Tag: nicole mark

2021 SANFLW team review: Central District

IN summarising the 2021 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season, Draft Central will run through a team-by-team review of how each of the sides fared, and who some of the standout performers throughout the clubs were. The next team in the firing line is Central District.

Position: 6th
Wins: 4
Losses: 7
Draws: 0
Points For: 385 (1st)
Points Against: 337 (5th)

Season in a Sentence: “Regardless of ladder position, Central District’s flair and exciting play to be the top offensive team in the competition had them in the mix for finals right up until Round 11”

TOP PERFORMERS:

Shelby Smith

The captain led from the front all season and was able to provide her consistent intent and clearance work from the start, picking up double-figure disposals in all bar one of her games. She amassed four or more clearances in her first four matches of the season, and was able to also get it forward to create scoring opportunities. Games are won and lost in the midfield, and Smith averaged 15.5 disposals, 6.8 tackles, 3.2 clearances and 2.4 inside 50s in the 2021 season, earning SANFL Women’s Team of the Year honours.

Chantel Reynolds

Having a huge season at full-forward, Reynolds was the SANFL Women’s leading goalkicker for the 2021 season. She booted 14 goals in her 11 games, making the most of her 8.2 disposals and 3.0 marks. Only once was she held goalless, and four times she kicked multiple majors. Kicking three goals against both Woodville-West Torrens and West Adelaide, as well as two against North Adelaide and Glenelg, Reynolds was consistently a threat inside 50, particularly as a leading aerial target and one who could be relied upon to finish off. She kicked just five behinds for her 14 goals, three of which came in the loss to South Adelaide, but otherwise kicked 13.2 for the season.

Katelyn Rosenzweig

Reynolds’ form allowed Rosenzweig to play further up the ground and be a leading target right up to the wing or even further on occasion. Leading the league in contested marks, the talented strong forward was able to play 11 games and still convert 11 goals herself. Averaging 11.6 disposals, 3.8 marks, 2.0 tackles, 1.7 inside 50s and 1.5 clearances, Rosenzweig worked hard in 2021 to have an impact further afield, and was a key reason why the Bulldogs improved this year. A third player to earn SANFL Women’s Team of the Year honours

Caitlen Teague

After the three Team of the Year players, any number of even contributors could have filled the fourth spot on this list, but Teague’s start to the season had her among the most in-form midfielders in the competition. From Rounds 1-5 she did not drop below 13 touches, and whilst her numbers were a little lower in the second half of the season, she still remained a key player in moving the ball in transition. Teague finished with an average of 11.8 disposals, 3.9 tackles, 2.4 inside 50s and 2.2 clearances, disposing of it at a healthy 73 per cent.

OTHERS:

Central District had no shortage of talent across the field, with State Academy members Lauren Breguet, Laitiah Huynh and Madison Lane all enjoying strong seasons. Lauren Smith and Paige Allen were consistent, Demi Sonneman and Nicole Mark rock solid in defence, and Chloe Scheer adding that touch of class in the final month, in what was a terrific season of improvement for the Bulldogs.

Picture credit: SANFL / Cory Sutton

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 9 preview: Panthers load up for clash with red-hot Redlegs

TWO late morning games and two evening games mark a huge Round 9 of action in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. STURT
Saturday, May 1 @ 11:30am
Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Opening the round is unfairly a bottom two clash, with both Woodville-West Torrens and Sturt both playing pretty well this season. The Eagles’ percentage is quite low as the lowest scoring team, though they are just a win outside the eight. A victory here and results going the right way, and the Eagles would be fifth, but the same could be said for the Double Blues, who a fortnight ago showed they could score, and have been their reliable selves defensively to boast the best percentage in the bottom four, but are a point behind the two teams above them. From a State Academy perspective, Charlotte Dolan has proven to be able to play in multiple positions, having started at half-back, spent time on the wing, even gone inside and then played forward at the AFLW Under 19 Championships. Having been named on a forward flank again, the Eagles will be looking for her fierce intent to be a factor, particularly against Double Blues’ captain Maya Rigter. The other State Academy member to watch is Jamie Parish, with the versatile tall named on a wing for the second week in a row, but is more than capable of slotting in up forward or in defence. For future years, Shineah Goody is shaping as a classy prospect with plenty of versatility and an ability to create something out of nothing. For the Double Blues, the forward line is swarming with State Academy members, as Zoe Prowse has been named at full-forward with defenders-cum-forwards Hannah Prenzler and Alex Ballard either side of her, and Georgia Swan on a flank. It means a very exciting front 50 for the Double Blues, and the game could genuinely go either way.

NORWOOD vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, May 1 @ 11:30am
Coopers Stadium

Norwood has been dealt a blow ahead of its massive clash with South Adelaide, losing 50-gamer Leah Cutting to injury, whilst in-form Ella Murison is also out of the side. The Panthers have lost Lauren Clifton and Lucy Northcott among five changes, but have stacked their side with Jordann Hickey and Indy Tahau returning from Queensland, Teah Charlton and Hannah Munyard from AFL Women’s seasons completing, and Jess Kirk back in the side. Norwood has proven to accept any challenge thrown at the Redlegs, but without Cutting, Montana McKinnon and Soriah Moon will have the run of the mill around the ground. Jade Halfpenny is enjoying a terrific season for the Redlegs, playing through the midfield and rotating forward, while Sarah Branford had one of her best games of the season last week. Lana Schwerdt has been impressing as another young talent coming through, whilst Jess Macolino, Sophie Armitstead and Morgan Johnston have been consistently amongst the best. Even outside the changes, the Panthers have a lineup that is ready to shoot up the ladder, as AFL Women’s Academy talent Gypsy Schirmer has been named at half-back, and Tahlita Buethke in the middle coming off her best game last round. Nicole Campbell and Cheyenne Hammond are completing a star-studded midfield, whilst future key forward talent Jorja Hooper is in great form as well. The Panthers have bulked up and would be favourites to break the Redlegs seven-game winning streak, but if Norwood can beat this Panthers outfit without Cutting, then they are the clear premiership favourites.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
Saturday, May 1 @ 4:10pm
Prospect Oval

