Tag: rookie me

“Natural footballer” Vella determined to succeed

DESPITE standing at about 156cm, Geelong Falcons’ Elise Vella has a big impact every time she is out on the field thanks to her ability to think through plays quickly and move nimbly around the ground. Vella showed she is adaptable this year, playing across three different levels with Geelong and Vic Country.

“We started off with Geelong Falcons, we got in the prelim, did pretty well but unfortunately we lost,” Vella said. “From there, it was Vic Country where we lost our game to Metro but won all our games in Queensland, and from there we played a few games with Geelong VFLW club.”

Change is no problem for Vella who has a passion for Australian rules football, enjoying the team atmosphere that the code brings. That, along with her ability to evade opponents and create separation credit to her agility and speed, make it the perfect combination for a player driven to reach the highest possible heights.

“I just like playing, I just love the sport, love footy so much, love playing with my friends, it’s so nice,” Vella said. “I think because of my size, my speed is one of my strengths. “I like the agility and 20m sprint the bests. I think because I’m a smaller player I like being more agile.”

Playing for the Falcons, Vella averaged 10.6 disposals, 1.1 marks and 2.3 inside 50s per game this year, being that outside runner in transition, winning the ball in space and putting it forward for her team to hit the scoreboard. She also averaged a couple of tackles per game, showing she is capable of applying great defensive pressure as well.

Vella said she was hoping to work on her confidence and strength around the contest, something she had been developing as a member of the Rookie Me Academy. While many players might be daunted fronting up to the NAB League Fitness Testing Day in the pre-season, it was a different feeling for Vella, who knew plenty of faces with the testing day hosted by Rookie Me at Maribyrnong College.

“It’s really good to be familiar with some of the team around here when you come in,” Vella said.

The quick winger has had an impact on the Rookie Me Academy, with Head of High Performance Darcy Waugh describing Vella as a “natural footballer”.

“Elise has so much natural ability, she seems like a natural ball winner,” Waugh said. “She moves really well and just finds the ball. Despite her size, she’s an attractive prospect because of how she plays. “What I tell other people is she makes the players around her better.”

Now with her top-age year in the books, Vella is a player with a big future, whichever level it may be at, but if she is to be drafted into the AFL Women’s, Vella said she would not hold back once at a club.

“I think I can offer a great personality and put in 100 per cent effort for everything that I do,” she said.

Physical side of footy attracts Van Oosterwijck to game

REGULARLY getting fouled out in basketball told Amelia Van Oosterwijck that perhaps she needed a change of sporting scenery. While the tenacious runner enjoyed watching Australian rules football on the television, she never thought she would involve herself to the point that she would run out representing her state at the 2019 AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships.

“My dad was always a massive Collingwood fan and I loved watching it growing up,” Van Oosterwijck said. “Then I started playing basketball and a teammate of mine – she plays footy and I kept getting fouled out all the time – was like ‘why don’t you try footy it’s a bit more physical?’ “So tried that out and ended up loving the game.”

Of the differences between the sports, it was certainly the physicality that stood out to Van Oosterwijck.

“It’s a lot more physical,” she said. “So I love that, I love tackling, I love just the nature of the game. “It’s so much faster than basketball in my opinion.”

That physical style of play is what has become a feature of the small forward’s game, laying more than five tackles per game for Oakleigh Chargers in the NAB League Girls competition this year. Her defensive pressure, coupled with her ability to hit the scoreboard – she booted four goals from nine games but spent time up the ground as well to produce more than two inside 50s per game. Van Oosterwijck said the camaraderie at the Chargers was something she loved.

“I love being around the girls,” she said. “The group of girls you play with are lifelong friends, they are all there for you and they all support you no matter if you stuff up or you kick a goal, they’ll always be there and I love that part of it.”

Her form was enough to see her represent Vic Metro at the championships where she played two games – she missed one due to a late withdrawal – and still showed her defensive intent with three tackles per match and a goal on the Gold Coast as well. Speaking at the NAB League Fitness Testing Day hosted by Rookie Me in March, Van Oosterwijck said her goal for 2019 was to build her core strength.

“For me personally, I want to get a bit stronger around the hips because I am a shorter player and I do get knocked over by the bigger girls so by improving my strength I’ll be able to withstand those tackles,” she said.

