Tag: Nikia Webber

Youth set to take next step in VFL Women’s competition

TWELVE players who received AFL Women’s Draft Combine invites but missed out on being picked up by clubs will test themselves in the new-look Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition starting this weekend. Of the 12 players, five of them remain on NAB League lists as top-agers, whilst the others are purely focused on their VFL Women’s commitments in 2021.

Carlton have a trio of players who received Draft Combine invites last year, in Gippsland Power duo Nikia Webber and Shanara Notman, and Oakleigh Chargers defender Amber Micallef. Webber and Notman have received a couple of Combine invites in the past, with the key position talents strong overhead and both having represented Vic Country in the past. Notman played Round 1 with the Power, but is also a skilled basketballer. Micallef stepped up in 2020 to provide great outside run albeit in only the two games she was able to play, becoming a crucial cog in the Chargers’ rebound.

The other team with multiple 2020 AFL Women’s Draft Combine invites is Southern Saints, with Dandenong Stingrays teammates Zoe Hill and Abbey Jordan both in the red, white and black for season 2021. The duo are still on the Stingrays’ NAB League Girls lists and made a strong start to the season last round, with Hill a Vic Country Under 18s key position defender at bottom-age level, and Jordan a speedy winger who has been moved inside to increase her versatility this year.

Another player still on a NAB League list but is testing herself at state league level is Gippsland Power’s Grace McRae who will suit up for Hawthorn in 2021. The hardnut inside midfielder had a massive Round 1 game for the Power, but has moved closer to the city for work this year and will look to join the likes of form Power player, Maddi Shaw at the brown and gold.

Meanwhile Eastern Ranges’ Olivia Meagher will head to Collingwood, with the 2020 Eastern Ranges captain already having an impact in her two games at NAB League level this season. A fierce onballer, Meagher will have no troubles stepping up to the level and will be one to watch through the onball brigade at the Pies.

Another inside midfielder and former NAB League captain stepping up to the VFL Women’s in 2021 is Brooke Hards who will play with the Western Bulldogs this season. The Bendigo Pioneers co-captain last year and Vic Country Under 18s representative as a bottom-ager two seasons ago will look to bring a similar fierce attack to the Bulldogs midfield as another country player who has moved closer to the city for studies.

Calder Cannons’ Alana Barba will once again head to Essendon after not being able to get out on the park last season, but still earning a Draft Combine invitation as a 19-year-old. A tackling machine like Hards, Barba has grown through the Vic Metro program and will team up alongside a heap of current Calder Cannons players who will don the red and black this year. She is joined at the Bombers by Bendigo Pioneers’ Jemma Finning who was impressive in a new role at half-back last season, and has been back at the Pios thus far in 2021.

Having quite the pathway, Courteney Bromage has returned to Victoria after a stint in Queensland last year, with the ex-Carlton talent trying out at Port Melbourne. She will provide plenty of experience for the league’s newest side as they look to have an impact from the get-go.

Speaking of travelling, there will be a sister act at North Melbourne, with Jayde Hamilton the other Draft Combine invite from last year. Representing Eastern Allies as a bottom-ager in 2019, the inside midfielder will join sister and ex-Gold Coast Suns tall Alexia Hamilton at the Roos in 2021.

There are also plenty of current NAB League Girls who have been named on various VFL Women’s lists for the upcoming season. Essendon VFL Women’s have been flushed with an array of Calder talents, including AFL Women’s Academy members Georgie Prespakis and Tahlia Gillard, as well as the likes of Kasey Lennox, Neve Crowley, Grace Dicker, Emelia Yassir and Zali Friswell. The Bombers also have recruited Bendigo Pioneers’ Elizabeth Snell. Another Calder talent in Peppa Poultney has opted to stick with her junior club and follow into Darebin Falcons’ VFL Women’s program.

Geelong has unsurprisingly recruited a number of Falcons to its list, with Renee Tierney already lightning up the NAB League Girls with a couple of big outings in the opening two matches. Defender Annie Lee and midfielder Tess Craven are also among the Falcons best performed in the opening couple of games and could easily have an impact at state league level. They are joined by Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ Chloe Leonard who has also been in great form.

Eastern Ranges Isabelle Khoury, Matilda Hardy and Jess Grace have all signed on to Hawthorn’s VFL Women’s list, whilst Darwin Buffettes talent and former Central Allies representative Dominique Carbone has also decided to head to the Hawks this season. A former and current Murray Bushrangers duo of Kate Adams and Sophie Locke will run out for Port Melbourne, while Geelong Falcons’ Zoe Garth will test herself at Williamstown.

Other current NAB League Girls players on lists include Oakleigh Chargers’ Kalarni Kearns who will head to Collingwood, and Western Jets’ Nikita Wright will suit up for the Western Bulldogs. One name who might fly under the radar but has switched states is Collingwood’s Matilda Zander who has finally made her way to the Pies from Norwood after attempting to do so last year before the full state lockdown went into place.

With plenty of young talent on show in the VFL Women’s competition, there is plenty to get excited about across the league, and it all kicks off on Saturday.

2020 AFL Women’s Draft preview: The next crop of young stars to find homes tonight

TONIGHT up to 61 players will live out their AFL Women’s dreams when the 14 clubs select the players to fill out the 2021 lists at the 2020 AFL Women’s Draft. Like most years, the AFL Women’s Draft still has state-based selections with Adelaide (South Australia) and GWS GIANTS (New South Wales) having sole priority to players that nominate that state. In Queensland (Brisbane and Gold Coast) and Western Australia (Fremantle and West Coast) the teams will split the players, whilst the remaining 10 teams will fight over the Victorian pool. The one major change is that there is only a Victorian pool, not split into Metropolitan and Geelong, so the Cats do not have priority on those from the region.

Richmond holds the all-important first pick in the draft which is expected to kick off from 7pm. There are a number of players the Tigers could select, but the frontrunner is Northern Knights’ star Ellie McKenzie, an inside midfielder who can play just about anywhere on the field and has been a proven talent for a number of years now.

[ … Ellie McKenzie feature … ]

Western Bulldogs traded up from Pick 3 to Pick 2 to ensure they could nab the second best player in the draft, with Tyanna Smith high up there in contention. The Dandenong Stingrays’ star has very few flaws in her game and has elite acceleration and a match-winning ability. The other one in contention if the Dogs opt to go tall could be another Northern Knights’ star in Alyssa Bannan as another forward option, as she can play tall or small and even push up into the midfield.

[ … Tyanna Smith feature … ] | [ … Alyssa Bannan feature … ]

Also in the mix for the top Victorian picks are Sandringham Dragons’ Sarah Hartwig, a rebounding defender who could fill the need at Melbourne with Pick 5. Whichever player is left of the trio, expect the Saints to pounce on with Pick 6 in what showcases the elite top-end talent of this year’s group. Another possibility for the pick could be Northern Knights’ Jess Fitzgerald if the Saints choose to add extra midfield class to their side.

[ … Sarah Hartwig feature … ] | [ … Jess Fitzgerald One to Watch  … ]

West Coast and Adelaide also have top five picks coming in at picks three and four, with the Eagles having a decision to make whether they go high-flying Shanae Davison from their own aligned-Academy or if they look at someone like Sarah Verrier, a Peel Thunder talent with a great blend of inside-outside traits or Bella Lewis a hardened midfielder who has been sensational this year. The Crows are expected to be a little more predictable, with Teah Charlton the standout prospect, though given they have a monopoly on the South Australian nominees, they can select anyone in any order.

[ … Shanae Davison feature … ] | [ … Sarah Verrier feature … ] | [… Bella Lewis … ] | [ … Teah Charlton feature … ]

Gold Coast becomes the first Queensland team into the draft at Pick 7, and with players still able to nominate the Gold Coast and Brisbane zones, a Suns Academy member such as Annise Bradfield, Daisy D’Arcy, Maddison Levi or Beth Pinchin could be among those in consideration. For the Lions a pick later, Zimmorlei Farquharson looms as the standout youngster in the group.

[ … Annise Bradfield … ] | [ … Daisy D’Arcy feature … ] | [ … Maddison Levi feature … ] | [ … Zimmorlei Farquharson feature … ]

The final pick inside the top 10 is Geelong and they have the most interesting selection with the top group likely off the board, it is an even balance of players they could choose from. If they opt to go local – knowing they do not have priority – then perhaps the skill and class of Falcons’ Darcy Moloney could be an option. If they want to go a little taller, then Isabelle Pritchard could head down the highway from the Western Jets and provide a strong inside presence, or they could look to a proven big-game performer in Northern Knights’ Fitzgerald.

[ … Darcy Moloney feature … ] | [ … Isabelle Pritchard feature … ]

Western Bulldogs become the first team to make their second selection at Pick 11, which is effectively Pick 6 from the Victorian draft. If they went Smith in the first selection, they could look to go taller here and look to someone like Bulldogs’ supporter Pritchard or perhaps consider Murray Bushrangers’ key forward Olivia Barber. If they went for Bannan with their second selection, perhaps Fitzgerald is one to join the ranks as yet another Knight, whilst the likes of classy forward Bella Eddey or outside mover Mimi Hill could come into consideration through the first round.

[ … Olivia Barber feature … ] | [ … Bella Eddey feature … ] | [ … Mimi Hill feature … ]

Carlton enter the draft at Pick 12, and the names already raised in Fitzgerald, Hill and Eddey could be around the mark, though if they want to add an inside midfielder, then perhaps Falcons’ Laura Gardiner could be a suggestion. North Melbourne are next up and will also be keen to add another midfielder to the ranks, and try and predict what Melbourne (Picks 15 and 17) and Western Bulldogs (Pick 16) are going to do. If the Dees did not end up with Hartwig, then they could look at Dandenong Stingrays’ Zoe Hill with a selection, or if Pritchard has somehow slid, she is another defensive option.

[ … Laura Gardiner feature … ] | [ … Zoe Hill feature … ]

The West Australian teams squeeze in between the Victorian ones, with Fremantle likely to grab one of Verrier or Bella Lewis at the pick. Both are Fremantle-aligned and the Dockers know they can have an immediate impact in last year’s unbeaten side. The Eagles could look to Davison – if not already taken – or the classy Mikayla Morrison with this selection, or go for the ready-made Nyra Anderson at Pick 18.

[ … Bella Lewis feature … ] | [ … Mikayla Morrison feature … ] | [ … Nyra Anderson feature … ]

The last team to enter the draft is Collingwood with Pick 19 the Magpies’ first selection. Expect that to be Tarni Brown because on talent alone she is a top 10 pick, so the black and white army will gladly use their first pick on the Eastern Ranges’ jet. They will look to add some more midfield options, and she adds some extra speed and class to the team. Expect Alice Burke to be read out at the Saints’ Pick 24 – again great value – otherwise anything else is a bargain.

[ … Tarni Brown feature … ] | [ … Alice Burke feature … ]

The draft crop becomes so even outside of that top 20, with so many talented players fighting for spots on AFL Women’s lists. Ash Woodland and Georgia Nanscawen are readymade prospects who can impact immediately at AFL Women’s level, whilst Alana Barba, Shanara Notman, Nikia Webber, Amber Ward and Mattea Breed are all talls who have an extra year of experience as over-agers. Not holding a Draft Combine invite per say, South Australian duo Rachelle Martin and Matilda Zander would be a couple of others on clubs radars as ones who can make an immediate impact.

Some former basketballers who have crossed to football in the last 12-18 months are Amelia Velardo, Annabel Strahan and Carly Remmos, whilst Jess Matin (cricket) and Charlie Vandenberg (hockey) are among others who have forced high-level careers in other sports. Queenslanders, Christine Okesene, Brooke Spence, Laura Blue and Lucy Single are others who have transferred from various codes over the years.

From a Victorian perspective, among other names in various midfield positions are outside midfielder, Abbey Jordan and Joanna Lin, inside midfielders, Brooke Hards, Olivia Meagher and Winnie Laing, balanced midfielders Eliza McNamara, Megan Fitzsimon and Maeve Chaplin. Meanwhile the standout ruck is Maggie Caris.

Up forward, Renee Saulitis is the most dangerous small forward, whilst Isabella Simmons is a taller option, and Abbi Moloney a rapidly improving player. In defence, Ash Snow has great speed, while the likes of Jemma Finning, Mietta Kendall and Amber Micallef have all produced great seasons. As some raw talents, Alice O’Loughlin and Alice Astbury have had glimpses in the few games they have played, whilst Grace McRae and Daisy Walker have been valuable across multiple positions though predominantly in the middle.

