Tag: Lauren Spark

Weekend previews: AFLW – Round 2

AFTER an exhilarating first round, which saw four of the five matches go down to the wire, teams prepare to tweak game styles or mix up team sheets in order to get an advantage over their opponents. Four of the first round losers face off, with Melbourne heading to Victoria Park on Saturday to face the Magpies, while Carlton hosts Adelaide at Ikon Park on Sunday. The two sides who head home without any points face an uphill battle in the race for finals action. The fifth losing side from Round 1, GWS GIANTS has its own mammoth effort – trying to take down North Melbourne who simply blitzed Carlton. A maximum of three sides can remain undefeated after Round 2 with first round winners, Geelong and Western Bulldogs, and Fremantle and Brisbane facing off over the weekend.

GWS GIANTS vs. NORTH MELBOURNE
Friday, February 8, 7.15pm
Drummoyne Oval

In the opening game of the round, new side North Melbourne fresh off a huge victory over Carlton, head to Drummoyne Oval to face the GIANTS. The GIANTS are playing just their second game at the venue, following a loss to the Blues this time last year. The battle within the contest is the All-Australian rucks going head-to-head with Kangaroos’ Emma King and GIANTS’ Erin McKinnon. North Melbourne’s midfield has great depth to it, lead by last year’s League Best and Fairest winner, Emma Kearney, Jamie Stanton, Jess Duffin and Ash Riddell, of whom the latter was ultra-impressive on debut. North Melbourne’s dynamic forward line features former Magpies, Jasmine Garner and Mo Hope, premiership-winning Bulldog Jenna Bruton, and former Lion Kaitlyn Ashmore. With the strength around the ground, it will be hard to contain the Roos if they win the midfield battle.

The one area the GIANTS could get an upper hand is through rebounding forward with an equally impressive, albeit underrated forward line. Jess Dal Pos, former Magpie Christina Bernardi and defender-turned-forward Cora Staunton are all capable of multiple goals, while Haneen Zreika was impressive on debut last week. The midfield simply has to win its fair share of head-to-heads, with Courtney Gum, Rebecca Beeson, Alicia Eva and Alyce Parker leading the way, while Amanda Farrugia, Emma Swanson and Tanya Hetherington will have big jobs coming out of defence. The Kangaroos took a massive 56 marks in last week’s huge win over Carlton, while still laying 66 tackles. The GIANTS laid just the 42 and only five in the forward 50, and will need to show more pressure inside 50 against a side capable of hurting you on the scoreboard really quickly. Both teams are generally good ball users and make the most of their opportunities so it will be fascinating to see which team can take the early advantage and put it on the scoreboard. North Melbourne will head in as favourites, but it is far from completely clear cut, and this will be a huge win for the GIANTS if they can get the job done at home.

H2H: GWS GIANTS 0 | North Melbourne 0 | Draws 0
Venue: GWS GIANTS 0-1-0 | North Melbourne 0-0-0

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

  • Emma Kearney averages 20 disposals, 6.5 tackles, 4.5 clearances, four inside 50s and a goal against the GIANTS from two clashes.
  • Both AFL Women’s All Australian rucks are set to go head-to-head with Emma King taking on Erin McKinnon. In the battle between the pair last year, King won convincingly with 11 disposals and 18 hitouts to McKinnon’s three disposals and 14 hitouts.
  • GWS GIANTS’ only game at the venue resulted in a loss to Carlton last year, while North Melbourne looks to back up its only game – a huge win over Carlton last week.
  • The GIANTS have won two, drawn two and lost three games in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory.

 

COLLINGWOOD vs. MELBOURNE
Saturday, February 9, 4.45pm
Victoria Park

At one of the homes of traditional football, Collingwood hosts Melbourne in what has become a must-win for both sides. After heart-breaking losses in Round 1 despite leading at the final change, neither team can afford to go 0-2, with the reality that teams need at least four wins to secure a finals berth. A second loss means they must win four of their final five games as a minimum and with both still to play their respective conference favourites, it would spell trouble for their post-season hopes. However, for the winner, it is a chance to balance the ledger and get back on track early in the season. Collingwood has been a slow starter in year’s gone by, and has been overhauled with youth since last season, while Melbourne has also brought a number of young players into the team, furthering the development of players who got their starts last season. With both teams defensively capable, it will make for a great clash. The sides also sit at one win each in the head-to-head, funnily enough after the losing side in each game got a head start, but was run over the top of in the second halves.

Both teams have made two changes, with a debutant and a return from a long-term injury headlining the selection moves. Oakleigh Chargers’ tall, Katie Lynch comes into the side after Sophie Alexander’s concussion last week ruled her out of the game. Kristy Stratton was also ruled out through injury, with the Magpies opting to go tall by bringing in Eliza Hynes to try and stretch the Melbourne defence when forward, while rotating with Sharni Layton and Eliza Fowler. Melbourne have brought in Ainslie Kemp who has not played since 2017 due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear – sadly replacing Shae Sloane who suffered the exact same injury. The Dees have also brought in Ashleigh Guest for Claudia Whitfort. The key to victory for the Demons is restricting the run of Collingwood’s defence, which helped the Magpies hold up against Geelong last week with Ash Brazill causing all sorts of headaches, while Jordyn Allen was equally as impressive. They also need to clamp down on Jaimee Lambert who has the ability to turn a game with great plays, while Catherine Phillips could be the one asked to restrict Sarah D’Arcy from dominating in the air. For the Magpies, they need to be wary of Melbourne’s firepower with Tegan Cunningham and Eden Zanker likely to stretch the defence, while Aliesha Newman has pace to burn and both Kate Hore and Maddison Gay are capable of getting over the back and hurting teams on the rebound. Elise O’Dea, Karen Paxman and Lily Mithen are up there with the best midfields in the competition, and will look to control the stoppages around the ground and give their forwards early opportunities.

H2H: Collingwood 1 | Melbourne 1 | Draws 0
Venue: Collingwood 0-0-0 | Melbourne 0-0-0

Last time they met: Collingwood 9.4 (58) defeated Melbourne 3.6 (24) at TIO Traeger Park, Round 4, 2018

After booting the opening two goals of the match and keeping Collingwood goalless in the opening term, the Demons only managed 1.4 for the rest of the match as the Magpies piled on 9.4 to run away with the match by 34 points. Magpies captain, Steph Chiocchi played one of her best games under lights, booting a goal from 17 disposals, two marks, four clearances and three inside 50s, while Jaimee Lambert had a team-high 19 disposals as well as three inside 50s and two rebounds. Caitlyn Edwards and Mo Hope both booted two goals in the victory, but arguably the best performance was that of Brittany Bonnici who tagged Melbourne captain, Daisy Pearce and restricted her to a career-low nine disposals. For the Demons, Elise O’Dea was the top performer with 19 disposals, two clearances, three inside 50s and a goal, while Karen Paxman had 18 touches and three rebounds.

Fun facts:

  • Of the 42 players to take the field in last year’s clash in the Top End, just 24 players remain available for selection in season 2019. Even more remarkably, just eight players from Collingwood’s first match against the Demons – two years ago – remain on the list.
  • Elise O’Dea (17 disposals) and Karen Paxman (16.5 disposals) average the most disposals against the Magpies from their two clashes.
  • Sarah D’Arcy and Emma Grant average the most disposals against the Demons, with 10 touches apiece.
  • Both sides were in the lead at three quarter time after holding their opponent scoreless in the third term last week only to go on to lose the game in heartbreaking circumstances.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS vs. GEELONG
Saturday, February 9, 7.15pm
VU Whitten Oval

H2H: Western Bulldogs 0 | Geelong 0 | Draws 0
Venue: Western Bulldogs 4-3-0 | Geelong 0-0-0

In the other game that will be the first time these teams go head-to-head is between reigning premiers, Western Bulldogs and new side, Geelong. Both teams had a win in Round 1 and this weekend marks the first home game for the Bulldogs, which means they will unfurl the 2018 AFL Women’s flag in front of what is predicted to be a strong crowd at VU Whitten Oval. The winner will most certainly get an early advantage given the strength of their opponent, and it marks the first game for the sides which sees them pitted against a non-conference rival. Both teams also know how to close out tight games, having survived one-point thrillers in the opening round to secure the four points. Given their experience and depth across the field, Western Bulldogs will head in as favourites, but Geelong are expected to throw down a challenge with a couple of key players returning.

