Hannah mclaren

2021 VFL Women’s Round 1 preview: Revamped state league returns after lost season

THE Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition returns this weekend, with a revamped structure seeing the season run concurrently with that of the AFL Women’s (AFLW). As somewhat of a reserves league to aligned sides in the top flight, the VFLW features 12 teams in 2021, including Port Melbourne after the Borough took on Richmond’s license. Round 1 sees fixtures spread evenly over Saturday and Sunday, starting at Arden Street as North Melbourne hosts Port Melbourne.

North Melbourne vs. Port Melbourne
Saturday February 27, 10:00am
Arden Street Oval

North Melbourne welcomes competition newcomer, Port Melbourne to the VFL Women’s on Saturday morning as the two sides open season 2021 at Arden Street Oval. While still a proud standalone club, the Borough has taken on Richmond’s VFLW license and will thus have access to Tigers players who miss out on AFLW selection. Likewise, North Melbourne’s top flight alignment will see some senior listed Kangaroos line up in the blue and white each week.

The likes of Richmond forward Christina Bernardi and Melissa Kuys will be among the experienced names set to lead the Borough’s efforts, while an all-Richmond half-back line of Hannah McLaren, Sarah Sansonetti, and Laura McClelland should prove difficult to budge. Murray Bushrangers graduate Sophie Locke is another exciting young talent in Port’s side, named in the back pocket.

New Roo Katelyn Cox is set for a reserves outing in North’s midfield, lining up next to Meagan Kiely and Bethany Lynch with Lexi Hamilton a handy ruck to be roving under. Nikki Wallace, another with AFLW experience lines up in defence and Brooke Brown gets a gig at the other end of the ground. Brown was taken by North Melbourne as a surprise father-daughter selection in 2020.

Expect North Melbourne’s hardness and pressure around the ball to be a real feature, as Port looks to bring an exciting transition style to the fore in what should be a competitive start to the 2021 season.

Geelong vs. Collingwood
Saturday February 27, 12:00pm
Deakin University, Geelong (Waurn Ponds)

AFLW-aligned sides Geelong and Collingwood go head-to-head at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds on Saturday afternoon, looking to start their campaigns on the right foot. Both sides boast a strong mix of youth and experience in their Round 1 lineups, with the Cats benefitting significantly from their alignment to the top flight when it comes to the young talent at their disposal. Collingwood, of course, remains the reigning premier after the 2020 season was scrapped.

Among the exciting brigade of up-and-comers, Olivia Barber has been named at full forward and will spearhead the attack alongside skipper, Michelle Fedele. Paige Sheppard is poised to make her return to football in the hoops, named among an exciting midfield with Cats AFLW youngsters Laura Gardiner, Darcy Moloney, and ruck Rene Caris having all gained experience at senior level.

Collingwood’s tall stocks should trouble the Cats, particularly up forward. Senior ruck Bella Smith takes up the full forward spot with Sarah King set to take the first bounce, while Imogen Barnett is another to watch in Collingwood’s front half. Smith’s former Norwood teammate Matilda Zander looms as an exciting addition from the SANFL, with the Magpies’ forward depth pushing Amelia Velardo to half-back.

The Magpies will look to adopt a similar gameplan to their AFLW side, looking to take the game on in transition with an exciting handball style while also taking hold of the game when required. Geelong will also play an attacking brand, with youthful exuberance and instinct also poised to come into the Cats’ thinking.

Carlton vs. Casey Demons
Saturday February 27, 2:00pm
Princes Park

Another all-aligned clash takes place at Princes Park as Carlton and Casey Demons lock horns, rounding out Saturday’s fixtures. The Blues have hit the reset button on their VFLW program and will look a very fresh side this year, adopting a strong youth focus to help feed their AFLW squad. Casey also has strong ties to its AFLW-aligned team in Melbourne, with a fit and strong Demons unit out to prove just how fruitful their preseason has been.

The Blues will be led from the back with skipper Ally Bild lining up next to vice-captain Jen Lew across half-back, while Carlton-listed speedster Charlotte Hammans completes the line. Coming down from Cairns, Jasmine Ware is another to watch in Carlton’s defence, while Akayla Peterson looms as a high-upside type at the other end. Carlton draftees Winnie Laing and Paige Trudgeon will also get some run into their legs in the front half.

Casey captain Samantha Johnson is her side’s major off-season coup and will anchor the midfield alongside first year Melbourne midfielder, Megan Fitzsimon. Both will benefit from the ruckwork of Maggie Caris, while an all-Melbourne half-back line of Mietta Kendall, Isabella Simmons, and Irishwoman Lauren Magee should prove exciting to watch. Brenna Tarrant also features at full back, with three senior games under her belt this year.

With new coach Peter Mercoulia also embedded in Melbourne’s coaching staff, Casey will look to play fast and put heavy scoreboard pressure on. Carlton is led by a new coach of its own in Luke O’Shannessy, who should be able to extract great things from the Blues’ young talent with his vast pathways experience.

Western Bulldogs vs. Hawthorn
Sunday February 28, 10:00am
Whitten Oval

The Western Bulldogs kick off their 2021 campaign at home as Hawthorn rolls into town on Sunday morning, looking to take a big scalp early. The Bulldogs have built one of the best young AFLW lists, with the vast array of talent spilling into its reserves side and making for an exciting squad on paper. The standalone Hawks are also strong on youth, but have attracted some big-name experience with Bec Goddard set to take the reins as head coach for the first time since 2018.

An embarrassment of riches sees the Bulldogs’ forwardline stacked with five AFLW-listed talents, including Isabella Grant, Gemma Lagioia, and the experienced Lauren Spark. Mary Sandral is the lone VFLW-listed player to start in attack, though the likes of Nicole McMahon (ruck), skipper Riley Christgoergl (half-back), and vice-captain Katelyn Betts (centre) will be consistent VFLW figures this year. Under McMahon, the likes of Isabelle Pritchard, Brooke Hards, and Britney Gutknecht should be served well in midfield.

Some well-renowned names in female footballing circles will provide invaluable experience to Hawthorn’s fledgling side, with stalwart Meg Hutchins poised to take on a number of roles aside from her forwardline listing, while Abbey Holmes is a tough body at the contest who will rotate forward through midfield. Skipper Jess Trend is another with AFLW experience who should impact greatly, while Northern Territory recruit Dominique Carbone has serious potential. She is set for her VFLW debut on the same weekend the Darwin Buffettes play finals back home.

The Hawks should prove a well structured side under Goddard and will be sure to crack in hard, though the abundance of promising young options for the Bulldogs will be incredibly tough to overcome. Should they not rely on too few, the Hawks will be ultra competitive in the face of the Dogs’ rawness and fierce style.

Essendon vs. Southern Saints
Sunday February 28, 10:30am
The Hangar

Essendon is set to unveil its shiny new facilities at The Hangar on Sunday morning, hosting the Southern Saints in what should be a competitive clash. Gunning for an AFLW license, the Bombers remain standalone but have built a strong list with more continuity than other sides heading into 2021. The Saints have their St Kilda alignment to lean on, but are looking strong in their own right after a solid preseason.

Anchoring Essendon’s side will be skipper Georgia Nanscawen, who is part of a terrific spine in the red and black. Cecilia McIntosh lines up down back, while Courtney Ugle provides some grunt, and Mia-Rae Clifford gets a fresh start up forward. Of the up-and-comers, Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Alana Barba have already performed well in the sash, with a host of young prospects set to filter through Essendon’s lineup as the season progresses.

Tara Bohanna (full back) and Deanna Jolliffe (rover) will lead the Saints out as co-captain Frankie Hocking has not been named. Georgia McLean is one to watch off half-back having crossed from Casey, while Poppy Kelly and Alice Burke are the only St Kilda AFLW players to feature in the lineup – both named on the interchange bench ahead of three emergencies from the senior squad.

The Saints have not put a ceiling on their potential and promise to open the game up with unpredictable ball movement. The Bombers’ continuity as a group and greater poise with such experience could well play a factor in this clash, with both sides backing their cohesion after so long away from competitive action.

Darebin vs. Williamstown
Sunday February 28, 11:30am
La Trobe University, Bundoora

Pioneer club, the Darebin Falcons take on Williamstown in Round 1’s closing fixture on Sunday, set to play out at La Trobe University in Bundoora. Both proud standalone clubs, these two sides will be made up purely of VFLW-listed talent early on before gaining access to NAB League and potentially even AFLW talent as those seasons are run and done. The two sides already faced off during preseason, with Williamstown winning by 11 points at the same venue.

Led by the returning Stephanie Simpson, Darebin has a bunch of leaders set to build the standards under coach Mitch Skelly. In defence, Gena Lawson-Tavan is one who promises to do exactly that as vice-captain, while fellow leaders Cherelle Byrne (centre) and Alyssa Mifsud (full forward) are other leaders littered up and down the spine. One Falcon to watch is Stephanie Elarmaly, a youngster who has come through Darebin’s youth system.

2019 premiership coach Penny Cula-Reid crossed from Collingwood after her flag triumph, and takes over an exciting standalone squad. Skipper Erin Meade has locked in a spot at half-back, with reigning best and fairest winner Megan Williamson set to resume her midfield duties. Asha Price and Eliza Straford should be good value up forward, while Scarlett Dunell, the sister of former Seagull Sam lines up in defence.

There is often a great unknown around the standalone sides, especially after so long away from competitive action, but the two sides will know each other well after their preseason meeting and will get a good assessment of their 2021 chances in this bout.

Image Credit: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos

2021 AFLW Preview: Richmond Tigers

RICHMOND entered a baptism of fire in its maiden AFL Women’s campaign, but will be hoping for marked improvements in each department after a busy offseason. The Tigers were granted concessions and used them to trade in established players, while also laying claim to pick one in a highly talented draft. After a winless start, the only way is up for last year’s expansion side.

2020 RECAP

The Tigers will remain on the hunt for their first set of premiership points in 2021 after failing to register any last time around. Year one did not exactly go to plan for Richmond, at all, starting with a 34-point drubbing at the hands of Carlton to open the season. While they got within two goals of fellow expansion team, Gold Coast a week later, the newcomers were trounced by over six goals in three of their final four outings. A high-scoring encounter with Geelong in Round 4 yielded 45 points but the Tigers were otherwise impotent in attack, restricted to two goals or less on every other occasion – including a goalless return against St Kilda in the final home-and-away round.

NEW FACES

Importantly, Richmond was able to bring in some experience with means beyond the concessions afforded by the AFL at season’s end. Pick 15 was used to snare inaugural Blue Sarah Hosking, who slots straight into the leadership group. She promises to bring some competitiveness and a hard edge to the Tigers’ midfield, which is heavily dependant on one or two players.

Sarah D’Arcy and Sarah Dargan crossed from Collingwood, along with former-Dee Harriet Cordner in a three-way trade which again bolstered Richmond’s stocks. D’Arcy is likely to be somewhat reinvented as a defender in the yellow and black, while Cordner will rotate through the defence and ruck, and Dargan provides some spark moving forward with the potential to play midfield.

First pick, Ellie McKenzie headlined the Tigers’ draft haul and is another who should move straight into the starting side. A tall midfielder/forward with terrific speed, overhead marking and x-factor, McKenzie is a future star of the competition and was long touted as the best player in her draft class. Renowned basketballer Tessa Lavey was selected with pick 43 and Luka Lesosky-Hay got her chance after being overlooked in last year’s intake. Hannah McLaren, the daughter of former AFL umpire Scott, also gets her chance as a replacement for Holly Whitford.

ONE TO WATCH IN 2021

McKenzie would be a relatively easy choice in this category, as is our selection in Hosking. The former Blue is yet to miss an AFLW game and will be exactly the kind of player Tigers fans warm to immediately. She is a tenacious midfielder who runs hard and loves to get her hands dirty, setting a standard which Richmond largely lacked last year.

Should she be thrust into the centre bounce mix, Hosking will inevitably take a load off Monique Conti in the ball winning stakes and can also work to shut down the opposition’s best midfielder. Should she play on the outer or up forward, her defensive pressure will help lock the ball in Richmond’s attacking half, another area which lacked in 2020. The Tigers’ most high profile signing in the offseason will be looking to repay the faith in full, especially as part of her new side’s leadership group.

WHY THEY CAN WIN IT

After a lacklustre maiden campaign, it would be easy for other teams to overlook Richmond heading into 2021. The Tigers have added well to their squad and should be far more competitive as a result, potentially allowing them to fly under the radar and sneak up on some highly fancied teams who become complacent. The experience and class of Conti, Hosking, and a fully fit Katie Brennan in midfield will count for a lot of that competitiveness, while some much-needed spark up forward comes through McKenzie and the defence will be bolstered by Cordner. A handy spine is forming for Richmond and is something which could see the second-year side get some wins on the board.

