Tag: Lucy McEVoy

2020 AFL Women’s team preview: Carlton

COMING off a grand final loss Carlton will be looking to right their wrongs and claim that elusive first premiership. They showed that they have the skill and talent to perform on the big stage but will have to cover the loss of former captain Bri Davey who defected to arch rivals Collingwood in the off-season. Aside from Davey and Tilly Lucas-Rodd the line-up has remained relatively unchanged giving the Blues another shot at the finals if they play their cards right and continue their form from last season.

KEY PLAYER:
Tayla Harris (forward)

The talented forward is a real barometer for the Blues and can dictate the play for her side with her explosiveness. Harris’ lead up at the footy is hard to stop when on song using her long stride and strong hands to take her fair share of contested marks. Her work in the forward 50 is second to none consistently posing a threat whether the ball is in the air or at ground level. If she can get off to a hot start it will go a long way in forging the Blue’s finals tilt. The forward has proven that she can hit the scoreboard and welcomes the physicality given her boxing background.

RISING STAR:
Lucy McEvoy (midfield)

It will be hard to miss the likes of Lucy McEvoy with the Geelong Falcons product and pick number 2 in the draft able to have an impact anywhere on the ground. She is a readymade player who many can expect to hit the ground running with her impressive foot skills, spatial awareness and high footy IQ. She is not overawed by the bigger bodies often embracing the physical battle and prevailing. McEvoy offers plenty of versatility and doggedness across the field not afraid to put in the hard yards and never far away the contest. The natural born-leader captained her side to premiership glory in 2018 while also making the All-Australian team in 2019 making her a hot contender for the overall Rising Star nomination.

WATCH FOR:
Madison Prespakis (midfield)

After winning the 2019 Rising Star expect Prespakis to continue to grow and impose herself on the competition once again. Despite it only being her first season, the talented mid showed nothing but class and was not fazed by the bigger bodied and more experienced players. Much like McEvoy, Prespakis is versatile able to slot into any role and fulfil it to the highest ability. She is already a ball magnet and will only grow with further exposure to the highest possible level making her an exciting prospect for the Blues in 2020.

CONFERENCE OPPONENTS: Fremantle, Melbourne, Western Bulldogs, Collingwood, St Kilda, West Coast.

FIXTURE:

Round 1: @ Richmond
Round 2: vs. Collingwood
Round 3: @ Bulldogs
Round 4: @Adelaide
Round 5: vs. St Kilda
Round 6: @Melbourne
Round 7: vs. West Coast Eagles
Round 8: vs. Fremantle

The Blues will reignite their age-old rivalry with Collingwood in Round 2 with both sides hoping to get off to a flying start. the Blues are lucky enough to not have to make the trip over to Western Australia with both West Coast and Fremantle making the trek down south in back-to-back rounds. The grand final rematch will take place in Round 4 with the Blues travelling over to Adelaide in hope for some redemption.

PREDICTION: 1st/2nd in Conference

Carlton have a good mix of youth and experience with the young ones coming in littered with talent and considering the pool they are in should finish near the top of the ladder. Collingwood will be bolstered by the return of a couple of key players while Fremantle have proven time and time again that they should not be discounted. The 2018 premiers, Western Bulldogs always pose a threat and while they lost a chunk of players last season expect them to comeback with a vengeance in 2020. New teams in West Coast and St Kilda will have their work cut out for them up against some high quality teams that know what it takes to win at the elite level but all in all the Blues should take the cake.

2019/20 AFLW off-season review: Carlton

CARLTON might have had the most talked about departure of the off-season, but as a whole, the Blues retained the majority of their list, whilst heading to the AFL Women’s Draft in a really strong position to pick up a heap of youth prospects for the future. The Blues lost captain Brianna Davey to Collingwood, but in doing so received a bounty full of picks to position themselves in a great spot to pick up natural-born leader Lucy McEvoy from the Geelong Falcons with their first selection at Pick 2.

They also picked up fellow NAB League Girls’ players Brooke Vernon and Serena Gibbs, while selecting a trio of players just a year out of the Under 18s pathway following strong seasons at VFL Women’s level. Grace Egan, Sharnie Whiting and Courtney Jones all earned places on the Blues’ list, with Vaomua Laloifi the exception as the once listed Collingwood defender gained a second chance at the elite level following an impressive year for a Western Bulldogs VFLW side that reached the grand final. Aside from six delistings, Amelia Mullane retired, proving even further the Blues’ need for an inside midfield replacement – and Rhiannon Watt headed back to her roots at St Kilda. Carlton was savvy enough to pick up players with a hard edge and uncompromising ability to win the football, while Gibbs will be that ruck depth replacement who can also play forward.

