NORTHERN Knights and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ victories have seen them rewarded with the most nominees in the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls Team of the Week for round seven. The Knights had a 71-point victory over Bendigo Pioneers, while the Rebels just got home in a thriller against the Murray Bushrangers, but both had some standout players, particularly up forward.
The other four winning teams, as well as Gippsland Power and Western Jets also had two nominees, while the Bendigo Pioneers, Calder Cannons, Bushrangers and Oakleigh Chargers all had the one nominee for the week. It was a tough call this round with so many midfielders and forwards putting their hand up. So much so, that GWV Rebels midfielder Sophie Molan slipped onto a half-back flank, a role she has played at times throughout the season, to fit them in.
GWV Rebels most consistent trio of Molan, Sophie Van De Heuvel and Georgia Clarke made the side this week, with Clarke’s efforts at centre half-back and Van De Heuvel’s work through the mid-forward region earning them spots in the 22 with Molan. For the Knights, they had no shortage of firepower up front, with Britney Gutknecht (six goals), Ellie McKenzie (three) and Jess Fitzgerald (two) causing all sorts of headaches for the Pioneers, and therefore earned spots in the Team of the Week. The likes of Knights’ defender Olivia Dikranis and Rebels’ captain Lauren Butler were also considered, but just missed out.
Jazz Ferguson made her debut in the Team of the Week after a number of close calls, chosen as starting ruck for the team this round, while teammate and Power co-captain Tyla Hanks made it six teams from six games played, once again named in the 22. Eastern Ranges’ exciting mid-forward Gabriella De Angelis also made the side, as did her teammate and Ranges’ co-captain Emerson Woods, who slots onto a wing for her performance on the weekend. On the other wing is Geelong Falcons star Nina Morrison, named in the team with Sophie Walmsley, who booted two goals playing midfield and forward; named at centre-half forward for her height in a team littered with talented mid-forwards.
Rounding out the starting midfield was Calder Cannons’ captain Madison Prespakis, who like Hanks, has been named in the team every week she has played. Tough inside midfielder Chelsea Knight made the side for her efforts in the Bushrangers’ defeat, with Kate Adams and Tamara Smith others considered unlucky not to have squeezed in, for what was truly a team performance. Bendigo Pioneers’ midfielder Kodi Jacques has been no stranger to making the Team of the Week, named her side’s best once again, as was ruck Bridie Winbanks, with the Chargers’ tall rotating with Ferguson in this team. Forward Melanie Bertuna was also considered for Team of the Week, but just missed out.
The Dandenong Stingrays have been known for their strong defence, and it is no surprise to see two defenders made the team this week after a great win over Oakleigh. AFLW Academy member and Stingrays’ captain Jordyn Allen made the side once again, as did running machine Shelley Heath. In the other back pocket was Alice Burke who made the team for the second time this season, in the starting 18 with her teammate Holly Bate who booted five goals for the Sandringham Dragons in their win over the Western Jets. Speaking of the Jets, key defender Isabelle Pritchard made the side for the third time this season, locking down full-back, with the consistent Elisabeth Georgostathis named on the bench.