Tag: richmond tigers

Draft Central’s 2020 Top 50 AFLW Players: #7 – Monique Conti

WITH the AFL Women’s 2020 season officially come to a close now the awards are done and dusted, Draft Central looks back on our Top 50 Players of season 2020. This countdown purely looks at the 2020 season so does not look at past performances and will not include injured stars such Erin Phillips or Chelsea Randall.

In this edition, we continue the journey towards our top five with another prized draftee who has quickly broken into the elite ranks.


6 GAMES AVE: 19.8 disposals, 11 contested possessions, 2.7 marks, 4.8 tackles, 3.7 clearances, 3.2 inside 50s, 2.7 rebound 50s

Richmond’s winless inaugural AFL Women’s season may not have gone to plan, but the continual emergence of one of its marquee recruits, Conti gave Tigers fans something to smile about by is end. The zippy midfielder made a permanent move into the centre bounces and quickly became her side’s prime ball winner, proving she has a lot more than her patented run on the outside.

At just 20 years of age, Conti took up the responsibility of leading her side through action, as skipper and fellow former Bulldog, Katie Brennan went down with concussion in Round 4. The 165cm jet’s durability and toughness shone through significantly in those times as she posted season-best numbers in the final month despite being the primary target for opposition attention.

Expectations were high on Conti after she crossed from the Bulldogs for pick one, boasting a best afield medal in her former side’s 2018 premiership team, a best and fairest award, and All-Australian honours. But having also taken out Richmond’s VFLW best and fairest in 2019, there was little doubt about how she would fare in the yellow and black at the elite level.

Conti led her new side for disposals, contested possessions, clearances, and inside 50s in 2020, helping her become the sole Richmond representative in the All Australian squad. While she failed to make the final cut on this occasion, she was undoubtedly one of the unlucky few to be squeezed out due to the competition’s wealth of midfield stars.

Just three years into her career, Conti remains on the incline having entered the grade as a coveted junior and overall athlete given her prowess in other sports. She will inevitably be the face of Richmond’s attempt to capture premiership points for the first time in its next campaign.

Keeping Tabs: Standout draftees from Round 7

THE first year boys are keeping up their standards as the season deepens. These players should give fans a decent insight for what the future of their clubs may look like as they continue to develop. They are all natural AFL players and continue to make the 22 for good reason.

Here are some of the first-year players who starred in Round 7:

Paddy Dow

It seems the kid from Swan Hill has Carlton’s full confidence as of Round 7 having not missed a single game for the season. The hard-running midfielder continues to leave it all out on the pitch despite Carlton’s unfortunate start this year. Dow closed his game with 15 possessions, five tackles, five clearances and his first goal in Carlton’s 55-point loss to Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.  He positioned himself carefully around the contests and floated well around the ground.

Cameron Rayner

It is fair to say that expectations have been quiet for Brisbane’s number one National Draft pick. That’s a lot of pressure for a first-year player, but thankfully Rayner has risen to the challenge. With a usual efficiency of 70 per cent, Rayner kicked things into next gear with a 94 per cent kicking efficiency against the Pies last weekend. While still quiet on the goal front, the young Lion finished with six score involvements, 18 disposals, seven contested, three clearances and four inside 50’s. Rayner stepped up during the close fight, feeling right home in the intense contest.

Zac Bailey

Tasked as Brisbane’s centre, Bailey rose to the occasion. With 17 disposals, an 88 per cent kicking efficiency, four tackles, four score involvements, as well as a goal for himself which helped close the gap significantly in the third. It was a taste of some real AFL intensity for many of the first years in this close clash. With the stakes high, Bailey proved himself worthy of donning the Lions guernsey.

Hunter Clark

Kept outside of the side in Round 6, Clark worked hard to prove his worth against the Dees. The Dandenong kid topped off his game with a career best 20 disposals, with a 75 per cent kicking efficiency. He also had three score involvements and four inside 50s, giving the Saints a reason to want him remaining in the side. To take his game to the next level, Clark should look at showing more presence around the contest.