OFF-SEASON CHANGES:

IN: Joanne Doonan (Gaelic football), Katie Harrison (Rugby sevens), Lucy McEvoy (Geelong Falcons), Grace Egan (Richmond VFLW), Brooke Vernon (Dandenong Stingrays), Sharnie Whiting (Williamstown VFLW), Serena Gibbs (Eastern Ranges), Vaomua Laloifi (Western Bulldogs VFLW), Courtney Jones (Southern Saints VFLW)
OUT: Rhiannon Watt (St Kilda), Brianna Davey (Collingwood), Shae Audley, Kirby Bentley, Reni Hicks, Bridie Kennedy, Tilly Lucas-Rodd, Courtney Webb (delisted), Amelia Mullane (retired)

2020 TEAM LIST:

Lauren Brazzale
Chloe Dalton
Alison Downie
Jess Edwards
Grace Egan
Georgia Gee
Serena Gibbs
Kerryn Harrington
Tayla Harris
Jess Hosking
Sarah Hosking
Courtney Jones
Vaomua Laloifi
Katie Loynes
Lucy McEvoy
Abbie McKay
Breann Moody
Natalie Plane
Gabriella Pound
Madison Prespakis
Nicola Stevens
Jayde Van Dyk
Brooke Vernon
Darcy Vescio
Brooke Walker
Sharnie Whiting
Charlotte Wilson
Emerson Woods

Rookies: Joanne Doonan, Katie Harrison

POTENTIAL 2020 SIDE:

B: Jayde Van Dyk – Kerryn Harrington – Nicola Stevens
HB: Chloe Dalton – Charlotte Wilson – Gabriella Pound
C: Lucy McEvoy
HF: Lauren Brazzale – Breann Moody – Georgia Gee
F: Darcy Vescio – Tayla Harris – Brooke Walker
R: Alison Downie – Madison Prespakis – Sarah Hosking
INT: Jess Edwards – Jess Hosking – Katie Loynes – Grace Egan – Abbie McKay
EMG: Vaomua Laloifi – Natalie Plane – Emerson Woods

DEPTH: Serena Gibbs, Courtney Jones, Brooke Vernon, Sharnie Whiting, Joanne Doonan*, Katie Harrison*

After making a grand final last season, Carlton do not need to adjust too much to the side for it to be potent again in 2020. They have lost Davey and Mullane from the best 22, with McEvoy and Egan slotting into those roles with a shuffling of magnets around the board. Tilly Lucas-Rodd is the third player to be gone from the side that ran out in last year’s grand final, and expect the likes of Abbie McKay to step up and get more games in season 2020, as will Emerson Woods in that half-forward role which could free up Georgia Gee for her run and carry further up the ground.

Laloifi is a readymade option to add to the defensive half, but can play forward as well, while Natalie Plane showed she can come in and complete a role if required. The depth is filled with young talent in four of this year’s draftees, as Gibbs, Jones, Vernon and Whiting could add something across the ground if injury strikes. Overall, the Blues surprised many with their ability to step up despite being a relatively young side, and with Daniel Harford at the helm, anything is possible next year.

The ‘big three’s’ take on how the AFLW draft unfolded

GABBY Newton, Lucy McEvoy, and Georgia Patrikios; dubbed pre-draft as the three players vying for the honour of being taken first off the AFL Women’s Draft board.

But ask all three about whether they knew what was to unfold on Tuesday afternoon, and all three almost unanimously insist they had not the slightest clue.

“I wasn’t sure going in,” Bulldogs’ number one pick Newton said. “I knew Lucy and Patrikios were obviously also big contenders but I’m so glad (the Bulldogs) picked me up, I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

“I sort of had no idea coming in so it was just ‘Whatever happens, happens,’ St Kilda’s Patrikios added. “I’m happy to be at the Saints and (I’m) just going to move from there.

“Carlton did say they were keen from the start and I was pretty keen… to get to pick two,” Carlton’s McEvoy told the club’s media team with more conviction. “It’s so good though, so exciting.”

McEvoy was incidentally the one to inadvertently create the ‘big three’ tussle, throwing a spanner in the works as she nominated for the Victorian Metro draft zone. Hailing from Geelong and rising through the Falcons’ junior pathway, it seemed the Cats’ AFLW side was destined to pick up another top-five talent at a cut price after snaring Olivia Purcell with pick 14 last year. That was not to be, with McEvoy’s choice “to get out of (her) comfort zone” planting even more intrigue into the top-end.

“It was pretty much based off my studies next year, I’m hoping to do paramedicine,” she said. “I’ve got my exams coming up so hopefully I can put my best foot forward in that and get the score that I need.”

“I would’ve loved to play at Geelong, I’ve got really good friends there but I think for me to grow, as a person, it would’ve been to tick the Melbourne box.”

In an interesting twist, all three players also had unique ties to pick two holder, Carlton. McEvoy’s father, Phil played 50 reserves games for the Blues during the 1970s and 80s, while Newton played two games this year for their VFLW side and Patrikios is studying sports coaching and development at the club’s College of Sport. Needless to say, they are all still stoked with how it all unfolded nonetheless.

“I just need to pinch myself because I can’t believe it’s actually happening to be honest,” Newton said. “All the girls drafted to the Doggies, Liz (Georgostathis) and Gem (Lagioia) as well and Izzy Grant, they’re all such good friends. “I can’t believe we’re all going in together, it’s so exciting.”

McEvoy, dubbed ‘Big Boy’ as the cousin of Hawthorn ruck Ben, had equal sentiment.

“It’s so exciting… to know that I’m starting at a new club, I get to meet all these new people which I’m so excited about,” she said. “Hopefully I can make a good first impression, I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into it.”

Going against the suggested unknown order of events heading into the big day, Patrikios came armed with arguably the best line of any draftee on the day.

“It’s going to be great to bring footy back to Moorabbin,” she said, becoming an instant hit with the Saints faithful – and likely the marketing department, too.

“Lucy and Gabby are amazing players and even (more) amazing people. “They deserved it, they’ve worked so hard, they’ve put a lot of work in over the last couple of years and they’ve been amazing. “I can’t wait to see how they go next season,” she added, becoming an even bigger hit with her fellow big three buddies.”

