Tag: Western Jets

NAB League season preview: Western Jets

HAVING arrived in the past few weeks, it has been a busy time for Western Jets Talent Manager Luke Williams. The new Talent Manager has taken over from Ryan O’Connor who stepped down over the off-season, and while the prospect of arriving at a club so close to the season start might be daunting, Williams said the staff had been terrific in welcoming him. Williams said the club was keen to keep as consistent on and off the field as possible with so much change this year, including a new coach in former Sydney Swans star, Ryan O’Keefe at the helm.

“I think we’d like to be known for consistency,” Williams said. “Whether that be consistency with the performances on the field, and also the way in which our players conduct themselves at the club and away from the club, that’s the same with our staff, we have some great staff who have been working at the club for quite some time and know what it’s all about, so consistency of performance is something we want to be known for.”

While Williams had not witnessed the full pre-season, speaking to others at the club, he was pleased with the feedback regarding how the players had trained since returning to the club ahead of the 2019 season.

“The players have trained really hard,” Williams said. “We’ve got our squad down to our final 49 now and there’s a really strong cohesion in the group, so the preseason has gone through unscathed. “We’ve managed to play one preseason game against Gippsland last week which we got a lot of positives out of and the players are ready to go.”

Last year three players were drafted into the AFL, with Zak Butters (Port Adelaide) and Xavier O’Halloran (GWS GIANTS) drafted in the first round, and Buku Khamis heading to the Kennel under the Next Generation Academy (NGA). This year there are another handful of prospects already standing out, which he hoped would increase as the year went on with development the key aim rather than onfield success, although the latter would be an added bonus.

“The program focus is developing all the players, so we want to see significant improvement in the players on field and off field, you play football to try one another, the camaraderie, and ultimately share wins together so, we’re hopeful of having enough wins this year to play in the finals, that would be a worthy objective,” he said. “Three standout players for us, to watch this year are Josh Honey – Josh is an explosive midfielder. “Another player to watch is Darcy Cassar, Darcy played most of last season as a bottom-ager across half-forward but hopefully he can move through the midfield, and the last player is Emerson Jeka. “Emerson is a key position player with great skill and balance. “All three of those players are in the Metro program, they’ve had great preseasons and they’ve been in the program for a few years so they’re ready to go.”

Williams said while the above trio had stood out, the depth across the entire squad was healthy and he looked forward to seeing how many players could take another step forward in their development in 2019.

“We’ve got a pretty even group to be honest, in that respect, I can’t say there’s been too many standouts,” he said. “Having said that, there’s been a lot of improvement from a lot of players, so the games will have a lot to do with those players stepping up. “We’ve nominated co-captains in Lucas Rocci and Spencer Johnson, so we’re expecting good performances from them, they continued to improve on their form last year so they could be players to watch throughout the season.”

In readiness for Round 1 and the season ahead, Williams was keen to uphold the pride at the Jets and see the entire playing group and staff work together. Williams said he hoped more consistency could come this season and could not wait for Sunday’s game.

“We’re a proud region,” he said. “We do pride ourselves on getting the best out of one another and working together so hopefully that comes through in our consistency and performance this year.”

Western Jets open their season against Northern Knights at Ikon Park on Sunday.

Draft Central Rising Star: NAB League Girls – Round 2

IT was a tough round to pick the NAB League Girls Rising of the Week, but up in Yarrawonga Western Jets’ midfielder, Elisabeth Georgostathis had the ball on a string. While Murray Bushrangers got on the board with their first win, Georgostathis did everything she could to prevent the loss.

In the four-goal loss, Georgostathis amassed 28 disposals – 22 of which were kicks – as well as two marks and a tackle. Most impressively, Georgostathis had five inside 50s and seven rebounds in the game, exemplifying the fact she has an ability to cover the ground with ease. She was one of the Jets’ best in Round 1, and the 2018 Best and Fairest winner and 2019 captain was a clear standout up north. She had more than one third of her team’s rebounds showing a willingness to help out in defence, while still getting the ball in midfield and pumping it long.

Georgostathis had seven more disposals than anyone else in the match, and had a round high disposals, kicks and rebounds in the loss. She also would have been noticed by the umpires a fair bit, involved in seven free kicks, two in her favour and five against. Her fierce attack on the ball and ability to not only find the ball in midfield, but up either end as well, has earned her the Draft Central Rising Star for Round 2. Georgostathis joins Georgie Prespakis who was the Round 1 nominee and impressed again with seven goals.

Rising Star of the Week:

Round 1 – Georgie Prespakis (Calder Cannons)
Round 2 – ELISABETH GEORGOSTATHIS (WESTERN JETS)

Team Selection: NAB League Girls – Round 2

TEAMS have brought in a number of talented players for Round 2 of the NAB League Girls competition as sides strive to either back up strong performances from Round 1, or hope to bounce back from losses in the opening round. Georgia Patrikios (Calder Cannons) has been named on the bench having missed the first round, while Millie Brown (Murray Bushrangers) and Molly McDonald (Dandenong Stingrays) are also back into their respective sides, certain to boost the team’s chances of victory.

After two triple headers in Round 1, the six games are spread across six different venues, from Bendigo to Ballarat, Geelong to Yarrawonga, Moorabbin to Bundoora in a chance for spectators across the state to take in some terrific football action. Below are how the 12 teams have been named for the weekend’s action.

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. EASTERN RANGES

Round 2 – 16/03/2019
12:45pm
Epsom Huntly Reserve – Bendigo

BENDIGO PIONEERS

B: 25. K. Hazlett, 36. K. Douglass, 24. S. Oliver
HB: 28. E. Gretgrix, 40. T. Slender, 46. K. Mitchell
C: 3. E. Snell, 33. B. Heiden, 1. M. Tupper
HF: 14. A. Strahan, 30. H. Stewart, 20. D. Villiva
F: 50. M. Barton, 44. J. Jolliffe, 9. T. Miaoudis
R: 37. G. Sladden, 19. J. Finning, 4. B. Hards
Int: 34. E. Cooper, 48. D. Kelly-Guthrie, 26. C. Mitchell, 41. E. Peacock

EASTERN RANGES

B: 17. M. Kendall, 51. S. Zappia, 54. E. Odria
HB: 11. M. Edwards, 49. C. Wilsmore, 1. C. Smith
C: 29. M. Di Cosmo, 39. L. McClelland, 20. J. Richardson
HF: 26. T. Brown, 41. T. Merrett, 48. I. Khoury
F: 31. S. Collard, 46. S. Gibbs, 12. M. Taverna
R: 25. J. Grace, 33. T. Flintoff, 21. O. Meagher
Int: 44. S. Bowden, 23. M. Church, 35. L. Hilton, 16. E. Horne