The Cats have welcomed back key forward, Phoebe McWilliams and ruck, Erin Hoare to bolster their side against the reigning premiers. Georgie Rankin and Maighan Fogas have been the two unlucky players omitted from the victorious side last Saturday night, with Fogas and key defender, Georgia Clarke named as emergencies for the clash. The Dogs will unveil Irish debutant, Aisling McCarthy who comes into the side, replacing the omitted Belinda Smith. The enticing battle will see which defence holds up the best as both sides proved to have their respective opposition’s measure last week. Co-captain, Katie Brennan booted the Bulldogs’ two goals against the Crows, while Meg McDonald, Rebecca Goring and Madeline Keryk were among the Cats’ best under pressure when the Magpies were attacking. While the heartbreaking story of Nina Morrison doing her ACL at training will dominate headlines, Geelong still has a huge core of youth including Denby Taylor, Olivia Purcell and Sophie Van De Heuvel who will face established young talents in Monique Conti and Bonnie Toogood, and first round draftee, Eleanor Brown. Co-captain Ellie Blackburn is always a crucial player for the Dogs and will look to take control in the midfield, while the Dogs’ defence of Lauren Spark, Libby Birch and Hannah Scott will provide plenty of rebound.

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

  • The Western Bulldogs lost three consecutive matches at VU Whitten Oval in 2017, but have since won all three games they have played there, and is the Dogs’ first home game since winning the 2018 AFL Women’s flag.
  • Aasta O’Connor will play against her old side for the first time, lining up in the ruck to face Kim Rennie, while sharing the ruck duties with Erin Hoare in the blue and white hoops.
  • Ellie Blackburn averaged 16.9 disposals, 2.9 marks, 3.25 tackles and 3.25 clearances last season, the most of any current Western Bulldogs player.
  • With Brooke Lochland injured for the season, Phoebe McWilliams will be the leading goal kicker from last season in the match, booting seven goals for the GIANTS.

 

CARLTON vs. ADELAIDE
Sunday, February 10, 4.05pm
Ikon Park

H2H: Carlton 0 | Adelaide 2 | Draws 0
Venue: Carlton 4-1-2 | Adelaide 0-0-0

For the first time in 2019, Ikon Park hosts a match with the Blues heading back home to welcome the Crows in a Sunday evening game. The ground has traditionally been the host of the opening game of the year between bitter rivals, Carlton and Collingwood but that has changed in 2019. These teams are both heading into the match off the back of a loss, with Carlton’s heavy defeat to North Melbourne not the ideal start to the season following a wooden spoon, while the Crows will rue missed opportunities in front of goal after booting 1.11 against the Bulldogs at Norwood Oval. Adelaide is yet to play at Ikon Park, while Carlton has made it somewhat of a fortress winning four and drawing a fifth game from its seven matches at the venue. Considering they have only won one match outside Ikon Park, it has been a comfort zone and the Crows cannot afford to take them lightly. With Adelaide in the tougher conference, they would not want to drop this game and go 0-2 to start the season, while Carlton will look for its first win under Daniel Harford who would have learnt plenty from the round one defeat.

Looking at the Round 1 matches, efficiency inside 50 looks to be key, with Adelaide having a 75 per cent scoring efficiency with 18 shots from 24 attempts, while Carlton had just 10 shots from 29 attempts – 35 per cent scoring efficiency. Both sides have impressive forward lines on paper, but they will need to convert their opportunities. Any forward 50 with Darcy Vescio, Tayla Harris and Brianna Davey – who has actually been named in defence – is going to worry opposition defenders, while Erin Phillips is as good as anyone one-on-one and is lining up at full-forward, while Chloe Scheer is a young star who will only get better. Speaking of young stars, Madison Prespakis carried the weight of the midfield on her shoulders last week and was ultra-impressive on debut, so the Crows will need to be aware of her presence. The Adelaide midfield has greater depth and the Blues should look to limit the influence of Ebony Marinoff who racked up 23 disposals and laid 11 tackles in Round 1. If Carlton can restrict her influence on the inside and win the contested ball – with the likes of Jess Hosking and Katie Loynes getting on top, it will go a long way to causing an upset. Chelsea Randall leads the defence, while the experience of Renee Forth through the midfield will be important. Carlton will need to control the ruck contest through Breann Moody, and break even in the middle, while the Crows will focus on clearance domination to give their forwards first opportunity and more importantly, those forwards need to convert.

Last time they met: Adelaide 8.7 (55) defeated Carlton 2.8 (20) at Norwood Oval, Round 5, 2018.

Adelaide flexed their muscles against the Blues when the sides were heading in opposite directions. The Crows at home booted six goals to one after quarter time to run away from the Blues, but counted the cost of the win with injuries to Erin Phillips and Courtney Cramey. Ruth Wallace booted three goals, while Eloise Jones finished with two, as Ebony Marinoff and Chelsea Randall shared 31 disposals. Breann Moody was dominant in the ruck for the Blues with 29 hitouts from 11 disposals and four clearances, while Tayla Harris had 11 disposals, three marks and booted a goal.

Fun facts:

  • Despite winning the wooden spoon last season, Carlton has a strong record at Ikon Park, having won four and drawn one from seven attempts.
  • If Carlton lose the match, it will mark more than a year since they won their last match.
  • While she picked up an injury in the second game, Erin Phillips was everywhere in the Crows’ first win over the Blues, racking up 21 disposals and eight clearances. In the same game, Ebony Marinoff laid 14 tackles from 16 disposals, her exact disposal average against Carlton.
  • Of the Carlton players to play against Adelaide in both games, the omitted Tilly Lucas-Rodd averages the most disposals with 13.5, while Darcy Vescio averages two goals per game against the Crows.

 

FREMANTLE vs. BRISBANE
Sunday, February 10, 3.05pm
Fremantle Oval

H2H: Fremantle 0 | Brisbane 2 | Draws 0
Venue: Fremantle 2-3-0 | Brisbane 1-0-0

Both sides won against the odds in Round 1, with Fremantle toppling Melbourne in scorching weather at Casey Fields after being 14 points down at the final break, while Brisbane knocked off GWS GIANTS a fortnight after succumbing to the GIANTS in a heavy practice match loss. Both sides had plenty to be positive about last week, most importantly securing an early four points, while also having plenty to improve upon for this week. Fremantle are back at home in Western Australia, but at their only other clash at the venue, Brisbane took home the points, though it was two years ago. Both teams look to be very different to that clash, with the Lions having a host of youth coming through, as do the Dockers while also filtering in some experienced local talent. Brisbane will go in as favourites given their history in the competition, but Fremantle’s performance last week certainly raised eyebrows and showed that everyone could be underrating the Dockers.

Both sides play a different brand of football which is really exciting for this clash. In Round 1, Fremantle battered and bruised their way to an impressive contested ball style, getting the pull forward to record a huge 11 marks inside 50, while laying 10 tackles in the arc. They harassed and pressured the Demons into making uncharacteristic mistakes, laying 77 tackles in the process. The Lions have tall targets up forward, but opted for a balanced possession game and spread well around the ground. They intercepted the GIANTS 51 times and took the game on, trying to unsettle the defence with possession football, but going when required. This game could well be a combination of both styles and sets up for a huge clash. The Lions forward line is severely underrated with Sabrina Frederick-Traub the dominant key position player, while McKenzie Dowrick and Jess Wuetschner are incredibly clever and dangerous around goals. Throw in Jordan Zanchetta, Emma Zielke and the defensively-minded but strong, Lauren Arnell and the Lions front six is as good as any. Ebony Antonio and Tayla Bresland were strong in defence last week, while the midfield of Dana Hooker and Kara Donnellan are not huge ball winners, but always effective. They tackle the biggest ball-winning duo of Emily Bates and Ally Anderson who had the ball on a string last week, while the potential match-up of Kiara Bowers and Sam Virgo could be entertaining based on Round 1 form. Both teams have immensely talented youth coming through, and both teams’ first round picks, Sabreena Duffy and Paige Parker, have been named in the side.

Last time they met: Brisbane 3.4 (22) defeated Fremantle 2.3 (15) at South Pine Sports Complex, Round 4, 2018.

