Tag: mimi hill

2020 NAB League Girls team update: Oakleigh Chargers

WHILE the NAB League Girls competition is on break, we take a quick recap of each team, how the first three rounds have panned out for them and who has already stood up in the short time. In this edition we look at the Oakleigh Chargers, who had the two most impressive results from the opening two rounds before having a bye in Round 3.

2020 RESULTS:

R1: defeated Murray Bushrangers by 50 points
R2: defeated Tasmania Devils by 102 points
R3: Bye

It was an impressive start to the season from the Chargers who looked very ominous with a 50-point win over Murray Bushrangers before giving Tasmania Devils a rough welcome into the NAB League with a record-breaking score and win by any team thus far in its short history. It was tough to narrow the selection down to just five strong starters, as the Chargers had so many players who stood up in that brief time and made an impact. With a percentage of 663 from two rounds, there is little doubt that the Chargers would have had a strong season had it not been for the postponement.

FIVE STRONG STARTERS:

Mimi Hill (24.5 disposals, 1.5 marks, 2.0 tackles, 3.5 inside 50s)

The second year captain led from the front when it came to her ball-winning ability, averaging 24.5 disposals per game and often winning the ball around the ground to open up the game for her teammates. She was able to regularly get it forward and provided some real leadership in the middle, working hard throughout the four quarters to be Oakleigh’s most consistent player across the games.

Eliza James (14.5 disposals, 3.5 marks, 5.0 tackles, 6.0 inside 50s, 2 goals)

James booted a goal in each of the two games and worked well at half-forward to have an influence on the contest. With seven and five inside 50s in game one and two respectively, she provided plenty of opportunities for her teammates in the forward line, while averaging five tackles a game to lock the ball up in the forward half.

Joanna Lin (14.5 disposals, 2.0 marks, 2.0 tackles, 4.5 inside 50s, 1 goal)

The vice-captain and bottom-age best and fairest winner last year started strongly working well on the outside with Hill to keep the ball moving in transition. She hit the scoreboard herself and averaged 4.5 inside 50s from 14.5 disposals, and was a key link in the chain between midfield and forward.

Stella Reid (10.5 disposals, 1.5 marks, 2.5 hitouts, 3.0 tackles, 4 goals)

The leading goalkicker for the side in a team that had plenty of contributors – nine multiple goalkickers – Reid kicked four majors across her two games. She got involved in general play a lot, averaging the 10.5 touches and three tackles per game too, and is still a middle-ager who will have 2021 to continue to develop.

Charlie Rowbottom (11.0 disposals, 1.5 marks, 1.0 hitouts, 2.5 tackles, 2.0 inside 50s, 2 goals)

One of the most exciting middle-agers, Rowbottom boosted all her numbers to start the season and showed some real development another year down the track. She booted the two goals and was able to find the ball around the ground, particularly in the front half after playing more in the back half last season. With another year to go, Rowbottom will be one to watch in 2021 too.

Others who have stood out: Taylah Morton, Alice O’Loughlin, Amelia James, Amber Micallef

All of the above could easily have snuck into the five standout starters, and there are even more on the list that could have slotted into this category as well. With our requirement to play both games to be in the top category, O’Loughlin and James played just the one – against Murray – but were ultra-impressive in that game, kicking a combined five goals in the 50-point win. Standing up in the second game after a solid first game, Morton booted three goals against Tasmania in an impressive performance, while Micallef provided a presence in the forward half too with almost five tackles per game to go with her 14 touches a match.

Smith and McKenzie lead DC Medal count in postponed NAB League Girls

WHILE the NAB League Girls competition players, staff and families wait for confirmation on whether or not any more football will go ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Draft Central thought it would update the leaderboard of the DC Medal count we have been taking throughout the first three rounds of the season. While we had hoped that this would end up being a full season count, there are two clear leaders who have emerged from the pack. It might have been difficult with some teams only playing two games compared to three, but no player that played two games could have caught the equal leaders even with a full five votes in a hypothetical third game.

Dandenong Stingrays’ Tyanna Smith and Ellie McKenzie lead all-comers in what could realistically be the end result of the Medal count, which means in the inaugural DC Medal, two players will share the award. Both players polled 14 votes in their first three games, including two best-on-grounds and one four-vote game to ensure that no one else could catch them. If the season is potentially called off in the future, then both the players will be announced winners. Two of the stars of the competition, Smith has helped Dandenong Stingrays to a ripping start in the NAB League Girls season, with her side winning its first two games against Eastern Ranges and Calder Cannons, before running into a McKenzie-inspired Northern Knights outfit in Round 3. The Knights’ co-captain was sensational and picked up her second best on ground to tie with Smith in the same game after the Stingrays speedster picked up the four votes.

After the two clears in McKenzie and Smith clears is another Northern Knights player, and a couple of Sandringham Dragons. McKenzie’s teammate and forward, Alyssa Bannan sits three votes behind in third with 11 to her name and the player responsible for picking up the best on ground votes back in Round 1 against Calder Cannons for McKenzie to receive the four. Rounding out the top five are Sandringham Dragons’ duo, Sarah Hartwig (10 votes) and Alice Burke (nine) who were both enjoying terrific starts to the season. Behind the top five are a pack of players all on eight votes, including Western Jets’ duo, Montana Ham and Isabella Pritchard, Eastern Ranges’ Olivia Meagher and the only player who has played the two games inside the top 10 – Laura Gardiner. Calder Cannons’ Georgie Prespakis and Sandringham Dragons’ Winnie Laing sit on seven and six votes respectively.

DC Medal:

[14] Tyanna Smith (DS), Ellie McKenzie (NK)

[11] Alyssa Bannan (NK)
[10] Sarah Hartwig (SD)
[9] Alice Burke (SD)

[8] Laura Gardiner (GF), Montana Ham (WJ), Isabelle Pritchard (WJ), Olivia Meagher (ER)
[7] Georgie Prespakis (CC)
[6] Winnie Laing (SD)

[5] Jess Fitzgerald (NK), Charlotte Baskaran (WJ), Tarni Brown (ER), Alice Astbury (GWV), Grace Hay (MB), Charlie Rowbottom (OC), Bella Eddey (SD), Mimi Hill (OC)
[4] Grace Dicker (CC), Abbi Moloney (SD), Maggie Caris (GWV), Amber Micallef (OC), Kasey Lennox (CC), Alice O’Loughlin (OC), Brooke Hards (BP), Darcy Moloney (GF), Nyakoat Dojiok (GWV)
[3] Amelia Velardo (WJ), Jemma Finning (BP), Isabella Khoury (WJ), Taylah Morton (OC), Zoe Hill (DS), Eliza James (OC), Mackenzie Eardley (DS), Poppy Schaap (GF), Jessica Zakkour (CC)
[2] Elizabeth Snell (BP), Megan Fitzsimon (GP), Matilda Hardy (ER), Ella Friend (GWV), Rianna Thiele (OC), Annabel Strahan (BP), Tarrah Delgado (NK), Emily Shepherd (DS), Amelia James (OC), Georgia Grimmer (DS), Matilda Van Berkel (GP), Eliza McNamara (SD)
[1] Freda Puruntatameri (CC), Perri King (TD), Amber Clarke (DS), Kate Adams (MB), Amanda Ling (OC), Annie Lee (GF), Zali Spencer (MB), Jorja Livingstone (ER), Shanara Notman (GP), Renee Saulitis (GWV)

 

Oakleigh runs away with record-breaking win on historic day

OAKLEIGH Chargers flexed their NAB League Girls title-contending muscles in Tasmania Devils’ inaugural match, winning by a record 102 points at the picturesque North Hobart Oval on Saturday. Despite the Devils never giving up and constantly harassing the opposition with great defensive pressure, the result was never in doubt from the second term when the Chargers piled on seven consecutive goals on their way to a 16.8 (104) to 0.2 (2) victory.

The opening nine minutes were quite competitive with both sides having a crack and the Devils restraining the high-scoring Chargers with fierce tackling and working hard with their positioning, leading at one stage with two early behinds to one. Tasmania was doing well in the ruck thanks to Kara Hennessy, but were struggling to get it past halfway after that start. Amy Prokopiec did well one-on-one deep to knock a ball out of bounds deep in defence to save a goal. After a missed snap shortly after, Oakleigh finally broke through for the opener of the game in the tenth minute with a great snap off Mia Clift from a contest. Despite Tasmania for the most part keeping the Chargers at bay, Oakleigh’s relentless attack eventually paid dividends, with Lucja Boyd-Singer kicking a ripping goal out of nothing off a pack on the tightest of angles a few minutes out in the last couple of minutes of the term. Tasmania’s endeavour was terrific, but with Oakleigh’s pressure now matching the Devils, the execution still needed work and that was the difference between the two sides. In the end the Chargers led by two goals in a quarter that both sides could be pleased with given the Devils had held them up for the majority of the term, whilst Oakleigh had finally got reward for effort in the last six minutes.

Whilst the Devils waited almost 10 minutes for their first goal in the opening term, they waited less than a minute for Eliza James to convert a set shot from close range. It was the work of captain, Mimi Hill who side-stepped an opponent and kicked to James’ advantage just outside the goalsquare. Less than a minute later a second goal was on the board and Taylah Morton had her first by shrugging off an opponent and kicking truly on the run. Some great defensive work from Stella Reid won the ball back with a forward 50 tackle and it was almost snapped up with an intercept mark by Liana Freestone but it bounced off her hands to the fortunate Rianna Thiele who needed a few steps and snapped around her body for another and all of a sudden the margin was out to 30 points just five minutes into the second quarter. Soon Reid was paid off for her hard work with a goal of her own off the left boot after Boyd-Singer handballed to her in space and she nailed it without hesitation. Good positioning from Charlie Rowbottom earned her a free kick 15m out from goal after a stray arm caught her high and Oakleigh’s seventh major was on the board at the eighth minute mark of the quarter. Reid had a chance for another but rushed the kick and put it through for a behind, but fortunately had another chance just seconds later where the ball floated into the forward line where she happened to be standing and she marked and goaled. The last five minutes of the term was well defended by the Devils and it took a special effort from Rowbottom again to stand her ground and put one through deep in the pocket despite being dragged down by her Devils’ opponent. The Chargers scored just one more behind – a rushed snap from James – for the term, and already had an imposing total to their name at 9.4 (58) to 0.2 (2).