Nick Coffield

Coffield finished his 21-possession game with an elite 91 per cent kicking efficiency. The composed Saint picked his spots well and put in the work against a resilient Melbourne. Coffield picked up an outstanding eight intercept possessions, presenting himself well around the ground. With a further three score involvements and four rebound 50’s, the Eltham boy is fitting in well this year for St. Kilda.

Jack Petruccelle

In only his second game, Petruccelle picked up his first and second goal. Still relatively new to the game, the former basketballer has shown that he can get the job done on the board. With an overall of four score involvements, one goal assist and two intercept possessions, the boy from Epping has proved himself as a decent utility for the West Coast Eagles.

Andrew Brayshaw

The number two draft pick went hard in the contest against arguably the toughest team the Dockers have faced yet. Despite the tough affair, Brayshaw finished his game with 14 disposals, five contested, two clearances, and an impressive six tackles. He did not crumble under a dominant Richmond even managing to snag his second goal for the season last weekend. 

Adam Cerra

Another Docker boy who went hard on the weekend, Cerra kept his head high and put plenty of pressure around the contest. With a clear read on the game, the Norwood boy took home 18 possessions, eight contested with an impressive 72 per cent kicking efficiency given the circumstances. He proved important at getting the ball forward with five inside 50s, and as much as the Dockers got it, Cerra showed no hesitation to give it back, laying six strong tackles.

Charlie Spargo

In only two games, Spargo has already began making a solid mark for the Dees. Impactful going forward, the young Demon had seven score involvements and kicked another goal himself. In all, he had 15 disposals, eight contested with an 87 per cent kicking efficiency. His footy sense seems almost unnatural for someone his age. He is a great decision maker around the ground and knows how to play to his strengths.

Bayley Fritsch

Fritsch proved that he’s a man that can take it to his opponent.  The young Dee put in the work this weekend finishing with six tackles (two inside 50), three inside 50’s, six score involvements and four intercept possessions. Overall, the youngster finished with 18 disposals, with seven contested. Though unusually quiet on the board, Fritsch continued to show his impact for Melbourne in his pressure and contest work.

Jaidyn Stephenson

For weeks Stephenson has proved himself to be an important attacking utility for the Pies. The 19-year-old bagged himself two goals for the game, including the final nail in the coffin against a retaliating Lions. In total he had eight score involvements and 21 disposals, with five contested. He is a line-breaking runner who shows his strength in his movement with ball in hand. This classy forward is surely a contender for the Rising Star award come the end of the season.

Jack Higgins

Despite not being able to finish all three of his attempts, Higgins was well engaged with eight score involvements and two direct goal assists. The Richmond small forward fits in well with the best attacking side in the competition. In the Tigers 80-point victory against the  Dockers last weekend, he finished with 13 disposals, eight of which were contested. A tough unit around the forward line for sure.

Tim Kelly

With back to back drops in efficiency, Kelly’s ability to finish the job has hit a decline. Despite this, in a thumping to final favourites (the Giants), Kelly picked up 30 disposals with 14 contested. Determined to get his own ball and crash the contests, the WA boy continues to prove his dominance for the cats, standing out of an already star-studded midfield. Kelly will be a household name for Geelong fans by the end of the season. He could most likely be the candidate to fill Selwood and Ablett’s spot and may depart the Club in the near future. 

VFL Women’s 2018 season preview

THE new-look VFL Women’s season features 10 new teams in a 13 team competition. The sides feature plenty of elite AFLW, TAC Cup and local talent in what is shaping up to be a fascinating season of the state league. We have looked at each side’s players in the lead-up to the season’s commencement on Saturday.


Carlton Blues

The Carlton Blues have one of the most exciting TAC Cup Girls players joining their new team in 2018.

Gippsland Power co-captain and gun midfielder, Tyla Hanks will pull on the navy blue to test her skills against some bigger bodies. Hanks has been named in the best players in each game she has played for the Power this season and is a member of the AFLW Academy. Hanks will be joined by fellow AFLW Academy member, Rene Caris. Caris has been a solid force in the ruck for the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels this season and has been awarded with a navy blue jumper. Oakleigh’s Isabella Gietzmann will also suit up for the Blues this season. Gietzmann plays cricket as well as footy and could be a potent player for Carlton.