The increased standards were noticeable from early in the pre-season for Van Oosterwijck who said everyone had lifted making it a real challenge in the off-season.

“The standards have got so much higher,” she said. “The physicality, the running side of it, everyone’s got a lot quicker. “It’s a big step up and I think I enjoy the game way more than I did last season.”

Draft dream not over for 2019 State and Rookie Me Combine invitees

MORE than 100 players will look to impress recruiters at their respective state and Rookie Me draft combines in October after receiving invitations that were made official today. A total of 118 players will test from across the nation with players receiving between one and three club nominations to test (those with four or more test at the National Draft combine. After not having a single National Draft Combine invitation, Eastern Ranges had eight players invited across the combines, the same number as Murray Bushrangers who had just the one player invited to the national combine. Another eight Northern Academy players also received nominations, while Woodville-West Torrens and Sturt had five nominations each, while eight players received invites straight from the VFL.

The Victorian state Combine, which includes players from the Allied states, will run over two days (October 4-5), with the ‘Rookie Me’ Combine to run on Saturday, October 5. The South Australian combine will run a week later on Saturday, October 12, with West Australia’s state combine to take place the day after on Sunday, October 13.



Angus Baker (Canberra Demons)
Hamish Ellem (Sydney Academy)
James Peatling (GWS Academy)


Nigel Lockyear (NT Thunder)
Ben Jungfer (NT Thunder/Woodville West Torrens)
Kieren Parnell (NT Thunder)


Keidean Coleman (Brisbane Academy)
Matt Conroy (Gold Coast Academy)
Josh Gore (Gold Coast Academy)
Kobe Tozer (Brisbane Academy)


Matthew McGuinness (Lauderdale)


Luke Beecken (Woodville-West Torrens)
Trent Burgoyne (Woodville-West Torrens)
Lachlan Burrows (Sturt)
Brad Close (Glenelg)
Jamie Coff (Woodville-West Torrens)
Henry Crauford (Norwood)
Elliot Dunkin (West Adelaide)
Jy Farrar (Adelaide SANFL)
Damon Freitag (South Adelaide)
Cole Gerloff (Norwood)
Oliver Grivell (Sturt)
Lachlan Hoile (Woodville-West Torrens)
Tom Hutchesson (Adelaide SANFL)
Reid Kuller (Glenelg)
Mihael Lochowiak (Sturt)
Anzac Lochowiak (Sturt)
Harrison Magor (North Adelaide)
Jed McEntee (Sturt)
Jordan Moore SA Glenelg)
Luke Partington (Glenelg)
James Rowe (Woodville-West Torrens)


Frank Anderson (Northern Blues)
Alex Cincotta (Geelong VFL)
Lochlan Dickson (Coburg)
Sam Fisher (Northern Blues)
Sam Glover (Collingwood VFL)
Sam Lowson (Coburg)
Joel Ottavi (Williamstown)
Jake Riccardi (Werribee)
Liam Scott (Haileybury College)


Jimmy Boyer (Murray Bushrangers)
Will Christie (Murray Bushrangers)
Leo Connolly (Gippsland Power)
Sam Durham (Murray Bushrangers)
Ben Kelly (Murray Bushrangers)
Blake Kuipers (Dandenong Stingrays)
Toby Mahony (GWV Rebels)
Bigoa Nyuon (Dandenong Stingrays)
Harrison Pepper (Gippsland Power)
Josh Smith (Gippsland Power)
Ryan Sparkes (Gippsland Power)
Ben Worme (Bendigo Pioneers)


Curtis Brown (Calder Cannons)
Adam Carafa (Northern Knights)
Andrew Courtney (Sandringham Dragons)
Jackson Davies (Northern Knights)
Charlie Dean (Sandringham Dragons,)
Josh D’Intinosante (Northern Knights)
Tyler Edwards (Eastern Ranges)
Francis Evans (Calder Cannons)
Ryan Gardner (Northern Knights)
Lachlan Gawel (Eastern Ranges)
Lachlan Gollant (Calder Cannons)
Angus Hanrahan (Sandringham Dragons)
Josh May (Oakleigh Chargers)
Billy McCormack (Eastern Ranges)
Mitch Mellis (Eastern Ranges)
Brodie Newman (Calder Cannons)
Jeremy O’Sullivan (Calder Cannons)
Lachlan Potter (Northern Knights)
Zak Pretty (Eastern Ranges)
Sam Ramsay (Calder Cannons)
Jamieson Rossiter (Eastern Ranges)
Kaden Schreiber (Oakleigh Chargers)
Lachlan Stapleton (Eastern Ranges)
Nathan Stewart (Calder Cannons)
Ayce Taylor (Northern Knights)
Kyle Yorke (Sandringham Dragons)