QUESTION MARK

The Tigers were severely ineffective in the forward half last season and while a stronger group further afield will help their cause, the attacking movers have plenty to do to help Richmond kick winning scores. Bar a flash in the pan seven-goal game against Geelong, the Tigers failed to boot over two goals in 2020 and were too reliant on too few. That in itself is another factor which the Tigers will have to address, but more experienced heads will help ease pressure on their top-class talent.

FINAL WORD

Snaring a win will be the primary goal for Richmond in 2021 and from there, the sky should be the limit. It is likely the Tigers will be more competitive throughout games and the season as a whole this time around, with some solid talent added to the squad and greater depth beginning to emerge. Like any good Richmond side, fans will undoubtedly like to see some fight from this emerging team which is now better placed to produce exactly that.

Image Credit: Richmond FC

AFL Women’s preview: Round 3 – Make or break games set the scene for third round of action

IT is now or never for a number of teams who sit on a knifes-edge when it comes to their finals aspirations. While some sides will finish the round undefeated with three wins, other teams will head into Monday doing the maths as to how many wins they need to make finals. With many teams at 1-1, this is the earliest junction in the season where sides can make a getaway from the sides around them, or fall back and have to play catch-up football in the run home.

Friday, February 21

St Kilda v. Melbourne at RSEA Park, 7:10pm, AEDT

Taylah Melki

With St Kilda still looking for their first win in AFLW history, Melbourne will be hoping to keep the good times rolling and make it three from three. it has been a tricky initiation for the Saints who have been competitive for large chunks of time but lack that little bit of finesse and experience in the crucial moments as opposed to the Demons. Melbourne have been in hot form downing premiership favourites North Melbourne in Round 1 and dismissing the Dogs by 20 points last round proving just how damaging they can be when on song.

It is hard to deny that Melbourne look like a much better side with Daisy Pearce back in the mix. The skilful footballer can extract the footy out of congestion and use the ball efficiently by hand or foot adding that touch of class to an already strong side. Teammates, Karen Paxman and Elise O’Dea provide an experienced head across the field something they will be hoping to use against a relatively young and inexperienced Saints side. Libby Birch is a ball magnet and will be hoping to once again have a profound impact across the ground with her silky skills. In their second year of AFLW youngsters Tyla Hanks and Shelley Heath have been building into some hot form with their tackling pressure the key aspect of their game play.

Despite taking it to the Crows last round, St Kilda let it slip when it counted and will be hoping for a more rounded four quarter performance against some tough opposition. The Saints have plenty of young talent with Rising Star nominee Georgia Patrikios leading the pack with her cleanliness below her knees, quick hands and spatial awareness. Patrikios has made a seamless transition into AFLW with fellow draftee Tarni White also making a splash with an impressive 18 disposals last round while Molly McDonald and Nicola Xenos will be hoping to leave a lasting imprint this round. Expect the young guns to look to the likes of Tilly Lucas-Rodd, Jessica Sedunary and Rhiannon Watt to lead the way and provide some guidance given their experience and high footy nous.

Tip: Melbourne by 22 points.

ST KILDA

B: T.White 29 T.Luke 22
HB: H.Priest 14 A.Brown 2 T.Lucas-Rodd 18
C: N.Exon 15 J.Sedunary 10 M.McDonald 1
HF: C.Munn 13 K.McCarthy 9 C.Greiser 17
F: K.Shierlaw 12 G.Patrikios 21
Foll: R.Watt – C 7 O.Vesely 23 C.Phillips 35
I/C: D.Guttridge 5 R.Dillon 25 A.Drennan 8 N.Xenos 27 I.Shannon 11

Emerg: S.Johnson 6 P.Kelly 16

In: T.Luke, I.Shannon
Out: C.Fitzpatrick (concussion), C.Whitfort

MELBOURNE

B: L.Birch 9 M.Downie 2
HB: S.Lampard 8 S.Goldrick 23 D.Pearce – C 6
C: S.Heath 30 T.Hanks 28 C.Emonson 11
HF: K.Hore 10 E.Zanker 29 S.Scott 12
F: T.Cunningham 1 A.Newman 16
Foll: H.Cordner 21 K.Paxman 4 M.Gay 3
I/C: G.Colvin 32 C.Sherriff 18 N.McEvoy 17 M.Guerin 22 E.O’Dea 5

Emerg: B.Tarrant 20 K.Petrevski 31

In: M.Guerin
Out: A.Kemp (knee)

Saturday, February 22

Western Bulldogs v. Carlton at Whitten Oval, 3:10pm, AEDT

Taylah Melki

The Western Bulldogs will be hoping to take advantage of their home ground and inflict pain on the Blues who were well and truly shocked last round by Collingwood. The Dogs have had an up and down start to the 2020 season getting an easy win in the opening round and then well held in Round 2 much like their opposition making for an interesting battle on Saturday. Both sides will be vying for their second win and given it is a short season a win here means everything. But after a seething comment last round expect the Blues to come out firing on all cylinders.

After a relatively disappointing outing the Dogs will be hoping to right their wrongs and get back on the winners list. Once again Bonnie Toogood provided the pressure up forward and will have to keep that going if they are to topple the Blues. The likes of Aisling McCarthy and Naomi Ferres have stepped up to the plate with their ball winning ability on full display while the likes of best and fairest winner Ellie Blackburn is in ripping form. Blackburn is a machine in the midfield able to dig deep and provide a constant threat. Both Elisabeth Georgostathis and Gemma Lagioia still have plenty to develop but have shown promising signs with their physical pressure and ability to hunt the footy.

Carlton have a plethora of stars across the ground, none bigger than ball magnet and bull Maddy Prespakis with the 20-year-old not afraid to burrow in. She struggled at times throughout Round 2 given the heavy tag but has shown that she has the class, strength and smarts to think her way through challenges pairing with the likes of fellow youngster Grace Egan. The two proved to be a dominant force last round and will be seeking to replicate their form again this round. After an early goal Tayla Harris faded out of the game against Collingwood something that she won’t let happen twice with the talented footballer able to pluck balls from the sky and kick truly. Another one in the forward brigade that will be seeking retribution is Darcy Vescio who failed to find the big sticks but has shown that she is a force to be reckoned with her goal sense and forward pressure.

Tip: Carlton by 14.

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: A.Gogos 36 L.Spark 11
HB: K.Herron 31 E.Gamble 14 N.Ferres 16
C: B.Hunt 21 K.Lamb 27 G.Lagioia 12
HF: G.Newton 5 B.Toogood 8 K.McLeod 6
F: E.Georgostathis 17 D.Berry 7
Foll: K.Rennie 24 E.Blackburn – C 2 A.McCarthy 15
I/C: E.Brown 9 D.Marshall 26 I.Huntington 4 H.Scott 22 B.Lochland 1

Emerg: N.Callinan 10 H.Munyard 20

In: I.Huntington, B.Lochland
Out: N.Callinan, A.Van Oosterwijck

CARLTON

B: G.Pound 6 C.Wilson 20
HB: K.Harrington – C 9 V.Laloifi 8 N.Stevens 21
C: C.Dalton 15 K.Loynes 2 S.Hosking 10
HF: B.Walker 14 T.Harris 7 N.Plane 32
F: A.Downie 30 D.Vescio 3
Foll: B.Moody 16 G.Egan 1 M.Prespakis 4
I/C: J.Hosking 11 L.McEvoy 13 L.Brazzale 12 G.Gee 19 J.Edwards 25

Emerg: B.Vernon 31 C.Jones 22

In: J.Edwards
Out: J.Doonan

Gold Coast v Brisbane, Metricon Stadium, 4.10pm AEST

Tom Cheesman

The first ever AFLW Q Clash will be played on Saturday in the Sunshine State, as expansion side Gold Coast look to topple their undefeated Conference A rival Brisbane. The Lions are sitting pretty on top of the table thanks to a dominant round one victory over Adelaide and a come-from-behind win on the road against Geelong. Meanwhile, the Suns evened their ledger at 1-1 last weekend with an 11-point victory over fellow newcomers Richmond. Both sides have strong percentages to work with and are building momentum heading into round three, so this contest should be a belter.

Ex-North Melbourne and Brisbane midfielder Jamie Stanton has been Gold Coast’s most reliable player through the opening two rounds, rated best for the SUNS by Draft Central in both matches. She averages 18 disposals, four tackles and two marks so far this season. Leah Kaslar was great last week with 15 disposals and four tackles, while Kate Surman is proving to be an excitement machine for the Suns up forward. Northern Territory recruit Tayla Thorn will look to make an impact in defence for the hosts in what will be her first match of the season.

Brisbane NAB rising star nominee Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw plans on replicating last week’s entertaining three-goal performance. She trails Fremantle’s Sabreena Duffy by one in the race for the AFLW Leading Goalkicker award and would love to take the lead through a dominant performance against the Suns. Lion midfielders Emily Bates and Ally Anderson led from the front in Geelong with 38 disposals between them, while Lily Postlethwaite is showing plenty of physicality early in her debut season. She has amassed 11 tackles over the first two rounds and with a physical clash set to take place on Saturday, this number should continue to rise.

Tip: Brisbane by 9.

GOLD COAST

B: J.Pregelj 42 J.Hickey 4
HB: S.Virgo – C 22 L.Ahrens 7 S.Watson 14
C: T.Ernst 19 H.Dunn 24 C.Hammond 29
HF: B.Perry 16 L.Kaslar 11 K.Surman 26
F: E.Hampson 21 K.Howarth 23
Foll: L.Bella 2 J.Yorston 5 J.Stanton 17
I/C: J.Hewett 20 D.Heslop 25 P.Parker 1 M.Ritson 12 T.Thorn 15

Emerg: S.Riley 8 A.Hamilton 30

In: T.Thorn
Out: S.Riley

BRISBANE

B: C.Svarc 25 S.Webb 4
HB: R.Lugg 11 K.Lutkins 13 S.Campbell 20
C: E.Zielke – C 8 B.Koenen 3 N.Grider 10
HF: L.Arnell 16 J.Wardlaw 30 G.Bodey 15
F: D.Davidson 14 S.Conway 12
Foll: J.Keeffe 27 A.Anderson 18 E.Bates 1
I/C: I.Dawes 17 O.O’Dwyer 9 L.Postlethwaite 6 G.Collingwood 7 M.Moloney 28

Emerg: J.Ellenger 5 J.Zanchetta 2

In: None
Out: None

Fremantle v. Collingwood at Fremantle Oval, 7:10pm

Taylah Melki

The top of the table clash will bring plenty of excitement with both sides undefeated and looking to make it three straight wins. It is fair to say that both the Dockers and Collingwood have shocked the competition with just how well they are going with Fremantle romping it home last round against cross-town rivals. Collingwood have found a new lease on life with their running style of play paying dividends and often giving them first purchase on the footy whereas the Dockers have a more attacking style.

Scoring has proven no issue for the Dockers posting some hefty totals already this season with the likes of leading goal kicker Sabreena Duffy doing a wealth of damage on the scoreboard. Both Kara Antonio and Ebony Antonio have proven to be a deadly duo with their tackling pressure and intensity a constant feature of their game. Roxy Roux bounded into Rising Star contention last week with a couple of impressive grabs and two goals to her name an effort she will want to repeat again this week while Mim Strom is continuing to ply her trade. Kiara Bowers had a best on field performance last week getting her hands to ball with ease and disposing of it cleanly with teammates Evangeline Gooch and Katie-Jayne Greive others who can inflict pain on the Pies if left unattended.

The return of Magpies star Chloe Molloy has been everything the club could have asked for with her running ability, hard edge and cleanliness along with her versatility a key aspect to the line-up. Molloy is a real excitement machine while livewire Jaimee Lambert has gone from strength to strength already and it is only entering Round 3. The potential return of the injured Bri Davey could further bolster Collingwood’s midfield stocks making them an ominous threat for the Dockers. Defensively the Pies have stood up to the task with damaging duo Stacey Livingstone and Ash Brazill acting as a wall down back and propelling anything that comes their way while in the ruck Sharni Layton has taken her craft to a whole other level. Brittany Bonnici and Mikayla Cann have been in ripping form for the black and white army and will be hoping to front up once again to get their side over the line.

Tip: Fremantle by 10.

