Author: James Halley

Season reviews: VFLW – Richmond

RICHMOND started and ended its Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season with a win, but fell away in the middle. The Tigers lost every game between their byes, but had some impressive and unexpected wins against the Bulldogs, Melbourne University, Southern Saints, as well as Essendon. With an AFLW team on the horizon, the future is bright for these players, as they will get the opportunity to further prove themselves by cementing some more wins in the 2019 VFLW season.

Position: 12th
Win-loss:
 4-10
Percentage: 69%

Results:

Round 1: Defeated Western Bulldogs by 38 points
Round 2: Lost against Darebin by 39 points
Round 3: Lost against Collingwood by 43 points
Round 4: Lost against Williamstown by 31 points
Round 5: Defeated Essendon by 34 points
Round 6: Defeated Melbourne University by 29 points
Round 7: Bye
Round 8: Lost against Hawthorn by four points
Round 9: Lost against Essendon by eight points
Round 10: Lost against Casey by 18 points
Round 11: Lost against NT Thunder by 23 points
Round 12: Lost against Carlton by 41 points
Round 13: Lost against Geelong by 59 points
Round 14: Lost against Williamstown by one point
Round 15: Bye
Round 16: Defeated Southern Saints by three points

 

Key players:

#52 Jessica Kennedy

Kennedy captained Richmond for its inaugural VFLW season. She is an inside midfielder who is quick, courageous and is also an incredibly smart footballer. She took out Richmond’s Best and Fairest by one vote with 49, with Jacqueline Graham finishing second.

#68 Alice Edmonds

She was outstanding in the ruck for Richmond all year, exceeding expectations. Her dominance gave the likes of Kennedy first use of the football in the middle of the ground. She was rewarded with VFLW Team of the Year honours on the bench as a relief ruck.

#53 Kate Dixon

Dixon was named the vice-captain for the Tigers in season 2018, and took charge of the forward line with her presence. She was the spearhead at full-forward that Richmond needed to crash packs and take pack marks. She won the club’s goal kicking with nine goals from fourteen games.

#63 Jacqueline Graham

Jacqueline Graham had an outstanding year, playing in the back line for Richmond. Nothing would get past her which led to her being named in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year. She was further rewarded for her efforts in the back half with finishing second in the club’s best and fairest count, one vote behind winner, Jessica Kennedy. She was able to not just beat her opponents but also spread and win her fair share of the ball, which was an advantage for the Tigers as they used her damaging kicks to start attacks from the back half.

 

Season summary:

Finishing twelfth may not have been the result that Richmond was looking for ahead of the 2018 season, however four wins in season 2018 will spur the Tigers on for greater success in 2019. Although they did have some blowout losses, they did not let defeat keep them down. They finished the season off strong, losing to Williamstown by one point then beating the Southern Saints by three. The season highlight for the Tigers would be in Round 1, when they knocked off AFLW premiers, the Western Bulldogs by 38 points in a win that surprised many.

AFL Draft Central’s VFLW Team of the Year

PICKING the AFL Draft Central Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Team of the Year was very difficult as there has been numerous terrific performers throughout the year. We compiled the best 22 players at the end of the VFLW home and away season, which takes into account the standout performers from the 16 rounds of VFLW this season.

Jess Duffin starts in the centre due to her outstanding season for Williamstown. She was picked in the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Week five times during the season, showing how dominant she was in the competition. She had a wonderful VFLW season and will hope to continue her great form with North Melbourne in the upcoming AFL Women’s season. Darcy Vescio is rightfully named at full forward after winning the VFLW goalkicking award, with 26 goals from nine matches. Nine of these goals were kicked against the Bombers in Round 16.

The back line is headlined by Hawthorn gun defender, Jayde Van Dyk. Van Dyk has been a revelation this season with her consistency and ability to lock down key players. Richmond’s Jacqueline Graham, who was also great down back for her side, accompanies Van Dyk in the back line. She featured in the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Week eight times, which is only beaten by Jayde Van Dyk and Jess Duffin’s nine appearances.

The midfield is littered with some of the competition’s superstars. Ashleigh Riddell was outstanding for Melbourne University across the wing, while Alison Drennan was extremely reliable for the Southern Saints. She appeared in the Team of the Week seven times this season. Darebin’s Lauren Pearce got the nod to be the starting ruck as she was one of the standout rucks in the competition alongside Rhiannon Watt (Southern Saints) and Alice Edmonds (Richmond). Pearce just edged out the latter duo to make the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Year.

