Tag: renee tierney

NAB League Girls Team Selection: Round 2 – 2018 grand finalists lock horns

AFTER a week of exciting action last round, the NAB League Girls take to the field again with five games played across three venues and a brand new side entering the competition. Tasmania Devils play their first official game in the competition as a full-time side, welcoming Oakleigh Chargers to North Hobart Oval. In other big games, Northern Knights and Geelong Falcons face off at RMIT Bundoora, while Sandringham Dragons and Bendigo Pioneers will kick off a double-header at Craigieburn to try and achieve their first wins for season 2020. A number of talls are out due to injury or unavailability with the likes of Renee Tierney (Geelong), Olivia Barber (Murray) and Georgia Grimmer (Dandenong), as well as smart small Elizabeth Snell (Bendigo) among the key omissions. A number of players will make their debuts this round with the inclusions, while the Devils will have plenty of players to watch led by middle-age talent and AFL Women’s National Academy member, Amy Prokopiec.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. GEELONG FALCONS

Round 2 – 07/03/2020
11:30am
RMIT University Bundoora

Northern Knights

B: 8. G. Ceravolo, 15. T. Delgado, 5. G. Wake
HB: 9. M. Chaplin, 2. S. Fell, 30. M. Plunkett
C: 11. M. Appleby, 32. A. Snow, 4. B. Plummer
HF: 7. A. Bennett, 6. A. Bannan, 19. M. Molenberg
F: 25. T. Mills, 31. M. Ramsay, 37. A. Woodward
R: 20. G. Kitchell, 14. J. Fitzgerald, 21. E. McKenzie
Int: 33. M. Barnes, 40. T. Hurst, 1. P. Nelson, 35. J. Simpson, 22. E. Smallacombe
Emg: 27. O. Bandera, 29. T. Pulcino

In: T. Hurst, T. Pulcino, M. Barnes
Out: J. Nursey

Geelong Falcons

B: 20. A. McKeegan, 46. A. McKee, 33. T. Morrow
HB: 16. E. Mahoney, 37. A. Lee, 29. M. Van Dyke
C: 13. M. Courtney, 3. D. Moloney, 11. T. Craven
HF: 14. Z. Garth, 23. E. Dowling, 4. P. Schaap
F: 1. C. Bottomley, 42. G. Cotter, 27. L. Were
R: 43. J. Gray, 10. C. Remmos, 12. L. Gardiner
Int: 17. I. Barter, 15. G. Featherston , 38. K. Hardingham, 26. I. Houtsma, 9. A. Van Loon
Emg: 2. C. Hardy, 6. T. Hassett

In: K. Hardingham, G. Featherston , C. Hardy
Out: R. Tierney

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 2 – 07/03/2020
12:00pm
Highgate Reserve

Sandringham Dragons

B: 46. L. de Gleria Cade, 18. J. Stolz, 29. L. Mitchell
HB: 50. P. Staltari, 8. S. Trim, 44. D. Walker
C: 25. S. Hartwig, 30. W. Laing, 26. C. Saultry
HF: 47. K. Lynch, 10. B. Hipwell, 22. E. McNamara
F: 15. S. Hurley, 24. N. Borg, 40. A. Moloney
R: 35. K. Smyth, 28. A. Burke, 33. I. Eddey
Int: 55. L. Enders, 11. T. Jones, 41. N. Morris, 3. C. Murphy, 45. E. Stuber
Emg: 6. T. Pastore, 27. B. Wallace

In: C. Murphy, E. Stuber, L. de Gleria Cade
Out: M. Mottram, C. Ryan

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 16. D. Crighton, 33. J. Oborne, 38. D. Villiva
HB: 15. L. den Houting, 32. T. Slender, 25. J. Finning
C: 22. T. Hopkins, 14. B. Hards, 42. N. Mafi
HF: 40. T. Davidge, 34. J. Richardson, 13. A. Thompson
F: 46. N. Kelly, 44. H. Stewart, 23. B. Reidy
R: 37. M. Marks , 2. A. Strahan, 11. M. Tupper
Int: 19. E. Bell, 39. O. Di Donato, 30. A. Donnelly, 18. S. Orritt, 24. M. Elliott
Emg: 43. R. Stubbings

In: R. Stubbings, T. Davidge, M. Elliott
Out: E. Snell, M. Pianta

 

TASSIE DEVILS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 2 – 07/03/2020
12:30pm
North Hobart Oval

Tassie Devils

B: 23. C. Dennis, 24. A. Prokopiec, 1. C. Lovell
HB: 16. E. Maurer, 29. J. Blair, 15. J. Webster
C: 6. T. Bortignon, 22. A. Clark, 7. M. Gaffney
HF: 31. A. Auton, 18. H. Baldwin, 11. P. King
F: 10. K. Mills, 26. K. Hennessy, 5. B. Oates
R: 21. C. Taylor, 27. A. Crooks, 4. R. Mitchell
Int: 3. A. Bissett, 12. Z. Bourne, 25. L. Freestone, 9. C. Ransom, 13. O. Smith
Emg: 14. S. Griffiths, 19. C. Thomas

