Tag: HANNAH MUNYARD

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 7 preview: Forced changes see teams shuffle magnets

FIVE rounds remain in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition, with the sides still without the majority of the State Academy members and AFL Women’s talent given the week’s 2021 AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships, and the fact that Adelaide is one win away from another elite level premiership.

NORWOOD vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Friday, April 16 @ 6:15pm
Coopers Stadium

Norwood will of course be without its two State Academy representatives in Melbourne, with Alana Lishmund and Jade Halfpenny out of the side, along with Mattea Breed and Shai Hiscock, for another huge clash against North Adelaide. The Redlegs managed to topple the then-undefeated Roosters after a 15-game winning streak from the reigning premiers, and will be looking for much of the say once again, with another State Academy member in Jess Williams coming in, alongside ex-Rooster Gabrielle Gormlie. North Adelaide will be without Amelie Borg, Kate Case, Lauren Daniel, Jorja Eldridge and Julia Clark for State Representatives duties for South Australia, while Elaine Grigg ran out for the Medleys. The Roosters will be further understrength without Lauren Daniel (unavailable) and Cristie Castle (ankle) making it a total of seven forced changes. Coming into the side are a couple of AFL Women’s talents in Rhiannon Metcalfe and West Coast’s Katelyn Pope who returns from the elite level following the end of the Eagles’ season. Remy Grant is also set to make her debut coming from SMOSH West Lakes. Expect Norwood to be the favourites given the Roosters outs, though they still have a strong spine which includes Talia Radan, Kristi Harvey and Kelly Barltrop and cannot be underrated, though Leah Cutting and youngsters Sarah Branford and Tesharna Maher are exciting talents.

GLENELG vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Friday, April 16 @ 7:00pm
ACH Group Stadium

Central District will travel to face Glenelg in the other clash tonight, with the three forced changes due to State Academy representation in Laitiah Huynh, Lauren Breguet and Madison Lane. Into the team comes the experienced Nicole Mark, along with Ella Mickan, Aisha Thomas and Emma Keys. They will look to build on their massive win over North Adelaide prior to the weekend off, and will look to take advantage of a heavily understrength Glenelg outfit. The Bays will be missing Brooke Tonon and Tamsyn Morriss after their State Academy duties, but will also be without Piper Window, Emma Swanson, Kimberley Fry, Ellen Fauser and Molly Affolter in a raft of seven forced changes. Among those Bays named returning to the side are Anja Bancevic, Sarah Goodwin, Taylah Scapens and Sarah Wilton who have all made their way into the starting 18. The Bays will look to the consistency of Ellie Kellock, Jessica Bates and Sam Franson in order to overcome a strong Central outfit which includes a potent forward line of Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chantel Reynolds, as well as a consistent hard midfield of Shelby Smith, Lauren Smith and Caitlen Teague, and a defence that backs itself on transition. The Bulldogs will look to rack up another win here, in what will be an important game before AFL Women’s talents start filtering back into the league.

WWT EAGLES vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, April 17 @ 10:00am
Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Both Woodville-West Torrens Eagles and South Adelaide will be missing some incredible talent in Round 7, as the sides make a combined 14 changes for the must-win clash for both sides. The Eagles will look to bounce back after the loss to Norwood last week following their three-game winning streak, whilst the Panthers will eye off getting their season back on track in the second half of the 2021 competition. The Eagles will host the game, but will be without AFL Women’s listed players in Jess Sedunary and Renee Forth, whilst young guns Charlotte Dolan and Jamie Parish, and the injured Kiley Green will all be unavailable. Coming into the side are three potential Eagles debutants in Samantha Hoogeveen-Hill, Cheryllee Waters and Nikita McRostie, alongside players such as Georgia Taylor and Mikayla Cavallaro. The Panthers have an exodus out of the team due to a mixture of reasons, as Hannah Muunyard, Lisa Whiteley and Montana McKinnon are all out for Crows duties, while Gypsy Schirmer, Tahlita Buethke and Lauren Clifton miss due to the State Academy, and Jess Kirk is among more outs. The Panthers have named 11 inclusions to an extended bench, with both Renee and Soriah Moon, Amy Gore and Emily Brockhurst among those ins. They still have a strong midfield in Czenya Cavouras, Nicole Campbell and youngster Sarah Wright, but will be up against it taking on an Eagles side whose youth has stepped up this year, such as Shineah Goody and Astrid Gooley.

STURT vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, April 17 @ 12:45pm
Unley Oval

West Adelaide have welcomed a massive inclusion for the remainder of the season in Richmond AFL Women’s player Sarah Dargan who has come straight in to make her SANFL Women’s debut. Her much needed experience – alongside some other debutants in Jess Chyer, Beth Sigley and Grace McNicol will be much welcomed by the Bloods who will be without a ton of top-end talent. AFLW-listed Ailish Considine, Madison Newman and Chelsea Biddell will miss the game, as well the State Academy members of Keeley Kustermann, Zoe Venning and Lauren Young, with Olivia Smith, Zoe Greer and Melanie Elsegood also forced changes for Round 7. For Sturt, the Double Blues they have the four straight forced chances with the quartet of State Academy members including co-captains Hannah Prenzler and Georgia Swan, as well as Alex Ballard and Zoe Prowse. Sarah Wallace will make her debut in the side, with Sarah Wallace coming straight into the forward line. She is joined by an extended bench that also includes Kiera Mueller, Aajiah Jericho and Casey Fraser, whilst the in-form midfield of Jess Good, Alisha Gepp, Jaimee Wittervan and Isobel Kuiper remains intact. They will provide stiff opposition for the Westies, who will look to the likes of Sharnie Whiting, Kasia Culhane and Louella McCarthy for experience, with Dargan having a huge role in the midfield.

Picture credit: Cory Sutton / SANFL

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 6 preview: Quadruple header at Adelaide Oval

A MASSIVE Super Saturday of action at Adelaide Oval sees four back-to-back games with plenty of footy to watch in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition.