FREMANTLE

B: J.Cuthbertson 29 E.Gooch 8
HB: A.Stannett 24 P.Seth 18 L.Mascall 14
C: K.Grieve 13 H.Miller 19 B.Webb 26
HF: E.Antonio 12 R.Roux 17 A.Sharp 1
F: S.Duffy 6 G.Houghton 27
Foll: M.Strom 21 K.Bowers 2 K.Antonio – C 15
I/C: K.Flood 44 J.Stewart 7 L.Pugh 32 L.Rohde 11 G.O’Sullivan 22

Emerg: E.O’Driscoll 3 M.Clifford 4

In: None
Out: None

COLLINGWOOD

B: A.Porter 9 S.Livingstone 12
HB: L.Butler 23 A.Brazill 10 C.Molloy 2
C: S.Rowe 7 S.Casey 22 S.Chiocci – C 17
HF: A.Sheridan 14 J.Lambert 13 B.Bonnici 8
F: M.Cann 25 R.Schleicher 18
Foll: S.Layton 1 E.Fowler 15 S.D’Arcy 4
I/C: S.Dargan 46 B.Davey 3 J.Allen 6 J.Membrey 21 K.Stratton 41

Emerg: M.Shevlin 35 E.O’Dea 50

In: R.Schleicher, B.Davey, K.Stratton
Out: E.O’Dea, S.Alexander, M.Shevlin

Sunday, February 23

Greater Western Sydney v West Coast, Blacktown International Stadium, 1.10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

Kicking off proceedings on Sunday, one of the expansion clubs makes its longest trip yet when West Coast crosses the country to face GWS GIANTS at Blacktown. The Eagles have shown signs in their opening two games, but have ultimately been overwhelmed, while the GIANTS survived an almighty scare in Round 1 to just get the points against Gold Coast, before going down to North Melbourne last week. It was lucky the GIANTS did get the win against the SUNS, or they could be all but out of the finals race if they dropped this match as well. As it stands, that is the predicament facing West Coast, with realistically three losses the maximum a team could have and still make finals, though not many would expect West Coast to make the post-season series in its first season. The GIANTS on the otherhand are desperate to get there having not yet tasted finals action in three seasons.

The GIANTS have a consistent list across the board with a lot of underrated stars. Alicia Eva and Alyce Parker are a damaging duo in the competition, with Parker one of the top few talents in her second year. She has worked well winning the hard ball out of the middle and using her skills, while Eva’s evasion and speed make her a damaging prospect out of congestion or in space on a wing. The GIANTS have an experienced defence that just nullifies opposition forwards, with Tanya Hetherington and Pepa Randall back on the last line, and Jess Dal Pos providing the touch of class off half-back. Up forward, Cora Staunton is always a player you have to watch out for as an opposition defender, while Rebecca Privitelli is enjoying career-best form. Also in good form is ex-Crow Jess Allen, who becomes even more crucial in this clash in the absence of All-Australian ruck Erin McKinnon.

Parris Laurie will look to continue her great form through the middle as the leading tap ruck, amassing more than 20 hitouts a game so far. She has a very strong midfield at her feet, with Dana Hooker a top five player in the league, and captain Emma Swanson a real talent with ball-in-hand. Imahra Cameron has genuinely lit up moments in games with her breakaway speed and has been a huge inclusion into the side as a mature-age recruit. Mikayla Bowen provides the toughness around the contest, and McKenzie Dowrick adds the class and skill playing off half-back. While the Eagles forward line is still learning to function as a unit, former Dockers, Kellie Gibson and Ashlee Atkins make a damaging duo, and once the midfield and forward lines can link-up regularly, they will be a strong force.

Tip: GWS by 20.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

B: P.Randall 21 T.Hetherington 9
HB: J.Dal Pos 7 E.Bennetts 22 A.Lister 14
C: Y.Bonner 27 A.Eva – C 2 R.Beeson 6
HF: A.Schmidt 11 C.Staunton 13 J.Hicks 5
F: I.Nielsen 25 R.Privitelli 19
Foll: J.Allan 39 B.Tully 36 A.Parker 3
I/C: N.Barr 8 L.Steane 20 J.Barclay 34 L.Stephenson 12 H.Zreika 24 T.Mackrill 32 S.Halvorsen 30

In: J.Barclay, T.Mackrill, S.Halvorsen
Out: E.McKinnon

WEST COAST

B: C.Perera 27 T.Radan 26
HB: B.Smith 14 S.McDonald 35 M.Dowrick 5
C: M.Bowen 1 I.Cameron 19 N.Kelly 12
HF: A.Atkins 9 K.Gibson 2 M.Collier 8
F: G.Kelly 15 T.Tester 23
Foll: P.Laurie 25 D.Hooker 17 E.Swanson – C 13
I/C: B.Devlyn 7 C.Guard 4 H.Bullas 24 E.Bonser 6 K.Orme 32 C.Davidson 33 D.Pisconeri 11

In: E.Bonser, C.Davidson
Out: None

Richmond v North Melbourne, Ikon Park, 3.10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

The Sunday mid-afternoon game pits an expansion side against one of last year’s expansion teams when Richmond plays host to North Melbourne at Ikon Park. The Tigers enter this game without a win on the board just yet, and suffered defeats at the hands of Carlton and Gold Coast SUNS who are also 1-1 having lost their other respective matches. North Melbourne also sits at 1-1 from its two games, having gone down to Melbourne in a tight one out at Casey Fields, before bouncing back with a win over the GIANTS in Tasmania last week. It is fair to say the star-studded talent of North Melbourne will head in as strong favourites for this game, but with a number of fresh faces coming into Richmond’s team, it will be interesting to see how they line-up.

Joining Richmond’s extended squad in the game are debutant Ella Wood – with the former Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels midfielder named on the wing – as well as potential debutants, Ciara Fitzgerald and surprise non-listed call-up, Hannah McLaren. Both have been named on the extended bench in case of any injuries, while Tayla Stahl misses with a hamstring problem. The Tigers have a strong top-end with Monique Conti and Katie Brennan leading the midfield. Brennan copped flak throughout the week in the media and is likely to come out firing to silence the critics, which the North Melbourne midfield will have to be aware of for this game. Up forward, Sabrina Frederick provides a tall marking target, while Christina Bernardi and Kodi Jacques have been in good form this season. In defence, Akec Makur Chuot and Phoebe Monahan are just quietly going about their business but are statistically the top one-two duo when thinking about marks and rebounds. Wood adds extra hardness at the contest, and joins GWV teammate Sophie Molan, and a number of other youngsters, such as Laura McClelland and Sarah Sansonetti in the team.

North Melbourne’s depth is one of the envies of the competition and there is a reason the Roos headed into the 2020 season as the premiership favourites. With a strong list despite missing one of its stars in Jess Duffin (maternity leave), North Melbourne has more players that stand up in big moments than any other side. Emma Kearney is a Most Valuable Player (MVP) winner a couple of seasons ago and well heralded, but the work of Jenna Bruton and recently, Ash Riddell should not be underestimated. With Jasmine Garner in career-best form – which is saying something – and Kaitlyn Ashmore roving at the feet of Emma King up forward, the Roos have plenty of scoring options.They are missing that Duffin-type role off half-back, though Tahlia Randall and Danielle Hardiman have provided good strength in the air for the midfielders who drop back and help out to run the ball down the field. Overall, this North Melbourne side on paper should win this game fairly easily, but as we know with any match, games are not won on paper.

Tip: North Melbourne by 28.

RICHMOND

B: S.Sansonetti 18 A.Makur Chuot 34
HB: L.McClelland 16 P.Monahan 2 G.Seymour 28
C: E.Wood 17 K.Brennan – C 3 R.Miller 15
HF: S.Frederick 14 K.Jacques 10 C.Bernardi 6
F: C.Wakefield 8 M.Brancatisano 5
Foll: A.Edmonds 11 M.Conti 4 G.Campbell 43
I/C: L.Tesoriero 7 L.Bailey 12 S.Molan 1 A.Woodward 13 H.Burchell 9 H.McLaren 29 C.Fitzgerald 26

In: E.Wood, H.McLaren, C.Fitzgerald
Out: T.Stahl (hamstring)

NORTH MELBOURNE

B: T.Randall 16 B.Gibson 18
HB: T.Nestor 24 D.Hardiman 31 J.Grierson 19
C: J.Trend 21 A.Riddell 7 E.Kearney – C 9
HF: S.Abbatangelo 1 K.Gillespie-Jones 5 E.King 4
F: E.King 60 K.Ashmore 10
Foll: V.Saad 39 J.Garner 25 J.Bruton 35
I/C: A.Gilroy 8 D.Bateman 11 S.Wright 17 B.Lynch 20 E.Gavalas 22 M.King 23 A.Green 26

In: B.Lynch, M.King
Out: None

Geelong v Adelaide, GMHBA Stadium, 5.10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

The final game of the round might well be the best of the lot, perhaps barring the top of the table clash between the Dockers and Magpies. Geelong is hungry for a win, sitting at 0-2 despite statistically looking pretty good across the board and plenty of their teenage talents stepping up already in season 2020. Adelaide has been the walking wounded, having to bring in a top-up player back in Round 1 due to the multitude of injuries, and then bouncing back with a win – albeit not entirely convincing – over newcomers St Kilda. This feels like a game that could make or break both these side’s seasons. Geelong win, and the Cats are back in contention, while they lose and it is pretty much curtains for season 2020 unless they really get on a roll. Adelaide win, and the Crows are flying high on confidence and can sustain it long enough to receive some extra troops in the run home to finals, while they lose and the reigning premiers will be in a bit of trouble for their title defence aspirations.

Geelong lost at home last week to Brisbane, and will want to give the home fans who turn up for the second week in a row something to cheer about. The Cats have lost promising youngster, Denby Taylor to an ankle injury, but have regained All-Australian defender Meg McDonald, which would be a huge relief for coach Paul Hood. Maddy Boyd and Rebecca Goring have been added to the squad as well for the clash, as Geelong understands the importance of a win here for its finals calculations. The core group of second year players in the blue and white hoops have been simply sensational and a blueprint for clubs going forward. Olivia Purcell is in the top five ball winners across the league, while Rebecca Webster has been a marking machine and is the most improved player in the competition. Along with Sophie Van De Heuvel and 2018 AFL Women’s number one draft pick Nina Morrison, the Cats have a plethora of talent across the board. They still have more to get out of some of the depth around the ground, but with McDonald back, it releases some of the pressure off captain Mel Hickey, while Phoebe McWilliams will enjoy having Boyd back in the side as another target up forward.

The Crows go in with top selection from last year’s draft, Montana McKinnon – who dominated in the SANFL Women’s competition last week – and Courtney Cramey of whom both have been added to the extended side. The midfield duo of Anne Hatchard and Ebony Marinoff is ranked first and second in terms of disposals won, while Eloise Jones have gained some important minutes in the absence of star, Erin Phillips. Up forward, Nikki Gore and Danielle Ponter have improved in their second year, adding extra dimensions to the side, while Courtney Gum‘s new role as a deep forward has been important in providing leadership around the young players. The midfield battle between these teams will be fascinating, and if the Crows can continue their ball-winning and stoppage ways, then expect their forwards to have a good day in Geelong. But if the Cats can neutralise the midfield, then they will also have a huge chance of taking out the contest.

Tip: Geelong by 4.

GEELONG

B: M.Brown 19 M.McMahon 24
HB: M.Keryk 45 M.McDonald 11 M.Hickey – C 18
C: S.Van De Heuvel 27 R.Webster 21 N.Morrison 9
HF: J.Crockett-Grills 6 P.McWilliams 23 J.Ivey 5
F: M.Boyd 26 R.Garing 12
Foll: A.O’Connor 14 R.Cranston 30 O.Purcell 16
I/C: M.Maguire 7 D.Higgins 2 G.Rankin 10 R.Caris 1 G.Clarke 17 R.Goring 44 A.McDonald 3

In: M.McDonald, M.Boyd, R.Goring
Out: D.Taylor (ankle)

ADELAIDE

B: D.Cox 31 S.Allan 39
HB: S.Li 19 M.Rajcic 32 C.Cramey 22
C: A.Foley – C 3 A.Hatchard 33 J.Mules 23
HF: N.Gore 7 C.Gould 1 S.Thompson 14
F: C.Gum 5 D.Ponter 15
Foll: J.Foley 24 E.Marinoff 10 E.Jones 2
I/C: A.Considine 16 M.McKinnon 21 C.Biddell 12 N.Allen 8 M.Newman 17 N.Campbell 20 R.Forth 27

In: C.Cramey, M.McKinnon
Out: None

ROUND 3 TIPS: [Total tips in brackets]

Michael Alvaro [10]: Melbourne / Carlton / Brisbane / Fremantle / GWS / North Melbourne / Adelaide
Taylah Melki [12]: Melbourne / Carlton / Brisbane / Collingwood / GWS / North Melbourne / Adelaide
Sophie Taylor [10]: Melbourne / Carlton / Brisbane / Fremantle / GWS / North Melbourne / Adelaide
Peter Williams [9]: Melbourne / Carlton / Brisbane / Fremantle / GWS / North Melbourne / Geelong

2019 VFLW weekend Round 1b preview: Eight teams begin their campagins

AFTER the Southern Saints made a statement in the opening round with a victory over last year’s minor premiers Collingwood, the other Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s sides take to the field, as four games are played across the competition. The Western Bulldogs and Carlton have the bye, as do Williamstown, however the Seagulls are facing off against GWS GIANTS in an invitational match which will see the GIANTS match-up against some of the Victorian sides. Below are the teams and season previews.