The forward line has plenty of fire-power and is easily capable of kicking a winning score. On the left half-forward flank is NT’s Jess Sedunary, who finished third in the goalkicking tally. Alongside her at centre-half forward is North Melbourne recruit, Jasmine Garner, who kicked 10 goals in nine games for the Seagulls.

The bench consists of midfield pair, Richelle Cranston (Geelong) and Jenna Bruton (Williamstown) as well as utility, Katherine Gillespie-Jones (Melbourne University). Rounding out the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Year is Thunder captain, Angela Foley. Foley was able to provide outstanding leadership while simultaneously playing some consistent football.

Due to only 22 making the final cut, there was destined to be many unlucky players. Falcons forward, Hannah Mouncey can consider herself unlucky as she kicked the second-most goals in the competition. But as we saw with Tom Hawkins in the AFL, who did not make the 2018 All Australian side, goals sometimes are not enough. Hawthorn midfielder, Melissa Kuys is also unlucky as she had a great season leading from the front. Former Calder Cannons pair, Chloe Molloy and Madison Prespakis are two more who had an argument to be included in the Team of the Year, but will definitely be featuring prominently in the future.

Team Selection: VFLW – Week 1 Finals

As this week is the first week of finals, all of the remaining teams are making numerous changes in an attempt to find their best team when it counts. Audiences will be treated to two great games this weekend as the four best teams remain. It all starts will Collingwood and Hawthorn on Saturday morning.

 

VFLW Semi-Final 1

Collingwood v Hawthorn
Saturday September, 10.15am
Stannards Stadium

Hawthorn

B: Kim Ebb, Pepa Randall, Dianna Haines
HB: Jess Sibley, Melissa Kuys, Jayde Van Dyk
C: Meg Hutchins, Emma  Mackie, Tahni  Nestor
HF: Rebecca Beeson, Mikala Cann, Clare O’Donnell
F: Tamara Luke, Sarah Perkins, Phoebe McWilliams
R: Lou Wotton, Chantella Perera, Julia Crockett-Grills
Int: Steph Carroll, Rosie Dillon, Sarah Kendall, Ebony Nixon, Claire Dyett, Emily Gilder, Kara Henderson, Ellie Macdonald
23P: Emerson Woods

In: Emily Gilder, Melissa Kuys, Kara Henderson, Emerson Woods, Sarah Kendall
Out: Nicky Cormack

Hawthorn still has a selection dilemma on their hands with three further players to miss out on the final team that takes on Collingwood on Saturday. The Hawks will be ecstatic that they are regaining midfield superstar Melissa Kuys for the massive match against the Pies. Nicky Cormack is the unlucky one to miss out so far, but she will be waiting in the wings as an emergency for her chance to play on the big stage.

Collingwood

B: Katelyn Lee, Ruby Schleicher, Iilish Ross
HB: Sophie Casey, Hannah McLaren, Nicole Hales
C: Grace Buchan, Jamiee Lambert, Shayla Marsh
HF: Holly Whitford, Sophie Alexander, Brittany Bonnici
F: Chloe Molloy, Erica Fowler, Nicole Hildebrand
Foll: Eliza Hynes, Jessica Edwards, Kristy Stratton
Int: Sarah D’Arcy, Hillary Grubb, Emma Grant, Paige Nash
23P: Daisy Bateman

IN: Hannah McLaren, Sophie Alexander, Brittant Bonnici, Erica Fowler, Hillary Grubb, Sarah D’Arcy, Paige Nash, Emma Grant
OUT: Stacey Livingstone, Ally Bild, Carle Rooks, Amy Malander, Katie Lynch, Chloe Leighton, Julia Halaseh-Russo, Sarah King

Collingwood have made eight changes for their first final, with the hope that their inclusions will make the difference come game day. Hannah McLaren should help sure up their key back stocks while Collingwood are hoping Sophie Alexander can make a difference up forward. The Pies have lost AFLW star Sophie Livingstone, although they will be hoping to regain her later in the finals series.