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 2 – 16/03/2019
12:45pm
Mars Stadium – Ballarat

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

B: 2. Z. Denahy, 16. L. Sykes, 11. L. Donegan
HB: 5. N. Butler, 27. G. Pidgeon, 12. V. Jewell
C: 13. B. Thompson, 24. S. Molan, 3. A. Trigg
HF: 29. P. Metcalfe, 34. K. Harris, 28. I. Robson
F: 6. M. Ciavarella, 23. I. Rustman, 9. R. Saulitis
R: 35. M. Caris, 10. E. Wood, 15. C. Leonard
Int: 1. L. Condon, 20. E. Friend, 21. A. Stevens, 4. K. Tomkins

CALDER CANNONS

B: 24. K. Delia, 6. K. Reid, 36. Z. Penno
HB: 32. T. Fry, 35. I. Young, 41. G. Prespakis
C: 8. Z. Friswell, 31. K. Petrevski, 3. E. Yassir
HF: 46. G. Elarmaly, 18. T. Gillard, 34. Z. Hardiman
F: 22. M. Muller, 44. I. McNeill-Wren, 2. F. Theodore
R: 49. T. Crook, 11. A. Barba, 38. L. Cocomello
Int: 1. H. Cooke, 43. C. Leahy, 25. A. Magri, 21. G. Patrikios

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 2 – 17/03/2019
12:45pm
La Trobe University – Bundoora

NORTHERN KNIGHTS

B: 32. A. Snow, 2. S. Fell, 34. M. Uwland
HB: 10. P. Chisholm, 18. S. Sansonetti, 17. C. Fitzgerald
C: 6. A. Bannan, 21. E. McKenzie, 9. M. Chaplin
HF: 7. A. Bennett, 23. G. Newton, 29. T. Pulcino
F: 20. C. Linssen, 3. N. Morris-Dalton, 25. T. Mills
R: 1. J. Nelson, 14. J. Fitzgerald, 22. B. Gutknecht
Int: 11. M. Appleby, 16. Z. Flanigan, 30. M. Plunkett, 36. T. Smart
Emg: 8. G. Ceravolo, 24. J. Nursey, 26. M. Papachristos, 35. J. Simpson

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

B: 2. M. Hill, 26. A. Micallef, 29. C. Rowbottom
HB: 33. E. Chamberlain, 12. A. Peck, 18. C. O’Malley
C: 34. G. Larkey, 17. N. Xenos, 22. J. Lin
HF: 1. G. Lagioia, 10. T. Cowan, 5. A. van Oosterwijck
F: 11. M. Bertuna, 15. C. Russell, 4. E. Harley
R: 3. K. Kearns, 8. A. Porter, 32. E. James
Int: 14. G. Byrne, 9. E. Jackson, 38. D. Lloyd, 31. S. Morley, 13. T. Morton, 21. S. Reid

GEELONG FALCONS v. GIPPSLAND POWER

Round 2 – 17/03/2019
12:45pm
Deakin University – Geelong

GEELONG FALCONS

B: 7. M. Holdsworth, 21. A. Chapman, 44. J. Robinson
HB: 16. E. Mahoney, 32. K. Haustorfer , 11. D. Smith
C: 12. L. Gardiner, 23. L. Lesosky-Hay, 28. A. Sanderson
HF: 24. M. Skinner, 8. P. Sheppard, 1. E. Vella
F: 34. S. Milsome, 39. R. Tierney, 25. L. Ryan
R: 20. S. Hovey, 38. L. McEvoy, 18. D. Moloney
Int: 14. Z. Garth, 37. A. Lee, 46. A. McKee, 4. P. Schaap
Emg: 36. M. Featherston , 6. T. Hassett, 45. T. Lewis

GIPPSLAND POWER

B: 19. H. Booth, 47. E. Williams, 7. L. Raymond
HB: 26. G. McRae, 45. M. Van Berkel, 9. M. Shaw
C: 13. H. Andrews, 8. C. Abrahams , 30. A. Rippon
HF: 2. S. Beaton, 27. N. Webber, 40. C. Robinson
F: 3. M. Gilmour, 50. G. Matser, 11. S. Walker
R: 49. G. Radford, 12. M. Fitzsimon, 17. S. Trewin
Int: 15. C. Bailey, 20. J. Chila, 16. A. Hardwick, 21. C. Prestidge
Emg: 1. S. Brisbane, 24. N. Williams

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. WESTERN JETS

Round 2 – 17/03/2019
12:45pm
J.C. Lowe Oval – Yarrawonga

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

B: 24. H. Doohan, 44. M. Quade, 6. C. Hargreaves
HB: 14. C. Boschetti, 43. A. Williams, 10. S. Locke
C: 7. K. Adams, 19. M. Brown, 8. A. Favell
HF: 31. M. Trethowan, 45. O. Barber, 37. T. Verhoeven
F: 18. Z. Spencer, 34. E. McPherson, 40. K. Whitehead
R: 39. A. Morphett, 22. A. Richardson, 11. T. Brett
Int: 2. O. Antonello, 33. E. Mifka, 21. C. Styan , 27. J. Ward
Emg: 16. M. Jones, 20. S. Lang, 41. L. Sharp

WESTERN JETS

B: 19. A. Anthony, 11. K. O’Keefe, 20. T. Kolevski
HB: 1. M. Huta, 23. I. Pritchard, 15. N. Wright
C: 13. I. Grant, 9. R. Tripodi, 16. H. Herring
HF: 6. E. Kiely, 25. C. Saxon-Jones, 8. O. Millar
F: 5. I. Cavka, 26. C. Weston-Sirett, 14. L. Wright
R: 22. C. Singleton, 12. E. Quinn, 17. E. Georgostathis
Int: 10. T. Evans, 30. T. Kotoski, 24. J. Mwaka, 21. E. Robinson

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 2 – 17/03/2019
1:00pm
RSEA Park – Moorabbin

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

B: 57. C. Bowen, 24. N. Borg, 44. D. Walker
HB: 38. G. Strangio, 25. S. Hartwig, 7. R. Woods
C: 42. M. Purcell, 17. B. Arnold, 26. C. Saultry
HF: 33. I. Eddey, 2. S. Rothfield, 40. A. Moloney
F: 65. E. Angelopoulos, 1. M. Denahy Maloney, 29. I. Stutt
R: 13. T. Grasso, 22. E. McNamara, 28. A. Burke
Int: 15. C. Cody, 30. W. Laing, 21. E. Turner , 58. T. Tysoe
Emg: 47. K. Lynch, 3. C. Murphy, 50. P. Staltari

