Tag: Sophie Locke

Defensive pressure a Locke for Bushrangers defender

IF there is one area of the game that you can guarantee from Murray Bushrangers’ defender Sophie Locke, it is her tenacious tackling pressure. Having been denied the chance to play for a number of years given the concern from her family, it turns out Locke was not the one to be worried about – more her opponents who had the ball when she was in their vicinity.

“I started when I was kicking the footy with a friend of mine in between a senior game and got asked to play footy and they finally persuaded my mum to let me,” Locke said. “So started off later in the season so only got like two games.”

“(My favourite thing is) being able to tackle people,” Locke said. “Just like getting out the aggression on the footy field. “I played netball and it’s a very soft sport and now I get to take them down, chase them down, I find it really satisfying.”

Locke said having come from a netballing background, both sports assisted in the development of the other with similar traits, but also areas that added extra elements to her game in the opposite code.

“I think footy I really benefit, my netball and my game at netball and my fitness especially,” she said. “I think I got the ball a lot harder before I started playing footy. “I think it’s benefited me both. “They’re pretty similar I guess and it’s just taking the ball one at a time.”

At the NAB League Fitness Testing Day earlier in the year, Locke had simple goals for the season after a big pre-season.

“Just getting out there really,” Locke said of what she was looking forward to this season. “I’m excited that the season’s started now. “We’ve had pre-season now and I’m just happy that it’s begun. “I’m happy I can put what I’ve done in preseason and put it in a game. “(I) just (want) to play my own game, increase my fitness and hopefully get a win out of the season which would be nice.”

Locke was one of the more senior players in a young Bushrangers’ outfit, which she admitted had really transitioned over the past 18 months with so many top-agers moving on from the club and more youthful talent joining the ranks.

“The young players, some of them have more experience than myself,” Locke said. “I think they’re really mature, and really smart and understand the game just as well as we do and it’s just getting them involved in the team because some of us have played for Bushies more years than others. “I think the transition has been pretty awesome.”

In season 2019, Locke averaged 4.7 tackles from 8.7 disposals playing in defence. She locked down on opposition forwards and gave them no time or space to create scoring opportunities. It impressed the Victorian selectors so much she was picked for Vic Country where she played two games at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships on the Gold Coast in Series Two, averaging 8.5 disposals and taking the tackling pressure up to another level with 6.5 tackles per match. She spent more time further up the ground through the midfield, and relished on the tackling pressure she could provide. Now with the games all but done and dusted, it is a waiting game for the AFL Women’s Draft, but whether it is this year or in the coming years, one thing is for sure – Locke will not stop trying to push herself to be the best possible player she can be.

Scouting notes: AFLW U18s – Wednesday, July 10

ON the second day of the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships, we headed down to muddy Southport where Vic Metro and Vic Country picked up another two wins against Queensland and Eastern Allies respectively, while Western Australia defeated Central Allies in the final match of the day. All notes are opinion-based of the individual writer.

QUEENSLAND VS. VIC METRO

Queensland

By: Peter Williams

#4 Lily Postlethwaite

Another strong performance from the Queensland captain who just kept getting better as the game went on. Her last quarter was phenomenal as she tried to lift her side to victory. She finds a way out of tight situations and uses the ball well by hand or foot. A couple of times she was forced to pump the ball inside 50 and it was chopped off, but she set up scoring opportunities by teaming up with Zimmorlei Farquharson. She had a highlight play in the final term, winning the ball on the wing, hitting up Farquharson, running past, sidestepping an opponent after receiving the handball and kicking forward, although it was chopped off in the attacking 50. Overall another impressive game, but particularly in the second half.

#6 Allanah Phineasa

Had a couple of chances on goal in the second term with a quick snap under pressure in the goal square missing before she lead out and took a good mark then converted the set shot. Phineasa kept pushing up and being involved in the play.

#8 Isabel Dawes

Hits the ball at speed on a muddy ground which was interesting but impressive at the same time. She is able to work her way through traffic and generally uses the ball fairly well throughout. Dawes had a chance on goal late in the game but it was stopped on the line.

#13 Dee Heslop

Really strong opening term, using quick hands in defence and was able to use the ball well by hand or foot. She was the key to restricting Metro’s flow in that first half, and also laid a massive tackle during the game on Emily Harley to earn a free kick and save a goal scoring opportunity. She won a free kick in the final term and went to take the game on to try and create something, but was wrapped up and called for holding the ball.

#14 Serene Watson

One of, if not Queensland’s best on the day and she really put together a consistent four quarter effort in the back half. She read the ball well in flight and used quick hands to run the ball out of defence in muddy conditions. Watson was good one-on-one at half-back to spoil a difficult kick that was right to her direct opponent, but she was able to nullify that contest. She also made a good decision under pressure to turn away from her opponent earlier in the game, spin and hit up a short target on the wing, and continually showed composure with ball-in -hand to save a potential goal late in the game and still hit-up a teammate in the back pocket despite being chased.

#16 Elle Hampson

A work horse performance in conditions that suited her game style to a tee. While her kicking at times was a bit scrappy, she was able to thrive in the mud with some strong positioning in marking contests and around the ball, firing out crucial handballs at times and suffered leather poisoning with plenty of possessions around the ground. She also had a perfect kick down the middle to a teammate after marking at half-back, and when not in possession was good at protecting the ball drop to mark at half-back.

#19 Zimmorlei Farquharson

Had a much better second game than her first, making a real impact at Southport with strong positioning in marking contests and a presence around the ball that always made her look damaging. Farquhqrson protected the ball drop when leading at the football and was able to simplify her marking by taking it on her chest. She not only showed good offensive attributes, but defensive ones as well, running down an opponent right on the defensive 50 and then producing a lovely kick into Allanah Phineasa.

#26 Maddison Levi

Played well in the back 50 and showed nice composure when under pressure. She won a big one-on-one close to the boundary deep in defence in the first quarter to kick cleanly out of the danger zone. Levi did this a number of times throughout the match and just looked solid throughout. Her work with and without the ball was impressive on the day.

#27 Kitara Whap-Farrar

Had another impressive performance, particularly on the defensive side of things with some great tackles, including a big run-down tackle on Britney Gutknecht on the wing. She showed good acceleration and determination, and put pressure on the ball carrier constantly. Whap-Farrar was also able to use her vision to dispose of the ball cleanly, and showed nice hands when under pressure.

Vic Metro

By: Taylah Melki

#4 Nicola Xenos

Showed good glimpses of spatial awareness to kick to teammates in space and was able to pick the ball up with ease off the deck. Clever read of the play to stay down when all the players went up and used her clean hands to move the ball out of congestion. Good evasive skills to dodge a couple of players and skip through the middle of the ground.