ESSENDON v. CASEY DEMONS

Round 1 – 11/05/2019
11:30
Windy Hill

Essendon

B: 7. K. Hicks, 11. M. Warburton, 29. C. Laan
HB: 18. K. Heil, 27. A. Morcom, 21. K. McFadyen
C: 28. R. Svarc, 39. M. Fogas, 1. C. Ugle
HF: 25. L. Stepnell, 23. M. Collier, 24. S. Wilson
F: 3. M. DeMatteo, 38. E. Gogerly, 40. A. Moreen
R: 30. S. Nalder, 22. N. MacDonald, 8. H. Bullas
Int: 13. S. Audley, 2. I. Currenti, 43. G. Nanscawen, 4. A. Saundry
Emg: 45. E. Ashley-Cooper, 15. L. Caruso, 33. E. Hosking, 14. T. Zagontinos
23P: 31. J. Stassi

Casey Demons

B: 50. G. McLean, 13. K. Smith, 15. T. Tatterson
HB: 34. A. Kirkwood, 7. B. Jakobsson, 8. S. Lampard
C: 23. E. Birch, 16. M. Hogg, 22. M. Guerin
HF: 42. H. Bailey, 29. E. Zanker , 11. C. Emonson
F: 24. N. Garner, 40. H. Dyson, 27. B. Winbanks
R: 38. K. Bentvelzen , 41. R. Edmeades, 47. K. Guttridge
Int: 48. E. Archer, 9. A. Johnson, 32. A. McDonough, 54. K. Oates
Emg: 57. L. Davies, 51. A. Francese, 37. T. Nash, 62. G. Speedy
23P: 46. B. Pratt

 

DAREBIN v. RICHMOND

Round 1 – 11/05/2019
12:00
Swinburne Centre

Darebin

B: 32. G. Colvin, 21. K. Roe, 19. R. Hibbert
HB: 16. B. Kennedy, 56. R. Ashley, 43. N. Wolfe
C: 1. E. Honybun, 9. M. Eastman, 28. A. Morrow
HF: 17. S. Simpson, 22. G. Hammond, 7. L. Szigeti
F: 36. E. Buckley, 31. E. Gardner, 23. M. Wilson
R: 37. E. McLaughlin, 15. A. Lister, 33. J. Stanton
Int: 18. C. Byrne, 39. S. David, 25. C. Delbridge, 20. S. Fairchild
Emg: 46. R. Coombs, 55. M. Hubbard, 49. A. Ladson, 50. M. Suzuki
23P: 57. P. Kearney

Richmond

B: 26. E. Burry, 41. S. Last, 15. R. Miller
HB: 19. K. Dempsey, 2. P. Monahan, 34. A. Makur Chuot
C: 25. G. Egan, 5. M. Brancatisano, 8. J. Graham
HF: 33. J. Colwell, 16. C. Wakefield , 36. E. Paterno
F: 17. E. Gunn, 24. T. Stahl-Smith, 46. H. Ibrahim
R: 11. A. Edmonds, 13. A. Woodward, 1. J. Kennedy
Int: 43. G. Campbell, 30. D. Edward, 37. M. Klingbeil , 22. S. Marsh
Emg: 39. M. Lindsay , 32. I. Milford, 23. T. Smith
23P: 29. K. Jacques

 

HAWTHORN v. NT THUNDER

Round 1 – 12/05/2019
11:30
Box Hill City Oval

Hawthorn

B: 25. M. Hutchins, 6. T. Radan, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 40. E. MacDonald, 21. P. Randall
C: 33. E. Gilder, 24. R. Dillon, 5. C. Perera
HF: 12. N. Cormack , 26. C. Dyett, 18. E. Wroe
F: 17. A. Dowler, 2. K. Henderson, 30. A. Sarec
R: 22. T. Luke, 10. P. Peschke, 8. R. Beeson
Int: 14. O. Flanagan, 11. D. Haines, 15. B. Struylaart, 29. A. Tanner
Emg: 4. S. Carroll, 35. C. O’Donnell, 27. K. Scott
23P: 23. G. Macpherson

NT Thunder

B: 37. M. Rajcic, 33. T. Thorn, 31. A. Stanley
HB: 23. E. Miller, 9. L. Jeffrey, 26. C. Randall
C: 13. L. Roberts, , 12. K. Streader
HF: 11. J. Hickey, 10. A. Chittick, 18. T. Holtze
F: 27. A. Considine, 7. M. Ellis,
R: 20. J. Hewett, 3. A. Foley, 1. M. Johnston
Int: 17. S. Bishop, 24. S. Hoogeveen-Hill, 21. K. Irvine, 5. M. Roberts, 48. K. Rosenzweig, 34. D. Varnhagen
Emg: 32. B. Byers, 29. C. Deegan
23P: 2. J. Baird

 

MELBOURNE UNI v. GEELONG CATS

Round 1 – 12/05/2019
02:30
Melbourne University Main Oval

Melbourne Uni

B: 45. A. Arundel, 3. T. Mesiti, 17. E. Hay
HB: 22. J. Anwyl, 26. N. O’Connor, 32. C. Daniec
C: 53. J. Grierson, 36. N. Julian, 14. M. McDonald
HF: 38. K. Angelis, 51. J. Tancred, 40. A. Runnalls
F: 4. E. King, 57. A. Price, 18. A. Tupper
R: 5. K. Gillespie-Jones, 25. J. Garner, 35. J. Bruton
Int: 34. K. Cox, 47. M. Hare, 46. A. Roan , 52. M. Shone
Emg: 42. L. Amelung, 44. E. Bult, 30. S. Farmer, 41. J. Thomas
23P: 39. V. Saad

Geelong Cats

B: 49. E. Ramsay, 4. C. Blakeway, 23. H. Rowe
HB: 20. R. Pearce, 44. R. Goring, 11. J. Woollett
C: 3. A. McDonald, 27. R. Webster, 10. G. Rankin
HF: 45. M. Keryk, 17. G. Clarke, 9. T. Love
F: 42. B. Beckley, 8. K. Darby, 7. R. Benham
R: 1. R. Caris, 5. J. Ivey, 41. A. Haigh
Int: 14. N. French, 33. Z. Inei, 43. M. Maguire, 13. L. Taylor
Emg: 26. M. Boyd, 15. G. Deller, 16. O. Purcell
23P: 19. S. DeGiacomi

 

SEASON PREVIEWS: (Including byes)

CARLTON BLUES

Coach: Shannon McFerran
Last year: 7th (6-8)

The entire Carlton side would be buzzing with the AFL Women’s achievement of making the Grand Final and hoping to follow in the senior side’s footsteps. Last year the Blues showed signs within games, but could not quite put together a four quarter effort. They had an enormous amount of future AFL Women’s talent on their list last season with Tyla Hanks and Madeline Brancatisano (both Melbourne), Rene Caris (Geelong) and Celine Moody (Western Bulldogs) all poached by other clubs in the draft, while Abbie McKay, Chloe Dalton and Brooke Walker made the transition up to senior football at the Blues. Darcy Vescio won the leading goalkicker award after another terrific season inside 50 and look for her to be a key player in Shannon McFerran‘s side. With the close bond between Carlton and Northern Knights – and the strength of the Knights program in 2019 – do not be surprised for the Blues to be bolstered mid-season by the likes of Gabby Newton and Britney Gutknecht among others. They have picked up Marnie Jarvis and Taylah Manson from the Knights last year, and with continued improvement and recruitment of Madison Prespakis, Emerson Woods and Charlotte Wilson – who all had TAC Cup Girls and VFLW experience prior to being drafted, the Blues are a sleeper side that is not to be taken lightly.

 

CASEY DEMONS

Coach: Damien Keeping
Last year: 10th (5-9)

Despite a disappointing season on the ladder, Casey Demons were raided at the AFL Women’s draft with six drafted on the night, and a further one (Taylor Mesiti) prelisted. Jordyn Allen, Georgia Gourlay and Maddie Shevlin all swapped red and blue for black and white, while Casey Sherriff, Chantel Emonson and Shae Sloane showed enough to be picked up the Dees. The Demons have brought in some height with the recruitment of former Oakleigh Chargers and Essendon ruck, Bridie Winbanks, while putting an emphasis on retaining Melbourne AFLW listed players, something they did not have the luxury of having with many playing at Darebin given the players history with the Falcons. Now just Elise O’Dea, Lauren Pearce and Brooke Patterson are at the Falcons, so the Demons can have a stronger link to the AFLW side. Harriet Cordner and Maddison Gay were two big improvers of the 2019 AFLW season and will be ones to watch for the Demons in the upcoming VFLW season. A couple of key pickups for the Demons include Gippsland Power duo, Nikia Webber and Shanara Notman who could provide service up opposite ends. Overall look for the Demons to improve this year.

 

DAREBIN FALCONS

Coach: Michael Ericson (NEW)
Last year: 5th (8-6)

Darebin Falcons defied odds by finishing fifth last season and on track for finals up until a couple of rounds out from the post-season series. Michael Ericson has taken over from Jane Lange at the helm, and with it faces a new challenge of keeping the side competitive. O’Dea, Pearce and Patterson loom as the keys to the team, while Jamie Stanton who moved from Melbourne University – to align with her shift from North Melbourne to Gold Coast AFLW – is another AFLW listed player. Bridie Kennedy also joins the team from Carlton after having that AFLW experience, but mostly the Falcons will be relying on the yourh of the team and experienced VFLW players. Captain Stephanie Simpson is one of six players with 30 or more VFLW games under her belt which in the scheme of the relatively new competition is vital. Northern Knights, Nell Morris-Dalton and Ciara Fitzgerald have also joined Darebin, while former Eastern Ranges’ Lauren Szigeti will have benefited from her six games last year. Overall the Falcons will still give the top teams something to think about on their day, and rack up wins against the bottom handful, but it will be a test to be a genuine contender.

 

ESSENDON BOMBERS

Coach: Brendan Major
Last year: 13th (1-13)

It was fair to say Essendon did not have the season it had hoped for, winning just the one game and taking out the wooden spoon in season 2019. With limited AFL Women’s experience, the Bombers just lacked that top-end talent that other clubs had, and while the Bombers had that tackling ferocity through best and fairest winner, Hayley Bullas and the class and skill of future Adelaide AFLW premiership player, Danielle Ponter, they did not have enough talent across the board to compete with the sides that were flushed with AFLW signatures. The one win against Richmond was terrific to see, as it meant the Bombers got some reward for effort after a long season. Along with Bullas, Courtney Ugle and Simone Nalder have returned to the club, while former Murray Bushrangers’ defender and Eastern Allies representative, Eloise Ashley-Cooper will add some class to the side. The Bombers have four players with AFLW experience, including Maddy Collier and Hayley Trevean. With NAB League Girls club, Calder Cannons having some great talent coming through the ranks, expect the likes of Georgia Patrikios to open some eyes late in the season with her agility and goal sense, while Felicity Theodore, Alana Barba, Gloria Elamaly and Krstel Petrevski will add a mix of skill and toughness to the Bombers’ team. The Bombers will still lack the star quality other AFLW experienced teams have, so the goal will be to be more competitive and try and get off the bottom of the table this season.

 

GEELONG CATS

Coach: Natalie Wood (NEW)
Last year: 4th (10-3-1) Grand final loss

Natalie Wood has taken over from Paul Hood who opted to just focus on the AFLW side in the blue and white hoops, but has inherited a genuine premiership contender. After Geelong had fewer AFLW listed players compared to others last season, they now have 20 on their VFLW books, topped up by local players including former Geelong Falcons premiership players, Tarryn Love, Zoe Inei and Sachi DeGiacomi who managed six games at VFLW level between them last season. They have not only retained the majority of the their list, but picked up teh likes of Julia Crockett-Grills (Hawthorn), Rebecca Webster (Melbourne University) and Sophie Van De Heuvel (Williamstown), keeping them in the Geelong system. It is hard not to picture a scenario where Geelong are not in finals considering the now deep and strong bond the players have and having reached the grand final, before strengthening their list even more. The Geelong AFLW side made finals in its first year and expect the VFLW side to follow suit with the same talent on its list.

 

HAWTHORN HAWKS

Coach: Patrick Hill
Last year: 2nd (12-2) Premiers

The reigning premiers had a number of players drafted including Rising Star Jayde Van Dyk, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann in what was a perfectly timed season, finishing second, pouncing on Collingwood in the semi-final, and then making the most of their opportunities against Geelong in the decider. In great news for the Hawks, Van Dyk has returned to the club for the VFLW season, as have key forward Phoebe McWilliams (Geelong), Rebecca Beeson and Pepa Randall (both GWS GIANTS). With super coach, Patrick Hill at the reigns again, the Hawks will be predicted to be thereabouts again and a genuine premiership contender. Sarah Perkins will be primed for a big season in the brown and gold, hoping to force her way back onto an AFLW list after being delisted by the Crows following the 2019 season. The forward combination between Perkins and McWilliams is as good as it gets in the competition, and with Eastern Rangers youngsters Serena Gibbs and Laura McClelland in the side later in the year, expect the reigning premiers to have a potent forward line. Gippsland Power’s Maddison Shaw has also joined the Hawks, and is one of just two 2001-birth players on the list. A huge contender.