2019 AFL Women’s Draft preview

UP to 102 draft hopefuls could realise their AFL Women’s dream tomorrow when the 2019 AFL Women’s Draft takes place. Clubs will have between four and 13 picks in the draft, with Melbourne and Richmond having the benchmark minimum and maximum selections. Collingwood will enter the draft last of all clubs, with the Magpies’ first selection at a lowly 67. Up the other end, the Western Bulldogs have four top 10 picks and will welcome in a host of young pups to the Kennel.

A number of players have already been selected such as Millie Brown (Geelong) and Isabella Grant (Western Bulldogs) under the father-daughter rule, but their pick selection is unknown until draft day. Meanwhile, Carlton has pre-selected Grace Egan who played for Richmond’s VFL Women’s side this season, and Egan will be taken with Pick 13. This AFL Women’s Draft marks the first time that Richmond, St Kilda, Gold Coast and West Coast will take part as the expansion clubs into the competition next year.

Three players are in contention for the number one selection at tomorrow’s AFL Women’s Draft, with Western Bulldogs set to pick between Geelong Falcons’ Lucy McEvoy, Calder Cannons’ Georgia Patrikios and Northern Knights’ Gabby Newton. Carlton and St Kilda have the next two Victorian selections in the AFL Women’s Draft. Looking at the Queensland sides, Brisbane has the first four picks from that state before Gold Coast enter the draft, while over in Western Australia, Fremantle have the first selection and six of the top 10 compared to West Coast’s four. Players from other states expected to go highly are Western Australia’s Roxanne Roux, Queensland’s Lily Postlethwaite and South Australia’s Montana McKinnon. Tasmania’s top prospect, Mia King will likely find her way to North Melbourne given the Kangaroos have first chance to secure the talented youngster.

The 2019 NAB AFL Women’s Draft will be live streamed on womens.afl, the AFLW App and the AFLW Facebook account from 10:40am EDT tomorrow, Tuesday October 22.

For features on more than 80 AFL Women’s Draft hopefuls, check out our AFL Women’s Features page.

Below we have listed the club-by-club breakdown as well as the state-based selections that clubs will take to the draft.

CLUB-BY-CLUB BREAKDOWN

Adelaide [8]: 14, 37, 46, 53, 68, 83, 100, 102

Brisbane [9]: 3, 15, 16, 17, 20, 28, 45, 60, 75

Carlton [7]: 2, 13 (Grace Egan), 26, 36, 44, 52, 59

Collingwood [5]: 67, 74, 82, 89, 94

Fremantle [7]: 12, 21, 35, 51, 66, 81, 85

Geelong [6]: 11, 34, 50, 65, 80, 98

Gold Coast [8]: 18, 22, 38, 42, 57, 69, 86, 91

GWS Giants [9]: 4, 23, 29, 61, 76, 90, 95, 97, 99

Melbourne [4]: 54, 72, 77, 78

North Melbourne [5]: 10, 32, 49, 64, 79

Richmond [13]: 7, 25, 31, 40, 43, 55, 58, 71, 73, 84, 87, 93, 96

St Kilda [7]: 5, 24, 27, 30, 33, 41, 63

West Coast [6]: 19, 39, 56, 70, 92, 101

Western Bulldogs [8]: 1, 6, 8, 9, 47, 48, 62, 88

STATE-BASED DRAFT PICKS:

Queensland:

Brisbane [9]: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15

Gold Coast [8]: 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17

Victoria:

Carlton [7]: 2, 10 (Egan), 20, 24, 29, 33

Collingwood [5]: 38, 42, 47, 51, 53,

Geelong [6]: 9, 19, 28, 37, 46, 55

Melbourne [4]: 30, 40, 43, 44

North Melbourne [5]: 8, 17, 27, 36, 45

Richmond [13]: 5, 12, 16, 21, 23, 31, 32, 39, 41, 48, 49, 52, 54

St Kilda [7]: 3, 11, 14, 15, 18, 22, 35

Western Bulldogs [8]: 1, 4, 6, 7, 25, 26, 34, 50

Western Australia:

Fremantle [7]: 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11

West Coast [6]: 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13

Sheppard follows sisters to grasp opportunities

FOLLOWING in the footsteps of her older sisters, Paige Sheppard was lucky enough to already have people she could lean on in the female football pathway. The Geelong Falcons’ top-ager earned Vic Country selection after a strong year, which then followed on by a National Draft Combine invitation. Speaking at the combine, Sheppard recalled how her football journey came about.

“My two older sisters played footy so I always grew up watching them and I didn’t play, but a couple of games they were low for numbers so I just filled in for the team and then I just ended up playing and that was about four or five years ago,” Sheppard said. “I always grew up watching them, I was always kicking the footy but I always had them so it was a way to get into it. “I just kept playing and my sister as well, she played for Falcons and we both got into it together and from there it just grew.”

Sheppard has come a long way in 2019, with her decision making and ability to hit targets inside 50 among her self-proclaimed strengths, while the 159cm prospect hopes to develop her initial speed and using her body more effectively against her opponents. While her sisters have been mentors along the journey to pave the way for her, a premiership teammate has been her biggest inspiration.

Lucy McEvoy (is my inspiration),” she said. “I started the Falcons with her and she’s just been one you always look up to as a leader and as a player you always just want to be.”