In a low-scoring affair that saw just one goal kicked in the first half, Brisbane held on in a thriller to win by seven points and remain on track for a grand final berth. Dynamic forward, Jess Wuetschner booted two goals from 18 disposals, three marks and four inside 50s, while Kate Lutkins and Ally Anderson both had 18 touches in the win. For the Dockers, Lara Filocamo had 18 disposals and laid five tackles. Kara Donnellan laid a whopping 10 tackles and had five clearances and 15 disposals.

Fun facts:

  • In their only clash at the venue, Brisbane defeated Fremantle by 13 points in Round 2, 2017. Fremantle has a 100 per cent winning ratio at Fremantle Oval over Victorian sides, but a zero per cent winning ratio over non-Victorian sides.
  • Jess Wuetschner has been the dominant goal kicker in the matches between these sides, averaging two goals per game.
  • Lara Filocamo averages the most disposals between the sides, with 17.5 per match.
  • Both sides won their opening round matches by less than a kick, with Fremantle getting a dress rehearsal for the scorching West Australian heat, winning at Casey Fields in 38 degrees Celcius.

 

DRAFT CENTRAL TIPPING

Leaderboard:

Eq. 1st : Sophie Taylor, Matthew Cocks [ 3 ]
Eq. 3rd : Peter Williams, Taylah Melki, Michael Alvaro [ 2 ]

 

Peter Williams

Chief Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Collingwood
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Taylah Melki

Assistant Chief Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Sophie Taylor

Women’s Football Editor

Last week: 3

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Michael Alvaro

Men’s Football Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Matthew Cocks

Guest Tipster

Last week: 3

Round 2 selections:

GWS GIANTS
Collingwood
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

Number Crunching: AFLW – Round 1

THERE are plenty of individual stats to put under the microscope after Round 1 of the Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) competition, with a handful of players starring on the sheet across multiple lines – including a gun draftee, former rising star, and high-profile tradee.

Adelaide’s Ebony Marinoff was the talk of the town after her round-leading 23 disposal performance in a losing effort against the ‘Dogs. It was an incredible game from the hard-working midfielder, who topped the fantasy charts at 107 points having also laid 11 tackles and spread her load at almost an even 50 per cent between contested and uncontested possessions. Not to be outdone by the former rising star, Geelong’s number one draft pick, Nina Morrison starred in the season-opener to be the equal-second leading disposal winner for the round with 22. The midfielder showed her balance in the craft with 14 contested possessions and six clearances, while also providing her trademark run with three inside 50’s. Meanwhile, Emily Bates and Ally Anderson had 22 disposals each in the Lions’ midfield to match Morrison as they overcame GWS.

Anderson’s 14 contested possessions were enough for equal-second best alongside Morrison, but Melbourne’s Karen Paxman was the boss of the engine room for Round 1, with a whopping 18 contested possessions from her 21 disposals at a rate of 85 per cent. Stepping up in the absence of stalwart, Daisy Pearce, Paxman also earned a round-high nine clearances to lead in the stat from Fremantle’s Dana Hooker (eight) and Adelaide superstar, Erin Phillips (seven). While Paxman and co won the contested ball in spades, a current and a former Magpie won all of their touches in the clinches. Collingwood’s Sarah Dargan (11 disposals) and Kangaroo ruck recruit, Emma King (10 disposals) both had contested possession rates of 100 per cent in impressively gritty displays. Geelong’s Maddy Keryk was the only player bar-Paxman with over 15 disposals to also have had a rate of over 80 per cent contested possessions. On the other end of the scale, Bates and new-Roo Jess Duffin won the most uncontested ball with 13 apiece, with Duffin’s teammate, Emma Kearney working in tandem for her tally of 10 – matched by GWS draftee Alyce Parker on debut.

The Fremantle duo of Hooker and Kiara Bowers topped the tackle count with 12 each as they put the clamps on Melbourne, with Hooker’s hard work also translating to ball-winning as she had 15 disposals. But it was again the efforts of Marinoff which attracted the headlines, as the premiership Crow laid 11 tackles to bring her career tally to 169 – the only AFLW player to have cracked the ton at the time of writing. Despite all that, Marinoff was amazingly still down on her 2018 tackle average of 11.7. In a sign of things to come, Morrison (eight tackles) was also not far behind as the teenager with the highest count.

Moving from the ground to the air, Lauren Spark reeled in the most marks with her effort of 11 – finding space well to have 13 kicks amongst her 14 disposals (nine uncontested). Spark’s Bulldogs teammate, Ellie Blackburn had six but was narrowly beaten out to second-best honours by Duffin’s seven. She may have only had three, but Carlton’s dynamic forward star, Tayla Harris took an absolute screamer to claim mark of the round. Melbourne’s Lauren Pearce dominated the air in a different fashion with her round-high of 32 hit-outs, while Giant, Erin McKinnon won 31 taps. Carlton’s tall duo of Breann Moody and Alison Downie combined for 29 against the otherwise dominant King in their loss to the ‘Roos.

Brisbane goalsneak Jess Wuetschner bagged the highest goal tally for the week, booting three of the Lions’ four goals as seven others claimed hauls of two. Amongst the group of multiple goal kickers was returning Bulldog gun, Katie Brennan – who came up clutch for her side – as well as arguably the player of the round, King. The worst offenders in front of goal collectively were the Crows with 1.11, however Phillips was the only player in that game to miss more than once. She was not alone though as eight others registered multiple behinds in their respective outings – four of them from the Kangaroos/Carlton game.

Team of the Week: AFLW – Round 1

NORTH Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos’ big win has seen them rewarded with four players in the Draft Central AFL Women’s Team of the Week for Round 1, the most of any club. Other winners, Geelong, Brisbane and Western Bulldogs had three nominees, while Melbourne had three players in the best 24 despite a loss to Fremantle.

Fremantle won in a thriller and have two nominees each in the Team of the Week, as do other close losers, Adelaide, Collingwood and GWS GIANTS. Carlton had a match to forget and while Tayla Harris and Madison Prespakis were both close to making the team, just missed out.

North Melbourne’s Emma King was the standout ruck across the competition in Round 1, earning the starting spot in the followers, joined in the team by fellow former Magpies, Jasmine Garner and Jess Duffin, as well as debutant Ash Riddell. Brisbane midfield duo, Emily Bates and Ally Anderson both squeeze into the starting line-up, as does the competition’s leading goal kicker, Jess Wuetschner who booted three on the weekend.

Western Bulldogs’ heroic victory in South Australia resulted in defenders, Lauren Spark and Hannah Scott making the team, as did co-captain, Ellie Blackburn who slots into the centre position. Despite their narrow loss, Melbourne veterans, Karen Paxman and Elise O’Dea fill the half-back line, while key forward, Eden Zanker was impressive inside 50 and leading up the ground.

Geelong’s victory on Saturday night saw Nina Morrison emerge, with the number one pick collecting 22 disposals and eight tackles, joining teammate Meg McDonald from Darebin Falcons and Madeline Keryk – both on debut – in our Team of the Week. Ebony Marinoff‘s ball-winning efforts of 24 touches and 11 tackles was the most of the round, and earned her the remaining place in the midfield, while 2017 League Best and Fairest, Erin Phillips slots into half-forward.

Of the three remaining teams, dual sport athlete Ash Brazill and Magpies’ teammate, Jaimee Lambert were named in the side, as were Fremantle forwards, Kiara Bowers and Dana Hooker. Young gun GIANTS’ midfielder, Alyce Parker and the versatile, Cora Staunton round out the team of 24.

AFLW season previews: Western Bulldogs

THE reigning premiers will come into 2019 hoping to go back-to-back for the first time in the AFLW competition, having picked up a wealth of experienced players to join their side this year. But with the loss of last year’s Best and Fairest, Emma Kearney to North Melbourne and leading goalkicker, Brooke Lochland to injury for the majority of the season, their Bulldogs’ plans could be skewed.

Last season: 1st – five wins, two losses.

