Tag: Zoe Inei

VFLW Round 2 weekend preview: Pies bolster experience, while Cats and Dons head to Colac

CARLTON, Western Bulldogs and Williamstown all begin their campaigns this week coming off byes, while Richmond has a break from the VFL Women’s competition to test themselves against GWS GIANTS in an invitational match. With plenty of entertaining contests across the weekend, expect some great clashes.

CASEY DEMONS v. CARLTON
Round 2 – 18/05/2019
11:30
Casey Fields

In the opening game down at Casey Fields, Carlton comes into the 2019 VFL Women’s season for the first time, meeting a relieved Casey Demons outfit who just got over the top of last year’s wooden spooners Essendon last week. Maddy Guerin played her best game in the red and blue with three goals, while Bianca Jakobsson booted two, in the five-goal all game. Key forward Eden Zanker was named best for the Demons in the win, while former Dog Libby Birch was prolific.  The Blues have a number of Carlton AFL Women’s players in their side with the likes of Sarah Hosking, Emerson Woods, Abbie McKay, Charlotte Wilson and Nicola Stevens among those included in the side for the clash tomorrow morning. The Demons deservedly go in as favourites with some more AFLW experience, especially with Birch and Jakobsson in the side, and at home will be home to play well and make it two consecutive victories. For Carlton, it has a young side and will be keen to try and start the season off on the right note and build on its AFLW form.

Casey Demons

B: 40. H. Dyson, 8. S. Lampard, 50. G. McLean
HB: 11. C. Emonson, 29. E. Zanker , 7. B. Jakobsson
C: 42. H. Bailey, 48. E. Archer, 34. A. Kirkwood
HF: 22. M. Guerin, 9. A. Johnson, 13. K. Smith
F: 33. R. Clayton, 27. B. Winbanks, 37. T. Nash
R: 38. K. Bentvelzen , 23. E. Birch, 24. N. Garner
Int: 16. M. Hogg, 32. A. McDonough, 54. K. Oates, 15. T. Tatterson
Emg: 57. L. Davies, 51. A. Francese, 47. K. Guttridge, 56. A. Harris
23P: 46. B. Pratt

In: A. Harris, T. Nash, A. Francese, R. Clayton
Out: R. Edmeades

Carlton

B: 31. N. Burns, 66. M. Neill, 11. J. Hosking
HB: 50. J. Borg, 55. G. Wright, 41. I. Dakis Rofe
C: 21. T. Cassar, 35. M. Clifford, 27. E. Woods
HF: 8. C. Bromage, 7. S. Wright, 39. C. Leighton
F: 9. B. Gurr, 20. C. Wilson, 33. L. Munday
R: 15. K. Neumann Stone, 32. N. Plane, 5. A. McKay
Int: 63. S. Craige, 26. C. Faulks, 17. J. Malouf, 40. S. Mason
Emg: 22. C. Balshaw, 34. I. Gietzmann, 37. A. Prins, 16. N. Stevens
23P: 18. M. Jarvis

 

GEELONG CATS v. ESSENDON
Round 2 – 18/05/2019
12:00
Central Reserve (Colac)

Heading out west, Geelong will be licking its wounds after a 44-point defeat at the hands of a rampaging Melbourne University side, while Essendon will rue a narrow loss against Casey. Young talent Denby Taylor, and the experienced Bec Goring have been brought into the team to change fortunes given the team is relatively settled from the AFLW and last year’s VFLW side. Falcons premiership players, Taylor, Tarryn Love, Zoe Inei and Sachi DeGiacomi are all named in the team, with fellow former TAC Cup players, Georgia Clarke and Rebecca Webster also in the side showing their youth. Essendon has former Calder Cannon, Molly Warbuton and former Murray Bushranger, Eloise Ashley-Cooper in a side that does not have a great deal of AFLW talent outside of West Coast’s Maddy Collier, but has good team cohesion and took it right up to Casey last week. The other AFLW listed player, Maighan Fogas has the unique opportunity to play against her AFLW teammaes in the match. While Geelong got a shock to the system last week, they are still one of the teams to beat this season, although Essendon will put up a fight in this game.

Geelong Cats

B: 44. R. Goring, 17. G. Clarke, 11. J. Woollett
HB: 20. R. Pearce, 4. C. Blakeway, 49. E. Ramsay
C: 3. A. McDonald, 5. J. Ivey, 10. G. Rankin
HF: 45. M. Keryk, 26. M. Boyd, 43. M. Maguire
F: 42. B. Beckley, 8. K. Darby, 7. R. Benham
R: 1. R. Caris, 21. R. Webster, 9. T. Love
Int: 41. A. Haigh, 33. Z. Inei, 23. H. Rowe, 28. D. Taylor
Emg: 15. G. Deller, 14. N. French, 13. L. Taylor
23P: 19. S. DeGiacomi

In: D. Taylor, R. Goring, G. Deller

Essendon

B: 7. K. Hicks, 4. A. Saundry, 29. C. Laan
HB: 18. K. Heil, 27. A. Morcom, 34. F. Puruntatameri
C: 28. R. Svarc, 8. H. Bullas, 1. C. Ugle
HF: 46. L. Ahrens, 38. E. Gogerly, 3. M. DeMatteo
F: 23. M. Collier, 40. A. Moreen, 25. L. Stepnell
R: 30. S. Nalder, 22. N. MacDonald, 39. M. Fogas
Int: 9. A. Anderson, 2. I. Currenti, 21. K. McFadyen, 11. M. Warburton
Emg: 15. L. Caruso, 33. E. Hosking, 20. A. Madden, 14. T. Zagontinos
23P: 45. E. Ashley-Cooper

In: L. Caruso, F. Puruntatameri, L. Ahrens, E. Ashley-Cooper, A. Anderson, E. Hosking,
A. Madden
Out: G. Nanscawen, J. Stassi, S. Audley, S. Wilson

 

COLLINGWOOD v. HAWTHORN
Round 2 – 18/05/2019
02:00
Victoria Park

Last year’s semi finalists both suffered losses in Round 1, with Collingwood having a shock loss at the hands of Southern Saints in the standalone game a fortnight ago, while the Hawks lost to Northern Territory Thunder, the side it booted out of last year’s finals series. Collingwood has recalled a host of AFLW talent including last year’s draftees, Jordyn Allen, Katie Lynch and Georgia Gourlay and key position players Sophie Livingston and Sophie Alexander who will straighten the side up. Add in Ruby Schleicher and Maddie Shevlin and the Magpies team on paper looks considerably more experienced than Round 1. The reigning premiers have backed themselves in with just the one confirmed change in the side this round. It means Collingwood will go in as favourites and keen to atone for the semi-final loss, but one can never discount the strength of the Hawthorn squad and what it is capable of under coach Patrick Hill.

Collingwood

B: 75. E. Bliss, 12. S. Livingstone, 22. S. Casey
HB: 52. N. Hales, 18. R. Schleicher, 13. J. Lambert
C: 32. G. Gourlay, 41. K. Stratton, 49. K. Newton
HF: 6. J. Allen, 70. J. Ferguson, 72. K. Lee
F: 24. S. Alexander, 16. K. Lynch, 25. M. Cann
R: 92. S. King, 60. D. Calautti, 63. P. Nash
Int: 48. A. Bild , 50. G. Buchan, 55. C. Bunker, 35. M. Shevlin
Emg: 58. J. Blecher, 23. L. Butler, 59. A. Levin
23P: 51. A. Curley

In: G. Gourlay, A. Curley, S. Alexander, J. Allen, S. Livingstone, M. Shevlin,
K. Lynch, R. Schleicher
Out: E. Browning, B. Bonnici, A. Malander, M. Doherty, S. Mastras

Hawthorn

B: 5. C. Perera, 6. T. Radan, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 11. D. Haines, 25. M. Hutchins, 13. E. Nixon
C: 33. E. Gilder, 14. O. Flanagan, 40. E. Macdonald
HF: 26. C. Dyett, 29. A. Tanner, 35. C. O’Donnell
F: 12. N. Cormack , 22. T. Luke, 2. K. Henderson
R: 20. L. Kelly, 10. P. Peschke, 24. R. Dillon
Int: 4. S. Carroll, 17. A. Dowler, 15. B. Struylaart, 18. E. Wroe
Emg: 32. N. Bjelan, 16. T. Reiter, 30. A. Sarec, 27. K. Scott
23P: 23. G. Macpherson

In: N. Bjelan, T. Reiter, L. Kelly

 

NT THUNDER v. SOUTHERN SAINTS
Round 2 – 18/05/2019
03:30
TIO Stadium

Both these teams come into the game in winning form, with NT Thunder overcoming Hawthorn and Southern Saints giving Collingwood a touch-up in the opening round of the season. The Thunder bring in the likes of Danielle Ponter and Hannah Martin, the latter of whom has enjoyed a good season for West Adelaide in the SANFL Women’s competition. The Thunder have lost a number of experienced players with Chelsea Randall, Angela Foley and Deni Varnhagen among some very experienced outs, while the Saints have made minimal changes to their side with just bringing in four players to the squad and four emergencies. NT Thunder are one of the teams to beat this season and it is expected at home they take the points in this one, but the Saints have plenty of exciting youngsters that are coming through, such as Caitlin Greiser who crossed from Melbourne University and booted two goals last round, and former AFL Women’s Academy member, Courtney Jones. The Thunder are favourites, but the Saints will be hoping to make it a tight contest.

NT Thunder

B: 50. A. Sheridan, 33. T. Thorn, 31. A. Stanley
HB: 23. E. Miller, 9. L. Jeffrey, 15. D. Ponter
C: 13. L. Roberts, 21. K. Irvine, 12. K. Streader
HF: 11. J. Hickey, 10. A. Chittick,
F: 17. S. Bishop, 7. M. Ellis, 27. A. Considine
R: 20. J. Hewett, 47. A. Hatchard, 1. M. Johnston
Int: 4. K. Duggan, 24. S. Hoogeveen-Hill, 42. H. Martin, 5. M. Roberts, 48. K. Rosenzweig
Emg: 32. B. Byers, 29. C. Deegan
23P: 2. J. Baird

In: B. Byers, A. Hatchard, C. Deegan, D. Ponter, A. Sheridan, H. Martin,
K. Duggan
Out: M. Rajcic, T. Holtze, D. Varnhagen, C. Randall, A. Foley

Southern Saints

B: 26. F. Steiert, 47. F. Hocking, 11. H. Stuart
HB: 30. E. Keaney, 41. R. Neaves, 4. G. Ricardo
C: 22. C. Jones, 2. A. Brown, 20. K. O’Neill
HF: 35. L. McCarthy, 15. T. Bohanna, 16. K. Thompson
F: 49. A. Allsopp, 43. C. Greiser, 10. J. Vogt
R: 12. C. Fitzpatrick, 8. A. Drennan, 7. C. Phillips
Int: 5. D. Jolliffe, 31. T. Lucas-Rodd, 3. D. Smith, 18. O. Vesely
Emg: 34. G. De Angelis, 17. L. Olsen, 36. J. Owen, 46. S. Ryan
23P: 48. J. Kelly

In: L. Olsen, T. Lucas-Rodd, S. Ryan, D. Smith

 

WILLIAMSTOWN v. WESTERN BULLDOGS
Round 2 – 18/05/2019
07:00
Downer Oval

Neither of these sides took part in Round 1 and therefore have a clean slate heading into this Round 2 contest. Williamstown look likely to struggle this season after the off-season losses, while the Western Bulldogs have also lost some big names. The Seagulls’ combination of Mo Hope and Aliesha Newman, two players who have the X-factor and bring plenty of excitement to the team and crowd. While Newman is the only currently listed AFLW player, the Seagulls also have the likes of former Bendigo Pioneers skipper Megan Williamson and Western Jet, Ruby Tripodi, the latter of who is making her debut in the game. The Western Bulldogs have a good core of AFLW players in their team, and will look to Bonnie Toogood – who has been named in defence, alongside Hayley Wildes and Naomi Ferres. First round pick last year, Eleanor Brown has also been named in the Bulldogs’ midfield. The Bulldogs will be favourites, but this is a game the Seagulls can win.