After averaging 17.1 disposals, 2.0 marks, 4.6 inside 50s and 4.5 tackles in season 2019 with the Geelong Falcons, Sheppard was named in Vic Country’s squad to play at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships.

“It was a very different experience playing against the best in Australia,” Sheppard said. “It was a step up, but it was very beneficial experience.”

There, Sheppard helped herself to 11.3 disposals per game, also kicking a goal for her state as Vic Country won all three games in the second series after going down to their metropolitan counterparts a few weeks earlier. Her performances throughout the year earned her a combine invitation, something Sheppard admits came as a surprise.

“It was a definitely a surprise,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting it. “But I guess it was just a look into the future.”

Sheppard has nominated all of Victoria to give herself the best chance of landing at an AFL Women’s club for 2020. While many aspiring draftees might move around due to university or further studies, the talented midfielder is yet to know what she wants to do off-field, still weighing up her choices.

“Well footy is definitely in my future career, but with school and uni, I haven’t quite worked that out and I’m just taking it as it comes,” she said.

Having also tasted experience against senior opposition with Geelong’s Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) side, Sheppard said the “very different” experience against “bigger bodies” was a “good opportunity” for herself and she was determined to knuckle down and work hard to win the respect of her future teammates if she was to be selected. If not, she would keep battling away saying the opportunities she had been afforded had helped her improve tremendously, and having more teams in the AFL Women’s would be “beneficial” for everyone.

“Yeah definitely, just all the Vic Country, VFL, it just makes you improve as a player playing against the best,” she said. “I feel like it’s very beneficial for us and it’s a good opportunity that we have quite a few options, not just a couple of teams to look forward to.”

McEvoy all class and determination

THREE-time All Australian and Geelong Falcons captain, Lucy McEvoy is one of the highly touted prospects ahead of the draft and for good reason given her impressive skillset and footy brain. McEvoy has never been far from the Sherrin, playing Auskick from a young age and working her way into representative sides credit to her never say die attitude and grit across the footy field.

“I started in Auskick back with the boys when [I was] about five or six,” she said. “Then played junior footy with Collendina Cobras with the boys up until Under 14s then swapped over to the girls league after that. “Played one year at Barwon Heads then went to St Mary’s which is my local club at the moment and managed to make my way into representative sides somehow and kind of just went from there.”

The Falcons recognised her talent from an early age gifting her with the captaincy at 16 and she did not disappoint guiding her side to grand final glory and feeding off her teammates to develop her leadership qualities throughout her time at Geelong.

“It’s been a great experience working with girls that are older and also younger,” McEvoy said. “They’ve been really helpful in helping me build my leadership and really focus on that a lot more, especially this year and even just working with the other girls in the leadership group it’s been really good. “I think I’ve always been quite confident personality wise. “I think it depends who you meet sometimes. “Knowing that they’d voted for me as well gave me the confidence to know that they really did want me to be their captain and their leader. So tried to really embrace it and tried not to really think too much that I was younger than them. But yeah their support in that first season was really crucial for me.”

McEvoy has already had a highly decorated career, winning a premiership last year after going undefeated and will be looking to add to her trophy cabinet in the years to come.

“It was so good,” McEvoy said. “I thought we had a chance this year as well. “We had a really good bunch of girls and considering what we’d been through the year before with the loss of one of our teammates. “I think it made it even more special. “I’ll cherish that forever.”

With a premiership to her name McEvoy capped off her NAB League career as a three-time All Australian with each time more special than the previous.

“When I was younger I probably I took it for granted probably because I was a little immature and not as grown up and didn’t really realise the significance of it,” she said. “But as the second one I managed to get and this year, it’s quite something that I hold quite highly because a lot of the other girls don’t really get a chance to get that achievement. “So I’ve tried to really acknowledge my achievements but also not get ahead of myself and just keep on track and focus on one thing at a time.”

Often referred to as the Falcons’ footy factory, Geelong saw a wealth of talent get drafted last year leaving a gaping hole in the Falcons 2019 side. But that did not deter McEvoy with the captain standing up through the midfield to replace the likes of number one draft pick Nina Morrison along with Olivia Purcell and Denby Taylor.

“As pre-season went on we were able to create our own side and really adapt to each other’s games,” McEvoy said. “We lost some quality players in the midfield, but the girls that stepped up in Paige (Sheppard) and Luka (Lesosky-Hay) and some of the bottom-age girls was credit to them. “They really took it on board and played their role for the team this year.”

The talented footballer has a bright future ahead of her both on and off the football field with the 18-year-old hoping to get into university next year.

“I’m hoping to go into paramedicine,” McEvoy said. “I put Vic Uni as my number one preference. “Who knows whether I’ll get it or not, I’ve still got to finish exams and what not, hopefully I put my best foot forward in that and hopefully get the ATAR that I need.”

With an already solid set of skills, McEvoy is constantly looking to improve herself and develop her craft on the footy field noting her marking as one of strengths, but her short kick as a possible improvement.

“I need to definitely still improve my short kicking and accuracy in that area,” she said. “Then my fitness components which will be tested this week endurance, sprinting and agility, I’d really love to improve that side of my game.”

Throughout her time, she has been heavily influenced by her fellow teammates who have gone on to the next level with AFL clubs.

“Definitely the girls that were part of our side last year,” McEvoy said. “Nina Morrison, Liv Purcell and Denby (Taylor). “They’ve provided some of the great insight into what their experience was like and even in their first year of AFLW so I’ll continue to learn off them and admire what they do.”