North Adelaide and Glenelg are both starting to filter their AFL Womens’ talent back, with Amber Ward and Ash Woodland (North) and Caitlin Gould (Glenelg) all returning. The teams have opted not to unleash midfield guns Anne Hatchard (North) and Ebony Marinoff (Glenelg) just yet, though up-and-comer Piper Window has returned for the Bays with Lucy Armitage a key out for the visitors at Prospect Park. North Adelaide got back on the winners list last week to sit third, tantalisingly just behind the second placed Bays. With Ward back to provide support for Kristi Harvey, the Roosters defence is starting to look impenetrable again. Last year’s leading goalkicker Woodland will only be better for the AFLW experience, as Katelyn Pope has already been back in the side. Young guns Kate Case, Julia Clark and bottom-ager Amelie Borg have all been named in the side, with interest around where Borg will play based on the return of Ward to the key defensive post. Kelly Barltrop, Kathryn Reynolds and Tayla Thorn are a damaging trio up front, with Brianna Arthur also in form rolling through the midfield. For the Bays, Brooke Tonon has put together a fantastic season in multiple positions, but came off half-back last week, with Tessa Kohn, Ellie Kellock and Jessica Bates all having racked up the ball and taken control of the midfield. It will be a tough ask against a strong Roosters outfit, though with Gould named at full-forward, the Bays midfield will have a tall target to kick to. Tamsyn Morriss is the other State Academy member who has been named on the bench, but expect her to rotate through the defence in what should be a cracking contest.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Saturday, May 1 @ 5:10pm
Hisense Stadium

The final game of the round pits two exciting young teams up against each other, with the fourth placed Central District taking on the sixth placed West Adelaide at Hisense Stadium, Both teams have State Academy members returning, with Scarlett Griffiths at West Adelaide, and Laitiah Huynh at Centrals coming back into their respective lineups. Louella McCarthy (West) and Alicia Butler (Central) are another couple of key inclusions for the respective sides, with AFLW talent and youngsters across the park. From a young gun perspective, West Adelaide’s Lauren Young will continue her outstanding debut season, teaming up with AFL Women’s talents Sarah Dargan and Ailish Considine in the midfield. Chelsea Biddell and Melanie Elsegood are named as the key forwards, with State Academy members, Zoe Venning and Abbie Ballard inside 50. Venning will have the freedom to roll through the midfield but also be a leading target up forward, whilst Ballard is in her second game back from long-term injury. For the Bulldogs, Huynh slots straight back into half-forward, joining forces with fellow State Academy member Lauren Breguet inside 50, while up the other end, Madison Lane has been named off a half-back flank. Nicole Mark has had an impact since crossing from South Adelaide, and the key forward pairing of Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chantel Reynolds has proven to be effective, while Caitlen Teague, Shelby Smith and Lauren Smith have worked well with in-form ruck Isabelle Starmer. Chloe Scheer returning to the side last week proved a masterstroke, with the AFL Women’s talent starring in a best on ground performance. This has all the hallmarks of being a cracking contest.

Picture credit: On The Ball Media

2021 SANFL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 8

NORWOOD and Glenelg lead the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition and for Round 8, the Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Week nominations. Both Round 8 winners recorded the four players as did South Adelaide, whilst other victors in Central District and North Adelaide had the three players this week. Woodville-West Torrens Eagles went down in their matches but still managed the three players, while West Adelaide (two) and Sturt (one) rounded out the side.

Top-of-the-table Norwood have their representatives in each third of the ground. Alison Ferrall has made it into a back pocket, with Jade Halfpenny at centre half-forward. Whilst Halfpenny did play midfield, the squeeze of the midfield group this week meant some extra height was needed inside forward 50, so in the hypothetical team, she moved there. Ruck, Leah Cutting and midfielder, Jess Macolino were named on the bench. Speaking of extra height in the forward line, West Adelaide’s Lauren Young has been named down there due to the squeeze, but can rest in a forward pocket, and is joined in the side by teammate Ailish Considine.

Glenelg’s four representatives begin with Tessa Kohn onball, while Brooke Tonon slots into half-back and Sam Franson in a forward pocket, while Jess Bates is slightly higher at half-forward. The team they beat – South Adelaide – still had four players in the side, led by this week’s vice-captain of our team in Nicole Campbell, while Tahlita Buethke had her best game of the season and earned a spot in the team, alongside regular, Montana McKinnon in the ruck. Lisa Whiteley also made the 24-player squad on the interchange.

Central District’s successful one-point win over Sturt saw Chloe Scheer nab a best on ground, and she has also been named captain in our Team of the Week. She is joined in the side by her captain Shelby Smith, and defender Nicole Mark. For Sturt, they had just the one player, which was not indicative of their effort, but more an even spread, with Alisha Gepp making it onto the bench.

The final teams to make it were North Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens Eagles who both had three representatives. For the Roosters, Kristi Harvey returned to the team after a rare week out of the side, while Tayla Thorn is bookended in full-forward, and Katelyn Pope on the bench. The Eagles have Shineah Goody in defence, with Anastasia Falkenberg at half-forward and Sophie Zuill on the bench.