 

MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY MUGARS

Coach: Scott Gowans
Last year: 9th (5-9)

The Mugars were up and down at times throughout the 2018 VFLW season, finishing with five wins from 14 games, but having some great young talent come into the side last in the year, including Prepsakis and Webster who were both drafted by AFLW clubs. Sophie Abbatangelo, Ashleigh Riddell, Maddison Smith, Chloe Haines, Libby Haines and Nicole Bresnehan all stepped up to the senior side, with many showing their ability to adapt to the faster pace of the game. After a huge season that ultimately fell short of a finals berth in the AFLW, North Melbourne and Melbourne Uni coach, Scott Gowans will be keen to continue the form shown by the Kangaroos at AFLW level, into the VFLW system. Emma Kearney was terrific for the Mugars last year along with Kaitlyn Ashmore, and expect them to be key players once again. They have added experience to their list with Hawthorn duo, Tahni Nestor and Kim Ebb, as well as Essendon’s Jessica Anwyl who showed promising signs last season in the red and black. Throw in league best and fairest winner, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner and Jenna Bruton, and the Mugars have to be considered one of the premiership favourites. All up they have 23 AFL Women’s listed players and will be another tough team to beat.

 

NORTHERN TERRITORY THUNDER

Coach: Heidi Thompson (NEW)
Last year: 3rd (11-3) – Semi-final loss

Much was spoken about the Thunder and whether or not the experienced top-heavy side with Adelaide Crows, could be allowed to play so much talent at once. Early in the season it looked like the Thunder would skip through the season, but in the end, ultimately fell in the first week of finals to the Cats. After missing out on her AFLW dream last year, Janet Baird is the biggest junior recruit to the Thunder in season 2019, with the NTFL Women’s top player signing on at the Thunder for the upcoming season. She joins the likes of Madeline Gault, Arthurina Moreen and Tabitha May, who all played for Central Allies in 2018, but missed out on a chance in the AFLW. The top-end and upcoming talent at the Thunder is clear, with Ebony Marinoff, Stevie-Lee Thompson, Marijana Rajcic, Renee Forth, Eloise Jones and Sarah and Jess Allen among a ridiculous among of Crows talent in the side. They were arguably a premiership favourite early in 2018, and should be in that place once again given the improvement of many of the Crows through the 2019 AFLW premiership year. With Heidi Thompson now taking the reigns from Tim Weatherald, it will be interesting to see how she balances the AFLW talent throughout the season.

 

RICHMOND TIGERS

Coach: Tom Hunter
Last year: 12th (4-10)

The Tigers had a disappointing season in 2018, finishing twelfth and losing to Essendon, the only side to do so. They, like the Bombers just lacked that star quality in the 2018 VFLW season, but if their 2019 AFLW trade period is anything to go by, expect them to shoot up the ladder in season 2019. Jessica Kennedy and Jacqueline Graham were two standouts for the Tigers, it was just a case of adding depth to the obvious talent that was coming through the ranks. While some will play limited games, the likes of Monique Conti, Katie Brennan and Sabrina Frederick make for a scary forward line. With Richmond able to pre-list players this season, every player on the list will be keen to impress in front of the Tigers’ hierarchy and see what they can do to try and get an AFLW spot for the 2020 season. Overlooked Murray Bushrangers, Tamara Smith, Grace Egan and Sophie Damon are back at Punt Road, while Kodi Jacques has also joined the club with the Bendigo Pioneers’ midfielder looking to stake her claim this year. Former Magpies, Shayla Marsh and Hannah McLaren will don the yellow and black this year, making the Tigers stocked with young talent that will create run and excitement throughout the 2019 season. Expect the Tigers to rise up the ladder, and while they might lack the AFLW talent other teams have outside their forward 50, they could overtake a number of the clubs around their level in season 2018, this year.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS

Coach: Sean Kavanagh (NEW)
Last year: 6th (7-7)

Sean Kavanagh has taken over from Debbie Lee who is now VFLW General Manager at the club, and will be looking to reshape the side that has lost some serious AFLW talent. Conti always spent the majority of the season playing basketball, while Brennan will be a big lose inside 50. However with 20 AFLW players on their list, they still have more than enough talent and experience to get them by. Their three top-age players they have picked up from NAB League Girls clubs are Sophie Molan, Ella Wood and Elisabeth Georgostathis which is arguably the best trio of pick-ups across the league. Molan will make an immediate impact, while Wood and Georgostathis can play both off half-back and through the middle. They will be unavailable during the AFLW National Championships, but expect them to show their talent. Overager Georgia Pidgeon will also provide some height for the Bulldogs, while a host of local players joins the likes of Ellie Blackburn, Brooke Lochland, Isabel Huntington and Deanna Berry as key players. When talking about experience, the Bulldogs have 14 players with 30 or more games, making them a very experienced side in the competition, and one that while they might not be in the top handful, could still challenge for finals.

 

WILLIAMSTOWN

Coach: Amy Catterall
Last year: 11th (4-10)

Williamstown finished eleventh in 2019, notching up the four wins, but had some serious top-end talent at the Gulls’ disposal. Duffin won the league best and fairest despite the team struggles, while Garner and Bruton were stars for Williamstown before emulating that for the Kangaroos at AFLW level. Big question marks remain over the Seagulls with all three departing the club. It means the load falls onto their VFLW listed players shoulders and puts them in a similar position to Essendon and Richmond last year. They had a good win over the Western Bulldogs in a pre-season practice match, and can have the continuity that teams with restricted AFLW numbers cannot. However this year is set to be a massive challenge for the Seagulls after losing so much top-end talent, with Demon, Aliesha Newman being a key signing – the only AFLW player on the list – and likely to cause headaches inside 50 for opposition defences. In doing so, there might be some serious youngsters step up and then make a case to land at an AFLW club, like former Bendigo Pioneers’ captain Megan Williamson, Eastern Ranges’ tall Tahlia Merrett and Bendigo Pioneers’ key defender Kate Douglass.

2018 AFL Women’s Draft Preview

TOMORROW marks another chapter in the rise of AFL Women’s with the third draft since the competition’s inception, and this year is likely to be littered with primarily youth players as the talent numbers increase at junior ranks. We take a look at tomorrow’s draft and answer some key questions you might have.

What time does it start?

The AFL website will stream the AFL Women’s Draft from 11.45am, with the official proceedings to get underway from midday. After initial speeches and welcoming, Geelong coach, Paul Hood will have the first two chances to read out the names of players to run out in the blue and white hoops.

Who will be pick one?

It was a race to the finish between Nina Morrison andMadison Prespakis – with a number of others putting their hands up – but expect the tackling machine from the Falcons, Morrison to be the first name called out after nominating Geelong as her region of choice, whereas Prespakis nominated Vic Metro.

Which players can teams select?

For the first time, there will be six Victorian sides heading to the draft, with Geelong and North Melbourne joining the league. Given it’s regional base, the fact AFL Women’s players are still on part-time contracts and the costs associated with committing to the competition, the Cats have the ability to select any player that picked the “Geelong only” region, or the “All of Victoria” region. The other five teams may select players from the “Vic Metro” region, or the “All of Victoria” region. For the interstate clubs, they select players that have nominated their state. With only one side in each state, it means they will head to the draft knowing which players they will add to their list – but still hold suspense for their fans!

Who are the names to look out for?

Aside from Morrison and Prespakis, who will likely be off the board early, other Victorians to keep in mind are Olivia Purcell (Geelong only), who will come into consideration at Pick 2, as will cricketer/footballer, Sophie Van De Heuvel, who has had interest from multiple clubs, including the Cats. Given Geelong is guaranteed to lock away Purcell, the Cats have the ability to select Van De Heuvel with Pick 2, and then secure her for 2019 before the other Victorian sides enter the draft. Dandenong Stingrays skipper, Jordyn Allen, and Gippsland Power’s Tyla Hanks are the other two who have come into consideration in the first round early, with Collingwood and Melbourne waiting on exactly what Geelong will do with Pick 2, and Carlton with Pick 3. For Geelong fans, other names to look out for a bit later on are Georgia Clarke and Rebecca Webster, who both primarily play off half-back, with Webster also able to fill a role on the inside.

Across the country, Sabreena Duffy is the name that will be the big one for Fremantle fans, with the West Australian captain leading the team throughout her accolade-littered junior career and will join the purple army. Nikki Gore has been the name whispered throughout South Australia this year, and the Crows will be very excited to have her on board, while Alyce Parker is the steal of the draft at Pick 12, with the Thurgoona Bulldogs star right up with the top couple of players in the draft crop. The Brisbane Lions have an interesting dilemma on their hands with both ruck, Lauren Bella, and utility, McKenzie Dowrick, worthy first round picks after the latter chose to leave Western Australia and nominate for Queensland. North Melbourne also has first access to Tasmanian players as part of their arrangement coming into the league, so twin sisters, Libby and Chloe Haines will be high on their radar, as could Lauren Stevenson as the three players from the Apple Isle who have stood out the most this year.

What about mature-agers?

There are still plenty of mature-agers floating about that will slot into AFL Women’s sides at the draft. Jayde Van Dyk is a young star who took out the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Rising Star Award. There was talk of her potentially going Pick 1, and while it is hard to see Geelong not choosing the Falcons poster girl, Van Dyk could well come into consideration at Pick 2, or perhaps Pick 7 depending on the level of interest from other clubs. While the list of region choices is not publicly available, the fact the talk about her potentially going Pick 1, meant there is a hint she might have selected the “All of Victoria” region.

Outside of Van Dyk, others who have shone in the VFL Women’s who were not already picked up are Essendon hardnut, Hayley Bullas, who was a tackling machine, and named in the VFL Women’s Team of the Year. She is sure to attract interest from clubs after her superb season, as is Richmond’s Alice Edmonds who was also named in the Team of the Year on the bench. Collingwood’s Jess Edwards comes with high regard for her leadership and versatility, with the South Australian recruit sure to be another coming into consideration for clubs, including the Magpies.

Who is already drafted prior to the draft?

There are three players who have already been selected in the AFL Women’s Draft after being subjected to a bidding process. Abbie McKay, the first ever father-daughter selection was picked up by Carlton with Pick 16, after matching a bid for the tough, inside midfielder. Meanwhile, Collingwood has picked up two of it’s VFL Women’s players in Team of the Year representative, Sophie Alexander and Erica Fowler. Alexander drew a bid from Melbourne at Pick 31 – the only Victorian team between Collingwood’s two picks – that has cost the Magpies Pick 29. Fowler did not draw a bid and was penciled in Round 9, with the final selection of the AFL Women’s Draft – Pick 70.

Some players worth keeping an eye on their names throughout the draft?

The first place to look is the AFL Women’s Academy, which holds the players who have been identified as some of the top talents prior to this season. Emerson Woods blitzed the testing at the AFL Women’s Draft Combine and will be one that might come into consideration in the early stages of the draft, while ruck, Rene Caris is the standout tall from Victoria, and Georgia Macpherson is a rebounding defender who can play tall or small. Courtney Jones has shown an ability to play at either end or through the middle, while Denby Taylor will not stray too far from the Falcons homebase when she lands at Geelong.

There are those teenagers who have impressed more at senior level, including Collingwood’s Daisy Bateman, Katie Lynch and Hannah McLaren, Williamstown’s Megan Williamson, Carlton’s Maddy Brancatisano, Hawthorn’s Mikala Cann and Southern Saints’ Eleanor Brown. For South Australia, Janet Baird and Danielle Ponter are classy players who could be Crows players by the end of tomorrow, while Courtney Hodder (Fremantle) whose AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships were ruined by injury, and Tori Groves-Little (Brisbane) are other AFL Academy players who will be considered.

Where can I find out more information about the players?

We have conducted 60 interviews with top-age players, including every Victorian representative in 2018. To hear their story in their own words, head to our AFLW Draft Features page.

AFLW Draft preview: Collingwood

COLLINGWOOD has been hit hard in the AFL Women’s off-season, losing plenty of stars including Christina Bernardi, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner, Emma King and Meg Hutchins. Luckily, the Pies have gained some exciting prospects in former netballer, Sharni Layton and former Gaelic footballer, Sarah Rowe, while Brisbane defender, Nicole Hildebrand will add some experience to the line-up.