The signs were ominous early in the third of the trend continuing with Morton having an early snap but was bumped off it for just one behind. The ball continued to spiral in and full credit to Prokopiec whose running in the defensive goalsquare saved what looked like a certain Chargers goal by nullifying the contest and forcing a ball-up. Moments later Morton received a free kick 35m out straight in front and it never looked like missing with the forward putting it straight through for her second just three and a half minutes into the term. Despite the scoreboard overwhelmingly in the visitors favour, Tasmania’s desire and desperation never wavered and it took the Chargers some special efforts to score with an unbelievable snap from Amanda Ling on the boundary which sailed through for Oakleigh’s eleventh with still nine minutes remaining in the third term. The likes of Camilla Taylor and Jemma Webster were trying to create some movement out of defence with the pair combining through Taylor’s hitout to the running Webster kicking long down the wing. Whilst it may not have amounted to anything it is these little passages of play that suggest with more experience the Devils will be an exciting team. Another goal-saving tackle from the Devils, this time from Jemma Blair – who was a little unlucky not be rewarded – showed the desire was still there and the Chargers could not just waltz away with the win. Hill almost drilled one home for her side off a terrific running play but it drifted to the left. Less than a minute later however, Sarah Morley added her name to the goalkickers list with a nice passage of play and kick off a few steps for the Chargers’ twelfth. To close out the quarter the Devils again held firm defensively and restricted the Chargers from scoring.

The final term got underway with the Chargers leading by 77 points and no doubt eyeing off the potential of a triple-figure score. The Devils’ defensive pressure was not going to make it easy for them with often multiple players wrapping up their Chargers’ opponents. Another special effort from Morton off a step with a neat snap brought up her third of the contest around the same time as she had converted her second in the last term. A fortunate ball over the back of a pack midway through the term handed Thiele her second goal in a monty with a soccer off the ground from point blank. A courageous marking attempt from Webster would not have gone unnoticed from her teammates in the middle of the ground, putting her body on the line to spoil and force a turnover from her opponent. Despite getting the ball to half-forward, Oakleigh went end-to-end and Ling kicked her second off a quick set shot and the Chargers were 96 points up with three and a half minutes remaining. Even with two and a half minutes left, Angelica Clark ran down Hill who was charging forward to boot long inside 50 and then an equally impressive effort deep in the forward pocket from Perri King almost created a scoring chance but the kick inboard unluckily bounced off Olivia Smith’s hands and the Chargers cleared it. In the last minute of play the ball went forward and finding space was Morley who took a step and snapped a goal to bring up the ton and help Oakleigh to a 102-point victory.

Hill finished the match with a game-high 20 disposals and two inside 50s finding plenty of it in close, whilst Rowbottom was the top player on the ground with 17 touches, three marks, five tackles, three inside 50s and two goals. Thiele also booted a couple of majors off 15 touches and laid eight tackles, whilst Morton ended up with three goals from five scoring shots to go with 12 touches and three tackles. Ling had 14 touches and three inside 50s to go with two goals, whilst Kalarni Kearns finished with 19 hitouts to accompany 11 disposals. For the Devils, Prokopiec worked hard on the last line and had a team-high nine disposals, two inside 50s and three rebounds, while Webster showed some dash on her way to seven touches, three tackles and three rebounds. Taylor recorded11 hitouts and laid a match-high 13 tackles, whilst Aprille Crooks finished with seven tackles in a strong defensive effort.

TASMANIA DEVILS 0.2 | 0.2 | 0.2 | 0.2 (2)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 2.2 | 9.4 | 12.7 | 16.8 (104)

GOALS: 

Tasmania: Nil.
Oakleigh: T. Morton 3, S. Reid 2, A. Ling 2, S. Morley 2, C. Rowbottom 2, A. Ling 2, E. James, M. Clift, L. Boyd-Singer.

ADC BEST:

Tasmania: A. Prokopiec, C. Taylor, J. Webster, A. Crooks, A. Clark
Oakleigh: C. Rowbottom, A. Micallef, T. Morton, R. Thiele, A. Ling, M. Hill

DC Medal:

5 – Charlie Rowbottom (OC)
4 – Amber Micallef (OC)
3 – Taylah Morton (OC)
2 – Rianna Thiele (OC)
1 – Amanda Ling (OC)

NAB League Girls preview: Round 2 – Huge clashes book-end Super Saturday

A HUGE Super Saturday takes place in the NAB League Girls competition this weekend with five games across three venues – two double-headers – including a couple of blockbusters book-ending the round and a clash between two winless sides. Tasmania Devils also make their debut in the league and host Oakleigh Chargers, whilst Western Jets could record back-to-back wins and keep in touch with the top couple of sides.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. GEELONG FALCONS
Saturday, March 7, 11:30am
RMIT University Bundoora

The opening game of the round pits the 2018 grand finalists against each other, with Northern Knights going one step further last year, whilst the Geelong Falcons fell in the semi-finals stage. In Round 1, the Knights held off a determined Calder Cannons outfit at this venue by a goal, whilst in the game immediate after, Geelong Falcons ran out 33-point victors over Gippsland Power. Both these teams have stars across the park and were forced to play very different gamestyles in Round 1. The Knights were impressive across the board in the way they were able to defend and then move the ball down the field to set up their forwards such as Alyssa Bannan (five goals). Led by co-captains Ellie McKenzie and Jess Fitzgerald in midfield, the Knights were able to use a nice blend of power and speed to get the ball inside 50, whilst the underrated Maeve Chaplin was tipped to have a big game by Fitzgerald in the Final Siren podcast this week. Competing against them in the midfield is an equally damaging midfield, with AFL Women’s National Academy members Laura Gardiner and Darcy Moloney making the matchups something to behold onball. Gardiner racked up 38 touches and had 14 tackles in Round 1 to be the Draft Central Player of the Week, whilst Moloney (28 disposals, six tackles) and Poppy Schaap (24 disposals, six tackles) also brought the heat. What was most impressive about the way the Falcons went about it was the fact they racked up a whopping 271 disposals, but also laid 94 tackles with their defensive pressure amongst the best in the league. They could have been more effective in front of goal, which is an area to build on, and something they cannot afford to suffer from in this clash against arguably the benchmark team this season. Expect this match to be another close one with both sides missing players from their encounters over the past couple of seasons, but the Knights deserve favouritism at home.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS
Saturday, March 7, 12pm.
RAMS Arena

From two sides looking to extend their strong starts to the season, we head to Craigieburn where two teams go head-to-head in a bid to get off the mark in season 2020. Sandringham Dragons will be ruing missed opportunities against Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels where they arguably had plenty more chances to kick a big score, but were let down close to goal. Their defensive pressure was a highlight however and is something that will be a trademark of this game. Both sides are renowned tacklers, and whilst Sandringham can play a possession style of game as well, the Dragons are more than happy to get their hands dirty in pursuit of a win. The Pioneers are not a high possession style team but look to be efficient with ball-in-hand, running the ball down in transition and getting it inside 50 as effective as possible. An area the Pioneers can get on top in this clash is in the ruck, with the Dragons having just two hitouts last week against the number one ruck in the competition, Maggie Caris. They still won their fair share of clearances though, and led by Eliza McNamara (20 disposals, eight tackles and six inside 50s) and Winnie Laing (18 disposals, five tackles and five inside 50s), were able to pump the ball inside 50 enough to suggest that if they do that consistently enough and improve their finishing ability then the results will come. The Pioneers had co-captain Brooke Hards waste no time influencing the contest off the back of her middle-age best and fairest year, winning 18 disposals and laying seven tackles. With Elizabeth Snell out of the side, the Pioneers will look to other experience around the ground, with co-captain Annabel Strahan and Jemma Finning‘s work out of the back 50 as a way of getting control of the ball. The two centre-half backs in Sarah Hartwig and Tara Slender are some of the best in their age groups and the teams cannot afford to put it down their throat too often or the ball will come straight back out. Sandringham should be favourites in this game given the amount of chances they can generate, but the Dragons must be clean around goal.

TASMANIA DEVILS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS
Saturday, March 7, 12.30pm
North Hobart Oval

Crossing the Bass Strait to the Apple Isle, Tasmania Devils enter the NAB League competition for the first time, taking on a red-hot Oakleigh Chargers. Whilst the Devils sat out Round 1 watching on, they would have been impressed by what they witnessed at Wangaratta when the Chargers ran wild in a 50-point win over Murray Bushrangers. The Chargers have no problem possessing the ball, and they had a massive 40 inside 50s, giving their forwards a multitude of chances inside 50. For Round 2 the Chargers have lost some of their Round 1 firepower, with Amelia James and Alice O’Loughlin both out of the side after combining for five goals between themselves. The captain Mimi Hill led from the front during the Chargers’ win, racking up 29 disposals and five inside 50s, while vice-captain Joanna Lin had 17 disposals and six inside 50s. Eliza James showed plenty of talent during the match with an impressive 18 disposals, four marks, five tackles and match-high seven inside 50s. For the Devils, it is hard to judge just where they sit in terms of the competition just yet, with plenty of developing youngsters coming through the ranks. Amy Prokopiec is the one to keep an eye out for with the middle-age defender already having experience in the NAB League Girls after playing in the Devils’ few games last season. Overager, Camilla Taylor provides height at 180cm and will look to dominate the ruck battle with her extra experience, whilst drifting forward to provide a target inside 50 for the Devils midfielders to aim at. Another overager sure to provide that added experience is Tahlia Bortignon with the 19-year-old named on a wing for this match. You would be a brave person to tip against Oakleigh given the Chargers’ Round 1 match, but this game will be more about seeing a host of new young stars living out their dreams of playing in an elite youth competition by the Devils making their debut in the competition.