From South Australia, Indy Tahau is the other star top-ager who is likely to join her South Adelaide teammate Charlton at the Crows, whilst for NSW/ACT,  Murray Bushrangers’ Abby Favell, midfielder-defender Emily Pease and surprise packet Kiara Beesley were among the Draft Combine invites. From the Northern Territory, top-ager Stephanie Williams leads the charge and has nominated Victoria, while Freda Puruntatameri – who played some games for Calder Cannons – and mature-ager Janet Baird have all caught the eye.

Out west, mature-agers Sarah Wielstra (25 years-old) and 20-year-olds, Ella Smith, Rosie Walsh and Jess Low all earned combine invites. Meanwhile from the top-age group, twins Brianna and Mikayla Hyde have impressed moving into the midfield this season, while leading forward Maggie MacLachlan is another player in contention to be drafted.

[ … FOR FULL FEATURES ON MORE THAN 80 PLAYERS HEAD TO OUR AFLW FEATURES PAGE … ]

TEAM-BY-TEAM PICKS:

Adelaide: 4, 45, 47
Brisbane: 8, 37, 38
Carlton: 12, 28, 36
Collingwood: 19, 25, 26, 31, 33
Fremantle: 14, 30, 46
Geelong: 10, 20, 21, 27, 39
Gold Coast: 7, 23, 50, 54, 57, 58, 60, 61
GWS: 9, 29, 42
Melbourne: 5, 15, 17, 35, 41, 48
North Melbourne: 13, 22, 44, 49, 55
Richmond: 1, 43, 52
St Kilda: 6, 24, 34, 40, 51
West Coast: 3, 18, 32, 53, 56, 59
Western Bulldogs: 2, 11, 16

Webber making waves

GIPPSLAND Power product Nikia Webber has high hopes for the future with the 18-year-old in her fourth season with the club and dreaming to get drafted in the near future if everything goes to plan. After telling us her footballing story growing up, she spoke prior to the NAB League Girls season about her dreams for the year ahead.

“By the end of the year I hope to get drafted, obviously that’s every girls dream. Just go hard, show the other teams what I have,” she said.

Webber has seen first-hand how far footy can take you with former teammate and Power captain Tyla Hanks playing with the Melbourne Demons in the AFLW. The crafty forward credits a lot of her development to Hanks and the influence she has had on her footy life.

“Yeah obviously playing alongside Tyla was a really good opportunity I learnt a lot from her and to see her actually killing it on the big stage as well is really good for her,” she said.

She has drawn the eye of plenty of people in the footy world getting a call up to the Vic Country squad at a young age due to her goal sense and ability to have an impact across the ground.

“It was a pretty good experience especially because I was 16 at the time so one of the bottom-agers and actually getting to run out wearing those colours was just the best thing that could happen,” she said.

Throughout her time with the Power, Webber has learnt a great deal of things with leadership one of the key elements of her development on the field.

“Just be a good leader for all those young ones that want to come through the program and actually lead by example for those younger girls in under 13s that actually want to make something out of this,” she said.

She has added some versatility to her game play making the switch down back when needed while also perfecting her craft up forward to ensure she has a continued influence on the scoreboard.

“Yeah I’ve always played forward but last year I actually played a bit of backline as well so that was a really big change,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about that position but one game the coach was like “oh you’ve got to go into the backline” so a bit nervous going into that. “But he said I did really well which was good.”

Webber has enjoyed the opportunity to mentor and foster the new up and coming players at Gippsland while soaking in the environment at the club over the past year, especially last season.

“All the new girls that came in you sort of just have to mentor them through the program because I’ve been there for so long,” Webber said. “It was a pretty cruisey year last year, it was really good actually. “A lot of the girls you wouldn’t think stand up did so it actually made the year pretty fun and enjoyable.”

Webber is aware there is still plenty she can improve on to become the best footballer she can be with aiming to go in harder at the contest and upping her work rate to have an impact at the coalface.

“Yeah the team improved massively, obviously I improved as well,” she said. “So the few years before that I didn’t really stand out wasn’t really going for the ball or anything was just sort of laid back but last year I actually felt like I was part of the team and could actually show my skills. “There’s a lot of things to get better on and obviously because no one is perfect so everything that you don’t think’s good during the season just work on that.”

AFL Women’s Draft Combine: Player Summaries

AFTER the 2019 AFL Women’s Draft Combine list of names were announced earlier in the week, we take a look at each player who was nominated, with a quick summary and link to their profile. Check them out below:

2019 AFLW NAB Draft Combine Nominees

NSW/ACT: [3]

Georgia Garnett (East Coast Eagles)
* Eastern Allies captain, member of the GWS GIANTS Academy and a player from the GIANTS heartland of western Sydney

Eloise Hiller-Stanbrook (Dubbo)
* Tireless ruck who averaged 14 hitouts per game at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships

Brenna Tarrant (East Coast Eagles)
* All-Australian in 2019 and a crucial key defender who can move up the ground, also from western Sydney heartland

QUEENSLAND: [8]

Georgia Breward (Coolangatta)+
* Suffered a season-ending injury last year but showed plenty of talent and determination

Isabel Dawes (Maroochydore)
* Classy, smart forward who made All-Australian last year in her middle-age year

Dee Heslop (Yeronga South Brisbane)
* Consistent player who has been reliable in the defensive half and uses the ball well

Tahlia Hickie (Coorparoo)+
* Ruck prospect who played as an over-ager at the championships and performed strongly

Lily Postlethwaite (Maroochydore)
* Dual All-Australian and state captain, super talented midfielder

Taylor Smith (Bond University)+
* Tall target who presented well during the championships up forward, another overage player on the list

Serene Watson (Bond University)
* Another dual All-Australian from Queensland who provided a reliable marking target in the defensive half, repelling opposition attacks time and time again

Tarni White (Coorparoo)
* Returned from an ACL injury to show some promising signs at the championships and has plenty of upside

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: [4]

Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide)
* Dual All-Australian ruck and dual Most Valuable Player (MVP), South Australian and Central Allies captain, South Adelaide premiership player… the list of accolades is unbelievable. Top ruck in the draft crop

Hannah Munyard (South Adelaide)
* Smart user of the footy with elite athletic traits, premiership player at South Adelaide predominantly through the midfield

Madison Newman (West Adelaide)
* One of the top rebounders in the draft crop, an All-Australian in 2019 and consistent as they come

Jaimi Tabb (Woodville-West Torrens)
* Tackling machine who thrives on the contest and has shown a capability to also win the ball on the outside as well

TASMANIA: [1]

Mia King (Launceston)
* Super talented mover through the midfield with burst speed, King won the Eastern Allies’ MVP for the carnival to go with her All-Australian selection. North Melbourne have first priority being Tasmanian

VIC COUNTRY: [10]

Teagan Brett (Murray Bushrangers)
* Small midfielder who came of age in the championships, playing well on the outside and getting the ball from midfield into attack

Millie Brown (Murray Bushrangers)
* Potential Geelong father-daughter selection, Brown was superb across the championships in defence until injury ruled her out of the final game. 2019 All-Australian

Luka Lesosky-Hay (Geelong Falcons)
* Accumulator who just finds the football and works hard into space, a key cog in Geelong Falcons’ midfield with Lucy McEvoy

Lucy McEvoy (Geelong Falcons)
* Hard to even begin with the accolades, but a three-time All-Australian, dual Best and Fairest, premiership captain, Vic Country MVP… just a star and unbelievable leader who has captained for three years at the Falcons

Sophie Molan (GWV Rebels)
* Natural born leader who captained the Rebels this year and is as versatile as they come, can play anywhere and was a 2019 All-Australian

Shanara Notman (Gippsland Power)
* A late bloomer after having last year off, she can play up either end and is strong in the air and very good athletically

Paige Sheppard (Geelong Falcons)
* Raised her draft stocks at the championships with a terrific carnival following on from a consistent year in the NAB League Girls

Brooke Vernon (Dandenong Stingrays)
* One of Dandenong’s best in the NAB League Girls this year, playing as a rebounding defender who is as good in the air as she is at ground level

Nikia Webber (Gippsland Power)
* Tall forward who can also play through the midfield, Webber is an elite kick of the footy, arguably the best in the draft crop with accuracy and penetration

Ella Wood (GWV Rebels)
* Uncompromising midfielder who loves the contested side of footy and relishes winning the hard ball with great courage

VIC METRO: [15]

Alana Barba (Calder Cannons)
* A tackling machine who stood up particularly later in the year, emerging as a genuine draft chance with great defensive pressure

Molly Denahy-Maloney (Sandringham Dragons)
* Athletic ruck who captained Sandringham Dragons this year and held up Vic Metro’s ruck division in 2019

Elisabeth Georgostathis (Western Jets)
* Captain of Western Jets and one who always puts her body on the line, Georgostathis was another who raised her draft stocks at the championships with important moments in big games. Can play anywhere on the field too

Isabella Grant (Western Jets)
* Potential Western Bulldogs father-daughter, she is able to play midfield or forward and can take a grab and hit the scoreboard

Britney Gutknecht (Northern Knights)
* Known for her goalkicking last year, Gutknecht became an inside midfielder this year and was a key player in the Knights’ premiership side

Gemma Lagioia (Oakleigh Chargers)
* Classy user of the football who can play anywhere on the ground, she was able to develop her inside game at the championships to add another string to her bow

Laura McClelland (Eastern Ranges)
* One of only three Vic Metro All-Australians, McClelland can play anywhere on the ground and is strong in the air and capable of kicking terrific goals

Nell Morris-Dalton (Northern Knights)
* One of the most consistent players this season, Morris-Dalton had a massive end to the NAB League Girls season and is so strong one-on-one, particularly in the air

Gabrielle Newton (Northern Knights)
* Dual All-Australian, Northern Knights premiership captain and one who is almost copied and pasted into the best every week, Newton hardly puts a foot wrong and has played literally everywhere on the field from the ruck to all thirds of the ground given her athletic talents

Georgia Patrikios (Calder Cannons)
* Overall MVP of the championships, Patrikios led her Calder side to a grand final and has the best agility of any player in the draft crop. Uses the ball well and is a dual All-Australian too

Marguerite Purcell (Sandringham Dragons)
* Speedy winger who has developed rapidly this year playing for the Dragons and earned a spot on Vic Metro’s list for the championships, holding her own there

Sarah Sansonetti (Northern Knights)
* Reliable defender who stood up in the NAB League Girls Grand Final for Northern and just does the job week-in, week-out

Cleo Saxon-Jones (Western Jets)
* Key forward who is a strong contested mark and powerful set shot at goal, she thrived on one-on-one situations at the championships

Felicity Theodore (Calder Cannons)
* Fierce tackling runner who just works hard all day and attacks the footy and ball carrier with vigour, able to play up either end and provide great defensive pressure

Nicola Xenos (Oakleigh Chargers)
* Talented running defender who uses the ball well off half-back and makes good decisions with ball-in-hand

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: [4]

Sophie McDonald (Claremont)+
* Key defender who repelled opposition attacks and was able to set up attacking plays after some goal-saving moves deep in defence

Emma O’Driscoll (Swan Districts)*
* Did not play up on the Gold Coast, but O’Driscoll is a reliable defender who has good positioning and high level smarts

Roxanne Roux (East Fremantle)
* Exciting key forward who has a massive vertical leap and could become a human highlight reel with her long kicking, goal sense and work rate; another All-Australian

Mim Strom (South Fremantle)
* Really stood out in the ruck as a key player who not only worked well at stoppages, but at ground level and around the ground, providing an impact – 2019 All-Australian too

+Overage player (ie. born 2000)

2019 AFL Women’s Draft Combine invitations announced

FORTY-five players have been invited to the 2019 AFL Women’s NAB Draft Combine, with 25 from Victoria – where eight of the 10 AFL Women’s clubs are based, with Queensland (eight) the next highest. Four players from both South Australia and Western Australia have been invited, as have three from NSW/ACT and one from Tasmania. Among the invitees are five overagers (eligible last year), as well as two father-daughter potential selections in Isabella Grant (Western Bulldogs) and Millie Brown (Geelong). Players who are already pre-listed to clubs such as Gold Coast’s Ellie Hampson, West Coast’s Mikayla Bowen and St Kilda’s Molly McDonald and Isabella Shannon were not included in the invitations.

The combine will be held from October 1-3 to align with the AFL Under-18 National Combine. Western Bulldogs hold the first pick in this year’s AFL Women’s Draft.

Extended content on the invitees will come later in the week.