Ajang Ajang (East Perth)
Cameron Anderson (Claremont)
Ryan Bennell (Peel Thunder)
Isaiah Butters (Claremont)
Regan Clarke (Perth)
Rhai Arn Cox (East Perth)
Jeremy Goddard (Claremont)
Nathan Ireland (Swan Districts)
Nicholas Martin (Subiaco)
Reuben McGuire (East Fremantle)
Zak Patterson (West Perth)
Noah Pegoraro (West Perth)
Jarvis Pina (Peel Thunder)
Ben Sokol (Subiaco)
Harley Sparks (East Perth)
Leno Thomas (Claremont)
Tyrone Thorne (Peel Thunder)
Anthony Treacy (Claremont)

Rookie Me Combine:

Matt McGrory (NSW/ACT GWS Academy)
Luke Parks (NSW/ACT Sydney Academy)
Jared Dakin (TAS Launceston)
Jake Steele (TAS Tasmania)
Bior Malual (VFL Werribee)
Louis Pinnuck (VFL Werribee)
Callum Searle (VFL Port Melbourne)
Charlie Furphy (VIC Caulfield Grammar)
Jye Chalcraft (VIC COUNTRY Murray Bushrangers)
William Chandler (VIC COUNTRY Murray Bushrangers)
Liam Fiore (VIC COUNTRY Murray Bushrangers)
Aaron Gundry (VIC COUNTRY Bendigo Pioneers)
Mitch Martin (VIC COUNTRY GWV Rebels)
James Schischka (VIC COUNTRY Bendigo Pioneers)
Cameron Wild (VIC COUNTRY Murray Bushrangers)
Daly Andrews (VIC METRO Western Jets)
Jesse Castan (VIC METRO Sandringham Dragons)
Lachlan Johnson (VIC METRO Oakleigh Chargers)
Harry Loughnan (VIC METRO Sandringham Dragons)
Riley Smith (VIC METRO Eastern Ranges)
Corey Watts (VIC METRO Sandringham Dragons(

Top performers shine at NAB League Fitness Testing Day

VICTORIA’S most talented Under 18 footballers were put through their paces at the recent NAB League Fitness Testing Day at Maribyrnong College last Saturday, with plenty of impressive results. Rookie Me hosted the event, which welcomed more than 600 athletes from across the NAB League and NAB League Girls competition.

Every available NAB League Boys player, and up to five NAB League Girls players from each side – seven for Dandenong Stingrays – tested themselves with vertical jumps, 20m sprints and AFL agility tests. The Boys then took part in the yo-yo, while the Girls completed a 2km time trial.

Rookie Me Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Adham Dimachki said the large-scale event was a success thanks to the dedication of the Rookie Me team.

“As the Official Talent ID Partner of the AFL, we are proud to host the annual NAB League Fitness Testing Day at Maribyrnong College,” he said. “It is the largest high-performance one-day testing event on the AFL calendar, and both the male and female talent on show only further justified its importance. “It is always great to have AFL recruiters in attendance, as it is an opportunity for them to gauge the athletic talent of this year’s AFL draft hopefuls. “The day would not be possible without the incredible work of our 65 team members, who ensured the event was a success.”

Calder Cannons’ Thomas Cartwright dominated the vertical jumps topping the standing vertical jump, as well as both the right and left running vertical jumps. Northern Knights’ Jonah Potter took out the 20m sprint with a blistering 2.86-second run, while Western Jets’ Harrison White won the AFL agility test in 7.86 seconds, while teammate Harry Sharp lasted the longest in the yo-yo test finishing on level 22.4.