WESTERN JETS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS
Saturday, March 7, 1.15pm
RMIT University Bundoora

Following on from the Knights-Falcons clash at Bundoora is the battle between Western Jets and Murray Bushrangers. In Round 1, the Jets triumphed for the first time in their history when they toppled Bendigo Pioneers at Queen Elizabeth Oval by 22 points. The next day, Murray succumbed to a rampaging Oakleigh side by 50 points. Though one positive that could come out of that game from a scoreboard perspective was the fact that after conceding seven consecutive goals, the home team booted the last three goals of the match to avoid it being a potentially worse scoreline. Heading into this match minus their top key forward in Olivia Barber (concussion), the Bushrangers will need to utilise their smalls to hit the scoreboard and cause havoc for a Western defence that is well drilled based on the first round. The Jets were able to balance their ball use from the back 50 to the attacking 50 with some nice running ability, and did well around the stoppages despite conceding height in the ruck and thus the hitouts. Both teams favour a kick-first gamestyle which means we could potentially witness plenty of end-to-end football in this game. Leading the way last week for the Jets were bottom-agers, Montana Ham (19 disposals, seven marks, five inside 50s and three rebounds) and Charlotte Baskaran (19 disposals, seven tackles, four inside 50s and five rebounds), while new top-ager Amelia Velardo looked impressive with her athletic ability on her way to 16 disposals and three inside 50s, as well as four hitouts going up against taller opponents. With Isabelle Pritchard playing across all thirds of the ground, she is the star prospect for the 2020 group at Western and will be hard to combat in the middle. The Bushrangers also have some AFL Women’s Academy members with top-ager Abby Favell working through the midfield and Ally Morphett switching between ruck and forward. Mindy Quade will play an important role down in defence, whilst Mikayla Jones and Zali Spencer were another couple of players who stood up in defeat last round. Western brings winning form into this match and would be a good chance to go 2-0, though the Bushrangers always find something special.

CALDER CANNONS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS
Saturday, March 7, 1.45pm
RAMS Arena

The final game of the round is another huge clash between two sides with good form. Calder Cannons fell a goal short of victory against Northern in the first round of action, and return to their homeground, RAMS Arena to take on a Dandenong Stingrays side that was the surprise packet of Round 1. It was not necessarily the fact that the Stingrays won that was the surprise, but the fact that they did it so convincingly in the end – 50 points – against an Eastern Ranges side with plenty of talent. Stingrays coach, Dave Carden said post-game that it was important the club looked to improve from the Round 1 performance in terms of their stoppage position, but he was impressed with their clean hands and ball movement – something that will be crucial if they are to cause an upset against last year’s grand finalists. The Cannons midfield is well established, with middle-ager Georgie Prespakis and fellow 2003-born Emelia Yessir assisting captain, Laura Cocomello in the middle. Jessica Zakkour was the Cannons’ best last round with two goals from 18 touches and eight tackles, whilst the key defensive combination of Tamsin Crook and Kasey Lennox one of the best in the competition. It will also be important to combat the Stingrays’ talls with Georgia Grimmer out of this match, but Serene Vudiniabola (two goals in Round 1) able to crunch packs and bring the ball to ground for the likes of Ashleigh Richards (two goals) and Jaide Anthony (one). Tyanna Smith is the midfielder to watch on the Stingrays’ side, dominating last week and along with Abbey Jordan, provides some incredible running power out of that onball group. The Cannons have some targets inside 50 themselves with Charlotte Clayton (three goals) and Freda Puruntatameri (one) both looking dangerous last week. These teams are very evenly matched based on the first round statistics with no more than six differential between any of the major stats heading into the Round 2 clash. This is a buckle-up and get ready game because both these teams will take it right up to the other making it a real spectacle for the onlookers.

2020 NAB League Girls Team of the Week: Round 1

IN a new-look amalgamation of Draft Central‘s Team of the Week and player notes, we name our Round 1 NAB League Girls’ Team of the Week and explain why each player has been chosen. The 24-player team returns with three emergencies this year, and it was an even spread across the board. All notes are opinion-based of the individual Draft Central writer. Round 1 winners, Oakleigh Chargers, Northern Knights and Geelong Falcons all had three players in the Team of the Week, while fellow winners, Dandenong Stingrays, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Western Jets had two apiece. Narrow losers in Round 1, Calder Cannons and Sandringham Dragons had two each as well, as did Gippsland Power, while Bendigo Pioneers, Eastern Ranges and Murray Bushrangers had the one representative. Factoring in emergencies, Oakleigh Chargers had the most players overall with four, while Sandringham and Western moved up to three.

BACKS:

Crystal Summers (GWV Rebels) – 13 disposals, 5 marks, 3 tackles, 1 inside 50, 6 rebounds
The rebounding defender was lively throughout the contest, being a constant threat coming off half-back and pushing up the ground to be a key reason behind the Rebels’ success on the weekend. She was calm and composed with ball-in-hand and generally made the right decisions as one of the standouts.

Mindy Quade (Murray Bushrangers) – 9 disposals, 2 marks, 1 tackle, 1 inside 50, 8 rebounds
Her vision off half-back and spotting the ball in transition was a highlight, as she stood up under fierce pressure from the Chargers during the Bushrangers’ loss. She was often the first to intercept and disrupted the offensive flow inside defensive 50.

Nyakoat Dojiok (GWV Rebels) – 10 disposals, 3 marks, 7 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 2 rebounds
Always having more impact than the statistics might suggest, Dojiok had a number of impressive runs down the ground and took the game on with eye-catching speed and evasion. She still has plenty of development left in her, but has clearly improved over the past couple of seasons and is hard to stop when she gets going.

HALF-BACKS:

Sarah Hartwig (Sandringham Dragons) – 14 disposals, 5 marks, 1 tackle, 2 inside 50s, 4 rebounds
The standout player on the day despite being on the losing side, Hartwig was a force in defence with a number of intercept marks and rebounds, with one passage of play in particular standing out where she hit the ball at full speed, collected it cleanly, sidestepped an opponent and kicked neatly inside 50.

Mackenzie Eardley (Dandenong Stingrays) – 9 disposals, 2 marks, 5 tackles, 4 rebounds
The centre half-back certainly stood tall in the back six despite being a bottom-ager, taking a number of contested grabs, or providing a contest where she was able to calmly clear the ball under pressure. She also laid a massive tackle to win a free kick and it led to her side kicking a goal off that chain of possessions.

Charlotte Baskaran (Western Jets) – 19 disposals, 1 mark, 7 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 5 rebounds
A clean user of the ball, Baskaran would roam up and down the ground providing great service between the arcs and dropping back to help her defenders with the natural half-back another bottom-ager in the side.

CENTRES:

Darcy Moloney (Geelong Falcons) – 28 disposals, 6 tackles, 2 inside 50s
She was a force in midfield for the Falcons during their win, often releasing teammates in space with her run and carry and quick handballs to open up passages of play down the field. A dominant player early, Moloney finds space where very few can and is quick to release by hand or foot, and equally as damaging defensively, laying some big tackles.

Tyanna Smith (Dandenong Stingrays) – 26 disposals, 4 marks, 5 tackles, 6 inside 50s, 2 rebounds, 1 goal
Absolutely outstanding performance, particularly in the second quarter where she constantly attacked going inside 50, then snapped one of the goal’s of the round close to the boundary line. Also did a number of defensive things right with some big tackles around the ground.

Mimi Hill (Oakleigh Chargers) – 29 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 5 inside 50s
The captain starred in her side’s big win over Murray with a second-high round of 29 disposals, and was often seen pumping the ball inside 50, showing clean hands and precision disposal. One of the top performers across the entire weekend.

HALF-FORWARDS:

Jessica Zakkour (Calder Cannons) – 18 disposals, 2 marks, 8 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 3 rebounds, 2 goals
Rotated between midfield and forward, often sneaking out the back to find space and capitalise, whilst showing some terrific defensive pressure. Was arguably Calder’s best in the narrow loss to Northern, and found plenty of the football while laying eight tackles.

Montana Ham (Western Jets) – 19 disposals, 7 marks, 2 tackles, 5 inside 50s, 3 rebounds
Got our full votes for her performance in Western’s win over Bendigo, looking impressive across the ground with her movement and ability to drive the ball forward in transition. She seemed to be everywhere on the ground and despite being a bottom-ager racked up a game-high 19 touches, and had the play of the game with a multiple-bounce effort down the wing kicking forward which almost led to a goal.

Eliza McNamara (Sandringham Dragons) – 20 disposals, 3 marks, 8 tackles, 6 inside 50s
Played between midfield and half-forward, McNamara had the most disposals on the ground in Sandringham’s loss to the Rebels. Her defensive pressure and running ability is elite, and she just keeps pushing throughout the four quarters to try and do everything she can for her side. She worked tirelessly for the Dragons applying tackles and looking inside 50.

FORWARDS:

Alice O’Loughlin (Oakleigh Chargers) – 18 disposals, 3 marks, 1 inside 50, 3 goals
Her timing and speed off the mark caught the eye inside 50, making the most of her opportunities in front of goal. She used the space around her well to find the football and took advantage of the loose ball inside 50 to capitalise with three majors.

Alyssa Bannan (Northern Knights) – 11 disposals, 4 marks, 1 tackle, 2 inside 50s, 5 goals
Kicked a round-high five goals and looks a good candidate for one of the top goalkickers this season, taking a number of good grabs with her vertical leap and athleticism the highlight. It was clear that defenders cannot allow Bannan to get goalside or she will create something out of nothing with a couple of clever snaps close to goal adding to her tally on the day.

Poppy Schaap (Geelong Falcons) – 24 disposals, 3 marks, 6 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 1 goal
Started forward and roamed up the ground to be the third highest disposal winner with her ability to lay some strong tackles and show a high work rate. She just pushes time and time again across four quarters, and was rewarded with a goal, while setting up a number of teammates with scoring opportunities.

RUCKS:

Matilda Van Berkel (Gippsland Power) – 15 disposals, 6 marks, 4 tackles, 3 inside 50s, 2 rebounds, 28 hitouts
The standout Gippsland Power player in the loss to Geelong Falcons, Van Berkel had to step up to play ruck and was ultra-impressive with a round-high 28 hitouts, as well as finding plenty of the football around the ground with strength overhead and an ability to cover the ground well with hard running.

Brooke Hards (Bendigo Pioneers) – 18 disposals, 4 marks, 7 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 2 rebounds
The Pioneers’ co-captain picked up where she left off last season, being a shining light in her side’s loss to the Jets. Hards was constantly getting involved either offensively or defensively, and was fierce around the stoppages. She had a team-high 18 touches and as she has become known for, laid a truckload of tackles in the process.

Laura Gardiner (Geelong Falcons) – 38 disposals, 1 mark, 14 tackles, 5 inside 50s, 1 rebound, 1 goal
Our Draft Central Player of the Week for Round 1, Gardiner was simply unstoppable with a ridiculous 38 touches and 14 tackles, pumping the ball in time and time again, and helping free up her teammates around the ground. She ran at a 50 per cent balance between kicks and handballs, and while most of her touches were often in possession chains, her work rate showed just how much she works around the ground.