The Blues have also secured the services of their AFLW players including 2017 AFLW leading goal-kicker, Darcy Vescio, 2018 club best and fairest, Breann Moody, 2017 TAC Cup Girls best and fairest, Bridie Kennedy, 2018 Carlton captain, Sarah Hosking and 2017 Carlton captain, Lauren Arnell.


Casey Demons

The Casey Demons have combined Melbourne stars with Dandenong guns in their inaugural VFL Women’s side.

Coach and former Melbourne defender, Colin Garland will be able to work with plenty of AFLW talent, including Aliesha Newman, Bianca Jakobsson, Kate Hore, Katherine Smith and Shelley Scott. Two well-known former TAC Cup Girls players will also join the Melbourne brigade, with Eden Zanker and Darcy Guttridge donning the red and blue in this VFL Women’s season. Zanker hails from the Bendigo Pioneers and starred in her late appearances for the Demons in the AFLW. Guttridge on the other hand is a former Gippsland Power player who suited up for the Pies in the AFLW season, and will now get an opportunity to combine her skills with a new group of players in the VFL Women’s season.

In terms of TAC Cup players, the Demons have gone with two talented Dandenong Stingrays to fill their side. Captain, Jordyn Allen is a key acquisition for the club, as she is a talented defender who oozes composure and class. She will be joined by forward, Brooke Struylaart, who knows how to find the goals and provides plenty of assists along the way.


Collingwood Magpies

Collingwood’s VFL Women’s coach is a pioneer in female football.

Penny Cula-Reid was instrumental in getting the Youth Girls competition up and running. After being told at the age of 14 that she could not play football with the boys anymore, she took the case to the Victorian and Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and AFL Victoria created the competition for the young female footballers. Although Cula-Reid only played two games for Collingwood, she played in excess of 150 games at the St Kilda Sharks VFL Women’s club and has a brilliant footy mind.

Collingwood will have a very strong line-up with plenty of its AFLW players joining the Magpie brigade in the VFL Women’s season. 2018 Collingwood best and fairest, Chloe Molloy will be joined by AFLW captain, Stephanie Chiocci, former Calder Cannon, Sarah Dargan, and plenty more. The club also has a strong connection to TAC Cup Girls club, Oakleigh Chargers, signing three players for its inaugural VFL Women’s campaign. Oakleigh captain, Hannah McLaren is the most notable of the signings. McLaren has been one of the Chargers’ most important players this year, demonstrating her versatility in the side’s line-up. Other Oakleigh signings include former players, Julia Halaseh-Russo and Sarah Cameron, who will be players to watch throughout the VFL Women’s season.


Darebin Falcons

The Darebin Falcons are the most successful VFL Women’s side, having won five consecutive premierships.

The Falcons have lost Melbourne AFLW captain, Daisy Pearce, who will take a year off from VFL Women’s. However, they have plenty of players from local roots, with all but three coming from Darebin. These include AFLW players, Karen Paxman, Elise O’Dea, Lauren Pearce and Maddy Guerin. But that’s just from Melbourne. The Falcons will also have the services of Greater Western Sydney star, Jessica Dal Pos, as well as Aasta O’Connor and Nicole Callinan from the Western Bulldogs. Perhaps the most notable signing is Ainslie’s Hannah Mouncey. The transgender footballer was ineligible for the 2017 AFLW draft, but will be keen to play some good football for Darebin.

Darebin has also recruited the services of three TAC Cup Girls stars. Northern Knights forward, Alex Pronesti will pull on the Falcons jumper this year, after kicking nine goals for the undefeated Knights so far. She will be joined by teammate, Marnie Jarvis, who has been a valuable player for the Knights with her agility and speed around the contest. Eastern Ranges defender, Lauren Szigeti also has the opportunity to pull on the Darebin jumper in the VFL Women’s season. Szigeti has been a solid asset in defence for the Ranges, and could have the same impact for the Falcons.


Essendon Bombers

The Essendon Bombers have recruited a number of Calder Cannons and Diamond Creek players to join the newly-formed VFL Women’s side.