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 4. E. Chamberlain, 25. M. Cowan, 19. J. McCormack
HB: 17. A. Mayne, 15. O. Barton, 30. B. Vickers
C: 1. L. Boyd singer, 11. A. Micallef, 22. J. Lin
HF: 9. E. Jackson, 10. S. Reid, 18. R. Thiele
F: 31. S. Morley, 14. E. James, 13. T. Morton
R: 7. L. Edmanson, 2. M. Hill, 8. C. Rowbottom
Int: 3. K. Kearns, 29. A. Ling, 23. C. Matthews, 21. A. McCulloch, 27. C. Taylor
Emg: 5. M. Clift

In: C. Matthews, A. McCulloch, L. Edmanson, M. Clift
Out: Z. O’Sullivan, A. James, A. Oloughlin

 

WESTERN JETS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 2 – 07/03/2020
1:15pm
RMIT University Bundoora

Western Jets

B: 40. N. Ajaimy, 37. A. Anthony, 45. E. Lavanda
HB: 9. C. Baskaran, 46. C. Singleton, 32. A. Strathairn
C: 11. S. Asciak, 38. M. Ham, 10. P. Trajkovski
HF: 19. O. Forsythe, 27. C. Sargent, 4. T. Skenderis
F: 24. L. Elliott, 42. J. Woods, 7. A. Gray
R: 39. A. Velardo, 22. I. Pritchard, 41. N. Wright
Int: 44. S. Golding, 25. M. Huta, 43. K. Maxwell, 8. P. Ryan, 3. C. Tyrrell
Emg: 2. S. Cutajar, 29. K. Leare

In: L. Elliott, P. Ryan
Out: M. Klaumanns-Moller

Murray Bushrangers

B: 28. I. Lehman, 9. M. Foubister, 17. K. Skepper
HB: 22. G. Hay, 32. M. Quade, 14. M. Kennedy
C: 8. A. Favell, 18. Z. Spencer, 5. S. Pritchard
HF: 16. M. Jones, 25. S. McCarthy, 29. C. Locke
F: 1. O. Cicolini, 6. L. Sharp, 21. J. Elias
R: 33. A. Morphett, 26. E. Nicholson, 7. K. Adams
Int: 20. S. Lang, 30. S. Lange-Richards, 4. C. Mailer, 2. A. Smith, 19. K. Whitehead
Emg: 24. M. Gray, 27. T. Gray

In: K. Whitehead, M. Foubister, S. Lang
Out: O. Barber

 

CALDER CANNONS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 2 – 07/03/2020
1:45pm
Highgate Reserve

Calder Cannons

B: 24. K. Delia, 4. K. Lennox, 15. M. McLeod
HB: 5. N. Crowley, 11. T. Crook, 23. G. Dicker
C: 16. M. Briedis, 38. L. Cocomello, 8. Z. Friswell
HF: 22. S. Meyers, 18. T. Gillard, 31. F. Puruntatameri
F: 32. C. Clayton , 17. G. Sampson, 3. E. Yassir
R: 19. P. Poultney, 41. G. Prespakis, 1. J. Zakkour
Int: 25. A. Magri, 10. O. Manfre, 43. I. Rowland , 9. M. Styles, 2. R. Sutton
Emg: 36. M. Ford, 35. I. Young

In: I. Young, A. Magri

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 35. W. Argus, 52. Z. Hill, 17. M. Layfield
HB: 10. A. Jordan, 70. M. Eardley, 59. B. Smith
C: 26. C. Blair, 21. T. Smith, 61. E. Shepherd
HF: 47. A. Carroll, 30. P. Swayn, 71. J. Matin
F: 44. J. Anthony, 32. S. Vudiniabola, 20. P. Wilson-Macdonald
R: 28. P. Canning, 5. J. Smith , 49. A. Clarke
Int: 33. R. Clemow, 1. Z. Mayall, 34. A. Richards, 65. O. Robinson, 27. C. Ryan
Emg: 2. K. Byrne, 64. G. Chapman

In: K. Byrne, O. Robinson, W. Argus
Out: G. Grimmer, J. Radford

Falcons down Power in strong showing

IN a relatively one-sided affair, Geelong Falcons defeated Gippsland Power by 33 points at RMIT Bundoora in the first round of the NAB League Girls competition. Though inaccuracy plagued the Falcons at times who struggled to make the most of their opportunities in front of goal with 10 behinds, credit must be given to the Power’s defence, for the most part holding up across three quarters. Seven scoring shots to none in the final term extended the winning margin out to 33, but it was a strong hitout for both teams this early in the season.