 

Last season: 6th

In: Nicole Hildebrand, Sharni Layton, Sarah Rowe
Out: Caitlyn Edwards, Bree White, Christina Bernardi, Moana Hope, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner, Emma King, Amelia Barden, Lauren Tesoriero, Meg Hutchins, Tara Morgan

COLLINGWOOD AFLW LIST (22/30)

  • Brittany Bonnici
  • Ash Brazill
  • Sophie Casey
  • Stephanie Chiocci
  • Sarah D’Arcy
  • Sarah Dargan
  • Emma Grant
  • Darcy Guttridge
  • Nicole Hildebrand
  • Eliza Hynes
  • Melissa Kuys
  • Jaimee Lambert
  • Sharni Layton
  • Stacey Livingstone
  • Cecilia McIntosh
  • Chloe Molloy
  • Georgie Parker
  • Iilish Ross
  • Sarah Rowe  
  • Ruby Schleicher
  • Kristy Stratton
  • Holly Whitford

DRAFT PICKS

5, 11, 13, 18, 19, 29, 32, 51

POSSIBLE DRAFT PROSPECTS

Given Collingwood’s connection with Oakleigh, it is hard to look past Chargers trio, Hannah McLaren, Daisy Bateman and Katie Lynch. The trio all represented Vic Metro and played for Collingwood’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side. Bateman would be a great replacement for Moana Hope, as she positions well in the forward line, and is an solid mark and accurate kick. McLaren will boost the defensive stocks of the Pies while Lynch is a dominant force in the midfield. If Madison Prespakis isn’t taken in the draft yet, the Pies could have her on their radar as well. Eastern Ranges duo, Mikala Cann and Emerson Woods could also be thrown into the mix, as Cann impresses with her explosiveness and Woods is extremely athletic. Others they may consider include Gippsland Power co-captain, Tyla Hanks or Dandenong Stingrays captain, Jordyn Allen. They could provide support to captain, Stephanie Chiocci and vice-captain, Brittany Bonnici in Collingwood’s midfield.

Team Selection: VFLW – Week 1 Finals

As this week is the first week of finals, all of the remaining teams are making numerous changes in an attempt to find their best team when it counts. Audiences will be treated to two great games this weekend as the four best teams remain. It all starts will Collingwood and Hawthorn on Saturday morning.

 

VFLW Semi-Final 1

Collingwood v Hawthorn
Saturday September, 10.15am
Stannards Stadium

Hawthorn

B: Kim Ebb, Pepa Randall, Dianna Haines
HB: Jess Sibley, Melissa Kuys, Jayde Van Dyk
C: Meg Hutchins, Emma  Mackie, Tahni  Nestor
HF: Rebecca Beeson, Mikala Cann, Clare O’Donnell
F: Tamara Luke, Sarah Perkins, Phoebe McWilliams
R: Lou Wotton, Chantella Perera, Julia Crockett-Grills
Int: Steph Carroll, Rosie Dillon, Sarah Kendall, Ebony Nixon, Claire Dyett, Emily Gilder, Kara Henderson, Ellie Macdonald
23P: Emerson Woods

In: Emily Gilder, Melissa Kuys, Kara Henderson, Emerson Woods, Sarah Kendall
Out: Nicky Cormack

Hawthorn still has a selection dilemma on their hands with three further players to miss out on the final team that takes on Collingwood on Saturday. The Hawks will be ecstatic that they are regaining midfield superstar Melissa Kuys for the massive match against the Pies. Nicky Cormack is the unlucky one to miss out so far, but she will be waiting in the wings as an emergency for her chance to play on the big stage.

Collingwood

B: Katelyn Lee, Ruby Schleicher, Iilish Ross
HB: Sophie Casey, Hannah McLaren, Nicole Hales
C: Grace Buchan, Jamiee Lambert, Shayla Marsh
HF: Holly Whitford, Sophie Alexander, Brittany Bonnici
F: Chloe Molloy, Erica Fowler, Nicole Hildebrand
Foll: Eliza Hynes, Jessica Edwards, Kristy Stratton
Int: Sarah D’Arcy, Hillary Grubb, Emma Grant, Paige Nash
23P: Daisy Bateman

IN: Hannah McLaren, Sophie Alexander, Brittant Bonnici, Erica Fowler, Hillary Grubb, Sarah D’Arcy, Paige Nash, Emma Grant
OUT: Stacey Livingstone, Ally Bild, Carle Rooks, Amy Malander, Katie Lynch, Chloe Leighton, Julia Halaseh-Russo, Sarah King

Collingwood have made eight changes for their first final, with the hope that their inclusions will make the difference come game day. Hannah McLaren should help sure up their key back stocks while Collingwood are hoping Sophie Alexander can make a difference up forward. The Pies have lost AFLW star Sophie Livingstone, although they will be hoping to regain her later in the finals series.

 

VFLW Semi-Final 2

NT Thunder vs Geelong Cats
Sunday September, 9, 11.45am
Stannards Stadium, Port Melbourne

NT Thunder:

B: Samantha Barnett, Sarah Allan, Lisa Roberts
HB: Jenna McCormick, Tayla Thorn, Stevie-Lee Thompson
C: Katie Streader, Angela Foley, Jessica Sedunary
HF: Sally Riley, Anne Hatchard, Marijana Rajcic
F: Renee Forth, Jordann Hickey, Machaelia Roberts
FOLL: Jasmyn Hewett, Ebony Marinoff, Emma Swanson
INT: Sharona Bishop*, Lauren O’Shea, Sue Nalder, Kylie Duggan, Lateesha Jeffrey

IN: Sarah Allan, Sharona Bishop, Kylie Duggan, Anne Hatchard, Lauren O’Shea, Machaelia Roberts, Jessica Sedunary, Stevie-Lee Thompson
OUT:  Jessica Allan, Janet Baird, Georgia Bevan, Courtney Cramey, Abbey Holmes, Tahlia Holtze, Kristy Irvine, Madeline Keeble

Northern Territory has continued to make numerous changes with an unprecedented eight changes for the first week of the finals. Their inclusions are headlined by five AFLW players some big names who will make a difference in seeing NT making the grand final. Jess Sedunary has been a revelation up forward this VFLW season kicking 15 goals, which has her third in the competition. NT will be hoping that Stevie-Lee Thompson can light up the half back line and use her pace to set up attacks for NT.

Geelong Cats

B: Rebecca Pearce, Rebecca Goring, Anna Teague
HB: Amy McDonald, 25. Elise Coventry, Jamie Woollett
C: Cassandra Blakeway, Maighan Fogas, Hannah Burchell
HF: Nina Morrison, Jordan Ivey, Danielle Orr
F: Maddy Boyd, Mia Rae Clifford, Kate Darby
R: Erin Hoare, Madeline Keryk, Richelle Cranston
Int: Hannah Mangan, Maddy McMahon, Courtney Stevens, Hayley Trevean
23P: Olivia Purcell

In: E. Hoare, H. Trevean, N. Morrison, M. McMahon, M. Fedele, O. Purcell
Out: T. Love

Tarryn Love would be heartbroken to miss out in her first taste of finals football. While Hayley Trevean will add some added experience and leadership as she is apart of the team’s leadership group. Erin Hoare‘s inclusion will give them an advantage in the air, as her 194cm frame should dominate for Geelong.

AFL Women’s Under 18 State of Origin sides announced

VICTORIA’S top junior female footballers will take on the best young stars from around the country in the AFL Women’s Under-18 State of Origin match at Adelaide Oval tomorrow night. The 24-player Victorian team contains 12 Metro and 12 Country players, including five bottom-agers who are predicted to be crucial players for their respective teams in 2019. The All Stars side is even younger, with one third of the players not eligible to be drafted until next year.

Queensland has a remarkable talent base, with 10 players named in the 24-player squad, while Western Australia is the next highest represented in the All Stars side with six. New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW-ACT) and South Australia have three representatives each, while Tasmania and Northern Territory have one player each in the final side.

Gates open at Adelaide Oval at 5.15pm, with the first bounce at 5.25pm. The game is a curtain raiser to the EJ Whitten Legends Game.

Victoria:

#1 Georgia Patrikios (Calder Cannons)***
#2 Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges)
#3 Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons)
#4 Sophie Van De Heuvel (GWV Rebels)
#5 Olivia Purcell (Geelong Falcons)
#6 Daisy Bateman (Oakleigh Chargers)
#7 Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons)
#8 Eleanor Brown (Sandringham Dragons)
#9 Abbie McKay (Sandringham Dragons)
#10 Isabella Grant (Western Jets)***
#11 Jordyn Allen (Dandenong Stingrays)
#12 Courtney Jones (Dandenong Stingrys)
#13 Bec Webster (Murray Bushrangers)
#14 Georgia Clarke (GWV Rebels)
#15 Lucy McEvoy (Geelong Falcons)***
#16 Gabby Newton (Northern Knights)***
#17 Katie Lynch (Oakleigh Chargers)
#18 Hannah McLaren (Oakleigh Chrgers)
#19 Georgia Macpherson (Eastern Ranges)
#20 Mikala Cann (Eastern Ranges)
#21 Lucinda Cripps (Dandenong Stingrays)***
#22 Rene Caris (GWV Rebels)
#23 Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power)
#24 Denby Taylor (Geelong Falcons)

All Stars:

#1 Mia King (Tasmania)***
#2 Mikayla Bowen (Western Australia)
#3 Janet Baird (Northern Territory)
#4 Alyce Parker (NSW-ACT)
#5 Lily Postlethwaite (Queensland)***
#6 Belle Dawes (Queensland)***
#7 Rikkiesha Carling (Western Australia)
#8 Tori Groves-Little (Queensland)
#9 Dee Heslop (Queensland)***
#10 Natalie Grider (Queensland)
#11 Nikki Gore (South Australia)
#12 Sabreena Duffy (Western Australia)
#13 Kitara Farrar (Queensland)***
#14 Katelyn Rosenzweig (South Australia)
#15 Alexia Hamilton (NSW-ACT)
#16 Charlotte Hammans (Queensland)***
#17 Serene Watson (Queensland)***
#18 Jacqueline Yorston (Queensland)
#19 McKenzie Dowrick (Western Australia)
#20 Matilda Sergeant (Western Australia)
#21 Kate Bartlett (Western Australia)
#22 Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide)***
#23 Lauren Bella (Queensland)
#24 Brianna McFarlane (NSW-ACT)

*** bottom-ager

 

Team Selection: VFLW – Round 16

ROUND 16 marks the final round of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s home and away season. While the top four might be locked in, teams will still be looking to finish strongly. Two debutants look to take to the field this week alongside an array of changes. The last round of the 2018 season opens with the Southern Saints taking on the Tigers.

 

SOUTHERN SAINTS v. RICHMOND

Round 16 – 25/08/2018

11:00AM

SkyBus Stadium

Both out of the finals race, the Southern Saints and Richmond will be lining up for the last game of the season to kick off Round 16. The Saints have made five changes ahead of the match, featuring the inclusion of AFLW star, Lauren Arnell. They have also called upon TAC Cup Girls leading goal kicker, Holly Bate to join the field, alongside Sandringham midfielder, Eleanor Brown, Amy Silver and Eastern Ranges defender, Charlotte Wilson. Missing out this week are Alice Ryan and Sasha Long.

The Tigers will be returning from their Round 15 bye this weekend and have made four changes to their line-up. Nuala Clarke, Niamh Clarke, Gabrielle Deller and Ellie George have all been named to take to the field. On the other hand, AFLW duo, Emma King and Lauren Tesoriero have both been named out which is sure to leave room for younger players to stand up one last time in the 2018 season.

Southern Saints

B: 16. K. Thompson, 23. J. Rolland, 30. C. Wilson
HB: 29. M. Macdonald, 17. L. Olsen, 4. G. Ricardo
C: 39. E.  Brown, 2. A.  Brown, 43. S.  Heath
HF: 49. A. Allsopp, 15. T. Bohanna, 24. K. Ripari
F: 10. L. Arnell, 13. C. Munn, 35. G. De Angelis
R: 28. R. Watt, 8. A. Drennan, 32. S. Johnson
Int: 45. S. Binder, 42. C. Jones, 40. M. Maitland, 19. A. Silver
23P: 3. H. Bate

In: E. Brown, A. Silver, H. Bate, L. Arnell, C. Wilson
Out: A. Ryan,  S. Long

Richmond

B: 84. L. Bieniara, 63. J. Graham, 69. E. Burry
HB: 54. L. Bailey, 73. L. Davie, 83. J. Gardner
C: 75. B.  Lynch, 85. N.  Clarke, 88. P.  Monahan
HF: 61. J. Colwell, 89. G. Deller, 76. E. Ross
F: 93. C. Bernardi, 81. E. George, 53. K. Dixon
R: 68. A. Edmonds, 60. K. Dempsey, 52. J. Kennedy
Int: 86. N. Clarke, 71. R. Edmeades, 72. J. Radnell, 59. A. Woodward
23P: 92. T. Smith

 

HAWTHORN  v. GEELONG CATS

Round 16 – 25/08/2018

11:30AM

Box Hill City Oval

After its impressive interstate win over the NT Thunder last weekend, Hawthorn will be needing a repeat effort when it comes up against the Cats on Saturday. A win this weekend could cement the Hawks a top two finish. They have made three changes ahead of the clash, bringing in Claire Dyett and Jess Sibley. Nicky Cormack has also been named as the 23rd player.