In terms of the three most unlucky to miss, this week’s emergencies are Sturt’s Elise Dawes, Glenelg’s Ellie Kellock and North Adelaide’s Amelie Borg who all had strong performances.

DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 8

B:  Shineah Goody (WWT) – Nicole Mark (CD) – Alison Ferrall (NW)
HB: Brooke Tonon (GL) – Kristi Harvey (NA) – Ailish Considine (WA)
C: Tahlita Buethke (SA) – Shelby Smith (CD) – Chloe Scheer (CD) (c)
HF: Anastasia Falkenberg (WWT) – Jade Halfpenny (NW)- Jessica Bates (GL)
F: Sam Franson (GL) – Tayla Thorn (NA) – Lauren Young (WA)
R: Montana McKinnon (SA) – Nicole Campbell (SA) (vc) – Tessa Kohn (GL)
INT: Leah Cutting (NW) – Alisha Gepp (ST) – Jess Macolino (NW) – Katelyn Pope (NA) – Lisa Whiteley (SA) – Sophie Zuill (WWT)

EMG: Elsie Dawes (ST) – Ellie Kellock (GL) – Amelie Borg (NA)

SANFL Women’s Round 8 wrap: Norwood in seventh heaven as winners sit in top four

ROUND 8 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s saw Norwood continue its winning run, while the other three winners all occupy the top four spots – Glenelg, North Adelaide and Central District – signalling how close the competition is this season.

NORTH ADELAIDE 2.0 | 3.1 | 3.1 | 5.2 (32)
WWT EAGLES 0.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 (7)

GOALS:

North: T. Thorn 2, K. Barltrop, K. Pope, J. Tabb.
Eagles: A. Falkenberg.

DC BEST:

North: K. Pope, K. Harvey, J. Norup, K. Barltrop, J. Tabb
Eagles: A. Falkenberg, S. Zuill, S. Goody, R. Forth, A. Blanden

North Adelaide has held Woodville-West Torrens Eagles to just one goal in a vital win to open the round. The Roosters booted the first three goals of the game – including two to Tayla Thorn – to lead by 12 points, before holding their opponents scoreless whilst booting 2.1 in the second half to run out 5.2 (32) to 1.1 (7) winners. The Roosters had 27 more disposals and dominated the hitouts (33-7), while winning the clearances (22-17) and inside 50s (28-16). The Eagles led the tackle count (84-64) and rebound 50s (22-15).

Katelyn Pope kicked a goal from 18 disposals, two marks, eight tackles, four clearances and two inside 50s to be the standout player, while Kristi Harvey stood up once again in defence with 15 disposals, six marks and five rebound 50s. Jaime Norup took control in the ruck, knocking down 20 hitouts and having three clearances and five tackles to go with 11 touches, while Kelly Barltrop (13 disposals, three marks and 11 hitouts) and Jaimi Tabb (11 disposals, seven tackles and four inside 50s) were also busy. For the Eagles, Anastasia Falkenberg had a match-high 23 disposals, three marks, six tackles and a goal. as Sophie Zuill (20 disposals, four marks, five tackles and four clearances) and Shineah Goody (16 disposals, three marks, six tackles and four rebound 50s stood up in defeat. State Academy member Jamie Parish had a good return to the side through the midfield with 13 disposals, three tackles and two clearances.

WEST ADELAIDE 0.1 | 0.2 | 1.3 | 3.7 (25)
NORWOOD 1.1 | 3.3 | 5.3 | 5.5 (35)

GOALS:

West: A. Considine, K. Culhane, A. Ballard.
Norwood: R. Zerella 2, E. Drake, L. Schwerdt, E. Sporn.

DC BEST:

West: L. Young, S. Dargan, S. Whiting A. Considine, C. Biddell
Norwood: A. Ferrall, J. Macolino, L. Cutting, S. Armitstead, J. Halfpenny

A dominant first half from ladder leaders Norwood set up the Redlegs with an impressive 10-point win over West Adelaide. The Bloods welcomed back a host of top-end talents, but the competition’s benchmark this season withstood the challenge, kicking the only three goals of the first half to lead by 19 points at half-time. By the final break, that lead was out to 26 points, and despite the Westies kicking the last two goals of the match, the damage was done with Norwood winning 5.5 (35) to 3.7 (25). Norwood won all the key statistics but not by too much around the ball with clearances (24-23) practically even, and inside 50s (28-22) a slight difference.

Leah Cutting dominated in the ruck again with 30 hitouts to go with nine disposals, five tackles and three clearances, while the midfield work of Jess Macolino (13 disposals, six tackles, six inside 50s and two clearances), Jade Halfpenny (11 disposals, three marks – two contested – four tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s) and Sophie Armitstead (15 disposals, two marks – one contested – four tackles and three inside 50s was telling. Alison Ferrall was also busy from defence with four rebound 50s to go with 13 touches, three marks and five tackles. Young stars Lauren Young (16 disposals, four marks, four tackles, three clearances, six inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Zoe Venning (13 disposals, three marks, six tackles and three rebound 50s) found plenty of the ball, working in tandem with AFLW-listed Sarah Dargan (14 disposals, five marks, three tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s), Ailish Considine (12 disposals, three tackles, five rebound 50s and a goal) and Chelsea Biddell (10 disposals, three tackles, six hitouts and four inside 50s).

GLENELG 1.0 | 2.1 | 2.1 | 3.2 (20)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 0.2 | 1.3 | 2.5 | 2.5 (17)

GOALS:

Glenelg: S. Wilton, M. Green, C. Packer.
South: J. Hooper 2.