Williamstown

B: 19. E. Meade, 15. D. Pedersen, 30. A. Melnikas
HB: 1. R. Dardengo, 24. J. Thomson, 5. N. Wallace
C: 23. A. Shannon, 7. M. Williamson, 3. L. Suleiman
HF: 4. G. Anderson, 25. S. Whiting, 44. I. Porter
F: 12. S. Navarro, 17. M. Hope, 18. E. Straford
R: 20. S. Seabrook, 2. A. Newman, 6. J. Reid
Int: 38. S. Barbas, 14. K. Carew, 34. E. Crawford, 21. S. Dixon, 29. K. Koropeckyj, 22. M. Lowe, 16. J. Paten
23P: 39. R. Tripodi

Western Bulldogs

B: 35. S. Ruedin, 30. A. Tessari, 17. H. Wildes
HB: 51. R. Christgoergl , 8. B. Toogood, 29. J. Davies
C: 34. E. Mackay, 16. N. Ferres, 50. C. Mullins
HF: 33. S. Jolly, 32. T. Dinuccio, 39. M. Sandral
F: 38. J. Crundall, 44. M. Ward, 41. A. Scott
R: 47. N. McMahon, 9. E. Brown, 48. K. Betts
Int: 49. L. Bibby, 43. E. Gavalas, 31. A. Gunn, 26. D. Marshall
Emg: 54. J. Austin, 52. M. Chadwick, 42. L. Dundon, 53. A. Xanthos
23P: 46. K. McAloon

 

MELBOURNE UNI v. DAREBIN
Round 2 – 19/05/2019
02:30
Melbourne University Main Oval

These two sides come into the match with differing Round 1 results, after Melbourne Uni knocked off Geelong in a 44-point win, while Darebin fell to Richmond by 35 points. Holly Whitford, Ash Riddell and Jessica Trent are among the ins for the Mugars, while Melbourne AFLW ruck, Lauren Pearce comes in as a crucial inclusion for the Falcons against a side that is missing Emma King. Kate Gillespie-Jones will step up to the role and make it an entertraining contest, and with the likes of Jenna Bruton and Jasmine Garner in the midfield, the Mugars will be strong favourites in this clash. Darebin do not quite have the AFLW depth to match it with a premiership contender, but will be hoping the youth in the side such as former Eastern Ranges’ defender, Lauren Szigeti and former Kangaroo Jamie Stanton can have an impact. Stanton is playing against her former side and will be keen to prove a point in this game. Melbourne Uni should win this game with the firepower they have.

Melbourne Uni

B: 45. A. Arundel, 3. T. Mesiti, 17. E. Hay
HB: 32. C. Daniec, 37. K. Ebb, 13. A. Roan
C: 40. A. Runnalls, 36. N. Julian, 21. J. Trend
HF: 19. J. Grierson, 57. A. Price, 14. M. McDonald
F: 38. K. Angelis, 22. J. Anwyl, 7. A. Riddell
R: 5. K. Gillespie-Jones, 35. J. Bruton, 25. J. Garner
Int: 4. L. Amelung, 34. K. Cox, 18. A. Tupper, 16. H. Whitford
Emg: 47. M. Hare, 52. M. Shone, 51. J. Tancred, 50. S. Webb
23P: 39. V. Saad

In: S. Webb, H. Whitford, J. Trend, A. Riddell, K. Ebb
Out: E. King

Darebin

B: 19. R. Hibbert, 21. K. Roe, 16. B. Kennedy
HB: 34. R. Hicks, 32. G. Colvin, 7. L. Szigeti
C: 1. E. Honybun, 9. M. Eastman, 15. A. Lister
HF: 17. S. Simpson, 22. G. Hammond, 23. M. Wilson
F: 39. S. David, 31. E. Gardner, 37. E. McLaughlin
R: 40. L. Pearce, 33. J. Stanton, 43. N. Wolfe
Int: 56. R. Ashley, 36. E. Buckley, 18. C. Byrne, 28. A. Morrow
Emg: 46. R. Coombs, 25. C. Delbridge, 55. M. Hubbard, 50. M. Suzuki
23P: 57. P. Kearney

In: L. Pearce, R. Coombs, M. Suzuki, R. Hicks
Out: S. Fairchild

2019 VFLW weekend Round 1b preview: Eight teams begin their campagins

AFTER the Southern Saints made a statement in the opening round with a victory over last year’s minor premiers Collingwood, the other Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s sides take to the field, as four games are played across the competition. The Western Bulldogs and Carlton have the bye, as do Williamstown, however the Seagulls are facing off against GWS GIANTS in an invitational match which will see the GIANTS match-up against some of the Victorian sides. Below are the teams and season previews.

ESSENDON v. CASEY DEMONS

Round 1 – 11/05/2019
11:30
Windy Hill

Essendon

B: 7. K. Hicks, 11. M. Warburton, 29. C. Laan
HB: 18. K. Heil, 27. A. Morcom, 21. K. McFadyen
C: 28. R. Svarc, 39. M. Fogas, 1. C. Ugle
HF: 25. L. Stepnell, 23. M. Collier, 24. S. Wilson
F: 3. M. DeMatteo, 38. E. Gogerly, 40. A. Moreen
R: 30. S. Nalder, 22. N. MacDonald, 8. H. Bullas
Int: 13. S. Audley, 2. I. Currenti, 43. G. Nanscawen, 4. A. Saundry
Emg: 45. E. Ashley-Cooper, 15. L. Caruso, 33. E. Hosking, 14. T. Zagontinos
23P: 31. J. Stassi

Casey Demons

B: 50. G. McLean, 13. K. Smith, 15. T. Tatterson
HB: 34. A. Kirkwood, 7. B. Jakobsson, 8. S. Lampard
C: 23. E. Birch, 16. M. Hogg, 22. M. Guerin
HF: 42. H. Bailey, 29. E. Zanker , 11. C. Emonson
F: 24. N. Garner, 40. H. Dyson, 27. B. Winbanks
R: 38. K. Bentvelzen , 41. R. Edmeades, 47. K. Guttridge
Int: 48. E. Archer, 9. A. Johnson, 32. A. McDonough, 54. K. Oates
Emg: 57. L. Davies, 51. A. Francese, 37. T. Nash, 62. G. Speedy
23P: 46. B. Pratt

 

DAREBIN v. RICHMOND

Round 1 – 11/05/2019
12:00
Swinburne Centre

Darebin

B: 32. G. Colvin, 21. K. Roe, 19. R. Hibbert
HB: 16. B. Kennedy, 56. R. Ashley, 43. N. Wolfe
C: 1. E. Honybun, 9. M. Eastman, 28. A. Morrow
HF: 17. S. Simpson, 22. G. Hammond, 7. L. Szigeti
F: 36. E. Buckley, 31. E. Gardner, 23. M. Wilson
R: 37. E. McLaughlin, 15. A. Lister, 33. J. Stanton
Int: 18. C. Byrne, 39. S. David, 25. C. Delbridge, 20. S. Fairchild
Emg: 46. R. Coombs, 55. M. Hubbard, 49. A. Ladson, 50. M. Suzuki
23P: 57. P. Kearney

Richmond

B: 26. E. Burry, 41. S. Last, 15. R. Miller
HB: 19. K. Dempsey, 2. P. Monahan, 34. A. Makur Chuot
C: 25. G. Egan, 5. M. Brancatisano, 8. J. Graham
HF: 33. J. Colwell, 16. C. Wakefield , 36. E. Paterno
F: 17. E. Gunn, 24. T. Stahl-Smith, 46. H. Ibrahim
R: 11. A. Edmonds, 13. A. Woodward, 1. J. Kennedy
Int: 43. G. Campbell, 30. D. Edward, 37. M. Klingbeil , 22. S. Marsh
Emg: 39. M. Lindsay , 32. I. Milford, 23. T. Smith
23P: 29. K. Jacques

 

HAWTHORN v. NT THUNDER

Round 1 – 12/05/2019
11:30
Box Hill City Oval

Hawthorn

B: 25. M. Hutchins, 6. T. Radan, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 40. E. MacDonald, 21. P. Randall
C: 33. E. Gilder, 24. R. Dillon, 5. C. Perera
HF: 12. N. Cormack , 26. C. Dyett, 18. E. Wroe
F: 17. A. Dowler, 2. K. Henderson, 30. A. Sarec
R: 22. T. Luke, 10. P. Peschke, 8. R. Beeson
Int: 14. O. Flanagan, 11. D. Haines, 15. B. Struylaart, 29. A. Tanner
Emg: 4. S. Carroll, 35. C. O’Donnell, 27. K. Scott
23P: 23. G. Macpherson

NT Thunder

B: 37. M. Rajcic, 33. T. Thorn, 31. A. Stanley
HB: 23. E. Miller, 9. L. Jeffrey, 26. C. Randall
C: 13. L. Roberts, , 12. K. Streader
HF: 11. J. Hickey, 10. A. Chittick, 18. T. Holtze
F: 27. A. Considine, 7. M. Ellis,
R: 20. J. Hewett, 3. A. Foley, 1. M. Johnston
Int: 17. S. Bishop, 24. S. Hoogeveen-Hill, 21. K. Irvine, 5. M. Roberts, 48. K. Rosenzweig, 34. D. Varnhagen
Emg: 32. B. Byers, 29. C. Deegan
23P: 2. J. Baird

 

MELBOURNE UNI v. GEELONG CATS

Round 1 – 12/05/2019
02:30
Melbourne University Main Oval

Melbourne Uni

B: 45. A. Arundel, 3. T. Mesiti, 17. E. Hay
HB: 22. J. Anwyl, 26. N. O’Connor, 32. C. Daniec
C: 53. J. Grierson, 36. N. Julian, 14. M. McDonald
HF: 38. K. Angelis, 51. J. Tancred, 40. A. Runnalls
F: 4. E. King, 57. A. Price, 18. A. Tupper
R: 5. K. Gillespie-Jones, 25. J. Garner, 35. J. Bruton
Int: 34. K. Cox, 47. M. Hare, 46. A. Roan , 52. M. Shone
Emg: 42. L. Amelung, 44. E. Bult, 30. S. Farmer, 41. J. Thomas
23P: 39. V. Saad