2019 AFLW NAB Draft Combine Nominees

NSW/ACT: [3]
Georgia Garnett (East Coast Eagles)
Eloise Hiller-Stanbrook (Dubbo)
Brenna Tarrant (East Coast Eagles)

QUEENSLAND: [8]
Georgia Breward (Coolangatta)*
Isabel Dawes (Maroochydore)
Dee Heslop (Yeronga South Brisbane)
Tahlia Hickie (Coorparoo)*
Lily Postlethwaite (Maroochydore)
Taylor Smith (Bond University)*
Serene Watson (Bond University)
Tarni White (Coorparoo)

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: [4]
Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide)
Hannah Munyard (South Adelaide)
Madison Newman (West Adelaide)
Jaimi Tabb (Woodville-West Torrens)

TASMANIA: [1]
Mia King (Launceston)

VIC COUNTRY: [10]
Teagan Brett (Murray Bushrangers)
Millie Brown (Murray Bushrangers)
Luka Lesosky-Hay (Geelong Falcons)
Lucy McEvoy (Geelong Falcons)
Sophie Molan (GWV Rebels)
Shanara Notman (Gippsland Power)
Paige Sheppard (Geelong Falcons)
Brooke Vernon (Dandenong Stingrays)
Nikia Webber (Gippsland Power)
Ella Wood (GWV Rebels)

VIC METRO: [15]
Alana Barba (Calder Cannons)
Molly Denahy-Maloney (Sandringham Dragons)
Elisabeth Georgostathis (Western Jets)
Isabella Grant (Western Jets)
Britney Gutknecht (Northern Knights)
Gemma Lagioia (Oakleigh Chargers)
Laura McClelland (Eastern Ranges)
Nell Morris-Dalton (Northern Knights)
Gabrielle Newton (Northern Knights)
Georgia Patrikios (Calder Cannons)
Marguerite Purcell (Sandringham Dragons)
Sarah Sansonetti (Northern Knights)
Cleo Saxon-Jones (Western Jets)
Felicity Theodore (Calder Cannons)
Nicola Xenos (Oakleigh Chargers)

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: [4]
Sophie McDonald (Claremont)*
Emma O’Driscoll (Swan Districts)*
Roxanne Roux (East Fremantle)
Mim Strom (South Fremantle)

*Overage player (ie. born 2000)

AFLW U18 Championships Team Profile: Vic Country

AFTER the Victorian sides were announced yesterday, we take a look at how the Vic Country players performed this season statistically and some of their key traits. The Country side has some strong midfielders and a consistent defence, as well as some classy players. Among those leaders in the side are Lucy McEvoy, Molly McDonald, Millie Brown and Sophie Molan who all captain their respective sides. The 29-player squad includes a number of middle-agers (not eligible for the draft until next year) who have been marked with an asterisk.

#1 Elise Vella
Geelong Falcons | Outside Midfielder | 156cm

The speedy winger might not be tall, but she provides the Falcons with some great run on the outside, and adds a point of difference to a midfield that has plenty of potency. Works well between the arcs, getting the ball from midfield inside 50.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls7132010010120032.34.36.70.30.00.30.019
Total-7132010010120032.34.36.70.30.00.30.019

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Falcons6541106110021002351106.54.110.61.10.02.10.137
Total-6541106110021002351106.54.110.61.10.02.10.137

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Cats VFLW691520010000032.03.05.00.70.00.30.014
Total-691520010000032.03.05.00.70.00.30.014

 

#2 Teagan Brett
Murray Bushrangers | Balanced Midfielder | 157cm

Buzzes around the contest and manages to get out of contested situations due to her size and ability to slip free of tackles. Gets to the right positions to win the ball and get it forward.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls2172820060050037.02.39.30.70.02.00.031
Total-2172820060050037.02.39.30.70.02.00.031

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Murray Bushrangers733210511002400105098.13.611.71.20.02.70.038
Total-733210511002400105098.13.611.71.20.02.70.038

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Richmond VFLW741120030000323.52.05.51.00.01.51.527
Total-741120030000323.52.05.51.00.01.51.527

 

#3 Paige Sheppard
Geelong Falcons | Balanced Midfielder | 158cm

Another Falcons midfielder who wins the ball on the inside or outside, and can give her forwards best opportunities. A terrific kick, she is able to hit-up targets with pinpoint passes going inside 50, averaging more than five inside 50s a game, but also works hard defensively, laying four tackles per game.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls15193440090220135.06.311.31.30.03.00.337
Total-15193440090220135.06.311.31.30.03.00.337

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Falcons1165517120004500461031011.65.517.12.00.04.50.364
Total-1165517120004500461031011.65.517.12.00.04.50.364

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Cats VFLW121022300110000034.03.37.31.00.03.70.022
Total-121022300110000034.03.37.31.00.03.70.022

 

#4 Renee Saulitis*
GWV Rebels | Small Forward/Defender | 163cm

A small forward who has been tested down back, the bottom-age talent from the Rebels uses the ball well and has quick disposal by hand or foot. Saultis moves well and provides Country with the versatility to play her up either end. One of the highest goalsenses going around.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021St Kilda1061640010010033.32.05.31.30.00.30.019
Total-1061640010010033.32.05.31.30.00.30.019

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls1341710070123134.31.35.70.30.02.30.322
Total-1341710070123134.31.35.70.30.02.30.322

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019GWV Rebels5296114001900122495.81.06.81.60.02.10.430
2020GWV Rebels14102450060011227.05.012.02.50.03.01.046
Total-661985190025001336116.01.77.71.70.02.30.576

 

#5 Luka Lesosky-Hay
Geelong Falcons | Midfielder | 164cm

A huge work ethic, Lesosky-Hay is a natural ball winner who can play inside or outside, and offers good tackling pressure to her side. She has averaged more than five tackles per game in the NAB League Girls this season.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021Richmond12310010000011.02.03.01.00.01.00.010
Total-12310010000011.02.03.01.00.01.00.010

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls6142000060612023.07.010.00.00.03.00.034
Total-6142000060612023.07.010.00.00.03.00.034

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Falcons128671952200500025601012.86.719.52.20.05.00.064
Total-128671952200500025601012.86.719.52.20.05.00.064

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Cats VFLW131326300170000034.34.38.71.00.05.70.025
Total-131326300170000034.34.38.71.00.05.70.025

 

#6 Laura Gardiner*
Geelong Falcons | Balanced Midfielder | 164cm

Gardiner is a tackling machine who might not win the same numbers as some of her teammates, but plays an important role, usually off a wing, and is often key in getting the ball free and to teammates running down the ground. Averages almost six tackles per game.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021Geelong33610030000013.03.06.01.00.03.00.018
Total-33610030000013.03.06.01.00.03.00.018

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls142135100160671034.77.011.70.30.05.30.040
Total-142135100160671034.77.011.70.30.05.30.040

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Falcons6467131100053001731106.46.713.11.00.05.30.140
2020Geelong Falcons30396940023001061215.019.534.52.00.011.50.5106
Total-94106200140076002792127.88.816.71.20.06.30.2146

 

#7 Ella Wood
GWV Rebels | Inside Midfielder | 164cm

An inside midfielder who cracks in at every opportunity, Wood missed the AFLW Under 18 Championships last year due to injury but has enjoyed good consistency this year, only missing the one game. Wood is able to play forward or back, and covers the ground well.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Richmond861420070003032.72.04.70.70.02.30.015
Total-861420070003032.72.04.70.70.02.30.015

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls11718000110232033.72.36.00.00.03.70.020
Total-11718000110232033.72.36.00.00.03.70.020

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019GWV Rebels7632108200019001414189.54.013.52.50.02.40.150
Total-7632108200019001414189.54.013.52.50.02.40.150

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Western Bulldogs VFLW222547600290000173.13.66.70.90.04.10.120
Total-222547600290000173.13.66.70.90.04.10.120

 

#8 Elizabeth Snell*
Bendigo Pioneers | Small Forward | 165cm

Had a huge day out against Gippsland Power, booting five goals and looking lively in attack earlier in the season. She can play through the midfield, but has the goal sense and smarts inside 50 to play as that small forward who can dart into open space and cause headaches.

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Bendigo Pioneers741892230023001851089.32.311.52.90.02.91.354
2020Bendigo Pioneers16723300150053028.03.511.51.50.07.50.042
2021Bendigo Pioneers307375001900732215.03.518.52.50.09.51.074
Total-12032152310057003011121210.02.712.72.60.04.81.0170

 

#9 Darcy Moloney*
Geelong Falcons | Midfielder/Forward | 165cm

A medium midfielder forward who has a touch of class about the way she plays, and is always an option in transition. She can tend to be the player who spots up a target in a better position going down the ground, or centring the ball.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021Geelong651110030000023.02.55.50.50.01.50.016
Total-651110030000023.02.55.50.50.01.50.016

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls1922412001005102136.37.313.70.70.03.30.350
Total-1922412001005102136.37.313.70.70.03.30.350

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Falcons8873161180036001974108.87.316.11.80.03.60.453
2020Geelong Falcons19345320070042029.517.026.51.00.03.50.071
Total-107107214200043002394128.98.917.81.70.03.60.3124

 

#10 Sophie Locke
Murray Bushrangers | General Defender | 166cm

Not a high possession winner, but a great lockdown defender who can push up the ground. Often tasked with taking on the opposition’s best general forward, and is good at nullifying opponents due to her high athletic capabilities. Loves a tackle and averages almost five per game.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls12517100130450026.02.58.50.50.06.50.036
Total-12517100130450026.02.58.50.50.06.50.036

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Murray Bushrangers66127814004210713097.31.38.71.60.14.70.032
Total-66127814004210713097.31.38.71.60.14.70.032

 

#11 Brooke Hards*
Bendigo Pioneers | Inside Midfielder | 166cm

The absolute definition of a tackling machine. Hards averaged 9.9 tackles per game this season, and was often tasked with going head-to-head against the opposition’s best midfielder, while trying to create attacking plays as well. Won Bendigo Pioneers’ Best and Fairest award for her consistency this season.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls8210100120010124.01.05.00.50.06.00.520
Total-8210100120010124.01.05.00.50.06.00.520

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Bendigo Pioneers6761128120089001620197.46.814.21.30.09.90.146
2020Bendigo Pioneers171633400140043028.58.016.52.00.07.00.053
Total-847716116001030020231117.67.014.61.50.09.40.199

 

#12 Tyanna Smith*
Dandenong Stingrays | Midfielder | 167cm

Has an eye-catching burst of speed out of a stoppage and is a big-game player. A number of times she has stood up when her team needs her in crunch moments, and was one of Vic Country’s best at the AFL Women’s Under 16 Championships last year.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021St Kilda4725721500380072259.45.014.43.00.07.60.453
Total-4725721500380072259.45.014.43.00.07.60.453

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls2919485001908130139.76.316.01.70.06.30.365
Total-2919485001908130139.76.316.01.70.06.30.365

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Dandenong Stingrays7343116700250029117710.46.116.61.00.03.61.062
2020Dandenong Stingrays5323761200180016101317.77.725.34.00.06.00.396
Total-1266619219004300452181012.66.619.21.90.04.30.8158

 

#13 Molly McDonald
Dandenong Stingrays | Midfielder | 168cm

Already on an AFLW list, McDonald has not let her imminent future phase her this season, putting in a consistent performance week-in, week-out for the Stingrays. Not always the highest disposal winner, McDonald’s one percenters would be as high as anyone in the league, and she creates opportunities for her teammates.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020St Kilda4985721001300810268.21.39.53.50.02.20.344
2021St Kilda1341750040043026.52.08.52.50.02.00.037
Total-621274260017001213287.81.59.33.30.02.10.381

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls288363001305132139.32.712.01.00.04.30.353
Total-288363001305132139.32.712.01.00.04.30.353

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Dandenong Stingrays702696110026102762710.03.713.71.60.13.70.353
Total-702696110026102762710.03.713.71.60.13.70.353

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Southern Saints5424781300190000477.73.411.11.90.02.70.639
Total-5424781300190000477.73.411.11.90.02.70.639

 

#14 Abbey Chapman
Geelong Falcons | Key Defender | 170cm

One of the most consistent key defenders in the competition, Chapman will likely pair with Kate Douglass in the back 50. Being in the Geelong back 50 is often a blessing considering how strong the midfield is, but it has not stopped Chapman rebounding more than four times a game.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls1531810060107035.01.06.00.30.02.00.021
Total-1531810060107035.01.06.00.30.02.00.021

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Falcons852511019008104471108.52.511.01.90.10.80.142
Total-852511019008104471108.52.511.01.90.10.80.142

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Cats VFLW1321520040000034.30.75.00.70.01.30.016
Total-1321520040000034.30.75.00.70.01.30.016

 

#15 Nikia Webber
Gippsland Power | Key Forward | 170cm

The Gippsland Power key forward has an elite kick and with a strong midfield in front of her, Webber could be a real key in the side roaming up to half-forward. Last year she played well inside 50 with Lucy McEvoy, and now McEvoy could be kicking it to her inside 50.