DANDENONG STINGRAYS

B: 14. L. Grocock, 51. Z. Hill, 17. M. Layfield
HB: 32. J. Radford, 50. A. Nagtzaam, 31. B. Vernon
C: 21. G. Hodder, 28. T. Smith, 10. A. Jordan
HF: 48. A. Carroll, 24. A. Liddle, 20. P. Wilson-Macdonald
F: 2. S. Stratton, 49. K. McKenzie, 55. H. Thomas
R: 58. G. Howes, 12. M. McDonald, 26. I. Shannon
Int: 40. R. Clancy – Dillon, 23. D. Fennell, 4. J. Guy-Toogood, 53. O. Mauerhofer, 34. A. Richards

Consistent Radovanovic always looks to lead the way

IT IS commonplace that the more ever-present and reliable players of a squad are the ones to take a back seat to the superstars, but that is not the case for Stefan Radovanovic at the Western Jets. In a team that boasts the likes of draft fancies Xavier O’Halloran, Zak Butters, Buku Khamis and Daly Andrews, the Keilor product went about his business in an admirable way this season, looking to prove his durability and leadership capabilities.

Off the back of a bottom-age year good for the Western Jets best and fairest award, Radovanovic came into the season looking to build on the foundation he had laid through steady development and simple goals. The plaudits he had already earned and that steady improvement was enough for Radovanovic to earn a call up to the Vic Metro squad, playing a key role in defence alongside Jets teammate Khamis, and behind their TAC Cup skipper, O’Halloran.

Football has been a constant in Radovanovic’s life, a passion which spawned at a time of great change for his family. When his parents divorced when he was just three years-old, it was Radovanovic’s football mad step-dad who introduced him to the game and helped to set him on the right path.

“My mum found my step-dad and he was heavily into football in his family so he got me into football, I started kicking with him, went to the park and kicked with him,” he said. “Then I got enrolled in Auskick at Keilor and went all through my junior levels with Keilor,” he said.

A club with a proud history and strong contingent of young stars to burst onto the AFL scene of late, Keilor proved a happy hunting ground for Radovanovic’s junior progression.

Seemingly surrounded by similar stories and success, Radovanovic also attends Maribyrnong College with fellow Jets top-agers Butters and Khamis, as well as bottom age starlets Josh Honey and Emerson Jeka. The balance between school, footy and social life is often central to the journey of a TAC Cup hopeful and is something that Radovanovic knows well, but is made easier by having those around him who are going through similar experiences.

“Obviously you’ve got school five times a week and that takes up a big chunk out of your life, then you’ve also got training,” Radovanovic said. “We train Tuesday and Thursday after school and on Thursdays we have dinner so that takes out your whole night basically, and then you’ve got the off-field commitments like gym so it does take a big chunk but it’s just about finding that balance with your social life as well.”

Despite these personal hurdles to contend with from week to week, Radovanovic maintained a selfless outlook towards his football and on-field leadership responsibilities, looking to provide a benchmark for his teammates.

“I just want to play a good, consistent brand of football, and also for the bottom agers I want to show them what needs to be done to play at this high level,” he said. “The leadership group is also working hard to try and bring the team as a collective together to play well as a team. So I just want to play consistent football and then also bring other teammates into it.”

Leadership is something that Radovanovic sees as one of his strengths, with the hard-running rebounding defender always looking to expand his horizons.

“(My) personal strengths are my one-on-one contests, and I believe that I’m very strong around the ball – I’m hard to get knocked off,” he said.

Having proved his worth in defence, Radovanovic has looked to utilise his contested ball nous by spending more time in the middle of the ground throughout the year, with a midfield role “definitely” something he is interested in adding to his game.

“We’re working on going to different positions to show that I’m more durable and can play different positions… it’s definitely a different look in the midfield but I’m enjoying it,” Radovanovic said.

And with expansion comes highlighting room for improvement, with Radovanovic well aware of the areas he needed to work on in order to reach his ultimate goal.

“I definitely want to improve my fitness, I think that’s a big flaw in my game,” he said. “Then also my leadership, I want to keep working on that and then also my kicking at full speed.”

And the Jet is not taking his spot in the Western Jests Under 18 program for granted, saying it was a privilege to be a part of in helping him to learn, and recognising the dedication required to make the step-up from local football.

“It’s definitely a privilege because there are definitely a lot of kids who would like to be here. It’s only cut down to about 40 and yet there’s like 80 that show up at try-outs so it’s definitely an honour and does take a lot of hard work to get here and you have to actually be dedicated with everything to do with it,” Radovanovic said. “You definitely have to prepare well for each training session and also for games, games are very high intensity. And fighting for spots is also a big thing as well so you have to do the best that you can to push yourself to play consistently.”

With the Jets navigating their way through this year’s Wildcard Round, only to be knocked out comprehensively by eventual grand finalists Oakleigh, it has no doubt been a season of ups and downs for Radovanovic and the Western side. But with over 25 TAC Cup games under his belt over two years, experience on the biggest Under-18 stage with Vic Metro, and one last chance to prove his worth to keen eyes at the Victorian State Combine, Radovanovic will surely view his year as a successful one – regardless of how it may end.

Consistent Connor continues to make the most of his TAC Cup journey

WHEN he missed out on getting the call-up to Vic Metro, Connor Thar was admittedly “pretty shattered”. But instead of worry about the things outside of his control, Thar buckled down in the TAC Cup and became the most prominent ball winner in the competition. The Western Jets midfielder has racked up 412 disposals at an average of 25.75 per game, playing every game in 2018 and has been ranked in the top five for clearances, and top 10 for tackles. His final round was quite possibly his best, racking up 32 disposals on his way to the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Player of the Week award for Round 16.

“I’m very passionate about the game,” Thar said earlier in the season. “Coming to training I always wanted to improve and learn, work on my craft and the relationships you have with footy, nothing can beat it. “The coaches, the friends you make, even people that aren’t in the team at the moment, you’re friends with them for life anyway and that’s the main thing. “Going out on the weekend and getting wins and after the game celebrating, it’s like all the hard work has paid off and nothing beats that.”