GLENELG vs. STURT
Saturday, April 3 @ 11am
Adelaide Oval

The evenness of the competition sees two bottom four sides battle it out in the opening game, but both are not too far off the top four spots. Glenelg in particular have won two of five games and have gone close on a number of occasions, but are one point outside the finals spot. A win in this match, and a loss to South Adelaide or Woodville-West Torrens Eagles will see the Bays back in the top four. Sturt are on the bottom of the table with one win from five matches, but a victory would draw them level with a number of teams – including Glenelg – and snap the Double Blues’ three-game losing streak.

Glenelg will welcome youngster Kimberley Fry who crossed to the Bays from Central District over the off-season, as well as State Academy members Brooke Tonon and Tamsyn Morriss back into the fray. Sturt has made six massive inclusions, with debutant Abby Pengelly joining captain Maya Rigter, and the quartet of State Academy members in Zoe Prowse, Alex Ballard, Georgia Swan and Hannah Prenzler all back into the side. Sturt had some impressive individual efforts last week, with Jess Good and Alisha Gepp among the top performers, while Glenelg will loo to the likes of Ellie Kellock, Jessica Bates and Madisyn Freeman who are all in good form of late.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, April 3 @ 12:45pm
Adelaide Oval

Fresh off their big win over West Adelaide, Central District takes on North Adelaide who has only been able to collect one point from a possible four in the past two weeks. Their draw with South and prior loss to Norwood will have the Roosters hungry for a win, and keeping in touch with the top of the table Redlegs. The Bulldogs had three close losses in Rounds 2-4 but were back on the board in a big way with a comprehensive win over West Adelaide last week. They have the most potent attack in the competition, averaging 35 points a game with their nearest rivals being West Adelaide (29.4 points per game). A win and results in their favour could see the Bulldogs back inside the top four.

Central District welcomes a trio of youngsters back into the side, with Laitiah Huynh, Madison Lane and Lauren Breguet returning from state duties, with the Dogs yet to confirm any omissions. North Adelaide will bring in Amelie Borg, Kate Case and Jorja Eldridge among their inclusions after their state duties, and hope it to be a catalyst to get the full points on the board this week. The Bulldogs’ forward line has been functioning well, with Katelyn Rosenzweig, Chantel Reynolds, Breguet and Huynh among the more damaging players going around. Shelby Smith is enjoying a ripping season, as is Caitlen Teague. They will need to match it with the likes of Leah Tynan and Jaimi Tabb in midfield, while Kristi Harvey and Talia Radan are two in-form key pillars in the back 50.

WWT EAGLES vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, April 3 @ 2:30pm
Adelaide Oval

A huge top three clash between Woodville-West Torrens Eagles and Norwood is one of the games to watch, with the resurgent Eagles having won three on the trot and bolting into third on the SANFL Women’s table. Norwood has ticked off every box since the Round 1 loss to West Adelaide, winning four on the trot and being the most in-form team of the competition. With both sides on winning runs, it will be a massive clash which could reshape the top three sides.

Woodville-West Torrens will be without Natasha Holmes who is a key out due to injury, but the Eagles do welcome back Jamie Parish and Charlotte Dolan from the State Academy duties, as well as Zahn Anthony, and a potential debutant in Cheryllee Waters. Norwood will also bring in Jade Halfpenny and Alana Lishmund from their South Australian representation, as Elizabeth Drake and Isabel Martin beef up the side, with four players out including ex-Eagle Tesharna Maher, The Redlegs will be warm favourites in this one, with Sophie Armitstead, Leah Cutting and Ella Murison all impressing throughout the season, and Mattea Breed and Morgan Johnston also standouts. For the Eagles, Shineah Goody is one of the talented youngsters to look out for the future, as is Jaida Tabb who is in her second game back, while Astrid Gooley and Kiana Lee are other dangerous forwards who can hit the scoreboard.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, April 3 @ 4:15pm
Adelaide Oval

West Adelaide has been understrength the last couple of weeks, losing the past three games since winning the first two this season. They come up against a Panthers side that has found its grove, collecting five of a possible six points in the past three weeks, almost making it three wins on the trot with victory against North Adelaide, but had to settle for a draw. a win to the Bloods is crucial given they have conceded more points that any other side, but have also scored the second most of any side, as one of the exciting teams running around. South will be hoping to leapfrog a team or two if they can get up in the clash.

West Adelaide have welcomed back a remarkable amount of players, with nine total named as ins for the clash with the Panthers. Along with the State Academy members in Lauren Young, Keeley Kustermann and Zoe Venning, they also regain the services of the experienced Chelsea Biddell, Melanie Elsegood and Madison Newman, and youngster Scarlett Griffiths also returns. For the Panthers, Hannah Munyard joins Tahlita Buethke, Gypsy Schirmer and Lauren Clifton as some of the inclusions for the Panthers as they will have a tough game against a now full-strength Westies outfit. Ailish Considine, Sharnie Whiting and Bec Owen have been among those holding up the fort for the Bloods, while for South, Lisa Whiteley made a strong return last week, and Brianna Wedding and Jaslynne Smith are strong in defence. The midfield combination of Montana McKinnon, Czenya Cavouras and Nicole Campbell is also hard to beat on any given day, making this match a cracker.

Picture credit: On the Ball Media via SANFL

2021 SANFL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 4

NEW ladder leaders Norwood and the resurgent South Adelaide top our list of nominees in the Draft Central South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Team of the Week for Round 4, with four players apiece in the squad. There was still plenty of shared contribution from the six other sides, with Round 4 winners Glenelg and Woodville-West Torrens Eagles, as well as losers North Adelaide and Central District having three players apiece. Sturt and West Adelaide only had the two each, but filled out the three emergency spots between them.

Norwood ruck Leah Cutting was named captain of the side after a dominant performance in the Redlegs’ win over North Adelaide, leading the way and retaking the starting ruck spot in the team. She was joined by teammates, Morgan Johnston, Ella Murison and Jade Halfpenny who all impressed in the forward half of the ground and midfield respectively. Also in the side is South Adelaide’s Czenya Cavouras with a strong role through the middle earning her the vice-captaincy for this year. Next to her in the side was the returning Hannah Munyard, as Brianna Wedding (centre half-back) and Montana McKinnon (interchange) also made the side for this week.