INTERCHANGE:

Jess Fitzgerald (Northern Knights) – 15 disposals, 1 mark, 2 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 3 rebounds
Last year’s best-on in the grand final started her 2020 year with a strong performance, moving well around the ground and showing off her speed in close and precision kicking. She possesses good footy IQ and was one of the best Knights on the day during their win over the Cannons.

Eliza James (Oakleigh Chargers) – 18 disposals, 4 marks, 5 tackles, 7 inside 50s, 1 goal
Showed clean hands and vision by propelling the ball inside 50 and finding targets in there with a massive seven inside 50s. She also provided plenty of defensive pressure with strong tackling and forcing errors from the Bushrangers, working well through the midfield to drive the ball in transition.

Olivia Meagher (Eastern Ranges) – 16 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 2 rebounds
It was not a great day for Eastern, but Meagher never gave in as she battled and bruised her way through four quarters for her side. She showed great leadership and tried to will her side on, laying crunching tackles and bumps, often bouncing straight up or off opponents with a hungry desire to win the ball. Meagher also tried getting the ball down the field to set up scoring opportunities and was a standout for her team.

Ellie McKenzie (Northern Knights) – 12 disposals, 4 marks, 3 tackles, 4 inside 50s
Another player who had a great impact that stats might suggest, McKenzie kept battling on the inside and then going forward with her strength and power a highlight during Round 1. She adds a great dimension to the Knights’ midfield and she was able to win the ball in tight, extract it and get the ball out, going on a couple of short runs to try and break down the opposition defensive structures.

Shanara Notman (Gippsland Power) – 11 disposals, 3 marks, 2 tackles, 1 inside 50, 5 rebounds, 2 hitouts
The Gippsland Power overager showed why she was a terrific choice to come back as a 19-year-old player this year, standing tall in the face of a wave of Falcons attacks, with great strength in the air and ability to move the ball out of defence. She sold a bit of candy in the process and was rock solid back there in defeat.

Georgie Prespakis (Calder Cannons) – 19 disposals, 1 mark, 3 tackles, 3 inside 50s, 3 rebounds
The highly-touted prospect had a solid game to start the season, not often getting too much free space, but still finding her fair share of the ball through the midfield. She was thrown around into different positions but still had an impact, and her work rate between the arcs was really impressive.

EMERGENCIES:

Alice Burke (Sandringham Dragons) – 15 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 3 rebounds
The potential St Kilda father-daughter selection stood up in big moments and makes the trio of most unlucky to miss players after a solid performance. She can play just about anywhere and is able to break up the play with her ability to find space and short kick to teammates on angles to disrupt the opposition’s zones.

Amelia James (Oakleigh Chargers) – 19 disposals, 1 tackle, 3 inside 50s, 6 hitouts, 2 goals
We could have included a heap of Oakleigh Chargers and James was the next one in line after an impressive two-goal performance inside 50. She is in her top-age year and showed she can pinch-hit in the ruck as well.

Amelia Velardo (Western Jets) – 16 disposals, 3 inside 50s, 1 rebound, 4 hitouts
An eye-catching player across the ground and new into the team, Velardo showed some good athleticism coming out of the ruck at times and had a really busy start to the game in Western’s win against Bendigo. She was able to drive the ball forward and be amongst it in close, often firing out quick handballs to teammates in space.

DRAFT CENTRAL’S NAB LEAGUE GIRLS TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 1

B: Crystal Summers (GWV) – Mindy Quade (MB) – Nyakoat Dojiok (GWV)
HB: Sarah Hartwig (SD) – Mackenzie Eardley (DS) – Charlotte Baskaran (WJ)
C: Darcy Moloney (GF) – Tyanna Smith (DS) – Mimi Hill (OC)
HF: Jessica Zakkour (CC) – Montana Ham (WJ) – Eliza McNamara (SD)
F: Alice O’Loughlin (OC) – Alyssa Bannan (NK) – Poppy Schaap (GF)
R: Matilda Van Berkel (GP) – Brooke Hards (BP) – Laura Gardiner (GF)
INT: Jess Fitzgerald (NK) – Eliza James (OC) – Olivia Meagher (ER) – Ellie McKenzie (NK) – Shanara Notman (GP) – Georgie Prespakis (CC)
EMG: Alice Burke (SD) – Amelia James (OC) – Amelia Velardo (WJ)

OTHERS CONSIDERED:

It was a really even round of performances this weekend, with a number of players making the shortlist for the team but just missing out. Among them were Calder Cannons’ duo Tamsin Crook and Emelia Yassir, Sandringham Dragons’ duo Winnie Laing and Pia Staltari, GWV Rebels’ duo Renee Saulitis and Lilli Condon, Northern Knights’ Ash Snow, Geelong Falcons’ Elizabeth Dowling, Bendigo Pioneers’ Jemma Finning, Eastern Ranges’ Jorja Livingston and Dandenong Stingrays’ Georgia Grimmer.

Oakleigh charges home with seven consecutive goals

THE opening round of the 2020 NAB League Girls saw Oakleigh Chargers produce a stellar win to start the season on the ultimate high, defeating Murray Bushrangers by 50 points, 11.9 (75) to 4.1 (25). While it was a fairly even contest between the arcs, the Bushrangers were unable to stop the Chargers inside 50 with a plethora of goalkickers peppering the posts throughout. Oakleigh had a much bigger presence on field, seeming to have more numbers around the footy and using the ball well inside 50 to find good space and put goals on the board.

It was a fast and convincing start from the Chargers who were quick to get on the board, with Alice O’Loughlin booting her first of the day. While the Bushies put in a solid effort defensively, with Mindy Quade leading the way with eight rebounds and nine disposals, they could not stop the Chargers’ numbers forward and were outmarked by Oakleigh’s clean hands with the side combining for 27. The Chargers impressed in their forward half when they turned to defence, shutting down the Bushrangers as they attempted to transition through the midfield and rendering the side unable to cleanly enter their forward 50. Oakleigh’s O’Loughlin and Mimi Hill lead the charge, collecting seven and six disposals respectively, while Murray’s Mikayla Jones collected a solid pack mark toward the end of the quarter to prove the Bushies had plenty left in the tank. 

Another goal from O’Loughlin started the second quarter on a high, with a step to the right and kick around the body straight through the posts. The Chargers continued to apply pressure on every ball from the Bushrangers, forcing the Bushies to bomb kicks inside 50 in hope of finding forward options. While they shanked a few opportunities in front of the big sticks, Sophia McCarthy aimed true, booting Murray’s first of the match. The Chargers seemed to be second guessing themselves in the second quarter, with the Bushrangers disrupting the Chargers’ transition down field a lot better and and pressuring better up the ground – though Oakleigh still booted three goals for the quarter in a solid display of forward pressure, leading all stats at half-time with Hill on 17 touches by the main change.

A massive third quarter from the Chargers  saw the side well and truly run away with the match. While the Bushrangers entered the second half with new vigour, the third quarter was all for the Chargers, booting five goals nil and well and truly controlling the match. With the defensive pressure still on and Quade snatching up an impressive smother, the Chargers had to work hard for the footy inside 50. Amelia James (19 disposals, six hitouts, two goals) booted her first of two within the first five minutes of the quarter, with Chargers forming a solid connection and chain of events downfield after a missed opportunity from the Bushrangers. James was on the end of the chain, evading defenders for an impressive goal. Stella Reid also put in a solid effort in front of goal, adding two more goals to the tally. Both sides brought the physicality in the third, with the Bushrangers leading the tackle count at three quarter time.

Oakleigh was poised for a dominant finish against the Bushrangers coming into the final quarter, but the Bushies were not to be disregarded, proving they still had plenty left in the tank and bringing a new intensity to the fray, shutting down their back 50 in the final quarter to reduce the margin and deny the Chargers any more goals. The Bushrangers had a lucky start to the quarter with a set shot inside 50 converted to a 50m penalty and kick in the goalsquare for Olivia Cicolini. The goals well and truly set the Bushies in motion, and while the Chargers continued to show the same great forward pressure they just kept missing the mark but still did what they could to mark it hard for the Bushrangers to stay clean. A solid goal from Olivia Barber kept the Bushies pushing forward though she was helped off the field by trainers moments later, having suffered concussion. Barber did not re-enter the field for the rest of the match, and a goal from Chloe Locke to finish out the game saw Murray come away with some semblance of victory, well and truly winning the final quarter despite going scoreless in the first and third.

Overall, Oakleigh was far too good on the day with plenty of standout performers getting the job done. Hill (29 disposals, five inside 50s, three tackles and two marks) and O’Loughlin (three goals, 18 disposals, three marks) were the clear bests, while Eliza James collected 18 touches, five tackles, seven inside 50s and booted a goal in a solid outing. Murray’s Zali Spencer (nine disposals, seven tackles, two rebounds) and Jones (12 disposals, five inside 50s) also put up solid efforts while Quade impressed down back. Murray were well and truly blown away in the possession count but otherwise finished well in the tackles and hitout stats, only one down in both by the end of the game. 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS: 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 4.1 (25)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS: 2.2 | 5.5 | 11.7 | 11.9 (75)

GOALS:

Murray: S. McCarthy, O. Cicolini, O. Barber, C. Locke.
Oakleigh: A. O’Loughlin 3, A. James, S. Reid 2, E. James, S. Morley, J. Lin, R. Thiele.

