Scouting notes: National AFLW Under 18s Championships

VIC Metro made it two from two when it backed up its U16s victory with a win against Vic Country. It was a tight and heated battle throughout, but Metro prevailed thanks to some magic from captain, Maddy PrespakisPeter Williams (Country) and Julia Montesano (Metro) were there to witness the action, and took notes on the players, based on their opinions.

 

Vic Country: 

#1 Shelley Heath

The speedster showed off her trademark running game along the wing and half-back, often picking up the loose ball, taking the game on and booting long inside 50. She particularly came alive in the fourth quarter with a couple of long kicks after runs, but the Metro defence was up to the task, with Georgia Macpherson intercepting a good kick deep.

#2 Julia Harvey

Looked busy early and worked hard across the game, noticeable in bright green boots. She tried to have a shot on goal inside 50 in the first term but was run down and caught holding the ball. Just found space inside 50 and had a shot which dropped short in the second term, and a snap which missed. While she did not kick a goal, she was having shots on goal and just buzzing around. She laid a number of good tackles as well, applying good defensive pressure, before copping a knock in the final term on the wing.

#3 Kodi Jacques

Went in very hard early, hitting the packs, and copped a knock but got up. Continued to battle hard on the inside.

#5 Emily Haeusler

Won a hard ball at half-back in the second term and nullified the contest by forcing a throw-in. She then laid a great run-down tackle on Marnie Jarvis in the third term to win a free inside defensive 50.

#6 Tyla Hanks

Played to expectations and put in a four quarter effort. She was often played down forward as others were tried in the midfield roles, but led up the ground and impacted at half-forward. Moved onto the wing and had a number of touches and worked hard, winning the ball on a wing and then somehow receiving it back inside 50. Had a great kick to Julia Harvey in the second term inside 50, and took a good contested mark under pressure in the third term and delivered it lace out to a leading Rebecca Webster inside 50. Her one set shot from 45 metres missed to the right.

#7 Olivia Purcell

By the end of the game she was one of Country’s highest possession winners with Jordyn Allen. Worked really hard on the inside and continually copped a few hard knocks burrowing under the packs or diving on the footy. She charged out of the midfield and would pump the ball long, turning it over a few times, but was putting it to dangerous areas inside 50. She had a set shot from 40 metres and delivered late in the game after taking a contested mark. One of Country’s better players in the end who consistently put pressure on the ball carrier.

#8 Sophie Van De Heuvel

Had a big run-down tackle in the first term but was found to have caught her opponent high. She used the ball well when she won it, and took a good mark at half-forward in the final term with a kick inside 50.

#9 Nina Morrison

One of the more influential Country players in the first half, constantly putting on the jets and sprinting away through midfield. She showed quick hands and dished off to teammates on the outside, and took a good mark in the second term and not breaking stride, kicked long inside 50. She also produced a fantastic smother on Madison Prespakis at half-forward and let her know about it. Laid a great tackle in the fourth term to win a free kick.

#10 Nikia Webber

Played a good balance of offence and defence, unlucky not to kick a goal. Had a couple of shots with one snap in the final term missing to the left, and an early shot smothered, with a follow-up kick to the goal square. She provided forward pressure on the ball carrier throughout the match.

#11 Lauren Butler

A hard worker for four quarters, she ran throughout the game just covering a lot of ground and putting pressure on her opponents. She was good one-on-one in defence, punching it away, and also showed nice agility to sidestep an opponent and move through traffic. In the fourth term she harassed multiple ball carriers on the wing, forcing them to handball quickly with less time to decide on an option.

#14 Jordyn Allen

One of the best Country players on the day, Allen stood up throughout the game and took some really good intercept marks in the middle of the ground. She used the ball fairly well under pressure and looked to kick long to half-forward or deep inside 50. Her decision making was good and when many others went quiet in the second half, she was still plugging along. Captain of Vic Country, you can see why with the amount of work she displayed throughout the match.