Glenelg had three representatives as they bounced back from a loss with a good win, with Jessica Bates and Brooke Tonon winning plenty of ball in the defensive half and running it down the ground, while Ellie Kellock capitalised with two goals up forward. Also up forward was Woodville-West Torrens’ Jessica Sedunary who slotted two majors in her side’s win over Central District, joined in the side by young gun Shineah Goody and Stephanie Walker this week.

North Adelaide might have dropped its first game of the season, but the Roosters had the reliable Kristi Harvey once again locking down full-back, while midfielder Jaimi Tabb, and fellow youngster Julia Clark also made the side after a strong performance. Central District’s loss saw a repeat of the three players from last week back in the side, with Shelby Smith in midfield, Madison Lane in defence, and Caitlen Teague on the interchange for Round 4.

The two remaining teams in Sturt and West Adelaide had the two representatives apiece. The Double Blues’ Georgia Swan and Jaimee Wittervan earned places in the Team of the Week for Round 4, while Hannah Prenzler was named as one of the emergencies. For West Adelaide, midfielder Lauren Young slotted three goals all from set shot opportunities close to goal, so as the round’s leading goalkicker was named at full-forward in this hypothetical team. Another State Academy member in Zoe Venning made the 24-player squad, while Chelsea Biddell and Keeley Kustermann were also close to squeezing in despite the loss, named as the other two emergencies with Prenzler.

DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 4

B: Madison Lane (CD) – Kristi Harvey (NA) – Jessica Bates (GL)
HB: Julia Clark (NA) – Brianna Wedding (SA) – Brooke Tonon (GL)
C: Shineah Goody (WWT) – Czenya Cavouras (SA) (vc) – Hannah Munyard (SA)
HF: Georgia Swan (ST) – Morgan Johnston (NW) – Ellie Kellock (GL)
F: Ella Murison (NW) – Lauren Young (WA) – Jessica Sedunary (WWT)
R: Leah Cutting (NW) (c) – Shelby Smith (CD) – Jaimi Tabb (NA)
INT: Jade Halfpenny (NW) – Montana McKinnon (SA) – Caitlen Teague (CD) – Zoe Venning (WA) – Stephanie Walker (WWT) – Jaimee Wittervan (ST)

EMG: Chelsea Biddell (WA) – Keeley Kustermann (WA) – Hannah Prenzler (ST)

SANFL Women’s Round 4 wrap: Redlegs topple Roosters as Panthers and Eagles grab back-to-back wins

NORWOOD has grabbed top spot on the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s ladder with a victory over previous leader North Adelaide, whilst South Adelaide entered the top four thanks to their second consecutive win.

WWT EAGLES 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.1 | 4.1 (25)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.1 | 1.2 | 2.3 | 2.4 (16)

GOALS:

Eagles: J. Sedunary 2, K. Lee, S. Walker.
Central: K. Rosenzweig, C. Reynolds.

DC BEST:

Eagles: J. Sedunary, S. Goody. N. Holmes, S. Walker, A. Falkenberg
Central: S. Smith, I. Stamer, A. James, D. Sonneman, M. Lane

Booting four of the last five goals of the game, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles exacted revenge on the team that beat them in Round 1, knocking off Central District by nine points on Friday night. The Eagles booted 4.1 (25) to 2.4 (16) in the game, making the most of their scoring chances despite one less than their opposition, and handed the Bulldogs their third consecutive loss in the process. Jess Sedunary was the star, booting two goals in her return since breaking her leg last year, whilst for the second consecutive week, Kiana Lee booted the sealer. Regular scorers Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chantel Reynolds hit the scoreboard for the Dogs, but it would not be enough.

In a low-possession game, the Dogs had 10 more touches (199-189), with the visitors dominating the clearances (28-13) off the back of hitout control (23-17). Despite this, they could not make inroads going forward, with the Eagles controlling the inside 50 count (31-22), whilst the Dogs defence largely held up with rebound 50s (27-20), though the Eagles still fought through for the victory.

Sedunary finished with an impressive 14 disposals, three marks – two contested – four tackles, two clearances, three inside 50s and two goals upon return, while Stephanie Walker slotted a goal from 14 disposals, three marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s. Shineah Goody was again impressive, as the youngster had 13 touches, five marks, five tackles and four inside 50s, while Natasha Holmes (14 disposals, six tackles) and Anastasia Falkenberg (13 disposals, four tackles and three rebound 50s) were also productive.

For the Bulldogs, Shelby Smith could well have been the best player on the ground, racking up 21 disposals, six marks, six tackles five clearances and five inside 50s to lead from the front, whilst Caitlen Teague (15 disposals, three marks) and Madison Lane (14 disposals, six rebound 50s) again found plenty of the footy. Isabelle Starmer stood out in the ruck with 15 hitouts, four clearances and five tackles to go with 13 touches, while Demi Sonneman (11 disposals, three tackles, three marks and four rebound 50s) and Lauren Smith (14 disposals, five tackles) were strong.

Both teams face off at X Convenience Oval in a double-header at X Convenience Oval next Saturday, with the Eagles taking on Sturt at 10.40am, before the Bulldogs host West Adelaide from 12.25pm.

 

WEST ADELAIDE 2.1 | 2.2 | 2.3 | 3.4 (22)
GLENELG 0.0 | 1.2 | 2.4 | 4.4 (28)

GOALS:

West: L. Young 3.
Glenelg: E. Kellock 2, C. Swanson, C. Packer.

DC BEST:

West: L. Young, Z. Venning, K. Culhane, C. Biddell, K. Kustermann
Glenelg: E. Kellock, M. Girvan, J. Bates, B. Tonon, D. Cox

Glenelg has bounced back from consecutive losses with a six-point win over West Adelaide, handing the Bloods back-to-back losses in the process. In a hard-fought match, Glenelg overcame a huge effort from 15-year-old Lauren Young – who booted three goals – to kick the last two goals of the match and win by a goal after trailing by as much as six points, seven minutes into the final term. In the end, two goals from Ellie Kellock in an impressive effort was enough to overcome the Bloods and ensure both teams went to 2-2 for the season after the 4.4 (28) to 3.4 (22) win.

Glenelg won 35 more disposals (185-150), and also restricted West’s outside game, with the Bloods having just 19 marks to the Bays’ 32, whilst the visitors also notched up 72 tackles to 54. West Adelaide was stronger around the stoppages with 30 clearances to 25, also winning the inside 50 count (27-24), but the Bays stood strong in defence with 24 rebound 50s to 17.