Geelong Cats

B: 49. E. Ramsay, 4. C. Blakeway, 23. H. Rowe
HB: 20. R. Pearce, 44. R. Goring, 11. J. Woollett
C: 3. A. McDonald, 27. R. Webster, 10. G. Rankin
HF: 45. M. Keryk, 17. G. Clarke, 9. T. Love
F: 42. B. Beckley, 8. K. Darby, 7. R. Benham
R: 1. R. Caris, 5. J. Ivey, 41. A. Haigh
Int: 14. N. French, 33. Z. Inei, 43. M. Maguire, 13. L. Taylor
Emg: 26. M. Boyd, 15. G. Deller, 16. O. Purcell
23P: 19. S. DeGiacomi

 

SEASON PREVIEWS: (Including byes)

CARLTON BLUES

Coach: Shannon McFerran
Last year: 7th (6-8)

The entire Carlton side would be buzzing with the AFL Women’s achievement of making the Grand Final and hoping to follow in the senior side’s footsteps. Last year the Blues showed signs within games, but could not quite put together a four quarter effort. They had an enormous amount of future AFL Women’s talent on their list last season with Tyla Hanks and Madeline Brancatisano (both Melbourne), Rene Caris (Geelong) and Celine Moody (Western Bulldogs) all poached by other clubs in the draft, while Abbie McKay, Chloe Dalton and Brooke Walker made the transition up to senior football at the Blues. Darcy Vescio won the leading goalkicker award after another terrific season inside 50 and look for her to be a key player in Shannon McFerran‘s side. With the close bond between Carlton and Northern Knights – and the strength of the Knights program in 2019 – do not be surprised for the Blues to be bolstered mid-season by the likes of Gabby Newton and Britney Gutknecht among others. They have picked up Marnie Jarvis and Taylah Manson from the Knights last year, and with continued improvement and recruitment of Madison Prespakis, Emerson Woods and Charlotte Wilson – who all had TAC Cup Girls and VFLW experience prior to being drafted, the Blues are a sleeper side that is not to be taken lightly.

 

CASEY DEMONS

Coach: Damien Keeping
Last year: 10th (5-9)

Despite a disappointing season on the ladder, Casey Demons were raided at the AFL Women’s draft with six drafted on the night, and a further one (Taylor Mesiti) prelisted. Jordyn Allen, Georgia Gourlay and Maddie Shevlin all swapped red and blue for black and white, while Casey Sherriff, Chantel Emonson and Shae Sloane showed enough to be picked up the Dees. The Demons have brought in some height with the recruitment of former Oakleigh Chargers and Essendon ruck, Bridie Winbanks, while putting an emphasis on retaining Melbourne AFLW listed players, something they did not have the luxury of having with many playing at Darebin given the players history with the Falcons. Now just Elise O’Dea, Lauren Pearce and Brooke Patterson are at the Falcons, so the Demons can have a stronger link to the AFLW side. Harriet Cordner and Maddison Gay were two big improvers of the 2019 AFLW season and will be ones to watch for the Demons in the upcoming VFLW season. A couple of key pickups for the Demons include Gippsland Power duo, Nikia Webber and Shanara Notman who could provide service up opposite ends. Overall look for the Demons to improve this year.

 

DAREBIN FALCONS

Coach: Michael Ericson (NEW)
Last year: 5th (8-6)

Darebin Falcons defied odds by finishing fifth last season and on track for finals up until a couple of rounds out from the post-season series. Michael Ericson has taken over from Jane Lange at the helm, and with it faces a new challenge of keeping the side competitive. O’Dea, Pearce and Patterson loom as the keys to the team, while Jamie Stanton who moved from Melbourne University – to align with her shift from North Melbourne to Gold Coast AFLW – is another AFLW listed player. Bridie Kennedy also joins the team from Carlton after having that AFLW experience, but mostly the Falcons will be relying on the yourh of the team and experienced VFLW players. Captain Stephanie Simpson is one of six players with 30 or more VFLW games under her belt which in the scheme of the relatively new competition is vital. Northern Knights, Nell Morris-Dalton and Ciara Fitzgerald have also joined Darebin, while former Eastern Ranges’ Lauren Szigeti will have benefited from her six games last year. Overall the Falcons will still give the top teams something to think about on their day, and rack up wins against the bottom handful, but it will be a test to be a genuine contender.

 

ESSENDON BOMBERS

Coach: Brendan Major
Last year: 13th (1-13)

It was fair to say Essendon did not have the season it had hoped for, winning just the one game and taking out the wooden spoon in season 2019. With limited AFL Women’s experience, the Bombers just lacked that top-end talent that other clubs had, and while the Bombers had that tackling ferocity through best and fairest winner, Hayley Bullas and the class and skill of future Adelaide AFLW premiership player, Danielle Ponter, they did not have enough talent across the board to compete with the sides that were flushed with AFLW signatures. The one win against Richmond was terrific to see, as it meant the Bombers got some reward for effort after a long season. Along with Bullas, Courtney Ugle and Simone Nalder have returned to the club, while former Murray Bushrangers’ defender and Eastern Allies representative, Eloise Ashley-Cooper will add some class to the side. The Bombers have four players with AFLW experience, including Maddy Collier and Hayley Trevean. With NAB League Girls club, Calder Cannons having some great talent coming through the ranks, expect the likes of Georgia Patrikios to open some eyes late in the season with her agility and goal sense, while Felicity Theodore, Alana Barba, Gloria Elamaly and Krstel Petrevski will add a mix of skill and toughness to the Bombers’ team. The Bombers will still lack the star quality other AFLW experienced teams have, so the goal will be to be more competitive and try and get off the bottom of the table this season.

 

GEELONG CATS

Coach: Natalie Wood (NEW)
Last year: 4th (10-3-1) Grand final loss

Natalie Wood has taken over from Paul Hood who opted to just focus on the AFLW side in the blue and white hoops, but has inherited a genuine premiership contender. After Geelong had fewer AFLW listed players compared to others last season, they now have 20 on their VFLW books, topped up by local players including former Geelong Falcons premiership players, Tarryn Love, Zoe Inei and Sachi DeGiacomi who managed six games at VFLW level between them last season. They have not only retained the majority of the their list, but picked up teh likes of Julia Crockett-Grills (Hawthorn), Rebecca Webster (Melbourne University) and Sophie Van De Heuvel (Williamstown), keeping them in the Geelong system. It is hard not to picture a scenario where Geelong are not in finals considering the now deep and strong bond the players have and having reached the grand final, before strengthening their list even more. The Geelong AFLW side made finals in its first year and expect the VFLW side to follow suit with the same talent on its list.

 

HAWTHORN HAWKS

Coach: Patrick Hill
Last year: 2nd (12-2) Premiers

The reigning premiers had a number of players drafted including Rising Star Jayde Van Dyk, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann in what was a perfectly timed season, finishing second, pouncing on Collingwood in the semi-final, and then making the most of their opportunities against Geelong in the decider. In great news for the Hawks, Van Dyk has returned to the club for the VFLW season, as have key forward Phoebe McWilliams (Geelong), Rebecca Beeson and Pepa Randall (both GWS GIANTS). With super coach, Patrick Hill at the reigns again, the Hawks will be predicted to be thereabouts again and a genuine premiership contender. Sarah Perkins will be primed for a big season in the brown and gold, hoping to force her way back onto an AFLW list after being delisted by the Crows following the 2019 season. The forward combination between Perkins and McWilliams is as good as it gets in the competition, and with Eastern Rangers youngsters Serena Gibbs and Laura McClelland in the side later in the year, expect the reigning premiers to have a potent forward line. Gippsland Power’s Maddison Shaw has also joined the Hawks, and is one of just two 2001-birth players on the list. A huge contender.

 

MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY MUGARS

Coach: Scott Gowans
Last year: 9th (5-9)

The Mugars were up and down at times throughout the 2018 VFLW season, finishing with five wins from 14 games, but having some great young talent come into the side last in the year, including Prepsakis and Webster who were both drafted by AFLW clubs. Sophie Abbatangelo, Ashleigh Riddell, Maddison Smith, Chloe Haines, Libby Haines and Nicole Bresnehan all stepped up to the senior side, with many showing their ability to adapt to the faster pace of the game. After a huge season that ultimately fell short of a finals berth in the AFLW, North Melbourne and Melbourne Uni coach, Scott Gowans will be keen to continue the form shown by the Kangaroos at AFLW level, into the VFLW system. Emma Kearney was terrific for the Mugars last year along with Kaitlyn Ashmore, and expect them to be key players once again. They have added experience to their list with Hawthorn duo, Tahni Nestor and Kim Ebb, as well as Essendon’s Jessica Anwyl who showed promising signs last season in the red and black. Throw in league best and fairest winner, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner and Jenna Bruton, and the Mugars have to be considered one of the premiership favourites. All up they have 23 AFL Women’s listed players and will be another tough team to beat.

 

NORTHERN TERRITORY THUNDER

Coach: Heidi Thompson (NEW)
Last year: 3rd (11-3) – Semi-final loss

Much was spoken about the Thunder and whether or not the experienced top-heavy side with Adelaide Crows, could be allowed to play so much talent at once. Early in the season it looked like the Thunder would skip through the season, but in the end, ultimately fell in the first week of finals to the Cats. After missing out on her AFLW dream last year, Janet Baird is the biggest junior recruit to the Thunder in season 2019, with the NTFL Women’s top player signing on at the Thunder for the upcoming season. She joins the likes of Madeline Gault, Arthurina Moreen and Tabitha May, who all played for Central Allies in 2018, but missed out on a chance in the AFLW. The top-end and upcoming talent at the Thunder is clear, with Ebony Marinoff, Stevie-Lee Thompson, Marijana Rajcic, Renee Forth, Eloise Jones and Sarah and Jess Allen among a ridiculous among of Crows talent in the side. They were arguably a premiership favourite early in 2018, and should be in that place once again given the improvement of many of the Crows through the 2019 AFLW premiership year. With Heidi Thompson now taking the reigns from Tim Weatherald, it will be interesting to see how she balances the AFLW talent throughout the season.