#5 Elisabeth Georgostathis

She made her presence felt going in hard at the contest and competing at every contest possible. Applied good strong physical pressure and showcased her strength to get her arms free in the tackle and dish the ball off. Georgostathis presented hard up at the footy to give Metro options across the ground and used her dynamic movement to cause confusion. Got a good crumbing goal out of the pack midway through the fourth term credit to her consistent attacking pressure and ability to read the play. Had moments of clever play to break away from the pack and break lines but was inaccurate by foot at times.

#16 Emily Harley

Scored the opening goal for Vic Metro credit to a strong mark in the goal square over the top of a couple of players. She showcased her impressive knowledge to out body her opponent and work them under the ball to take a big strong mark and kick truly.

#17 Georgia Patrikios

After a quiet first quarter by her standards Patrikios well and truly imposed herself on the match in the following three quarters. She displayed her football smarts with a perfectly weighted pass in the second term to teammate Britney Gutknecht on the lead. Patrikios steadily built into the game in the second quarter winning plenty of ball and finding good space across the ground. She covered the ground well and ran hard throughout the match to provide options. Really clean hands coming out of defence to work the ball through traffic and hit a teammate in space. Constantly involved in the contest hunting around the back of stoppages and working her way through congestion to win the ball. She provided plenty of attacking and defensive pressure to make her presence felt right across the field with her clever decision making and silky skills.

#20 Sarah Sansonetti

Started the match off with good intent and was clean below the knees to pick the ball up off the ground and dish it off to a teammate. She tracked the ball well at ground level and used her long kick to move the ball out of the back half.

#21 Ellie McKenzie

She worked her way into the match really taking the game on and opening up space credit to her run and carry. Good use of angles and vision to kick to teammates on the lead and displayed her impressive spatial awareness with an over the shoulder handball to a teammate in space. McKenzie’s sheer ability to shrug off tacklers and burst away is second to none while also using her bullet like passes to slice through Queensland’s defence. She is a real bull around the contest going in hard to extract the footy time and time again. McKenzie proved that she is not afraid of the contest laying her body on the line and dishing out some bone bruising bumps to win the ball across the ground.

#23 Nell Morris-Dalton

The forward was awarded a 50 metre penalty in the third term and made no mistake kicking the footy straight through the middle to claim her first for the morning. Grew in confidence as the game went on taking a strong grab in the forward 50 but was unable to convert only registering a behind.

#26 Gabby Newton

Newton showcased her ability to read the play dropping into holes and taking timely intercept marks throughout the match. She was not afraid to apply some strong physical pressure with big tackles through the middle of the ground and used her strong hands to out mark her opponents. Provided a good lead in the forward 50 using her football nous to break away from her opponent. Her cleverly positioned kick put the ball to the top of the square resulting in a mark turned goal to set Metro up for the rest of the game. Utilised her long booming kick to move the ball inside forward 50 and create some possible scoring opportunities. Took a really strong mark on a tricky angle inside forward 50 and made no mistake banging it straight through the middle for her first goal of the game. Good off the deck to take the ball cleanly below her knees and bang it long down the line out of defence late in the fourth term.

#29 Cleo Saxon-Jones

Showcased her ability to be a real presence up forward with her imposing figure and long booming kick. She created a couple of scoring opportunities early in the first half to trap the ball inside the forward 50 but faded out a bit as the game went on.

#34 Jessica Fitzgerald

Really good positioning to take a clever intercept mark in the middle of the ground in the third term. Displayed her footy nous to cut off passes and then quickly transition into attack for Vic Metro. She worked hard throughout the match to win the ball and out position her opponent time and time again.

EASTERN ALLIES VS. VIC COUNTRY

Eastern Allies

By: Peter Williams

#9 Jayde Hamilton

A really strong defensive effort from the forward who capitalised after some hard running in the first term. She ran past her opponent and got to the ball first as it rolled along the ground close to goal for her to soccer it through for the first major of the day. Hamilton was able to create some good run across the ground and also crack in and lay a number of memorable tackles.

#10 Abby Favell

Had a really busy start to the game picking up some early touches, then buzzed around the ground to intercept the ball through either marking, tackling or implied pressure to help her teammates. She showed good hands moving the ball out of defence and was able to get to the right spots around the ground.

#11 Mia King

Got better as the game went on to be an inside machine, laying tackle after tackle with huge amounts of defensive pressure. King not only applied pressure to her opponents, but won the pill herself, racking up the most touches of anyone on her side. What is impressive is she not only uses the ball well, but cracks in at both ground level and in the air and always puts the team first with good bumps and shepherds to lead by example. Once she got going she was hard to stop with good acceleration and a hard edge to her game,

#13 Zoe Hurrell

Booted the second goal for Eastern Allies after a free kick just outside the goalsquare. Hurrell positioned herself well in the marking contest and earned the free, then set up a scoring opportunity for her teammate in Emily Hurley after Hurrell burst away to kick inside 50 nicely. A big tackle on the much taller Olivia Barber on the wing in the third quarter to earn a free kick was an important moment and overall she was really solid across the board.

#19 Sophie Phillips

Did not finish with a huge amount of touches but honestly was one of Eastern Allies’ best. Phillips was terrific in the back half with three big tackles leading to three free kicks and disposals that cleared the danger out of the back half. When the defence was under pressure, Phillips was a shining light and her best tackle came against Sophie Molan, stopping a would-be goal deep in defence.

#20 Brenna Tarrant

Another Eastern Allies player who was strong on the inside and found plenty of it going in hard at the contest. Tarrant showed good vision under pressure to hit-up a target going forward and was able to create some scoring opportunities by moving the ball on in transition. Tarrant also worked hard to push into defence and assist her teammates and play an important role throughout the game.

#21 Olivia O’Donnell

Started the game strongly with a long kick inside 50 to set up a goal, and just patrolled the defensive half of the ground winning the footy and dropping back to assist the defence. She was hard at it around the stoppages on her way to a solid game and the second most touches for her team behind Mia King.

Vic Country

#1 Elise Vella

Went in hard at the footy and was involved in the contest early on. Good attack on the footy to pick the ball up off the ground all in one action and dispose of it. Showed good composure to think her way through the traffic. 

#3 Paige Sheppard 

Found good space and used her long, accurate kick to hit targets. Showcased a safe set of hands to take strong grabs even with players coming at her. Good lead up at the footy in the forward 50 and slotted her first goal of the afternoon from about 35 out directly in front. 

#7 Ella Wood

Worked tirelessly throughout the match winning her fair share of the footy and making the most of her opportunities with ball in hand. Impressive sliding pick up off the ground to regain possession for Vic Country.