Kellock slotted two majors from 12 disposals, four clearances and two inside 50s in a strong effort across four quarters, though she was far from alone. Jessica Bates continued her red-hot 2021 form with 13 disposals, five marks, nine tackles, three clearances and five rebound 50s, while Brooke Tonon (14 disposals, three marks, three tackles and four rebound 50s) and Caitlyn Swanson (eight disposals, three marks, three tackles and three inside 50s) had an impact. Meara Girvan (11 disposals, 18 hitouts) and Molly Affolter (six disposals, 18 hitouts) both tag-teamed in the ruck, while Dayna Cox returned to the side to have 12 disposals, three marks, five tackles and three rebound 50s.

Young was a standout performer yet again, with the leading disposal winner racking up 17 touches again, but clunking four marks – two contested – three tackles, four inside 50s, two rebound 50s and slotting the three goals. Fellow State Academy members Zoe Venning (15 disposals, two marks, six tackles, three clearances and three inside 50s) and Keeley Kustermann (eight disposals, seven tackles, two inside 50s and four rebound 50s) also stood out, while Chelsea Biddell (10 disposals, 21 hitouts, four tackles) was imposing in the ruck returning to state level, and Kasia Culhane (11 disposals, four tackles and six clearances) also prominent in the middle.

Glenelg take on Norwood at Coopers Stadium next Saturday, while the Bloods take on Central District on the same day at X Convenience Oval.

 

NORWOOD 1.0 | 2.0 | 4.0 | 5.0 (30)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.1 | 0.1 | 1.1 | 1.2 (8)

GOALS:

Norwood: E. Murison 2, M. Breed, J. Halfpenny, J. Macolino.
North: T. Thorn.

DC BEST:

Norwood: L. Cutting, E. Murison, M. Johnston, E. Clark, L. Schwerdt
North: J. Tabb, K. Harvey, E. Greet, J. Clark, T. Thorn

Norwood has ended North Adelaide’s winning streak at three, with a 22-point victory in the Saturday Round 4 contest between the sides. The Redlegs just could not miss – literally – booting five straight goals on their way to a 5.0 (30) to 1.2 (8) victory, containing the Roosters to just one goal and three scoring shots in the match. Ella Murison was the sole multiple goalkicker with two, as athletic forwards Mattea Breed and Jade Halfpenny slotted majors, as did midfielder Jess Macolino, while Tayla Thorn kicked North’s sole major of the game.

Norwood had 30 more disposals (218-188), and 20 more marks (43-23), whilst North Adelaide applied good pressure throughout the match with 85 tackles to 61. Around the ball, Norwood had the advantage, dominating the hitouts 42-15 thanks to Leah Cutting, whilst taking control in the clearances (30-24) and inside 50s (26-21), with North marginally head in rebound 50s (21-18).

Cutting was best on ground with 17 disposals, six marks – one contested – 26 hitouts, nine tackles, two clearances, five inside 50s and two rebound 50s in the win, aiding the likes of Macolino (12 disposals, four inside 50s and two clearances), Emma Clark (13 disposals, seven tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s), Lana Schwerdt (13 disposals, four tackles and three clearances) and Sophie Armitstead (15 disposals, four tackles and three clearances) at the stoppages. Murison’s two goals came alongside 13 disposals, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s, while Halfpenny helped herself to 10 touches, four tackles and three inside 50s as well as a goal.

North’s two standouts were midfielder Jaimi Tabb who was a wrecking ball around the stoppages thanks to 18 disposals, four marks – three contested – 10 tackles, five clearances and five inside 50s – and full-back Kristi Harvey (18 disposals, three marks, six tackles and five rebound 50s) who were both sensational. Julia Clark stepped up for 14 touches, two marks, four tackles, two clearances and two rebound 50s, while Erica Greet (15 disposals, five inside 50s) and Chelsea Farr (13 disposals, five tackles and three inside 50s) were also busy in the loss.

In Round 5, Norwood hosts Glenelg at Coopers Stadium on Saturday, while North Adelaide takes on South Adelaide in the second grand final rematch of the season under lights at Flinders University Stadium from 7pm.

 

SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.1 | 2.2 | 2.4 | 3.7 (25)
STURT 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 2.2 (14)

GOALS:

South: J. Kirk, J. Hooper, H. Munyard.
Sturt: C. Forby, K. Harris.

DC BEST:

South: H. Munyard, C. Cavouras, M. McKinnon, J. Kirk, B. Wedding
Sturt: J. Wittervan, G. Swan, A. Ballard, K. Harris, H. Prenzler

South Adelaide have strung back-to-back wins together in 2021, defeating Sturt to move to 2-2 for the season despite kicking just the one goal in the second half. In what was a titanic struggle of two teams with strong defences, the Panthers got up in a thrilling 3.7 (25) to 2.2 (14) victory, with a couple of Adelaide AFL Women’s talents standing up. The Panthers were quick out of the blocks with two goals in 11 minutes to race out to a 13-point lead at quarter time. Sturt worked back into the game and even moved to within two points just 25 seconds into the final term courtesy of a goal to Kate Harris, but a response from Jess Kirk – and a couple of chances after that from the goalsneak – ended the game with an 11-point win to the home team.

Despite the loss, Sturt led the disposals (205-179), marks (51-44) and clearances (22-18), though South Adelaide clunked 16 contested marks to seven in a remarkable show of strength. The Panthers also laid 51 tackles to 39, and marginally led the hitouts (21-19) and rebound 50s (23-20), with the inside 50s practically even (26-25 in Sturt’s favour).

Hannah Munyard returned to South Adelaide for her first game of the year and immediately threw her hand up for a recall to the Crows’ AFL Women’s side, racking up 20 disposals, as well as two marks, five tackles, four clearances, three inside 50s, two rebound 50s and a goal. Czenya Cavouras was just as prominent around the stoppages, crashing and bashing her way to 17 touches, seven tackles and six clearances, whilst Montana McKinnon‘s ripping season continued with four contested marks – of six total marks – as well as 16 hitouts, 11 disposals and four inside 50s. Nicole Campbell (13 disposals, three inside 50s) won her fair share of the ball, whilst youngsters Sarah Wright (13 disposals, two inside 50s and three rebound 50s) and Tahlita Buethke (12 disposals, three marks, two clearances and three inside 50s) were also impressive.