Thar has been lucky enough to have plenty of continuity in his game, playing for Werribee Districts his whole life, joining the Western Jets system as soon as he could, and has been a part of that system ever since. He has been exposed to the first teams in each of his years despite his slight stature (174cm and 69kg at the start of the season). For Thar, he wanted to build his fitness in 2018, while using his smarts around the ground to play the game on his terms.

“The way I can read the game, my football IQ (is my main strength),” Thar said. “I’m not the fittest boy going around, but I use my smarts and my brains around the field, my quick hands and my silkiness around the ground helps me. “Definitely my fitness, every Tuesday I come to training earlier, I work with Tony the boxing coach, do a couple of rounds of boxing. “That’s pretty tough, and then on the weekends I do two cardio sessions trying to improve the cardiovascular side of it.”

Thar has played predominantly midfield in 2018, reflecting his huge ball-winning numbers, but he has shown the capability to play anywhere on the field.

“Last year I played everywhere, I played on the wing, backline, forward,” Thar said. “I went back for a couple of games and that was different, that was a good, new role. “I was able to get my hands on the ball. “The defensive side I was still improving on, but I like going forward as well. “Everywhere you play, you’ve got different styles, you have to put into the game.”

The top-age Jet is level headed and understands the reality of the draft system – with so many players striving to play AFL, you have to stand out and push yourself to the limits. For Thar, he goes out each and every week never losing the faith, as shown in his consistency.

“It’s been my dream my whole life really,” Thar said. “Obviously there’s a little voice in your head saying it’s not always going to happen, you’re aware of that, but you’ve got to aim high and that’s what I’ve been trying to do, but I’ve set my little goals to get there, and it’s obviously everyone here at the Jets dream, it’s everyone’s dream to play AFL. “It’s a long road ahead but it’s the dream.”

As for the Jets, they are headed into a finals series with the Wild Card Round match against the Eastern Ranges this weekend ahead of an elimination final with Oakleigh Chargers, should Western defeat the Ranges. Thar said the team had belief in its system and everyone was on the same page.

“There was a lot of hype around this season because last year we always knew we had real good bottom-age talent and everyone had the right mindset coming into the season,” he said. “We all knew that if we put our minds to it, we could have a big season. “It showed with our start. “There’s a lot of positivity around the club, everyone wants to get better and improve, and it shows on the training track, we’re all connected.”

The run home: Western Jets

WESTERN Jets have had an up-and-down season to date, but still loom as a dark horse in the finals series. They sit sixth, and while they would need both Murray Bushrangers and Oakleigh Chargers to lose both games to finish top four, they have enough about them to secure a top six spot and play a bottom two team in the Wildcard Round. The Jets have looked very good at times, and realistically, the blowout 20-goal loss to Dandenong Stingrays makes their points against look worse than it actually is. Defensively they stand up well, and they rate around where they sit offensively, which makes them unpredictable and good enough to cause headaches for the top sides.

Wins: 8
Losses: 6
Draws: 0
Position: 6th
Points For: 899 (6th)
Points Against: 1001 (9th)
Percentage: 90
Points: 32

Fixtures:

R15: vs. Northern Knights – Avalon Airport Oval
R16: vs. Bendigo Pioneers – Queen Elizabeth Oval

National Combine Invitations: [4] Daly Andrews, Zak Butters, Buku Khamis, Xavier O’Halloran

State Combine Invitations: [1] Stefan Radovanovic

Five players received combine invitations, with the speedy Daly Andrews and Stefan Radovanovic, intercept machine Buku Khamis, and the X-factor in Zak Butters, all earning the right to test at the National and State combines. Along with the quartet, they have consistent midfielders Connor TharJaden Rice and Jack Watkins roaming through the midfield, talls Aaron Clarke and Hamish Murphy up either end, and a host of bottom-agers who have shown enough to suggest they will have plenty of draft potential next year. Steven KyriazisLucas Rocci and Emerson Jeka provide a forward presence, while Darcy Cassar and Josh Honey link between midfield and forward.

Top Fives:

Disposals:

1 – Connor Thar – 355 (1st overall)
2 – Jack Watkins – 284
3 – Darcy Cassar – 239
4 – Jaden Rice – 221
5 – Daly Anderws – 214

Marks:

1 – Darcy Cassar – 58 (eq. 20th overall)
2 – Connor Thar – 53
3 – Buku Khamis – 52
4 – Aaron Clarke – 51
4 – Steven Kyriazis – 51

Contested Possessions:

1 – Jack Watkins – 155 (2nd overall)
2 – Connor Thar – 147 (5th overall)
3 – Jaden Rice – 142 (8th overall)
4 – Xavier O’Halloran – 104
5 – Darcy Cassar – 103

Tackles:

1 – Jack Watkins – 111 (1st overall)
2 – Connor Thar – 77 (6th overall)
3 – Lucas Rocci – 57
4 – Josh Honey – 54
5 – Jaden Rice – 53

Hitouts:

1 – Darren Walters – 285 (2nd overall)
2 – Tom Warner – 59
3 – Aaron Clarke – 58
4 – Ayden Tanner – 31
5 – Emerson Jeka – 15

Clearances:

1 – Jack Watkins – 67 (3rd overall)
2 – Connor Thar – 62 (4th overall)
3 – Xavier O’Halloran – 58 (5th overall)
4 – Jaden Rice – 52
5 – Darren Walters – 28
5 – Zak Butters – 28

Inside 50s:

1 – Xavier O’Halloran – 62 (eq. 1st overall)
2 – Jack Watkins – 50 (9th overall)
3 – Connor Thar – 47
3 – Daly Andrews – 47
5 – Darcy Cassar – 45

Rebounds:

1 – Spencer Johnson – 38 (12th overall)
2 – Hamish Murphy – 37
3 – Jack Papachatzakis – 34
4 – Stefan Radovanovic – 32
5 – Daly Andrews – 30

Goals:

1 – Steven Kyriazis – 16 (eq. 13th overall)
2 – Aaron Clarke – 13
3 – Josh Honey – 12
4 – Daniel Pantalleresco – 9
5 – Darcy Cassar – 8

Jet flies high in top-age year despite injury

HAVING been involved with the Western Jets since Under 15s, the exciting Zak Butters has become a familiar face at the club and has become equally as important to the side in the same time. While his final TAC Cup year is over due to shoulder surgery post National Under 18 Championships, he will still be a highly regarded player, earning a National Draft Combine invitation last week.

Butters, who plays between wing and half-forward represented Vic Metro this year, backing up his efforts at Under-16 level, has had a sensational season in the yellow and blue.