Changes:

In: Belinda Smith, Eleanor Brown, Aisling McCarthy, Kate Bartlett, Selena Karlson, Jessie Davies, Tessa Boyd, Celine Moody

Out: Daria Bannister, Jenna Bruton, Emma Kearney, Aasta O’Connor, Jess Anderson, Rachel Ashley, Laura Bailey, Kim Ebb

With a lot of experience lost in the off-season, the Bulldogs opted to do a straight swap in the draft, opting for more experience over youth. Paul Groves and his assistants would’ve followed the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition closely, picking up four players who had experience in that league. Classy midfielder, Eleanor Brown had the honour of adding TAC Cup Girls and Vic Metro experience to her VFLW experience last year, proving she has what it takes to shine at AFLW level. Brown can play an inside or outside role in the midfield and can roll across to the half-back line, which she did successfully in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships in July. Brown came up against a clever forward in Kate Bartlett during those championships, who she will now play alongside at the Dogs. Bartlett played for Western Australia as a 19 year-old last year, working hard to earn a chance to play AFLW alongside another ‘KB’ in Katie Brennan.

Area of strength: Forward line

The Bulldogs have one of the most attractive forward lines in the competition. This is of course headlined by Brennan, who is a class above with her marking and goal kicking ability. If she can stay injury and suspension free this season, she will be a key part in taking the Bulldogs to the top again. She will also have Kate Bartlett inside 50 to complement her. The Western Australian forward is also strong overhead and has a great goal sense under pressure, playing as a deep or high forward. AFLW fans were starved of seeing Isabel Huntington reach her potential last season due to her heartbreaking Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury. While she had another knee scare in the off-season, the 2016 number one draft pick will be ready to go in 2019, and she will certainly be one to watch with her prowess in the air and long kick. Add in the best on ground in the Grand Final, Monique Conti and the Bulldogs have a dangerous forward line that combines dominance in the air and speed on the field.

Area of weakness: Midfield

The Bulldogs lost a key midfield duo in the off-season to North Melbourne, waving goodbye to Kearney and Jenna Bruton. While Aasta O’Connor mainly plays in defence, she was often a key cog in the ruck for the Bulldogs in seasons gone by, meaning she is another loss in the middle of the ground for the reigning premiers. The Bulldogs are fortunate that Ellie Blackburn has still stuck around, as she and Kearney combined to be a lethal duo last season. Blackburn has been elevated to the club’s co-captain alongside Brennan this season, allowing her to relish her on-field leadership as well as her obvious talent. Sandringham Dragons product, Brown could be the one to combine with Blackburn this season, as Blackburn’s great hands and precise kicks have given opposition midfields headaches in past years.

Players to watch:

Isabel Huntington

Huntington’s debut game was cruelly halted in the first half when she ruptured her ACL against Brisbane, not even getting to complete a full game in her debut appearance for the side. Now having been cleared of another ACL rupture after an innocuous training incident, Huntington is on track to play her debut game for the Bulldogs in Round 1, and if last year’s glimpse is anything to go by, she will be a dominant force inside 50. Huntington’s overhead marking is elite and she is strong in the contests. Combine that with her long kick, and she is certainly one to keep an eye on.

Naomi Ferres

Ferres had a brilliant season in the VFLW for the Western Bulldogs, taking out the club’s Best and Fairest at the end of the season. Despite only playing seven matches, Ferres was named in the best in each game, averaging 17.4 disposals per game. This included finishing off her season with three consecutive games in which she racked up 20 disposals per game. Clearly, Ferres is one that knows how to find the football and is clever both by hand and by foot, which will make her a key cog in the Bulldogs’ 2019 midfield, given the loss of Bruton and Kearney.

Eleanor Brown

Brown was one of the most composed players in the TAC Cup Girls competition last year, winning the ball with ease in the midfield. She was often able to clear space with her long kick or create space with her outside running, making her one of Sandringham’s key players across the season. Brown was named in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year at half-forward for her efforts, highlighting her versatility across the field. In the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, she found herself at half-back on the last day of the Gold Coast tournament, and was a key playmaker, racking up plenty of disposals and acting as an anchor across the back line. She made the Under-18 All-Australian team because of this game and her efforts across the tournament for Vic Metro.

2019 prediction: 1st in Conference A

Despite some key losses in the off-season, the Bulldogs should still be the ones to watch when it comes to the premiership race. A forward line containing Brennan, Huntington, Conti and Bartlett, a defence containing the likes of Hannah Scott, Libby Birch and Lauren Spark and a midfield which consists of bona-fide stars in Blackburn, Brown and Ferres still makes the Bulldogs a highly talented team. Considering their success last season, they do have one of the harder draws in the 2019 season, facing off against Adelaide and the two new expansion teams in Geelong and North Melbourne, and hosting a Grand Final rematch against the Lions in the first four rounds of the season. If the Bulldogs can win at least two of those games, they will be well on track for another premiership berth, as they have an easy draw after that, facing off against Fremantle, Melbourne and Carlton in the last three rounds of the season.

2019 AFLW Western Bulldogs Fixture

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Norwood OvalRound 1
Whitten OvalRound 2
University of Tasmania StadiumRound 3
Whitten OvalRound 4
Fremantle OvalRound 5
Marvel StadiumRound 6
Whitten OvalRound 7

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 15

ROUND 15’s AFL Draft Central Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Team of the Week is dominated by the big winners of the weekend. Firstly, there is Hawthorn who has five representatives, which is the most of any team, after its 25-point win over Northern Territory (NT) Thunder. Collingwood, Melbourne University and Williamstown also fared well with three players each in the best 22 after their impressive wins on the weekend.

Essendon and the Southern Saints both have no players in the Team of the Week this round after both teams’ combined scores only added up to 13 in a bad weekend for the two proud clubs.

Hawthorn’s Jayde Van Dyk has once again earned her spot in the team this week, collecting 15 disposals and showing great leadership in the back half. Tayla Thorn (NT) and Rebecca Dardengo (Williamstown) also make their debuts in the Team of the Week after breakout games.

Emma Mackie was outstanding in the midfield for Hawthorn, kicking two goals to accompany her 24 disposals. She played a major role in Hawthorn’s win over the Thunder. Melbourne University’s Madison Prespakis and Seagull, Jess Duffin were at their usual best, with Prespakis gathering 25 touches and kicking a goal while Duffin racked up 28 disposals.

The Hawthorn spearheads were on fire this week with Phoebe McWilliams kicking three goals and Sarah Perkins kicking two, which formed a formidable duo. Jasmine Garner was crucial for Williamstown in blustery conditions as she was able to kick two late goals to help beat Essendon at Windy hill.

Defender, Gabriella Pound was a lock for the team this week after she was nearly best on ground in Carlton’s win over Darebin. At the other end of the ground, Sophie Alexander was superb for Collingwood, having a major influence on the game. She finished with 27 disposals in the Magpies’ win over the Saints.

Her teammate, Stacey Livingstone was unlucky to miss out on a place in the best 22 this week, as she was deadly in front of goal. She kicked two goals from 11 disposals. Melbourne University pair, Kaitlyn Ashmore and Ashleigh Riddell are in the same boat, with Ashmore kicking two goals and Riddell dominating in the middle of the ground with 26 disposals.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 14

DAREBIN and Geelong headline the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Team of the Week with three representatives each, after impressive wins on the weekend. On the other hand, Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs have one each after their losses in Round 14, while last-placed Essendon has no representatives after suffering a big defeat against the Cats. Every other team has two representatives in this week’s best 22.

The backline is spearheaded once again by Jayde Van Dyk, who is a mainstay in the back six. Western Bulldogs defender, Lauren Spark, who held her own against the Hawks, accompanies Van Dyk in the key position stocks. NT’s Jenna McCormick managed to get her hands on the ball a lot, gathering 31 disposals in an impressive game across half-back.

The midfield picked itself this week with NT captain, Angela Foley demanding her spot after a match-winning two goal and 29-disposal performance. Jess Duffin was also instrumental in Williamstown’s one-point win against Richmond with 30 touches and a goal. Vic Metro representative, Madison Prespakis dominated for Melbourne University, kicking a goal to go with her 28 disposals.

Round 14 was the round of the spearhead forward in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition with Hannah Mouncey, Kate Dixon and Sarah Perkins all prominent in their matches. Hannah Mouncey has found herself in some form once again with two goals to go with her 16 disposals for Darebin. Richmond’s Kate Dixon also managed to kick two goals while Sarah Perkins kicked three majors in Hawthorn’s mauling of the Dogs.