Georgia Swan‘s rising form capped off in the game with a massive 20 touches, a clear season-best for the State Academy member, also taking five marks – one contested – laying four tackles and having four inside 50s. Jaimee Wittervan was crucial around the stoppages with 13 disposals, seven clearances, four inside 50s, three marks and three tackles, while Alex Ballard had 14 disposals, seven marks and three rebound 50s. Also busy in defence was Hannah Prenzler (10 disposals, five marks – one contested – and five rebound 50s), while Alisha Gepp (15 disposals, two marks, two tackles and two clearances) and Harris (14 disposals, three marks and three inside 50s) were also among the better Sturt players on the day.

South Adelaide will have a chance to topple North Adelaide in the first game of Round 5 at Flinders University on Friday night, while Sturt will take on Woodville-West Torrens Eagles at X Convenience Oval on Saturday morning.

2021 AFLW Preview: Adelaide Crows

ADELAIDE will aim to catapult itself back into premiership contention after an injury-riddled 2020 season. Head coach Matthew Clarke has made some major changes to his coaching staff, with club greats Scott Thompson and Tom Lynch joining the panel. The trio will restock Adelaide’s side with a number of returning premiership stars.

2020 RECAP
The Crows finished sixth in Conference A last year, winning just two of their six matches. Premiership players Chelsea Randall and Chloe Scheer missed the entire season with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions, while Deni Varnhagen and superstar Erin Phillips only played three matches between them as they returned from their own respective knee issues. Injuries to several other players meant that the Crows were forced to blood more and more youngsters as the season progressed. Adelaide’s two wins came early in the season against St Kilda and Geelong, two sides that did not qualify for finals in 2020. Realistically, the Crows just struggled to move the ball from end to end and failed to apply enough pressure on opposition sides.

A shining light throughout 2020 was midfielder Anne Hatchard, who won their best and fairest and made the AFLW All-Australian side after averaging 25 disposals, six tackles and three inside 50s per game. Tackling machine Ebony Marinoff was effective alongside her at the clearances, but the pair did not get much help from the Crows’ wingers or forwards, particularly late in the season. Sarah Allan was the side’s other strong performer, as she led Adelaide’s defence well and was rewarded with a spot in the All-Australian side.

NEW FACES
Lively forward Jess Sedunary returns to the club after playing one season for expansion side St Kilda. Sedunary was a premiership player for the Crows in 2017 and is a proven goalkicker at senior level. Although she is coming off a broken fibula and may take some time to reach full strength, she will bring a wealth of leadership and experience to the group. Former Giant Lisa Whiteley will be an important addition to the Crows’ defence, while young winger Hannah Munyard, who has good pace and skills, provides some much-needed depth after playing three games for the Bulldogs in her debut season.

Draftees Teah Charlton, Rachelle Martin and Ash Woodland are three readymade recruits that should make an immediate impact for the club. Charlton, taken with pick four in the AFLW Draft, is a talented midfielder and half-forward from South Adelaide with goal sense, effective ball use, overhead marking ability and aggression. Expect her to be in the running for the NAB AFLW Rising Star Award. Midfielder Martin won the South Australian National Football League Women’s (SANFLW) 2020 best and fairest award (alongside Hatchard) and played a match for the Crows last year as an injury-replacement player. Flexible utility Woodland gained AFLW experience for Melbourne in 2019 before winning North Adelaide’s best and fairest award last year in a premiership side. She also won the SANFLW Leading Goalkicker award in 2020.

With Randall, Scheer, Varnhagen, Hannah Button, Rhiannon Metcalfe and Phillips all set for full seasons this year after serious injuries in 2020, they can be considered ‘new faces’ as well. On the other hand, Adelaide loses veteran Courtney Gum along with premiership players Jess Foley, Courtney Cramey and Sophie Li to retirement.

ONE TO WATCH IN 2021
Chelsea Randall is the one to watch. She is arguably the most courageous defender in AFLW and her skills, leadership and football IQ were sorely missed last year. With Randall positioned alongside Allan and Marijana Rajcic in defence, Adelaide should prove very difficult to score against.

Justine Mules is the other Crow to keep an eye on. She finished third in Adelaide’s 2020 best and fairest count after averaging 11 disposals, two tackles and two inside 50s per game. The two-time premiership player has shown continuous improvement since her debut season and looks set to have a major impact on a wing in 2021.

WHY THEY CAN WIN IT
Two words: premiership experience. With 19 premiership players on their list, the Crows have more of these than any other side in the competition. This experience will prove valuable in finals, and it is well known that the Crows’ top names are made for the biggest stage. With numerous young players rising up the ranks and some veterans nearing the end of their careers, the hunger to recapture premiership glory should be there as well.

QUESTION MARK
Adelaide’s lack of depth is their biggest question mark. This was exposed last season following injuries to their franchise players, as the young Crows struggled to hold up their end of the bargain. However, this experience could prove valuable for the inexperienced players as they should now be more comfortable competing at senior level. Additionally, the inclusions of Sedunary, Whiteley, Munyard and the draftees should help improve their depth.

FINAL WORD
A line-up that includes Randall, Marinoff, Hatchard, Phillips and Allan is a scary proposition for any opposition side. The Crows have elite talents all across the ground and should catapult back into finals contention, but it is unclear whether they are truly premiership contenders. Fremantle, North Melbourne and Carlton were the best sides in 2020 and deserve favouritism ahead of the Crows at this stage.

Much of Adelaide’s hopes depend on the fitness and agility of the seasoned players returning from injury. Their forward line was the main area that struggled last year, as they often failed to lock the ball inside their forward 50 and relied far too heavily on Stevie-Lee Thompson, Eloise Jones and Danielle Ponter. The returns of Scheer, Phillips, Sedunary and Button should help spread the workload in this area.

We we will learn more about the Crows’ premiership aspirations when their season gets underway on the 30th of January against the Demons.



For more AFLW news and analysis, follow Tom Cheesman on Twitter.

Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

2021 AFLW 10 under 10 to watch: #7 Nikki Gore

IN a unique series for the lead-up to the 2021 AFL Women’s season, Draft Central will look at 10 players who have played under 10 games to watch this year. Whilst it would be easy to pick those who finished high in last year’s Rising Star, or top picks this year, we have opted to look at players who have been around at least two seasons but have only managed to play nine games or less. We continue the countdown at number seven with Adelaide’s Nikki Gore.

Being a one-club state and the most successful club in the AFL Women’s history, there are plenty of Adelaide talents yet to really stamp their authority at the elite level. The club is brimming with depth, more so than just about any other club, and it is especially difficult to crack into the midfield of the Crows, with so much experience rolling through there. For recently turned 20-year-old Gore, the 164cm midfielder is one who could really make the transition from prospective talent into star quality.

The eighth selection in the 2018 AFL Women’s National Draft made her debut in Round 6 of the 2019 season, and has managed seven games in her two seasons, booting two goals. Having emerged through the South Australian pathway – playing in a premiership with Christies Beach and then back-to-back flags at South Adelaide – the ball magnet is no stranger to success. It has been Adelaide’s success that has kept the talent biding her time in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition.

Gore is a huge tackler which matches her offensive attributes, not afraid to throw herself at the contest and win the hardball, as well as spread to the outside and use her unbelievable pace to burst away from congestion. Having only played the one game in the Crows’ second premiership season of 2019, Gore started to establish herself in the AFL Women’s side more often, earning six games in 2020, where she averaged the 6.5 disposals.

Her preferred role is on the inside, but when the likes of Anne Hatchard and Ebony Marinoff are there, it makes it difficult to have permanent minutes onball. However with Erin Phillips returning to have a proper full season, the likes of Gore playing through the midfield allows the talented Phillips – and players such as Eloise Jones who can play midfield – to play forward and use their strength overhead to dominate opposition defenders.

Whilst South Adelaide fell short of the flag in 2020, Gore was a key contributor to the side, particularly once the competition resumed later in the season, and the midfielder never took a backwards step. With the youth at the Crows continually growing – now including South Adelaide teammates such as Hannah Munyard and Teah Charlton – Adelaide is a huge chance to win its third flag, and the likes of Gore stepping up will only help achieve that goal.

Top 5 AFLW matches to look forward to in 2021

AS the AFL Women’s (AFLW) clubs continue their preparation for the 2021 season, AFLW fans eagerly await the announcement of the fixture. The only hints provided so far came from AFL Chief Executive Officer Gil McLachlan last Friday, when he anticipated that the season will commence in early February with nine home and away rounds and three weeks of finals.

Here are the five matchups that we hope to see in the fixture when it is finally released.

1. FREMANTLE v NORTH MELBOURNE

A matchup between the two best teams of 2020 is an absolute necessity for 2021. Fremantle went undefeated in 2020 and the Kangaroos only lost once – to Melbourne in Round 1 – but we never got to see these sides face each other during the season. Among many other dream matchups on the field, the midfield battle between Jasmine Garner and Kiara Bowers would be thrilling. Had COVID-19 not forced an abrupt end to the season, we probably would have seen these two sides battle it out in the 2020 Grand Final. It would be fitting to open 2021 with the matchup that should have concluded last season.

2. ADELAIDE v CARLTON

These two sides produced one of the best matches of the 2020 season when Carlton came out on top by eight points at Richmond Oval. Led by superstars Darcy Vescio and Maddy Prespakis, the Blues were too skilful for the Crows in the second half. However, Adelaide was undermanned due to injuries, including anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears that kept premiership stars Chloe Scheer and Chelsea Randall out for the season. They will both be returning to the field in 2021 and should lead Adelaide back into finals contention. The Crows have also recruited Jess Sedunary, Hannah Munyard and Lisa Whiteley from other clubs to strengthen their stocks, while Carlton got the prized signature of former Melbourne co-captain Elise O’Dea to bolster their midfield. Both sides will look stronger on paper and it would be fascinating to watch another clash between the 2019 AFLW Grand Finalists.

3. COLLINGWOOD v NORTH MELBOURNE

A rematch of last year’s semi-final between these two sides would be a must-see affair, as it was arguably the match of the year when the Kangaroos just got over the line by two points. Britt Bonnici was brilliant on the day in a losing side, as were Jaimee Lambert and Bri Davey. These Magpies stars will be hoping to attain their club’s first finals win in 2021, and they would certainly love another opportunity to defeat the side that eliminated them in 2020. That will be easier said than done against the star-studded Kangaroos, who will be hell-bent on contending for their maiden AFLW premiership in 2021.

4. FREMANTLE v ST KILDA

These two sides played out a classic contest in 2020 when the Dockers got over the line by one point, and there is no reason why a clash between them in 2021 could not be just as good. While Fremantle have one of the best sides in the competition, St Kilda is also building strongly on the back of young stars Georgia Patrikios, Caitlin Greiser and Nicola Xenos. Despite not winning the 2020 matchup, this was when the young Saints developed the belief that they could match it with the best. They would love to go one step further and upset the Dockers in 2021.

5. CARLTON v COLLINGWOOD

The list would not be complete without arguably the biggest rivalry in AFLW, Carlton and Collingwood. Carlton has been the more successful AFLW side over the journey, but Collingwood appear to be on the way up after making their first finals appearance in 2020. Magpies defender Stacey Livingstone added plenty of spice to their rivalry following their 15-point defeat of the Blues last year when she said in an interview, “you’ve just got to stop [Tayla Harris] in the air, that’s her game. If you can do that, she’s useless.” This is the type of spirited commentary that fans love to see from players, as public sledging only adds intrigue to the competition. Let’s hope that we see more aggression and trash-talk between these two sides in 2021, as the lead-up to the match could almost be as entertaining as the contest itself.

For more AFLW news, follow Tom Cheesman on Twitter.

AFL Women’s Draft preview: Melbourne & Western Bulldogs

THE AFL Women’s Draft is fast approaching and in the lead-up to the draft, we take a look at each of the AFL women’s sides in pairs and see what they might look for, and who might be available with the selections they have. Next up in our series are the two inaugural sides from Victoria, in Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.