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Gippsland Power682088100031101414588.52.511.01.30.13.90.643
Total-682088100031101414588.52.511.01.30.13.90.643

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Casey Demons VFLW4711100120000250.81.42.20.20.02.40.48
Total-4711100120000250.81.42.20.20.02.40.48

 

#16 Renee Tierney*
Geelong Falcons | General Forward | 168cm

A consistent goalkicker who will likely play that third tall role in attack, Tierney became a premiership player in her bottom-age year last year, and has continued her form, pairing with Mia Skinner this year and averaging a goal a game. Has pushed more up the ground this year to averaged 15 disposals as well.

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Falcons8962151320047102019108.96.215.13.20.14.70.958
2020Geelong Falcons42630030020014.02.06.03.00.03.00.029
2021Geelong Falcons201131800900724210.05.515.54.00.04.52.073
Total-113751884300591029313138.75.814.53.30.14.51.0160

 

#17 Mia Skinner
Geelong Falcons | Key Forward | 170cm

The NAB League Girls leading goalkicker has been remarkable this season, booting 18 goals in nine games, and regularly kicking multiple goals in a game. She can turn a game with an impressive quarter, and has high footy IQ and goal sense inside 50. Can play tall or small.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Geelong000000000000000000000
2021Geelong000000000000000000000
Total-000000000000000000000

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Falcons11425139180037180310191011.42.513.91.81.83.71.964
Total-11425139180037180310191011.42.513.91.81.83.71.964

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Cats VFLW1572280050000035.02.37.32.70.01.70.028
Total-1572280050000035.02.37.32.70.01.70.028

 

#18 Kate Douglass
Bendigo Pioneers | Key Defender | 171cm

A consistent key defender who has had some stints in attack over the past 12 months, but is most notable for her ability to mark overhead, rebound and kick long. Can be a secure selection at full-back, rotating with Chapman and Zoe Hill.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls281010040100030.72.73.30.30.01.30.09
Total-281010040100030.72.73.30.30.01.30.09

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Bendigo Pioneers72148610001020138098.01.69.61.10.21.10.035
Total-72148610001020138098.01.69.61.10.21.10.035

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Williamstown VFLW111526300150000161.82.54.30.50.02.50.213
Total-111526300150000161.82.54.30.50.02.50.213

 

#19 Brooke Vernon
Dandenong Stingrays | General Defender | 172cm

The prime rebounder in the NAB League Girls competition, Vernon has averaged more than five rebounds in the season so far and has been one of the most consistent players in the Stingrays’ line-up. Expect her to be tasked with the kick-outs at the championships.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Carlton62810000003016.02.08.01.00.00.00.028
2021Carlton971610080001024.53.58.00.50.04.00.023
Total-1592420080004035.03.08.00.70.02.70.051

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls881620050016032.72.75.30.70.01.70.018
Total-881620050016032.72.75.30.70.01.70.018

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Dandenong Stingrays91281191900127012421811.43.514.92.40.91.50.158
Total-91281191900127012421811.43.514.92.40.91.50.158

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Southern Saints02200000000010.02.02.00.00.00.00.04
Total-02200000000010.02.02.00.00.00.00.04

 

#20 Zoe Hill*
Dandenong Stingrays | Key Defender | 173cm

The middle-age key defender is consistent to a tee, and is another option alongside the two top-age defenders in Chapman and Douglass back there. Another nullifying defender who will just lockdown on the opposition’s best forward. A long kick of the football.

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Dandenong Stingrays43216411002100117085.42.68.01.40.02.60.028
2020Dandenong Stingrays181230700150007036.04.010.02.30.05.00.035
2021Dandenong Stingrays16112700070063028.05.513.50.00.03.50.043
Total-7744121180043007270135.93.49.31.40.03.30.0106

 

#21 Sophie Molan
GWV Rebels | Midfielder/Forward | 175cm

A natural-born leader who has good size and can play anywhere, Molan will rotate between the midfield and forward. Averages more than 20 touches a game and lays almost five tackles. Will be a key leader in the side.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Richmond163147600160064062.75.27.81.00.02.70.024
2021Richmond142034100120031043.55.08.50.30.03.00.023
Total-3051817002800950103.05.18.10.70.02.80.047

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls153651100170652135.012.017.00.30.05.70.352
Total-153651100170652135.012.017.00.30.05.70.352

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019GWV Rebels9966165900381027105812.48.320.61.10.14.80.669
Total-9966165900381027105812.48.320.61.10.14.80.669

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Western Bulldogs VFLW293160800230000364.85.210.01.30.03.80.532
Total-293160800230000364.85.210.01.30.03.80.532

 

#22 Millie Brown
Murray Bushrangers | Defender/Midfielder | 175cm

Has found a great niche in defence and can play tall or small due to her strength overhead and ability to create plays from down the field. Will be a key player at the National Championships.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Geelong341650900700212065.72.78.31.50.01.20.030
2021Geelong1271980010004026.03.59.54.00.00.50.039
Total-4623691700800216085.82.98.62.10.01.00.069

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls1492320030009027.04.511.51.00.01.50.038
Total-1492320030009027.04.511.51.00.01.50.038

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Murray Bushrangers94551491200150015280713.47.921.31.70.02.10.069
Total-94551491200150015280713.47.921.31.70.02.10.069

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Cats VFLW14163050000000027.08.015.02.50.00.00.045
Total-14163050000000027.08.015.02.50.00.00.045

 

#23 Lucy McEvoy
Geelong Falcons | Tall Utility | 172cm

The Falcons captain has been a highly-touted prospect for some time and looms as Vic Country’s top prospect this year with her pure consistency, ball-winning ability and versatility to play anywhere on the ground. She was a star at last year’s AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, playing in attack and having a couple of bags of goals to her name.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020Carlton44479113002900141376.36.713.01.90.04.10.445
2021Carlton15173240050001135.05.710.71.30.01.70.333
Total-5964123170034001424105.96.412.31.70.03.40.478

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls3528636001508833311.79.321.02.00.05.01.080
Total-3528636001508833311.79.321.02.00.05.01.080

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Falcons123711943400629034192913.77.921.63.81.06.90.280
Total-123711943400629034192913.77.921.63.81.06.90.280

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Cats VFLW413172900250000158.26.214.41.80.05.00.244
Total-413172900250000158.26.214.41.80.05.00.244

 

#24 Isabella Simmons*
GWV Rebels | Key Forward/Midfielder | 181cm

A raw talent who is tall enough to play key forward, but athletic enough to roam up to a wing and through the midfield. Still a middle-age player, but would provide height in the forward half.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021Melbourne000000000000000000000
Total-000000000000000000000

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls961520060130224.53.07.51.00.03.01.033
Total-961520060130224.53.07.51.00.03.01.033

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019GWV Rebels45105514001100107276.41.47.92.00.01.60.334
2020GWV Rebels5101510061001022.55.07.50.50.53.00.020
Total-50207015001710108295.62.27.81.70.11.90.254

 

#25 Olivia Barber*
Murray Bushrangers | Key Utility | 184cm

Barber has played everywhere in her short career, and coming from a basketball background she has some natural abilities such as her leap. Her leading patterns and marking is also strong, and she can chop out Maggie Caris in the ruck when required.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021Geelong91928400413030133.06.39.31.34.31.30.334
Total-91928400413030133.06.39.31.34.31.30.334

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls257321000518142538.32.310.73.36.01.71.760
Total-257321000518142538.32.310.73.36.01.71.760

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Murray Bushrangers46176322001012063767.72.810.53.72.01.71.251
2020Murray Bushrangers70730032010117.00.07.03.02.03.01.040
Total-53177025001314073877.62.410.03.62.01.91.191

 

#26 Isabella Shannon
Dandenong Stingrays | Midfielder/Forward | 178cm

Another pre-listed AFLW player, Shannon is a tall forward who can play through the midfield. She is a prolific tackler and creates a point of difference at half-forward, always creating a contest and bringing the ball down for her teammates.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2020St Kilda1672370070033044.01.85.81.80.01.80.023
2021St Kilda761340090000132.32.04.31.30.03.00.317
Total-2313361100160033173.31.95.11.60.02.30.140

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls21133440080032037.04.311.31.30.02.70.036
Total-21133440080032037.04.311.31.30.02.70.036

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Dandenong Stingrays7634110140031002685710.94.915.72.00.04.40.761
Total-7634110140031002685710.94.915.72.00.04.40.761

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Southern Saints231437100090000063.82.36.21.70.01.50.021
Total-231437100090000063.82.36.21.70.01.50.021

 

#27 Shanara Notman
Gippsland Power | Key Defender | 178cm

A raw talent in defence, Notman had a big game in the final round and provides another option as a key defender in the Country side. Notman is good overhead and can rebound the ball outside 50, willing to take the game on.

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls131528500514741134.35.09.31.74.71.70.345
Total-131528500514741134.35.09.31.74.71.70.345

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Gippsland Power271239900520015046.83.09.82.30.51.30.037
2020Gippsland Power1962550042027029.53.012.52.51.02.00.049
2021Gippsland Power5111620000032015.011.016.02.00.00.00.051
Total-5129801600940524077.34.111.42.30.61.30.0137

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Casey Demons VFLW54910062000131.71.33.00.30.72.00.311
Total-54910062000131.71.33.00.30.72.00.311

 

#28 Georgia Howes
Dandenong Stingrays | Ruck/Key Forward | 183cm

Each side is only allowed one overage player in the squad and after Rene Caris was that player last year, it is Georgia Howes this year. She provides a stronger body at the ruck stoppages and can rest forward as well. Does not mind a tackle too.

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Dandenong Stingrays412566140030118095594.62.87.31.613.13.30.643
Total-412566140030118095594.62.87.31.613.13.30.643

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Casey Demons VFLW44840030000141.01.02.01.00.00.80.310
Total-44840030000141.01.02.01.00.00.80.310

 

#29 Maggie Caris*
GWV Rebels | Ruck | 188cm

The standout ruck throughout the NAB League Girls competition, Caris is the tallest Victorian player selected and also has represented her state at netball. She is clean below her knees and nearly always gets first hands to it in a ruck contest.

AFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021Melbourne000000000000000000000
Total-000000000000000000000

U18 Girls Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Vic Country Girls31013200934221021.55.06.51.017.04.50.040
Total-31013200934221021.55.06.51.017.04.50.040

NAB League Girls

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019GWV Rebels29235230010140036064.83.88.70.523.31.70.049
2020GWV Rebels101323100258060025.06.511.50.529.01.00.065
Total-39367540012198096084.94.59.40.524.81.50.0114

Victorian AFL Women’s Under 18 Championship teams announced

REIGNING premiers, Geelong Falcons have dominated the Victorian representation with nine players in the Vic Country 29-player squad, while minor premiers Northern Knights, finalists Eastern Ranges and fifth placed Oakleigh Chargers have six apiece in the 30-player Vic Metro squad. Of the other sides, Dandenong Stingrays also has six players in the Country team, meaning more than half the squad are Falcons or Stingrays, including St Kilda pre-listed duo, Molly McDonald and Isabella Shannon. Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Sandringham Dragons have five players each in the Country and Metro squads respectively, while Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets have four apiece. Bendigo Pioneers and Calder Cannons have three players in their representative squad, while Gippsland Power has the two.

Vic Country has included eight middle-agers (not eligible to be drafted until next year) in its squad, while Vic Metro has seven. The two coaches will have more than their fair share of AFL and AFLW experience, with Nathan Burke taking the reigns at Vic Metro, while Aasta O’Connor will coach Vic Country. The sides face off on June 22, before squads are reduced to fly to Gold Coast for three games against other states from July 8-12. AFL Draft Central will be on the ground in Queensland providing you all the latest.

State Talent Manager Paul Hamilton said the Championships gave Victoria’s best emerging female footballers the chance to highlight their skills on a big stage.

“The NAB AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships have the potential to put our up-and-coming female players firmly on the radar of AFL Women’s clubs,” Hamilton said. “Our Vic Country and Vic Metro girls will have access to some of the best coaching resources in women’s football in order to develop their games and will be able to experience playing at elite-level venues against the best talent the rest of Australia has to offer. “Travelling to the Gold Coast in July will also provide them an extra opportunity to bond with girls who share a common goal of furthering their careers within the elite talent pathway.”

The Country vs Metro under-18 match on June 22 will be part of a double-header along with an under-16 Country vs Metro clash (commencing at 12pm), with the initial squads for those teams to be announced next week. All the non-Victorian state lists will be posted once the final team lists are completed, with some out, while others are yet to be released.