Melbourne University captain, Ashleigh Riddell can count herself as unlucky to miss out on a spot in the best 22 this week. She was a pivotal cog in the midfield with one goal from 18 touches. Geelong pair, Richelle Cranston and Mia-Rae Clifford are also extremely unlucky. Cranston was superb in the middle of the ground with 24 touches, while Clifford’s two goals from 13 touches were vital in the win.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 14

COLLINGWOOD lost its first game of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s after 14 rounds of action and consequently lost top spot on the ladder. At the bottom of the ladder, the Seagulls experienced a rare highlight for their season when they clinched a thrilling one-point win over Richmond. With only two rounds to go, the ladder could still change in what looks to be a thrilling finals series.

 

Casey Demons 1.6 (12) defeated by Melbourne University 10.5 (65) 

By: Peter Williams

Melbourne University has claimed a huge 53-point win over Casey Demons, courtesy of a dominant first half. The Mugars booted the only five goals of the first two quarters, with the Demons managing just the one behind in challenging conditions. With the ground wet and the blustery wind causing problems for some, the Mugars made the most of it. Casey played well in the third term, with Maddie Shevlin producing a huge 50 metre goal for the Demons’ only of the game, to outscore the visitors. Unfortunately for the home team, Melbourne University got back on top in the final term, booting two goals early to wrap up the match, and then two in the final two minutes to blow the margin out to almost nine goals.

Madison Prespakis starred again for the winners, doing some unbelievable things, including a snap out of nowhere for a goal, on her way to 28 disposals, two marks, six tackles and a goal. Captain Ashleigh Riddell was prominent with 18 disposals and an important first quarter goal, while Sophie Abbatangelo (15 disposals, four marks and two goals) and Caitlin Greiser (12 disposals, three marks and two goals) worked hard together in attack.

For Casey, Shevlin was the big ball winner, racking up 22 disposals and booting the Demons’ only goal, while Casey Sherriff was arguably the best for her clean ball use in defence, racking up 14 disposals and laying six tackles. Sherriff teamed well with Darcy Guttridge back there, who picked up 11 disposals and three marks, while Eden Zanker was promising in the ruck.

 

Darebin 7.1 (43) defeated Southern Saints 6.3 (39)

By: Taylah Melki

It was a good old fashioned shoot-out at Bill Lawry Oval, with both the Falcons and Saints going goal-for-goal. In a hotly contested match, Darebin looked to have broken away in the second term, but the Saints fought back to go in even at half-time. Accuracy did not seem to be a problem for either team with no behinds scored in the first half of footy, credit to their cleanliness by foot. But in the end, it was the Falcons that secured the win by four points in a very tight game to keep their finals hopes alive.

The Falcons were on song with the likes of Hannah Mouncey finding the goals and imposing herself around the contest with her strong hands. Teammates, Lily Mithen and Georgia Hammond were also impressive with their clean hands at the coal face and ability to dish off clever handballs under pressure. Down in defence, Meghan McDonald played her usual role, taking a heap of intercept marks and controlling the defensive 50 for the Falcons.

Meanwhile for the Southern Saints, Alison Brown showcased her good hands in tight, extracting the footy out of the congestion cleanly and cleverly. Rhiannon Watt provided a good target up forward and worked tirelessly throughout the match to win the footy. Courtney Jones was impressive for the Saints, opening their scoring account and getting involved in the contest, as was Alison Drennan who was influential across the ground with her silky skills.

 

Collingwood 4.4 (28) defeated by NT Thunder 5.8 (38)

Collingwood experienced the losing feeling for the first time this year on the hallowed turf of Victoria Park. The Pies couldn’t kick a goal during the whole second half while the Thunder kicked three crucial majors to claim a vital win, and top spot on the ladder.

Captain, Angela Foley had a blinder of a game, being one of two multiple goal kickers for the Thunder, as well as racking up 29 disposals and taking four marks. The other multiple goal kicker was 23 year-old, Jordann Hickey, who booted home two majors from her 10 disposals. In terms of disposals, Adelaide AFLW forward, Jenna McCormick led the way with 31 touches to go along with seven marks.

Vic Metro forward, Daisy Bateman was one of four single goal kickers for the Pies, and also racked up nine disposals. Her Oakleigh Chargers teammate, Hannah McLaren racked up the disposals, gathering 20 touches for the Pies. She was complemented by a great all-round game from Sophie Alexander, who gathered 23 disposals and laid six tackles. Former Murray Bushrangers defender, Iilish Ross led the way in the tackling department, laying 11 for the match.

 

Geelong Cats 8.11 (59) defeated Essendon 2.2 (14)  

Geelong took care of business at GMHBA Stadium, recording another big win over another cellar-dweller in the competition. This time, Essendon was on the end of the big margin, only managing two goals for the game, while the Cats booted eight.

Danielle Orr and Mia-Rae Clifford were the two multiple goal kickers for the Cats with two majors each. In the midfield, it was Richelle Cranston who dominated yet again with 24 disposals, two marks and three tackles. Geelong Falcons duo, Olivia Purcell (18 touches) and Nina Morrison (16 touches) also contributed well on the day.

For the Bombers, Hayley Bullas provided some positives with her 20 disposals, three marks and a whopping 17 tackles. She was complemented by the consistent Jessica Trend, who racked up 18 disposals, five marks and nine tackles. Trend led the way for marks in the match, taking the most grabs out of any player in the match. Alex Quigley and Monique DeMatteo were Essendon’s goal kickers.

 

Richmond 5.7 (37) defeated by Williamstown 5.8 (38) 

Williamstown has recorded a thrilling come from behind win to secure its second win of the season. The Seagulls hadn’t scored a goal up to half time, but found their mojo in the second half, outscoring Richmond five goals to two.

North Melbourne recruit, Jasmine Garner had a marvelous game for the Seagulls, kicking two goals and racking up 21 disposals as well as five marks. Her fellow Kangaroos recruit, Jess Duffin led the way in disposals, gathering 30 touches as well as two marks and four tackles in another sensational performance. Jenna Bruton’s fierce attack on the ball was key to Williamstown’s victory, as she laid a game-high 12 tackles to go with her 19 disposals.

Phoebe Monahan once again led the way in disposals for Richmond, gathering 25 disposals and seven tackles. Of those 25 disposals, 23 were kicks, highlighting her ability to get the ball on the boot and penetrate it forward. She was complemented by Lauren Tesoriero, who gathered 22 touches and took three marks. Kate Dixon was a focal point up forward, kicking two majors to go with her 10 disposals.

 

Hawthorn 11.13 (79) defeated Western Bulldogs 4.0 (24) 

The Bulldogs succumbed to their second consecutive loss, but this time the margin was much greater, hurting their late finals charge. The Hawks led at each break and did the most damage in the third quarter, where they kicked three unanswered goals.

The Hawks had three multiple goal kickers in Sarah Perkins (three), Emily Gilder (two), Phoebe McWilliams (two) and Rosie Dillon (two). One player that could have kicked multiple goals was Rebecca Beeson, who finished the match with one goal and three behinds. That didn’t seem to faze her though, as she was the leading disposal-getter on the ground, gathering 25 disposals. Julia Crockett-Grills and Meg Hutchins also found plenty of the footy, racking up 18 touches each.

For the Bulldogs, it was Lauren Spark who led the way in disposals. She gathered 17 touches and took six marks on the day. Ashleigh Guest was next best with 14, while Bonnie Toogood racked up 12 touches in her first VFLW game. Bailey Hunt provided some positivity for the Dogs, as she kicked a goal and led the way in tackles, laying eight for the match.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 13

BIG wins from NT Thunder and Geelong combined with a loss to Hawthorn made for a shake-up of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s top four in Round 13. In other games, the Casey Demons defeated the Blues, the Saints upset the Dogs and the Pies took care of business at RAMS Arena against the bottom of the table Bombers. 

 

Casey Demons 5.7 (37) defeated Carlton 3.9 (27)

By: James Halley

The Casey Demons held on to a 10-point victory against Carlton as the Blues failed to capitalise on their chances late in the final quarter at Casey Fields. Carlton was 16 points down at the final change, needing four goals in the last quarter to win. However, the Blues had only kicked three majors for the game, making for a very difficult task. They had the advantage of a major breeze in the last term but unfortunately for the Blues, they only were able to kick six behinds in the last quarter, missing crucial chances in front of goal.

The Demons’ dominant first term negated Carlton of any chance of scoring, as they locked the ball inside their forward 50 for the majority of the quarter. Their first quarter dominance was soon squandered as Carlton got its chance to attack with the breeze, as Vescio showed why she is such a star. The Blues denied Casey for a large part of the third term, as they placed a number behind the ball, but Katherine Smith broke the drought with a smart goal out a pack moments before three quarter-time, allowing the Demons to hold on for victory. 

Eden Zanker starred for the Demons up forward as she kicked two goals within the first five minutes of the game, ending up with three for the match. For Carlton, Darcy Vescio stood up when needed, taking big marks and kicking a crucial goal. She made her Demon opponents nervous whenever she was near the ball.

 

Williamstown 4.2 (26) defeated by NT Thunder 11.5 (71)

NT Thunder got another win on the board in stunning fashion, defeating the struggling Seagulls by 55 points. The Thunder led at every break and did the most damage in the third quarter. The away side kept Williamstown scoreless and kicked four unanswered goals to sit a at second on the ladder and a game ahead of Hawthorn.

In her return to the NT lineup, Anne Hatchard did not disappoint. The Adelaide AFLW forward booted four goals while Crows teammates, Jessica Sedunary and Georgia Bevan each kicked one major. Bevan was named best on ground for the Thunder and was complemented by fellow goal kicker, Emma Swanson, who has been in fine form for the Thunder this season. Tayla Thorn also played a great game for NT, kicking two goals and making her way into the best as well.

It was all single goal kickers for Williamstown, as the side only scored four majors for the day. Georgia Harris, Jess Duffin, Sarah Chapman and Sharnie Whiting were the ones who got on the board with a goal each, doing what they could to provide a contest. A standout in that area was Rebecca Dardengo, who was named best afield for the Seagulls in the loss. She was complemented by Belinda Hateley, Chloe Portelli, Jenna Bruton and Jessica Bartolo.

 

Geelong Cats 10.7 (67) defeated Richmond 1.2 (8)

In one of the biggest wins of the season, the Cats took care of the Tigers, easily beating them by 59 points. Geelong held Richmond scoreless for three quarters and used the third quarter to blow the game out of the water. In that quarter, the Cats got out to a 65-point lead, thanks to kicking six unanswered goals.

Mia-Rae Clifford had an absolute day out in the blue and white hoops, kicking four majors for the day, two of which came in the first quarter. Maddie Boyd also joined in the scoring, kicking two goals and being named best on ground for her efforts. Richelle Cranston continued her stellar season at Geelong, as she booted a goal on the weekend and contributed well around the ground. She too was named in the best Geelong players for her great game. Maighan Fogas, Erin Hoare and Cassandra Blakeway also had performances to remember, playing solid games on the day.

For Richmond, it is no surprise to see who was named best on ground. Phoebe Monahan has been an exceptional midfielder for the Tigers this season and was no different on Saturday. Despite the heavy loss, she managed to make her efforts shine through which was a positive for Richmond on a dour day. Monahan was complemented by good games from Murray Bushrangers midfielder, Tamara Smith as well as Ella Ross, Alice Edmonds, Laura Bailey and Lisa Davie. Jess Gardner was the only goal kicker for Richmond, booting through a major in the last quarter.

 

Darebin 4.5 (29) defeated Hawthorn 3.7 (25)

By: Taylah Melki

In a relatively low-scoring affair, it was the Darebin Falcons that took home the four points, knocking off the third-placed Hawks. It was a scrappy game with neither side able to capitalise on their scoring opportunities and often fumbling the ball. Both teams struggled to break away from one another with the final margin being a mere four points, making for a hotly contested match. Most of the game was played between the arcs, resulting in a lot of stoppages and very few shots on goal.

For the Falcons, the experience and class of players such as Elise O’Dea and Jessica Dal Pos stood out with their ability to open up the space and create some good run and carry through the middle. O’Dea bagged an important goal for her side, and showed great leadership in trying times to will her side back into the contest. Teammate, Kate Shierlaw also impressed for Darebin with her composure and ability to take strong marks under pressure while Meghan McDonald starred down back, taking a number of good intercept marks to stop the flow of the Hawks.

The likes of Meg Hutchins and Phoebe McWilliams continued to impress for the brown and gold with their constant intent to win the footy and impact on the contest. Jayde Van Dyk was also amongst the Hawks’ best with her clean hands in close and ability to read the play well. Teammates, Rebecca Beeson and Jessica Sibley also worked tirelessly all game, racking up the touches and imposing themselves around the contest.

 

Western Bulldogs 1.3 (9) defeated by Southern Saints 6.4 (40)

In one of the biggest upsets of the round, the Bulldogs were knocked off their high horse and came crashing back down to Earth against the Southern Saints. They kicked their only goal of the game in the first quarter, and were completely shut down by the Saints for the rest of the game. The Saints were able to increase their lead at each quarter break and ended up taking home a 31-point win.

Tara Bohanna was the focal point up forward with three majors while Courtney Munn, Amy Silver and Holly Bate all chipped in with one major a piece. Kayla Ripari continued her solid season on Sunday, being named best on ground for the winning team. Ruck, Rhiannon Watt was just as impressive and has also had a consistent season, backing it up on Sunday by being named second best. The duo were complemented by Vic Metro Under 18 pair, Eleanor Brown and Gabriella De Angelis, who also earned a spot among the best players.

For the Bulldogs, April Goldring and Libby Birch were the standouts in the loss. In her first game for the season, Hannah Scott contributed well in her first VFLW game, although she would’ve liked to have taken home the win. Fellow AFLW teammates, Angelica Gogos, Lauren Spark and Ashleigh Guest all also did well on the day.

 

Essendon 3.5 (23) defeated by Collingwood 6.13 (49)

Collingwood got off to a fast start in this match, kicking the first four majors of the game. Essendon then fought back in the second quarter, outscoring the Pies two goals to one. But Collingwood’s winning form prevailed, holding onto victory in a tight tussle at RAMS Arena.

Oakleigh Chargers skipper, Hannah McLaren was named best on ground for the Magpies in what was a memorable performance for her. Her Chargers teammate, Daisy Bateman also made an impact by kicking a goal on the day. Iilish Ross, Jessica Edwards and Sophie Casey also kicked singles while AFLW captain, Steph Chiocci booted two majors. Collingwood AFLW teammates, Brittany Bonnici and Holly Whitford also put in solid performances in the win.

Irena Malliaras, Monique DeMatteo and Tanya Hetherington were the goal kickers for the Bombers in windy conditions. Hetherington was also named in the best for Essendon for her great game but she was bettered by one player in Jessica Anwyl, who was named best on ground for the losing side. The duo were complemented solid performances from Courtney Ugle, Natalie MacDonald, Maddy Collier and Alexa Madden.

Team Selection: VFLW – Round 13

WITH five teams returning from the Round 12 bye, plenty of fresh legs will be ready to take to the field in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition. Some teams have opted to make few changes, trusting that the week off has allowed the girls to rest, while others continue to make lots of alterations. Round 13 sees some new faces, some important re-inclusions and the prospect for plenty of good football, kicking off with the Casey Demons and Carlton.

 

CASEY DEMONS v. CARLTON

Saturday August 4, 10:30am
Casey Fields, Cranbourne

The Casey Demons have made five key changes to their Round 13 team who will take on the Blues on Saturday. After being sidelined last week, Demons fans will be excited to see AFLW player, Claudia Whitfort back in the mix alongside Catherine Phillips and Kasey Guttridge. While recent recruit, Talia Radan has been named out this week, another recruit for Melbourne’s 2019 AFLW team, Maddison Gay, arriving from Carlton’s AFLW team, has been selected for her first game in the red and navy blue. Dandenong Stingrays product, Georgia Gourlay has been named as the 23rd person.

Coming off a big win last week, the Blues will be looking to continue to prove themselves in what should be a tight contest between eighth and ninth on the ladder. Carlton have selected four inclusions highlighted by AFLW talents, Reni Hicks and Alison Downie. Also coming back into the side are former Sandringham Dragon TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest, Olivia Vesely and the consistent Sarah Last. Kerryn Harrington, Isabella Gietzmann and Natalie Plane will all miss the clash.

Casey Demons

B: 22. K. Guttridge, 27. A. Harrison, 17. S. Scott
HB: 28. M. Gay, 29. E. Zanker , 2. A. Newman
C: 9. A.  Johnson, 34. D.  Guttridge, 35. C.  Phillips
HF: 16. C. Sheriff, 14. T. Orgill, 20. C. Whitfort
F: 7. B. Jakobsson, 26. S. Sloane, 25. M. Shevlin
R: 18. K. Bentvelzen , 41. T. Mesiti, 13. K. Smith
Int: 46. E. Haeusler , 47. M. Hogg, 10. K. Hore, 15. S. Phillips
23P: 23. G. Gourlay

In: G. Gourlay, C. Whitfort, K. Guttridge, M. Gay, C. Phillips
Out: S. Fyfield,  B. Struylaart,  T. Radan

Carlton

B: 34. A. Chuot, 25. T. Morgan, 22. G. Fisher
HB: 27. K. Cox, 50. J. Borg, 6. G. Pound
C: 55. C.  Dalton, 10. S.  Hosking, 90. B.  Walker
HF: 40. K. Harvey, 30. A. Downie, 18. T. Lucas-Rodd
F: 20. C. Bromage, 3. D. Vescio, 7. S. Last
R: 36. C. Moody, 66. O. Vesely, 19. G. Gee
Int: 8. M. Brancatisano, 82. N. Burns, 24. R. Hicks, 37. B. Schultz
23P: 31. R. Caris

In: O. Vesely, A. Downie, R. Hicks, S. Last
Out: I. Gietzmann, N. Plane, K. Harrington

 

GEELONG CATS v. RICHMOND

Saturday August 4, 11.30am
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

Sitting just inside the top four, Geelong will need a big win against Richmond, who sit with only three wins so far for the season. Geelong has not made many changes to its team ahead of the match as the Cats come off a bye in Round 12. They have however made two key changes, reintroducing some faces in Jamie Woollett and Millie Klingbeil. Leopold junior, Woollett returns from injury to take on the Tigers after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament in July last year, while Klingbeil has been named as part of the starting 22, coming off the emergency list. Geelong Falcons ruck, Zoe Inei has been named as the 23rd player.

AFLW talent, Lauren Tesoriero has not been named for this week’s match, leaving big shoes to fill in Richmond’s Round 13 list. Strong Murray Bushrangers defender, Grace Egan has been named in alongside Jacqueline Radnell, Emily Findlay and Louise Bieniara. On the other hand, Courtney Wakefield, Natarsha Bamblett and Grace Bibby have not been selected after a physical match against the Blues last week.

Geelong Cats

B: 54. G. Clarke, 44. R. Goring, 26. R. Pearce
HB: 25. E. Coventry, 24. M. McMahon, 34. A. McDonald
C: 4. C.  Blakeway, 13. M.  Fogas, 3. H.  Burchell
HF: 5. J. Ivey, 2. D. Orr, 33. H. Trevean
F: 7. M. Clifford, 6. M. Boyd, 8. K. Darby
R: 46. E. Hoare, 45. M. Keryk, 30. R. Cranston
Int: 11. M. Klingbeil , 17. H. Mangan, 40. A. Teague, 1. J. Woollett
23P: 49. Z. Inei

Richmond

B: 69. E. Burry, 63. J. Graham, 65. E. King
HB: 54. L. Bailey, 73. L. Davie, 83. J. Gardner
C: 60. K.  Dempsey, 87. G.  Egan, 88. P.  Monahan
HF: 72. J. Radnell, 70. E. Findlay, 76. E. Ross
F: 75. B. Lynch , 90. S. Damon, 78. V. Tonin
R: 68. A. Edmonds, 59. A. Woodward, 52. J. Kennedy
Int: 84. L. Bieniara, 53. K. Dixon, 64. E. Gunn, 75. B. Lynch
23P: 92. T.Smith

In:  J. Radnell, E. Findlay, L. Bieniara, G. Egan
Out: C. Wakefield , N. Bamblett, G. Bibby, L. Tesoriero

 

WILLIAMSTOWN v. NT THUNDER

Saturday August 4, 11.30AM
Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee

Williamstown will not go into Round 13 as favourites, as it takes on the strong performing NT Thunder. In a hope to shake the tables, Williamstown has made seven important changes. Former Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) player, Morgan Lowe will be a welcome addition to this week’s side as well as Georgia Harris, Jess Duffin, Megan Williamson, Jess Bartolo and Isabelle Porter. Western Jets talent, Sharnie Whiting has also been promoted to the starting line-up this week after being named as the 23rd player in Round 11, leaving room for Maddison James to take on that role. 

Once again, NT Thunder has made plenty of changes to accommodate for the travel to Williamstown this weekend. Highlighting the inclusions are vice-captains, Sally Riley and Lisa Roberts as well as influential forward, Jessica Sedunary who has so far kicked 14 goals for the season with no sign of stopping. The Thunder will also be re-injecting some experience this week with Dayna Cox, Courtney Cramey and Anne Hatchard all being named in. Also in this week are Jasmyn Hewett, Stevie-Lee Thompson, Georgia Bevan, Sam Barnett, Katie Streader and Jordann Hickey. South Australia Under-18 representative, Nikki Gore has been named as the 23rd player.

Williamstown

B: 1. R. Dardengo, 10. B. Hateley, 34. J. Reid
HB: 19. E. Meade, 31. J. Cranny, 8. C. Portelli
C: 22. M.  Lowe, 17. S.  Chapman, 11. K.  Smith
HF: 12. G. Harris, 33. S. Van De Heuvel, 24. A. Saxton
F: 2. J. Duffin, 39. S. Whiting, 36. M. Williamson
R: 9. R. Achampong, 35. J. Bruton, 16. A. Cameron
Int: 23. J. Bartolo, 44. I. Porter, 20. S. Seabrook, 13. N. Wallace
23P: 37. M. James

NT Thunder

B: 16. S. Armitstead, 10. S. Barnett, 13. L. Roberts
HB: 14. C. Cramey, 37. S. Allan, 53. S. Thompson
C: 33. D.  Cox, 3. A.  Foley, 32. K.  Streader
HF: 5. M. Roberts, 55. T. Thorn, 31. J. Sedunary
F: 24. G. Bevan, 27. A. Hatchard, 11. J. Hickey
R: 20. J. Hewett, 17. E. Swanson, 8. S. Riley
Int: 18. T. Holtze, 21. K. Irvine, 9. L. Jeffrey, 38. M. Keeble
23P: 48. N. Gore

In: A. Hatchard, J. Sedunary, J. Hewett, C. Cramey, S. Riley, G. Bevan, S. Thompson , K. Streader, N. Gore, S. Barnett, L. Roberts, D. Cox
Out: M. Ellis, J. Iacono, K. Rosenzweig, E. Jones, R. Forth, J. Allan, J. McCormick, A. Holmes

 

DAREBIN  v. HAWTHORN

Saturday August 4, 12pm
Bill Lawry Oval, Northcote

Darebin has made four changes going into Round 13 where it will take on the formidable Hawks outfit. AFLW player, Nicole Callinan will look to bring some experience and class to Darebin’s game this Saturday. Strong forward, Georgia Hammond has been named in alongside Maddy Guerin and Lena Skipper. Missing out this week will be Tamara Olcorn, Shannon Egan, Esther Honybun and Lauren Jacobs.

Hawthorn will be desperate for a win this week, sitting third on the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s ladder but missing out on top spot only by percentage. Needing to get across the line this week, the skipper, Emma Mackie will be a welcome addition to the side as well as Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward, Phoebe McWilliams. Vic Metro Under 18 representative, Sarah Kendall comes in for her first game of the season after proving her talent in the TAC Cup Girls competition. The Eastern Ranges ruck 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, 49. R. Hibbert
C: 15. A.  Lister, 9. M.  Eastman, 11. K.  Tyndall
HF: 12. J. Dal Pos, 20. M. Guerin, 13. K. Shierlaw
F: 44. S. Fairchild, 22. G. Hammond, 43. H. Mouncey
R: 40. L. Pearce, 30. E. O’Dea, 7. L. Mithen
Int: 2. N. Callinan, 45. N. Deiter, 24. B. Patterson, 35. L. Skipper
23P: 39. M. Jarvis

Hawthorn

B: 21. P. Randall, 32. K. Ebb, 36. J. Van Dyk
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 4. S. Carroll, 31. J. Sibley
C: 9. M.  Kuys, 1. E.  Mackie, 12. T.  Nestor
HF: 8. R. Beeson, 25. M. Hutchins, 14. O. Flanagan
F: 22. T. Luke, 7. P. McWilliams, 28. S. Perkins
R: 19. L. Wotton, 6. J. Crockett-Grills, 5. C. Perera
Int: 33. E. Gilder, 3. E. Mcilvena , 35. C. O’Donnell, 43. E. Woods
23P: 44. S. Kendall

In: E. Mackie, P. McWilliams, S. Kendall
Out: M. Cann

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS v. SOUTHERN SAINTS

Sunday August 5, 12pm
Henry Turner Memorial Reserve, Footscray

Sixth and seventh on the ladder come head to head this week at Henry Turner Memorial Reserve, and both teams will be hungry for the win as finals approach. Coming off a bye last week, knowing they need to win all games to make finals, the Dogs will be raring to go and have brought in two AFLW heavyweights for the occasion. Premiership duo, Hannah Scott and Lauren Spark will debut this weekend for the Bulldogs VFLW team and will be expected to bring all their experience and finesse in order to get the job done. VU Western Spurs junior, April Goldring also comes in for her first game, while Bailey Hunt, Deanna Berry and Ellie Blackburn have been rested.

The Southern Saints have made five changes to their Round 13 side. Alison Brown will be an important addition this week, who is sure to bolster the Saints midfield. Also coming in this week are Kelly Thompson, Sophie Bolding, Georgia Ricardo and Eastern Ranges defender, Charlotte Wilson.

Western Bulldogs

B: 9. T. Dinuccio, 14. E. Gamble, 38. C. O’Brien
HB: 29. J. Davies, 18. E. Birch, 11. L. Spark
C: 20. R.  Gastin, 10. S.  Jolly, 42. N.  Paul
HF: 15. R. Ashley, 12. J. Francke, 22. H. Scott
F: 28. T. Hamilton, 32. A. Mifsud, 35. S. Ruedin
R: 47. N. McMahon, 17. A. Guest, 36. A. Gogos
Int: 19. T. Ernst, 40. N. Gills, 31. A. Gunn, 41. A. Scott
23P: 43. A. Goldring

Southern Saints

B: 11. T. Annear, 45. S. Binder, 30. C. Wilson
HB: 17. L. Olsen, 38. S. Karlson, 19. A. Silver
C: 39. E.  Brown, 2. A.  Brown, 43. S.  Heath
HF: 40. M. Maitland, 15. T. Bohanna, 24. K. Ripari
F: 49. A. Allsopp, 13. C. Munn, 35. G. De Angelis
R: 28. R. Watt, 8. A. Drennan, 32. S. Johnson
Int: 36. S. Bolding, 21. D. Lawrence, 4. G. Ricardo, 16. K. Thompson
23P: 6. J. Tait

In: S. Bolding, K. Thompson, E. Brown, G. Ricardo, C. Wilson
Out: J. Owen, J. Rolland, C. Jones, T. Gordon

 

ESSENDON  v. COLLINGWOOD

Sunday August 5, 1pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

Returning from its Round 12 bye, Essendon has made three changes this week. This includes Calder Cannons representative Eleanor Cornish, who is now the first graduate from Essendon’s development train-on squad. She will come in as the 23rd player in her debut match. Alexa Madden and Irena Malliaras have also been named in.

Collingwood has made 11 changes ahead of its Round 13 match-up. AFLW talent has been brought in and out of Collinwood’s side this week with Chloe Molloy, Eliza Hynes and Sarah D’Arcy all making room for Holly Whitford, Jaimee Lambert and Ruby Schleicher to take to the field. Paris Davey, Julia Halaseh-Russo, Carle Rooks, Ally Bild, Elise Korteman, Bianca Jones, Amy Malander and Vic Metro forward, Daisy Bateman have also all been selected to play.

Essendon

B: 15. L. Caruso, 20. J. Anwyl, 41. M. Warburton
HB: 17. T. Hetherington, 7. K. Hicks, 25. R. Neaves
C: 46. C.  Ugle, 22. N.  MacDonald, 9. L.  Williams
HF: 37. I. Malliaras, 16. L. Morecroft, 35. V. Moreau
F: 3. M. DeMatteo, 18. K. Heil, 1. J. Trend
R: 30. S. Nalder, 8. H. Bullas, 44. M. Collier
Int: 4. N. Hardy, 26. A. Madden, 27. A. Morcom, 39. C. Rendelmann
23P: 10. E. Cornish

Collingwood

B: 48. A. Bild , 18. R. Schleicher, 61. A. Malander
HB: 22. S. Casey, 17. S. Chiocci, 21. I. Ross
C: 60. J.  Halaseh-Russo , 47. J.  Edwards, 90. C.  Rooks
HF: 8. B. Bonnici, 66. D. Bateman, 28. H. Whitford
F: 54. H. Grubb, 49. S. Alexander, 81. B. Jones
R: 92. S. King, 5. E. Grant, 13. J. Lambert
Int: 56. P. Davey, 62. E. Korteman, 67. H. McLaren, 41. K. Stratton
23P: 68. S. Yoannidis

In: P. Davey, H. Whitford, J. Halaseh-Russo, C. Rooks, A. Bild ,E. Korteman, B. Jones, D. Bateman, A. Malander, J. Lambert, R. Schleicher
Out: N. Hildebrand, C. Molloy, J. Ferguson, E. Hynes, G. Buchan, K. Lee, S. Marsh, N. Hales, S. D’Arcy

AFLW Previews: Grand Final

THE big day is finally here, where the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions will face off in the AFLW Grand Final. However it has come with much controversy, as Bulldogs captain, Katie Brennan is set to miss the match through suspension. Despite this, the game will undoubtedly by a high-pressure, high-intensity hit-out with both clubs searching for their first AFLW premiership. 

Western Bulldogs vs. Brisbane

Saturday March 23, 12:35pm at Ikon Park

The second season of AFLW comes to a close on Saturday afternoon as the top-of-the-table Western Bulldogs square off against last year’s runners-up in the Brisbane Lions for the ultimate prize. Despite finishing on top of the ladder, the Bulldogs will not host the game at VU Whitten Oval, with the contest being played at Ikon Park to accommodate a larger crowd.

The Bulldogs come off an incredibly hard-fought win last week against Melbourne, thanks to late game heroics from Brooke Lochland earning them the right to host the grand final. They enter the game without their captain Katie Brennan, who will miss the game due to suspension, as a result of a dangerous tackle in the last quarter against Melbourne. Whilst this will be a big obstacle to overcome for the Dogs, Brennan did miss three rounds earlier in the season, and the Dogs still managed to win two of those three games. Their midfield will once again be key for victory and they will be hoping for a big contribution from Emma Kearney and Ellie Blackburn. With the Lions possessing a forward line which contains the likes of Sabrina Frederick- Traub and Jess Wuetschner, the Bulldogs defence will have their hands full. The game last week against Melbourne saw Lauren Spark announce herself on the scene, keeping Tegan Cunningham possession-less and limiting her impact on the game, and she will be significant once again on Saturday.

Brisbane entered the final round in fifth place and were in desperate need of a number of results to go their way. The Lions took care of their own business, defeating the Giants by such a large margin that they surpassed Melbourne on percentage. They were then assisted by their opponents on Saturday, with the Bulldogs defeating Melbourne and Collingwood defeating Adelaide. This provides them an opportunity for redemption, having lost the inaugural AFLW grand final to the Crows. Sabrina Frederick-Traub was unbelievable again last week and looked unstoppable in her four-goal effort to take the game away from the Giants, and she will no doubt look to do the same again. A key part of their success all year has been the play of Emily Bates through the midfield and she will be needed to counteract the star power that the Bulldogs possess.

The stage is set for what should be a fantastic game. The Bulldogs look to complete an incredible turnaround from where they were 12 months ago, whilst the Lions look to bounce back from last year’s disappointing loss in the big game.