#16 Molly McDonald

Started in the midfield and had some impressive kicks in the opening term. She linked up well in the chain from midfield to half-forward and won a number of possessions.

#19 Tarryn Love

Ran hard in the second term and was involved in a couple of possessions towards goal in the second term, but could not get enough space to kick so had to give off a quick handball. Continued to tackle hard and put pressure on her opponents.

#20 Isabella Shannon

Played predominantly forward and up on the wing, Shannon won a free kick 35 metres out, but her set shot just drifted to the left. She played a good pressure game up the field, laying a couple of tackles on the wing.

#21 Rene Caris

An impressive performance from the ruck. She showed good mobility both in the air and at ground level and played a consistent game throughout. She took a couple of strong marks and provided a target around the ground. Caris was clean at ground level and provided good second efforts after the ruck contest. Smart with her tap placements.

#22 Rebecca Webster

Had a great chase and run-down tackle on an opponent to stop a shot on goal early, and worked into it through the middle of the game winning some crucial touches in all areas of the ground. Took a good mark dropping into space inside the forward 50 but her shot went to the left. She won the ball on the wing later in the game but was pushed as she was kicked, the ball went out on the full but she got a free kick for her efforts.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Easily Country’s best early and was consistent throughout the four quarters. Played in defence then moved forward late, she rebounded everything she could get her hands to in the opening half. She took.a number of intercept marks, including contested ones, and laid some good tackles. She was tasked with the kick-in duties and kicked long to defensive 50 when possible. McEvoy showed her strength by shrugging off an opponent and kicking cleanly out of the back 50, and laid a good tackle on Prespakis in defence late in the game.

#24 Millie Brown

Brown showed quick hands when winning it in the air and covered ground between midfield and forward.

#25 Georgia Clarke

Played well in defence early, then was moved forward. Pushed up the ground and won a vital one-on-one at high half-back but the kick was intercepted. She had another kick long to the wing but it just missed its target and bounced out. Clarke pulled down a great intercept mark in the second term despite copping front-on contact. Almost took a mark in the forward pocket in the final term but was spoiled.

#26 Amy Dunn

Dunn had the highlight of the game with an amazing set shot from the pocket. Tucked up against the boundary line 30 metres out, she had a dead-eye set shot that split the middle. She put pressure on her opponents throughout the match.

#32 Courtney Jones

Jones played off half-back and pushed up the ground, winning a number of possessions in the defensive half of the ground. She had a nice pick-up clean off the ground on the wing and used good vision to find the running Jordyn Allen in midfield. She showed exceptionally quick hands in the final term to give it to Tyla Hanks on the wing.

#35 Lucinda Cripps

Did not see a lot of it in defence, keeping her opponents tightly guarded. She provided a good highlight with a run-down tackle in the second term for a holding the ball free kick.  

 

Vic Metro: 

#1 Marnie Jarvis

Attempted to pick up a ground ball and when it didn’t work out for her, she followed her efforts up with a nice tackle. Was good in a one-on-one contest and still always tried to push through the bigger bodies, showing great strength. Jarvis’ aggressive tackling was a highlight of her game, which helped Metro to gain a defensive advantage. Also took a nice intercept mark to finish off a good day out for her.

#2 Jemma Owen

Tackled a Country forward then followed up her work with another tackle to stop inside 50 penetration by the opposition. Was versatile across the ground.

#3 Emerson Woods

Woods started the game really well, getting a few early touches. Won herself a free kick in the middle of the ground which got the momentum going for Metro. She also created the first inside 50 of the game with a nicely delivered kick to teammate, Katie Lynch. Her kicking in general was fantastic, demonstrating a nice follow through on her kicking action. This ensured that she got optimal penetration on her kicks, giving them height and precision. Also gave off a good handball while being tackled, often standing up in the contest when she was required to do so.