Tomorrow we will provide more details on each of those players selected in the Victorian squads.

VIC COUNTRY

NO. NAME   DOB HT NAB LEAGUE GIRLS CLUB
1 Elise Vella 05-Sep-01 156 Geelong Falcons
2 Teagan Brett 08-Feb-01 157 Murray Bushrangers
3 Paige Sheppard 23-Apr-01 158 Geelong Falcons
4 Renee Saulitis 14-Aug-02 163 GWV Rebels
5 Luka Lesosky-Hay 07-Jan-01 164 Geelong Falcons
6 Laura Gardiner 21-Nov-02 164 Geelong Falcons
7 Ella Wood 14-Feb-01 164 GWV Rebels
8 Elizabeth Snell 14-Mar-02 165 Bendigo Pioneers
9 Darcy Moloney 20-Nov-02 165 Geelong Falcons
10 Sophie Locke 24-Apr-01 166 Murray Bushrangers
11 Brooke Hards 19-Jul-02 166 Bendigo Pioneers
12 Tyanna Smith 29-Oct-02 167 Dandenong Stingrays
13 Molly McDonald 04-May-01 168 Dandenong Stingrays
14 Abbey Chapman 15-Apr-01 170 Geelong Falcons
15 Nikia Webber 29-Aug-01 170 Gippsland Power
16 Renee Tierney 23-May-02 168 Geelong Falcons
17 Mia Skinner 30-Jan-01 170 Geelong Falcons
18 Kate Douglass 19-Jul-01 171 Bendigo Pioneers
19 Brooke Vernon 20-Oct-01 172 Dandenong Stingrays
20 Zoe Hill 13-May-02 173 Dandenong Stingrays
21 Sophie Molan 24-Mar-01 175 GWV Rebels
22 Millie Brown 15-Jan-01 175 Murray Bushrangers
23 Lucy McEvoy 13-May-01 172 Geelong Falcons
24 Isabella Simmons 19-Apr-02 181 GWV Rebels
25 Olivia Barber 14-Jul-02 184 Murray Bushrangers
26 Isabella Shannon 30-Jun-01 178 Dandenong Stingrays
27 Shanara Notman 27-Jul-01 178 Gippsland Power
28 Georgia Howes 26-Jul-00 183 Dandenong Stingrays
29 Maggie Caris 21-Dec-02 188 GWV Rebels

 

VIC METRO

NO. NAME   DOB HT NAB LEAGUE GIRLS CLUB
1 Olivia Meagher 10-Dec-02 158 Eastern Ranges
2 Felicity Theodore 14-Mar-01 159 Calder Cannons
3 Gemma Lagioia 03-May-01 160 Oakleigh Chargers
4 Nicola Xenos 08-Mar-01 161 Oakleigh Chargers
5 Elisabeth Georgostathis 17-Oct-01 162 Western Jets
6 Madeleine Edwards 19-Jan-01 164 Eastern Ranges
7 Amelia Van Oosterwijck 08-Nov-01 164 Oakleigh Chargers
8 Mimi Hill 04-Oct-01 165 Oakleigh Chargers
9 Bella Eddey 02-Nov-02 165 Sandringham Dragons
10 Alana Barba 26-Sep-01 166 Calder Cannons
11 Tarni Brown 26-Mar-02 166 Eastern Ranges
12 Alice Burke 10-Mar-02 166 Sandringham Dragons
13 Britney Gutknecht 20-Apr-01 167 Northern Knights
14 Laura McClelland 03-Jul-01 169 Eastern Ranges
15 Alyssa Bannan 13-Apr-02 169 Northern Knights
16 Emily Harley 04-Dec-01 169 Oakleigh Chargers
17 Georgia Patrikios 30-Mar-01 170 Calder Cannons
18 Emma Horne 29-Nov-01 170 Eastern Ranges
19 Marguerite Purcell 27-Jul-01 170 Sandringham Dragons
20 Sarah Sansonetti 02-Aug-01 172 Northern Knights
21 Ellie McKenzie 17-Oct-02 173 Northern Knights
22 Sarah Hartwig 04-Dec-02 173 Sandringham Dragons
23 Nell Morris-Dalton 05-Apr-01 174 Northern Knights
24 Isabella Grant 21-Sep-01 174 Western Jets
25 Tahlia Merrett 08-Jan-01 174 Eastern Ranges
26 Gabrielle Newton 31-Aug-01 175 Northern Knights
27 Molly Denahy Maloney 25-Feb-01 175 Sandringham Dragons
28 Isabelle Pritchard 08-Mar-02 176 Western Jets
29 Cleo Saxon-Jones 04-Nov-01 181 Western Jets
30 Amelia Peck 13-Jan-00 183 Oakleigh Chargers

NAB League Girls wash-up: Round 9 – Unbeaten Knights seal minor premiership

FINALS fever awaits in the NAB League Girls competition, with the Northern Knights securing the minor premiership in an undefeated season. The top four order remained unchanged as three of the sides won in Round 9, with next week’s semi-final fixture locked in.

GEELONG FALCONS 1.2 | 4.3 | 5.3 | 8.7 (55)
MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 (7)

GOALS:

Geelong: M. Skinner 3, J. Hecker, L. McEvoy, P. Sheppard, D. Smith, T. Hassett
Murray: O. Barber

BEST:

Geelong: L. McEvoy, P. Sheppard, L. Lesosky-Hay, M. Skinner, A. Chapman, D. Smith
Murray: M. Brown, O. Barber, C. Mailer, K. Skepper, M. Trethowan, K. Adams

By: Peter Williams

Geelong Falcons bounced back from a rare loss to post a comfortable eight-goal win over Murray Bushrangers at Avalon Airport Oval in the final round of the NAB League Girls season. The Falcons have not needed to respond to a loss for more than two years, but they did so in style on Saturday afternoon despite the plucky Bushrangers’ best efforts. Missing a number of key players due to NSW/ACT representation, Murray brought the heat early, and booted the opening goal of the game through Olivia Barber, but from then on, the game seemed like it was a matter of time before Geelong finally broke the dam wall. They did so in the second term, when Mia Skinner decided enough was enough, booting three goals for her team to lead by 20 points at the main break. While the Bushrangers restricted the Falcons to just the one major in the third term, the Falcons took advantage of the breeze in the last quarter to boot another three goals and record a strong victory ahead of finals next week. Lucy McEvoy was bordering on unstoppable in the game, often needing multiple opponents to drag her down in tackles, she bustled her way to 27 disposals, eight marks, six tackles, four inside 50s and a goal, and could have had a few more had her kicks from outside 50 carried the distance. Paige Sheppard was equally as terrific in the forward half, booting the Falcons first goal of the game, and having 23 disposals, six marks, five inside 50s, two rebounds and laying five tackles. Luka Lesosky-Hay did her own thing around the ground amassing 19 touches and laying six tackles, while Skinner also had 16 disposals and four inside 50s with her three goals, constantly looking dangerous inside the arc. For the Bushrangers, Millie Brown was far and away the best just for her work in defence which time and time again stopped the Falcons attacking movements. It was no surprise to see the potential Geelong father-daughter selection pick up 28 disposals, three marks, four tackles, two inside 50s, and crucially, five rebounds. Barber had seven hitouts, 14 disposals and three marks in defeat, while Cassidy Mailer, Keeley Skepper and Mikaela Trethowan were also named among the best, with Mindy Quade producing a number of timely spoils in defence as well.

WESTERN JETS 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 1.3 (9)
DANDENONG STINGRAYS 3.1 | 4.3 | 8.6 | 9.6 (60)

GOALS:

Western: L. Wright
Dandenong: T. Smith 4, E. Allen-Burns 2, H. Thomas, S. Stratton, G. Grimmer

BEST:

Western: R. Tripodi, J. Woods, M. Ham, E. Georgostathis, P. Ozols, E. Kiely
Dandenong: B. Vernon, G. Grimmer, I. Shannon, M. McDonald, G. Hodder, T. Smith

By: Michael Alvaro

The Dandenong Stingrays ended their season emphatically, trouncing Western Jets by 51 points to finish a game outside of the top four. Western’s two game winning run came to a halt with another heavy defeat, but the Jets can hold their head up having picked up three wins to finish tenth after a winless first four rounds. The Stingrays were on top from the get-go, building their winning score best in the first and third terms while keeping Western goalless until Laura Wright kicked truly in the final term. Dandenong middle-ager Tyanna Smith played a blinder, racking up an equal game-high 23 disposals, while also pushing forward for a clinical four-straight goals to earn the Round 9 Draft Central Rising Star nod. Brooke Vernon was named best for the winners on the back of a solid defensive outing, while AFLW pre-listed pair Isabella Shannon and Molly McDonald were their usual selves in midfield. Elisabeth Georgostathis was one of Western’s best in defence and midfield, winning 23 disposals, but Ruby Tripodi claimed the full votes for her seven disposals and five tackles. With both sides’ seasons now over, stars from each team will now look forward to VFLW commitments, as well as potential call-ups to represent Victoria Country and Metro in July’s National Championships.

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS 0.2 | 0.4 | 0.4 | 0.5 (5)
NORTHERN KNIGHTS 3.1 | 4.1 | 6.3 | 7.8 (50)

GOALS:

GWV: Nil
Northern: A. Bannan 2, N. Morris-Dalton, M. Appleby, T. Pulcino, G. Newton, B. Gutknecht

BEST:

GWV: M. Ciavarella, N. Butler, S. Molan, E. Friend, E. Wood, M. Caris
Northern: N. Morris-Dalton, C. Fitzgerald, S. Sansonetti, P. Chisholm, T. Smart, G. Newton

By: Michael Alvaro

Northern Knights ensured they would end the regular season undefeated with a dominant 45-point win over the Greater Western Victoria Rebels securing them minor premiership honours. Picking up from where they left off last week, the Knights led all game, breaking it open in the first and third quarters with three goals in each to build their winning margin – all while keeping the Rebels goalless. An impressive spread of six individual Knights goal kickers was lead by Alyssa Bannan‘s two, with fellow goal-finders Nell Morris-Dalton (22 disposals) and Gabby Newton (17) also being named in the best while Ellie McKenzie (23 disposals, four marks) was their leading ball-winner and Jess Fitzgerald almost had a huge day with 21 disposals and 0.3. GWV’s Sophie Molan narrowly outdid McKenzie to rack up a game-high 26 disposals, but was beaten out by Melina Ciavarella (eight disposals, five tackles) to be the Rebels’ best. Ella Wood (15 disposals), and Lauren Sykes also won plenty of the ball to be thereabouts as the hosts’ season ended on two wins – including a memorable upset over Oakleigh just last week. Northern move on into the finals, set to play fourth-placed Eastern with the Ranges coming in off a Round 9 loss.

GIPPSLAND POWER 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.0 (6)
CALDER CANNONS 2.1 | 4.3 | 5.6 | 5.7 (37)

GOALS:

Gippsland: N. Webber
Calder: G. Patrikios 2, G. Prespakis, Z. Hardiman, M. Muller

BEST:

Gippsland: C. Bird, G. McRae, M. Fitzsimon, M. Van Berkel, M. Shaw, M. Gilmour
Calder: G. Sampson, T. Fry, Z. Friswell, A. Barba, Z. Hardiman, M. Muller

By: Peter Williams

Calder Cannons booked a date with reigning premiers, Geelong Falcons next Saturday after securing a finals spot courtesy of a 31-point win over Gippsland Power at Morwell Recreation Reserve on Sunday. Despite Gippsland toiling hard in the first 10 minutes of the game, it took some magic from Calder captain, Georgia Patrikios who booted two goals and hit the post to almost have a third in the opening term as her efforts handed Calder a lead. Makeisha Muller and Georgie Prespakis added their names to the goalkickers list in the second term, with Muller on the receiving end of a perfect Prespakis kick, while Prespakis converted a set shot in windy conditions. By the time Zoe Hardiman booted the Cannons’ final goal of the game six minutes into the third term the game was done, but the Power refused to give in, strangling the scoring power from the Cannons, and deservedly finding a major of their own late in the game. Nikia Webber‘s effort in her final NAB League Girls game was symbolic of the entire team – hard working without reward – with that reward coming in the dying minutes when she won a free kick and converted the goal. The Cannons were clearly the better side on the day, but it took magic from the likes of Patrikios, Prespakis and some run and carry from Felicity Theodore off half-back in the opening half to break down the otherwise steady Gippsland defence. Patrikios finished with three marks, five tackles and two inside 50s to go with her 19 touches and two goals, while Prespakis had four marks, six tackles, nine inside 50s and 26 touches in a strong effort once again. Georgia Sampson was named Calder’s best with 15 disposals, three marks and 14 hitouts, while Alana Barba tackled hard with 10 as well as 16 disposals in the game. For Gippsland, Shanara Notman was impressive in defence, having 18 touches, five marks and seven rebounds, while Maddison Shaw (14 disposals, four tackles and three rebounds) and Grace McRae (16 disposals and three tackles) were also consistent once again.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 1.2 | 2.4 | 2.5 | 3.5 (23)
EASTERN RANGES 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.1 | 3.1 (19)