All-Australian junior White returns to draft radar

TARNI White is a player who at the age of 16-years-old was identified as one of the nation’s top talents. In 2017, she was named in the All-Australian side after a terrific carnival for Queensland. To give an indication of how rare her achievement was, Geelong Falcons and Vic Country star Lucy McEvoy was the only other player to be named in the side as a 16-year-old – and now McEvoy is a candidate for the first pick in the AFL Women’s Draft. Aside from the pair yet to be drafted, all bar three players in 22-player team have made the AFL Women’s competition.

“I’ve been playing football since I was nine years old,” White said. “I’ve played with the boys for probably for over 100 games, then I transitioned into girls football under 15s, went through the ranks to Under 17s, through to QAFLW when I was 16, and now I’m finding my way through the Queensland team.”

But if anyone thought the journey was going to be easy, then think again. With a disastrous 12-month Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury ruling White out of the game during her bottom-age year. But, like any seasoned athlete and mature person, White was able to make the most of her year out of the game, building on her leadership.

“Going from the boys and I’ve played in the backline and I learnt really how to play it in a different way,” White said. “Boys is a different type of game to girls, I really had a really easy run through there, but now transitioning to the girls, I’ve developed the leadership just because it’s easy to go. “I’ve developed a sense of leadership, (especially since) I recently did my ACL so I made a comeback through that, and I planned on making my leadership as one of my biggest strengths and I’m definitely starting to fulfil those roles throughout the team and doing the team role.”

It was secret that White struggled during the recovery phase when all of her talented peers were hitting their strides and making serious in-roads into their future AFL Women’s careers.

“It was definitely huge rollercoaster ride,” White said. “I’d turn up to every training session and every gym session but some days were harder than others. “You’ve just got to grind through those and lean on your teammates when those darker days do come up, but yeah it was really hard but those 12 months came up really quick and I was able to get access to really good facilities from the Gabba and they helped me with my rehab.”

The injury may have been as mentally tolling as it was physically on White, but she has emerged the other side as a stronger person. After another AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships, this time in her top-age year with Queensland, White is a talent who has not been forgotten by recruiters – earning a draft combine invitation. The state representative said making the Queensland side is a difficult one with so much talent in the state and she did not take the honour lightly.

“It means everything to me,” White said. “This is a stepping stone through my journey and hopefully going into AFLW one day is my biggest dream. “To pull on a Queensland jersey, it really means everything to me. “I know some girls who missed out on these competitions and it’s really hard on them, so to do them proud really makes me happy.”

White is versatile after playing as a midfielder back in her All-Australian year, but transitioning into defence this year to ease her back into the game as she builds her match fitness with time. The tenacious, driven utility uses her determination on the field as much as off.

“Probably my (strengths are my) aggression on the ball, my tackling pressure, I’ve played on the half-back role and I’ve learnt just to shut down really quickly and keep my opponent out and do my role for the team that way,” White said.

As for her improvements, it is no surprise she just wants to get back to her peak fitness.

“Definitely my game fitness (is an improvement) really,” she said. “Just coming back from an ACL. “Everything’s still relatively new, but coming back now I need to work on this, and jump through all these hoops. “Definitely all these games help with fitness.”

White thanked her mum for her support over the years who she described as her “backbone” helping her through everything. On-the-field, it is a Brisbane Lions talent who she mirrors some of her traits on.

Emily Bates from the Brisbane Lions (is a role model),” White said. “She’s someone who is a go-getter and goes really hard at the footy and really tackles hard.”

VFLW weekly wrap: Finals Week 1 – Richmond and Geelong out of contention

THE first round of the 2019 VFL Women’s finals series saw some big matchups, with six teams taking the field in the new finals system. While Southern Saints get a second chance to make it through finals despite their loss to Collingwood, close victories from Melbourne Uni and Western Bulldogs sees Geelong and Richmond knocked out of contention.

MELBOURNE UNI 4.0 | 5.1 | 8.2 | 9.2 (56)
GEELONG 0.1 | 3.5 | 4.6 |6.7 (43)

GOALS

Melbourne Uni: J. Garner 4, K. Angelis 2, D. Bateman, B. Gibson, A. Riddell.
Geelong: M. Maguire 3, G. Clarke, R. Cranston, S. Van De Heuvel.

BEST
Melbourne Uni:
E. Kearney, J. Garner, L. Walsh, J. Duffin, K. Cox, J. Bruton
Geelong: L. McEvoy, R. Cranston, M. Brown, J. Ivey, M. Maguire, K. Darby

While Melbourne Uni well and truly had this contest in the bag in the early stages, the Cats were unwilling to go down without a fight and certainly put the Mugars through their paces. It was a massive first quarter effort that could have been Geelong’s downfall, conceding four goals to nil before an inaccurate second term that could have turned the tables by half-time, trailing by eight points. While Geelong continued to go hard into contests in the second half it was to no avail, booting three goals to Uni’s four to go down by 13 points. With three multiple goalkickers it was a battle in attack for both teams, with Uni’s Jasmine Garner (four goals, 20 touches, five marks) and Katie Angelis (two goals, six tackles) among the best, while Geelong’s Madisen Maguire booted three from six disposals. Emma Kearney (26 disposals, five tackles) and Jess Duffin (29 disposals, 10 marks) led the disposal count, while young gun Lucy McEvoy (24 disposals, nine tackles) and the experienced Renee Garing (22 disposals, 13 tackles) led the way for the Cats despite a frustrating contest. While the Cats put in a stellar performance against the experienced side this loss ultimately sees them leave the finals race, unable to back up their 2018 form.