#9 Darcy Moloney

Almost kicked an impressive goal on an impossible angle in the first term with the ball hitting the post. She showed good goal sense to take a step and bring it back around but just missed out. Good hands out of congestion and impressive vision to find her teammates. Tracked the ball well at ground level and applied strong tackles. 

#10 Sophie Locke

Played her role across the field doing the little things right and regaining possession many times. Laid a huge tackle in third term and showed good awareness to come off her player and influence the play.

#12 Tyanna Smith 

Impressive through the midfield and at stoppages extracting the ball out of the packs and working it to a teammate in space. Good tackling pressure and intent to win the footy. Lovely kick and pass to McDonald to set up a scoring opportunity for Vic Metro.

#13 Molly McDonald

Good evasive skills to dodge a couple of opponents in the middle of the ground and still dispose of the ball. Good awareness to soccer the ball forward and keep it moving into their forward 50 to help supply forward pressure. Nailed her first goal of the game in the fourth quarter showcasing her good kicking action and strong hands to take a big mark inside 50.

#15 Isabella Shannon

Good long kick, always looking to move the ball on quickly and down the line. Slick hands out of the middle to bang it on the boot and push the ball forward. Clever burst of speed through the middle to kick the ball deep into the forward 50.

#19 Brooke Vernon

Clean pick up off the ground and good sense of spatial awareness to sight a teammate and handball the footy off to her.

#21 Sophie Molan

Really good run and carry through the midfield in the second term to open the ground right up. Strong in and around the contest to extract the footy and dish it off to teammates. Good tackling pressure to bring her opponent to ground. Beautiful snap around the body after reading the tap out of the ruck to top off her solid performance. 

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Hot start once again, finding good space and using her body to put muscle her opponents in the contest. Good both in the air and at ground level scrapping hard to win the footy time and time again. McEvoy showcased her tackling prowess with plenty of strong tackles to bring opponents to ground. Strong hands and displayed her football knowledge to float back into spaces and pick off errant passes and then quickly transition into attack. Really good angled kick through the middle of the ground to open up the whole field. Impressive evasive abilities to sidestep her opponent and palm off a handball. Took a huge contested mark in the fourth quarter using her body and brute strength to win the ball and penetrate inside 50.

#25 Olivia Barber 

Really strong mark above her head and good spatial awareness to move the ball on quickly into an open forward 50. Her forward thrust created a scoring opportunity for Vic County. Constantly stayed in the contest laying strong tackles and making her presence felt across the field. 

#27 Shanara Notman

Really injected herself into the contest going in hard at every opportunity. She worked hard in the ruck contests to try and out body her opponent and tap it to her teams advantage. Really good elevation to get up high and get a tap. Good clean pick up in the second quarter in the forward 50 with the ball rolling forward and kicking her first goal of the game. Showed good intent to keep the ball moving taking a strong mark in the forward 50 and playing on but just missed only managing a behind. Really good hands and composure to stand under the high ball but was unable to convert from a tricky angle in the forward 50. 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA VS. CENTRAL ALLIES

By: Taylah Melki

Western Australia

#9 Isabella Lewis

Contested hard to win the footy on the ground and proved that she was not afraid to take on the physicality of the game. Nailed an impressive goal from the boundary line midway through the second term. Highlighted her attacking abilities and footy smarts to go back and think her way through the shot. Lewis consistently

#10 Mikayla Hyde

Displayed her solid kicking action and strong hands to take a big grab and then convert from directly in front about 30 out in the third quarter. Hyde was clever in traffic to work her way through the players and deliver the ball to teammates in space.

#13 Kia Buckley

Good strong hands to take a contested mark on the chest. Found good space and in the forward 50 to set up play for her teammates. Created a real presence in the forward half using her footy smarts to get into damaging positions and having a ping at goal but just missing.  

#17 Mikayla Bowen

Lifted in intensity hitting the contests hard and using her voice to help set up play. Presented well up at the footy and capitalised on her opportunities in front of goal nailing her first goal in the last quarter. 

#22 Nyra Anderson

Electric around the stoppages always hunting the ball and applying strong tackles in and around the contest. Good evasive skill to get around her opponents and then bomb it long down the line.

#23 Mikayla Morrison

Displayed good footy nous to drop back into an open goal square and dribble one through for her first of the afternoon. She ran hard across the ground and showed good composure to not blaze away. 

#29 Roxanne Roux

Showcased her defensive pressure with a good smother in the midfield to stop the forward foray of Central Allies. Constantly involved in the contest and used her aerial abilities to contest the ball in the air and attack the hands of the opposition. Took a really big leap in the third quarter but was unlucky to not come down with the footy. Roux applied plenty of physicality and worked overtime to try and win the ball for WA. Applied plenty of physical pressure laying bone crunching tackles but copped a head knock in the third and forced her to come off with a blood rule. 

Central Allies

#9 Jaimi Tabb

Real bull around the contest applying strong physical pressure. Did not take a backwards step throughout the game. Good burst through the stoppage in the forward 50 having a shot at goal but had more time than she thought with the ball going out of bounds.

#10 Madison Newman

Good with ball in hand and showed great composure across the field to work the ball through traffic and dish it out to a teammate. Used her long penetrating kick to move the call forward. Good hands in close and impressive spatial awareness to spin out of trouble and into open space. 

#11 Teagan Usher

Impressive diving mark to regain possession for the Allies showcasing her skills and desperation to put her body on the line. Strong booming kick to move the ball forward and great scoring opportunities for the Allies. She was constantly involved in the action and worked tirelessly to try and win the ball.

#13 Kiana Lee

Imposed herself in the forward 50 with a good strong mark directly in front but was unable to covert with the ball just dropping short. Really good strong contested mark on the wing to our body her opponent and bomb the ball forward. Won her fair share of the footy and found good space to work the ball into.

#23 Stephanie Williams

Displayed her speed and skill to burst down the wing and create some run and carry. Good user of the footy and always looked to move the ball on and down the field. She was competitive throughout the match and had glimpses of real excitement.

#26 Montana McKinnon

Really good in the defensive end picking off errant passes and applying good pressure. Strong one on one and tried hard to limit the forward thrusts from Western Australia. She was a real lynchpin down in defence using her voice to help set up play. McKinnon out bodied her opponents on multiple times and showcased her strength above her head to clunk some important and timely marks.

Scouting notes: AFLW U18 Championships – Vic Metro vs. Vic Country

IN an impressive game of skill and pressure, Vic Metro got the better of Vic Country for the final Round 1 game of the AFL Women’s Under 18s Championships. Metro won by 44 points and now head up to Queensland full of confidence, while Country will be keen to follow last year’s lead and bounce back from the Metro loss to win against their three opponents up there. Below are Taylah Melki‘s opinion-based notes from the weekend’s match.

U18 Vic Metro

#3 Gemma Lagioia

She worked hard throughout the game and won a heap of the footy over the four quarters. Really good mover across the field and showed good football knowledge to use the ball well and think her way through defence. Always seemed to be in the right positions at half-forward or on a wing for the quick kick out of defence by Country opponents. She would often use her composure to think her way through situations and hit-up targets going forward. Playing through the inside, Lagioia also showed a different element to her usual run-and-gun skilled game with some contested ball winning ability too.
 
#5 Elisabeth Georgostathis
 
Georgostathis impressed throughout the game winning the ball time and time again. She had good positioning in the forward 50 taking a clever mark but was unable to capitalise early in the first quarter missing to the side. She continued her hot form with a very impressive goal on the fly off a few steps and slotting it right through the middle early in the second quarter. She showcased her good hands in close and was clean off the deck. She applied good physical pressure with some crunching tackles throughout the match and attacked the ball hard to win the footy and dish it off to teammates.

#14 Laura McClelland 

McClelland was busy early on and did well to try and repel the forward forays that came her way. Good user of the footy to kick lace out through the middle of the ground and find a teammate in space. She was a real bull around the contest and used her physical pressure to try and out body her opponent. McClelland seemed comfortable behind the ball and was able to push up the ground and kick long when requited.

#15 Alyssa Bannan

Bannan made her presence felt on the scoreboard for Vic Metro with a goal right on the siren in the opening term with the ball rolling through. She presented well up at the footy to take a strong mark on the lead but was unable to capitalise in front of goal in the third term. But she quickly made up for inaccuracy credit to some good body positioning and strong hands above her head to take a big mark just inside the goal square and nail her second goal. Bannan showcased some real attacking flair with a run along the wing, pushing off four opponents and working her way through traffic. She went for a bounce but the ball did not sit for her but worked hard to win the ball back. Nailed her third goal in the fourth quarter, highlighting her good movement in the forward 50 and cleanliness with ball in hand.

#17 Georgia Patrikios

Really good around the contest, clever mover through traffic to keep her arms free and release the ball to a teammate. She applied good tackling pressure to bring her opponent to ground time and time again and showcased her strong hands under pressure. Patrikios displayed her ability to read the flight of the ball and take a couple of big grabs while also appearing to have plenty of time and space to make clever decisions with ball in hand.

#21 Ellie McKenzie

Found plenty of the ball throughout the game appearing to have the ball on a string. She used the ball across the field and showcased her vision and intent to move the ball forward on multiple occasions. Used her nice long kick to penetrate through the opposition defence and took a couple of really strong marks credit to her ability to read the flight of the ball. Impressed with arguably one of the plays of the day streaming down wing and showcasing her speed with 5 bounces ending in the forward 50. McKenzie won plenty of the ball and was a real general across the ground dictating space and delivering the ball to her teammates well. Displayed all her skills and spatial awareness to run through the middle of the ground and just open up the forward 50 time and time again.

#22 Sarah Hartwig
 
Hartwig had a day out down in defence and was a real general down back controlling the forward forays. She won plenty of ball and stood up time and time again in one-on-ones. It was easy to identify what she was doing as time and time again once she knew Metro had numbers covered at the stoppages, she would drop back a kick behind play in case Country cleared the ball out of the stoppage with a bomb on the boot. Taking plenty of intercept marks, she was also able to identify targets up the field, and if she did not mark it, she would spoil her direct opponent, or peel off and come across as a third player up. One of Metro’s best and used it well on the attack.

#23 Nell Morris-Dalton
 
Good crumbing goal showcasing her goal sense and footy smarts to take a few steps around her opponent and then snap it straight through the middle after missing her first two shots at goal. Posed a dominant threat in the forward line kicking another goal in the third quarter after picking the ball up off the deck and using her body positioning to get around her opponent and slot it through the big sticks.

#24 Isabella Grant
 
Grant took a big mark in the opening term and kicked the first goal of the game squeezing it through the big sticks to kick start Metro’s campaign. She took another solid mark in the first quarter and was awarded a double 50 metre free kick and kicked truly nailing her second goal of the game in the first quarter. She consistently presented well up at the footy causing havoc in the forward line and won another double 50 metre and scored from directly out the front

#26 Gabrielle Newton

Newton had a hot start, involved in everything early. She showcased good composure to kick a perfectly weighted pass along the wing and found good space across the ground. She ran hard throughout the match to provide strong leads and options across the field. Was not afraid to get involved in the contest applying good tackling pressure and presented well up at the footy. Posed a threat in all areas of the ground offering strong leads in the forward 50 gathering the ball that popped out the back and banged it straight through the big sticks to kick her first for the game. Used her strong hands and good vision to punish the opposition.

Vic Country

#3 Paige Sheppard

Worked hard throughout the four quarters and particularly stepped up in the second half with the game slipping away from Country. Put her body on the line time and time again and ran hard to win touches through the middle and set up attacking plays. Applied great defensive pressure on the ball carrier throughout the match as well and was one of Country’s best in that area.

#4 Renee Saulitis

Relatively quiet day early given Metro’s forward half dominance, but left her mark on the game with a quick couple of steps and a goal midway through the final quarter once Country had a sniff going forward. She showed that she has what it takes to be an impact player slotting another goal in the final term credit to her goal sense and clean hands. Just finds space and is clever around goal.

#5 Luka Lesosky-Hay

Lesosky-Hay was busy early on winning a heap of the ball and working hard across the ground to get into damaging positions. She was not afraid to put her body on the line and contest for the ball both in the air and at ground level.
 
#10 Sophie Locke

A key player down in defence, read the play really well and contested hard at every occasion. Locke took a heap of big contested marks and kept her feet. She used her strong hands to win the ball back for her side and dished off a couple of well weighted kicks to teammates. She showcased her good hands under pressure and covered the ground well to consistently impose herself on the contest winning her fair share of the ball.

#12 Tyanna Smith

Provided some trademark run off half-back and along the wing, trying to break the lines going forward. It was tough for her to get too much happening with the ball camped in the Metro’s defensive half, and with Metro’s defenders, such as Sarah Hartwig and Isabelle Pritchard so well set up forward of centre. She kept trying throughout the four quarters and did have a few nice plays across the game.

#21 Sophie Molan

Molan was good in close and worked tirelessly around the contest to win the ball for Country. She showcased her strength in the air with a big contested grab and was strong overhead to go back with the flight and put the mitts up.