It did not take long for Geelong to get on the board, and although it was a point at the hands of Renee Tierney it helped to set in motion what was to come – a barrage of scoring opportunities. Poppy Schaap kicked off her 2020 campaign in style with the opening goal for the Falcons and while the Falcons seemed to control the flow of play, over-ager Shanara Notman was a calming influence down back. Notman was everywhere in the first 15 minutes of the game popping up here there and everywhere to stop any forward forays and using her football nous to try and propel the ball back down the field. Despite her best efforts, Notman could not contain the Falcons forwards, with Zoe Garth bobbing up for her first major thanks to her ability to get out the back and bang one through the middle helping to extend Geelong’s lead.

The Power failed to register a score in the opening half, but strong efforts from the likes of Megan Fitzsimon and Matilda Van Berkel did not fall by the wayside. Fitzsimon was a real workhorse across the ground winning plenty of the footy and using her tackling ability to disrupt the flow of Geelong. Although the Falcons had their chances in front of goal they were unable to capitalise and punish their opposition with the likes of Elizabeth Dowling showing her skill inside 50 bringing down a big mark but just missing. Dowling was not afraid to put her body on the line going in hard to rip the ball out of congestion and plough it forward. With points aplenty, Carly Remmos made her set shot count, converting an important goal to add to the Falcons’ tally. Laura Gardiner continued to find her groove with her high intensity out of the middle, hunt for the footy and clean hands all on display. She was never far from the pack, constantly lurking around the footy and using it effectively while her read out of the ruck was second to none getting on the move and banging it forward credit to her skill and general smarts.

With pride on the line, the Power came out with a different intensity and hunger for the footy shutting down any easy ball movement by the Falcons and instead looking to change the course of the game. Only three goals down, Gippsland hit the scoreboard thanks to a big goal from Grace McRae, with players running from everywhere to join in on the celebration. The Power seemed to dominate the play in the third holding the ball inside their attacking 50 and searching for opportunities to create more chances. Leyla Berry was running hot in the third working hard at the contest and using her hands to flick the ball out to teammates. Darcy Moloney continued her merry way for the Falcons throwing her weight around and using her quick hands in tight to dish off to teammates in space. Although Geelong failed to hit the scoreboard throughout the third, the work they did defensively to only limit their opponent to a goal was impressive with bottom ager Ashleigh Van Loon leading from the front with her physicality and desperation with 10 tackles for the match. Mia Van Dyke also had a strong quarter for the Falcons highlighting her clean hands with a couple of marks.

Thanks to a relatively slow third term the Falcons turned it on in the fourth to nail two goals and ultimately seal the deal against a trying Gippsland side. Ingrid Houtsma was the first to add six points to the Falcons total in the final term and while she did not find a heap of the footy she struck it nicely. Gardiner capped off a stellar performance in the last term with a big goal to end the stream of points and well and truly romp the win home for the Falcons. She starred from the opening minute of the game winning a heap of the footy and showcasing her versatility in terms of disposals with an even split of 19 kicks and 19 handballs to finish with a whopping 38 touches. It was a stats filling outing for Gardiner who also showcased her physicality laying 14 tackles and recording five inside 50s. Schaap finished with 1.2 in front of goal along with 24 touches while Moloney recorded 28 disposals. Top performers from Gippsland included Fitzsimon with 16 touches, six tackles and four inside 50s with Berry and McRae collecting 14 possessions apiece.

GEELONG FALCONS 2.2 | 3.5 | 3.5 | 5.10 (40)
GIPPSLAND POWER 0.0 | 0,0 | 1.1 | 1.1 (7)

GOALS:

Geelong: P. Schaap, Z. Garth, C. Remmos, I. Houtsma, L. Gardiner.
Gippsland: G. McRae.

BEST:

Geelong: L. Gardiner, D. Moloney, P. Schaap, E. Dowling, M. Van Dyke
Gippsland: M. Van Berkel, S. Notman, G. McRae, M. Fitzsimon, A. Guy-Toogood

DC Medal:

5 – Laura Gardiner (GF)
4 – Darcy Moloney (GF)
3 – Poppy Schaap (GF)
2 – Matilda Van Berkel (GP)
1 – Shanara Notman (GP)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Falcons set to welcome new era

AFTER a 2018 NAB League Girls premiership and a finals appearance in 2019, the Geelong Falcons have been quietly building a young list that has no shortage of future talent. With the more than a quarter of its list containing 15 or 16-year-olds in 2020, new Female Talent Manager Bree Beckley is excited about what the year will bring.

“I think the girls have a lot to live up to in the last couple of years that the NAB League has been around,” Beckley said. “But I think it’s probably a bit different because they had a really strong group of top-age girls who have all come through the program and moved on together so now it’s kind of building from that bottom up again. We have 12, off the top of my head, 15/16-year-olds in the team, so that will be nice to see them all come through and develop together.”

Beckley credited the V/Line Cup program with a pathway that enabled the next group of talented footballers to come in and replace those who had departed the club.