Following suit, Geelong has also made three changes this week. Hayley Trevean and Hannah Mangan have both been named in while Geelong Falcons’ Tarryn Love has been selected as the 23rd player. Vic Country representatives, Georgia Clarke, Nina Morrison and Olivia Purcell have all been named out.

Hawthorn

B: 32. K. Ebb, 5. C. Perera, 11. D. Haines
HB: 25. M. Hutchins, 36. J. Van Dyk, 21. P. Randall
C: 12. T.  Nestor, 1. E.  Mackie, 13. E.  Nixon
HF: 33. E. Gilder, 8. R. Beeson, 35. C. O’Donnell
F: 22. T. Luke, 28. S. Perkins, 7. P. McWilliams
R: 19. L. Wotton, 24. R. Dillon, 6. J. Crockett-Grills
Int: 45. M. Cann, 26. C. Dyett, 40. E. Macdonald, 31. J. Sibley
23P: 53. N. Cormack

In: C. Dyett, N. Cormack, S. Carroll, J. Sibley
Out: O. Flanagan,  E. Woods

Geelong Cats

B: 44. R. Goring, 40. A. Teague, 26. R. Pearce
HB: 25. E. Coventry, 1. J. Woollett, 34. A. McDonald
C: 4. C.  Blakeway, 45. M.  Keryk, 3. H.  Burchell
HF: 2. D. Orr, 5. J. Ivey, 33. H. Trevean
F: 7. M. Clifford, 6. M. Boyd, 8. K. Darby
R: 41. C. Stevens, 30. R. Cranston, 13. M. Fogas
Int: 23. I. Currenti, 11. M. Klingbeil , 17. H. Mangan, 10. L. Taylor
Emg: 27. R. Benham, 28. M. Fedele, 15. M. Janssen
23P: 53. T. Love

In: T. Love, H. Trevean, H. Mangan
Out: G. Clarke, N. Morrison, O. Purcell

 

CASEY DEMONS v. COLLINGWOOD

Round 16 – 25/08/2018

11:30AM

Casey Fields

The Casey Demons will face the current ladder leaders this week for their final game of the 2018 season. They have selected five inclusions for the match, highlighted by AFLW players, Harriet Cordner and Catherine Phillips, who can hopefully steer the team to a win to end the season. They will take to the field alongside Gippsland Power defender, Emily Haeusler, Lorianne Lowerson and Jasmine Garner. Taking to the sidelines will be former Vic Country skipper, Darcy Guttridge and Dandenong Stingrays skipper, Jordyn Allen.

With a guaranteed top two finish, the Pies have made an array of changes this week in order to keep legs fresh. AFLW players, Illish Ross and Jamiee Lambert are sure to see the Pies’ strong form continue when they take to the field this week. Similarly, Julia Halaseh-Russo, Carle Rooks, Jessica Edwards and Sarah King have also been selected to play. Named out this week are Sophie Alexander, Daisy Bateman, Erica Fowler, Elise Korteman, Hillary Grubb and Hannah McLaren.

Casey Demons

B: 18. K. Bentvelzen , 27. A. Harrison, 37. L. Lowerson
HB: 3. R. Clayton, 41. T. Mesiti, 23. G. Gourlay
C: 7. B.  Jakobsson, 28. M.  Gay, 35. C.  Phillips
HF: 9. A. Johnson, 12. G. McLean, 26. S. Sloane
F: 24. N. Garner, 46. E. Haeusler , 22. K. Guttridge
R: 29. E. Zanker , 21. H. Cordner, 17. S. Scott
Int: 47. M. Hogg, 14. T. Orgill, 25. M. Shevlin, 8. M. Tatham
23P: 50. A. Dunn

In: E. Haeusler , L. Lowerson, H. Cordner, N. Garner, S. Phillips, C. Phillips
Out: D. Guttridge,  J. Allen

Collingwood

B: 72. K. Lee, 18. R. Schleicher, 21. I. Ross
HB: 22. S. Casey, 12. S. Livingstone, 52. N. Hales
C: 50. G.  Buchan, 13. J.  Lambert, 99. S.  Marsh
HF: 77. C. Leighton, 73. G. Biedenweg-Webster, 28. H. Whitford
F: 3. N. Hildebrand, 93. S. King, 2. C. Molloy
R: 11. E. Hynes, 47. J. Edwards, 41. K. Stratton
Int: 70. J. Ferguson, 60. J. Halaseh-Russo, 61. A. Malander, 90. C. Rooks
23P: 59. K. Lynch

In: J. Halaseh-Russo , I. Ross, C. Rooks, A. Bild , J. Edwards, S. King, J. Lambert
Out: S. Alexander, D. Bateman, E. Fowler, H. Grubb, E. Korteman, H. McLaren

 

DAREBIN  v. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Round 16 – 25/08/2018

12:00PM

Bill Lawry Oval

Falling just short of the top four, Darebin will still be looking to finish the 2018 season strongly in Round 16 when it comes up against the Dogs. They have named six inclusions for the occasion, starring AFLW midfielder, Elise O’Dea, alongside Cherelle Byrne, Esther Honybun, Jessica Dal Pos and Northern Knights midfielder, Marnie Jarvis. Chelsea Delbridge has been named as the 23rd player.

After last week’s loss, the Western Bulldogs will be wanting to finish the season on a high note in Round 16. Ahead of the match, they have made multiple changes, bringing in Elise Muller, Rachael Gastin, Brittany Wunhym, Tiarna Ernst and Alicia Rooth. Mary Spurs has been named as the 23rd player.

Darebin

B: 31. E. Gardner, 10. G. Lawson-Tavan, 21. K. Roe
HB: 32. G. Colvin, 14. M. McDonald, 24. B. Patterson
C: 15. A.  Lister, 9. M.  Eastman, 11. K.  Tyndall
HF: 36. C. Byrne, 45. N. Deiter, 13. K. Shierlaw
F: 39. M. Jarvis, 17. S. Simpson, 46. L. Szigeti
R: 40. L. Pearce, 20. M. Guerin, 30. E. O’Dea
Int: 12. J. Dal pos, 44. S. Fairchild, 22. G. Hammond, 1. E. Honybun
23P: 50. C. Delbridge

In: E. O’Dea, C. Byrne, E. Honybun, J. Dal pos, M. Jarvis, C. Delbridge
Out: A. Morrow,  L. Jacobs,  R. Hibbert,  A. Pronesti,  M. Wilson

Western Bulldogs

B: 5. R. Martinuzzo, 40. N. Gills, 42. N. Paul
HB: 15. R. Ashley, 19. T. Ernst, 35. S. Ruedin
C: 29. J.  Davies, 20. A.  Guest, 27. E.  Muller
HF: 10. S. Jolly, 32. A. Mifsud, 4. D. Teasdale
F: 41. A. Scott, 6. K. McLeod, 37. B. Wunhym
R: 47. N. McMahon, 22. H. Scott, 9. T. Dinuccio
Int: 12. J. Francke, 25. R. Gastin, 31. A. Gunn, 30. A. Tessari
23P: 38. M. Sandral

In: E. Muller, R. Gastin, B. Wunhym, T. Ernst, M. Sandral
Out: L. Spark, B. Toogood, A. Goldring

 

ESSENDON  v. CARLTON

Round 16 – 25/08/2018

03:00PM

Windy Hill

The 2018 season has resulted in only one win for Essendon, so it will be hungry to finish with a victory in the final game of the season. The Bombers have brought Natasha Hardy into the forward line while Calder Cannons ruck, Eleanor Cornish has been named out.

Coming up against the Dons, Carlton has made three changes. The Blues’ skipper, Kristi Harvey has been brought back into the side to lead her side out for the final time in the home and away season. Another exciting inclusion this week for Carlton is father-daughter prospect, Abbie McKay, daughter of premiership player, Andrew McKay. The Vic Metro representative will debut this weekend, named as the 23rd player. Jess Malouf has also been added to the mix, while AFLW listed players, Reni Hicks and Alison Downie will take to the sidelines.

Essendon

B: 20. J. Anwyl, 17. T. Hetherington, 41. M. Warburton
HB: 7. K. Hicks, 25. R. Neaves, 27. A. Morcom
C: 18. K.  Heil, 8. H.  Bullas, 9. L.  Williams
HF: 16. L. Morecroft, 35. V. Moreau, 1. J. Trend
F: 3. M. DeMatteo, 4. N. Hardy, 6. A. Quigley
R: 30. S. Nalder, 44. M. Collier, 22. N. MacDonald
Int: 15. L. Caruso, 26. A. Madden, 46. C. Ugle, 19. B. Winbanks
23P: 23. A. Nichols

In: N. Hardy, A. Nichols
Out: E. Cornish

Carlton

B: 50. J. Borg, 25. T. Morgan, 6. G. Pound
HB: 34. A. Chuot, 5. D. Pedersen, 66. O. Vesely
C: 55. C.  Dalton, 19. G.  Gee, 90. B.  Walker
HF: 40. K. Harvey, 36. C. Moody, 18. T. Lucas-Rodd
F: 20. C. Bromage, 3. D. Vescio, 15. I. Gietzmann
R: 31. R. Caris, 8. M. Brancatisano, 27. K. Cox
Int: 82. N. Burns, 7. S. Last, 17. J. Malouf, 37. B. Schultz
23P: 2. A. McKay

In: K. Harvey, A. McKay, J. Malouf
Out: A. Downie, M. Suzuki, R. Hicks

 

MELBOURNE UNI  v. WILLIAMSTOWN

Round 16 – 26/08/2018

02:30PM

Melbourne University Main Oval

Melbourne Uni has brought in a mix of its new North Melbourne AFLW recruits to play out their last game of the season. This includes Emma Kearney, Katherine Gillespie-Jones, Emma Humphries and Danielle Hardiman. Airlie Runnalls has also been named in alongside Tasmanian Under 18 representative, Chloe Haines, who has been named as the 23rd player in her debut. Haines comes from the Burnie Dockers and is the twin sister of Libby Haines, who also plays for Melbourne University.

Williamstown go into its final game of the season unchanged. Coming off back-to-back wins, the Seagulls will be hoping to finish off the season with another victory.

Melbourne Uni

B: 12. M. Cantwell, 29. K. Klatt, 6. E. Keaney
HB: 20. L. Belza, 31. D. Hardiman, 17. E. Hay
C: 19. L.  Ahrens, 15. E.  Kearney, 47. E.  Humphries
HF: 1. S. Abbatangelo, 41. K. Gillespie-Jones, 21. R. Webster
F: 38. K. Angelis, 26. C. Greiser, 9. K. Price
R: 8. C. Fitzpatrick, 3. K. Ashmore, 7. A. Riddell
Int: 22. D. Edward, 2. H. Ibrahim, 44. A. Runnalls, 18. A. Tupper
23P: 52. C. Haines

In: A. Runnalls, C. Haines, E. Kearney, K. Gillespie-Jones, L. Munday, D. Hardiman, E. Humphries
Out: M. Smith,  J. Anderson,  M. McDonald,  J. Limbrick,  A. Saundry,  M. Prespakis

Williamstown

B: 19. E. Meade, 20. S. Seabrook, 8. C. Portelli
HB: 1. R. Dardengo, 24. A. Saxton, 34. J. Reid
C: 22. M.  Lowe, 30. A.  Melnikas, 11. K.  Smith
HF: 4. E. Paterno, 25. J. Garner, 33. S. Van De Heuvel
F: 17. S. Chapman, 39. S. Whiting, 2. J. Duffin
R: 9. R. Achampong, 35. J. Bruton, 16. A. Cameron
Int: 12. G. Harris, 44. I. Porter, 13. N. Wallace, 36. M. Williamson
23P: 15. E. Gardner

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 14

MELBOURNE University, Darebin and the NT Thunder all recorded crucial wins in Round 14 of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition. Our writers were there to watch these three teams on their way to victory, and noted down some of the top performers in each cracking match.

 

Casey Demons vs. Melbourne Uni

By: Peter Williams

Casey Demons:

#11 Eden Zanker

Showed good strength around the ground playing through the ruck and spending time forward. Zanker showed off her athletic capabilities, often leaping much higher than the opposition ruck and getting a clean tap to her midfielders. She also laid some great tackles and looked comfortable in the position.

#12 Georgia McLean

Had a few classy moments in the second half, breaking up a series of stoppages with great acceleration, but her shot on goal just missed. She applied good pressure on the ball carrier to force a ball over the boundary line, and read the taps from her rucks well, hitting the ball at top speed to burst away from her opponents.

#16 Casey Sherriff

A prominent player in defence who stepped up in the second half. In the third term she stopped a certain Sophie Abbatangelo goal, going back with the flight to earn a free kick, and then in the next play, used her smarts to keep the ball in play and in front of her, kicking it along the ground to gain extra distance. In wet conditions, Sherriff was one of the cleanest players around and showed good vision and disposal by hand or foot to teammates around the ground. Laid some vital tackles too, balancing between offensive and defensive traits.