#22 Millie Brown

Brown had a blinder winning a heap of the footy and using it well. Really safe set of hands and played a solid role down in defence. She really controlled the defensive 50 and worked hard to try and nullify the influence of her opponents. Consistently showed good intent to move the ball forward and make her presence felt across the field. Brown highlighted her footy smarts reading the play well and floating into the right spots in the defensive 50 to regain possession for her side. She was careful and precise with ball in hand making the most of her possessions.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

McEvoy led from the front all game accumulating plenty of the ball and using it efficiently. Lowered the eyes and used the ball well to kick the ball lace out to a teammate on the lead. She showcased her strength to take a big mark despite the oncoming contact and pressure and dropped into the holes taking a good intercept mark. She used her long booming kick to move the ball forward and create scoring opportunities. McEvoy positioned well across the ground and just consistently imposed herself on the contest, involved in everything. She pushed hard in the final term to try and create a spark. She moved forward and applied good pressure to try and create shots on goal but was unable to capitalise in the last quarter only registering a minor score.

Vic Metro claims impressive AFLW U18 win over Country counterparts

VIC Metro has made an impressive statement to the rest of the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships teams with a clinical 44-point win over Vic Country at Avalon Airport Oval yesterday. Northern Knights middle-ager Ellie McKenzie was absolutely superb playing around the ground, working hard in a midfield that showed it could balance its share of contested and uncontested work, with McKenzie taking a five-bounce run along the wing – just two shy of her effort in the NAB League Girls Grand Final, despite dewy conditions. Knights teammates Britney Gutknecht and Gabby Newton also worked hard through the midfield, while Alyssa Bannan and Sarah Hartwig were prominent up opposite ends.

From the first bounce it was clear the Metro side, led by Western Jets utility and potential Western Bulldogs father-daughter selection, Isabella Grant was up for the match. Grant herself booted two opening term goals – one of which came from a double 50-metre penalty after her opponent tackled her after mistakingly hearing the umpire call play-on. Despite the dominance of play, Metro still could only muster two goals from five scoring shots, before Isabella Simmons got one back against the flow. Just nine points up, and the game seemingly more in Metro’s control than the scoreline suggested, it took a few pieces of magic down the wing, and a flying shot from Alyssa Bannan just before the quarter time siren, for the ball to bounce past the diving arms of defender Millie Brown and bounce through for Metro’s third goal of the quarter as the siren rang out.

Brown was everywhere for the Country side in defence as she swallowed up a number of Metro forward entries, but was ultimately overwhelmed as Metro’s pressure all but locked the ball in their half for the second quarter. Country had just a couple of inside 50s in that second term, while Nell Morris-Dalton started to turn up the heat, spraying a set shot, just missing a snap and then arguably nailing the hardest shot of the attempts. Over the middle two quarters, Metro controlled play, with Bannan, McKenzie and Newton all impressing, including a great one-on-one goal to Morris-Dalton in the third term that saw her stay on her feet against Lucy McEvoy, win the ball and snap around her body to all but ice the game. It came after Shanara Notman converted a vital goal for the Country team, doing all she could leading up forward and making good on her set shot. For all of Metro’s dominance on the field, they finally had it on the scoreboard with a 44-point margin.

The final quarter looked like a different game to start with, as Country began to win more of the ball out of midfield and give its forwards opportunities to kick goals. Renee Saulitis finally got her chance with a bit of space and she weaved her magic not once, but twice, getting the ball over the top and using her calm, cool composure to slot two goals after a miss earlier in the game. Country cut the deficit back to less than 40 points, but another double 50-metre penalty to Grant – with an opponent getting in the protected area – saw her remarkably kick her third goal of the game, and her second from point-blank. Not to be outdone on the scoreboard, the most clinical play of the day came next with Oakleigh Chargers’ Nicola Xenos roving a tap and pumping the ball inside 50 to a contest. Bannan was the first to pick up the ball cleanly, evade an opponent and kick her third truly to match Grant. This time, for all of Country’s dominance, a purple patch by the Metro team saw them draw level for the quarter and enjoy a big win.

Metro had winners across the park, with McKenzie, Lagioia, Gutknect and Western Jets’ skipper Elisabeth Georgostathis all playing important roles through the midfield, while Sandringham Dragons’ skipper Molly Denahy Maloney played an underrated game through the middle quarters, intercepting a lot of ball through the midfield and half-forward to set up plays. Morris-Dalton and Bannan were the benficiaries up forward, while down back, Hartwig was sensational, knowing when to drop off the contest and stand a kick behind play ready for the quick Country clearance out of a wing stoppage. Despite the ball largely being camped up the other end, Hartwig and Isabelle Pritchard rebounded most of what came near them, and loom as a damaging duo not just this year, but next year as well.

For Country, Brown was absolutely sensational throughout the four quarters, often under siege on the last line, she and Murray Bushrangers’ teammate Sophie Locke were often the ones clearing the ball out of the back 50, while Tyanna Smith and Paige Sheppard provided some great run from half-back and through midfield. McEvoy unsurprisingly played a four-quarter game and showed intent laying some massive tackles on opponents as she tried to will the side over the line. Saulitis was another who stood out when given her chance going forward, while the likes of Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels middle-agers Maggie Caris and Simmons kept presenting around the ground. Ultimately though, Metro had too many winners across the park, and head up to Queensland full of confidence following a terrific victory over their Victorian Country counterparts.

VIC COUNTRY 1.0 | 1.1 | 2.1 | 4.2 (26)
VIC METRO 3.3 | 5.6 | 8.9 | 10.10 (70)

GOALS:

Vic Country: R. Saulitis (GWV) 2, I. Simmons (GWV), S. Notman (Gippsland)
Vic Metro: I. Grant (Western) 3, A. Bannan (Northern) 3, N. Morris-Dalton (Northern) 2, E. Georgostathis (Western), G. Newton (Northern)

ADC BEST:

Vic Country: M. Brown, L. McEvoy, P. Sheppard, T. Smith, R. Saulitis, M. Caris
Vic Metro: E. McKenzie, G. Lagioia, A. Bannan, S. Hartwig, G. Newton, I. Grant.

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.

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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20197863141140023012551164.93.98.80.90.01.40.129
Total7863141140023012551164.93.98.80.90.01.40.129

 

#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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
201910143144150033001553147.23.110.31.10.02.40.235
Total10143144150033001553147.23.110.31.10.02.40.235

 

#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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019143842272700650248104168.95.314.21.70.04.10.351
Total143842272700650248104168.95.314.21.70.04.10.351

 

#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
Total-5296114001900122495.81.06.81.60.02.10.430

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019651378150026011455125.41.16.51.30.02.20.428
Total651378150026011455125.41.16.51.30.02.20.428

 

#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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
201914794241250073062680159.86.316.11.70.04.90.052
Total14794241250073062680159.86.316.11.70.04.90.052

 

#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
Total-6467131100053001731106.46.713.11.00.05.30.140

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20197888166110069062441136.06.812.80.80.05.30.140
Total7888166110069062441136.06.812.80.80.05.30.140

 

#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.

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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019109641732600590217162186.13.69.61.40.03.30.133
Total109641732600590217162186.13.69.61.40.03.30.133

 

#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
Total-741892230023001851089.32.311.52.90.02.91.354

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019741892230023001851089.32.311.52.90.02.91.354
Total741892230023001851089.32.311.52.90.02.91.354

 

#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
Total-8873161180036001974108.87.316.11.80.03.60.453

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
201910795202200046052995138.27.315.51.50.03.50.453
Total10795202200046052995138.27.315.51.50.03.50.453

 

#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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20197817951500551412130117.11.58.61.40.15.00.033
Total7817951500551412130117.11.58.61.40.15.00.033

 

#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
Total-6761128120089001620197.46.814.21.30.09.90.146

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019756313813001010017202116.85.712.51.20.09.20.241
Total756313813001010017202116.85.712.51.20.09.20.241

 

#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
Total-7343116700250029117710.46.116.61.00.03.61.062

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20191026216412004408421181010.26.216.41.20.04.40.863
Total1026216412004408421181010.26.216.41.20.04.40.863

 

#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.

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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
201915258210270058154087178.93.412.41.60.13.40.447
Total15258210270058154087178.93.412.41.60.13.40.447

 

#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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
201911330143220018114541167.11.98.91.40.11.10.134
Total11330143220018114541167.11.98.91.40.11.10.134

 

#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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20197227991100431014147135.52.17.60.80.13.30.530
Total7227991100431014147135.52.17.60.80.13.30.530

 

#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
Total-8962151320047102019108.96.215.13.20.14.70.958

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20198962151320047102019108.96.215.13.20.14.70.958
Total8962151320047102019108.96.215.13.20.14.70.958

 

#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.

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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20191293216126004218031019139.92.512.42.01.43.21.556
Total1293216126004218031019139.92.512.42.01.43.21.556

 

#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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20198537122140029211381184.72.16.80.80.11.60.123
Total8537122140029211381184.72.16.80.80.11.60.123

 

#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.

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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
201999381372100177013481128.33.211.41.80.61.40.144
Total99381372100177013481128.33.211.41.80.61.40.144

 

#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
Total-43216411002100117085.42.68.01.40.02.60.028

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
201943216411002100117085.42.68.01.40.02.60.028
Total43216411002100117085.42.68.01.40.02.60.028

 

#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.

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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20191431332761800781632129178.47.816.21.10.14.60.553
Total1431332761800781632129178.47.816.21.10.14.60.553

 

#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.

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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20191228020219001800153701111.17.318.41.70.01.60.059
Total1228020219001800153701111.17.318.41.70.01.60.059

 

#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.

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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019199130329490010298422261711.77.619.42.90.56.00.469
Total199130329490010298422261711.77.619.42.90.56.00.469

 

#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
Total-45105514001100107276.41.47.92.00.01.60.334

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
201954167016001701137496.01.87.81.80.01.90.434
Total54167016001701137496.01.87.81.80.01.90.434

 

#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
Total-46176322001012063767.72.810.53.72.01.71.251

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20197124953200153011051297.92.710.63.63.31.71.354
Total7124953200153011051297.92.710.63.63.31.71.354

 

#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.

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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019120611812800480029105167.53.811.31.80.03.00.342
Total120611812800480029105167.53.811.31.80.03.00.342

 

#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
Total-271239900520015046.83.09.82.30.51.30.037

VFLW

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Casey Demons VFLW54910062000131.71.33.00.30.72.00.311
Total-54910062000131.71.33.00.30.72.00.311

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20194531761500161874162104.53.17.61.51.81.60.232
Total4531761500161874162104.53.17.61.51.81.60.232

 

#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

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
20194529741800331180956133.52.25.71.49.12.50.533
Total4529741800331180956133.52.25.71.49.12.50.533

 

#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
Total-29235230010140036064.83.88.70.523.31.70.049

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
201932336550019174257084.04.18.10.621.82.40.047
Total32336550019174257084.04.18.10.621.82.40.047

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.

Team of the Week: NAB League Girls – Round 6

WITH so many new players entering NAB League Girls sides as plenty missed out due to AFL Women’s Academy duties, there are few new faces in the Draft Central Team of the Week for Round 6. There are also plenty of regulars who stepped up in the absence of teammates, but now there are no players who have made the side every single week, showing a great diversity of talent among the competition. Bendigo Pioneers, Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights all enjoyed impressive wins, sitting in the top four of the NAB League Girls ladder. Those three sides all had three players in the Team of the week, with six sides having two players and the remaining three sides – Calder Cannons, Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets all having the one nominee in the team.

Geelong Falcons’ undefeated streak continued on the weekend and Paige Sheppard and Mia Skinner‘s terrific seasons continued, named in the Team of the Week again, along with midfielder Luka Lesosky-Hay. Northern Knights also remained undefeated with just a draw as the only blemish on an otherwise top season so far. The Knights had to overcome a number of key personnel losses to post a big win over Gippsland Power, with Jess Fitzgerald, Phoebe Chisholm and Nell Morris-Dalton crucial in that win at Garfield. Their opposition had a number of impressive players with Chandra Abrahams being a tackling machine and flowing well between the arcs, while Megan Fitzsimon had a round-high 28 touches.

The other team with three players in the Team of the Week was Bendigo Pioneers, who enjoyed a hard-fought win over Dandenong Stingrays. Brooke Hards was named in the midfield yet again continuing her top season, along with Tara Slender at centre half-back and Jordyn Jolliffe in attack. All three players are in three different birth years showing the vast impact that talented girls of all ages can have on the competition. Their opponents had a couple of familiar faces in the Team of the Week with Brooke Vernon and Zoe Hill slotting into the side for yet another week. Also in defence are a couple of individual team nominees in Murray Bushrangers’ Sophie Locke and Calder Cannons’ Georgie Prespakis who while predominantly midfielders, drift back and help their defences.

Rounding out the Team of the Week midfield is Sandringham Dragons’ ruck Celia Cody making her debut in the team, along with Winnie Laing who was best on ground in the Dragons’ win over the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. The Rebels had two players in the Team of the Week as well, with Ella Wood returning to the side along with Nyakoat Dojiok who has been impressing across the ground. In attack, Eastern Ranges’ Serena Gibbs has been named at full-forward after a strong show of marking and long kicking against the Cannons, as well as teammate Tess Flintoff who was named the Draft Central Rising Star of the Week. Rounding out the side are Oakleigh Chargers’ captain Mimi Hill and her teammate, Chloe O’Malley, as well as Western Jets’ captain Elisabeth Georgostathis who has been a regular in the Team of the Week this season. It was a tough week to decide on just 24 players with Gippsland’s Grace McRae, Calder’s Felicity Theodore and Eastern’s Tahlia Merrett among those very close to making the team this week.

Weekend wash-up: NAB League Girls – Round 6

ROUND 6 of the NAB League Girls saw a host players out with AFL Women’s Academy duties but that did not stop the Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights from continuing their winning ways. Geelong once again proved to be the front runners of the competition while Oakleigh also flexed their muscles with a big win over Murray. The round also saw some close clashes between the Eastern Ranges and Calder Cannons along with Greater Western Victoria Rebels and Sandringham Dragons with both games coming down to two kicks or less.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER 0.0 | 0.2 | 2.3 | 3.4 (22)
NORTHERN KNIGHTS 1.2 | 4.3 | 7.4 | 10.7 (67)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Gippsland: G. McRae, N. Webber, S. Walker.
Northern: L. Picioane 3, J. Simpson 2,  J. Fitzgerald 2, N. Morris-Dalton, T. Smart, M. Ramsay.

BEST:

Gippsland: G. McRae, C. Abrahams , M. Fitzsimon, S. Walker, M. Van Berkel, N. Webber
Northern: J. Fitzgerald, P. Chisholm, N. Morris-Dalton, A. Snow, M. Chaplin, L. Picioane

After a slow start, Northern Knights pulled away from Gippsland Power to ensure they remained undefeated after six rounds and sitting just two points behind Geelong Falcons on top of the table. In the match against the Power, Northern booted nine goals to three after quarter time to secure the 10.7 (67) to 3.4 (22) win, but not without some resistance from the home side. After the match was moved from Preston City Oval to Garfield, the Knights became the visitors but looked all at home once they had settled in despite missing an number of their top stars – Gabby Newton, Britney Gutknecht, Ellie McKenzie and Sarah Sansonetti – who were all out on AFL Women’s Academy duties. The Knights’ depth stepped up in their absence, with Jess Fitzgerald being the key influencer through the midfield, collecting 16 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and booting two goals, while Phoebe Chisholm led her side for disposals with 19, as well as two marks, four tackles and five rebounds. Ash Snow was prolific around the ground, while Nell Morris-Dalton continued her strong season rotating between ruck and forward, while Lanarose Picioane who booted three majors in an impressive performance up forward. For Gippsland, Grace McRae was named the best for her 19 disposals, three tackles and a goal, while Chandra Abrahams and Megan Fitzsimon continued their great seasons, combining for 49 disposals, 12 tackles and eight inside 50s in a losing side. Nikia Webber also had a solid performance with a goal, while Matilda Van Berkel was strong at half-back.

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 2.2 | 5.3 | 8.7 | 11.8 (74)
MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 2.0 | 3.1 | 3.1 | 3.2 (20)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Oakleigh: J. D”Amato 2, M. Bertuna 2, T. Morton, A. Peck, E. Harley, N. Xenos, K. Kearns, T. Cowan, A. van Oosterwijck.
Murray: C. Boschetti 2, T. Verhoeven.

BEST:

Oakleigh: C. O”Malley, M. Bertuna, M. Hill, N. Xenos, J. Lin, G. Byrne
Murray: S. Locke, L. Sharp, K. Adams, C. Boschetti, A. Smith, A. Favell

Oakleigh Chargers have bounced back from their second loss of the season to record a huge nine-goal win over Murray Bushrangers. Both sides were close in the first term with two goals apiece, before the Chargers kicked away with a three goals to one second term to open up a 14-point lead. Despite their determination in the first half, Murray was unable to restrict Oakleigh in the second half as the Chargers booted six goals to zero to run out 11.8 (74) to 3.2 (20) winners. Jasmine D’Amato and Melanie Bertuna both booted two goals for the Chargers among nine individual goalkickers in a massive team effort. Captain Mimi Hill led from the front with 20 touches, two inside 50s and three rebounds, while Chloe O’Malley was named best on ground for her 14 disposals, three tackles and two inside 50s. Nicola Xenos was influential in getting the ball inside 50 with 13 disposals, one mark, four tackles, five inside 50s and a goal, while Emily Harley booted another goal to take her season tally to 11. For Murray, Sophie Locke was named the best, collecting 13 disposals, four marks and four rebounds while laying an equal-team high eight tackles. Abby Favell was the top disposal winner once again with 14 touches, three marks, four tackles and two inside 50s, while Teagan Brett had 13 disposals and eight tackles in the defeat. Oakleigh now sits sixth after the win, just two points outside the top four, while Murray are ninth but still clear of the Rebels, Jets and Power.

 

EASTERN RANGES 0.1 | 2.1 | 3.5 | 4.5 (29)
CALDER CANNONS 1.4 | 2.5 | 2.5 | 3.7 (25)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Eastern: S. Gibbs, S. Collard, T. Flintoff, J. Dunning.
Calder: G. Prespakis, T. Gillard, E. Yassir.

BEST:

Eastern: T. Flintoff, E. Horne, S. Gibbs, T. Merrett, M. Edwards
Calder: G. Prespakis, F. Theodore, N. Crowley, K. Lennox, T. Gillard, Z. Hardiman

Eastern Ranges have kept themselves in contention for finals heading into the last three rounds after an impressive four-point win over Calder Cannons. The Ranges are now within percentage of the top four, sitting just adrift of both Calder and Bendigo Pioneers who sit third and fourth respectively with 16 points apiece. It was a fairly scrappy game throughout with both sides applying plenty of defensive pressure around the ground as Eastern’s talls stood out with their strong marking at both ends. Where possible the Ranges moved the ball quickly with short, sharp passes, whereas Calder wanted to run the ball and kick long inside 50. Both methods were effective at times throughout the game, but the key defence of Eastern held strong with Tahlia Merrett taking a number of good intercept marks in defensive 50. Serena Gibbs also provided an option between half-back and half-forward, taking marks and booting the ball long to put it in front of the Eastern runners. Tahlia Gillard provided that target for Calder and early looked like breaking the game open, booting a goal and missing a couple of opportunities before the home side restricted the inside 50 entries. Georgie Prespakis and Tess Flintoff were impressive for their respective sides providing plenty of run, while Tarni Brown and Felicity Theodore assisted well through the midfield. In a see-sawing final term that almost saw Calder steal the win through Emelia Yassir, it took until the final minute for Flintoff to mark inside 50 against the boundary and calmly slotted the set shot for the four-point win.