NAB League Boys

Standing Vertical Jump:

1 Thomas Cartwright (Calder) 79cm
2 Max Simpson (Calder) 70cm
3 Jonah Potter (Northern) 67cm
4 James Cleaver (GWV) 66cm
5 Archie Manton (Western) 65cm
6 Daniel Mott (Calder) 63cm
6 Jackson Hannah (Sandringham) 63cm
6 Blake Kuipers (Dandenong) 63cm
6 John Roysmith (Dandenong) 63cm
6 James Mittel (Bendigo) 63cm

Running Vertical Jump (Right):

1 Thomas Cartwright (Calder) 84cm
2 Jay Robertson (Oakleigh) 81cm
3 Riley Clarke (Bendigo) 77cm
4 Sam Flanders (Gippsland) 76cm
4 Brady Rowles (Bendigo) 76cm
4 Nick Bryan (Oakleigh) 76cm
4 Nathan Howard (Northern) 76cm
5 Tom Graham (Oakleigh) 74cm
5 Josh Honey (Western) 74cm

Running Vertical Jump (Left):

1 Thomas Cartwright (Calder) 85cm
2 Cooper Vick (Bendigo) 84cm
3 Nash Reynolds (Western) 83cm
4 Sam Flanders (Gippsland) 80cm
4 James Cleaver (GWV) 80cm
6 Oscar Sasalu (Calder) 79cm
6 Giacomo Thomas (Calder) 79cm
6 Hugo Ralphsmith (Sandringham) 79cm

20m Sprint:

1 Jonah Potter (Northern) 2.84 seconds
2 Archie Perkins (Sandringham) 2.85 seconds
3 Tom Fitzpatrick (Gippsland) 2.86 seconds
4 Kade Brown (Murray) 2.88 seconds
5 Joshua Crawford (Murray) 2.89 seconds
6 Nick Bryan (Oakleigh) 2.91 seconds
6 Regan Uwandu (Northern) 2.91 seconds
6 James Cleaver (GWV) 2.91 seconds


1 Harrison White (Western) 7.69 seconds
2 James Cleaver (GWV) 7.87 seconds
3 Blake Reid (Geelong) 7.88 seconds
4 Mitch Riordan (Dandenong) 7.93 seconds
5 Riley Ironside (Bendigo) 7.96 seconds
6 Jake Bowey (Sandringham) 8.01 seconds
7 Charlie Ham (Geelong) 8.02 seconds
8 Thomson Dow (Bendigo) 8.02 seconds
8 Jack Hickman (Bendigo) 8.02 seconds
10 Lachlan Smith (Geelong) 8.03 seconds
10 Joey Ayton-Delaney (Oakleigh) 8.03 seconds


1 Harry Sharp (GWV) 22.4 level
2 Jack Hickman (Bendigo) 22.1 level
2 Chas Karpala (Geelong) 22.1 level
2 Mitch Mellis (Eastern) 22.1 level
2 Sam Clifford (Western) 22.1 level
2 Jay Rantall (GWV) 22.1 level
7 Nicholas Kitchell (Northern) 21.8 level
8 Matthew Rowell (Oakleigh) 21.7 level
9 Ben Nikolovski (Northern) 21.6 level
9 Cooper Barbera (Northern) 21.6 level
9 Harrison White (Western) 21.6 level

For the NAB League Girls, Sandringham performed strongly across all tests, including having a remarkable top five performers in the Running Vertical Jump (Right). Margie Purcell and Molly Denahy Maloney showed off their athletic traits, finishing top five in every test. Calder Cannons’ Makeisha Muller was also impressive with the highest standing vertical jump, running verttical jump (right) and top five in the 20m sprint. Murray Bushrangers’ Mikaela Trethowan, Sandringham’s Celia Cody, Western’s Isabella Grant and Cleo Saxon-Jones, and GWV’s Ella Wood were also impressive among the Girls, finishing top five in multiple events.

NAB League Girls

Standing Vertical Jump:

1 Makeisha Muller (Calder) 47cm
2 Margie Purcell (Sandringham) 45cm
3 Molly Denahy Maloney (Sandringham) 44cm
4 Celia Cody (Sandringham) 42cm
4 Cleo Saxon-Jones (Western) 42cm
6 Mikaela Trethowan (Murray) 41cm
6 Ella Wood (GWV) 41cm
6 Isabella Grant (Western) 41cm

Running Vertical Jump (Right):

1 Margie Purcell (Sandringham) 67cm
2 Molly Denahy Maloney (Sandringham) 67cm
3 Celia Cody (Sandringham) 60cm
4 Bryanna Arnold (Sandringham) 55cm
5 Taylah Grasso (Sandringham) 54cm
5 Isabella Grant (Western) 54cm

Running Vertical Jump (Left):

1 Makeisha Muller (Calder) 60cm
2 Mikaela Trethowan (Murray) 55cm
2 Cleo Saxo-Jones (Western) 55cm
4 Isabella Grant (Western) 53cm
4 Margie Purcell (Sandringham) 53cm
6 Gabrielle Newton (Northern) 52cm
7 Molly Denahy Maloney (Sandringham) 50cm
7 Ella Wood (GWV) 50cm
7 Elizabeth Snell (Bendigo) 50cm

20m sprint:

1 Margie Purcell (Sandringham) 3.26 seconds
2 Molly Denahy Maloney (Sandringham) 3.27 seconds
2 Ciara Fitzgerald (Northern) 3.27 seconds
4 Makeisha Muller (Calder) 3.31 seconds
4 Mikaela Trethowan (Murray) 3.31 seconds
4 Isabella Grant (Western) 3.31 seconds


1 Molly Denahy Maloney (Sandringham) 8.39 seconds
2 Elisabeth Georgostathis (Western) 8.43 seconds
3 Amelia Van Oosterwijck (Oakleigh) 8.64 seconds
4 Charli Boschetti (Murray) 8.68 seconds
5 Elise Vella (Geelong) 8.69 seconds
6 Margie Purcell (Sandringham) 8.74 seconds
6 Britney Gutknecht (Northern) 8.74 seconds

Young leader tackles challenges head-on

WEST Australian, Shannon Whale knows how to deal with fresh challenges. Since starting her football career at Pinjarra Tigers, Whale has played for four local clubs, captaining two of them, and winning two flags in the process. Her story, which includes making the cross-country trek to Victoria in search of improvement – is one of a teenager who has adapted to change. Now, in her top-age year, Whale is hoping all her hard work can pay off with a spot on an AFL Women’s list.

“I started my football down in Pinjarra Tigers,” Whale said. “I ended up being captain for it as well. “We won the premiership, and then the next year I was asked to join Peel Thunderbirds where I played there for that year. “Then we got to the premiership and won that.”

Determined to improve further, the West Australian teenager found an opportunity. It would mean a lot of travel and dedication, but it was an opportunity that was too good to pass up. 

“Mum found a site called Rookie Me and went and I did a bit of training with Rookie Me,” she said. “They moved to Melbourne … and I went there four times a year and then after Peel Thunderbirds, I moved to East Perth just to get away from it a bit. “I played half a year there and then due to family stuff I had to move to South Fremantle which was closer to home, less of a travel. “The next year I went to Rookie Me again, got more training, a lot more. “It helped so much, Robbie Campbell and ‘Goughy’ (Lachlan Gough) and all of them, they’re just so good. “It’s a great thing; Rookie Me is so good.”

Whale is still at South Fremantle this year, but is now captain of the side. She earned a place in the West Australian team for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, playing an impressive opening game before fracturing a small part in her right wrist early in the second match, ending her carnival. Whale said it was a great experience to play against the most talented players in the country, and enjoyed tackling Vic Metro on Metricon Stadium.

“It was a bit harder because they were a lot taller than us,” she said. “But it was good to compete in something that was so hard. “They put up a good fight, obviously we lost, but not by much (eight points). “It was good to be able to be in it, knowing what the next step is going to be, how hard it’s going to be, but it’s just working towards it and having fun while you do it.”

Whale said the enjoyment she gained out of playing football was something special and always looked forward to going to training.

“It’s just fun,” she said. “Doing something you love every weekend and being able to take it further into a career. “It’s just enjoyable, every part of it’s enjoyable. “I actually love going to training because your friends are there as well and you’re all doing something you love and it’s great.”

The full pathway for young girls to transition into a national competition is something that Whale is glad has arrived and has her even more determined to play at the highest level.

“I’m actually quite happy that it’s come up and it’s still rising because it’s something that I can work towards and hopefully I’ll get in one day,” she said. “It’s just a good thing for all the young girls to start, knowing that there’s something in the end of their career for them to do.”

According to Whale, her coaches have been impressed with her ability to read the play, and position herself in marking situations. She was able to use these strengths when playing in defence at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. But it also gave her a new improvement to focus on.

“I want to get more into it,” Whale said. “At the moment I’m playing backline so I don’t really get much touch of the ball unless it’s down there a lot. “But I’m always working towards trying to keep my player out of it.”

As for her ultimate goal?

“Obviously I want to get drafted into a team, if that doesn’t work then well I want to do something with coaching,” Whale said. “Then help everyone out, all the little kids out.”

Whale returned to South Fremantle in their preliminary final extra time loss to East Fremantle, managing to play the one game since her injury before the end of the season.

Fantastic Five: Memorable moments from the weekend

In a weekend of big bags, late inclusions and fantastic matches, there was plenty to look back on, and forward to, with these five memorable moments from the weekend.

Flynn’s moment

It is hard to believe that Flynn Appleby‘s story has not been told more frequently. The Collingwood rookie made his debut in front of a huge crowd at the MCG against reigning premiers Richmond after a late call-up. The former GWV Rebels defender missed out on Vic Country selection and was even forgotten about to the point of not receiving a National or State Combine invitation. Luckily a late call-up (fitting considering his debut) to the Rookie Me Combine saw Appleby star across multiple athletic areas, adding to the strong form he had shown all season, including quelling some of the most dangerous forwards in Jarrod Brander and Gryan Miers, as well as the Pies’ own Kayle Kirby in Appleby’s sole VFL game. He more than held his own on the weekend providing some crucial defensive plays, and is a poster boy for never giving up despite missing state selection.

Britney Gutknecht’s bag of goals

Reported at different times as both six and seven goals, it is understandable to lose track when a player kicks that many goals in an hour-long match. Northern Knights’ Britney Gutknecht is in ripping form this season, particularly the past fortnight. She has been piling on the goals in the TAC Cup Girls competition, finishing the game with at least half a dozen majors in the Knights’ big win over Bendigo Pioneers. No doubt she will be closely watched by the Geelong defence this week, but the midfielder/forward has been damaging in front of the big sticks.

Even TAC Cup competition

Everyone loves to see a close competition, and with Oakleigh’s six-point win over Dandenong on the weekend, every side has suffered at least one defeat in the first five rounds of the TAC Cup. It leaves Oakleigh, Dandenong and Murray with just one loss thus far this season, while Gippsland are just two points behind in fourth. With other sides such as the Northern Knights and Geelong Falcons rising up after slow starts to the season, the competition is looking even across the board.

Unbeaten sides to clash

Okay, so this one is not something that happened on the weekend, but is happening next weekend. However, the events of the weekend and each other round, has set up this event. Of course the event is the Geelong Falcons taking on the Northern Knights in the TAC Cup Girls competition – both sides are undefeated and it is a case of best attack (Northern) facing the best defence (Geelong) in what should be an unbelievable clash. Ultimately the result will likely be for bragging rights, with both sides well clear of their nearest rivals and the loser needing to suffer an astonishing defeat in the final round to have any chance of dropping out of the top two, thus setting up a grand final preview.

VFLW ready to rumble

With all the practice matches done and dusted, it is exciting to see the new looking VFLW ready to kick-off next weekend. Many AFLW fans will head to suburban grounds as their AFL-aligned sides take on their first opponents for 2018. With many AFLW aligned players also spreading out across the likes of Darebin Falcons and Williamstown, expect the competition to still remain even, with the AFL sides not necessarily getting an easy leg-up on the competition.

Fantastic Five: Memorable moments from the weekend

THERE was no TAC Cup or TAC Cup Girls football on the weekend, but the AFLW and JLT Community Series played out their penultimate and final rounds respectively. Here are five moments which made the weekend memorable.

Jack Watts’ six goals against Adelaide

There are few players in the AFL who have come under as much scrutiny as former number one draft pick, Jack Watts. After starting to show signs of finally reaching his potential over the last couple of years, Watts gave Port Adelaide fans a glimpse of what he could offer them in season 2018, bagging a career-high six straight goals. Yes, it was only the pre-season and there have been plenty of pre-season performers who have failed to go on to dominate – Jesse White booted five goals against Geelong in his first match in the black and white – but nonetheless, Watts was a player who needed a confidence boost in his new colours and his new fans could not be happier with his output.

GWS Women’s topping the Western Bulldogs to keep their GF chance alive

GWS did not have the season they would have liked last year with injuries galore and less homegrown talent growing organically in the state compared to football-centric hubs of Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia. That has all changed in 2018 with competitive efforts throughout the year, and now the Giants are in the thick of the action for a grand final berth. If they win the final game, they’ll will face either the Western Bulldogs (again) or Melbourne in the grand final. Their efforts against the ladder-leading Bulldogs were superb and there is plenty to like about the way the GWS Giants women go about it. That was obvious from their really strong showing against Melbourne at Casey Fields in round one.

Carlton’s youth coming through

While the Blues are one of a few teams opposition fans love to hate, it is hard not to get excited about the youth coming through the club. Coming into their 23rd season since winning the 1995 flag, Carlton fans are desperate to see improvement after a forgettable past 15 years. Now they can see the likes of Caleb Marchbank, Charlie Curnow, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Harry McKay, Paddy Dow, Lochie O’Brien and of course, Patrick Cripps all starting to create a really formidable young group who are bound to improve over the next few seasons. Sure, they might not be premiership contenders this season, but with Brendon Bolton at the helm, and a belief that seems to grow stronger each day, expect the Blues to be a team to watch over the coming years.

TAC Cup Testing Day

From the stars of today to the stars of tomorrow, the TAC Cup boys and girls all were tested on the weekend for the 2018 TAC Cup Testing Day at Maribyrnong College. More than 600 players were put through a series of tests conducted by Rookie Me, from the 20m sprint to the AFL Agility Test, the yo-yo test (boys) and the 2km time trial (girls) to the vertical leaps. In front of plenty of friends, family and AFL and AFLW recruiters, the potential next big things in the elite league got to show off their athletic ability in what was a successful day. In particular the athletes deserved massive applause with outdoor temperatures reaching up to 37 degrees (according to some weather apps) towards the end of the day.

Collingwood Women’s toppling the Lions with only pride on the line

Similar to last season, Collingwood’s best football has come when the ball game is done and dusted. But with a huge win over Melbourne, a competitive six-point loss over the Western Bulldogs and now a good win over Brisbane, the black and white women have shown they can match it with anyone on their day. Much like the AFL side, the AFLW side has not escaped scrutiny this season, but with some really talented youth prospects coming through and much better ball movement and willingness to create run, the Magpies have been as good as any side the last three weeks and reigning premiers Adelaide must be sweating a little coming into the final round.

Footballers to be put through their paces at TAC Cup Testing Day

THERE might not be any TAC Cup football on the weekend, but more than 600 players from the twelve clubs (both male and female), will be tested both physically and mentally at the annual testing day today.

The 2018 TAC Cup Testing Day is being held at Maribyrnong College – a location with first-class facilities including a double basketball stadium at the school. The athletes will undergo a series of performance testing metrics throughout the day, including:

  • Heights and weight;
  • Standing vertical jump;
  • Running vertical jump;
  • 20m sprint (5m and 10m splits);
  • AFL Agility Test;
  • Yo-yo 1RT2 test (males); and
  • 2km time-trial (females).

Rookie Me, the Official Talent ID Partner of the AFL, is conducting the tests in what will be a full day for the organisation. The TAC Cup Testing Day is a closed event and the biggest testing event of the year for the players. Results are made available to players, clubs and recruiters to see where aspiring AFL and AFLW players are at, then used as a comparison tool for the National, State and Rookie Me combines later in the year.

Rookie Me Founder and Chief Executive Officer Adham Dimachki said the event was a fantastic way of showcasing Victoria’s top young TAC Cup talent.

“The annual TAC Cup testing event is an exciting day for all the clubs involved, and young athletes hoping to showcase their best performance in front of AFL and AFLW recruiters,” he said. “The talent pool in this year’s league is of a very high standard, so we are expecting some outstanding results today. “We are proud to be associated and trusted operators of such an important day in the TAC Cup calendar.”

AFL Draft Central wishes all TAC Cup and TAC Cup Girls athletes the best of luck with testing today.