“Every pathway coming in really helps, so from that V/Line 15s and 16s teams, it’s good to see them develop,” Beckley said. “I guess you’ve got that core group coming through and a couple of local girls who have trained really hard and proved themselves in the local league and really stepped up in the program as well.”

Not only will the playing group have plenty of fresh faces, but the off-field team will too with Beckley taking over from inaugural Female Talent Manager Katie Geerings, while former Western Bulldogs senior coach, Brendan McCartney will lead the team as coach, replacing the departed premiership coach, Jason Armistead.

“It was difficult at the start, I mean a whole new staffing group pretty much came across,” Beckley said of her transition. “Only a couple of line coaches stayed so it was difficult at the start but once all the girls knew all the program, that part of it made it easy which was nice. “I did a couple of volunteer days last year so towards the end of the season, volunteered on the way in and then Mick (Turner, Talent Manger) and Dean (Pearce, Football Manager) have been really helpful as well, so those are the people I probably lean on the most coming into this role.”

While the previous group did terrific things for the organisation, Beckley is excited about what the future will hold for the Falcons as they look to build on the foundations set by their predecessors.

“Jason’s done an awesome job with the girls and obviously you can see over the last couple of years the program was ran pretty well,” Beckley said. “I think we’ve got to push on from that and with Brendan McCartney coming in and I think it’s a big name. The girls probably don’t understand how much he’s done and how much involvement he has had in AFL clubs. “Around training and stuff like that, they don’t take it for granted but they are just so down to earth and I think that’s how he wants it as well. “He doesn’t say ‘this is what they do in AFL, you have to do it here’, he just lets them play it out and his coaching is amazing. Coming from AFL level, it’s really helpful for the girls.”

Coming in fresh, Beckley’s experience of the side was purely from an onlookers perspective, but did get to interact with some of the future stars of the AFL Women’s through the Geelong VFL program where she played.

“I’ve followed them, I went and watched a couple of games but pretty much coming in completely new,” Beckley said. “Knew a couple of the girls through other sporting things, but didn’t know a lot of them. “I also played VFL so with Lucy McEvoy and a lot of the girls that came through. “That was kind of a way of knowing how the program ran so that was really helpful as well, knowing from their perspective.”

The new Female Talent Manager has helped impart knowledge to the group about the various pathways to the top and can relate through her current playing days at that state league level.

“I think it’s obviously a step up from the local league and then coming into NAB League,” Beckley said. “Again it’s a step up from NAB to VFL but unfortunately I didn’t get to do that myself (NAB) but coming from the NAB League to the VFL, I think it’s really important for the girls to know the pathway in, how they can make it further if they don’t get drafted. “I think it’s just the work ethic coming in is really important for those girls. “It’s nice to be able to pass it on from a players’ perspective as well.”

The Falcons have had plenty of talented players over the past few years, and 2020 will be no exception with a couple of top-age AFL Women’s National Academy members.

“Two girls in particular – Darcy Moloney and Laura Gardiner are a part of the AFLW Academy squad,” Beckley said. “They are definitely ones to watch. “But we have girls training really hard, and a couple coming back from injury and they will probably have a big impact for the team as well. “As well as probably (pre-season performers) Lucy Were and Renee Tierney. “They are doing an exceptional job, leadership wise as well. “It’s awesome for the girls to have them always talking in drills. “Pretty much just leading the way in the pre-season which has been awesome. “The group dynamic of the girls has been unreal. Like when I came in I couldn’t tell you who was top agers and who was bottom agers because they’ve all mixed and trained really hard together, which has been unreal to see which is good.”

Each year dual-sport athletes or cross-coders impress enough to earn a spot on a NAB League list and this pre-season is no exception. The Falcons have welcome a high-level basketballer to the frame who Beckley has touted as one to watch this season.

“I think the main one would be Carly Remmos,” Beckley said. “She hasn’t played any footy at all. She’s a high level basketballer and a top-age girl so I reckon she’ll be one to watch and she’s really hard at it – her brothers have come through the program. “With the football knowledge being around her brothers, I think that she’s just a bull. “She will just go in and get it, just that natural instinct.”

The Falcons begin their competitive matches against the GWV Rebels up in Ballarat in a game of six sixths to enable them to view as many players as possible ahead of the season start at the end of the month. Geelong’s opening round encounter pits the Falcons against fellow country side, Gippsland Power with the two meeting halfway at RMIT Bundoora. Beckley said the players were keen to continue building the winning culture, but also strive to be the best possible people on and off the field they could be.

“One step at a time, but I think all the girls don’t play sport to lose, they will want to win and win as many games as they can, have really good starts for the year,” she said. “Make that top four, so just keep progressing as far as they can. “I think it’s very important to get some big scores on the board as well which is nice. “I think they’ve been pretty low scoring matches. “(It’s) not necessarily (a focus), but it’s nice to get a score on the board.”

Outside of the on-field results, the group has identified how it wants to play in season 2020. Led by Moloney as captain, with Were, Tierney and Poppy Schapp as vice-captains, the Falcons are keen to stand by each other and play as a team throughout the competition.