 

WESTERN JETS 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)
GEELONG FALCONS 2.1 | 7.2 | 11.3 | 12.4 (76)

By: Sophie Taylor

GOALS

Western: Nil.
Geelong: M. Skinner 4, P Schaap 2, R.Tierney 2, T. Lewis 2, J. Robinson, A. McKee

BEST

Western: J. Woods, E. Georgostathis, A. Anthony, C. Singleton, N. Wright, R. Tripodi
Geelong: P. Sheppard, M. Skinner, L. Lesosky-Hay, R. Tierney, A. McKee, G. Featherston

It was tough muck for the Western Jets on Sunday afternoon as they hosted ladder leaders, Geelong Falcons at Williamstown. Despite a relatively even first quarter the undefeated Falcons were able to pull away and deny the Jets opportunities in front of goal, running away to a 75 point win. The Jets started well defensively, crowding the Falcons and making it difficult to get a clear kick on goal, but were unable to move the ball downfield to their advantage. A beautiful kick inside 50 from Geelong debutant, Gabbi Featherston set up the first goal of the game after almost eight minutes of play, showing how well the Jets held their ground early. However, Western’s good fortune dwindled from there as the Falcons used their depth of their talent to kick away.

The Falcons proved to be dangerous up forward as the Jets struggled to contain their opposition without two of their main ball magnets in Isabella Grant and Isabelle PritchardPaige Sheppard (22 disposals, four tackles, five inside 50s) and Luka Lesosky-Hay (20 disposals, two tackles) switched on as the Falcons started to pile on the majors, with the likes of Renee TierneyTamika Lewis and Poppy Schaap kicking two goals apiece while Mia Skinner (four goals, 18 disposals) put on her best performance so far this season. Tierney’s tackling pressure was crucial, notching up eight as the Jets tried to force their way through Geelong’s defensive setup, while Lesosky-Hay showed some good footy smarts as she continuously pushed the contest back up the ground.

The Jets were unable to break through Geelong’s midfield barricade as the Falcons crowded and contested every possession, outrunning the Jets and scooping up the ground ball with precision. The Jets showed some good signs in attack in the third quarter, managing some great passages of play through the middle of the ground. Though unable to capitalise, Western’s defensive pressure inside forward 50 granted them opportunities in front of goal, gifting them their only score of the game – a rushed behind off the back of a good attempt on goal from Taya MeiersElisabeth Georgostathis (14 disposals, six tackles, six rebounds) showed her versatility in the backline, with her ability to read the play enabling her to know where the ball would be placed. Georgostathis was arguably one of the best for the Jets, putting constant pressure on her opposition, while a fantastic tackle in the final quarter saved an almost certain goal. Taylah Kolevski dominated hitouts with 23 alone, also racking up four tackles.

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS 2.0 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 4.4 (28)
DANDENONG STINGRAYS 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.4 | 1.4 (10)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Bendigo: J. Jolliffe 2, E. Snell, B. Hards.
Dandenong: S. Stratton.

BEST:

Bendigo: J. Jolliffe, T. Slender, B. Hards, E. Gretgrix, A. Strahan, M. Tupper
Dandenong: Z. Hill, G. Hodder, J. Radford, G. Howes, B. Vernon, K. McKenzie

Bendigo Pioneers have given themselves a terrific shot at finals after overcoming Dandenong Stingrays by three goals at Epsom Huntly Reserve on Sunday. In a low-scoring affair, the Pioneers got the job done by restricting the Stingrays to just one goal in the game, and only four behinds after quarter time. Despite this, the game was tight throughout and it was not until the final goal of the game that the Pioneers could relax and enjoy their fourth win of the season. Jordyn Jolliffe played the best game of the season with 20 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s, two tackles and two goals in a best-on-ground effort, while Tara Slender was terrific up the other end, racking up 12 disposals, five marks, three tackles and two rounds in the win. The midfield of Brooke Hards, Eloise Gretgrix, Maeve Tupper and Annabel Strahan again took control in the absence of key Stingrays, Molly McDonald, Tyanna Smith and Isabella Shannon. Hards and Tupper both had 18 touches with Hards also laying eight tackles and having three inside 50s and four rebounds. For the Stingrays, Zoe Hill stood tall in defence with 12 disposals, three marks and three rebounds, while Brooke Vernon‘s super season continued, amassing 18 touches, four marks, five inside 50s and six rebounds, while Grace Hodder laid seven tackles from her 15 disposals. With Geelong Falcons, Calder Cannons and Oakleigh Chargers in the final three rounds, the finals are within the Pioneers’ control in what is a tough draw on the run home. The Stingrays can still make finals if they can topple Oakleigh Chargers next round with Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets in the final two weeks.

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS 1.1 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 4.2 (26)
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 1.1 | 3.2 | 5.3 | 5.3 (33)

By: Taylah Melki

GOALS:

GWV: E. Friend 3, R. Saulitis.
Sandringham: E. Angelopoulos 2, C. Murphy 2, I. Eddey.

BEST:

GWV: E. Wood, N. Dojiok, N. Butler, A. Trigg, E. Friend, G. Pidgeon
Sandringham: W. Laing, C. Cody, P. Staltari, G. Strangio, I. Eddey, C. Murphy

It was a tight contest from start to finish with Sandringham Dragons claiming a seven-point victory over Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. It was neck and neck in the first term with either side unable to pull away going into quarter time at seven points apiece. The Dragons piled on two goals in the third term, keeping GWV to just one point for the quarter. But the Rebels were not going down without a fight applying all the scoreboard pressure to come within striking distance but just falling short after a gallant effort. Without Sophie Molan and Maggie Caris, GWV looked to the likes of Renee Saulitis to lead the way. Saulitis made her presence felt on the field slotting a major, she was ably assisted by teammate Ella Friend. Friend dominated for the Rebels kicking three goals, racking up 10 disposals and laying a team high six tackles. Nyakoat Dojiok also led the way for her side with a team high 18 touches and four inside 50s showcasing the work she does across the ground. She was closely followed by Brook Thompson who also amassed four inside 50s, while 12 of her 15 disposals were kicks. Georgia Pidgeon also impressed with 14 touches while Ally Trigg took five marks to accompany her 10 disposals. Sandringham were missing some key players with Alice Burke, Eliza McNamara and Molly Denahy Maloney all out with AFL Women’s Academy duties but that did not seem to stop them from claiming the four points. Charli Murphy showed her hand up forward slotting two majors for the game while Ebony Angelopoulos also chipped in with her two goals. Through the midfield the Dragons were led by Winnie Laing who finished the afternoon with a game high 20 disposals and seven tackles. She was helped out by Chloe Saultry who amassed 16 touches with all of them kicks and a whopping six inside 50s. Bella Eddey was also impressive for Sandringham getting involved on the scoreboard, laying six tackles and racking up 13 touches for her efforts.