“I started my junior football career at Darley Football Club. I started there in Under 10s, just developed all the way up through U12s, 14s, 16s,” Butters said. “I’ve been here since Under 15s, which is the first squad you can make. “I just worked my way up through the Western Jets U15s and made the Brad Johnson squad in the under 16s and then played some pretty good footy there, then played Under 16s Metro. “Got to pre-season the following year, played bottom-age Jets and now I’m playing top-age Jets.”

His main goal over the journey has been trying to add weight to his light frame, which at the start of the season weighed in at just 70kg. The 178cm livewire has some eye-catching moments with his speed and agility in transition going forward among some of his strengths on the field.

For a player who has become a regular on the field for Western, Butters admits he has a regular routine which he adheres to every week.

“Before the game, I’m normally  in bed really early before a game and have the same dinner before a game every night, the same breakfast and the same prep going into a game,” Butters said. “Powerade, things like piklets and just the little stuff.”

After a game, Butters is equally as diligent in searching for feedback and self-appraising his performance.

“After a game, when we get our vision back and stats, we watch the whole game and then I do my own feedback and see what I can assess whether that be options,” Butters said. “At school during the week I do vision with Torin (Baker, Western Jets coach) to get more feedback.”

Butters said his goal was to become a permanent midfielder despite enjoying “mixing it up” between midfield and forward. However, he concedes there are things that will have to change to enable him to do that.

“Obviously being able to put on weight, being a bit fitter,” he said. “I want to move into a more permanent midfield role, but I need to put on some weight.”

Butters has also been working hard on making better decisions with the ball in hand deciding when to hold or when to “pull the trigger”. His ability to work closely with Baker at both training and school has helped.

“I go to Maribyrnong College with Torin, which is pretty good,” he said. “They understand footy wise and school wise. “I have the gym there so I can access that before and after school and at lunch times. “It’s pretty good balance. “I still find time for the important things like homework and study but then I still have fun and do things I enjoy which is football.”

While the dream of being drafted to an AFL club edges closer for the talented speedster, Butters is hoping to become a more rounded individual both on and off the field from his final TAC Cup year.

“Probably just develop myself, get a better understanding of me, how I work and how I learn,” Butters said. “Just build my character not just on the field, but off the field as well. “Just really improve my football and whatever the next step is, going forward steps knowing how I can improve my game.”

With the Jets seemingly headed towards a finals berth and still in contention for top four position, albeit needing results to go their way, Western will hope it can continue its good form from earlier in the season and become a threat at the pivotal end of the season. While Butters will not be able to help on the field, he likely will be working hard behind the scenes to improve his development as a footballer, and also his teammates.  

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 9

AFTER nine rounds of Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s action, all teams now have a win under their belt. The only winless team to date, Essendon recorded its first ever VFLW win while the Cats stumbled again for their second loss in a row.

 

Casey Demons 3.3.21 defeated Southern Saints 1.4.10

After defeating the red-hot NT Thunder two weeks ago, the Southern Saints slumped to the ninth-placed Casey Demons. The Demons kept the Saints goalless for three terms and managed to add on three themselves in a low-scoring affair.

In her return to the Casey line-up, Taryn Orgill played a blinder of a game in the ruck. She was complemented by midfielder, Madelaine Shevlin who backed up last week’s promising performance against the Bombers with another solid outing. Defender, Georgia McLean and forward, Melanie Hogg also played well in their side’s 11-point win. Hogg was complemented in the forward line with goals from Kaila Bentvelzen, Sophie Phillips and Taylor Mesiti.

For the Saints, it was up to the defenders to keep the Demons to a low score. They did this successfully and it was thanks to the likes of new Brisbane recruit, Lauren Arnell and Eastern Ranges gun, Ashleigh Allsopp. They were complemented by midfielder, Amy Silver who played a solid game for the Saints. Up forward, Danielle Lawrence kicked the side’s only goal while Kayla Ripari gave her all, earning her the best on ground accolade from her coaches.

 

NT Thunder 13.7.85 defeated Geelong Cats 2.8.20

By: James Halley

An aggressive mindset has helped lift NT Thunder to a massive 65-point win over Geelong. Geelong was down two on the bench after half time, losing Lara Williams (knee) and Anna Teague (shoulder) to injury. The Thunder’s manic pressure just did not give Geelong a chance from the first bounce until the last.

Thunder forward, Jessica Sedunary kicked the first three goals of the match, which demonstrated pure supremacy up forward. AFLW teammate, Jenna McCormick kicked another just after 19 minutes which was ultimately match over. Unable to score a major in the first term, the drought would continue for the Cats in the second. It was not through a lack of trying or possession though. They had the first four scoring shots of the term for the return of three behinds and an out of bounds on the full. Sally Riley profited from a 50 metre penalty to extend NT’s lead to 33 points at half-time and what started out as a positive quarter for the visitors had just got a lot worse. Minutes into the third term, Geelong was able to kick its first through Danielle Orr after a mark and a 50-metre penalty. Only one more major would be scored for the term to Thunder’s Emma Swanson, which was a great snap from the boundary.

The last term was not so even as the Thunder were hungry for goals and a percentage boost. McCormick and captain, Angela Foley kicked two each to take their side’s goal kickers to an impressive spread of seven. Sedunary and McCormick were real standouts for NT up forward, combining for seven goals. Angela Foley played a captains game with 20 disposals and two goal. Richelle Cranston was a real standout for the Cats in the midst of their hiding from the NT. She kicked one of Geelong’s two goals as well as finishing with 20 disposals, highlighting that she didn’t stop trying all day. Teammate, Madeline Keryk was a workhorse in the midfield, leading everyone in disposals with 23.

 

Hawthorn 6.6.42 defeated Williamstown 6.2.38

Hawthorn was given an almighty scare by the 12th-placed Seagulls on Sunday. Williamstown kicked four straight goals in the first quarter to open up an early 16-point lead, which shocked the Hawks from the get-go. The Seagulls’ lead narrowed at each of the breaks, and it ultimately turned into a deficit at full-time, as Hawthorn’s experience prevailed and slowly edged the margin in its favour.

Two goals from former Eastern Ranges forward, Olivia Flanagan and Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward, Rebecca Beeson were extremely handy for the Hawks. The two goals from Beeson in particular were crucial, as she kicked them both in succession in the last quarter, with the second one giving her side the match-winning lead. The pair were complemented by majors from Samara David and Clare O’Donnell. In defence, Jayde Van Dyk stood up as usual while Ellie Macdonald tore it up in the midfield.