#6 Maddy Prespakis

Prespakis was the game-changer for Metro, kicking two goals in two minutes to turn the game on its head. Her first goal was from a free kick in the goal square while her second was a work of art, as she picked the ball up off the deck, spun around, and snapped a brilliant goal over her shoulder. She improved as each quarter went on, damaging Country with her elite strength and ball use. In one instance, she hacked a lovely booming kick out of defensive 50 to get the ball forward for Metro and shortly after, she bullocked through a stoppage, backing up so many on-field efforts. Her kicking out of the back half was vital for Metro, as they went long to the centre square and opened up the floodgates for her teammates. Prespakis also demonstrated great agility when she sold a bit of candy, dodged two players then streamed out of defensive 50. Laid a good tackle that affected a forward entry for Country, and ended up straight in teammate, Katie Lynch’s hands. Clearance work was fantastic as she got two in a minute. Her marking was also strong, highlighted by a great contested mark in defensive 50. Prespakis played everywhere and had an impact wherever she went.

#7 Mikala Cann

Cann was another player who showed strong defensive presence in the midfield with plenty of tackles. Laid a strong tackle on Jordyn Allen to create a stoppage, halting Country’s momentum. She then created momentum for Vic Metro when she laid a good tackle that won her a free kick, which started a chain that ended in a Metro goal. Also showed good desperation to win the footy when she dived into the contest to save the ball from going into Country’s forward 50.

#8 Georgia Patrikios

Executed her signature sidestep when she followed up a good passage of run and carry followed by a lovely sidestep to get the ball out of defensive 50. Patrikios’ hands were strong and clean, and was able to use her marking to effect. This was demonstrated when she took a solid grab and bravely played on under pressure, which was effective for Metro and kept the ball moving. Did the little things throughout the game such as when she smothered a Tyla Hanks kick towards goal. Delivered a nice long kick into the centre square off one step, demonstrating her impressive kicking skills. I thought she was a lifesaver in defence, especially when she laid a great tackle on Isabella Shannon that won her a free kick. In the middle of the ground, she gave off a nice handball to a teammate on the outside and when it didn’t work out, she followed it up, showing great second efforts throughout the day.

#9 Daisy Bateman

Bateman created lots of opportunities inside 50, leading well to the ball drop of her teammates’ kicks. She deserved her third quarter goal as she was on the receiving end of every scoring opportunity. Also displayed good forward pressure when she caused her opponent to kick the ball out of bounds on the full.

#10 Maddy Brancatisano

Brancatisano stood up in a tackle multiple times, showing her strength in the contest. Followed these efforts up with quick, clean hands, often finding her teammates running on the outside. Also demonstrated good running when she accelerated well towards the centre of the ground.

#13 Molly Warburton

Held the fort down in defence well when she got a kick away to get it out of congestion. Followed up her efforts when she dropped a mark, as she kept hunting the footy and created a handy stoppage. Got Metro out of trouble when she hacked a kick out of defensive 50. Her kicks out of the back half were good overall.

#14 Isabella Grant

Ball did not come near her that often but played the role she needed to on the day. Her defensive efforts were pivotal and she excelled in that area. Grant tackled an opponent well to stop a forward movement for Country and also laid a good smother in defensive 50.

#15 Hannah McLaren

McLaren took a nice intercept mark, demonstrating her capabilities as a defensive midfielder. She had a brilliant moment when she gave away a free kick for a high tackle then had good awareness to chase down the Country player and win the free kick back for holding the ball.

#17 Georgia Macpherson

Without Macpherson, Country would have had two or three more goals on the board and won the game. This is because she smothered a Country kick for goal and then laid a good bump on an opponent to save another goal. Macpherson also took a great mark running back with the flight of the ball which saved an easy set shot in the goal square for Country. Demonstrated strong body work throughout, getting handballs away while being tackled and bumping opponents to rid them of the ball. As usual, her intercept marking was superb.