 

RICHMOND TIGERS

Coach: Tom Hunter
Last year: 12th (4-10)

The Tigers had a disappointing season in 2018, finishing twelfth and losing to Essendon, the only side to do so. They, like the Bombers just lacked that star quality in the 2018 VFLW season, but if their 2019 AFLW trade period is anything to go by, expect them to shoot up the ladder in season 2019. Jessica Kennedy and Jacqueline Graham were two standouts for the Tigers, it was just a case of adding depth to the obvious talent that was coming through the ranks. While some will play limited games, the likes of Monique Conti, Katie Brennan and Sabrina Frederick make for a scary forward line. With Richmond able to pre-list players this season, every player on the list will be keen to impress in front of the Tigers’ hierarchy and see what they can do to try and get an AFLW spot for the 2020 season. Overlooked Murray Bushrangers, Tamara Smith, Grace Egan and Sophie Damon are back at Punt Road, while Kodi Jacques has also joined the club with the Bendigo Pioneers’ midfielder looking to stake her claim this year. Former Magpies, Shayla Marsh and Hannah McLaren will don the yellow and black this year, making the Tigers stocked with young talent that will create run and excitement throughout the 2019 season. Expect the Tigers to rise up the ladder, and while they might lack the AFLW talent other teams have outside their forward 50, they could overtake a number of the clubs around their level in season 2018, this year.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS

Coach: Sean Kavanagh (NEW)
Last year: 6th (7-7)

Sean Kavanagh has taken over from Debbie Lee who is now VFLW General Manager at the club, and will be looking to reshape the side that has lost some serious AFLW talent. Conti always spent the majority of the season playing basketball, while Brennan will be a big lose inside 50. However with 20 AFLW players on their list, they still have more than enough talent and experience to get them by. Their three top-age players they have picked up from NAB League Girls clubs are Sophie Molan, Ella Wood and Elisabeth Georgostathis which is arguably the best trio of pick-ups across the league. Molan will make an immediate impact, while Wood and Georgostathis can play both off half-back and through the middle. They will be unavailable during the AFLW National Championships, but expect them to show their talent. Overager Georgia Pidgeon will also provide some height for the Bulldogs, while a host of local players joins the likes of Ellie Blackburn, Brooke Lochland, Isabel Huntington and Deanna Berry as key players. When talking about experience, the Bulldogs have 14 players with 30 or more games, making them a very experienced side in the competition, and one that while they might not be in the top handful, could still challenge for finals.

 

WILLIAMSTOWN

Coach: Amy Catterall
Last year: 11th (4-10)

Williamstown finished eleventh in 2019, notching up the four wins, but had some serious top-end talent at the Gulls’ disposal. Duffin won the league best and fairest despite the team struggles, while Garner and Bruton were stars for Williamstown before emulating that for the Kangaroos at AFLW level. Big question marks remain over the Seagulls with all three departing the club. It means the load falls onto their VFLW listed players shoulders and puts them in a similar position to Essendon and Richmond last year. They had a good win over the Western Bulldogs in a pre-season practice match, and can have the continuity that teams with restricted AFLW numbers cannot. However this year is set to be a massive challenge for the Seagulls after losing so much top-end talent, with Demon, Aliesha Newman being a key signing – the only AFLW player on the list – and likely to cause headaches inside 50 for opposition defences. In doing so, there might be some serious youngsters step up and then make a case to land at an AFLW club, like former Bendigo Pioneers’ captain Megan Williamson, Eastern Ranges’ tall Tahlia Merrett and Bendigo Pioneers’ key defender Kate Douglass.

Team Selection: VFLW – Round 13

WITH five teams returning from the Round 12 bye, plenty of fresh legs will be ready to take to the field in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition. Some teams have opted to make few changes, trusting that the week off has allowed the girls to rest, while others continue to make lots of alterations. Round 13 sees some new faces, some important re-inclusions and the prospect for plenty of good football, kicking off with the Casey Demons and Carlton.

 

CASEY DEMONS v. CARLTON

Saturday August 4, 10:30am
Casey Fields, Cranbourne

The Casey Demons have made five key changes to their Round 13 team who will take on the Blues on Saturday. After being sidelined last week, Demons fans will be excited to see AFLW player, Claudia Whitfort back in the mix alongside Catherine Phillips and Kasey Guttridge. While recent recruit, Talia Radan has been named out this week, another recruit for Melbourne’s 2019 AFLW team, Maddison Gay, arriving from Carlton’s AFLW team, has been selected for her first game in the red and navy blue. Dandenong Stingrays product, Georgia Gourlay has been named as the 23rd person.

Coming off a big win last week, the Blues will be looking to continue to prove themselves in what should be a tight contest between eighth and ninth on the ladder. Carlton have selected four inclusions highlighted by AFLW talents, Reni Hicks and Alison Downie. Also coming back into the side are former Sandringham Dragon TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest, Olivia Vesely and the consistent Sarah Last. Kerryn Harrington, Isabella Gietzmann and Natalie Plane will all miss the clash.

Casey Demons

B: 22. K. Guttridge, 27. A. Harrison, 17. S. Scott
HB: 28. M. Gay, 29. E. Zanker , 2. A. Newman
C: 9. A.  Johnson, 34. D.  Guttridge, 35. C.  Phillips
HF: 16. C. Sheriff, 14. T. Orgill, 20. C. Whitfort
F: 7. B. Jakobsson, 26. S. Sloane, 25. M. Shevlin
R: 18. K. Bentvelzen , 41. T. Mesiti, 13. K. Smith
Int: 46. E. Haeusler , 47. M. Hogg, 10. K. Hore, 15. S. Phillips
23P: 23. G. Gourlay

In: G. Gourlay, C. Whitfort, K. Guttridge, M. Gay, C. Phillips
Out: S. Fyfield,  B. Struylaart,  T. Radan

Carlton

B: 34. A. Chuot, 25. T. Morgan, 22. G. Fisher
HB: 27. K. Cox, 50. J. Borg, 6. G. Pound
C: 55. C.  Dalton, 10. S.  Hosking, 90. B.  Walker
HF: 40. K. Harvey, 30. A. Downie, 18. T. Lucas-Rodd
F: 20. C. Bromage, 3. D. Vescio, 7. S. Last
R: 36. C. Moody, 66. O. Vesely, 19. G. Gee
Int: 8. M. Brancatisano, 82. N. Burns, 24. R. Hicks, 37. B. Schultz
23P: 31. R. Caris

In: O. Vesely, A. Downie, R. Hicks, S. Last
Out: I. Gietzmann, N. Plane, K. Harrington

 

GEELONG CATS v. RICHMOND

Saturday August 4, 11.30am
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

Sitting just inside the top four, Geelong will need a big win against Richmond, who sit with only three wins so far for the season. Geelong has not made many changes to its team ahead of the match as the Cats come off a bye in Round 12. They have however made two key changes, reintroducing some faces in Jamie Woollett and Millie Klingbeil. Leopold junior, Woollett returns from injury to take on the Tigers after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament in July last year, while Klingbeil has been named as part of the starting 22, coming off the emergency list. Geelong Falcons ruck, Zoe Inei has been named as the 23rd player.

AFLW talent, Lauren Tesoriero has not been named for this week’s match, leaving big shoes to fill in Richmond’s Round 13 list. Strong Murray Bushrangers defender, Grace Egan has been named in alongside Jacqueline Radnell, Emily Findlay and Louise Bieniara. On the other hand, Courtney Wakefield, Natarsha Bamblett and Grace Bibby have not been selected after a physical match against the Blues last week.

Geelong Cats

B: 54. G. Clarke, 44. R. Goring, 26. R. Pearce
HB: 25. E. Coventry, 24. M. McMahon, 34. A. McDonald
C: 4. C.  Blakeway, 13. M.  Fogas, 3. H.  Burchell
HF: 5. J. Ivey, 2. D. Orr, 33. H. Trevean
F: 7. M. Clifford, 6. M. Boyd, 8. K. Darby
R: 46. E. Hoare, 45. M. Keryk, 30. R. Cranston
Int: 11. M. Klingbeil , 17. H. Mangan, 40. A. Teague, 1. J. Woollett
23P: 49. Z. Inei

Richmond

B: 69. E. Burry, 63. J. Graham, 65. E. King
HB: 54. L. Bailey, 73. L. Davie, 83. J. Gardner
C: 60. K.  Dempsey, 87. G.  Egan, 88. P.  Monahan
HF: 72. J. Radnell, 70. E. Findlay, 76. E. Ross
F: 75. B. Lynch , 90. S. Damon, 78. V. Tonin
R: 68. A. Edmonds, 59. A. Woodward, 52. J. Kennedy
Int: 84. L. Bieniara, 53. K. Dixon, 64. E. Gunn, 75. B. Lynch
23P: 92. T.Smith

In:  J. Radnell, E. Findlay, L. Bieniara, G. Egan
Out: C. Wakefield , N. Bamblett, G. Bibby, L. Tesoriero

 

WILLIAMSTOWN v. NT THUNDER

Saturday August 4, 11.30AM
Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee

Williamstown will not go into Round 13 as favourites, as it takes on the strong performing NT Thunder. In a hope to shake the tables, Williamstown has made seven important changes. Former Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) player, Morgan Lowe will be a welcome addition to this week’s side as well as Georgia Harris, Jess Duffin, Megan Williamson, Jess Bartolo and Isabelle Porter. Western Jets talent, Sharnie Whiting has also been promoted to the starting line-up this week after being named as the 23rd player in Round 11, leaving room for Maddison James to take on that role. 

Once again, NT Thunder has made plenty of changes to accommodate for the travel to Williamstown this weekend. Highlighting the inclusions are vice-captains, Sally Riley and Lisa Roberts as well as influential forward, Jessica Sedunary who has so far kicked 14 goals for the season with no sign of stopping. The Thunder will also be re-injecting some experience this week with Dayna Cox, Courtney Cramey and Anne Hatchard all being named in. Also in this week are Jasmyn Hewett, Stevie-Lee Thompson, Georgia Bevan, Sam Barnett, Katie Streader and Jordann Hickey. South Australia Under-18 representative, Nikki Gore has been named as the 23rd player.

Williamstown

B: 1. R. Dardengo, 10. B. Hateley, 34. J. Reid
HB: 19. E. Meade, 31. J. Cranny, 8. C. Portelli
C: 22. M.  Lowe, 17. S.  Chapman, 11. K.  Smith
HF: 12. G. Harris, 33. S. Van De Heuvel, 24. A. Saxton
F: 2. J. Duffin, 39. S. Whiting, 36. M. Williamson
R: 9. R. Achampong, 35. J. Bruton, 16. A. Cameron
Int: 23. J. Bartolo, 44. I. Porter, 20. S. Seabrook, 13. N. Wallace
23P: 37. M. James

NT Thunder

B: 16. S. Armitstead, 10. S. Barnett, 13. L. Roberts
HB: 14. C. Cramey, 37. S. Allan, 53. S. Thompson
C: 33. D.  Cox, 3. A.  Foley, 32. K.  Streader
HF: 5. M. Roberts, 55. T. Thorn, 31. J. Sedunary
F: 24. G. Bevan, 27. A. Hatchard, 11. J. Hickey
R: 20. J. Hewett, 17. E. Swanson, 8. S. Riley
Int: 18. T. Holtze, 21. K. Irvine, 9. L. Jeffrey, 38. M. Keeble
23P: 48. N. Gore

In: A. Hatchard, J. Sedunary, J. Hewett, C. Cramey, S. Riley, G. Bevan, S. Thompson , K. Streader, N. Gore, S. Barnett, L. Roberts, D. Cox
Out: M. Ellis, J. Iacono, K. Rosenzweig, E. Jones, R. Forth, J. Allan, J. McCormick, A. Holmes

 

DAREBIN  v. HAWTHORN

Saturday August 4, 12pm
Bill Lawry Oval, Northcote

Darebin has made four changes going into Round 13 where it will take on the formidable Hawks outfit. AFLW player, Nicole Callinan will look to bring some experience and class to Darebin’s game this Saturday. Strong forward, Georgia Hammond has been named in alongside Maddy Guerin and Lena Skipper. Missing out this week will be Tamara Olcorn, Shannon Egan, Esther Honybun and Lauren Jacobs.