Williamstown was able to share its goal kicking around on the day, with Emily Paterno being the only multiple goal-kicker. Isabelle Porter, Western Jets star, Sharnie Whiting and North Melbourne duo, Jess Duffin and Jasmine Garner also got a major on the board. Meanwhile, Rebecca Dardengo and Jamilla Cranny held the fort down well in the back line, enabling the Seagulls to keep their lead for the majority of the game.

 

Essendon 5.4.34 defeated Richmond 3.8.26

It took them nine rounds to get a win, but the Bombers have finally got one on the board, defeating Richmond by eight points at their spiritual home, Windy Hill. Essendon kicked the first goal of the game before the Tigers fought back and kicked three second-term goals to wrestle the lead back. However, Essendon’s resilience and Richmond’s inaccuracy proved to be a recipe for disaster for the away side.

GWS talent, Maddy Collier played a fantastic game in the midfield for the Bombers, as she continues to play some wonderful football for her side. She was aided by good delivery from Simone Nalder in the ruck, who has not let her team down this season. Tait Mackrill also continued her good form in the middle of the ground while Rebecca Neaves was solid as always in defence. Up forward, Monique DeMatteo starred with two majors while Sunbury Lions duo, Natasha Hardy and Alex Quigley, and Canadian star, Kendra Heil were able to get solitary goals on the day.

Nalder’s opposite ruck also starred, with Alice Edmonds having another blinder for the Tigers. She was complemented by her back-up ruck in Murray Bushrangers star, Sophie Damon, who was also able to get a goal on the board to back up her solid debut in the yellow and black. On the receiving end of the duo’s solid ruck work was the likes of captain, Jessica Kennedy and Bethany Lynch, who were able to make the most of the tap work. Up forward, Lauren Tesoriero impressed while Courtney Wakefield did well in defence.

 

Melbourne Uni 6.3.39 defeated by Western Bulldogs 9.6.60

The Western Bulldogs kept their red-hot winning streak alive with a win over Melbourne Uni. The Bulldogs came out of the blocks early with the first four goals of the match before the Mugars fought back with two goals in the second term. They were then held scoreless in the third term before mounting a mini comeback in the fourth, ultimately falling short to a rejuvenated Bulldogs outfit.

AFLW leading goalkicker, Brooke Lochland starred for the Bulldogs, kicking three goals and being a workhorse for her side. Bulldogs AFLW teammate, Naomi Ferres was also impressive with another solid outing in the midfield in this VFLW season. This time, it was ruck, Nicole McMahon and winger, Rachel Ashley who joined the party, with each player having a solid outing in the red, white and blue. Inside 50, full forward, Mickayla Ward performed well, kicking a goal for her side and demonstrating a high work rate.

It was a strange situation for Emma Kearney on Sunday, as the new Kangaroos recruit went head-to-head against her former Bulldogs teammates for the first time since making the move over to Arden Street. She did not seemed fazed by the occasion though, playing another great game for the Mugars in the midfield. Bendigo Pioneers graduate, Aisling Tupper also performed well in the middle of the ground, as she continues to impress this season. Up forward, it was Western Jets forward, Caitlin Greiser who led the way, kicking three majors for the day. She was complemented by two goals from new North Melbourne recruit, Kaitlyn Ashmore who played a magnificent game for the Mugars.

 

Collingwood 7.3.45 defeated Darebin 2.3.15

By: Carly McClen

It was the first time a Collingwood women’s football team came out to play on the spiritual home ground of the mighty Magpies, the iconic Victoria Park. With star Brisbane Lions recruit, Nicole Hildebrand playing a fantastic game, and a usual class-above performance from Chloe Molloy, the Pies won convincingly and continued their undefeated run. 

In the first half, the teams matched up evenly providing a tough contested game to watch, with both teams applying consistent pressure and causing missed targets in kicking.  The rain favoured the Darebin Falcons but the talent and ball use of the Magpies and sheer pressure for four quarters made inside 50’s rare for the Falcons and it showed on the scoreboard. 

Important marks in defence by Magpie, Ruby Schleicher, and Grace Buchan’s consistent hunting of the footy all day helped keep Darebin to one straight shot in the first half when Esther Honybun was able to convert.  The Falcons applied consistent pressure on Collingwood with Elise O’Dea winning a lot of the ball. The first half majors Collingwood scored were from Molloy and Eliza Hynes

The third quarter was a different story and Collingwood was able to get away and play their game.  Emma Grant was strong and did her job well. Sarah D’Arcy took strong marks in defence right when Darebin were using more initiative with the ball and even a bigger presence and dominance from Aasta O’Connor did not hold back the Pies. 

Falcon, Kate Tyndall converted from a 50 metre penalty with 25 seconds to go in the third quarter but it was Collingwood’s second half. Nicole Hildebrand let loose, taking some strong marks and kicking two goals including one set shot from a 45 degree angle that never looked like missing when she peeled a little to the left and threaded it cleanly. Hildebrand then set up a goal passing cleverly to Gabrielle Biedenweg-Webster who played on and kicked their final goal in the last quarter.

There were two players taken off the ground with injuries. Shevaun Hogan was taken off for Darebin and Magpie, Kristy Stratton was taken off on a stretcher with a suspected knee injury.

Season reviews: TAC Cup Girls – Western Jets

THE Western Jets came into this season without a TAC Cup Girls win and with a full focus of development. Getting a win, especially against one of the top sides in the Eastern Ranges, is a bonus for the Jets this season, as their players have developed remarkably from just nine games.

Position: 11th
Win-loss: 1-8
Percentage: 39%

Results:

R1: lost to Bendigo Pioneers by 37 points
R2: lost to Gippsland Power by 15 points
R3: lost to Calder Cannons by 12 points
R4: lost to Murray Bushrangers by 25 points
R5: defeated Eastern Ranges by 5 points
R6: lost to Dandenong Stingrays by 54 points
R7: lost to Sandringham Dragons by 50 points
R8: lost to Oakleigh Chargers by 15 points
R9: lost to Geelong Falcons by 55 points

Key players:

Elisabeth Georgostathis: Georgostathis was the star of the Jets midfield, with her impressive acceleration and magnificent ball-use creating plenty of excitement. Her kicks too were precise and generated forward movement. She was a fantastic all-round player for the Jets this season, summed up by her aggressive tackling. It seemed as if Georgostathis had the ball on a string at times during the season, as she had an innate ability to find and win the footy at the heart of the contest. She will now have the opportunity to continue to display her impressive style of football at the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships, as she is in the star-studded Vic Metro line-up. Georgostathis’ consistency throughout the season was highlighted by her earning a place in the midfield in the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year.