COLLINGWOOD 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.2 | 3.3 (21)
SOUTHERN SAINTS 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 (6)

GOALS

Collingwood: J. Lambert 3.
Southern Saints: K. McCarthy.

BEST

Collingwood: J. Lambert, C. Molloy, B. Bonnici, N. Hales, M. Cann, S. Livingstone
Southern Saints: O. Vesely, C. Phillips, F. Steiert, T. Lucas-Rodd, C. Fitzpatrick, D. Guttridge

It was a low scoring affair that saw Collingwood reign supreme over Southern Saints in the qualifying final, with the Magpies keeping the Saints to their lowest score all season. It was a defensive battle, with both sides going scoreless in the first quarter before Kate McCarthy put the first goal on the board for the match – and the only major for the Saints. With Collingwood having issues breaking through the Saints defence, it was Jaimee Lambert in her 50th VFLW game who found the footy time and time again, booting three goals and collecting 23 touches and 12 tackles. Britt Bonnici put out an impressive performance in what was her best match of the season, racking up 31 disposals and seven tackles while Chloe Molloy also had an impact with 19 disposals and four marks. The shellshocked Southern Saints had big issues getting through the Magpies defence, and while Tilly Lucas-Rodd racked up 24 disposals aided by Olivia Vesely (21 touches, six tackles and five clearances) to impact the contest, the lack of contribution going forward was the Saints’ main downfall.

WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.0 | 4.0 | 6.0 | 6.0 (36)
RICHMOND 2.1 | 3.2 | 3.2 | 4.7 (31)

GOALS

Western Bulldogs: E. Georgostathis 2, E. Gavalas, K. Lamb, B. Lochland, D. Marshall.
Richmond: C. Wakefield 2, G. Seymour, T. Stahl.

BEST

Western Bulldogs: C. Moody, E. Gamble, D. Marshall, S. Ruedin, N. Ferres, K. Betts
Richmond: K. Dempsey, C. Wakefield , A. Edmonds, K. Jacques, L. Bailey, E. Horne

Despite beating Richmond comfortably both times they played them during the home and away season, the Western Bulldogs were well and truly challenged by the Tigers on Sunday. While the Tigers came hunting in the final quarter to keep the Dogs scoreless, they were plagued with inaccuracy in front of goal kicking 1.5 to finish the match on a low note. NAB League’s Elisabeth Georgostathis impressed for the Bulldogs, booting two goals from six touches and racking up a match high 12 tackles, while Kirsty Lamb (17 touches, seven tackles, one goal) was a solid option around the ground applying plenty of pressure and Ashleigh Guest led her side’s disposal count with 18 touches and nine rebounds. For the Tigers, Kate Dempsey led the disposal count with 20 touches aided by Katie Brennan with 18 and two behinds, sharing the load well while Sabrina Frederick put in the hard yards with 15 touches though uncharacteristically not getting on the scoreboard. Courtney Wakefield kicked two goals from 12 touches and six marks but despite being a solid target forward found more of the behind posts than the goals. This win saw Bulldogs hit a five match winning streak, eliminating Richmond from the finals race in the process.

VFLW weekly wrap: Round 16 – Magpies minor premiers for second year running

COLLINGWOOD Magpies found themselves with a second consecutive minor premiership in Round 16 of VFL Women’s, leaping the Southern Saints and allowing Geelong to jump into the top six for the first time this season for the last finals spot. Meanwhile, Richmond beat the highly touted Saints and Essendon slaughtered the lowly Williamstown Seagulls in a win that came too little, too late.

ESSENDON 3.0 | 5.4 | 10.8 | 11.12 (78)
WILLIAMSTOWN 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)

GOALS:

Essendon: F. Frew 2, A. Quigley 2, M. DeMatteo 2, K. Petrevski, R. Svarc, E. Gogerly, S. Audley, L. Stepnell.
Williamstown: Nil.

BEST:

Essendon: G. Patrikios, L. Ahrens, M. Collier, F. Frew, A. Barba, A. Quigley
Williamstown: D. Pedersen, M. Williamson, K. Douglass, S. Whiting, J. Kawa, J. Heard

Essendon made it back-to-back wins to close out the season after thrashing Williamstown by 77 points at Windy Hill. The Bombers restricted the Seagulls to a solitary behind for the match, piling on 11 goals from 23 scoring shots on their way to their biggest win of the season. It meant they improved from their one-win season last year to now sit ninth on the table with six wins from 14 games. Under-18 talent Georgia Patrikios topped the disposal count with 22, while Lauren Ahrens picked up 20 disposals, four marks and four tackles. Georgia Nanscawen (17 disposals, three marks and six tackles) was again prominent onball, while Calder Cannons young gun Krstel Petrevski had 16 touches, three marks, two tackles and a goal. For the Seagulls, Danica Pedersen was a clear standout with 26 touches, while Sharnie Whiting (14 disposals, two marks and three tackles) and Jasmine Kawa (11 disposals, four marks and four tackles) were the others to reach double figures. Williamstown finished the season with the one win from 14 games, just behind Carlton on the table.

DAREBIN FALCONS 3.1 | 3.1 | 3.5 | 3.5 (23)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.2 | 3.5 | 3.5 | 5.8 (38)

GOALS:

Darebin: K. Roe, N. Morris-Dalton, S. Simpson.
Western Bulldogs: E. Wood, S. Jolly, K. Betts, M. Sandral, D. Marshall.