Hawthorn will be desperate for a win this week, sitting third on the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s ladder but missing out on top spot only by percentage. Needing to get across the line this week, the skipper, Emma Mackie will be a welcome addition to the side as well as Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward, Phoebe McWilliams. Vic Metro Under 18 representative, Sarah Kendall comes in for her first game of the season after proving her talent in the TAC Cup Girls competition. The Eastern Ranges ruck has been named as the 23rd player.

Darebin

B: 31. E. Gardner, 10. G. Lawson-Tavan, 21. K. Roe
HB: 32. G. Colvin, 14. M. McDonald, 49. R. Hibbert
C: 15. A.  Lister, 9. M.  Eastman, 11. K.  Tyndall
HF: 12. J. Dal Pos, 20. M. Guerin, 13. K. Shierlaw
F: 44. S. Fairchild, 22. G. Hammond, 43. H. Mouncey
R: 40. L. Pearce, 30. E. O’Dea, 7. L. Mithen
Int: 2. N. Callinan, 45. N. Deiter, 24. B. Patterson, 35. L. Skipper
23P: 39. M. Jarvis

Hawthorn

B: 21. P. Randall, 32. K. Ebb, 36. J. Van Dyk
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 4. S. Carroll, 31. J. Sibley
C: 9. M.  Kuys, 1. E.  Mackie, 12. T.  Nestor
HF: 8. R. Beeson, 25. M. Hutchins, 14. O. Flanagan
F: 22. T. Luke, 7. P. McWilliams, 28. S. Perkins
R: 19. L. Wotton, 6. J. Crockett-Grills, 5. C. Perera
Int: 33. E. Gilder, 3. E. Mcilvena , 35. C. O’Donnell, 43. E. Woods
23P: 44. S. Kendall

In: E. Mackie, P. McWilliams, S. Kendall
Out: M. Cann

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS v. SOUTHERN SAINTS

Sunday August 5, 12pm
Henry Turner Memorial Reserve, Footscray

Sixth and seventh on the ladder come head to head this week at Henry Turner Memorial Reserve, and both teams will be hungry for the win as finals approach. Coming off a bye last week, knowing they need to win all games to make finals, the Dogs will be raring to go and have brought in two AFLW heavyweights for the occasion. Premiership duo, Hannah Scott and Lauren Spark will debut this weekend for the Bulldogs VFLW team and will be expected to bring all their experience and finesse in order to get the job done. VU Western Spurs junior, April Goldring also comes in for her first game, while Bailey Hunt, Deanna Berry and Ellie Blackburn have been rested.

The Southern Saints have made five changes to their Round 13 side. Alison Brown will be an important addition this week, who is sure to bolster the Saints midfield. Also coming in this week are Kelly Thompson, Sophie Bolding, Georgia Ricardo and Eastern Ranges defender, Charlotte Wilson.

Western Bulldogs

B: 9. T. Dinuccio, 14. E. Gamble, 38. C. O’Brien
HB: 29. J. Davies, 18. E. Birch, 11. L. Spark
C: 20. R.  Gastin, 10. S.  Jolly, 42. N.  Paul
HF: 15. R. Ashley, 12. J. Francke, 22. H. Scott
F: 28. T. Hamilton, 32. A. Mifsud, 35. S. Ruedin
R: 47. N. McMahon, 17. A. Guest, 36. A. Gogos
Int: 19. T. Ernst, 40. N. Gills, 31. A. Gunn, 41. A. Scott
23P: 43. A. Goldring

Southern Saints

B: 11. T. Annear, 45. S. Binder, 30. C. Wilson
HB: 17. L. Olsen, 38. S. Karlson, 19. A. Silver
C: 39. E.  Brown, 2. A.  Brown, 43. S.  Heath
HF: 40. M. Maitland, 15. T. Bohanna, 24. K. Ripari
F: 49. A. Allsopp, 13. C. Munn, 35. G. De Angelis
R: 28. R. Watt, 8. A. Drennan, 32. S. Johnson
Int: 36. S. Bolding, 21. D. Lawrence, 4. G. Ricardo, 16. K. Thompson
23P: 6. J. Tait

In: S. Bolding, K. Thompson, E. Brown, G. Ricardo, C. Wilson
Out: J. Owen, J. Rolland, C. Jones, T. Gordon

 

ESSENDON  v. COLLINGWOOD

Sunday August 5, 1pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

Returning from its Round 12 bye, Essendon has made three changes this week. This includes Calder Cannons representative Eleanor Cornish, who is now the first graduate from Essendon’s development train-on squad. She will come in as the 23rd player in her debut match. Alexa Madden and Irena Malliaras have also been named in.

Collingwood has made 11 changes ahead of its Round 13 match-up. AFLW talent has been brought in and out of Collinwood’s side this week with Chloe Molloy, Eliza Hynes and Sarah D’Arcy all making room for Holly Whitford, Jaimee Lambert and Ruby Schleicher to take to the field. Paris Davey, Julia Halaseh-Russo, Carle Rooks, Ally Bild, Elise Korteman, Bianca Jones, Amy Malander and Vic Metro forward, Daisy Bateman have also all been selected to play.

Essendon

B: 15. L. Caruso, 20. J. Anwyl, 41. M. Warburton
HB: 17. T. Hetherington, 7. K. Hicks, 25. R. Neaves
C: 46. C.  Ugle, 22. N.  MacDonald, 9. L.  Williams
HF: 37. I. Malliaras, 16. L. Morecroft, 35. V. Moreau
F: 3. M. DeMatteo, 18. K. Heil, 1. J. Trend
R: 30. S. Nalder, 8. H. Bullas, 44. M. Collier
Int: 4. N. Hardy, 26. A. Madden, 27. A. Morcom, 39. C. Rendelmann
23P: 10. E. Cornish

Collingwood

B: 48. A. Bild , 18. R. Schleicher, 61. A. Malander
HB: 22. S. Casey, 17. S. Chiocci, 21. I. Ross
C: 60. J.  Halaseh-Russo , 47. J.  Edwards, 90. C.  Rooks
HF: 8. B. Bonnici, 66. D. Bateman, 28. H. Whitford
F: 54. H. Grubb, 49. S. Alexander, 81. B. Jones
R: 92. S. King, 5. E. Grant, 13. J. Lambert
Int: 56. P. Davey, 62. E. Korteman, 67. H. McLaren, 41. K. Stratton
23P: 68. S. Yoannidis

In: P. Davey, H. Whitford, J. Halaseh-Russo, C. Rooks, A. Bild ,E. Korteman, B. Jones, D. Bateman, A. Malander, J. Lambert, R. Schleicher
Out: N. Hildebrand, C. Molloy, J. Ferguson, E. Hynes, G. Buchan, K. Lee, S. Marsh, N. Hales, S. D’Arcy

Raw ruck talent learns to juggle workload

FINDING diamonds in the rough are what every recruiter and talent manager looks for, and if Geelong’s VFL Women’s and Geelong Falcons’ trial days are anything to go by, they are finding plenty of future footballers. For ruck Zoe Inei, it was about swapping the round ball for it’s oblong counterpart.

“I played soccer for six years and then I went to the VFL Cats Women’s Trial Day and then from that I just got into it for a bit of fun with one of my friends from school,” she said. From that (Trial Day), [Geelong Falcons Female Talent Manager] Katie (Geerings) came up to me and asked if I wanted to play and was talking to me a bit about the soccer. “Then I got an email asking if I wanted to play Falcons, so that was my first season and then I played local last season and now I’ve played my second season of Falcons.”

In 2018, Inei has been a key contributor to the Falcons’ outfit, providing a strong presence around the ruck contests, but also covering the ground with her athletic nature on show. Having had the extra season under her belt, Inei is feeling more comfortable playing at the level.

“It’s been really good.,” Inei said. “It’s very good because it’s longer, last season was five weeks and now it’s nine. “So it’s been really good just so we can have extra time with the other girls, and the coaching has been really good as well, the team’s really fun.”

A raw talent with plenty of improvement left, Inei said she knew there was plenty to work on, and she was striving towards becoming the best possible player she could be.

“I think (what I’m) looking to improve on is just a bit more skills and bit more speed and decision making with the skills,” she said. “Then I think a strength of mine is more encouraging my teammates and going hard at it.”

Her decision making and balancing is something she has had to get better at, as the workload between school and football increases and she learns how to deal with everything thrown her way.

“It’s alright because I have quite a few spares at school so I get most of my stuff done at school,” Inei said. “It’s good because I just come to footy and I just squish in whatever else around other times.”

Still unsure of what she wants to do as a career pathway, she knows where she wants to go with her football.

“Well so far, I just know after that (Vic Country representation) finishes I’ll be going to play local Under 18s comp and from there I’ll just see what happens,” she said.

Her dream is to play AFL Women’s like so many others, and she has been building a nice resume in the process as she looks to become as versatile as possible.

“So I have been playing ruck mostly,” she said. “But this season Jason (Armistead, Geelong Falcons Girls coach) has been putting me forward for a rest. “That’s been good, I’m happy to just go wherever they want.”

Now Inei will focus on finishing off the year and hopefully chasing that dream she has followed since she jumped codes.

Season reviews: TAC Cup Girls – Geelong Falcons

IT was a perfect season for the Geelong Falcons in 2018, winning every game and then taking out the TAC Cup Girls Grand Final by defeating the Northern Knights by 11 points in the decider. They showed a huge amount of depth throughout the season and had very few weaknesses across any of their areas – midfield, forward, defence and ruck – with talented players to complement every line. They looked good from start to finish and in the end got the job done and celebrated the ultimate prize – the premiership.

Position: 1st (Premiers)
Win-loss: 9-0
Percentage: 294%

Results:

R1: defeated Sandringham Dragons by 20 points
R2: defeated Greater Western Victoria Rebels by 39 points
R3: defeated Dandenong Stingrays by six points
R4: defeated Oakleigh Chargers by 70 points
R5: defeated Murray Bushrangers by nine points
R6: defeated Eastern Ranges by 31 points
R7: defeated Calder Cannons by 20 points
R8: defeated Northern Knights by eight points
R9: defeated Western Jets by 55 points
GF: defeated Northern Knights by 11 points

Key players:

Olivia Purcell: A terrific hard-nosed inside midfielder who constantly laid tackles, did all the defensive things and one percenters right throughout the season. Purcell showed good burst out of a stoppage and a unique ability to stand up in a tackle. She occasionally moved around the ground to other positions, but was known for her ball-winning ability in the middle. In the AFLW Academy match against Geelong VFLW side, she more than held her own against bigger bodies. Expect her to be one to star at the National Under 18 Championships.

Nina Morrison: A whirlwind past six months, Morrison raced from being an addition in the AFLW Academy to being a genuine star of the competition. She has lightning speed and is a tackling machine. She would often burst out of congestion and break down opposition zones with her ability to take them on and move well in transition. She also showed her versatility in the final round against the Western Jets, moving to full-forward and booting three goals among an array of shots on goal in windy conditions. So strong overhead and hard to move in a tackle.