Isabelle Pritchard: Pritchard was a star defender throughout the year. She competed well in one-on-one battles and her strong marking was an asset of her game. Pritchard always went in hard for the football and her tackling stopped opponents in their tracks. She was able to stand up in tough contests, showing her ability to win the hard ball. Pritchard got to stand up as captain of the Vic Metro U16 side in the National Championships, which was credit to a fantastic season in defence.  

Caitlin Greiser: Greiser provided plenty of highlights throughout the season. She was vital in her side’s first win, as she kicked four goals to take her tally to seven goals from two games. She ended up with a season total of 10 goals from eight games, demonstrating her ability to position herself well in one-on-one contests and take strong marks. Greiser’s strong hands were needed all over the ground and she was able to play roles in defence to steady the ship for the Jets, demonstrating her versatility in the Jets line-up. She now has the opportunity to line up for Melbourne University in the VFLW, after being named in the Mugars’ squads at the start of the year.

Isabella Grant: A versatile player who could make an impact in any position, Grant was a vital player for the Jets this season. Her best work was done at half-forward as she would take strong marks and move the ball well in the forward line to create scoring opportunities for her side. She was also able to move the ball well through the midfield with her long kicks and clean hands, giving her teammates prime opportunities to penetrate the ball forward. Her positioning was also a highlight of her game as she could outmuscle opponents with ease, only having eyes for the football. Grant was rewarded for a great season with a place in Vic Metro’s U18 squad in the National Championships.

Cleo Saxon-Jones: Saxon-Jones was fantastic in the ruck and rotating forward for the Jets this season. She not only gave her midfielders opportunity to run onto the ball but she would do it herself, showing her hunger to win the footy. She could often back up a solid stint in the ruck with a stint at half-forward, where she would use her stature to outmuscle opponents and take strong marks. Her kicking throughout the season was outstanding, as they were often precise and long, giving her teammates the chance to surge forward. Saxon-Jones contributed six goals for the season and will be hoping to contribute some more in this year’s AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships.

Season summary:

Although it was another tough season for the Jets, they had a variety of players named in the best throughout the season. A solid season for the likes of Payton-Ani Ozols, Leah Spargo and Sharnie Whiting has ensured that the Jets have a bright future ahead of them. Most of their top players are young so they have time to build their skills in the program and hopefully deliver the team a few more wins in the next couple of years to reward them for their hard work and commitment to winning the footy.

Victorian Under 16s Girls prepare for National Championships

VICTORIA’S top Under 16s footballers from the TAC Cup Girls competition will converge on country venues this weekend in a couple of matches to test themselves against the best from other states. Vic Metro takes on South Australia in Horsham on Sunday, while Vic Country heads to the border to face NSW/ACT in Albury. The following week, Vic Metro will face off against Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium in a curtain raiser to the Under 18 Girls’ sides. For those wondering, the Under 16s are made up of players born in 2002 and are not eligible to be drafted until 2020.

Vic Metro squad:

No Name Ht DOB TAC Region
1 Olivia Meagher 151 10/12/02 Eastern Ranges
2 Mietta Kendall 154 3/9/02 Eastern Ranges
3 Taylah Morton 157 23/7/02 Oakleigh Chargers
4 Leah Spargo 157 28/1/02 Western Jets
5 Mary Daw 159 11/3/02 Western Jets
6 Abigail Bennett 160 18/10/02 Northern Knights
7 Jessica Fitzgerald 161 8/3/02 Northern Knights
8 Bella Eddey 163 11/2/02 Sandringham Dragons
9 Winnie Laing 164 25/5/02 Sandringham Dragons
10 Ashleigh Snow 156 23/10/02 Northern Knights
11 Eliza McNamara 166 19/4/02 Sandringham Dragons
12 Tarni Brown 166 26/3/02 Eastern Ranges
13 Alice Burke 168 3/10/02 Sandringham Dragons
15 Mimi Hill 167 4/10/02 Oakleigh Chargers
16 Alice O’Loughlin 169 8/7/02 Oakleigh Chargers
17 Alisa Magri 170 19/3/02 Calder Cannons
18 Amber Micallef 170 21/2/02 Oakleigh Chargers
19 Sarah Hartwig 173 12/4/02 Sandringham Dragons
20 Ellie McKenzie 174 17/10/02 Northern Knights
21 Tamsin Crook 176 3/10/02 Calder Cannons
22 Isabelle Pritchard 176 8/3/02 Western Jets
23 Jess Grace 176 25/12/02 Eastern Ranges
24 Alyssa Bannan 177 13/4/02 Northern Knights
25 Isabel Young 179 13/7/02 Calder Cannons

Some names to watch:

Isabelle Pritchard
Key Position Defender | 176cm | Western Jets

Strong overhead, great leader and rarely beaten one-on-one. Her game knowledge and awareness is ahead of her years. A standout performer this season for the Jets.

Ellie McKenzie
Tall Utility | 174cm | Northern Knights

Unbelievable impact so far this season, named in the best every game she played. Can play forward, midfield or back, and is strong in the air. Sister of Vic Metro boys’ representative, Tom. Strong in the air, can kick goals at will, shown by her huge day out against Bendigo Pioneers.

Alyssa Bannan
Key Position Forward | 175cm | Northern Knights

Lit up Beaconsfield earlier in the year with three goals in three minutes and provides a good target up forward. Mobile tall who can kick goals and very few players her height are quicker once she gets goal side.

Sarah Hartwig
Key Position Defender | 173cm | Sandringham Dragons

Good one-on-one defender, quick on the lead to spoil and provides good rebounds out of the back half. Will create a strong 1-2 partnership with Pritchard in the back half.

Alice Burke
General Defender | 168cm | Sandringham Dragons

A good user of the footy, can play up the ground but is really settled in the back half. Daughter of St Kilda champion, Nathan. Crossed over from soccer and has been a revelation at the Dragons.

Abigail Bennett
Small Forward | 160cm | Northern Knights

Another Knights player who has had some impressive moments at half-forward. Can push into the midfield as well.

Tarni Brown
General Forward | 166cm | Eastern Ranges

Very raw, but clearly talented. Has a very nice sidestep and can create something out of nothing. Daughter of Gavin and sister to Callum and Tyler.

Olivia Meagher
Small Forward/Midfielder | 151cm | Eastern Ranges

Seemed to get better as the season went on, plays a link-up role at half-forward, and can kick goals or win the footy through the midfield.