#18 Abbie McKay

Had a flying start and looked comfortable in the big ‘V’. Did some good work to run and get a kick away while being tackled. Followed this off by taking a nice mark off a Katie Lynch kick. McKay often created forward run with efforts like these. She then got in the forward line herself when she got the ball from long range and kicked a goal, backing herself to do so. Also did well defensively when she laid a great tackle that affected a Country kick inside 50 as well as chase-down tackle that earned her a free kick. McKay’s hands were sound, as she calmly picked the ball up off the deck, avoiding a rushed movement.  

#19 Laura McClelland

McClelland showed strong hands when she took a lovely juggling mark in a contested situation. Executed great body work to take a mark coming into the side of the contest. Followed this up with a nice kick to the top of the square.

#20 Gabby Newton

A highlight of Newton’s game was when she demonstrated great closing speed to chase down Julia Harvey and win a dropping the ball free kick. Also showed clean hands throughout the game, especially when she executed a good one-two with Knights teammate, Maddy Brancatisano. As usual, Newton’s kicking was great, as she got a kick away while being tackled and executed a nice deft kick that hit Katie Lynch perfectly.

#21 Eleanor Brown

Took a nice one-on-one mark on the wing and centered it nicely to Katie Lynch. As usual, she executed good run and carry, getting the ball forward with some nice kicks as a result of this momentum. Brown also took a great intercept mark to rebound the ball defensively, demonstrating her hard running into various positions on the ground.  She nearly took two intercept marks in a row but when she dropped the second mark, she followed up her efforts with a handball on the outside to Georgia Patrikios, showing good composure. Had a clever moment when she tapped the ball out of her opponent’s hands and trapped it well afterwards.

#22 Katie Lynch

Lynch was on the end of everything, presenting to the ball at every chance she got. Got involved early by getting plenty of the footy and using it well. She executed a nice long kick towards the middle of the ground, which opened up the play for Metro. Lynch’s endurance was on display, as she played forward and then backed up her work in the back line. A highlight of her game was when she had the ball in one hand and fended off strongly with another, getting the ball forward for Metro. Laid a great tackle to win a holding the ball free kick and followed this effort up with a spearing pass to Oakleigh teammate, Daisy Bateman which hit her perfectly on the chest. Lynch’s marking was outstanding as she took a great one-on-one mark and a good intercept mark, following this up with good awareness to handball to a running player behind her. Complemented her strong hands with good run and carry, topping off a great all-round performance.

#23 Sarah Kendall

Kendall did well in the ruck when she was required to go in there, competing well aerially. Was another one who displayed great second efforts, which was shown when she dropped a mark but still tried to win the footy.

#24 Charlotte Wilson

Wilson was a solid rock in defensive 50, controlling the back line well. Her one percenters were particularly a highlight, as she held the ball up well in defensive 50 and created a stoppage to prevent Country from streaming forward. Also did well under pressure, demonstrated when she trapped the ball on the boundary line and found a teammate with a handball over her shoulder. Completed her great defensive efforts by laying a solid tackle that stopped her opponent in her tracks.

#32 Lauren Szigeti

Szigeti was solid on the last line of defence, often saving the ball from going towards goal. This was shown when she took a good juggling intercept mark to halt Country’s momentum going forward. Also laid a great tackle on Olivia Purcell while she was streaming inside 50 which gave her nowhere to go. Szigeti did well to mop up kicks inside defensive 50, hacking the ball out of the back half with purpose.

#35 Carla Rendelmann

As usual, Rendelmann was solid in the ruck, giving her midfielders prime opportunity to run onto the footy. Often punched the ball into space, showing good situational awareness. I thought she showed a hint of versatility when she chased fast midfielders hard when they had the ball in hand.

#36 Holly Bate

Bate was lively inside 50, giving herself a chance to get on the scoreboard. Delivered a nice kick to the top of the square from outside 50, giving it nice height. Always tried to get involved in the inside 50 contests.

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