Current Calder players, Carla Rendelmann and Molly Warburton have earned a spot on the Bombers’ list this year. Rendelmann is a dominant force in the ruck and has represented Vic Metro while Warburton is a hard-working defender who boasts a place in the AFLW Academy squad. Premiership Cannons captain, Lauren Caruso also has an opportunity to pull on the footy boots again after not playing as an over-ager in the TAC Cup Girls this season. Caruso was a fantastic on-field leader in the midfield and 2018 is likely not to be any different. The Calder trio will be joined by another solid ruck presence in Bridie Winbanks from the Oakleigh Chargers. In the upcoming VFL Women’s season, Winbanks will have an opportunity to go head-to-head against Chargers teammate, Hannah McLaren, who will play for Collingwood.

The Bombers have also poached 17 (14 VFL Women’s players and three development players) Diamond Creek players, including the face of their AFLW bid, Michaela Long, who is the daughter of Essendon legend, Michael Long. Essendon has also recruited some local talent, including Natasha Hardy, who hails from the Sunbury Lions in the Essendon District Football League (EDFL). Hardy is a fantastic on-field leader and adds a mature presence in the Bombers’ VFL Women’s line-up. She will be joined by another experienced player in GWS defender, Tanya Hetherington, who often matched up on the damaging key forwards in the AFLW this year.


Geelong Cats

The Geelong Cats boast a number of AFLW players as well as some TAC Cup talent, but not who you may think.

GWV Female Talent Manager, Krista Woodroffe will line up for the cats in 2018, having an opportunity to do battle against Rebels ruck, Rene Caris, who will don the navy blue in the VFL Women’s competition. She will be joined by GWV defender, Georgia Clarke, who has been fantastic in the Rebels backline this seasonGeelong’s Mia-Rae Clifford will be another player who will be involved in an intriguing battle. Clifford, who is a former Melbourne AFLW player will play against the side that her partner, Penny Cula-Reid coaches, in the Collingwood Magpies.

Speaking of Melbourne, Geelong boasts two current AFLW Demons players on its VFL Women’s list. Powerful forward, Richelle Cranston and agile ruck, Erin Hoare will line up for the Cats in 2018. Hoare, who is a former Melbourne Vixen, got the opportunity to play AFLW this year for the Demons after being a rising star for the Cats last year.


Hawthorn Hawks

Hawthorn boasts a very experienced VFL Women’s list, with a host of AFLW players donning the brown and gold for the upcoming season.

Recently retired Pie, Meg Hutchins was one of the club’s first signings, and will provide a level head in defence. The forward line on the other hand, will be explosive with Adelaide’s Sarah Perkins and Greater Western Sydney’s (GWS) Phoebe McWilliams headlining the Hawks forward 50 line-up. Perkins was named as an AFLW All-Australian forward in 2017 while McWilliams was the Giants’ leading goal-kicker in 2018. Perkins grew up in Waverley and was a Hawthorn supporter growing up. The club also welcomes back Collingwood AFLW mid/ forward, Melissa Kuys, who captained Box Hill in 2017.

There is also no shortage of TAC Cup talent, with 2017 TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year member, Olivia Flanagan suiting up for the Hawks. Flanagan played for Box Hill last year and was also a key cog in the forward line for the Eastern Ranges. She will be joined by current Eastern Ranges players, Emerson Woods, Georgia Macpherson, Mikala Cann and Sarah Kendall. Woods is the co-captain of the Ranges side this year and is a member of the AFLW Academy. Macpherson is also a member of the Academy, and has been a key cog in Eastern’s defence this year with one some of the best hands in the TAC Cup Girls competition. Cann is a basketballer, and has showed her immense speed in the midfield this year for Eastern. Kendall has been dominant in the ruck and can also play a sweeping role in defence.


Melbourne University

There is plenty of TAC Cup Girls talent in the Melbourne University lineup this year, including one Calder Cannon who has been tearing up the competition so far.