Mimi Hill
Outside Midfielder | 167cm | Oakleigh Chargers

Winger who provides good run in transition and played some impressive games throughout the season, especially in the absence of the Chargers top-age midfielders.

Jess Fitzgerald
Small Utility | 161cm | Northern Knights

Tends to play forward, but can play through midfield as well. A creative player who can kick goals from tight angles.

Winnie Laing
Inside Midfielder | 164cm | Sandringham Dragons

As tough as they come on the inside, loves the contest and does not take a backwards step.

Bella Eddey
General Forward | 163cm | Sandringham Dragons

Another creative forward who is good in the air or at ground level and just got better as the season went on.

Alice O’Loughlin
General Forward | 169cm | Oakleigh Chargers

Starred late in the season at half-forward and can push up the ground as well. Creative and a good user of the football going inside 50.

Ashleigh Snow
Small Defender | 156cm | Northern Knights

Was one of the Knights’ best in the grand final and plays taller than her 156cm. Good overhead and creates some great drive out of defence.

Alisa Magri
Tall Forward | 170cm | Calder Cannons

Was a mainstay of the Cannons forward line this season and managed to get on the end of a few goals throughout. Another tall target inside 50 for Metro.

Eliza McNamara
Inside Midfielder | 166cm | Sandringham Dragons

Had a blistering start to the season and had the ball on a string early. A crucial part of the inside midfield at the Dragons, she showed good strength and an ability to move out of traffic.

Vic Country squad:

No Name DOB Ht TAC Region
1 Jerusha Devarakonda 3/3/02 158 Geelong Falcons
2 Leila Raymond 9/3/02 158 Gippsland Power
3 Holly Andrews 15/8/02 160 Gippsland Power
4 Elizabeth Snell 14/3/02 161 Bendigo Pioneers
5 Megan Fitzsimon 10/8/02 162 Gippsland Power
6 Renee Saulitis 14/8/02 163 GWV Rebels
7 Jemma Finning 19/3/02 165 Bendigo Pioneers
8 Kate Adams 15/3/02 165 Murray Bushrangers
9 Emily Nicholson 19/3/02 165 Murray Bushrangers
10 Abbey Jordan 8/9/02 165 Dandenong Stingrays
11 Brooke Hards 19/7/02 166 Bendigo Pioneers
12 Tyanna Smith 29/10/02 166 Dandenong Stingrays
13 Chloe Leonard 1/2/02 167 GWV Rebels
15 Chandra Abrahams 24/3/02 169 Gippsland Power
16 Sharmaine Reilly 8/11/02 170 Bendigo Pioneers
17 Sophie Milsome 23/4/02 172 Geelong Falcons
18 Zoe Hill 13/5/02 173 Dandenong Stingrays
19 Matilda Van Berkel 6/9/02 174 Gippsland Power
20 Stephanie Glover 11/11/02 176 GWV Rebels
21 Isabella Robson 26/4/02 176 GWV Rebels
22 Renee Tierney 23/5/02 168 Geelong Falcons
23 Isabella Simmons 19/4/02 181 GWV Rebels
24 Olivia Barber 14/7/02 184 Murray Bushrangers
25 Maggie Caris 21/12/02 188 GWV Rebels

Renee Tierney
Tall Forward | 168cm | Geelong Falcons

Has had a really consistent season for the Falcons. Good overhead, booted a bag of goals against Oakleigh at Warrawee Park earlier in the season.

Jemma Finning
Balanced Midfielder | 165cm | Bendigo Pioneers

After the two top-age girls in Megan Williamson and Kodi Jacques, Finning was one of the more consistent midfielders at the Pioneers, regularly named in the best.

Brooke Hards
General Defender | 166cm | Bendigo Pioneers

A rebounding defender who can play forward, Hards is good in the air and reads the play well.

Renee Saulitis
Small Forward | 163cm | GWV Rebels

Talented small forward who can kick some great goals from tight angles. Very quick and can pounce on a spillage from a marking contest.

Isabella Simmons
Key Position Forward | 181cm | GWV Rebels

Tall target up forward who pushes up the ground and provides a contest. Raw but has shown some good signs.

Zoe Hill
Key Position Defender | 173cm | Dandenong Stingrays

One of the more consistent 15-16 year-old defenders in the league. Worked well with Lucy Cripps to ensure the Stingrays had good defensive strength in the air.

Olivia Barber
Ruck/Key Position Forward | 184cm | Murray Bushrangers

Rotated between ruck and key forward and was named in the Bushrangers best a number of times. Could rotate with Maggie Caris through the ruck or up forward.

Chandra Abrahams
Tall Utility | 169cm | Gippsland Power

Has played a mixture of forward and back, and while the consistency is still building, she has tricks that not many players have, such as a penetrating kick from 50m on the run from a couple of steps.

Kate Adams
General Forward | 165cm | Murray Bushrangers

Buzzes around the forward line and can push up into the midfield. Fairly clean and clearly talented, will be a player to watch at the Bushies over the next couple of years.

Maggie Caris
Ruck | 188cm | GWV Rebels

With her sister Rene in the AFLW Academy, Maggie followed her into the Rebels program and looked good in the final game of the season against Oakleigh. Already 188cm, Caris will likely play ruck, but could be tried in key position positions as well.

Tyanna Smith
Balanced Midfielder | 166cm | Dandenong Stingrays

Another player who seemed to get better as the season went on, Smith played through the midfield and won her own ball as well as created run in transition.

Jerusha Devarakonda
Small Defender | 158cm | Geelong Falcons

Raw, but talented defender who pushed up to the wing for the Falcons. Got involved a number of times in the grand final and has plenty of scope for the future. Quick and fierce.

Stephanie Glover
Key Position Utility | 176cm | GWV Rebels

Impressed down back, but also showed she could go forward and kick a goal for the Rebels. Good overhead and nimble, she provides plenty of rebound out of the back half.

Holly Andrews
Outside Midfielder/Small Forward | 160cm | Gippsland Power

Played all nine games this season and was named among the best a couple of times for the Power. Had some nice moments within games.

Chloe Leonard
General Forward | 167cm | GWV Rebels

Booted four goals in eight games, including two against Calder Cannons. Was named in the Rebels’ best a number of times and provided a target inside 50.

Emily Nicholson
General Defender | 165cm | Murray Bushrangers

Played every game this season for the Bushrangers and became a regular in the back six. She was named among the best on a couple of occasions.

U16 Fixtures:

June 10 – Vic Metro vs. South Australia in Horsham & Vic Country vs. NSW/ACT in Albury
June 16 – Vic Country vs Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong