THIS year’s Vic Country side may be one of the strongest Vic Country sides ever, with many premiership players set to take the field in their home territory on Saturday. The side consists of 17 and 18 year-olds, with the 18 year-olds having a chance to be drafted by an AFLW side in the AFLW Draft later this year. The TAC Cup Girls sides who feature in the Country line-up are the Bendigo Pioneers, Dandenong Stingrays, Geelong Falcons, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Murray Bushrangers.
The finest Victorian metropolitan female footballers will face Vic Country in the side’s first hit-out in the AFL Women’s Under 18 National Championships. The game will take place at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong on Saturday at 1pm. Players featured are born in the years 2000 and 2001, with those born in 2000 being eligible for this year’s AFLW Draft. The TAC Cup Girls sides featured in the Vic Metro squad are the Calder Cannons, Eastern Ranges, Northern Knights, Oakleigh Chargers, Sandringham Dragons and Western Jets.
B: 35. Lucinda Cripps – 23. Lucy McEvoy – 11. Lauren Butler
HB: 5. Emily Haeusler – 25. Georgia Clarke – 22. Bec Webster
C: 8. Sophie Van De Heuvel – 16. Molly McDonald – 9. Nina Morrison
HF: 10. Nikia Webber – 24. Millie Brown – 20. Isabella Shannon
F: 2. Julia Harvey – 26. Amy Dunn – 7. Olivia Purcell
R: 21. Rene Caris – 14. Jordyn Allen – 6. Tyla Hanks
INT: 3. Kodi Jacques – 1. Shelley Heath – 32. Courtney Jones – 19. Tarryn Love
EMG: 13. Tamara Smith – 33. Sophie Molan
Vic Country squad:
Balanced Midfielder | 163cm | Bendigo Pioneers
Jacques is the definition of never giving up. She always applies herself to every contest and has a beautiful deft kick, quick hands and an ability to enforce plenty of pressure acts to trouble opponents.
Inside Midfielder/General Forward | 168cm | Dandenong Stingrays
A powerful player with good body work, which allows her to win the ball plenty of times in dangerous positions. Her kick is one of the longest in the competition, and when she uses it inside 50, it is quite damaging.
Inside Midfielder/Tall Forward | 169cm | Dandenong Stingrays
Shannon’s strong hands and long kicking allows her to create scoring opportunities for her side. She was able to put away a couple of goals for the Stingrays during the TAC Cup Girls season, kicking 11 goals from nine games.
Inside Midfielder/Tall Defender | 174cm | Dandenong Stingrays
Allen has one of the best sets of hands in the TAC Cup Girls competition, intercepting everything that comes her way. She also has a very accurate kick that allows her to pinpoint opponents, demonstrating her ability to always find the right option.
Key Position Utility | 175cm | Dandenong Stingrays
Cripps has a really clever kick and utilises it to spear passes to teammates perfectly. She also runs hard and displays good movement in space to penetrate the ball forward.
Outside Midfielder/General Defender | 167cm | Dandenong Stingrays
McDonald’s versatility held her in good stead throughout the Stingrays season. This was recognised by her coaches as she was named in the best four times throughout the season.
Outside Midfielder/General Defender | 160cm | Dandenong Stingrays
Has immense speed that can break a game open. Bobs up at every contest and uses her quick hands to get teammates out of trouble.
Tall Utility | 172cm | Geelong Falcons
McEvoy’s strong hands and long kicking combined for plenty of forward thrusts for the Falcons during the season. Her quick hands on the inside are invaluable and she is a player that can play solid footy throughout the game, never seeming to drop off in effort and stamina.
Balanced Midfielder | 167cm | Geelong Falcons
One of the best chase-down tacklers in the TAC Cup Girls competition, Morrison always put on the afterburners to cause turnovers and headaches for the opposition. Her precision kicking and quick hands on the outside also provided an opportunity for her teammates to run into space and create scoring opportunities.
Inside Midfielder | 161cm | Geelong Falcons
Purcell is one of the strongest tacklers in the TAC Cup Girls competition, as she can stop an opponent in their tracks instantly. Her work on the inside can often be game-changing, as she uses her long penetrating kick to create movement or her slick handballing to gradually build up a scoring opportunity.
Balanced Midfielder | 165cm | Geelong Falcons
Love has a huge tank as her running on the outside seems to never stop. She always goes in hard for the footy and can utilise space with speed and power when she gets it.
Ruck | 180cm | Gippsland Power
Has really strong hands and isn’t afraid to take powerful contested marks. Presents a valuable target for her teammates as she is able to use the ball well both by hand and by foot.