Melbourne – Victorian Pool

Draft selections: 5 (3), 15 (9), 17 (11), 35 (24), 40 (27), 47 (30)

Off-season summary:

With somewhat of an ageing list and the premiership window closing, Melbourne seemed to recognise both factors during the sign and trade period. As one of the busier clubs, the Dees enacted a big turnover of established players, allowing them to bolster their draft hand to make the most of a bumper crop and regenerate ahead of the 2021 season.

Elise O’Dea was the biggest loss, as she was packaged up and sent to the Blues alongside Maddy Guerin, while defender Harriet Cordner was shipped to Richmond, Aliesha Newman to Collingwood, Bianca Jakobsson to St Kilda, and Katherine Smith to GWS. A strong, established core remains, but that’s a big loss in starting-21 players. Coming the other way, though is a third Irishwoman on the Dees’ list in Lauren Magee, a star of the Gaelic code.

A draft look:

This is as important a draft as ever for Melbourne, with a lot riding on its first pick and the value lying in its remaining hand. The Dees also boast the equal-most selections available with six, ensuring they’ll be able to cover each loss at the least.

With pick five, the third in the Victorian pool, Melbourne will likely look to bolster its defensive stocks. Sandringham Dragons tall Sarah Hartwig seems a good fit to plug a key position gap, while Western’s Isabelle Pritchard is a versatile option who can also move through midfield. Should the Bulldogs (see below) opt to overlook Northern key forward Alyssa Bannan, she could well land at Demonland.

The Demons’ remaining hand should see them further boost that defensive line with depth of all sizes, while potentially targeting another key position forward depending on what happens with pick five. Youth should be the priority, though mature-age recruits have payed off for many clubs throughout the draft, especially last year.

Western Bulldogs – Victorian Pool

Draft selections: 2 (2), 11 (6), 16 (10)

Off-season summary: 

The Bulldogs have been gutted of some serious senior talent over the expansion years, so a quieter sign and trade period would have been a refreshing change for their fans. Still, Aisling McCarthy leaves a gap in midfield as she departs for West Coast, while Hannah Munyard has returned home to Adelaide, and Nicole Callinan is the sole retiree. 20-year-old key forward Katie Lynch was their only recruit, and may well help predict what the Dogs will do with their first pick in the draft. Having traded well to land three top-end selections, the Bulldogs’ rebuild is in decent shape.

A draft look:

Familiar themes could well arise from what the Bulldogs decide to do with picks two, 11, and 16 – the second, sixth, and 10th choices in the Victorian pool. After taking in a bunch of Vic Metro based talent last year, all familiar to coach Nathan Burke, the Bulldogs will likely again revert to the deep Northern Knights well of talent. While the recruit of Lynch fills a massive key position forward requirement, don’t be surprised if the Bulldogs opt for another in Alyssa Bannan with pick two. Otherwise, Olivia Barber could be the key forward they’re after with one of the two later selections.

Should they feel that area is covered, midfield support for Ellie Blackburn is another important area of improvement. Ellie McKenzie could then become the second Northern Knights captain to land at the kennel in as many years, joining Gabby Newton, while Dandenong’s Tyanna Smith is the other likely number one pick who could get a look-in. Both are damaging midfielders who should be ready to set the competition alight from Round 1. Keeping with the Knights’ theme, Jessica Fitzgerald would be a handy choice with either of the two remaining selections, a balanced midfielder who co-captained her side with McKenzie.

Featured Image: Jess Fitzgerald and Gabby Newton at this year’s NAB League Girls launch | Credit: AFL Photos

AFL Women’s Draft preview: Adelaide Crows & GWS GIANTS

THE AFL Women’s Draft is fast approaching and in the lead-up to the draft, we take a look at each of the AFL women’s sides in pairs and see what they might look for, and who might be available with the selections they have. Kick-starting our series are the two sides who have a monopoly on their states in Adelaide Crows and GWS GIANTS.

Adelaide Crows – South Australian pool

Draft selections: 4, 45, 48

Off-season summary:

Adelaide is in the box seat next season and should be another contender for the 2021 flag. After a 2020 season interrupted by multiple injuries, the Crows will regain two of the best players in the competition in Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall, whilst saying goodbye to retirees, Jess Foley, Courtney Cramey, Courtney Gum and Sophie Li. Maisie Nankivell also retired to focus on her netball with the Adelaide Thunderbirds, while Nicole Campbell and Jaimi Tabb were two delistings after one season.

In return, the Crows welcomed back a trio of South Australian players with Jess Sedunary (St Kilda), Lisa Whiteley (GWS GIANTS) and Hannah Munyard (Western Bulldogs) all completing trades home. The movements left three available spots on the Crows’ list, and conveniently those picks are 4, 45 and 48.

A draft look:

When it comes to South Australia, it is hard to look past South Adelaide’s Teah Charlton as the standout player from an under-age perspective. She has a bag of tricks and is as dangerous overhead as she is at ground level, knows where the goals are and can play through the midfield or forward line, and even been tested in defence at times. Put simply, in an open draft – ignoring the zoning – she would be taken in the top 10, so expect her to be the likely first selection for the Crows.

With the two remaining picks, Charlton’s Panthers’ teammate Indy Tahau would be the next one to look at, likely to follow her teammate – and last year’s first selection and fellow Panther Montana McKinnon – into the AFL Women’s. Outside the two clear under-age standouts, over-ager defender Amber Ward is a rock in defence and could be called up for a chance at the elite level, whilst South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s leading goalkicker, Ashleigh Woodland has also earned a Draft Combine invite.

Woodland has already tasted the AFL Women’s, after the 22-year-old played four games for Melbourne in 2019 after being a free agent selection in 2018. Putting together a superb season in front of goal for the Roosters, expect Woodland to not only be on the Crows’ radar, but other clubs as well if they have not already looked into the dangerous talent. More mature-age talent that continues to shine at SANFL Women’s level includes Campbell, and train-on players Rachelle Martin and Czenya Cavouras who showed they were in the Crows’ considerations as next best post-draft.