“I think the girls are really big on supporting and getting around each other,” Beckley said. “When they spoke about their values and their leadership, it was all about being one team, so I think if they can develop and adopt that kind of value and just going forward it will be really, really good to see. “Hopefully they can get the results out of that.”

AFLW U18 Championships preview: Vic Country vs. Vic Metro

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

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

VIC COUNTRY

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

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

1. Defence

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

2. Hardness at the ball

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

3. X-factor up forward

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

VIC METRO

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

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

1. Marks inside 50

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

2. Speed

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

3. Intercept marking

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

NAB League Girls Preliminary Finals wash-up: Northern and Calder to meet in decider

THE NAB League season finale is set, with the unbeaten Northern Knights qualifying first, and the Calder Cannons securing their spot with a massive upset win over reigning premiers, Geelong at Shepley Oval on Saturday.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 2.1 | 4.3 | 7.7 | 7.7 (49)
EASTERN RANGES 2.0 | 4.0 | 5.1 | 7.1 (43)

GOALS:
Northern:
N. Morris-Dalton 4, E. McKenzie, M. Appleby, A. Bannan.
Eastern: M. Di Cosmo 2, J. Dunning, T. Flintoff, R. Hall, O. Meagher, T. Merrett.

BEST:
Northern:
N. Morris-Dalton, G. Newton, E. McKenzie, S. Sansonetti, M. Chaplin, P. Chisholm
Eastern: O. Meagher, M. Kendall, J. Richardson, S. Gibbs, M. Di Cosmo, E. Horne

Northern Knights became the first team to qualify for the 2019 NAB League Grand Final, but were made to work for it by the Eastern Ranges in a tense Preliminary Final at Shepley Oval. The sides went goal for goal in the opening term after Northern middle-ager Ellie McKenzie snapped truly to first trouble the scorers. The Knights looked like breaking away in the second stanza as Maykaylah Appleby backed up Nell Morris-Dalton‘s second goal with another major, but the Ranges would hit back with two goals of their own through midfield stars Tess Flintoff and Olivia Meagher to trail by just three points at half time. When Madeline Di Cosmo kicked the Ranges’ third-straight goal to snatch the lead at the start of the third term, an upset loomed large – right up until Morris-Dalton had her say. Two quick goals from the Knights’ forward saw Northern reclaim the lead, and an Alyssa Bannan goal ensured they would go into the final break with a 15-point buffer. Despite a late Eastern charge with two goals to nil over the quarter, and the margin cut to six points with over two minutes left, the Knights held on to remain undefeated and scrape into a second-straight Grand Final. McKenzie was outstanding in the closing stages for the winners, thrown into the midfield and contributing some vital touches when the heat was on. Her midfield partner and skipper, Gabby Newton also played a big hand, while the goals of Morris-Dalton ultimately proved the difference. Sarah Sansonetti had her hands full down back but stood tall, with Maeve Chaplin another defender to be named amongst the best. Meagher led the charge through midfield for the combative Eastern side, with Flintoff proving her partner in crime. The likes of Serena Gibbs and Tahlia Merrett caused headaches with their height and versatility, while Di Cosmo provided the scoring pressure with her two majors. Eastern showed plenty of promise and really took it to Northern at times when other sides could have given in, but the Knights proved too strong and rightly cemented their spot in the competition decider.

GEELONG FALCONS 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.4 | 1.5 (11)
CALDER CANNONS 3.2 | 4.3 | 5.3 | 7.4 (46)

GOALS:
Geelong:
M. Skinner.
Calder: Z. Hardiman 2, A. Magri 2, E. Yassir, G. Prespakis, A. Barba.

BEST:
Geelong:
L. McEvoy, A. Chapman, R. Tierney, P. Schaap, G. Featherston , L. Lesosky-Hay
Calder: E. Yassir, G. Sampson, G. Prespakis, G. Patrikios, K. Lennox, A. Barba