General Defender | 163cm | Gippsland Power
Hauesler seemed to improve in each TAC Cup Girls game, patrolling the back line with hard running and strong hands. Her kicking is an asset in her game as her rebound out of defensive 50 provides teammates with the opportunity to move forward.
General Forward | 169cm | Gippsland Power
An exciting forward who hunts the footy well inside 50. Webber managed to kick 12 goals from eight games and complemented this with a high level of forward pressure.
Balanced Midfielder | 157cm | Gippsland Power
Hanks is one of the most influential players in the TAC Cup Girls competition, demonstrated through being named in the best in each game that she played throughout the season. Her quick hands and clearing kicks were invaluable for the Power, and her strong tackling complemented this, never allowing her opponents to have an inch of space.
Key Position Defender | 177cm | GWV Rebels
Clarke was one of the best defenders in the TAC Cup Girls competition, as her strong hands and ability to win one-on-one contests is second to none. She always positions herself well across half-back and can rebound the ball fiercely out of defensive 50, giving the opposition no chance to slingshot the ball back inside 50.
Balanced Midfielder | 170cm | GWV Rebels
One of the most consistent players in the competition, Butler hurts opponents with her ability to nullify their impact through great defensive efforts in the midfield. Always plays the team role and applies herself at every contest.
Ruck | 184cm | GWV Rebels
An agile ruck that has a great vertical leap, but can also work around the ground to get herself in dangerous offensive and defensive positions. Matched it up with a mature ruck in the AFLW Academy’s hit-out against Geelong VFLW.
Sophie Van De Heuvel
Inside Midfielder/ General Forward | 171cm | GWV Rebels
Had one of the best kicks in the TAC Cup Girls competition, and used it well wherever she played. She is especially lively in the forward line, where she was able to kick six goals this season.
Inside Midfielder/General Defender | 172cm | Murray Bushrangers
A player that wins the hard ball on plenty of occasions in the depths of congestion. Has a really long kick that is useful both in the midfield and in defence, where she would often play to steady the ship for the Bushrangers.
Inside Midfielder/General Forward | 164cm | Murray Bushrangers
A tough inside midfielder that is not afraid to go in hard for the footy. Can also rotate up forward where she uses her precise kicking to create scoring opportunities.
Tall Utility | 176cm | Murray Bushrangers
Provides penetration with her kicking and strength in marking contests. Can also move into the ruck, using her strong overhead ability to her advantage.
Inside Midfielder | 161cm | Murray Bushrangers
Has great agility and can move well laterally. Also has a good set of hands and always applies herself at the contest.
Tall Utlity | 176cm | GWV Rebels
Although her best work is done on the outside, Molan can play in other positions on the field, demonstrating her versatility. Wherever she plays, she moves the ball well and finds plenty of it, allowing her to showcase her consistency during the TAC Cup Girls season.
B: 13. Molly Warburton – 24. Charlotte Wilson – 32. Lauren Szigeti
HB: 17. Georgia Macpherson – 20. Gabby Newton – Hannah McLaren
C: Emerson Woods – 7. Mikala Cann – 21. Eleanor Brown
HF: 14. Isabella Grant – 19. Laura McClelland – 9. Daisy Bateman
F: 14. Maddy Brancatisano – 36. Holly Bate – 23. Sarah Kendall
R: 35. Carla Rendelmann – 6. Madison Prespakis – 22. Katie Lynch
INT: 1. Marnie Jarvis – 2. Jemma Owen – 8. Georgia Patrikios -18. Abbie McKay
Vic Metro squad:
Ruck | 182cm | Calder Cannons
Really powerful in the ruck and is able to manipulate her taps to her midfielders. Can get good penetration on her taps and is a good ball-user, especially by foot.
General Forward | 171cm | Calder Cannons
An exciting forward who knows where the goals are. Her agility is arguably the most impressive in the TAC Cup Girls competition, as she would easily side-step opponents and surge forward with her lovely kicking.
Balanced Midfielder | 164cm | Calder Cannons
Prespakis is arguably the most damaging player in the TAC Cup Girls competition. She was named best-on-ground by her coaches in seven of the eight games she played, thanks to her brilliant long kicking, strong tackling and outstanding leadership, allowing herself to make an impact both in the midfield and in the forward line.
Tall Defender | 174cm | Calder Cannons
A strong defender who excels at playing a lock-down role. Warburton has strong hands and can penetrate the ball forward with her long kick out of defence.
Ruck/Key Position Defender | 177cm | Eastern Ranges
Wilson holds up the fort immensely well in defence, often creating a wall of her own to block opposition forwards from surging inside 50. The Ranges co-captain can also double up in the ruck and make an impact thanks to her impressive endurance and high footy IQ.