GOALS:

Sandringham: S. Rothfield 3
Eastern: S. Gibbs, C. Wilsmore, M. Hardy

BEST:

Sandringham: A. Burke, D. Walker, G. Strangio, S. Rothfield, E. McNamara, I. Stutt
Eastern: E. Horne, T. Brown, M. Edwards, T. Merrett, J. Richardson, S. Gibbs

By: Josh Ward

In a game which had finals ramifications, the Sandringham Dragons prevailed what was a close contest. In a low-scoring game with rarely any easy possession throughout, the real breakout performer was surprise packet Sophia Rothfield up forward for Sandringham, scoring their only three goals, whilst providing that extra bit of pressure as well. The first two quarters were closely fought, with Sandy dominating the inside 50 game, putting on heaps of pressure up forward whilst not letting the Ranges getting any easy exits, going into the half time break with a deserved 10-point lead (2.4 16 to 1.0 6). However, it could have been more had it not been for the many missed opportunities. The second half was again closely fought, with their only being two points scored during the third quarter. But when Rothfield kicked her third, the game became a bit more open, with the Ranges scoring the next two goals, getting a little more exciting for the last couple of minutes. But despite the late resurgence from the Ranges, the Dragons kept their cool and won what was a really tight contest throughout. The midfield battle also lived up to its hype, with the Ranges duo of Tess Flintoff and Tarni Brown slightly winning it in the first half, but Sandy’s duo of Alice Burke and Winnie Lang winning it the second half. And in the end, it proved vital for the Dragons to pull off yet another surprise victory.

BENDIGO PIONEERS 2.0 | 2.0 | 2.0 | 4.0 (24)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 2.0 | 4.3 | 7.6 | 7.8 (50)

GOALS:

Bendigo: E. Snell 2, T. Coad, B. Hards
Oakleigh: E. Harley, J. D’Amato, E. James, G. Lagioia, M. Bertuna, J. Lin, N. Xenos

BEST:

Bendigo: M. Tupper, B. Hards, E. Snell, D. Villiva, G. Barton, K. Douglass
Oakleigh: N/A

By: Michael Alvaro

Oakleigh Chargers did all they could to secure a finals spot, but fell just short despite an impressive 26-point win over the Bendigo Pioneers to round out the regular season. With the scores locked at two-straight goals apiece at quarter time, Oakleigh took charge after the first break with 5.6 during the second and third terms while keeping their opponents scoreless over the same period. Bendigo finished well with two goals to nil in the last quarter, but it proved too little, too late as Oakleigh ensured a fifth win and more than doubled the ‘Pio’s score. Nicola Xenos (23 disposals, one goal), Emily Harley (19 and one), and Gemma Lagioia (19 and one) all found plenty of the ball while also hitting the scoreboard for the winners, with Mimi Hill (19 disposals, five marks) capping off a good year and Amelia Peck (17 disposals, 32 hitouts) also very influential. Mauve Tupper was named best for Bendigo for her team-high 15 disposals and six tackles, with Kate Douglass (11 disposals) the next highest disposal-getter, while Elizabeth Snell claimed her second haul of multiple goals with two. Brooke Hards was also named amongst the best in a low-disposal performance, laying a monster 13 tackles to finish five clear of the next-best player. Both sides’ seasons end here, but there were plenty of positives on either end with finals looking like a real possibility at different stages. All eyes will now be on the National Championships and VFLW season.

Scouting notes: NAB League Girls – Round 9

THE final round of the NAB League Girls took place over the weekend with plenty of impressive efforts as the final four was decided after results were confirmed. We attended five games and noted the final game at the bottom, with players focused among those mentioned by respective Female Talent Managers as players to watch at the start of the season. All notes are the opinion of the individual writer.

 

Geelong Falcons vs. Murray Bushrangers

By: Peter Williams

Geelong:

#8 Paige Sheppard

One of Geelong’s best on the day with McEvoy and Skinner, Sheppard kicked an early goal after working hard to get into the space inside 50. She had a couple of running shots throughout the game at either end but both just fell short or drifted wide. She won plenty of the ball and produced an elite kick from the wing inside to Lucy McEvoy leading out – that perfect 45-kick. She spread to the outside and often pushed up from half-forward then kept running receiving the ball and being a key link in transition between the mids and forwards. Terrific game.

#18 Darcy Moloney

Did not win as much of it as some of her teammates but used it well by foot. She was the one who was released with a quick handball for her to kick forward inside 50. She put it to her teammates’ advantage often placing the kick in front of them running. She kicked inside 50 well to assist Mia Skinner who snapped truly for her fourth major.

#21 Abbey Chapman

Just did what she does every game and while her second half would have been pretty quiet given the ball rarely came near her she had a great rebound at top speed off half-back in the last term. Early on with the heat in the game she forced Ally Morphett to kick off the side of her boot with a great run-down tackle, and also had a lovely kick to Paige Sheppard at half-back.

#24 Mia Skinner

Got off the chain in the second term after being tightly watched in the first to be the difference with three goals and break the game open. She did use her smarts to keep the ball in front of her in the opening term and gain about 30 metres and put it deep inside 50 by kicking it multiple times along the ground. Her goals came from two snaps and a set shot, including a couple within a minute. She then kicked a goal on the run in the final term to make it four for the game.

#38 Lucy McEvoy

The captain was inspirational in the game, often met by multiple opponents when she went near it in close, she kept working hard and would rip the ball from an opponents’ grasp and kick long inside 50. She did all the defensive work too, setting the tone with a run-down tackle at half-back then won a free kick at half-forward. Had a number of opportunities from long-range that just fell short, but then kicked a great goal in the fourth term. Seemed to be everywhere and won touches from the last line of defence through to deep forward and ran all day.

#39 Renee Tierney

Played up the ground and worked hard for her touches. She took a number of good marks, including a contested mark in the second term in front of a pack. She used her strength to get the ball forward on a number of occasions and while she did not win a heap of the ball, still played an important role.

Murray:

#10 Sophie Locke

Started in defence and laid a goal-saving tackle in the first term. Locke mained composed and worked well in defence offering herself as a switch option and used the ball neatly. She did well on Skinner in a one-on-one but just got pushed off it and Skinner goaled. She went forward in the second half and was unlucky not to win a free in a marking contest for a push. Ball did not go near her much but she still worked hard.

#19 Millie Brown

The Bushrangers best out of defence and saved a number of goals with her composure and ability to drop into the hole. Spent the game back there given Geelong’s dominance in the forward half and time and time again intercepted and just bombed it out of defence. Marshalled the defence and no doubt without her the margin could have been greater. A big influence in the game.

#45 Olivia Barber

Had a few nice moments taking some strong grabs, and converting a set shot in the opening term from 35m out. Barber shared the ruck load and worked hard to drop back into defence, putting pressure on an opponent to force a spillage from a marking contest. She took a good intercept mark at half-forward in the third term as well.

 

Sandringham Dragons vs. Eastern Ranges
By: Josh Ward

Sandringham:

#1 Molly Denahy Maloney

Was a touch quiet as well in the first half, but was pretty big in second half in terms of inside 50 pressure and ball use, playing a few big roles in the lead up to each goal.  Missed a couple of chances in front of goal, but had the 10 touches and six hitouts as well as four tackles.

#22 Eliza McNamara

Played a pretty big role of half-back, getting many intercept possessions and using the ball nicely as well with a high disposal efficiency. Had five inside 50s and four tackles as well.

#28 Alice Burke

Again was a bit quiet in the first half, but got herself into the game in the second half. Was impressive in terms of contested footy and clearances and getting it inside 50 as well. Finished with 18 disposals, five tackles and three inside 50s, and was one of the Dragons’ best.

Eastern:

#26 Tarni Brown

Again similar first half to Flintoff and was critical in helping Ranges get first goal. Was quieter in the second half, but still helped out with second goal for Ranges. Brown finished with 23 disposals, three marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and two rebounds.

#33 Tess Flintoff

Good first half with a few touches and good use of the ball. A little bit quieter in the second half. Had an impressive 23 disposals, six marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and four rebounds to her name, getting around the ground well.

#46 Serena Gibbs

Was a good presence up forward and when she went through the ruck, often helping the Ranges get clearances and keep the ball at times up forward. One of the best for the Ranges, with nine touches, 11 hitouts and four marks.

 

Gippsland vs. Calder
By: Peter Williams

Gippsland:

#8 Chandra Abrahams

Not a big possession winner, but showed strength at ground level, using her body well to get a kick away while being tackled in the second term, and then in the third term, used good body strength to bump Makeisha Muller off the ball and kick forward. Laid a number of important tackles as well.

#9 Maddison Shaw

Worked tirelessly for four quarters and really led the way throughout the game playing off half-back and pushing up to the wing. Did well against Georgia Patrikios one-on-one early, laying a big tackle and then spoiling a contest and winning a free for push in the back. Then mopped up time and time again and helped out a defence under siege. She pushed up to the wing and through the middle and had a nice burst in the third term to kick forward, and had a number of effective kicks going long in the final term.

#27 Nikia Webber

Just worked her guts out for four quarters and kicked a well-earned goal in the dying minutes. She showed good strength at the stoppages, often fending off her opponents and kicking long, and drifting back into defence to help out. Went forward later in the game, having a couple of opportunities in the third term with both going across the face, and copping a knock high on one occasion. She finally booted a goal from a set shot free kick in the last few minutes much to the excitement of her and her teammates.

#33 Shanara Notman

One of Gippsland’s best across the game with a number of intercept marks and possessions, while playing on the last line. She found it difficult kicking with the breeze, and was too ambitious in the opening term trying to step around Georgia Patrikios who is the last player in the league you try and step around, but what was promising was despite getting caught it did not deter her from attempting it in the future. She did it successfully a number of times and kicked long where possible.

Calder:

#2 Felicity Theodore

Was clean out of defence and took the game on a number of times in the first half, using handballs to go from half-back to half-forward. Laid a great tackle in the first term to win a free holding the ball, but confusion with the umpires gave it to the opposition player. She did well in that first half with her run and carry.

#21 Georgia Patrikios

Clean and composed with her disposal in windy conditions, Patrikios set the game up for the Cannons with two goals and a poster in the first term. She tackled Shanara Notman who tried to take her on and then converted the set shot, before picking up the loose ball and waiting for her opponent to overrun it then kick it through from a metre out. A third snap hit the post, and a fourth attempt later in the game just drifted in the breeze, but she was ever-dangerous. Showed good movement on the outside and worked well with Georgie Prespakis in midfield.

#22 Makeisha Muller

Spent a half in attack then a half in defence, kicking a goal in the second term after a nice kick from Georgie Prespakis. Then she tried to return the favour but it bounced past her for a behind. In defence, Muller set up the ball well and had a number of impressive runs and kicks from half-back, taking some intercept grabs in the fourth term.

#41 Georgie Prespakis

Busy from the word go winning plenty of the footy in tight and set up a goal to Muller in the second term with a great kick to her running teammate at the top of the goalsquare. She won a free kick inside 50 and converted the set shot shortly after, and had a terrific kick to Patrikios inside 50 in the third term. She had another chance in the third with a snap off a step but it bounced through for a behind.

 

Western Jets vs. Dandenong Stingrays
By: Michael Alvaro

Western:

#17 Elisabeth Georgostathis

Clearly the Jets’ most prolific ball-winner and arguably their best across the day, Georgostathis gave it her all across half-back and later, in the midfield. Showed her trademark pace and willingness to take the game on from the back flank with good rebound, and was not deterred by being caught holding the ball in the second term. Her competitiveness in an under-siege defence translated well with a move into the midfield after half time, as the top-age Jet won a couple of nice bursting clearances. The cherry on top of a solid last month of form.

#23 Isabelle Pritchard

It was by no means Pritchard’s best outing, but she was definitely kept busy and tried her best to hold up a defence under immense pressure at times. While she overran a couple of long balls which she would usually cut off, Pritchard did some good work in the clinches and in particular, made a brave smother in the final term which caught the eye despite the result being beyond her side.

#25 Cleo Saxon-Jones

It was a hard slog for the Jets’ forward focal point, but that did not prevent Saxon-Jones from getting involved in decent patches. Started well with a nice rove at centre half-forward and followed up with a couple of inside 50 entries – albeit with high snapped kicks over a wall of opponents. Being pressured in disposal was a theme for her day at times, but Saxon-Jones chimed in with a couple of fantastic overhead marks – one from a kick-out, and the other around her defensive 50. It was a hard day for Western forwards, so she put her hand up well.

Dandenong:

#12 Molly McDonald

The St Kilda AFLW-listed gun made a good start with the first clearance of the match, and it became a consistent theme as she drove her side forward from midfield with run out of the stoppages. While her kicking inside 50 lacked a touch of penetration at times, McDonald utilised her handballs well and displayed outstanding awareness in the process. Showed good combativeness with an overhead marking attempt against two Western opponents, adding grit to her classy overall game.

#26 Isabella Shannon

McDonald’s usual partner-in-crime through midfield, Shannon built into the game well. Hard to miss with her tucked-in shirt, the top-ager looked dangerous when she pushed forward of the ball – although she missed a couple of long-range opportunities on the run, including a poster from around the arc. Was another Stingray to kick forward well, with one inside 50 leading to Shaneece Stratton’s goal. A running clearance from the stoppage late-on was a highlight, and Shannon was one of the more effective Dandenong players.

#28 Tyanna Smith

Added raw pace and excitement to the midfield, making McDonald and Shannon’s dynamic duo and terrific trio for the day. The thing that made Smith stand out was her ability to push forward and become a dangerous figure inside 50, where she was seemingly everywhere at times as she slotted multiple goals. Her best came from a forward 50 stoppage, where she broke away and kicked truly, with her streaming runs from slick roves a nice feature throughout. Had another eye-catching passage of play where she paddled the ball along the boundary on defensive wing, showing great strength to keep her feet and composure to come away with the ball. Arguably the most damaging Stingray on the day, a top game from the middle-ager.

#31 Brooke Vernon

Vernon was an absolute rock at centre half-back, playing an effective nullifying role on Saxon-Jones while also winning her own ball. Following the Jets’ key forward up the field allowed Vernon to cut off Western’s attacks and distribute forward from defensive wing. While her work up the ground was good, Vernon’s best moments came in the form of a couple of defensive 50 overhead marks – showing outstanding courage for one in the final term. Was solid as ever, great game.

#51 Zoe Hill

While Vernon caught eyes roaming up the field, Hill played the more understated role as the last line of defence. It was not a particularly busy game for Hill with Western only managing one goal, but she did all the little defensive things well and certainly played her role. Laid a potentially goal-saving tackle on Emma Quinn as she streamed towards goal, which was her highlight for the game.

 

Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels vs. Northern Knights
By: Cameron Ross

GWV:

#9 Renee Saulitis

Saulitis proved once again that her tackling ability is elite. She has a textbook tackling technique, getting in low and watches the hips. Didn’t accumulate as many possessions as she would have liked, but her pressure more than made up for it.

#10 Ella Wood

Another solid game for the industrious and tough midfielder, who is going onto bigger and better things. I have stated previously that I am a massive fan of her, and nothing has changed.

#24 Sophie Molan

In her final game for the Rebels, Molan played in the exact same manner she does every game. Crunching tackles, leading with her voice, and doing everything in her power to get the win. After a relatively quiet first quarter, Molan had a much better last three quarters.

#32 Isabella Simmons

Simmons has all of the “tools” but just has to put it all together. Simmons will be one to keep an eye on in the future due to her athletic ability alone, but if she can work the rest out she will be a very talented footballer for years to come.

Northern:

#3 Nell Morris-Dalton

Often plays forward, but had some midfield time today. Took a stack of intercept marks, due to her intelligent positioning a kick behind the play. Seemed to be a natural midfielder, and was a big presence in there all game.

#6 Alyssa Bannan

Kicked a goal in the opening minute of the ground after reading the crumb, and then kicked another from the set shot, 25 out after a strong mark on the lead. Bannan was the prime target up forward all game and worked tireless to give a contest.

#21 Ellie McKenzie

Went head to head with Wood early and won the battle, then was let loose after quarter time. Won a lot of her own footy, and was unlucky not to finish with a goal after hitting the post on a set shot attempt. She has a lovely kicking technique, which is sure to hold her footballing career in good stead in the future.

 

In the other game over the weekend…

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Oakleigh Chargers

Bendigo:

#1 Mauve Tupper

Tupper was solid, finishing up with 15 disposals and six tackles. Was an effective ball user for Bendigo both forward and back, picking up two inside 50s and three rebounds for the match.

#3 Elizabeth Snell

Kicked two of Bendigo’s four goals so was an excellent target forward for the Pioneers. Also picked up 10 touches, two marks and three tackles for a solid day out.

#4 Brooke Hards

Had low disposals compared to her usual haul with only four for the match, but more than made up for it with her tackling pressure (13 tackles). Also had two rebound 50s.

#36 Kate Douglass

Another player who had a solid outing, picking up 11 touches, three tackles and five rebound 50s.

#40 Tara Slender

Slender had a quieter game this week, held well by the Chargers. Finished with six touches, three tackles, two rebounds and seven hit-outs.

Oakleigh:

#1 Gemma Lagioia

A solid 19 disposals, six marks and a goal was the tale for Lagioia in Round 9, clearing the ball well with her 15 kicks and four inside 50s.

#2 Mimi Hill

Hill put in a solid effort across the board this week, collecting 19 disposals, five marks, two tackles and three rebounds.

#4 Emily Harley

Another effective ball mover, Harley also picked up 19 touches, as well as three marks and a goal for her efforts.

#8 Alana Porter

Porter had a quiet game to finish the season, with only the six disposals, three tackles and one inside 50 to her name.

#12 Amelia Peck

Peck was among the best on ground for Oakleigh in what was certainly her best match for the season, notching 17 disposals, three marks and five inside 50s. Peck also dominated hitouts with 32, 11 more alone than the Pioneers collectively.

2019 VFLW weekend Round 1b preview: Eight teams begin their campagins

AFTER the Southern Saints made a statement in the opening round with a victory over last year’s minor premiers Collingwood, the other Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s sides take to the field, as four games are played across the competition. The Western Bulldogs and Carlton have the bye, as do Williamstown, however the Seagulls are facing off against GWS GIANTS in an invitational match which will see the GIANTS match-up against some of the Victorian sides. Below are the teams and season previews.

ESSENDON v. CASEY DEMONS

Round 1 – 11/05/2019
11:30
Windy Hill

Essendon

B: 7. K. Hicks, 11. M. Warburton, 29. C. Laan
HB: 18. K. Heil, 27. A. Morcom, 21. K. McFadyen
C: 28. R. Svarc, 39. M. Fogas, 1. C. Ugle
HF: 25. L. Stepnell, 23. M. Collier, 24. S. Wilson
F: 3. M. DeMatteo, 38. E. Gogerly, 40. A. Moreen
R: 30. S. Nalder, 22. N. MacDonald, 8. H. Bullas
Int: 13. S. Audley, 2. I. Currenti, 43. G. Nanscawen, 4. A. Saundry
Emg: 45. E. Ashley-Cooper, 15. L. Caruso, 33. E. Hosking, 14. T. Zagontinos
23P: 31. J. Stassi

Casey Demons

B: 50. G. McLean, 13. K. Smith, 15. T. Tatterson
HB: 34. A. Kirkwood, 7. B. Jakobsson, 8. S. Lampard
C: 23. E. Birch, 16. M. Hogg, 22. M. Guerin
HF: 42. H. Bailey, 29. E. Zanker , 11. C. Emonson
F: 24. N. Garner, 40. H. Dyson, 27. B. Winbanks
R: 38. K. Bentvelzen , 41. R. Edmeades, 47. K. Guttridge
Int: 48. E. Archer, 9. A. Johnson, 32. A. McDonough, 54. K. Oates
Emg: 57. L. Davies, 51. A. Francese, 37. T. Nash, 62. G. Speedy
23P: 46. B. Pratt

 

DAREBIN v. RICHMOND

Round 1 – 11/05/2019
12:00
Swinburne Centre

Darebin

B: 32. G. Colvin, 21. K. Roe, 19. R. Hibbert
HB: 16. B. Kennedy, 56. R. Ashley, 43. N. Wolfe
C: 1. E. Honybun, 9. M. Eastman, 28. A. Morrow
HF: 17. S. Simpson, 22. G. Hammond, 7. L. Szigeti
F: 36. E. Buckley, 31. E. Gardner, 23. M. Wilson
R: 37. E. McLaughlin, 15. A. Lister, 33. J. Stanton
Int: 18. C. Byrne, 39. S. David, 25. C. Delbridge, 20. S. Fairchild
Emg: 46. R. Coombs, 55. M. Hubbard, 49. A. Ladson, 50. M. Suzuki
23P: 57. P. Kearney

Richmond

B: 26. E. Burry, 41. S. Last, 15. R. Miller
HB: 19. K. Dempsey, 2. P. Monahan, 34. A. Makur Chuot
C: 25. G. Egan, 5. M. Brancatisano, 8. J. Graham
HF: 33. J. Colwell, 16. C. Wakefield , 36. E. Paterno
F: 17. E. Gunn, 24. T. Stahl-Smith, 46. H. Ibrahim
R: 11. A. Edmonds, 13. A. Woodward, 1. J. Kennedy
Int: 43. G. Campbell, 30. D. Edward, 37. M. Klingbeil , 22. S. Marsh
Emg: 39. M. Lindsay , 32. I. Milford, 23. T. Smith
23P: 29. K. Jacques

 

HAWTHORN v. NT THUNDER

Round 1 – 12/05/2019
11:30
Box Hill City Oval

Hawthorn

B: 25. M. Hutchins, 6. T. Radan, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 40. E. MacDonald, 21. P. Randall
C: 33. E. Gilder, 24. R. Dillon, 5. C. Perera
HF: 12. N. Cormack , 26. C. Dyett, 18. E. Wroe
F: 17. A. Dowler, 2. K. Henderson, 30. A. Sarec
R: 22. T. Luke, 10. P. Peschke, 8. R. Beeson
Int: 14. O. Flanagan, 11. D. Haines, 15. B. Struylaart, 29. A. Tanner
Emg: 4. S. Carroll, 35. C. O’Donnell, 27. K. Scott
23P: 23. G. Macpherson

NT Thunder

B: 37. M. Rajcic, 33. T. Thorn, 31. A. Stanley
HB: 23. E. Miller, 9. L. Jeffrey, 26. C. Randall
C: 13. L. Roberts, , 12. K. Streader
HF: 11. J. Hickey, 10. A. Chittick, 18. T. Holtze
F: 27. A. Considine, 7. M. Ellis,
R: 20. J. Hewett, 3. A. Foley, 1. M. Johnston
Int: 17. S. Bishop, 24. S. Hoogeveen-Hill, 21. K. Irvine, 5. M. Roberts, 48. K. Rosenzweig, 34. D. Varnhagen
Emg: 32. B. Byers, 29. C. Deegan
23P: 2. J. Baird

 

MELBOURNE UNI v. GEELONG CATS

Round 1 – 12/05/2019
02:30
Melbourne University Main Oval

Melbourne Uni

B: 45. A. Arundel, 3. T. Mesiti, 17. E. Hay
HB: 22. J. Anwyl, 26. N. O’Connor, 32. C. Daniec
C: 53. J. Grierson, 36. N. Julian, 14. M. McDonald
HF: 38. K. Angelis, 51. J. Tancred, 40. A. Runnalls
F: 4. E. King, 57. A. Price, 18. A. Tupper
R: 5. K. Gillespie-Jones, 25. J. Garner, 35. J. Bruton
Int: 34. K. Cox, 47. M. Hare, 46. A. Roan , 52. M. Shone
Emg: 42. L. Amelung, 44. E. Bult, 30. S. Farmer, 41. J. Thomas
23P: 39. V. Saad

Geelong Cats

B: 49. E. Ramsay, 4. C. Blakeway, 23. H. Rowe
HB: 20. R. Pearce, 44. R. Goring, 11. J. Woollett
C: 3. A. McDonald, 27. R. Webster, 10. G. Rankin
HF: 45. M. Keryk, 17. G. Clarke, 9. T. Love
F: 42. B. Beckley, 8. K. Darby, 7. R. Benham
R: 1. R. Caris, 5. J. Ivey, 41. A. Haigh
Int: 14. N. French, 33. Z. Inei, 43. M. Maguire, 13. L. Taylor
Emg: 26. M. Boyd, 15. G. Deller, 16. O. Purcell
23P: 19. S. DeGiacomi

 

SEASON PREVIEWS: (Including byes)

CARLTON BLUES

Coach: Shannon McFerran
Last year: 7th (6-8)

The entire Carlton side would be buzzing with the AFL Women’s achievement of making the Grand Final and hoping to follow in the senior side’s footsteps. Last year the Blues showed signs within games, but could not quite put together a four quarter effort. They had an enormous amount of future AFL Women’s talent on their list last season with Tyla Hanks and Madeline Brancatisano (both Melbourne), Rene Caris (Geelong) and Celine Moody (Western Bulldogs) all poached by other clubs in the draft, while Abbie McKay, Chloe Dalton and Brooke Walker made the transition up to senior football at the Blues. Darcy Vescio won the leading goalkicker award after another terrific season inside 50 and look for her to be a key player in Shannon McFerran‘s side. With the close bond between Carlton and Northern Knights – and the strength of the Knights program in 2019 – do not be surprised for the Blues to be bolstered mid-season by the likes of Gabby Newton and Britney Gutknecht among others. They have picked up Marnie Jarvis and Taylah Manson from the Knights last year, and with continued improvement and recruitment of Madison Prespakis, Emerson Woods and Charlotte Wilson – who all had TAC Cup Girls and VFLW experience prior to being drafted, the Blues are a sleeper side that is not to be taken lightly.

 

CASEY DEMONS

Coach: Damien Keeping
Last year: 10th (5-9)

Despite a disappointing season on the ladder, Casey Demons were raided at the AFL Women’s draft with six drafted on the night, and a further one (Taylor Mesiti) prelisted. Jordyn Allen, Georgia Gourlay and Maddie Shevlin all swapped red and blue for black and white, while Casey Sherriff, Chantel Emonson and Shae Sloane showed enough to be picked up the Dees. The Demons have brought in some height with the recruitment of former Oakleigh Chargers and Essendon ruck, Bridie Winbanks, while putting an emphasis on retaining Melbourne AFLW listed players, something they did not have the luxury of having with many playing at Darebin given the players history with the Falcons. Now just Elise O’Dea, Lauren Pearce and Brooke Patterson are at the Falcons, so the Demons can have a stronger link to the AFLW side. Harriet Cordner and Maddison Gay were two big improvers of the 2019 AFLW season and will be ones to watch for the Demons in the upcoming VFLW season. A couple of key pickups for the Demons include Gippsland Power duo, Nikia Webber and Shanara Notman who could provide service up opposite ends. Overall look for the Demons to improve this year.

 

DAREBIN FALCONS

Coach: Michael Ericson (NEW)
Last year: 5th (8-6)

Darebin Falcons defied odds by finishing fifth last season and on track for finals up until a couple of rounds out from the post-season series. Michael Ericson has taken over from Jane Lange at the helm, and with it faces a new challenge of keeping the side competitive. O’Dea, Pearce and Patterson loom as the keys to the team, while Jamie Stanton who moved from Melbourne University – to align with her shift from North Melbourne to Gold Coast AFLW – is another AFLW listed player. Bridie Kennedy also joins the team from Carlton after having that AFLW experience, but mostly the Falcons will be relying on the yourh of the team and experienced VFLW players. Captain Stephanie Simpson is one of six players with 30 or more VFLW games under her belt which in the scheme of the relatively new competition is vital. Northern Knights, Nell Morris-Dalton and Ciara Fitzgerald have also joined Darebin, while former Eastern Ranges’ Lauren Szigeti will have benefited from her six games last year. Overall the Falcons will still give the top teams something to think about on their day, and rack up wins against the bottom handful, but it will be a test to be a genuine contender.

 

ESSENDON BOMBERS

Coach: Brendan Major
Last year: 13th (1-13)

It was fair to say Essendon did not have the season it had hoped for, winning just the one game and taking out the wooden spoon in season 2019. With limited AFL Women’s experience, the Bombers just lacked that top-end talent that other clubs had, and while the Bombers had that tackling ferocity through best and fairest winner, Hayley Bullas and the class and skill of future Adelaide AFLW premiership player, Danielle Ponter, they did not have enough talent across the board to compete with the sides that were flushed with AFLW signatures. The one win against Richmond was terrific to see, as it meant the Bombers got some reward for effort after a long season. Along with Bullas, Courtney Ugle and Simone Nalder have returned to the club, while former Murray Bushrangers’ defender and Eastern Allies representative, Eloise Ashley-Cooper will add some class to the side. The Bombers have four players with AFLW experience, including Maddy Collier and Hayley Trevean. With NAB League Girls club, Calder Cannons having some great talent coming through the ranks, expect the likes of Georgia Patrikios to open some eyes late in the season with her agility and goal sense, while Felicity Theodore, Alana Barba, Gloria Elamaly and Krstel Petrevski will add a mix of skill and toughness to the Bombers’ team. The Bombers will still lack the star quality other AFLW experienced teams have, so the goal will be to be more competitive and try and get off the bottom of the table this season.

 

GEELONG CATS

Coach: Natalie Wood (NEW)
Last year: 4th (10-3-1) Grand final loss

Natalie Wood has taken over from Paul Hood who opted to just focus on the AFLW side in the blue and white hoops, but has inherited a genuine premiership contender. After Geelong had fewer AFLW listed players compared to others last season, they now have 20 on their VFLW books, topped up by local players including former Geelong Falcons premiership players, Tarryn Love, Zoe Inei and Sachi DeGiacomi who managed six games at VFLW level between them last season. They have not only retained the majority of the their list, but picked up teh likes of Julia Crockett-Grills (Hawthorn), Rebecca Webster (Melbourne University) and Sophie Van De Heuvel (Williamstown), keeping them in the Geelong system. It is hard not to picture a scenario where Geelong are not in finals considering the now deep and strong bond the players have and having reached the grand final, before strengthening their list even more. The Geelong AFLW side made finals in its first year and expect the VFLW side to follow suit with the same talent on its list.

 

HAWTHORN HAWKS

Coach: Patrick Hill
Last year: 2nd (12-2) Premiers

The reigning premiers had a number of players drafted including Rising Star Jayde Van Dyk, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann in what was a perfectly timed season, finishing second, pouncing on Collingwood in the semi-final, and then making the most of their opportunities against Geelong in the decider. In great news for the Hawks, Van Dyk has returned to the club for the VFLW season, as have key forward Phoebe McWilliams (Geelong), Rebecca Beeson and Pepa Randall (both GWS GIANTS). With super coach, Patrick Hill at the reigns again, the Hawks will be predicted to be thereabouts again and a genuine premiership contender. Sarah Perkins will be primed for a big season in the brown and gold, hoping to force her way back onto an AFLW list after being delisted by the Crows following the 2019 season. The forward combination between Perkins and McWilliams is as good as it gets in the competition, and with Eastern Rangers youngsters Serena Gibbs and Laura McClelland in the side later in the year, expect the reigning premiers to have a potent forward line. Gippsland Power’s Maddison Shaw has also joined the Hawks, and is one of just two 2001-birth players on the list. A huge contender.

 

MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY MUGARS

Coach: Scott Gowans
Last year: 9th (5-9)

The Mugars were up and down at times throughout the 2018 VFLW season, finishing with five wins from 14 games, but having some great young talent come into the side last in the year, including Prepsakis and Webster who were both drafted by AFLW clubs. Sophie Abbatangelo, Ashleigh Riddell, Maddison Smith, Chloe Haines, Libby Haines and Nicole Bresnehan all stepped up to the senior side, with many showing their ability to adapt to the faster pace of the game. After a huge season that ultimately fell short of a finals berth in the AFLW, North Melbourne and Melbourne Uni coach, Scott Gowans will be keen to continue the form shown by the Kangaroos at AFLW level, into the VFLW system. Emma Kearney was terrific for the Mugars last year along with Kaitlyn Ashmore, and expect them to be key players once again. They have added experience to their list with Hawthorn duo, Tahni Nestor and Kim Ebb, as well as Essendon’s Jessica Anwyl who showed promising signs last season in the red and black. Throw in league best and fairest winner, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner and Jenna Bruton, and the Mugars have to be considered one of the premiership favourites. All up they have 23 AFL Women’s listed players and will be another tough team to beat.

 

NORTHERN TERRITORY THUNDER

Coach: Heidi Thompson (NEW)
Last year: 3rd (11-3) – Semi-final loss

Much was spoken about the Thunder and whether or not the experienced top-heavy side with Adelaide Crows, could be allowed to play so much talent at once. Early in the season it looked like the Thunder would skip through the season, but in the end, ultimately fell in the first week of finals to the Cats. After missing out on her AFLW dream last year, Janet Baird is the biggest junior recruit to the Thunder in season 2019, with the NTFL Women’s top player signing on at the Thunder for the upcoming season. She joins the likes of Madeline Gault, Arthurina Moreen and Tabitha May, who all played for Central Allies in 2018, but missed out on a chance in the AFLW. The top-end and upcoming talent at the Thunder is clear, with Ebony Marinoff, Stevie-Lee Thompson, Marijana Rajcic, Renee Forth, Eloise Jones and Sarah and Jess Allen among a ridiculous among of Crows talent in the side. They were arguably a premiership favourite early in 2018, and should be in that place once again given the improvement of many of the Crows through the 2019 AFLW premiership year. With Heidi Thompson now taking the reigns from Tim Weatherald, it will be interesting to see how she balances the AFLW talent throughout the season.

 

RICHMOND TIGERS

Coach: Tom Hunter
Last year: 12th (4-10)

The Tigers had a disappointing season in 2018, finishing twelfth and losing to Essendon, the only side to do so. They, like the Bombers just lacked that star quality in the 2018 VFLW season, but if their 2019 AFLW trade period is anything to go by, expect them to shoot up the ladder in season 2019. Jessica Kennedy and Jacqueline Graham were two standouts for the Tigers, it was just a case of adding depth to the obvious talent that was coming through the ranks. While some will play limited games, the likes of Monique Conti, Katie Brennan and Sabrina Frederick make for a scary forward line. With Richmond able to pre-list players this season, every player on the list will be keen to impress in front of the Tigers’ hierarchy and see what they can do to try and get an AFLW spot for the 2020 season. Overlooked Murray Bushrangers, Tamara Smith, Grace Egan and Sophie Damon are back at Punt Road, while Kodi Jacques has also joined the club with the Bendigo Pioneers’ midfielder looking to stake her claim this year. Former Magpies, Shayla Marsh and Hannah McLaren will don the yellow and black this year, making the Tigers stocked with young talent that will create run and excitement throughout the 2019 season. Expect the Tigers to rise up the ladder, and while they might lack the AFLW talent other teams have outside their forward 50, they could overtake a number of the clubs around their level in season 2018, this year.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS

Coach: Sean Kavanagh (NEW)
Last year: 6th (7-7)

Sean Kavanagh has taken over from Debbie Lee who is now VFLW General Manager at the club, and will be looking to reshape the side that has lost some serious AFLW talent. Conti always spent the majority of the season playing basketball, while Brennan will be a big lose inside 50. However with 20 AFLW players on their list, they still have more than enough talent and experience to get them by. Their three top-age players they have picked up from NAB League Girls clubs are Sophie Molan, Ella Wood and Elisabeth Georgostathis which is arguably the best trio of pick-ups across the league. Molan will make an immediate impact, while Wood and Georgostathis can play both off half-back and through the middle. They will be unavailable during the AFLW National Championships, but expect them to show their talent. Overager Georgia Pidgeon will also provide some height for the Bulldogs, while a host of local players joins the likes of Ellie Blackburn, Brooke Lochland, Isabel Huntington and Deanna Berry as key players. When talking about experience, the Bulldogs have 14 players with 30 or more games, making them a very experienced side in the competition, and one that while they might not be in the top handful, could still challenge for finals.

 

WILLIAMSTOWN

Coach: Amy Catterall
Last year: 11th (4-10)

Williamstown finished eleventh in 2019, notching up the four wins, but had some serious top-end talent at the Gulls’ disposal. Duffin won the league best and fairest despite the team struggles, while Garner and Bruton were stars for Williamstown before emulating that for the Kangaroos at AFLW level. Big question marks remain over the Seagulls with all three departing the club. It means the load falls onto their VFLW listed players shoulders and puts them in a similar position to Essendon and Richmond last year. They had a good win over the Western Bulldogs in a pre-season practice match, and can have the continuity that teams with restricted AFLW numbers cannot. However this year is set to be a massive challenge for the Seagulls after losing so much top-end talent, with Demon, Aliesha Newman being a key signing – the only AFLW player on the list – and likely to cause headaches inside 50 for opposition defences. In doing so, there might be some serious youngsters step up and then make a case to land at an AFLW club, like former Bendigo Pioneers’ captain Megan Williamson, Eastern Ranges’ tall Tahlia Merrett and Bendigo Pioneers’ key defender Kate Douglass.