Lucy McEvoy: The Geelong Falcons captain is a bottom-ager but was one of the most consistent players throughout the season. She held down the fort in defence along with Denby Taylor and a number of 16 and 17 year-olds. McEvoy captained the side with great leadership and etched her name into the history books when she lifted the premiership cup aloft on grand final day. Strong overhead, an ability to play at either end, and the nous to position herself in the right areas to intercept and rebound make her a damaging defender.

Denby Taylor: Underrated player all season who stood out like a beacon on grand final day. The best on ground in the decider was everywhere, moving up to the wing and taking grab after grab and having multiple shots on goal in one of the best second halves of the year by any player. She played forward in the AFLW Academy match booting a couple of goals, but also held her own in defence which is where she prefers to be. Another player who is strong overhead and provides good drive out of defence out. A long kick of the football too.

Tarryn Love: Often found burrowing under packs, Love missed a number of games due to injury mid-season. But when she returned, Love was one of the more consistent players, always offering defensive pressure and shovelling out handballs to running teammates. She spent some time down forward and provided a smaller target at ground level. Had the first Falcons goal assist of the grand final and then booted the next goal moments later. An important player for any midfield.

Sachi DeGiacomi: The key forward was no doubt a tad unlucky not to receive a Vic Country jumper this season after a fairly consistent year. She provided a target and kicked goals in most of her games and became the first Falcons goalkicker in the grand final. DeGiacomi has already played one game for Geelong’s VFLW side and will look to establish herself in the state league.

Zoe Inei: The raw ruck prospect showed really promising signs throughout the season, and will be one to watch at the National AFLW Under 18 Championships. She has good athleticism and an ability to win clean taps around the ground. Moves well and can play up forward as well which is always important.

Summary:

Geelong Falcons completed the 2018 season without a hitch – winning all 10 games they played and taking out the 2018 premiership. While many of the top-age players will make their way onto either AFLW or VFLW lists in the next 12 months, there are still plenty of bottom-age and 16 year-olds coming through the ranks that are likely to keep the success rolling, with Renee Tierney and Abbey Chapman a couple of bookends that will be ones to keep an eye on next season and beyond.

AFL Draft Central’s TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year

PREMIERS Geelong Falcons lead all-comers when it comes to the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls’ Team of the Year. The Falcons have four nominations in the best 24 (extending the bench to six), including one in the midfield, one in defence and two up forward. The Team of the Year has been constructed based on nominations across the nine TAC Cup Girls’ rounds. From the nine TAC Cup Girls’ Teams of the Week, we have picked 24 of the 26 players who received three or more nominations, with the next 24 players (named in the 2nds team) receiving two nominations.

Geelong captain Lucy McEvoy has made the starting defence, with Olivia Purcell named on the wing, Nina Morrison on a half-forward flank, and Sachi DeGiacomi lining up at full-forward. The Falcons’ grand final opponents the Northern Knights had the next most with three nominees. It is no surprise that with all the firepower the Knights have, their three nominations are in the forward 50. Ellie McKenzie and Britney Gutknecht have proved to be dangerous around goals, while Gabby Newton can play anywhere and was named at centre half-forward. It is worth noting that McKenzie had the third most nominations of any player with six, just behind our teams’ co-captains Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons) and Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power) with eight nominations apiece.

Prespakis’ bottom-age teammate Georgia Patrikios has made it into a forward pocket, while Hanks’ teammate Emily Haeusler slots onto the half-back flank. Also in defence is Alice Burke, the daughter of St Kilda champion Nathan, making the back pocket with teammate Eleanor Brown who slotted into the best 22. On the other half-back flank is Dandenong Stingrays’ captain Jordyn Allen who made the team, while teammate and fellow AFLW Academy member Courtney Jones was named as an emergency. Murray Bushrangers’ pair Tamara Smith and Rebecca Webster were no surprises into the Team of the Year after consistent form this season.

Holding down the fort at full-back is Isabelle Pritchard, with the Western Jets’ key position defender having a fantastic season, as has her teammate and midfielder Elisabeth Georgostathis who made it onto a wing. The other team with two nominees is the Bendigo Pioneers with midfield duo Kodi Jacques and Megan Williamson both making it onto the bench. Eastern Ranges had two nominee in our Team of the Year, Sarah Kendall and Emerson Woods who slot into the ruck and interchange respectively. The other clubs with just the one nomination are GWV Rebels’ Georgia Clarke at centre half-back and Bridie Winbanks (Oakleigh Chargers) on the bench. Both the clubs had three players with two nominations who just missed out on squeezing into the Team of the Year.

The only two players to receive three nominations and miss out are Dandenong Stingrays’ Courtney Jones, and Murray Bushrangers’ Grace Egan who both had wonderful seasons.

At AFL Draft Central we also wanted to recognise those players who received at least two nominations in our Team of the Weeks this season, including the two players missing out on the starting 24 (Courtney Jones and Grace Egan) slotting into the team. Jones has been selected as the captain for the side, with a number of unbelievable talents unlucky not to make the first team. TAC Cup Girls Grand Final Best on Ground Denby Taylor is one of many top players making it into the next 22, alongside fellow AFLW Academy members Georgia Macpherson, Sophie Van De Heuvel and of course, Jones.

There are seven teams with an amazing three players nominated in the Second Team of the Year, with just Bendigo Pioneers and Calder Cannons the only sides without a nominee. The premiers have Taylor, ruck Zoe Inei and tackling machine Samantha Atkins in the side, while the runners-up Knights have Alex Pronesti, as well as two 2020-draft eligible players in Alyssa Bannan and Abigail Bennett in the team. Eastern’s depth has been critical to their success throughout the season, and along with Macpherson, they also have Mikala Cann and Gabriella De Angelis making the team. Dandenong Stingrays have Shelley Heath running off a half-back flank, joining Jones and Isabella Shannon in the side.

The GWV Rebels have Van De Heuvel up forward, talented bottom-ager Sophie Molan in the midfield, and captain Lauren Butler also in the side. The Oakleigh Chargers midfield duo of Katie Lynch and Gemma Lagioia provide the team with some class, while the dangerous Daisy Bateman slots into the forward pocket. Leading competition goal kicker Holly Bate makes it into full-forward after nominations in round eight and nine for a combined 12 goals, joined in the team by fellow forward Isabella Eddey and 16 year-old midfielder Eliza McNamara.

Eloise Ashley-Cooper made the side after a good season, named in the back pocket with fellow Murray Bushrangers defender Egan. Right next to them is Western Jets’ defender Sharnie Whiting who made the team with two nominations, as did Caitlin Greiser who proved a handful up forward and slots into the forward pocket. The final spot in the team belongs to bottom-age forward Nikia Webber who showed some great signs of what is to come from the versatile tall.

SECOND TEAM OF THE YEAR:

B: Eloise Ashley-Cooper (MB) – Sharnie Whiting (WJ) – Denby Taylor (GF)
HB: Shelley Heath (DS) – Georgia Macpherson (ER) – Grace Egan (MB)
C: Gemma Lagioia (OC) – Mikala Cann (ER) – Sophie Van De Heuvel (GWV)
HF: Courtney Jones (DS) (c)  – Nikia Webber (GP) – Alyssa Bannan (NK)
F: Daisy Bateman (OC) – Holly Bate (SD) – Caitlin Greiser (WJ)
R: Zoe Inei (GF) – Katie Lynch (OC) – Sophie Molan (GWV)
INT: Abigail Bennett (NK) – Samantha Atkins (GF) – Isabella Shannon (DS) – Lauren Butler (GWV) – Isabella Eddey (SD) – Gabriella De Angelis (ER) – Eliza McNamara (SD) – Alex Pronesti (NK)

Fifty named in AFL Draft Central’s TAC Cup Girls’ Team of the Year squad

FIFTY players from across the TAC Cup Girls’ competition have been named in AFL Draft Central’s Team of the Year squad, with the even cut-off those who received two of more nominations in our Team of the Week. There have also been 43 players recognised by AFL Draft Central who put in an outstanding effort to be nominated once throughout the season.

Remarkably, there has been an almost even split, with 26 players receiving three or more nominations in our Team of the Week, while another 24 players made the team twice. Of the 50-player squad, Geelong Falcons received the most nominations with seven players receiving two or more nominations in the Team of the Week, while the Northern Knights (six) were next followed by Sandringham Dragons and Eastern Ranges (five each). It is no surprise that these four teams were the top four sides at the end of the TAC Cup Girls regular season.

It was an even split between the next five sides with Dandenong Stingrays, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, Murray Bushrangers, Oakleigh Chargers and Western Jets all having four dual nominees, while Gippsland Power had three. Bendigo Pioneers and Calder Cannons had the two standout players each who were nominated multiple times. In terms of total players nominated, the Geelong Falcons and Eastern Ranges both had an impressive 11 players nominated at least once, ahead of Northern Knights and Sandringham Dragons (10), Dandenong Stingrays and Murray Bushrangers (nine), Oakleigh Chargers (eight). GWV Rebels (seven), Western Jets (six), Bendigo Pioneers (five), Gippsland Power and Calder Cannons (three) to round out the 12 sides.

In terms of most nominations, it is no surprise to see Calder Cannons’ Madison Prespakis and Gippsland Power’s Tyla Hanks, are leading the way with a stunning eight nominations from eight games. The pair will be captain and vice-captain in the Team of the Year. Just as remarkably, 15 year-old Ellie McKenzie is outright third, with six nominations from her six games and will no doubt feature many times in the team over the next two years.

Team of the Year squad: [50]

Bendigo Pioneers [2]: Kodi Jacques, Megan Williamson
Calder Cannons [2]: Georgia Patrikios, Madison Prespakis
Dandenong Stingrays [4]: Jordyn Allen, Shelley Heath, Courtney Jones, Isabella Shannon
Eastern Ranges [5]: Mikala Cann, Gabriella De Angelis, Sarah Kendall, Georgia Macpherson, Emerson Woods
Geelong Falcons [7]: Samantha Atkins, Sachi DeGiacomi, Zoe Inei, Lucy McEvoy, Nina Morrison, Olivia Purcell, Denby Taylor
Gippsland Power [3]: Tyla Hanks, Emily Haeusler, Nikia Webber
GWV Rebels [4]: Lauren Butler, Georgia Clarke, Sophie Molan, Sophie Van De Heuvel
Murray Bushrangers [4]: Eloise Ashley-Copper, Grace Egan, Tamara Smith, Rebecca Webster
Northern Knights [6]: Alyssa Bannan, Abigail Bennett, Britney Gutknecht, Ellie McKenzie, Gabby Newton, Alex Pronesti
Oakleigh Chargers [4]: Daisy Bateman, Gemma Lagioia, Katie Lynch, Bridie Winbanks
Sandringham Dragons [5]: Holly Bate, Eleanor Brown, Alice Burke, Isabella Eddey, Eliza McNamara
Western Jets [4]: Elisbeth Georgostathis, Caitlin Greiser, Isabelle Pritchard, Sharnie Whiting

Single nominations: [43]

Bendigo Pioneers [3]: Eloise Gretgrix, Brooke Hards, Sophie Kerridge
Calder Cannons [1]: Felicity Theodore
Dandenong Stingrays [5]: Eloise Allen-Burns, Saige Bayne, Lucy Cripps, Samantha Ryan, Tyanna Smith
Eastern Ranges [6]: Ashleigh Allsopp, Tarni Brown, Olivia Meagher, Laura McClelland, Lauren Szigeti, Charlotte Wilson
Geelong Falcons [4]: Abbey Chapman, Luka Lesosky-Hay, Renee Tierney, Sophie Walmsley
Gippsland Power [1]: Jasmine Ferguson
GWV Rebels [3]: Stephanie Glover, Nyakoat Dojiok, Ella Wood
Murray Bushrangers [5]: Olivia Barber, Millie Brown, Julia Harvey, Chelsea Knight, Claudia McKimmie
Northern Knights [4]: Maddy Brancatisano, Jess Fitzgerald, Nell Morris-Dalton, Ashleigh Snow
Oakleigh Chargers [4]: Hannah McLaren, Alice O’Loughlin, Chloe O’Malley, Nicola Xenos
Sandringham Dragons [5]: Molly Denahy Maloney, Sarah Hartwig, Winnie Laing, Jemma Owen, Maddi Wilson
Western Jets [2]: Isabella Grant, Taylah Kolevski

The final AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year will be posted later in the week.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup Girls – Grand Final

THE big day has finally arrived. The Geelong Falcons and the Northern Knights have been the two in-form teams of the TAC Cup Girls competition and will play out the first ever TAC Cup Girls Grand Final. We decided to take an in-depth look at both of the teams ahead of the historic day set to take place at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday.