BEST:

Darebin: A. Lister, K. Roe, S. Sansonetti, S. Simpson, B. Patterson, E. McLaughlin
Western Bulldogs: B. Hunt, D. Marshall, A. Gogos , S. Ruedin, A. Guest, E. Mackay

The Western Bulldogs showed why they sit third on the table heading into finals after seeing off Darebin Falcons in a 15-point victory. Darebin burst out of the blocks to lead by 17 points at quarter time, but the Bulldogs took control after that, booting 5.6 to 0.4 in the remaining three quarters to secure the 5.8 (38) to 3.5 (23) win. Ellie Gavalas earned 20 touches for the Dogs while laying five tackles, while Emma Mackay (15 disposals, two marks and four tackles) and Danielle Marshall (15 disposals, six marks, five tackles, four hitouts and one goal) were also influential in the win. Under-18 stars Ella Wood (13 disposals, two tackles and a goal) and Elisabeth Georgostathis (10 disposals, two marks and six tackles) again looked like they belonged, while the experienced head of Hayley Wildes (13 disposals, three marks and one tackle) was important. For the Falcons, Kathleen Roe stood tall with 22 disposals, two marks, five tackles and a goal, as Annalyse Lister (20 disposals, 10 tackles) was fierce around the stoppages, and Lauren Arnell (21 disposals, three marks) showed off all of her AFLW experience. Northern Knights’ duo Nell Morris-Dalton and Sarah Sansonetti also looked strong in the game.

HAWTHORN 1.2 | 1.3 | 3.6 | 4.8 (32)
COLLINGWOOD 1.0 | 4.2 | 6.2 | 7.4 (46)

GOALS:

Hawthorn: S. Perkins 3, M. Hutchins.
Collingwood: K. Lee 2, M. Shevlin 2, J. Lambert, R. Grant, M. Cann.

BEST:

Hawthorn: S. Perkins, L. McClelland, R. Beeson, E. Nixon, O. Flanagan, R. Dillon
Collingwood: S. Livingstone, N. Xenos, G. Buchan, M. Shevlin, B. Bonnici, S. Layton

Collingwood regained top spot on the VFLW ladder, taking home its second successive minor premiership in the process after downing Hawthorn by 14 points at Box Hill City Oval. The Magpies knocked the Hawks out of the finals race with the result, as the Pies now prepare for the Southern Saints next weekend. The return of Collingwood’s experience was crucial in the 7.4 (46) to 4.8 (32) victory, as competition leading goalkicker Jaimee Lambert booted a goal from 17 touches, five marks and 11 tackles to take out the award, while Brittany Bonnici returned to rack up a team-high 19 disposals and lay three tackles. Grace Buchan (18 disposals, four marks and four tackles) and Sarah Dargan (18 disposals, one mark and one tackle) were busy around the ground, while Maddie Shevlin and Katelyn Lee were the multiple goalkickers for the Pies. Rebecca Beeson was the Hawks’ biggest ball winner with 19 disposals, one mark and eight tackles, while Georgia Bevan (16 disposals, seven tackles) and Rosie Dillon (16 disposals, five tackles) won plenty of the ball. Up forward, Sarah Perkins booted three of the Hawks’ four goals and clunked four marks from 11 touches, while Lou Wotton and Tamara Luke were strong through the ruck, combining for 38 hitouts from 19 disposals.

SOUTHERN SAINTS 0.2 | 2.3 | 4.6| 4.6 (30)
RICHMOND 0.1 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 5.6 (36)

GOALS

Southern Saints: H. Stuart, J. Vogt, C. Greiser, T. Bohanna.
Richmond: S. Frederick 2, T. Stahl, J. Colwell, M. Conti.

BEST

Southern Saints: S. Johnson, T. Lucas-Rodd, O. Vesely, F. Steiert, C. Greiser, K. Shierlaw
Richmond: G. Egan, J. Colwell, S. Frederick, M. Conti, G. Seymour, K. Dempsey

The Southern Saints were knocked out of top spot in the final round of the season after finally taking the lead last round, going down by one goal to Richmond in what could potentially be a finals match up. While the Saints have had a mostly unblemished season, the Tigers have had a couple sloppy weeks so were well and truly ready to come out and prove themselves against the top side. With a 10-point lead at the final break it seemed that Saints had control after a see-sawing first half, before a dominant final stanza from the Tigers saw the Saints go scoreless to finish the match. For Richmond, Monique Conti found plenty of the footy with 23 touches to lead the Tiger’s disposal count, also collecting one goal and five tackles while the likes of Grace Egan (17 disposals, nine tackles) and Sabrina Frederick (two goals from five kicks) also had some good form in what could have been their final match of the year. For the Saints, Cat Philips racked up 17 disposals, providing a solid option moving the ball up the field but to no avail with little other players able to have an impact. Samantha Johnson (10 disposals, eight tackles) and Tilly Lucas-Rodd (12 disposals, six tackles) were named among the best with four individual goalkickers thanks to the pressing defensive pressure of the Tigers, limiting regular Saints goalkickers to low impact possessions.

GEELONG 4.1 | 4.3 | 6.6 | 7.6 (48)
CARLTON 2.0 | 2.0 | 2.0 | 2.3 (15)

GOALS

Geelong: G. Clarke 3, S. Van De Heuvel, R. Cranston, K. Darby, J. Ivey.
Carlton: M. Clifford, B. Gurr.