General Forward/Inside Midfielder | 171cm | Eastern Ranges
Woods is a forward who can be extremely damaging once she gets on a roll. She has strong hands and gets good penetration on her kicks.
Tall Defender | 173cm | Eastern Ranges
One of the strongest sets of hands in the TAC Cup Girls competition, Macpherson is a contested and uncontested marking beast. Her high level of endurance enables her to patrol the back line and divert opposition players from kicking the ball near her, as she mops up the footy immediately.
Tall Forward | 175cm | Eastern Ranges
McClelland booted 11 goals from nine games this season, including a bag of four against the Oakleigh Chargers. She is dangerous whenever she gets the ball in hand and is an accurate kick for goal.
Small Defender | 162cm | Eastern Ranges
An aggressive defender who applied herself to every contest, the Ranges players sure enjoyed having Szigeti around their side. She always goes in hard for the footy and is usually found at the bottom of every contest, showing her desperation to win the footy.
Balanced Midfielder | 173cm | Eastern Ranges
A speedy midfielder who has incredibly good hands. Cann’s aggressive tackling was also a highlight of her TAC Cup Girls season, which she used to complement her smart kicking.
Ruck | 178cm | Eastern Ranges
Kendall is a dangerous ruck who makes an impact whenever she gets the ball in hand. Her ruck-work is impressive but it’s her follow-up work that makes all the difference, as she hunts the ball down and manages to hit targets, whether it’d be through a quick-fire handball or a booming kick.
Tall Utility | 178cm | Northern Knights
At just 16, Newton is immensely talented and one of the most influential players in the TAC Cup Girls competition. She can turn a game on its head thanks to her powerful kicking and swift ball-use, whether it’d be in the ruck or in the midfield.
Inside Midfielder | 169cm | Northern Knights
Brancatisano is a hard inside midfielder that has an outstanding defensive game. Not only can she move the ball well through the contest, but she can also play a shut-down role on an opposition player and tackles hard, not giving her opponent an inch of space.
Outside Midfielder | 160cm | Northern Knights
Jarvis’ outside run provided plenty of X factor for the Knights this year. She was able to move the ball quickly on the wing and either utilised or created space whenever she had the opportunity to do so.
General Forward | 166cm | Oakleigh Chargers
Bateman is a goal-kicking machine, kicking 14 goals from seven games which included a bag of five in round six. She has a high footy IQ and positions herself really well deep in the forward line.
Tall Utility | 176cm | Oakleigh Chargers
McLaren’s strong hands are a huge asset in her game. She also has a long kick that gets her teammates out of trouble, and can back up her work behind the ball to stop any forward penetration by the opposition.
Balanced Midfielder | 179cm | Oakleigh Chargers
Lynch is a ball magnet and can use it well when she accumulates it. She can clear the ball out of a stoppage in an instant and her tackling is fierce.
Inside Midfielder | 171cm | Sandringham Dragons
McKay has a high work ethic in the middle of the ground and uses her clean hands to get the ball forward. She is strong overhead and provides some great X factor moments that can influence the game.
Outside Midfielder | 176cm | Sandringham Dragons
Brown is one of the most classy and mature players in the TAC Cup Girls competition. Her ability to find space is second-to-none and she can even create space for her teammates with her long kick and strong hands on the outside.
Key Position Forward | 180cm | Sandringham Dragons
The leading goal kicker of the TAC Cup Girls competition with 18 goals from nine games, including seven goals in round eight. Bate is a mobile forward who positions herself well against an opponent and applies great forward pressure.
Inside Midfielder | 165cm | Sandringham Dragons
A hard-nosed midfielder who tackles strongly and moves the ball well both by hand and by foot. Owen can also float up forward and make an impact inside 50, showcasing her impressive endurance and high work ethic.
Tall Utility | 176cm | Western Jets
A key player for the Western Jets this year, Grant was an impact player that utilised her powerful marking and long kicking to surge her side forward. She always knows where to position herself on the ground and often sees the opportunity to play on into space and move the ball quickly.
Gabriella De Angelis
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward | 155cm | Eastern Ranges
De Angelis is a pint-sized pocket rocket, as her speed and endurance enable her to apply herself at every contest. She is a clever ball-user, and can get a few goals on the board when she gets the chance.
General Forward/Inside Midfielder | 167cm | Northern Knights
Gutknecht is a versatile player that can make an impact in any position. She excels at both being a midfielder and being a forward, shown by her booming kick from the stoppage and her bag of seven goals against the Bendigo Pioneers.