GWS GIANTS – NSW/ACT pool

Draft selections: 9, 29, 42, 53

Off-season summary:

Greater Western Sydney (GWS) GIANTS had a relatively quiet off-season, with just three players retiring in Ellie Brush, Ingrid Nielsen and Maggie Gorham last month. The sole trade the GIANTS made welcomes Katherine Smith to the club, replacing the experience lost by Whiteley heading to the Crows. Smith had been an important player for Melbourne, and the GIANTS also picked up picks 29 and 42, whilst parting with picks 25 and 39 in the process.

With a massive 25 players re-signed to the club and only three departures, it leaves three spots for the GIANTS to select players, holding selections nine, 29 and 42 in the 2020 AFL Women’s Draft, with Pick 53 also belonging to them. Much like the Crows, the pick selections matter little given they can handpick the players who have nominated for their NSW/ACT zone.

A draft look:

The GIANTS had a fairly unpredictable draft last year with a number of surprises, including the rapidly developing Gorham from Canberra with their first pick. This year they have some more young guns through the AFL Women’s National Academy who have put their hand up and earned Draft Combine invites, but as we saw with Brenna Tarrant, players can end up in other states.

Looking at those AFL Women’s Draft Combine invites, there are five who have stood up, four of whom have been Academy members this year. Three of those Academy members have risen through the pathways together in Tarni Evans, Emily Pease and Jayde Hamilton who could all be among the consideration for the top 10 pick. Evans is a contested marking player and one who has been touted as a future star since her Under 18s days, while Pease is a running half-back-cum-midfielder, and Hamilton a contested ball-winning talent.

All three have different skillsets and then you can factor in the other two players to receive AFL Women’s National Draft Combine invites – Abby Favell and Kiara Beesley. Favell is an elite runner with strong decision making skills and a high work rate, while Beesley is a former acrobat who is running around with Southern Power and who has a great blend of strength and speed, and more than capable overhead.

Like last year, the GIANTS could end up picking a handful of local players they have been watching through the AFL Sydney and AFL Canberra competitions, but there is enough talented youth there to put their hands up to go to the next level.

Picture: Hannah Howard/SANFL

Competitive Morriss loving community aspect of SANFL Women’s

FOR 18-year-old Tamsyn Morriss, her football journey has been interrupted in patches but overall had a speedy rise through the ranks from a junior level. Starting out at Auskick and limited in her pursuit after a couple of years, Morriss did not give in and returned to Aussie rules after exploring other sports.

“I’ve grown up in like a sporting type of family, my dad played footy. As far as growing up, my mum played netball so I’ve obviously got a lot of sporting genes in there,” Morriss said. “It was obviously dad that made me start footy so I started up Auskick when I was five at my dad’s local club… did two years of Auskick and then there was no pathway for girls back then, so I went and played soccer with the boys. 

“Then when I found out that I can play with the boys at footy I jumped back over to Lonsdale. “That’s where it kind of all started, playing under 10s and under 12s with the boys and then I moved over to girls footy at Kenilworth Football Club.”

Despite all the moving around early on in her football journey, Morriss found herself in the unprecedented position of being a 15-year-old on the edge of a South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s berth with Glenelg.

“I then got asked to train with the Glenelg women’s team as a 15 year old, one training I got asked if I wanted to play a game, obviously, with my parents permission, being a 15 year old playing against women. “And that’s when it all started with Glenelg. This upcoming season will be my fourth season with them.”

While Morriss has a focus on football, her past experience with other sports has certainly assisted in her skillset on the footy field, allowing her to utilise and adapt her game depending on what is required of her.

“I did a little bit of little athletics… I had to stop because obviously my footy was blowing up. And I was also involved with surf lifesaving,” she said. “So soccer, obviously it’s a team sport, kicking around a ball you kick around a ball in football as well. I reckon from little athletics I definitely got fitness, got running technique from there, and then the surf lifesaving, was extra fitness as well. I still do that… training and obviously doing patrols as well.”

While Morriss enjoyed – and still enjoys, in some cases – participating in a range of sports, the Glenelg talent says that the competitiveness and community around football is what drew her back to the sport. 

“I definitely have to say, the competitiveness of it and like, the community around it,” Morriss said. “You have so many people around you and people like you. “So it’s hard to leave it. “Yeah, the competitiveness is what I like as well, competing for the ball, competing against each other.”

With some quality talent not only heading up through the pathways but also already making waves at AFL Women’s level, Morriss says she looks to the experienced names in the SANFL system, inspired by their work ethic and skills.

“I have to say, Nikki Gore and Anne Hatchard,” Morriss said. “So I knew them, well I knew Anne before she got big humongous muscles and super super fit, that’s definitely inspired me, so that’s why I’ve been working on strength and fitness as well. “But obviously Nikki Gore, she’s just a great friend. “And she definitely pushes me along the way on and off the field.”

When it comes to strengths and improvements, Morriss suggested her fitness as a focus, with strength critical especially as the level progresses given the continued development of quality players across not just the state but also the country as women’s football continues to grow.

“At the moment, I’m working on strength and fitness. “So I can run longer, be on the ground for longer and compete better with some of the bigger girls out there. Hold my ground a bit more,” she said. 

“Some of my strengths I have to say, work ethic. “Yeah, and competitiveness, I’m working on that… game sense as well. “So reading the ball, using the ball well when I can. “And using the ball well around my teammates.”

Morriss participated in the 2019 AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships up in Queensland, playing two games for the Central Allies. Still just a middle-ager last year, Morriss was looking to showcase her ability in 2020.

“That was a great experience, it was one of my favourite footy trips away. Just the connections I made with some of the girls, obviously playing with some of the girls from South Australia and then meeting new people from Northern Territory… It was an experience I’ve never done before, but definitely would have liked to do it again,” she said.

“One of my good family friends, Montana McKinnon, I actually grew up with her. “So it was great to play with her one last time. “And then also, obviously, there’s Jaimi Tabb, she just got drafted. “Maddie Newman as well, Hannah Munyard, it was great to play along those girls and then obviously the upcoming girls going up for the draft, Teah Charlton and then like Indy Tahau, it was great to play with them because I’ve obviously played against most of those girls, so it’s good to be on the same team for once.”

While the 2020 championships did not go ahead due to COVID-19 limitations, Morriss instead showcased her talents with a solid performance at the SANFLW All-Stars last week.