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

2018 TAC Cup Girls Grand Final – Saturday, May 19, 12.30pm

Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee

Form line

Geelong Falcons:

Ladder position: 1st
Wins: 9
Losses: 0
Percentage: 294%

Northern Knights:

Ladder position: 2nd
Wins: 8
Losses: 1
Percentage: 243%

 

Last time they met

Geelong Falcons 4.7 (31) defeated Northern Knights 3.5 (23)

The Geelong Falcons made it eight from eight against fellow undefeated team, Northern Knights with an eight-point win. The Falcons came out of the blocks with a three goal to none first half, then the Knights fought back with a three goal to one second half.

AFLW Academy members, Lucy McEvoy, Denby Taylor, Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison were some of the best players on the ground yet again. McEvoy and Taylor held down the fort well in defence while Purcell and Morrison chased and tackled in the midfield. They were complemented by Zoe Inei in the ruck, who delivered some nice taps towards her gut-runners. In the forward line, it was Sachi DeGiacomi who put in all the hard yards to keep her side’s undefeated streak alive.

For Northern, midfielder, Marnie Jarvis found herself up forward on a couple of occasions, slotting through two of the Knights’ three majors. Gabrielle Newton was a star, this time in defence, proving she can play just about anywhere on the field. Young gun, Ellie McKenzie had another standout performance for the Knights, as did Nell Morris-Dalton. Other solid contributors included Paije Kearney and Ashleigh Snow.

GOALS

Geelong Falcons: S. DeGiacomi, S. Walmsley, R. Tierney, P. Sheppard

Northern Knights: M. Jarvis 2, A. Bannan

BEST

Geelong Falcons: L. McEvoy, D. Taylor, O. Purcell, S. DeGiacomi, Z. Inei, N. Morrison

Northern Knights: G. Newton, E. McKenzie, P. Kearney, N. Morris-Dalton, A. Snow, M. Jarvis

 

Players to watch

Geelong Falcons:

#18 Nina Morrison

Times in Best: 6

Morrison is one of the most hard-working midfielders in the competition. She has electric speed and is a brilliant ball-user. She often gets the ball on the outside and clears it into space, but can also find the ball in the heart of the contest.

#42 Sachi DeGiacomi

Times in Best: 5

DeGiacomi has been pivotal for the Falcons at centre half-forward. She has kicked 13 goals from nine games and if stats were taken for TAC Cup Girls, they would say that she has also had plenty of assists. She is an unselfish player that knows how to find the goals when needed, and she also has a fantastic set of hands.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Times in Best: 5

The Geelong captain has been remarkable this season. McEvoy does her best work in defence, but can also play a role as a tall midfielder when required. She is a versatile player that has a booming kick, and always goes in hard at the contest.

#7 Olivia Purcell

Times in Best: 4

Olivia Purcell is one of the toughest inside midfielders in the competition. She is an aggressive tackler and a good clearance player, thanks to her innate ability to find space. Her acceleration is a huge asset for the Falcons and will serve her in good stead on Saturday.

Northern Knights:

#21 Ellie McKenzie

Times in Best: 6

Ellie McKenzie is the most exciting 15 year-old in the competition. She has been amongst Northern’s best players in every game she has played, and has kicked 10 goals to go along with it. McKenzie is a vital forward for the Knights and can work some magic with the ball in hand.

#23 Gabrielle Newton

Times in Best: 5

Newton has been a star in the ruck, up forward, in defence, or basically wherever she is needed. She plays any role that she is asked to play and does it with class. Newton is a wonderful ball-user and knows how to find the right option.

#5 Madeline Brancatisano

Times in Best: 4

The Knights captain has been outstanding in the midfield this season. What stands out about Brancatisano is her defensive efforts, as she lays some strong tackles and can also play a shutdown role on the opposition when needed. She has displayed quick hands throughout the season and is an unselfish player.

#18 Sarah Sansonetti

Times in Best: 4

Sarah Sansonetti has been a key player in defence for Northern this season. She often finds the ball at the heart of the contest and can clear the ball out of defensive 50 with ease. Sansonetti is an agile player who can move off her opponent well to create a contest.

 

Preview

The two most-deserving teams will face off in the inaugural TAC Cup Girls Grand Final on Saturday. The teams last met in round eight, where only eight points separated the sides.

Geelong Falcons coach, Jason Armistead is all too aware of the Knights’ fire-power and knows that his side must combat their high-scoring if they are to win the historic game.

“They’re the highest-scoring team in the competition and their ability to score quickly has been a strength,” Armistead said. “We need to be mindful of stopping their momentum if they get on a roll.”

Their high-scoring has come in the form of some big last quarters, where the Knights have piled on the goals to ensure a big percentage-boosting win. In fourth quarters alone, Northern has outscored its opposition 159-46. The 46 points is the combined total of each of the nine teams that the Knights have played, which is a remarkable feat.

Northern coach, Marcus Abney-Hastings has been really impressed with his host of players this season, who have worked together to achieve some big wins.

“Our captain Maddy Brancatisano has had a really good year and really led from the front,” Abney-Hastings said. “Gabby Newton has been playing in a range of positions and is also a good leader on the field. “Neve O’Connor will be really important in the ruck; she gives our midfielders first use of the ball. Marnie Jarvis has been really important with her run and carry on a wing and Britney Gutknecht has also been important for us going forward.”

But Geelong’s defence has been a highlight for them this season, with the trio of Denby Taylor, Lucy McEvoy and Abbey Chapman playing some fantastic footy in the defensive half. Their depth, like Northern’s, is also phenomenal, with players such as Mia Sheppard, Tarryn Love and Sophie Walmsley stepping up on various occasions.

Expect a high level of skill, talent and class on display at Avalon Airport Oval, as the best of the best in this magnificent competition battle it out for ultimate glory.

 

GEELONG FALCONS:

NORTHERN KNIGHTS:

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup Girls – Round 9

THE TAC Cup Girls 2018 season came to an end on Saturday, with all 12 teams playing out games at RAMS Arena. The Northern Knights secured a grand final spot with a win against the Bushrangers, joining Geelong in the grand final on Saturday. The Falcons themselves as well as Dandenong got big wins on the day while the Cannons got their first win since round three. 

 

Northern Knights 6.9 (45) defeated Murray Bushrangers 1.9 (15)

By: Julia Montesano 

The Northern Knights eradicated all mathematical grand final probabilities with a 30-point win over Murray Bushrangers in the first game of the day. Although the Bushrangers applied good attacking pressure, they were plagued by inaccuracy thanks to a strong breeze at RAMS Arena. The win sees the Knights claim a grand final spot on Saturday against Geelong.

Fifteen year-old Ellie McKenzie was the star of the day for Northern. She booted three goals and was a proactive presence in the forward line. Nell Morris-Dalton, Alex Pronesti and Alyssa Bannan were the other goal kickers for the Knights. Northern also had a strong presence in the ruck with Gabby Newton and Neve O’Connor rotating throughout the day. The duo won plenty of hit-outs, allowing Knights midfielders such as Madeline Brancatisano and Abigail Bennett to display good ball-use in the convincing win.

The Bushrangers tried desperately to keep themselves in the game with relentless pressure. They were stunned when Northern got out to an early 30-point lead at quarter time but fought hard in the remaining quarters. Unfortunately, they just couldn’t convert in front of goal, demonstrated by kicking 0.7 in the last quarter. Olivia Barber was the only goal-scorer for Murray and provided a good presence around the ground. Usual suspects in the midfield, Tamara Smith, Julia Harvey and Rebecca Webster were once again the stars for Murray, with all of them having good stints in the heart of the contest.

 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels 5.8 (38) def. Oakleigh Chargers 2.1 (13)

By: Taylah Melki 

In difficult conditions the Rebels were off to a quick start, scoring the first two goals of the match. They applied a lot of defensive pressure across the ground and kept that momentum up throughout the game, winning by 25 points over the Chargers. The blustery conditions did not seem to favour either side but the Rebels made the most of it and competed hard to win the footy. On the other hand, Oakleigh struggled to match the intensity applied by the Rebels, only managing to score two majors for the match.

Sophie Molan starred for Greater Western Victoria (GWV) with her ability to win the footy at ground level and impact on the contest. She was rewarded for her hard work, slotting a goal in the second term and impressed with her footy smarts to set up her teammates.  The likes of Lauren Butler and Sophie Van De Heuvel also played important roles in the Rebels win, applying plenty of forward pressure and opening up space with their clever leads. AFLW Academy player Rene Caris starred down back for GWV, controlling the play and imposing herself on the contest.

In the last quarter, the likes of Daisy Bateman and Gemma Lagioia really lifted their intensity around the ball and tried hard to create a contest both in the air and at the ground. Alana Porter also provided some good run and carry and was clean at stoppages for the Chargers, helping to propel them forward. Meanwhile Emily Harley kick-started the Chargers’ account, bagging the first major for them in the second quarter.

 

Gippsland Power 2.6 (18) def. by Sandringham Dragons 6.6 (42)

By: Taylah Melki 

Gippsland and Sandringham came to play in the last game of the season with only three points separating them at three quarter time. Both teams were evenly poised, making for a tight tussle across the ground. The Power dominated the play in the third term but were unable to capitalise on their scoring opportunities. But the tables turned in the fourth with the Dragons coming out firing and bagging four unanswered goals to claim victory by 24 points.

The ever-reliable Tyla Hanks starred once again for the Power with her ability to turn opponents inside out and hit targets even while she’s under immense pressure. Hanks’ composure with ball in hand allowed her to set up play for teammates and create forward thrusts for Gippsland. Nikia Webber also played an important role, slotting the first goal of the match and applying plenty of pressure, while Emily Hauesler and Jazz Ferguson continued their hot form, taking big grabs and competing hard for the footy.