Calder captain Madison Prespakis will have the opportunity to play VFL Women’s for the first time this year, and could be a key cog in the Melbourne University midfield. She will be joined by fellow AFLW Academy member, Rebecca Webster, who has been a versatile player across the midfield and in defence for the Murray Bushrangers this year. Up forward, Western Jet Caitlin Greiser will have an opportunity to continue her solid goal-kicking form into the VFL Women’s competition, after kicking eight goals for the Jets so far this season. Former Bendigo Pioneer, Aisling Tupper will be one to keep an eye out for, as the small and powerful midfielder starred for the Pioneers last season. Sandringham’s Alanna Dalley and Nicole Amiet round out the elite list of TAC Cup Girls players in the Melbourne University side.

As far as AFLW players go, Melbourne University only has one. But it is the best of the lot, as 2018 AFLW best and fairest, Emma Kearney will suit up for Melbourne University this season. After dominating in the midfield for the Bulldogs in 2018, Kearney will be a North Melbourne player in 2019, as the club prepares to enter AFLW for the first time.


Northern Territory Thunder

The Northern Territory (NT) Thunder unsurprisingly has a number of Adelaide AFLW players in its VFL Women’s side.

The club has a strong connection to the Crows, and could be a surprise package in the VFL Women’s competition. This is because the club has acquired the services of Adelaide co-captain, Chelsea Randall, Adelaide United’s Jenna McCormick, leading ruck, Rhiannon Metcalfe and exciting forward, Ruth Wallace. Defenders, Marijana Rajcic, Deni Vernhagen, Jasmyn Hewett and Angela Foley are among the other notable inclusions for the side.

The Thunder outfit also features two GWS players in Renee Forth and Emma Swanson. Forth was a solid presence for the Giants in the AFLW season, and is a mentor in the AFLW Academy program. Swanson is the GWS vice-captain and was a fantastic on-field leader for the side in 2018.


Richmond Tigers

Richmond have poached some Collingwood AFLW players ahead of its first season in the VFL Women’s competition.

Emma King, Lauren Tesoriero and Amelia Barden will swap the black and white for yellow and black, as they prepare to suit up as Tigers for the 2018 VFL Women’s season. All three players were key contributors to Collingwood’s AFLW outfit, with King dominating in the ruck, Barden having some nice moments in the forward line while Tesoriero was a lively player around the ground.

The Tigers have also acquired two Murray Bushrangers, Grace Egan and Sophie Damon. Egan has been a star in defence for the Bushrangers this season, and has also proven her versatility through stints in the midfield. Damon has been solid in the ruck for Murray and has been one of the most valuable players for the side in the TAC Cup Girls season. Eastern Ranges’ Jess Provan will also pull on a yellow and black jumper this season, after formerly playing at Diamond Creek.


Southern Saints

The Southern Saints are one of the new sides in the VFL Women’s competition, and have a diverse line-up.

The line-up will feature two Sandringham Dragons stars in Eleanor Brown and Jemma Owen. Brown has been a key cog in the midfield and has produced plenty of fantastic performances throughout the TAC Cup Girls season. Owen, who is the Dragons captain, has been leading from the front, as she has been dominant in the midfield and has even found herself up forward a couple of times, proving her versatility. Dandenong midfielder, Shelley Heath also joins the Saints side, and may have an opportunity to match up against TAC Cup Girls teammates, Jordyn Allen and Brooke Struylaart, who will suit up for Casey this season.

While the Saints have no AFLW players, they have a combination of players from Cranbourne, Seaford, and Mornington, recruiting local talent to boost their side’s chances in 2018.


Western Bulldogs

The Western Bulldogs have a host of AFLW premiership players in their VFL Women’s side.

Players include 2018 leading goal-kicker, Brooke Lochland, captain, Katie Brennan, and Rising Star nominees, Monique Conti, Aisling Utri and Bonnie Toogood. Star midfielder, Ellie Blackburn has also joined the side after making the move from Melbourne University. The club has also acquired the services of Bree White, who retired from AFLW in 2018 after playing for the Pies.

Three TAC Cup Girls players will also feature for the Bulldogs’ VFL Women’s outfit. GWV Rebels captain, Lauren Butler has been a wonderful leader for the Rebels this season, after making solid contributions in the midfield. Also joining the Bulldogs is Western Jets, Lauren Basto and Katarina Rebuffo. Rebuffo has been a key cog in defence for the Jets and will look to continue her form into the VFL Women’s season. Basto played for the Jets last season and would be keen to make an impact at the Bulldogs. 


Williamstown Seagulls

Williamstown has an even mix of local, AFLW and TAC Cup talent in its inaugural VFL Women’s side.

Bendigo captain Megan Williamson will play for the Seagulls this year, after being a shining light for the Pioneers in the midfield this season. She will be joined by AFLW Academy forward, Sophie Van De Heuvel. Van De Heuvel has kicked five goals in five games for the GWV Rebels this season, and has been a key link in the chain in the Rebels forward line. Western Jets defender, Sharnie Whiting will also have the opportunity to stay close to home, after doing a wonderful job in the Jets’ backline during the TAC Cup Girls season.

The Seagulls have one of the leading AFLW defenders lining up for their side this year. Collingwood’s Jess Duffin was dominant in the back line, and was able to show composure and class at all times. She will be joined by teammate, Jasmine Garner, who revolutionised her game through moving from the forward line to the back line. Garner showed that she can dominate in both roles, which is a dangerous prospect in the VFL Women’s competition. Bulldogs premiership player, Jenna Bruton rounds out the AFLW players who are featuring in the Seagulls outfit.

Who will Richmond draft?

The Tigers are in a solid spot draft wise. They’re in a position where they are a realistic chance to grab an excellent player who suits their needs with their first pick. Richmond could do with some more speed all over the ground, as well as an extra small forward.

Pick 16 (Originally 12)

The big fish: Callum Ah Chee

Ah Chee is an ultra-agile midfielder who adds speed, class and a great leap. Ah Chee is an outside midfielder, but he works hard to win his own ball, despite his slight frame. Ah Chee is a very smart forward, who makes the right decisions and knows when to fly for the football and when to stay down. He’s got the potential to be a massive steal on draft day due to his high ceiling.

Plan b: David Cuningham

A real draft day smokey. Cuningham has gone from being a second round option to a genuine bolter. His mixture of speed, elusiveness and nice skills in traffic make him a unique prospect. Around the stoppages, he is able to burst away with great acceleration, and he is very difficult to tackle. He’s got traits that remind you of a young Patrick Dangerfield and Luke Shuey.

Pick 48 (Originally 52)

The big fish: Stephen Tahana

Tahana is an unselfish small defender who has the right balance of offensive and defensive qualities. Tahana is a reliable ball user and he’s got a little bit of speed too. Aside from Steve Morris, the Tigers lack a reliable lockdown defender.

Plan b: Hisham Kerbatieh

Kerbatieh is a tremendously skilled small forward. He’s got a really long and accurate kick, and he leads hard, which makes him a reliable component to any forward line. Kerbatieh can find a little bit of the ball in the midfield, and he’s not afraid to try and put pressure on defensively.

Pick 76: Kane Lambert (Rookie Upgrade)

2014 Draft Profile: Daniel Butler


Daniel Butler (North Ballarat Rebels)
Height: 181 cm
Weight: 79 kg
Position: Utility
Player comparison: Ben Lennon
Strengths: Outside running, goal kicking, tackling
Areas needing improvement: Winning the ball on the inside

It’s a surprise that Butler stands at only 181 centimetres. He plays like he’s 190 centimetres, as he out-marks every midfield opponent he matches up on. Butler is really quick, and though he’s not likely to run the length of the field, a 20 metre burst from him out of a pack breaks games wide open.

Butler is a goal kicking outside midfielder who relies on handball receives to get touches. At this stage, he struggles to win the inside ball, but with his impressive volume of tackles, that side of his game could become well-rounded. His frame is well built already, and with his quick burst of acceleration, if he learns to play on the inside, he could become a real threat around stoppages.

Butler is the kind of player who performs much higher than his standing in the draft rankings. Butler is excellent value as a late pick, as his ceiling is quite high.

Butler’s most eye popping stat for the year was his 17 tackles against the premiers in Oakleigh. Butler is a quality over quantity contributor, but he was remarkably consistent. Usually gathering around 16 disposals, Butler’s highest possession count was 22 and his lowest was nine touches. His nine goals from 13 games, whilst not incredible, was remarkably consistent.