#19 Amy Dunn

The Gippsland Power tall contributed in patches on debut, lining up at full-forward as the 23rd player. In the second term she contested strongly one-on-one and won a free kick on the wing for in the back and gave the handball off to a running teammate. In the final quarter, she marked the first ball inside 50, working hard on the lead. Her shot on goal missed to the right and was rushed over.

#22 Jordyn Allen

Showed off her trademark penetrating kick, leading out from half-forward and weighing her disposal well. She applied pressure to the ball carrier and was neat by hand or foot in transition and while she did not win a heap of the football, she laid some great tackles.

#24 Darcy Guttridge

A general in defence, Guttridge just patrolled the backline and showed great attack on the ball carrier. In the opening term she showed good strength to shrug off a tackler at half-back and kick cleanly to the wing. She constantly pushed up to the wing and hit the contest at full speed, trying her best to pump the ball long. She is a straight runner and can kick long inside 50. Copped a knock in the final term and was helped off, but could at least walk to the bench which was promising.

#25 Maddie Shevlin

Had a big day out around the ground, winning plenty of the football in the midfield and taking a kick-first approach. She laid some good tackles, but her highlight of the day was a monster kick from 50 metres which bounced through for a huge goal.

 

Melbourne University:

#1 Sophie Abbatangelo

Played a perfect forwards game, finishing with two goals, but also assisting her teammates in a couple more. She lead out and took strong marks, missing an early chance but then conjured something out of nothing, snapping a ball from the pocket. In the second term she set up Caitlin Greiser with a great lead out and then pass to her advantage, then nailed a second goal from a set shot which bent around the post to curl in. In the final term she marked deep and was unselfish to handball off to Kaitlyn Ashmore who ran in and kicked the easiest of goals.

#7 Ashleigh Riddell

The Melbourne University captain was prominent throughout the four quarters, cracking in hard and winning the ball in tight. She would spread to the outside, and hit the scoreboard with a fantastic goal off a step from the left boot deep in the pocket under pressure. She showed how clean she was at ground level on the wet turf, and also had good vision and decision making to kick to her teammates’ advantage in space. She continued to run hard all game and won her fair share of the ball.

#21 Rebecca Webster

Had a good inside game, working hard and putting pressure on the ball carrier, as well as using her stronger frame to assist her teammates. She laid some good tackling pressure in the opening term to force a turnover, and had a highlight reel moment in the second term where she charged from congestion. Unfortunately she found out how wet the ground was, taking a bounce which saw the ball roll away from her, but she recovered and handballed clear. Really strong in the midfield and clean at ground level.

#26 Caitlin Greiser

A prominent forward on the day who was one of Melbourne Uni’s best, dropping into the hole in the first term and intercepting a quick kick from a Demons defender. Her shot was on target but touched on the line. Not long after she used footy smarts to keep the ball in front of her while being chased, enabling a teammate to pick it up in space. She worked hard inside 50 to outbody her opponent in the second term, turn around and kick the goal from 15m out. She had another chance moments later with a snap under pressure but just missed. In the third term she lead out, protected the ball drop well and kicked inside 50. But her highlight-worthy moment came with less than two minutes to go as she won a one-on-one, picked up the ball tucked against the boundary line and snapped on goal, bouncing once before going through for goal of the day.

#29 Kathryn Klatt

Liked her work out of defence, she rarely made a mistake in her ability to peel off her player, take a good intercept mark and kick long, or think her way out of trouble. She was clean and accurate with her disposal on a day which made it tough considering the conditions, and had a number of crucial rebounds throughout the game.

#37 Libby Haines

Just a handful of touches on debut, but she put pressure on her opponents when down back. She used quick hands to keep the ball moving, and the one thing that stood out, perhaps more than any other player, was her closing speed and tenacity at the ball carrier. She mowed down opponents and in the final term, laid two huge tackles in a row, rewarded for her second effort, working super hard defensively.

#38 Kate Angelis

A tackling machine, Angelis just thrived on the contested ball and applying pressure all over, tackling an opponent in the second term to force a turnover. She also pounced on a loose ball and kicked it off the ground for a great goal.

#48 Madison Prespakis

You begin to run out of things to say about this talent, and it is easy to see why. She wins the ball at ease and just has fantastic vision and ability to fire handballs to teammates at will. She missed a shot at goal running in early, as the breeze tucked it away, and another only after which was intercepted. In the third term, Prespakis showed unbelievable courage going back with the flight to spoil a mark and managed to avoid giving away a free, then got up and a moment later, snapped a goal out of nothing. Bounced off opponents at stoppages and never stopped running, having the ball on a string and dominating. Best on ground again.

 

Darebin vs. Hawthorn

By: Taylah Melki

Darebin:

#2 Nicole Callinan

She was solid throughout the game, winning plenty of the ball and taking a heap of good contested marks. Callinan’s use of the ball was efficient and effective, hitting up targets while under pressure, showing good composure with ball in hand.

#7 Lily Mithen

Mithen applied plenty of physical pressure, laying a really strong tackle and winning a holding the ball call in their forward 50 leading to a goal from a teammate who played advantage. She used the footy well throughout the game showing great composure with ball in hand to check her kicks and hit up a teammate.

#14 Meghan McDonald

Solid down in defence once again, hitting the packs hard and showed good composure under pressure. She showcased her class with a clean pick up off her toes and then good hustle to break a tackle and get boot to ball in the second quarter. McDonald continued her impressive intercept marking game, taking some goal saving grabs down back once again for the Falcons. She was a key player down back proving how important she is to their side.

#15 Annalyse Lister

Lister took a good strong mark going back with the flight in the second quarter and showed good agility to get around her opponent and then bomb it inside 50. Her second efforts were good all game, showing she was not afraid to put her body on the line and win the ball at the coal-face.

#22 Georgia Hammond

Good strong juggling mark just outside the goal square and converted in front of goal. Hammond showed some good hustle to trap and win the footy at ground level in the forward 50 and was clean in and around the stoppages with a really good pick up off the deck in the middle of the ground. She highlighted her footy smarts to dish off to a teammate and create a forward thrust for her side.

#40 Lauren Pearce

Pearce continued her good form, taking a heap of good strong intercept marks which was credit to her ability to read the flight of the ball. She consistently impacted the contest and showcased her footy smarts, winning plenty of taps in the ruck and hitting it to her team’s advantage. She laid a crunching tackle in the third term where she chased down her opponent and won a holding the ball call, showing how important the one percenters are.

# 43 Hannah Mouncey

Mouncey had a really good game for the Falcons taking a heap of contested marks under pressure and offering good leads through the middle of the ground for her teammates to hit up. She provided a good presence in the forward line and was effective in the ruck, showcasing her footy smarts with some good taps to advantage. She worked herself into the game and hit the scoreboard at a critical moment with a clever scrumming goal in the third term. Mouncey also bagged another major in the fourth quarter, helping to secure the win for the Falcons.

 

Southern Saints:

#2 Alison Brown

Brown showcased her good hands in tight and around the stoppages. She used her long kick to clear the ball and move it forward for her team. She really started to work herself into the game in the second half, highlighting her strong hands and ability to read the flight of the footy. Brown worked tirelessly throughout the game, impacting the contest and scrapped hard at ground level to extract and win the footy.

#28 Rhiannon Watt

Watt was solid across the ground for the Southern Saints and showcased her good quick hands to release teammates into space. Her leads up at the footy were strong, helping to create space in the forward half and took a big contested mark. Watt created a real presence up forward and worked tirelessly throughout the game, proving to be one of the key players on the field. 

#36 Sophie Bolding

She showed some good dash and covered the ground with ease, highlighting her ability to run both ways. Bolding burnt off her opponent in the third term while streaming into the forward 50 but missed her shot at goal. She had some good passages of play but just missed a sense of composure with ball in hand, needing a few more steps to balance and compose herself before having a shot at goal or dishing off to a teammate.

#39 Eleanor Brown

Had a really solid game for the Southern Saints and was not afraid to go in hard and win the footy at the stoppages. Brown showcased good clean hands in close and worked hard to release her teammates on the outside. Her ability to get into damaging positions and use the footy effectively and efficiently was second to none. She was strong around the stoppages, scrapping hard and imposing herself on the contest as well as laying some strong tackles across the field.  

#42 Courtney Jones

Jones was cool, calm and collected throughout the game, taking a good strong mark under a heap of pressure from the Falcons. She slotted a big goal from about 40 metres out, showing her footy smarts and composure to go back and take her time to keep the Saints in it. Jones flicked the ball out of congestion with ease and was relatively accurate by foot, ensuring that she checked her kicks and hit her targets.  

#43 Shelley Heath

Heath showed some good break-away speed to burst away from the pack and was good in tight, dishing off effective and clever handballs. She worked herself into the game, gathering a few possessions and tackling well to win the ball for her team. Her strong hands were a highlight of her game along with her good leads into space through the middle of the ground.

 

Collingwood vs. NT Thunder

By: Julia Montesano

Collingwood:

#3 Nicole Hildebrand

Hildebrand delivered a good kick inside 50, penetrating the ball forward. She won a good one-on-one battle against Jenna McCormick. Also delivered a nice centering kick into the centre square.

#8 Brittany Bonnici

Laid some great tackles, showing her intent to win the footy. A highlight of her game was when she streamed through a couple of players and gave off the handball. Also took a good intercept mark.

#28 Holly Whitford

Delivered a magnificent pinpointed pass to Kristy Stratton on the lead inside 50. In another instance, Whitford sold the candy, evaded two tackles and thumped the ball forward, which was a highlight of her game. She also displayed good run and carry towards forward 50 during the game.

#54 Hillary Grubb

Grubb won a lot of the footy and got a well-deserved goal on the board for her efforts. Executed a great fend-off and followed it up with a nice kick inside 50. Grubb also displayed great run and carry through the middle of the ground.

#59 Katie Lynch

Lynch was able to read the play well and show good composure. Delivered a nice short kick to Hannah McLaren and took a good mark on the edge of defensive 50 out of the full back kick-in. Also delivered a good kick to Jessica Edwards, which started a forward thrust.

#66 Daisy Bateman

Had excellent awareness to chip a kick to Stacey Livingstone in the goal square rather than try to attempt the goal from a difficult angle. In another instance, Bateman read the bounce of the footy beautifully and converted her first major of the day.

#67 Hannah McLaren

Played a sensational game for the Pies and was their best-on-ground in my opinion. She executed a good burst of speed and followed this up with quick hands out of the pack. Was able to play on out of defensive 50 to find a target, highlighting her footy smarts out of the back half. McLaren also took some good defensive marks and did whatever she could to get the ball moving. This was demonstrated when she gave off a great handball on hands and knees which opened up the play for the Pies. In another instance, she evaded her opponent well and got the ball forward. Also gave off a nice high handball to get it out of the contest.

 

NT Thunder:

#3 Angela Foley

Took a good intercept mark off a Brittany Bonnici kick. Also read the the play well to get her boot on the ball and kick a goal to bring the margin within one point.

#5 Machaelia Roberts

Roberts did well to kick the ball inside 50, always trying to penetrate the ball forward. She was able to hit targets with her kicks and even did so while being tackled on one instance. Roberts executed a great pick-up of the footy and followed this up by streaming inside 50 to put the Thunder in front in the dying stages.

#11 Jordann Hickey

Hickey was the main target up forward and led hard to the footy all day. She was able to kick the ball nice and straight through the goals, highlighting her sound kicking action. Hickey too showed great run and carry inside 50 with an exciting element of acceleration. She was able to use this acceleration on her leads, bursting away from her opponents to mark the ball lace-out.

#22 Jenna McCormick

Like Thorn, McCormick played a sensational game for NT. Delivered a nice spearing pass to the wing, getting the ball on her boot plenty of times. Also delivered a nice long ball down the wing and also used her hands well, executing a long handpass. Executed a nice kick toward forward 50 and backed it up with some great intercept marking throughout the game. A highlight of her performance was when she stopped Jessica Edwards in her tracks when she was streaming inside 50. Laid another great tackle to dispossess her opponent and kick it down the line.

#31 Jessica Sedunary

Executed a good kick while being pushed, showing her strength in the contest. Did well to burst through traffic and showed good run and carry out of the back half. Sedunary also hit up Sue Nalder nicely inside 50.

#55 Tayla Thorn

She was NT’s best for mine. Executed a good fend-off and burst well into the forward line. She evaded a couple of players and kicked it to Jordann Hickey for a set shot in a marvellous piece of play. Thorn fended off well again in another instance, this time against the strong Emma Grant. Worked well with Hickey inside 50, delivering another good kick to her. Thorn displayed excellent run and carry and combined this with good bursts of speed. Took a great uncontested mark off a Sue Nalder kick that dropped short to give her a shot at goal. Also laid a great tackle on Stacey Livingstone.