BEST:

Murray: Z. Spencer, M. Jones, M. Quade, O. Barber, A. Morphett
Oakleigh: M. Hill, A. O’Loughlin, E. James, A. James, J. Lin

DC Medal:

5 – Mimi Hill (OC)
4 – Alice O’Loughlin (OC)
3 – Eliza James (OC)
2 – Amelia James (OC)
1 – Zali Spencer (MB)

NAB League Girls preview: Round 1 – New talent to shine in opening round of action

NAB League Girls action is back on the agenda this weekend with a grand final rematch among a host of expected tight contests with all sides back on level pegging at 0-0 to start the season and hoping to kick-off their seasons with wins.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. CALDER CANNONS
Saturday, February 29, 10:15am
RMIT University Bundoora

The first game of the round is a fitting opener to the new NAB League Girls season, with Northern Knights hosting Calder Cannons at a refurbished RMIT University ground in the 2019 Grand Final rematch. The Knights had five players drafted last year, with the remainder signed up for state league level football in 2020, while the Cannons just had the two, but had a number of players on the periphery. Both these sides have plenty of talent with the Knights potentially a year ahead in development, finishing runner-up in 2018 before winning last year, while the Cannons made the grand final last season, and will be hoping to build on that this year. The Knights have five players in the National AFL Women’s Academy, led by Ellie McKenzie and last year’s grand final best on ground medallist, Jess Fitzgerald who are both amongst a strong midfield core. Fellow Academy member, Maeve Chaplin is also named onball, while Maykaylah Appleby will run down the wings as the sole middle-age Academy member. Alyssa Bannan is a leading target and strong overhead named at centre half-forward, and a battle with the likes of key backs, Tamsin Crook and Tahlia Gillard – the latter of whom is in the AFL Women’s Academy too will be a match-up to watch. The name that will always catch the eye is Georgie Prespakis, a 2021 draft prospect and sister of Carlton Rising Star, Madison. She is capable of anything and her battle with McKenzie will be intriguing. The Cannons also have some serious depth at their disposal, with Emelia Yassir and Kasey Lennox another couple of youngsters who made their debuts last season and looked at home. With Freda Puruntatameri playing with Palmerston in the NTFL Women’s competition up forward for the Cannons, there is plenty of X-factor there too.

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS
Saturday, February 29, 11:30am
City Oval Ballarat

Up in Ballarat, the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels host the Sandringham Dragons in a battle between two sides who should improve on their 2019 placings. Both sides have a number of AFL Women’s Academy member with the Rebels (five) and the Dragons (three) both having some serious top-end talent. The Rebels have a strong spine with Maggie Caris likely to be the top ruck in the competition this year with her height and tap work causing problems for the opposition. Renee Saulitis has played up forward and down back, but is named in the middle, with her athleticism and ability to sidestep opponents a feature of her game. Along with Isabella Simmons who has also been named through the midfield, all three Academy members are very different and add varied elements to the game style. They will face an equally impressive midfield of Dragons’ captain Winnie Laing, potential St Kilda father-daughter selection, Alice Burke and Bella Eddey who provide a real hard edge to the onball brigade. Sarah Hartwig is one of a couple of premier rebounding defenders, reading the ball in flight so well and able to create a lot of offensive run while nullifying her opponent defensively. Playing at half-forward is Eliza McNamara who is a tackling machine and elite runner, who will work her opponent over, while Abbi Moloney lines up at full-forward to try and clunk a few grabs by outmuscling her opponent one-on-one. The Rebels will look to run the ball out of defence through Nyakoat Dojiok who is a 2021 draft prospect in the Academy, while Chloe Leonard has been named at full-forward for the Rebels who will look to have a spread of goalkickers rather than a dominant target.

GEELONG FALCONS v. GIPPSLAND POWER
Saturday, February 29, 12:00pm
RMIT University Bundoora 

After its first finals loss last season, Geelong Falcons return to the NAB League Girls with a hunger to get back to the heights of 2018, starting off the 2020 season with a clash against Gippsland Power. The Power have a lot of players who were able to run out last season and will be more experienced in 2020, so they will no doubt look to push the Falcons who have plenty of young players themselves. Geelong’s duo of Darcy Moloney and Laura Gardiner will be damaging through the midfield as the Falcons’ two AFL Women’s National Academy members. Joined in the middle by basketballer Carly Remmos, the Falcons have a strong foundation to continue the success of past years. Elizabeth Dowling is a name that will be raised over the next couple of years, and along with Renee Tierney as targets up forward and Poppy Schaap‘s defensive pressure, the Falcons are in a good shape going forward. Mia Van Dyke is one of a number of prospects who have come through the club’s V/Line Cup program and despite being just three days away from being a 2023 draft eligible prospect (only turned 15 in December), she is one of a number who have come through the pathway with some high wraps from the coaching staff. Gippsland has some familiar names in its line-up, led by midfielder and AFL Women’s Academy member, Megan Fitzsimon. She, along with Grace McRae forms a strong midfield duo in there, and will compete strongly for the contested ball. In defence, Shanara Notman returns as a 19-year-old named at centre half-back and will provide some good rebound there, right alongside Leyla Berry who played for the Power back in 2018. On the other flank is a familiar Power name with Yasmin Duursma (sister of Port Adelaide’s Xavier), while when talking about bottom-age talent, Lily-Rose Williamson is one who will be a standout along a win having starred for the club through the V/Line Cup in past years.

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. WESTERN JETS
Saturday, February 29, 12:50pm
Queen Elizabeth Oval 

Turning the attention to Bendigo, the Pioneers host Western Jets in a curtain raiser to the AFL Women’s clash between Richmond and Geelong. Bendigo has the one official AFL Women’s National Academy member in key defender Tara Slender, but have a midfield that will trouble opposition onballers. Brooke Hards and Annabel Strahan have both been named onball and the co-captains will provide a hard-edge to the midfield and be difficult to beat there. Along with Maeve Tupper who has some impressive athletic skills and great goal sense when up forward, the midfield is a strength for the Pioneers. Jemma Finning has been named at half-back to provide some run out of defence with Slender, while up forward, Hannah Stewart is a target inside 50 as a 19-year-old. The Jets have opted to throw rebounding defender, Isabelle Pritchard into the midfield to counteract the Pioneers’ onball and develop her game even further. Along with bottom-age tall, Montana Ham and Nikita Wright in the middle, the Jets have some good height and ball-winning ability in there with upside. A highly rated bottom-ager with Ham is Charlotte Baskaran who is considered elite with her foot skills and decision making, so will be one to watch coming off half-back where she has been named. Both these sides are going to go close to winning in this tight contest with a fair few bottom-agers on show, though Bendigo should be more prepared after their top-agers had consistency through the team as middle-agers last season.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. EASTERN RANGES
Sunday, March 1,  11:00am
Holm Park Recreation Reserve 

In a rewind to 2018, Dandenong Stingrays and Eastern Ranges return to Holm Park in Beaconsfield to open their seasons on Sunday. While both played different opponents on that day two years ago, they will both be hoping for more ideal temperatures than the 37 degrees on that day. The Stingrays are coming off a solid season in 2019. just missing out on finals, while Eastern reached the post-season series and pushed eventual premiers, Northern Knights all the way in the preliminary final clash. The Stingrays’ standout prospect in 2020 is Tyanna Smith, with the AFL Women’s National Academy member having the combination of speed and strength in the middle, which she will use to burst out of the stoppages and create scoring opportunities for her team. Abbey Jordan showed last season she can win the ball through the middle, while young talls, Jaide Anthony and Georgia Grimmer up forward provide a glimpse into the future for the Stingrays having come through the V/Line Cup program. Down back, the ever-reliable Zoe Hill is alongside Jemma Radford, while Serene Vudiniabola comes highly rated as an overager who played school footy last year and is tied to Old Haileybury. Eastern Ranges pack a punch in the midfield as well, with Olivia Meagher and Tarni Brown the club’s two AFL Women’s Academy members. With ruck, Jess Grace likely to get first hands to them more often than not, the contested ball-winning Meagher and slick Brown will give their forwards some nice feeds inside 50. Matilda Hardy has been named at half-forward as one to watch, while Mietta Kendall is a reliable source of calmness in the back pocket, and Lily Peacock named as one to watch with her run along the wing.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS
Sunday, March 1, 1:00pm
Norm Minns Oval 

The final game of the round is another curtain raiser, this time for the Collingwood and Richmond AFL Marsh Series clash at Wangaratta. A big crowd is expected in attendance for the game, with two teams expected to improve in 2020 to battle it out. Murray Bushrangers and Oakleigh Chargers both had some superb performances last season, but had to iron out some consistency issues at times. Both having a number of talents coming through the ranks this season, the Bushrangers had a lot of middle and bottom-agers last season who have progressed through to the next year of their youth careers. The Charges had five players drafted and will be looking to replace them through a team approach. The Chargers have three players in the AFL Women’s National Academy with captain Mimi Hill and middle-ager Charlie Rowbottom named on-ball to rove the work of ruck, Kalarni Kearns. Also in the midfield is Joanna Lin on the wing, working the ball forward to an even front six. The Bushrangers have a two-pronged tall attack with AFL Women’s Academy members, Olivia Barber (top-age) and Ally Morphett (middle-age) rotating between ruck and forward. Abby Favell is a natural ball winner and will rotate between midfield and forward, while Kate Adams is another player who can be slippery around the stoppages and find the goals when inside 50. Keeley Skepper showed last season in the Under 16 Championships that she has a lot of upside, while a number of players on both teams loom as surprise packets in what could be one of the games of the round.

Chargers excited about depth of talent

OAKLEIGH Chargers came close to making NAB League Girls finals and had five players drafted last year in a huge boost for the metropolitan club, but the development of those remaining on the list for 2020 gives the coaching staff plenty of work with this season. Chatting to Chargers’ female talent coordinator, Jennifer Phefley and head coach Luke O’Shannessy, the pair is excited about what the team can produce this season.

“Really good,” Phefley said. “We are seeing a lot of development from our younger players along with the addition of a handful of talented first year players amongst the older age groups. “The depth of talent across the whole squad makes the next few years look really exiting.”

There have been a number of top performers on the track over the pre-season and standing up are the three AFL Women’s National Academy members in captain Mimi Hill, vice-captain Joanna Lin and middle-ager Charlie Rowbottom – the sister of Sydney Swans’ James – as well as a couple of fresh faces making themselves known.

“No surprises that our AFLW Academy girls (Mimi, Jo & Charlie) have been amongst the standouts during pre-season,” O’Shannessy said. “We have also been impressed really impressed by a  couple of our first year players in Olivia Barton (19-year-old) and Lucja Boyd-Singer (top-age). “Along with the aforementioned bottom-age talent all of our middle and top-age players are being challenge to stay on top of their games.”

In describing what each of the players offer to the team, O’Shannessy said they were all very different but with high levels of competitiveness and footy smarts.

“Mimi Hill (is) one of our most consistent and competitive players,” he said. “She has the footy IQ to really impact games with intercept marks and line breaking run. She is also one of the best contested marks in the squad able to compete aerially with players taller than her. “She was captain last year (2019) as a middle age player which is a testament to her leadership both on and off the field.”

“Joanna Lin (is a) very smart outside player who covers the ground effortlessly and is extremely is extremely effective with ball in hand. “She also rarely loses a one-on-one contest.”

“Charlie Rowbottom was able to beat some draftable top-age talent as a a key back as a bottom age player in 2019 which speaks volumes about her competitive abilities. “She is a strong contested mark and a very good kick. We see some opportunity this season for her as a tall inside midfielder.”

Along with those already on the list, there have a been a couple of cross-coders who have joined the Chargers’ program with a basketballer and cricketer both opting to test their luck with the club.

Lara Edmanson comes to us as a 19 year old from an elite basketball background,” O’Shannessy said. “She is currently involved in the Melbourne Boomers squad. “Jasmine Fleming (is the) daughter of Damien Fleming, is an excellent cricketer involved in state and national teams. “She is currently a bottom-age player but will hopefully feature later in the season and over the next couple of years.”

Over the pre-season, Oakleigh has managed a couple of practice matches against Dandenong Stingrays and Eastern Ranges in the lead-up to the 2020 season. After showing terrific leadership both on and off the field, Hill has been chosen to captain the side once again, with last year’s best and fairest winner, Lin as her vice-captain. Rowbottom, Kalarni Kearns and Eliza James all join the leadership group for the season ahead.

Leading up to Round 1, Phefley said she was looking forward to seeing the depth of talent on show with the club having built up its talent over the past few years like all regions with the abilities improving across the board.

“The depth of talent in our squad is one of our major strengths,” she said. “The squad is also well balanced in that players are extremely versatile in their ability to play through multiple lines. Another strength for our squad lies in the consistency of the playing group, as a high percentage have been with us for multiple seasons now.”

Oakleigh Chargers begin their 2020 campaign with a road trip to Wangaratta to take on Murray Bushrangers from 1pm on Sunday, They then fly to Hobart for the Tasmania Devils’ inaugural clash in Round 2, a bye in Round 3 and an early morning clash with rivals, Sandringham Dragons in Round 4.

AFLW U18 Championships preview: Vic Country vs. Vic Metro

VICTORIA’S top under-age female footballers lock horns in the final game of the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships Series One. Vic Country takes on Vic Metro at Avalon Airport Oval tomorrow, with both sides packed to the brim with talent. After facing off in the NAB League Girls competition all year, the best of the best now team up for state pride as they prepare for Series Two of the competition up on the Gold Coast in a fortnight. We take a look at both sides and analyse the key strengths of the teams.

Note: The game will be live streamed via the NAB League website with commentary from Under-18 and VFLW commentator Matthew Cocks, and Draft Central Chief Editor Peter Williams.

VIC COUNTRY

B: 10. Sophie Locke – 22. Millie Brown – 30. Daisy Smith
HB: 19. Brooke Vernon – 14. Abbey Chapman – 15 Isabella Shannon
C: 12. Tyanna Smith – 23. Lucy McEvoy – 13. Molly McDonald
HF: 3. Paige Sheppard – 27. Shanara Notman – 24. Isabella Simmons
F: 4. Renee Saulitis – 25. Olivia Barber – 9. Darcy Moloney
R: 29. Maggie Caris – 11. Brooke Hards – 5. Luka Lesosky-Hay
INT: 21. Sophie Molan – 1. Elise Vella – 28. Georgia Howes – 18. Kate Douglass – 6. Laura Gardiner – 16. Renee Tierney

Vic Country is unsurprisingly packed with 2018 premiers and 2019 finalists, Geelong Falcons, with nine of the 24 players named in the Country squad from the Falcons team. Given exciting forward Mia Skinner is injured, their representation could well have reached double figures for the Aasta O’Connor-coached side. The aspects to like about Vic Country will be their defence, hardness at the ball and the X-factor up forward.

1. Defence

The Country side has two genuine lockdown talls who can also provide some rebound in Abbey Chapman and Kate Douglass, while Millie Brown – named at full-back is an offensive defender with a terrific set of hands and can push up into the midfield to provide support. Brooke Vernon was the best rebounding medium defender this year and having her at half-back will be an asset, while seeing Isabella Shannon named in the back half is a surprise, but just shows her versatility having played mostly through midfield and up forward. She does have the capacity to drop back into the hole in defence, and no doubt she will be required to do so with the tall Metro attack likely to stretch the defence. Sophie Locke will likely lock down on a smaller opponent – perhaps Nicola Xenos or Jess Fitzgerald when forward – while Daisy Smith can do the same, although she is more likely to play tall. Given the height and marking ability of the Metro side, they might need three talls in defence to counteract Metro’s strength in the air.

2. Hardness at the ball

If you look at the starting five midfield of Brooke Hards, Luka Lesosky-Hay, Tyanna Smith, Lucy McEvoy and Molly McDonald, the first thing that comes to mind is – you would not want to be an opposition midfielder. They attack the ball hard, and will rack up the contested ball and is an area they can exploit Metro. Smith has a point of difference with her pace, as does the outside run of Elise Vella coming off the bench, but the speed that Metro possesses will trouble the Country side. It is why winning it at the coalface is so important, and McEvoy, Hards and McDonald in particular will not take a backwards step, being captains and potential future captain of their respective NAB League girls clubs. With Maggie Caris in the ruck, the midfield will get first look at it more often than not, and that midfield also includes the likes of Sophie Molan and Laura Gardiner coming off the bench, as well as Paige Sheppard and Darcy Moloney who can rotate through there, as can Shannon and Brown.

3. X-factor up forward

The named Vic Country forward line is almost one to watch for 2020, with four of the six starting forwards not eligible to be drafted until next year. The two exceptions are Shanara Notman – an exciting key position player with a huge leap and terrific hands, who has spent time in defence this year for Gippsland Power after sitting out last year – and Paige Sheppard – who is one of the better kicks in the team, setting up forward plays with great precision kicking and vision. Otherwise, the remaining four still have plenty of time to develop, with Olivia Barber one of the most exciting key forwards coming through, able to make the right leads and clunk marks, just needing to iron out her set shots at times. Isabella Simmons is a tall prospect with good athleticism who roams up to the wing and can play tall or small at ground level, while Darcy Moloney and Renee Saulitis are clever forwards who if you give them an inch will take a mile. Moloney has spent time in the midfield for the Falcons this year, while Saulitis has also proven to be a more than capable defender, so versatility is something the Country side has in spades. The forward line has the nice balance of talls and smalls, and of course chuck in Renee Tierney and Georgia Howes off the bench – Howes will also share the ruck load with Caris – and there is plenty of scoring potential there.

VIC METRO

B: 2. Felicity Theodore – 28. Isabelle Pritchard – 14. Laura McClelland
HB: 22. Sarah Hartwig – 20. Sarah Sansonetti – 12. Alice Burke
C: 8. Mimi Hill – 13. Britney Gutknecht – 17. Georgia Patrikios
HF: 26. Gabrielle Newton – 29. Cleo Saxon-Jones – 24. Isabella Grant
F: 15. Alyssa Bannan – 23. Nell Morris-Dalton – 4. Nicola Xenos
R: 27. Molly Denahy Moloney – 3. Gemma Lagioia – 21. Ellie McKenzie
INT: 19. Marguerite Purcell – 5. Elisabeth Georgostathis – 34. Jessica Fitzgerald – 10. Alana Barba – 18. Emma Horne – 9. Bella Eddey

Vic Metro will head into this game pretty confident following their win over Vic Country last year as arguable underdogs. This year they will likely go in as favourites, but it is predicted to be a tight contest. There are quite a few reasons for their favouritism, but the forward line marking ability is the number one aspect, while others include their speed, and intercept marking.

1. Marks inside 50

The Metro side has a dynamic forward line, with many incredibly athletic at ground level and can impress in the air or at ground level. The two that are the genuine key position players – Cleo-Saxon Jones and Nell Morris-Dalton – are arguably the two best contested marks in the competition this year, and throwing them into attack with Gabby Newton, Isabella Grant and Alyssa Bannan means the attack has a massive advantage for high balls coming in. The Vic Country defence will need to be on their guard with the forward line also capable of pushing up the ground and rotating through the midfield with any one of those five capable of playing as a key position player, while all have the possibility of giving a chop out in the ruck. Nicola Xenos is the sixth forward, who adds more speed at ground level and can also play out of defence or along the wing. Emma Horne, Jess Fitzgerald or Bella Eddey are all named on the bench, and the trio can add that smaller element to the forward mix, particularly Eddey who can play tall or small with plenty of X-factor.

2. Speed

Having already spoke about Vic Country’s advantage on the inside, Vic Metro’s advantage is on the outside, and particularly with speed. Most of the starting midfield has serious wheels, with Gemma Lagioia, Ellie McKenzie and Mimi Hill all capable to taking off on runs. Georgia Patrikios is the most agile player in the competition, so expect her to use her trademark sidestep to get around opponents, while Britney Gutknecht can also get herself out of trouble. While Country does have more hardness on the inside, McKenzie and Gutknecht will form the same bond they did in the Knights’ premiership side, looking to extract the ball out to their runners, or take the game on themselves. Fitzgerald is another who adds to the speed and is one of the best kicks in the side, while Marguerite Purcell also adds some outside run. Alana Barba was one of the most prolific tacklers in the NAB League Girls competition, so she will assists Gutknecht and McKenzie rotating off the bench, while Elisabeth Georgostathis will likely spend time through the midfield and rotate with Alice Burke off half-back. If the Vic Country midfield gets on top on the inside, do not be surprised to see Georgostathis and Burke thrown into the middle with Gutknecht or McKenzie to add some extra grunt. Molly Denahy Moloney will hope to counteract the leap of Caris, but does have her when it comes to around the ground, with Denahy Moloney one of the better athletes among the talls.

3. Intercept marking

We talked about the strength in the air in attack, but the embarrassment of riches down back in terms of the three tall defenders is a luxury that Vic Metro has. Sarah Hartwig and Isabelle Pritchard are arguably the two best intercept markers – along with teammate Sarah Sansonetti and Country duo Brown and Chapman – and they will likely pick off anything that comes their way. They can all play as rebounding defenders or to shut down their opponent, with Sansonetti the top shutdown tall, while Hartwig is the top rebounding tall. The mix can be swapped around depending on how games play out at the championships, but to have the three – two of which are middle-age and will form the key defensive partnership next year – is something Metro coach Nathan Burke will love. With running machine Felicity Theodore and Alice Burke also back there, the Metro team have speed and defensive pressure that can run down forwards heading into goal. Laura McClelland is more often known for her ability in the forward half, but she can mark the ball and find space well, adding to the height in defence. As mentioned, Georgostathis is another player who might rotate through the defensive mix, while Barba is also known to drop back into defence at times, allowing for some versatility for the Metro coaching staff.

AFLW U18 Championships Team Profile: Vic Metro

THE final Victoria Metropolitan squad for the Under 18 National Championships has been named, with a number of strong top-age prospects set to lead the charge from some exciting middle-age guns. After looking in-depth at the Vic Country squad last week, we take a look at how each player has stacked up statistically in this year’s NAB League season, as well as what they may bring to the Metro side come game time.

 

#1 Olivia Meagher*
Eastern Ranges | Balanced Midfielder | 158cm

The zippy midfielder is as tough as they come and mixes her line-breaking speed with clearance-winning ability. Put in an exceptional Preliminary Final performance against the Knights and while she does not always accumulate the biggest numbers, Meagher can find the goals and may feature forward of centre if given an opportunity. 

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Eastern Ranges7728105140022002462711.04.015.02.00.03.10.356
2020Eastern Ranges241943400600440212.09.521.52.00.03.00.067
Total-101471481800280028102911.25.216.42.00.03.10.2123

 

#2 Felicity Theodore
Calder Cannons | Small Defender/Forward | 159cm

The reliable Cannon is one who can play a role at either end inside the arcs, rebounding well from defence and looking dangerous around goal up forward. Will be an asset at ground level and sweeps up well under the talls.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls1842220060024136.01.37.30.70.02.00.327
Total-1842220060024136.01.37.30.70.02.00.327

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Calder Cannons682391160022008143116.22.18.31.50.02.00.331
Total-682391160022008143116.22.18.31.50.02.00.331

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Essendon VFLW151025100100000035.03.38.30.30.03.30.023
Total-151025100100000035.03.38.30.30.03.30.023

 

#3 Gemma Lagioia
Oakleigh Chargers | Outside Midfielder | 160cm

A classy ball user, Lagioia is often a joy to watch. Has all the makings of a neat outside player, employed on just about every line – with time at half-forward, half-back, and through the middle. Accumulated over 15 disposals in six of her nine games.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Bulldogs32205290050059065.33.38.71.50.00.80.030
Total-32205290050059065.33.38.71.50.00.80.030

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls22103260060236037.33.310.72.00.02.00.041
Total-22103260060236037.33.310.72.00.02.00.041

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Oakleigh Chargers100531492500130027541010.05.314.92.50.01.30.456
Total-100531492500130027541010.05.314.92.50.01.30.456

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Collingwood VFLW68421102100220000397.64.712.22.30.02.40.341
Total-68421102100220000397.64.712.22.30.02.40.341

 

#4 Nicola Xenos
Oakleigh Chargers | General Defender | 161cm

Another who has spent time at either end, Xenos mixes a pressure game with ball-winning well – averaging 15.4 disposals and 5.4 tackles, while breaking each arc around two times per her eight NAB League games.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020St Kilda2432567002600107164.05.39.31.20.04.30.232
Total-2432567002600107164.05.39.31.20.04.30.232

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls211334100180344137.04.311.30.30.06.00.340
Total-211334100180344137.04.311.30.30.06.00.340

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Oakleigh Chargers6261114130040001416387.87.614.31.60.05.00.451
Total-6261114130040001416387.87.614.31.60.05.00.451

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Collingwood VFLW3832701100230000175.44.610.01.60.03.30.131
Total-3832701100230000175.44.610.01.60.03.30.131

 

#5 Elisabeth Georgostathis
Western Jets | Defender/Midfielder | 162cm

The Western Jets skipper most often plays as a classic rebounding half-back, finding a high amount of ball and bringing it out of the back half with line-breaking speed. She may find a home there at the Championships, but can also move into the midfield and provide pressure around the ball while also winning it herself. 

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Bulldogs351247500210086165.82.07.80.80.03.50.229
Total-351247500210086165.82.07.80.80.03.50.229

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls19827400140182136.32.79.01.30.04.70.337
Total-19827400140182136.32.79.01.30.04.70.337

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Western Jets138381762300380017440915.34.219.62.60.04.20.071
Total-138381762300380017440915.34.219.62.60.04.20.071

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Western Bulldogs VFLW362763900420000675.13.99.01.30.06.00.932
Total-362763900420000675.13.99.01.30.06.00.932

 

#6 Madeline Edwards
Eastern Ranges | General Defender | 164cm

The small defender has made her mark as a pressure player, averaging almost five tackles across her nine NAB League games. Not always a high disposal winner, but disposes by foot more often than not and can rebound well.

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Eastern Ranges5421758004000816096.02.38.30.90.04.40.029
Total-5421758004000816096.02.38.30.90.04.40.029

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Richmond VFLW11718700100000042.81.84.51.80.02.50.017
Total-11718700100000042.81.84.51.80.02.50.017

 

#7 Amelia Van Oosterwijck
Oakleigh Chargers | General Forward | 164cm

A tackle-happy small forward who found the goals in three of her nine NAB League games for Oakleigh, including a Round 1 haul of two. Delivered the ball inside 50 at least twice in her average of just over 11 disposals, and rarely falls below double-figures.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Bulldogs10100050000011.00.01.00.00.05.00.03
Total-10100050000011.00.01.00.00.05.00.03

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls44820060120122.02.04.01.00.03.00.520
Total-44820060120122.02.04.01.00.03.00.520

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Oakleigh Chargers61399917004600190496.84.311.01.90.05.10.442
Total-61399917004600190496.84.311.01.90.05.10.442

 

#8 Mimi Hill
Oakleigh Chargers | Midfielder/Defender | 165cm

A zippy outside player who finds plenty of the ball, making for busy work in between the arcs. Does just about everything in between delivering the ball to and from each 50, and had less than 15 disposals just twice this NAB League season. 

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Oakleigh Chargers95831682800310023170109.58.316.82.80.03.10.060
2020Oakleigh Chargers222749300400710211.013.524.51.50.02.00.072
Total-1171102173100350030180129.89.218.12.60.02.90.0132

 

#9 Bella Eddey*
Sandringham Dragons | General Forward | 165cm

Only featured in five NAB League games this season, but the middle-ager showed enough to warrant selection. Can go inside 50 well and averages just below a dozen disposals per game, with one of her best being a successful return effort against GWV (13 disposals, one goal).

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Sandringham Dragons223355700190061154.46.611.01.40.03.80.234
2020Sandringham Dragons2726539001300111239.08.717.73.00.04.30.765
Total-495910816003200172386.17.413.52.00.04.00.499

 

#10 Alana Barba
Calder Cannons | Inside Midfielder | 166cm

A tough inside midfielder who compliments her fellow Calder midfield stars well with some grunt. Has played every game for the Cannons this year, and while she can fall well below 10 disposals in some games, is more than capable of collecting over 20 in others. 

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls14620300100106034.72.06.71.00.03.30.024
Total-14620300100106034.72.06.71.00.03.30.024

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Calder Cannons7659135700780023143116.95.412.30.60.07.10.340
Total-7659135700780023143116.95.412.30.60.07.10.340

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Essendon VFLW201127300170000045.02.86.80.80.04.30.023
Total-201127300170000045.02.86.80.80.04.30.023

 

#11 Tarni Brown*
Eastern Ranges | Balanced Midfielder | 166cm

The 2020 Collingwood father-daughter prospect has more than shown her worth for Eastern this season, proving to be a consistent and balanced ball winner. Has class, but is not afraid to also do the hard work as well.

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Eastern Ranges1146517918005000331011011.46.517.91.80.05.00.161
2020Eastern Ranges212748500900521210.513.524.02.50.04.50.575
Total-1359222723005900381221211.37.718.91.90.04.90.2136

 

#12 Alice Burke*
Sandringham Dragons | Inside Midfielder | 166cm

The durable Dragon has been a picture of consistency through the engine room, hardly straying from her average disposal count of 16.5 – with a high of 20 and a low of 13. A typical inside midfielder who also tackles hard, and wins the ball at stoppages all over the ground.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls131023100110622034.33.37.70.30.03.70.029
Total-131023100110622034.33.37.70.30.03.70.029

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Sandringham Dragons94381321500490019140811.84.816.51.90.06.10.057
2020Sandringham Dragons3126578001200570310.38.719.02.70.04.00.062
Total-1256418923006100242101111.45.817.22.10.05.50.0119

 

#13 Britney Gutknecht
Northern Knights | Midfielder/Forward | 167cm

Gutknecht has adapted well to a move into the midfield, while also reminding us of her obvious forward talents when called upon – including a four-goal haul against Murray. Is a good reader of taps and attracts the ball, but may well revert back to a forward game at the championships.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Bulldogs861430070041024.03.07.01.50.03.50.027
Total-861430070041024.03.07.01.50.03.50.027

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls2293150080520037.33.010.31.70.02.70.039
Total-2293150080520037.33.010.31.70.02.70.039

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Northern Knights98681661400470028149109.86.816.61.40.04.70.960
Total-98681661400470028149109.86.816.61.40.04.70.960

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Carlton VFLW211940500220000045.34.810.01.30.05.50.029
Total-211940500220000045.34.810.01.30.05.50.029

 

#14 Laura McClelland
Eastern Ranges | General Forward | 169cm

McClelland can play above her height, leading up from half-forward and providing a good link to the forward 50. Only found the goals in three of her nine games, but gets involved and only fell below 10 disposals thrice.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Richmond131730600133021152.63.46.01.20.62.60.221
Total-131730600133021152.63.46.01.20.62.60.221

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls151530800105221235.05.010.02.71.73.30.742
Total-151530800105221235.05.010.02.71.73.30.742

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Eastern Ranges50409011003710191595.64.410.01.20.14.10.637
Total-50409011003710191595.64.410.01.20.14.10.637

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Hawthorn VFLW15924500110000043.82.36.01.30.02.80.020
Total-15924500110000043.82.36.01.30.02.80.020

 

#15 Alyssa Bannan*
Northern Knights | General Forward | 169cm

The Knights forward is dangerous inside 50 with good goal sense and positioning. Only failed to boot a goal in one of her eight games, while claiming multiples on five occassions. Had a day out against Bendigo with 18 disposals and three goals, and is dyamic when running over the back.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls1031370030010225.01.56.53.50.01.51.036
Total-1031370030010225.01.56.53.50.01.51.036

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Northern Knights5632882000301102301596.23.69.82.21.23.31.749
2020Northern Knights2716431700102071939.05.314.35.70.73.33.078
Total-834813137004013030124126.94.010.93.11.13.32.0127

 

#16 Emily Harley
Oakleigh Chargers | Utility | 169cm

The strong Oakleigh utility has played on every line this season, but looks most effective forward of centre having booted 13 goals this NAB League season – including four against Gippsland. Is a bullocking type through midfield, and her versatility could prove handy if required.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Richmond000000000000000000000
Total-000000000000000000000

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls1261830060130334.02.06.01.00.02.01.028
Total-1261830060130334.02.06.01.00.02.01.028

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Oakleigh Chargers88431263400254081113108.84.312.63.40.42.51.356
Total-88431263400254081113108.84.312.63.40.42.51.356

 

#17 Georgia Patrikios
Calder Cannons | Outside Midfielder | 170cm

While the classy Calder leader has long been a standout, Patrikios has been in a partiularly rich vein of form at the back end of the year. Stands up in big games and has the ability to hit the scoreboard from midfield. Watch for her efficient short kicking, elite agility and speedy ball carrying throughout the championships.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020St Kilda652994110020001680610.84.815.71.80.03.30.054
Total-652994110020001680610.84.815.71.80.03.30.054

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls3824627001508771312.78.020.72.30.05.00.378
Total-3824627001508771312.78.020.72.30.05.00.378

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Calder Cannons164452092700430044205918.25.023.23.00.04.80.689
Total-164452092700430044205918.25.023.23.00.04.80.689

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Essendon VFLW6326897002900002512.65.217.81.40.05.80.455
Total-6326897002900002512.65.217.81.40.05.80.455

 

#18 Emma Horne
Eastern Ranges | Balanced Midfielder | 170cm

Has been a regular in the Eastern midfield, with only a couple of outliers bringing her usually steady disposal average down. Only fell below 10 disposals twice, and had more than 15 on six occassions – with a 28-disposal effort against Gippsland her clear best return.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Richmond000000000000000000000
Total-000000000000000000000

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls10142410080212033.34.78.00.30.02.70.024
Total-10142410080212033.34.78.00.30.02.70.024

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Eastern Ranges8467151170025001741108.46.715.11.70.02.50.148
Total-8467151170025001741108.46.715.11.70.02.50.148

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Richmond VFLW561130020000022.53.05.51.50.01.00.018
Total-561130020000022.53.05.51.50.01.00.018

 

#19 Marguerite Purcell
Sandringham Dragons | Wing/Outside Midfielder | 170cm

A dangerous ball winner on the outside, Purcell has made the wing her own for Sandringham. Has had one outlying game either way in an otherwise linear run of disposals, and can deliver the ball inside 50 well.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls841220060231032.71.34.00.70.02.00.017
Total-841220060231032.71.34.00.70.02.00.017

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Sandringham Dragons6587314001400173079.31.110.42.00.02.00.041
Total-6587314001400173079.31.110.42.00.02.00.041

 

#20 Sarah Sansonetti
Northern Knights | Key Defender | 172cm

Sansonetti has thrived latter half of the season against some top opposition, holding her own in aeriel contests and with the ball in dispute. Is not the tallest key position player, so is ultra competitive at ground level and tackles hard. Likely to take the opposition’s best forward.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Richmond112637200250021061.84.36.20.30.04.20.016
Total-112637200250021061.84.36.20.30.04.20.016

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls19102950080115036.33.39.71.70.02.70.034
Total-19102950080115036.33.39.71.70.02.70.034

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Northern Knights57328980038307120105.73.28.90.80.33.80.029
Total-57328980038307120105.73.28.90.80.33.80.029

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Darebin Falcons271340900190000055.42.68.01.80.03.80.027
Total-271340900190000055.42.68.01.80.03.80.027

 

#21 Ellie McKenzie*
Northern Knights | Midfielder/Forward | 173cm

The dynamic middle-ager would have a decent highlight reel to date, and is so dangerous when positoned one-out at full forward. Stands out with her clean hands and composure, and seems to always be thereabouts. Arguably as damaging as any player to take the field at the championships.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls16163250070832028.08.016.02.50.03.50.064
Total-16163250070832028.08.016.02.50.03.50.064

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Northern Knights101491503000244034771010.14.915.03.00.42.40.761
2020Northern Knights30275715007101421310.09.019.05.00.32.30.375
Total-131762074500315048981310.15.815.93.50.42.40.6136

 

#22 Sarah Hartwig*
Sandringham Dragons | Key Defender | 173cm

Another middle-ager who is sure to play a key part for Metro. Hartwig is a terrific overhead marker and has played in key positions at either end, but looks more comfortable down back. Is a composed user from defence to boot and is one to keep an eye on.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls731030020000023.51.55.01.50.01.00.018
Total-731030020000023.51.55.01.50.01.00.018

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Sandringham Dragons734511825003720331098.15.013.12.80.24.10.047
2020Sandringham Dragons3213451300900480310.74.315.04.30.03.00.059
Total-10558163380046207390128.84.813.63.20.23.80.0106

 

#23 Nell Morris-Dalton
Northern Knights | Key Forward | 174cm

Has been enormous for the Knights at times this year, and found the goals in six of her last seven games. Dragged her side over the line with four Preliminary Final goals last week and looks to be coming into form at the right time. Usually efficient inside 50 on her left boot, and brings others into the game.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Bulldogs53820050030015.03.08.02.00.05.00.033
Total-53820050030015.03.08.02.00.05.00.033

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls1271940081111434.02.36.31.30.32.71.331
Total-1271940081111434.02.36.31.30.32.71.331

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Northern Knights875213921003434027215117.94.712.61.93.13.11.455
Total-875213921003434027215117.94.712.61.93.13.11.455

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Darebin Falcons445491100235000458.81.09.82.21.04.60.841
Total-445491100235000458.81.09.82.21.04.60.841

 

#24 Isabella Grant
Western Jets | Tall Utility | 174cm

The Bulldogs father-daughter prospect only featured in six games this season, but proved her worth in the forward half and through midfield. Marks well and can find the ball at will, with her best game a 25-disposal, five-mark effort against GWV. Can penetrate both arcs. 

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Bulldogs000000000000000000000
Total-000000000000000000000

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls1492340070071134.73.07.71.30.02.30.331
Total-1492340070071134.73.07.71.30.02.30.331

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Western Jets584510316001900138169.77.517.22.70.03.20.259
Total-584510316001900138169.77.517.22.70.03.20.259

 

#25 Tahlia Merrett
Eastern Ranges | Key Utility | 174cm

Merrett has proven to be a useful outlet at both ends, while also contesting in the ruck when called upon. Is not a huge disposal-getter but plays whichever role is asked of her and has plenty of upside on the back of her versatility. 

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Eastern Ranges28174590027140442102.81.74.50.91.42.70.218
Total-28174590027140442102.81.74.50.91.42.70.218

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Williamstown VFLW20727500211000192.20.83.00.60.12.30.111
Total-20727500211000192.20.83.00.60.12.30.111

 

#26 Gabrielle Newton
Northern Knights | Tall Utility | 175cm

Right up there with the best of the best, Newton will be a key player for Metro. Has played almost exclusively in the midfield this year but has the hops to ruck and also moves forward well, while playing a key role behind the ball with her overhead marking. Is composed in possession and finds it with ease, with her leadership qualities also evident.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Bulldogs3742791000420054066.27.013.21.70.07.00.040
Total-3742791000420054066.27.013.21.70.07.00.040

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls2720471200121986239.06.715.74.00.34.00.773
Total-2720471200121986239.06.715.74.00.34.00.773

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Northern Knights911021932800472602192109.110.219.32.82.64.70.265
Total-911021932800472602192109.110.219.32.82.64.70.265

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Carlton VFLW19726600191000129.53.513.03.00.59.50.548
Total-19726600191000129.53.513.03.00.59.50.548

 

#27 Molly Denahy Moloney
Sandringham Dragons | Ruck | 175cm

Has not been a huge year for the Sandringham product over her five NAB League games, but she is a ruck who can win the hitouts and follow up with hard tackles at ground level. Not a high disposal winner, but makes her presence felt and can also spend time forward. 

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls128201001023112034.02.76.70.37.73.30.028
Total-128201001023112034.02.76.70.37.73.30.028

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Sandringham Dragons1115260001736030052.23.05.20.07.23.40.021
Total-1115260001736030052.23.05.20.07.23.40.021

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Southern Saints000000000000000000000
Total-000000000000000000000

 

#28 Isabelle Pritchard*
Western Jets | Key Defender | 176cm

Collects her fair share of ball as a taller prospect, not falling below 10 touches across her seven games. Does not drop many marks and provides safe rebound out of the back half, so could be part of a solid Metro back six as a middle-ager.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls871520040015024.03.57.51.00.02.00.026
Total-871520040015024.03.57.51.00.02.00.026

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Western Jets55521071400271901014077.97.415.32.02.73.90.052
2020Western Jets363268100022507100312.010.722.73.31.77.30.077
Total-918417524004924017240109.18.417.52.42.44.90.0129

 

#29 Cleo Saxon-Jones
Western Jets | Key Forward | 181cm

A physical centre half-forward, Saxon-Jones finds her way up the ground well to impact the contest and provide a link into the forward half. Has a knack for taking strong contested marks and may even pinch-hit in the ruck.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Richmond000000000000000000000
Total-000000000000000000000

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Metro Girls1932240068233336.31.07.31.32.72.01.039
Total-1932240068233336.31.07.31.32.72.01.039

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Western Jets4513581200590143167.52.29.72.01.50.80.241
Total-4513581200590143167.52.29.72.01.50.80.241

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Melbourne Uni1071730027000333.32.35.71.02.30.71.026
Total-1071730027000333.32.35.71.02.30.71.026

 

#30 Amelia Peck
Oakleigh Chargers | Ruck/Key Utility | 183cm

The only over-ager prospect on the Metro list, Peck has earned her spot as a standout ruck. Averages almost 12 hitouts per game and just under 10 disposals, while also being able to move forward when required having at least scored in three games.

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Oakleigh Chargers42477818001611801522104.24.77.81.811.81.60.244
Total-42477818001611801522104.24.77.81.811.81.60.244

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Collingwood VFLW000000000000000000000
Total-000000000000000000000

 

* – denotes middle-ager.