The Calder Cannons saved arguably their best performance for just the right occasion, scoring one of the upsets of the season as they toppled Geelong Falcons by 35 points to book a spot in the Grand Final. The underdogs came out hard, pouring the pressure on Geelong and hitting the scoreboard early to open up a three-goal quarter time lead. In a similar fashion to how their game against Northern went, the Falcons came out hard in the second term and looked to mount a comeback as Mia Skinner bagged their first goal. But when Georgie Prespakis nailed a set shot in reply, it looked more and more unlikely with the Cannons taking a 19-point lead into the main break. A Zoe Hardiman goal in the opening two minutes of the third stanza all but put the result beyond doubt, as the Cannons kept their foot on the gas with unrelenting pressure to keep the game locked up, and Geelong goalless for another quarter. Two more goals in the final term, including Hardiman’s second, cemented the win as the Falcons again could only manage a behind, with the Calder crowd in raptures on the back of their side’s big-time display. Bottom-agers Emelia Yassir and Kasey Lennox played out of their skin at either end, while fellow ’03 birth Prespakis was again phenomenal with every touch of the ball. Georgia Patrikios led the Cannons from the front with her mix of flair and toughness, with fellow midfielder Alana Barba starting well to find the goals and Alisa Magri joining Hardiman with two goals. Skinner finished as Geelong’s sole goal kicker, while skipper Lucy McEvoy a beacon of light in the tough loss through midfield and in the ruck. Abbey Chapman provided a calm head in the beaten Falcons back six, with fellow defender Liz Dowling standing up as an impressive bottom-ager alongside Poppy Schapp. Renee Tierney spent time on each line to good effect, with Luka Lesosky-Hay putting in her usual combative shift. The loss saw Geelong end its season with just one win from their last three tries after previously going unbeaten in their premiership defence, and it would be a hard one to take given they had beaten Calder just three weeks ago. Meanwhile, the Cannons look to be peaking at the right time and move on to the decider, sure to give Northern a hell of a test if this game is anything to go by.

Scouting notes: NAB League Girls – Preliminary Finals

FINALS fever finally hit the NAB League Girls competition and in an exciting day of action, there were certainly plenty of standout performances on the big stage. Here are Michael Alvaro‘s opinion-based scouting notes on a mix of the most outstanding players on the day, and others selected in the Victorian sides for this year’s National Championships.

Northern Knights vs. Eastern Ranges

Northern:

#3 Nell Morris-Dalton

The Knights’ forward focal point continued her scintillating end-of-season form, booting over half of her side’s goals to finish with a bag of four. Morris-Dalton’s competitiveness inside 50 both in the air and at ground level played a big part in allowing Northern to make the most of their forward entries, while also locking the ball in. The Fitzroy junior’s marking overhead has greatly improved, and she was simply on form in front of goal with clinical finishes on her left boot. While she prized a couple of goals out of nothing in open play, arguably her best came on the run with a booming kick, and she claimed two of her goals in the all-important third term as the Knights pulled away.

#6 Alyssa Bannan

Bannan is a constant threat in the forward half with her pace and smarts over the back, and while she was quiet at times, this game proved no different. Unable to consistently find her trademark forward run from half-forward, Bannan spent a lot of time inside 50, where she took a nice overhead mark in the third quarter and slotted the resultant set shot – which proved to be the difference between the sides. Bannan’s best moment came with a couple of running bounces through the corridor which made the crowd stand up.

#11 Maykaylah Appleby

One to watch for a couple of years’ time, Appleby was terrific for the Knights on the wing. At still only 15 years of age, Appleby looked more than up to the level – as she has proven in her previous eight games to date. The bottom-ager provided great forward run throughout the day and constantly looked dangerous with ball in hand. Caught the eye with a sensational running goal in the second term and loves a celebration.

#18 Sarah Sansonetti

Sansonetti’s role was always going to be important against Eastern’s tall timber, and she well and truly stood up to the task. By no means had a high-disposal output, but the key defender did most of the defensive things well while looking to thwart the influence of Serena Gibbs for large chunks of the game. Really came to life in the fourth quarter with some physical showings around the contest – tackling hard up on the wing and pushing the Knights forward with presence from one-on-one wins.

#21 Ellie McKenzie

Talk about weapons, McKenzie is one of those players coaches wish they had two of. Snapped the first goal of the game starting one-out at full-forward, and had another opportunity to hit the scoreboard in the third term, but missed her shot on the run after rounding an opponent. Proved a match-winner in the second half with a move into the midfield – seen intercepting twice on defensive 50, winning crucial clearances from the centre bounces when the Ranges were pressing late, and slowing the game down in the final two minutes with composure beyond her years. Will again prove vital in the grand final, and stands out in high-paced contested games as her clean hands allows for more time on the ball and better decisions.

#22 Britney Gutknecht

Gutknecht was an absolute bull at the stoppages, burrowing in to prize out contested possessions and tackling hard all day. The versatile midfielder-forward spent all of her time in the engine room, providing great drive with clearing kicks and short runs out of traffic. Had an outstanding second half where she seemed to be involved in everything, accumulating key possessions at important times to prove her worth as part of Northern’s star midfield trio.

#23 Gabby Newton

It is unlikely that much more can be made about how good Newton is, and she was outstanding once again here. Playing her usual role in the midfield, Newton toned down her use of handballs and belted the Knights forward on multiple occasions early on with clearing kicks from centre bounces. Accumulating at her normally high rate across the day, Newton led from the front in a consistent display. The Northern skipper’s smarts in more of an extracting role proved crucial, with Newton’s ability to keep her hands free allowing her to escape traffic and dispose of the ball effectively. Newton’s overhead marking was again also a feature, forming a one-woman wall across the forward 50 arc. A prime example of that was when she marked from an Eastern kick-out, cleverly shifting to one side before charging back into the open space to intercept and frustrate the Ranges coaches. A step above.

Eastern:

#21 Olivia Meagher

Meagher played an absolute blinder for the Ranges, showing true heart to almost drag her side over the line from midfield. Hard to miss in her helmet, Meagher caught the eye in a different way on this occasion, providing scintillating run from the stoppages and in open play. Showed her intentions early in that sense with a two-bounce dash from defensive wing, with the rest of her breakaways coming through traffic and ending with a kick forward. Won her fair share of contested ball, but was also a danger across the forward 50 arc – finding the goals on the back of a 50-metre penalty in the second term, and assisting one of Madeline Di Cosmo’s two in the second half. Her defensive plays were just as important, laying a big tackle on Ellie McKenzie to set the tone late on, while also affecting a smother which would start the chain for Riley Hall’s goal to cut the margin to six points. A great overall effort, and we can look forward to more next year.

#26 Tarni Brown

It was by no means Brown’s most prolific day, but she started on the right note. The 2020 Collingwood father-daughter prospect was good alongside Meagher in competing against a stacked Northern midfield, winning clearances and proving tough in tackles. She would lay a few of her own too, but her best moment came with a smart steal as the ball was in dispute, which she ended nicely with a clearing kick to enter forward 50. Another we will see more of next year.

#33 Tess Flintoff

Very unlucky to miss out on being named in Eastern’s best for mine, but Flintoff has another two years in the system to rack up the votes. The midfielder is one of the best marking players in the competition, and showcased her skill in that area with phenomenal reading of the play and positioning. Often employed a kick behind the ball in open play, Flintoff had a purple patch in the third term with a series of intercept possessions, while also taking an impressive diving slips catch to show off her highly-touted junior cricketing skills. Flintoff’s clearance game was also strong – particularly when you consider her opposition – and she accumulated well throughout the day.

#39 Laura McClelland

It was not a huge day out of McClelland, but she started well in her usual post at half-forward. She helped the Ranges move forward well, acting as a link in the chain towards forward 50 – often collecting the ball on the arc and wheeling around to boot towards goal. McClelland did so twice in the opening few minutes, and popped up again in the third term with some nice work up the ground.

#41 Tahlia Merrett

One of Eastern’s many tall prospects, Merrett provided good value at either end of the ground. Starting at full-forward and later pitching in through the ruck, Merrett was an important part of the Ranges’ structure and helped to keep the Knights’ defence on its toes. Missed a long-range set shot in the third term but found the goals earlier on, and was later thrown down back to show her versatility.

#46 Serena Gibbs

Touted as a key player before the game for her ability to consistently find the goals, but Gibbs was unable to do so in this game. While she was limited at times by Northern’s Sarah Sansonetti, Gibbs competed well and looked to stand up in the closing stages with a big tackle and terrific overhead mark as the Ranges surged home. The over-ager also took on some of the ruck duties inside forward 50 and looked comfortable there as well.

Geelong Falcons vs. Calder Cannons

Geelong:

#12 Laura Gardiner

Gardiner capped off a fine middle-age year with another solid display, mixing time between her customary wing position and the inside. While she got her hands on the ball well at stoppages, her usual clearing kicks forward went lateral at times, somewhat limiting her damage. Undeterred, Gardiner competed well all day and is one to keep an eye on for next year.

#18 Darcy Moloney

The middle-ager had a quiet opener but built into the game nicely, spending time on half-forward and up on the wing. Moloney became influential in the second half, starting with a nice intercept mark on the Falcons’ forward 50 arc. While she missed the resultant set shot, she followed up the kick well and was unlucky to miss again with another shot on goal – this time though a snap. Moloney’s luck continued to go against her as a long shot on goal which was on target took an unfortunate bounce in the goalsquare, but her ability to create those three chances was hugely promising. Has obvious midfield credentials, but looked very good forward of centre.

#21 Abbey Chapman

Chapman again found herself in uncharted territory as the Falcons defence came under siege, and she again stood tall despite the defeat. Her mopping up deep inside defensive 50 early on was composed, but Chapman came up short on one occasion where she spilt a mark and gifted Alana Barba her opportunistic goal. Bounced back in the second half to save another Cannons goal with a clutch tackle, and followed up with a perfectly placed kick to find touch. Will be a key part of Vic Country’s campaign in the upcoming National Championships.

#24 Mia Skinner

Playing her typical half-forward role, Skinner tried her level best to manufacture the usual chances she would get to pepper the goals. While she worked hard up the ground to provide an option and link inside forward 50, Skinner’s best work came within the arc. She converted Geelong’s only goal with a set shot in the second term, had two quick-fire chances smothered, snapped one shot out on the full, and missed another. Skinner is great at getting dangerous positions and finding the ball in all the right areas, it is just unfortunate that on this occasion, she was hardly given a clean look to duly finish off her hard work.