For the Dragons, the likes of Jemma Owen stood tall, bagging two last quarter goals within minutes of each other, showcasing her ability to read the play and hit the scoreboard. In their last quarter berth, Isabella Eddey stood up, taking charge in the forward line to score her first major of the game and get the Dragons back in front. Teammate, Eleanor Brown also starred for Sandringham with her impressive work rate across the ground and willingness to compete hard and win the footy.

 

Western Jets 1.2 (8) defeated by Geelong Falcons 9.9 (63)

By: Peter Williams 

A four goals to one first term into the breeze set minor premiers Geelong Falcons up for a comfortable win over Western Jets. Despite the wind heavily favouring the Jets in the opening quarter, it was the Falcons that put the scores on the board, led by Nina Morrison (two goals) who played exclusively forward and was dominant in the air. Caitlin Greiser kicked the Jets’ only goal of the game in the first term, but in a positive, Western restricted Geelong to just five more goals for the game, including three when the Falcons had the breeze.

Olivia Purcell put in another top performance to be best on ground, her work around the stoppages was a real highlight. Denby Taylor showed she is capable of playing up either end, while Sachi DeGiacomi booted two majors to work well with Morrison (three goals). Renee Tierney also slotted two majors, while Tarryn Love and Lucy McEvoy were others who impressed throughout the contest.

For the Jets, it was Elisabeth Georgostathis who was everywhere, producing plenty of strong tackles, including a rundown one on Purcell, and always fighting hard for the losing side. Taylah Kolevski‘s efforts in the ruck against Zoe Inei were superb, while Olivia Forsythe and Sharnie Whiting were others who stood out for Western.

 

Calder Cannons 5.2 (32) defeated Eastern Ranges 1.2 (8)

By: Peter Williams 

In what was probably considered an upset given ladder positions and form, Calder Cannons proved too good for Eastern Ranges, courtesy of a fast start. The Cannons booted three goals in the first term and then held on well against the Ranges in a dour, wet weather affair. Mikala Cann booted the Ranges’ only goal from a free kick, as Georgia Patrikios put her hat in the ring for one of the goals of the year with a snap from the boundary line in the third term. While neither side could make the Grand Final, Calder got the four points and claimed its second win of the season.

Madison Prespakis was best on ground again after a performance everyone has come to expect from the top star. She was everywhere and just dominated at ground level or in the air, booting a great goal in the first term from an intercept mark inside forward 50. Patrikios was also electric up forward, while Carla Rendelmann and Madison’s sister, Georgie Prespakis were also good in the wet. AFLW Academy member, Molly Warburton was named in the best for her work in defence.

For Eastern, Cann showed clean hands throughout the contest, while Emerson Woods produced another hard-working effort around the stoppages. Laura McClelland tried to be creative up forward and worked hard throughout the match, while Sarah Kendall put pressure on her opponents around the stoppages and down back. Co-captain, Charlotte Wilson took a few strong intercept marks in defence.

 

Dandenong Stingrays 10.8 (68) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 1.2 (8)

By: Julia Montesano 

The Dandenong Stingrays finished their season with their biggest win of the year, defeating the Bendigo Pioneers by 60 points. The rain did not seem to bother the Stingrays, who managed to kick 10 goals in the slippery conditions.

AFLW Academy forward, Courtney Jones was sensational for the Stingrays, kicking three goals and laying some strong tackles. Brooke Borchard also got three majors on the board, working in tandem with Jones to cause some headaches for the Pioneers. Regular contributors, Isabella Shannon and Jordyn Allen also got on the scoreboard. Shannon applied fantastic pressure throughout the afternoon while Allen continued to play her signatory composed style of football to get Dandenong over the line.

It was a hard slog for the Pioneers, but there was no shortage of shining lights. Midfielder Kodi Jacques was outstanding for the Pioneers, with her innate ability to clear the ball out of a stoppage. Jacques handled herself with composure during the match and used the ball extremely well. She was complemented as usual by captain, Megan Williamson who has not put a foot wrong all season. Williamson displayed hard running on the day and was a brilliant leader on the field.

Weekend Wash-up: TAC Cup Girls – Round 8

GEELONG has booked a spot in the TAC Cup Girls grand final after they got the job done over the Northern Knights. Sandringham improved to six wins and two losses in season 2018 while the Dandenong Stingrays got over the line in a thriller over the Cannons. Although the season is coming to a close, the teams are still fighting hard to end their season on a high note. 

 

Calder Cannons 4.1 (25) defeated by Dandenong Stingrays 3.9 (27)

By: Julia Montesano 

The Dandenong Stingrays kept their winning streak alive, but only just, as the Cannons fought hard all game to limit the victory to just two points. Although Dandenong had most of the play, their inaccuracy hurt them and nearly cost them the game.

Captain, Jordyn Allen starred yet again for the Stingrays, creating her own wall behind the ball. She marked everything that came her way and moved the ball swiftly and cleanly. Down forward, it was Courtney Jones who was putting in the hard yards with plenty of forward pressure and a couple of goals. Tyanna Smith was important on the wing and through the middle of the ground, running hard throughout the night and using the ball well both by hand and by foot.

The Cannons tried to nullify Allen’s impact through throwing star midfielder, Madison Prespakis up forward. Prespakis ended up making an influence herself, kicking two goals and doing all the nice things we have gotten accustomed to seeing from her. Her teammate, Georgia Patrikios played one of her best games for the Cannons all season. Patrikios laid damaging tackles, and her inside 50 pressure was fantastic. Georgie Prespakis starred in her second game for Calder, starring with a long kick that looks incredibly similar, and has the same damaging impact as her sister’s. 

 

Eastern Ranges 7.5 (47) defeated Murray Bushrangers 0.1 (1)

By: Peter Williams 

A terrific performance by the Eastern Ranges has resulted in a 46-point victory over the Murray Bushrangers at Warrawee Park. The Ranges were on top for the entire game and put in a four quarter performance, restricting the Bushrangers to just one behind – a late score in the final term – while booting seven goals themselves with seven individual goal kickers. The win means the Ranges will finish top four, having just two losses from eight games this season with one match to come.

Mikala Cann put in a best on ground performance and was everywhere early, booting a sensational goal on the run under pressure to get the momentum flowing, then assisting in some more scores as she really stood out in the victory. Emerson Woods was strong early up forward, being involved in most passages of play with the co-captain impressing, as did fellow co-captain, Charlotte Wilson in defence. But it was the multi-pronged forward line that caused headaches for the opposition with Ashleigh Allsopp, Gabriella De Angelis, Jess Provan and Laura McClelland showing Eastern’s depth inside 50.

For the Bushrangers, the midfield of Millie Brown, Tamara Smith and Julia Harvey worked hard throughout without top star, Rebecca Webster, while Eloise Ashley-Cooper stood up in the absence of Grace Egan down back. Chelsea Knight also stood up in spite of a dominant Ranges’ midfield in what was a tough day at the office for the Bushrangers.

 

Oakleigh Chargers 5.8 (38) defeated Western Jets 3.5 (23)

By: Peter Williams 

A three-goal performance by Oakleigh leading goalkicker, Daisy Bateman has helped the Chargers record a solid 15-point victory over the Western Jets at Warrawee Park to take out the inaugural Zaidee’s Cup. In a great initiative by the two teams, the players worse Zaidee’s Rainbow Shoelaces to help raise awareness for organ and tissue donation. On the scoreboard, Oakleigh proved too good early to boot five goals to one in the opening three quarters – including two opportunistic goals in the third term to Bateman – to secure the victory. The Jets booted two goals in the final term to reduce the final deficit.

Bridie Winbanks was important in the ruck, while Alice O’Loughlin and Gemma Lagioia were crucial between midfield and forward for the Chargers. Captain, Hannah McLaren was strong in defence, in what was a great team effort for the Chargers who were missing Katie Lynch, Charlotte Moon and Nicola Xenos – three of their more consistent players – due to school football commitments, allowing others to stand up in their place.

For the Jets, full-back Sharnie Whiting stood up against constant pressure, while Elisabeth Georgostathis was consistent once again with some strong tackles across the ground. Caitlin Gashi and Payton-Ani Ozols were also among the best for Western, while talls, Caitlin Greiser and Cleo Saxon-Jones got on the scoresheet.

 

Geelong Falcons 4.7 (31) defeated Northern Knights 3.5 (23) 

By: Julia Montesano

The Geelong Falcons made it eight from eight against fellow undefeated team, Northern Knights with an eight-point win. The Falcons came out of the blocks with a three goal to none first half, then the Knights fought back with a three goal to one second half. 

AFLW Academy members, Lucy McEvoy, Denby Taylor, Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison were some of the best players on the ground yet again. McEvoy and Taylor held down the fort well in defence while Purcell and Morrison chased and tackled in the midfield. They were complemented by Zoe Inei in the ruck, who delivered some nice taps towards her gut-runners. In the forward line, it was Sachi DeGiacomi who put in all the hard yards to keep her side’s undefeated streak alive. 

For Northern, midfielder, Marnie Jarvis found herself up forward on a couple of occasions, slotting through two of the Knights’ three majors. Gabby Newton was a star, this time in defence, proving she can play just about anywhere on the field. Young gun, Ellie McKenzie had another standout performance for the Knights, as did Nell Morris-Dalton. Other solid contributors included Paije Kearney and Ashleigh Snow. 

 

Sandringham Dragons 10.14. (74) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 0.3 (3)

By: Matt Balmer 

The Sandringham Dragons kept their slim TAC Cup grand final berth alive with a strong 71-point win over the Bendigo Pioneers at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Saturday.

The Pioneers got an early score, but after that moment they struggled to get the ball inside their half of the ground, as the Dragons dominated. Forward, Holly Bate booted five first half goals, eventually finishing the match with 7.2 and a set shot after the siren on a very very tough angle not scoring to finish the match. Eleanor Brown marked exceptionally well during the contest and was the best player on the ground, as a marking machine. Abbie McKay had a strong second half, while captain, Jemma Owen led from the front as always in the midfield.

Despite not booting a goal, Megan Williamson was the Pioneers’ clear best, working very hard in the defensive half of the ground. Williamson hit up multiple targets on her left boot and competed well during the match.

 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels 3.4 (22) defeated Gippsland Power 1.2 (8)

By: Matt Balmer 

The Greater Western Victoria Rebels collected their fifth win of the 2018 TAC Cup Girls competition with a hard fought 14-point victory over the Gippsland Power at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Saturday.

The match started in overcast conditions, before the heavens opened for the next hour after quarter-time, with constant rain keeping the scoring close, making for a great contest. Georgia Clarke was exceptional across half back, rebounding the ball well, while Nekaela Butler was judged the Rebels’ best. Sophie Van De Heuvel booted the best goal for the Rebels, snapping truly in the second quarter – with the AFLW Academy member playing a good game as a high half-forward.

For the Power, Tyla Hanks was the clear standout, tackling hard and winning the contested ball. Hanks had multiple inside 50s and showed why she is one of the leading performers from the TAC Cup Girls this season. She also booted a great goal in the last quarter, keeping the Power in the contest – but ultimately they left their run too late, after trailing 16-2 at three-quarter time.