DC BEST:

Glenelg: J. Bates, T. Kohn, B. Tonon, S. Franson, E. Kellock
South: T. Buethke, M. McKinnon, N. Campbell, L. Whiteley, S. Flanagan-Sjoberg.

In a neck-and-neck match all night, Glenelg has come away with a tight three-point win over South Adelaide despite two goals from rising key forward talent Jorja Hooper. The Panthers youngsters slotted goals early in the second and third term to give her side a sniff putting them back in front, but the last goal of the night went the way of the Bays, thanks to Madeleine Green kicking a winner in the dying few minutes following a titantic struggle up to that point. The Panthers dominated the hitouts (39-25), but the clearances (29-21) went the way of the Bays, with the inside 50s and rebound 50s evenly split.

Jessica Bates led the way for the winners with 25 disposals, three marks, five tackles, four clearances and six inside 50s. Youngster Brooke Tonon returned from the AFLW Under 19s Championships to pick up 20 disposals, four marks, six tackles, two clearances and four rebound 50s, while Tessa Kohn (23 disposals, six tackles and six clearances), Sam Franson (15 disposals, three marks, six tackles and six inside 50s) and Ellie Kellock (16 disposals, six tackles, two clearances, two inside 50s and four rebound 50s) were all among the top players on the ground.  For the Panthers, Tahlita Buethke played her best game of the season returning from the national carnival, racking up 23 touches, four marks, four tackles, six clearances, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s. Montana McKinnon took control in the ruck with 31 hitouts to go with 12 disposals, four tackles, four inside 50s and two rebound 50s, while Nicole Campbell (17 disposals, six tackles, seven clearances and five inside 50s) and Lisa Whiteley (17 disposals, five marks, three tackles and four inside 50s) found plenty of the ball.

CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.0 | 1.4 | 2.5 | 3.6 (24)
STURT 1.2 | 2.3 | 2.4 | 3.5 (23)

GOALS:

Central: K. Rosenzweig, S. Murphy, C. Reynolds.
Sturt: N. Baker, C. Forby, A. Pengelly.

DC BEST:

Central: C. Scheer, S. Smith, I. Starmer, C. Teague, N. Mark
Sturt: A. Gepp, I. Kuiper, Z. Prowse, E. Dawes, J. Good.

Revenge is said to be a dish best served cold, and that is exactly what Central District had in mind when the Bulldogs flipped the script on their first meeting. Having controlled most of the game earlier in the season only to be overrun in the last term, this time it was the Bulldogs term to kick a late goal – through Katelyn Rosenzweig – to steal back the lead and claim the victory in the last five minutes of the match. There was never much in it, with six individual goalkickers in total, but Central District got the points in the end, coming away with the 3.6 (24) to 3.5 (23) victory. Sturt comfortably won the hitouts (33-16), but the clearances (26-24) and inside 50s (24-21) were fairly even, whilst the Dogs piled on the pressure with 68 tackles to 47, and clunked 15 contested marks to five.

Chloe Scheer was best on ground, racking up 21 disposals, three marks – two contested – five tackles, five clearances, six inside 50s and three rebound 50s in an all-round performance. Paige Allan (12 disposals, two marks and two inside 50s), Shelby Smith (11 disposals, two marks, 10 tackles and six clearances) and Caitlen Teague (11 disposals, five tackles, two clearances and three inside 50s) also won plenty of the ball. Isabelle Starmer (eight disposals, five tackles, 13 hitouts, three clearances and two inside 50s) battled hard in the ruck, while Nicole Mark had seven touches, two marks, two tackles and four rebound 50s. Elsie Dawes (14 disposals, five marks, two tackles, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) had the most touches for Sturt, while Zoe Prowse (11 disposals, 13 hitouts, four tackles and three clearances) and Jess Good (seven disposals, two marks, 20 hitouts, two tackles and two inside 50s) shared the ruck duties. Alisha Gepp and Isobel Kuiper combined for 22 disposals, nine tackles and 10 clearances in the loss.

Picture credit: On The Ball Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture credit: Cory Sutton / SANFL

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 1 preview: Grand Final rematch opens season

AFTER a shorter-than-usual wait for the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition to restart due to the delayed 2020 season, the eight sides are ready to go in 2021 starting tonight.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Friday, February 26 @ 6.30pm
Coopers Stadium

What better way is there to open a new SANFL Women’s season than with a grand final rematch? The opening game of the double-header at Coopers Stadium sees North Adelaide take on South Adelaide in a massive clash. The Roosters will be able to unfurl the flag against the Panthers, which should give both teams plenty of motivation. It is worth noting that they will be without a number of AFL Women’s talents which means others will have the chance to step up in their place.

Full-forward Kelly Barltrop will be hungry for success after being unlucky to miss out on last year’s flag, while Kristi Harvey has been named at centre half-forward. With league best and fairest winner Anne Hatchard and leading goalkicker Ashleigh Woodland both playing for the Crows in the AFL Women’s the Roosters will need to look for others to play a role. Jaimi Tabb has crossed from the Eagles to Roosters, while Glenelg ruck revelation Soriah Moon will now pull on the Panthers’ jumper. Providing a formidable tag-team with Montana McKinnon, South should get first hands to it, and with a midfield containing the likes of Czenya Cavouras and Nicole Campbell, they will be hard to beat.

Gypsy Schirmer is the young gun to watch from the Panthers with the half-forward an excitement machine, whilst the same can be said for reigning Rising Star Hannah Ewings who will have added responsibility this season. Throw in Leah Tynan and Lauren Daniel through the onball, and the likes of Cristie Castle and Brianna Arthur able to rotate between midfield and forward, and the Roosters have plenty of options. It will be great to see full-back Sarah Wright return for the Panthers, with both her and Lauren Clifton providing some great stability in the defence.

This match is hard to predict, with either team capable of getting up, and both have a great history of just getting the job done. Just for the home fans the edge might go to North, but there is something about the South lineup that looks ready to strike.

NORWOOD vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Friday, February 26 @ 8.15pm
Coopers Stadium

The second match of the double-header is predicted to be just as good, with reigning preliminary finalists West Adelaide locking horns with the side they dispelled in the elimination final, Norwood. West Adelaide have a huge opportunity to make the next step up, with such a large contingent of state league players remaining at the club, and then bringing in some serious talent such as key defender Sharnie Whiting from Carlton.

The youth of West Adelaide cannot be stated enough, with Zoe Venning a standout in terms of this year, and then over the next two years, the Bloods have Keeley Kustermann and then Lauren Young respectively who both loom as great talents. Venning will start off half-forward and look to push into the midfield, while Kustermann will form a new partnership with South Adelaide’s Natalie Gibbs off half-back with Madison Newman likely to have Crows AFL Women’s duties this season. The 15-year-old Young has been thrown into the deep end to start in the midfield, potentially on the experienced Sophie Armitstead.

Norwood have an array of young talent themselves, with Alana Lishmund named on a wing, and Jade Halfpenny surprisingly named in defence after making her name as a leading forward predominantly last season. Tesharna Maher is a new name in the Norwood line-up, having crossed from Eagles over the break. Melanie Elsegood is a player to stop for West, with the Norwood defence looking strong, as Isabel Martin has been named back there, while the likes of Jess Macolino will come off the bench to have an impact.

West Adelaide could well be the team to beat this season, and therefore should be favourites in this game, but Norwood has some exciting young talents as well to watch out for, in what should be an entertaining game.

STURT vs. GLENELG
Saturday, February 27 @ 10.40am
X Convenience Oval

Fast forward to Saturday and two sides looking to make a strong start to the season after missing finals do battle in Sturt and Glenelg. The Double Blues were actually strong defensively last season, but they just struggled to score at times, whilst the Bays were ultra-impressive in some games, and then just not themselves in others, so will be eyeing off some consistency in 2021. It will be a big game for Caitlyn Swanson who has cross from the Double Blues to the Bays this season and will come off the bench in Round 1.

Glenelg has some some developing talents to watch out for, with top-ager Brooke Tonon alongside over-ager Madisyn Freeman at half-forward. They will be looking to create some run and carry going inside 50, with the likes of Tamsyn Morriss and Sam Franson transitioning from the wings. Looking strong as outside movers, Tessa Kohn has been slotted in at half-back after being predominantly an inside midfielder last season, while Lucy Armitage will never take a backwards step and is also in defence. Without Ebony Marinoff and Eloise Jones the Bays will need other midfielders to step up, but they have the depth there.

The Double Blues have some of the best young talent running around, and the depth through the key position options is showing, with Zoe Prowse now running around as a midfielder instead of ruck. The 180cm talent has the athleticism to beat much smaller opponents, and she will provide a point of difference at ground level. Alex Ballard looks set for a move into the midfield, while other over-agers such as Hannah Prenzler (half-back) and Isobel Kuiper (half-forward) will be better for another season. Add in top-ager Georgia Swan at centre half-forward, and the inclusion of Eagles’ Chloe Forby, and the Double Blues are starting to build some firepower.

It will be another tough match to pick, and without Georgia Bevan – having been picked up late to Gold Coast Suns – more will fall to the likes of Maya Rigter for Sturt, but they have the young talent to get it done. One cannot discount Glenelg though, as they have some great outside movers.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Saturday, February 27 @ 12.25pm
X Convenience Oval

The final match of the round takes place with Central District hosting Woodville-West Torrens in a battle of the league’s two newest clubs. Though now into their third seasons, both the Bulldogs and Eagles are becoming well established, and if 2020 is anything to go off, they should be more competitive again. Without a heap of AFL Women’s talent last season, both these sides are well adapted to being without that top level experience, which puts them in good stead to have plenty of developing young guns coming through the programs.

The Bulldogs were one of the more exciting teams in 2020 even if their results may not have shown it. They were willing to run the ball forward, and with the need for speed, were taking it up to sides. Latiah Huynh is a perfect example of the way the Dogs play – with speed and tenacity, as well as confidence – and teaming up with fellow youngster Lauren Breguet in the forward half, Central District will look to share the load outside of notable goalkicker Katelyn Rosenzweig. Eagles’ key position utility Kiana Lee has been named at full-back with Anastasia Falkenberg another reliable talent in defence, as is Jamie Parish.

The midfield battle will be just as intriguing with new captain and reigning best and fairest winner Shelby Smith leading the Bulldogs onball, and the likes of Caitlen Teague and Lauren Smith in there. A couple of experienced recruits in Paige Allan and Nicole Mark among those inclusions into the Bulldogs’ line-up, while Madison Lane is a top-age talent with reliable foot skills from defence, while Demi Sonneman is always one to watch coming out of the back 50. A big inclusion for the Eagles is former South Adelaide raw ruck/forward prospect Brooklyn Kraft who will make her debut amongst a host of new faces coming out of the local leagues, while Kiley Green has made the move from the ACT and been named at centre-half back. Charlotte Dolan and Jovanka Zecevic are others to keep an eye on in the match for the Eagles.

Central District has beefed up its side in 2021, with more experience to settle the youth down and the Dogs could start favourite in this one, though the Eagles are always tough to score against.

Picture credit: SANFL

Bulldogs build brand and now ready to bite

CENTRAL District coach Shaun Ribbons will head into the 2021 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season confident his side can begin to put into place the learnings of the first two seasons to take the next step in the competition.

Playing in a trial match against North Adelaide on the weekend, it was clear to Ribbons that despite the interrupted year in 2020, and the challenges that have come with being a new club entering the league after the majority of others, the Bulldogs are now progressing to beyond just being competitive.

“I think a lot of our girls have now had two or three preseasons and what we find is all the strength and conditioning, fundamentals of the game, footy IQ, it’s just starting to accumulate and they’re just starting to understand what playing at this level is all about,” Ribbons said. “So we’re really seeing a faster progression than I thought we would this season, and we were able to in our trial match on the weekend, give that a bit of a test, and the girls played really well against North Adelaide and their training this year has been at a really high standard.

“We’ve been able to in the first couple of years implement some pretty strong training standards and expectations, and that takes a little while for girls to adjust to when we’ve really taken them from amateur footy and some of them haven’t played much at all, to semi-elite stuff. “It just takes a bit of time, and the group’s been awesome this year, really positive and we’re starting to see a bit of progression.”

Last season the Bulldogs might have taken home the wooden spoon with just the two wins, but it was clear to everyone that despite dropping back a spot on the ladder, Central District had made massive strides going forward. Ribbons said there were times where his side looked to have had momentum in games, it was about making the most of those opportunities, which was something he is expecting in season three.

“We knew that some of the teams we were coming up against were obviously really talented and they’d been in the comp for longer and just played more footy so we based everything in the first two years in building a brand that was competitive, things that we could control,” he said. “We wanted to be a really good tackling team, we didn’t want to shirk any issues and be a team that’s known to compete really well, and then just add layers upon that.

“In terms of how we use the ball, how we defend, we knew our fundamentals, our strength and conditioning and our footy IQ would come at some point. “We’re starting to see that now, but as long as we competed really well, so I think that’s what we achieved in the first two years. “It didn’t matter who we played, we held our own in the contest in terms of competing, but we just have to be a bit patient with some of the other stuff.”

An example Ribbons used was a match against reigning premiers and 2020 grand finalists South Adelaide, where the Bulldogs had 17 more inside 50s, but still went down comfortably.

“There were some good indicators, but obviously some key areas that we just needed to get better at,” Ribbons said. “Some of that is experience, and some of it is just development and a little bit of personnel.”

Last year the Bulldogs had limited AFL Women’s players coming back to the side, with Sarah Allan being a standout performer, but in 2021, the teams will once again be without their top-level experience for the most part, which is something Ribbons said the playing group used for motivation last year, and as a positive coming into this year.

“For our girls that was a really great learning experience, there’s no doubt about that, and that will hold us in good stead for at least the first part of the year, and I think at times we were able to match it with some of those girls, so that’s the situation we’re in where we don’t have a heap of AFL girls, and we’ve just got to focus on the girls that we do have and building a strong brand within our community and that’s a long-term thing,” Ribbons said.

“We’re pretty hellbent on having good connections within the Barossa and the Northern suburbs in terms of footy growth, and that will be our competitive advantage going forward. “We might not quite have the stimulus of girls coming back from interstate to play for us, but I think we can build something strong if we get it right.”

One aspect the Bulldogs have been able to add over the offseason is experience, with Sturt’s Jess Schulz and Brianna Burt, North Adelaide’s Paige Allan, and South Adelaide’s Nicole Mark providing “an immediate injection of 60 or 60 games”. Ribbons also said the Bulldogs’ good crop of young talents led by Lauren Breguet, Maddy Lane and Laitiah Huynh was promising, in what he described as a “much more balanced group”.

Leading that group is new captain Shelby Smith, who had a remarkable first season in the SANFL Women’s and won the team’s best and fairest, and earned the respect of her teammates enough to be chosen as captain for the 2021 season. Ribbons praised Smith’s ability to represent the brand and herself, whilst still learning the game.

“I remember watching her play at Eastern Park and she’s one of those girls who you know what you’re going to get,” Ribbons said. “She’s just a real competitor, so I was confident in that. “She obviously had a fantastic season, I mean the great thing about her is her attitude, she really fits that brand that we’re trying to drive, and she’s a great learner as well. “She’s still always trying to find ways to improve and I think in terms of what we value at our footy club, she’s just a great role model.

“She has been somebody that anybody within the group can look towards and she’s got so many great attributes, so she’ll be a fantastic captain and leader, and she’s still developing her game because she’s really only played at this level for one year, and we’ve already seen signs that she’s going to be a really strong competitor for us and do well.”

The first match is now just over a week away, with the Bulldogs hosting Woodville-West Torrens Eagles at X Convenience Oval in the second match of a double-header. Ribbons said one focus for the team was improvement in fundamental decision making, which was a focus for the group over the off-season.

“We feel really strong about our brand, but what we’ve been able to do is really try and take the next step in terms of our methods with ball-in-hand,” he said. “We’re probably a team of going forward at all costs, but not necessarily with great method, so we’ve done a lot of work on how we want to exit from contests, and we want to be better users of the ball. “We’ve spent a lot more time on structure and role playing within the preseason.

“Our big improvement will come from how we’re able to use the ball to put teams under pressure, because we had so many times last year where we had opportunities but there’d be a fundamental error, just a dropped mark or a kick where we couldn’t just execute when we had our opportunities, so I think that is our big growth area.”

Picture credit: On the Ball Media

SANFL Women’s preview: Round 1 – Triple header on Saturday the highlight

AFTER a long wait, the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition has returned with the eight sides battling it out for a chance at the title. Six of the eight teams have lost players to the AFL Women’s competition, with Norwood and South Adelaide the hardest hit. The Panthers begin their premiership defence against last year’s wooden spooners at home, while a triple header greets the remaining six teams at X Convenience Oval on Saturday.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Friday, February 14, 7pm
Flinders University Stadium

The standalone game on Friday night sees the opposite ends of the ladder from last season face off. South Adelaide will be able to unfurl its 2019 premiership flag – possibly alongside its 2018 one – as it welcomes 2019 wooden spooners Woodville-West Torrens to Flinders University Stadium. Last season this match might have been considered a no-brainer, and considering the occasion, the Panthers will head in as heavy favourites. However the Eagles will be better prepared in 2020 than 12 months ago, so it will be fascinating to see how they fare this season.

To make the match balance more towards the equilibrium is the fact the Panthers have lost a number of quality players to the AFL Women’s competition. Montana McKinnon and Nicole Campbell were both drafted to Adelaide and could still play games at state level, though with their talent and the Crows’ injury crisis, it will not always be the case. Hannah Munyard was picked up by the Western Bulldogs, while Cheyenne Hammond has already donned the red and gold up in the Sunshine State for the SUNS, so neither will feather this year for the reigning premiers. Aside from the four exits, six others have departed the club, meaning the turnover will see a very different line-up in 2020. Three former Panthers have returned to the club with Louella McCarthy (St Kilda VFLW), Lucy Northcott (knee) and Nicole Mark (maternity leave) all coming in, as well Tahlia Meyer crossing from rivals Norwood.

The Eagles have also lost a number of players, predominantly to SANFL Women’s rivals with Hannah Scholar and Taylor Hand heading to the Bloods, Jo Baltias, Rachel Dunstan and Aajiah Jerico to Sturt. The two biggest losses could be Natasha Farrier heading to ice hockey, and AFL Women’s Under-18 All Australian member Jaimi Tabb drafted to the Crows. She has already made her debut at AFL Women’s level, but could feature at some point depending on the Crows’ selection. Three players have joined the Eagles, with Rebecca Catterall coming over from Central District, Ali Evans from West Adelaide and Nicole Collie from North Adelaide which should provide some fresh faces on the field.

Both McKinnon and Campbell have been named in the Crows’ side for Round 2, with the Panthers unveiling as many nine new players named in the extended side. The Eagles also have plenty of fresh faces, with seven players coming in, while Tabb has been named in the center, though is also named in the Crows’ side on the extended bench. The young forward line duo of Kiana Lee and Teagan Usher will be one to watch, while up the other end, Teah Charlton is South Australia’s top Under-18 talent and will be one who can break a game open and with the likes of Czenya Cavouras and Indy Tahau in the midfield, expect the Panthers to be a bit too strong.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
Saturday, February 15, 10.40am
X Convenience Oval

Opening up the first of a triple header at X Convenience Oval are two finalists from last year going head-to-head in what is predicted to be the match of the round. Both these sides have lost talent to the AFL Women’s so will look to their depth in order to provide the same impact at SANFL Women’s level. The Roosters went all the way to the SANFL Women’s Grand Final last season before falling to the Panthers – knocking out an Ebony Marinoff-inspired Tigers’ outfit on the way through to the deciding match. Glenelg looked down and out with a few weeks remaining in the season, but found the will to not give in, winning the last few matches and qualifying for fourth spot by pipping West Adelaide at the post.

In 2020, the Tigers will be without a couple of talls in Caitlin Gould and Lucy Bellinger, both of whom provided good presence around the ground and an ability to hit the scoreboard. With Brooke Trevena and Ellen Fauser also unavailable due to maternity leave, the Tigers will be short a few of the players that really them reach the post-season series. South Adelaide duo, Emily Woods and Grace Duffy will provide some great insight from the back-to-back premiers and earn more game time in the yellow and black, while Rachel Aistrope and Jessica Bates are two players who have come into the side after impressing at lower levels. They showed last season they have the defensive structures to keep sides to low scores, and if they can continue that blueprint into this season it will hold them in good stead.

For the Roosters, they have also been hit hard by their success with two of their best players heading up to the elite level and will not feature at this level again in 2020. Nadia Von Bertouch – who unfortunately did her knee on debut for St Kilda and will miss the season – was a natural leader, captaining the side to the grand final, while Brittany Perry has already had an influence for the SUNS up there. The Roosters have lost further experience with the retirements of Jane Altschwager and Emma Sampson, while Elysha Willis has turned her attention to her netball. A big including for the side will be the return of Kristi Harvey who impressed in her time at Carlton VFLW, joining the likes of Panther Mollie McKendrick, Blood Taylor Gordon and Redleg Stana Zecevic and Northern Territory’s Elise Fenna making the trip down.

The Roosters have opted for Harvey to hold down full-back in this match, with last year’s leading goalkicker, Kelly Barltrop the other bookend. She is hard to stop when on song, and with Cristie Castle, Ashleigh Woodland and Amber Ward rounding out the spine, the Roosters are predicted to be very strong again. Of all the players to run out in the red and white, it would be hard for anyone to beat 38-year-old Bek Rasheed‘s story. The daughter of club great and games record holder Mick Redden, Rasheed will make her debut at the club as starting ruck with the 42 guernsey that her father wore over his 379 games. Looking over Glenelg’s Round 1 side, youngster Madisyn Freeman will be a key talent coming off half-back, joining forces with Lucy Armitage in defence, while Sam Franson up the other end could apply some scoreboard pressure. Despite the departures, North still seems like a genuine contender so will start as favourite here.

STURT vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, February 15, 12.25pm
X Convenience Oval

Last year’s fifth and sixth go at it in the second game at X Convenience Oval with the Double Blues taking on the Bloods. West Adelaide came agonisingly close to finals in 2019 but were narrowly shafted in the final round as the Tigers leapt up and claimed fourth. Sturt on the other hand showed signs early in the season – including a low-scoring win over Glenelg – but were ultimately not able to roll anyone else other than the two expansion sides in other matches. Of all sides heading into the new season, Sturt has been relatively untouched in terms of departures, while the Bloods also have a number of additions likely to strengthen its squad to make a run at the finals in 2020.

Sturt only has two confirmed departures from last season, with Lilla Berry and Della Griffith travelling overseas and focusing on other sports respectively. The Double Blues were one of only two sides – with Central District – not to lose a player to the AFL Women’s competition through the draft. They have managed to pick up some of the Eagles’ depth in Baltias, Dunstan and Jerico, while finding a couple of X-factors in cross-coders, Ally Ladas (soccer) and Stephanie Ratliff (basketball). Louise Firth makes the step up to the SANFL Women’s from Scotch Old Collegians, and then there’s an extra year of development into the Double Blues’ youngsters such as Zoe Prowse. Based on the changes to the list, the experience gained and the inclusions, Sturt could move up in the right direction with a number of its rivals losing quality players over the off-season.

For the Westies, Madison Newman and Chelsea Biddell were both drafted into the AFL Women’s in last year’s draft and will only be available when not running around with the Crows. Much like the other draftees, based on Adelaide’s lengthy injury list and the fact that some like Newman had outstanding debuts, you cannot expect them to always be available for state league level. Evans is one of three others to depart the club with Gordon heading north and the experienced Leah Swain off due to maternity leave. Coming into the team is a couple of Eagles in Hand and Scholar, as well as Norwood’s Zoe Greer and returning from NT Thunder, Rachael Killian. Her experience from the VFL Women’s competition will be important and expect her to player a crucial role. Kate Walsh is the other addition to the side, coming up from SMOSH West Lakes to try her hand at the top level in South Australia.

Five players will make their debuts in the Double Blues, while former Eagle Dunstan has been named in the back pocket. The midfield combination of Georgia Bevan and Maya Rigter will make it challenging for the opposition, while Alex Ballard and Lucy Griffith have been named on opposing wings. They take on Greer, youngster Abbie Ballard and Rachelle Martin onball, with the latter of whom has one of the more interesting footballing stories already this year. She got the chance to represent the Crows at the elite level in Round 1 due to the mounting injury toll, and no doubt that experience will hold her in good stead here. West Adelaide will likely be favourite for the depth across the ground such as full-forward Melanie Elsegood who can help kick a winning score, but this is predicted to be the best game of the round.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, February 15, 2.10pm
X Convenience Oval

The game fans at X Convenience Oval will be waiting for is the return to the SANFL Women’s competition of Central District. The only side playing at its home ground during the triple header, the Bulldogs will hope to improve on their seventh placed finish in 2019 with a tough challenge up first. The Redlegs have been one of the most successful teams in the SANFL Women’s era, having won a flag then finishing runner-up and claiming the minor premiership last year before a semi-final exit. They always find a way to be there at the pointy end of the season, though 2020 will provide a new challenge given the amount of departures – including a change of coach – as talent breeds talent.

From the Bulldogs’ perspective, just Catterall (Woodville-West Torrens) and Courtney Jensen (work) have departed the club, with a quartet of relatively unknown quantities coming into the club from the next tier down in South Australian football. Abbie Thomas, Shelby Smith, Madison Kalleske and Hannah Bevington have opted to don the red, white and blue for season 2020 and while they might not have SANFL Women’s experience, the Bulldogs are growing a good young list to compete over the next few seasons.

Norwood on the other hand, has had a high turnover of players due to its successful few years, led by last year’s league best and fairest winner, Najwa Allen drafted by the Crows. Hannah Dunn has already made her debut for Gold Coast SUNS, as has Hannah Priest at St Kilda, while Ebony O’Dea joined former coach Steve Symonds at Collingwood through the AFL Women’s Draft. These departures coupled with the fact Monique Hollick has headed overseas for work, Jane Fitzgerald has retired and a trio of others have left in search of an increased role means the Redlegs will be a very different looking outfit in 2020. Chloe Meyer has joined the club from the Simon Black Academy, while Georgia Avery and Shanae Walker are another couple of inclusions to try and replace those out of the side.

The Bulldogs will head into the new season confident they can cause an upset against a new-look Norwood side. With Katelyn Rosenzweig up forward, the Sonneman sisters (Demi and Jayme-Lee) down back with Kimberley Fry, they will likely benefit from last year’s experience. For the Redlegs, they still have talent all across the park, but the midfield is largely different to its dominant one from last season, with Elisha Gallagher, young star Bella Smith and Michele Reid now replacing Allen, Dunn and O’Dea. Sophie Armistead will help hold down defence with Jo Hill to try and contain the dangerous Bulldogs’ forwards. This is an intriguing game because the Redlegs have the depth from last season to still compete, but it will almost be like being a brand new side again, while Central has remained relatively the same which should excite fans going forward.