#38 Lucy McEvoy

The Falcons’ skipper again led from the front and was simply outstanding. Won the first clearance of the game and launched a couple of huge kicks forward as she sought to set the tone for her side through the midfield. She has shown her ability to play just about anywhere, but took it to another level in this game with stints in the ruck after quarter time – playing more like a fourth midfielder at the centre bounces as the Falcons looked to thwart the impact of Calder’s firing midfield stars. McEvoy also tackled well and rose to the occasion with some fantastic overhead marking. Her positioning behind the ball while it was inside the Falcons’ forward 50 was effective, but McEvoy also ventured inside the arc and almost scrounged a goal with a snap out of congestion. Can hold her head up high, great performance as Geelong’s clear best.

#39 Renee Tierney

Tierney started brightly, tackling hard to win a holding the ball free kick which she used to punt inside 50. Given time in the midfield, Tierney won a couple of nice clearances to set Geelong forward and got involved well in a slightly different role. Went on to spend time all around the ground and will be one of Geelong’s better top-agers next year.

Calder:

#2 Felicity Theodore

Named at half-forward, Theodore took on a role in the back half on this occasion. The top-ager competed well in defensive 50 and swept up the scraps well at ground level throughout the day. While her kicking was a little shaky in the first half, she showed her ability to hit targets more effectively in the second, finding Emelia Yassir well from a free kick. A solid performer in the sturdy Calder defence.

#3 Emelia Yassir

Yassir put in an incredible performance to be named the Cannons’ best as part of a trio of promising Calder bottom-agers. After finding the goals in the first term as her side broke to an early lead, Yassir never looked back. The bite-sized forward played well above her height, marking strongly up the ground and becoming a key link into the forward 50. Played out of her skin, but could be one to keep an eye on in the coming years.

#4 Kasey Lennox

Another outstanding Calder bottom-ager on the day, Lennox was a rock in defence. The Calder back six collectively stood tall to intercept a wealth of high balls which entered their own 50 arc, and Lennox played a key part in that factor. The 15-year-old looked unfazed by the challenge, and is already a good height to play as a key defender.

#11 Alana Barba

Barba played a fantastic game as the third prong in a dynamic Calder midfield, and made arguably the best start to the game of all three. After a previous dribbled effort fell short, the top-ager cleverly snatched a spilled mark off her Falcons opponent and snapped truly, lifting her side with a big celebration to boot. While she did not find as much room to move after half time, Barba won some nice clearances and played her role well.

#21 Georgia Patrikios

Patrikios is an out-and-out leader, and stood up when it mattered as arguably the most skilful player on the ground. Winning clearances and providing a wealth of run, Patrikios delivered the ball aptly on both sides and was one of the more effective short passers by foot on the day. She is just so clean on the ball and her searing pace means she is hardly caught in possession – if ever – making her such a damaging player. Patrikios used her pace well in a particular passage along the boundary, skipping past players as she soccered the ball forward for some valuable meterage. She also proved her smarts with a holding the ball tackle on the back of a 50-metre penalty against the Cannons, and proved tough in contested situations. Missed the chance to hit the scoreboard in the final quarter and cap off a big day, but should be proud with her effort to lead Calder to their unlikely win.

#38 Laura Cocomello

‘Coco’ was combative on the wing, helping the Cannons to both break forward and keep the ball inside attacking 50. Cocomello’s overhead marking was impressive at times, with one from behind over the smaller Elise Vella a particular highlight. The middle-ager’s ability to keep her hands up allowed her to escape tackles well, and she was usually impactful with ball in hand. Had the chance to find the goals with a long-range set shot in the final term, but fell short.

#41 Georgie Prespakis

We are running out of superlatives to describe how scarily good Prespakis is at just 16 years of age, and she looked to have thrived in the finals atmosphere. Hard to miss in her standard long-sleever, Prespakis was the anchor at each centre bounce for the Cannons, bursting forward on multiple occasions and slicing through traffic with ease, while often finishing with a long roost inside 50. Laid a huge holding the ball tackle on Geelong star Lucy McEvoy the second term to further prove Calder’s intentions, and was an unstoppable presence around the ground all day. She was simply damaging with almost every possession, and has the ability to make opponents look silly in open space as she looks to deliver forward. Is the leading prospect for 2021 at this stage, and is more than living up to her pedigree.

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.

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.

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.

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
Total-90251152600380023810109.02.511.52.60.03.81.096

 

#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.

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.

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
Total-4985721001300810268.21.39.53.50.02.20.344

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
Total-9364157350050102219118.55.814.33.20.14.50.887

 

#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
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
Total-62810000003016.02.08.01.00.00.00.028

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
Total-613394180036001240115.53.08.51.60.03.30.063

 

#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
Total-163147600160064062.75.27.81.00.02.70.024

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
Total-341650900700212065.72.78.31.50.01.20.030

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
Total-44479113002900141376.36.713.01.90.04.10.445

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.

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.

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
Total-1672370070033044.01.85.81.80.01.80.023

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
Total-4618641400940222067.73.010.72.30.71.50.086

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.

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

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.