BEST

Geelong: J. Ivey, D. Taylor, R. Cranston, G. Clarke, R. Webster, R. Garing
Carlton: B. Gutknecht, G. Wright, S. Wright, G. Pound, J. Hosking, M. Neill

In a match that went vastly different to their reverse fixture back in Round 8, Geelong well and truly pushed for their last ditch effort of finals contention, defeating the Blues by 33 points and jumping the Hawks to land themselves in sixth. While Carlton have put up some solid performances this season to contend with quality teams, they couldn’t compete with the Cats on a mission, only putting two goals on the board to finish their season second from the bottom. While the Cats took an early lead Carlton still looked like they were in it, kicking two goals to Geelong’s four in the first half, however were unable to compete in the second half conceding three goals and only kicking three behinds. Rene Caris impressed in the ruck, collecting 30 hitouts and 17 disposals while sharing the load with Kate Darby (12 hitouts, 11 disposals, one goal). Jordan Ivey and Renee Garing collected 25 and 24 disposals respectively, with Ivey kicking her fourth goal of the season while Garing managed 12 tackles to apply plenty of pressure on the Blues. Georgia Clarke was a big target forward in a solid outing, kicking three goals from eight touches while 18-year-old Lucy McEvoy collected 18 disposals and five tackles in her first win at the Cats. For the Blues, Jess Hosking and Sarah Wright were among the best around the ground, collecting 19 touches apiece and a combined 11 marks and eight tackles. Also impressive was young gun Gabby Newton (17 disposals, 15 tackles), while Mia-Rae Clifford (one goal, seven tackles) and Britney Gutknecht (nine touches, six tackles) applied valuable pressure on and around the ball.

MELBOURNE UNI 1.4 | 2.4 | 5.6 | 6.10 (46)
NT THUNDER 0.1 | 2.5 | 3.5 | 4.5 (29)

GOALS

Melbourne Uni: S. Abbatangelo 2, C. Daniec, C. Saxon-Jones, K. Angelis, E. Kearney.
NT Thunder: D. Ponter 2, L. Jeffrey, M. Ellis.

BEST

Melbourne Uni: S. Abbatangelo, J. Trend, E. Kearney, B. Gibson, J. Bruton, V. Saad
NT Thunder: D. Varnhagen, S. Riley, J. Baird, D. Ponter, L. Roberts, C. Deegan

Melbourne Uni well and truly finished their season on a high, defeating NT Thunder by 17 points despite a mostly inaccurate affair. While Uni put plenty of goals on the board after taking control early in the second half, their kicking in front of goal left something to be desired with the likes of Katie Angelis kicking 1.4 from her nine kicks and six marks. While Thunder took advantage of their opportunities in front of goal, applying scoreboard pressure in every quarter bar the first, their chances were limited thanks to the defensive pressure of the Mugars on the brink of finals. Emma Kearney (29 disposals, six tackles, one goal) and Sophie Abbatangelo (27 disposals, 10 marks, five tackles, two goals) starred for Uni, while Vivien Saad was solid in the ruck with 29 hitouts, finding her teammates with ease as they dominated stoppages. Kate Gillespie-Jones was consistent as ever with 24 touches, nine marks and eight tackles. For Thunder, Stevie-Lee Thompson put in the hard yards with 22 touches, four marks and two behinds, attempting to push forward to create opportunities forward while Deni Varnhagen did a wealth of work behind the ball to finish with 27 disposals and five marks. Meanwhile, young gun Danielle Ponter kicked two of Thunder’s four goals, providing a solid target forward collecting 14 touches and three marks.

Georgie Prespakis wins NAB League Girls Best and Fairest

THE Calder Cannons claimed their third consecutive Best and Fairest with Georgie Prespakis winning the award with 20 votes. At only 16, Prespakis still has plenty of time to develop and fine tune her already impressive skill set averaging 23 disposals and six tackles throughout the 2019 season. Although she was not there to receive the award, sister Maddy took it on her behalf with the Prespakis’ claiming back to back Best and Fairest awards.

Both Lucy McEvoy and Gabby Newton were among some of the top vote-getters showcasing their importance across the field for their respective teams. McEvoy notched up 14 votes for the season while Elisabeth Georgostathis impressed for the Jets, amassing 15 votes for her efforts. Ellie McKenzie also racked up her fair share of votes with 13 votes highlighting her ability to draw the eye with her flashy run and carry.

For the Dandenong Stingrays, Isabella Shannon received the most votes with 10 while both Olivia Meagher and Tarni Brown collected seven apiece for the Murray Bushrangers. Oakleigh Chargers’ Joanna Lin also left her mark on the competition with 13 votes to lead her side’s tally.

Bendigo Pioneers = Maeve Tupper 10
Calder Cannons = Georgie Prespakis 20
Dandenong Stingrays = Isabella Shannon 10
Eastern Ranges = Olivia Meagher/Tarni Brown 7
Geelong Falcons = Lucy McEvoy 14
Gippsland Power = Maddison Shaw 10
Murray Bushrangers = Millie Brown 6
Northern Knights = Ellie McKenzie 14 + Gabby Newton 13
Oakleigh Chargers = Joanna Lin 13
Sandringham Dragons = Sarah Hartwig 4
Tasmania Devils = Killarney Morey 3
Western Jets = Elisabeth Georgostathis 15