 

VFLW Semi-Final 2

NT Thunder vs Geelong Cats
Sunday September, 9, 11.45am
Stannards Stadium, Port Melbourne

NT Thunder:

B: Samantha Barnett, Sarah Allan, Lisa Roberts
HB: Jenna McCormick, Tayla Thorn, Stevie-Lee Thompson
C: Katie Streader, Angela Foley, Jessica Sedunary
HF: Sally Riley, Anne Hatchard, Marijana Rajcic
F: Renee Forth, Jordann Hickey, Machaelia Roberts
FOLL: Jasmyn Hewett, Ebony Marinoff, Emma Swanson
INT: Sharona Bishop*, Lauren O’Shea, Sue Nalder, Kylie Duggan, Lateesha Jeffrey

IN: Sarah Allan, Sharona Bishop, Kylie Duggan, Anne Hatchard, Lauren O’Shea, Machaelia Roberts, Jessica Sedunary, Stevie-Lee Thompson
OUT:  Jessica Allan, Janet Baird, Georgia Bevan, Courtney Cramey, Abbey Holmes, Tahlia Holtze, Kristy Irvine, Madeline Keeble

Northern Territory has continued to make numerous changes with an unprecedented eight changes for the first week of the finals. Their inclusions are headlined by five AFLW players some big names who will make a difference in seeing NT making the grand final. Jess Sedunary has been a revelation up forward this VFLW season kicking 15 goals, which has her third in the competition. NT will be hoping that Stevie-Lee Thompson can light up the half back line and use her pace to set up attacks for NT.

Geelong Cats

B: Rebecca Pearce, Rebecca Goring, Anna Teague
HB: Amy McDonald, 25. Elise Coventry, Jamie Woollett
C: Cassandra Blakeway, Maighan Fogas, Hannah Burchell
HF: Nina Morrison, Jordan Ivey, Danielle Orr
F: Maddy Boyd, Mia Rae Clifford, Kate Darby
R: Erin Hoare, Madeline Keryk, Richelle Cranston
Int: Hannah Mangan, Maddy McMahon, Courtney Stevens, Hayley Trevean
23P: Olivia Purcell

In: E. Hoare, H. Trevean, N. Morrison, M. McMahon, M. Fedele, O. Purcell
Out: T. Love

Tarryn Love would be heartbroken to miss out in her first taste of finals football. While Hayley Trevean will add some added experience and leadership as she is apart of the team’s leadership group. Erin Hoare‘s inclusion will give them an advantage in the air, as her 194cm frame should dominate for Geelong.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 16

COLLINGWOOD, Hawthorn and Carlton all have three players each in the Team of the Week after their big wins on the weekend. On the other hand, every loser from the weekend only has one player in this week’s best 22, headlined by Kelly Thompson making her debut in the line-up.

The final home and away round gave fans plenty to smile about. Darcy Vescio kicking a season-high nine goals for Carlton to win the leading goal kicking award was a major highlight. She cemented her spot in the full forward position after her dominant performance against the Bombers. Hannah Scott was also tremendous for the Western Bulldogs, gathering 17 touches while pushing forward and kicking two goals, which proved pivotal in the Dogs’ four-point win over Darebin.

Gabriella Pound and Olivia Vesely both gained a spot in this week’s back line after both being instrumental in Carlton’s demolishing of Essendon. Bombers defender, Courtney Ugle has regained her spot after a two-week hiatus while Hawthorn’s Jayde Van Dyk is once again named at full back after a tidy match where she gathered 18 disposals.

Madeline Keryk starts in the midfield this week after an impressive 24 touches and a goal. A pattern that this week’s midfield has is that all players got forward and delivered with important goals, highlighted by Collingwood’s Jaimee Lambert kicking three and Hannah Scott kicking two for the red, white and blue.

Key forwards, Sarah Perkins (Hawthorn) and Kate Dixon (Richmond) helped get their team over the line with two goals apiece, and therefore earned a spot in the best 22 this week. Williamstown pair, Jasmine Garner and Jess Duffin also made their way into the side thanks to their sublime performances. In a change, Duffin was sent forward and delivered, kicking three goals, while Garner was also important with two goals. 

Round 16 was the final chance for some to gain a spot in the Team of the Week and there were many who staked their claim to come up short in the end. Collingwood’s Stacey Livingstone is one who is unlucky, as she kicked two goals from four scoring shots. Richelle Cranston is in the same boat as she was vital for Geelong in the midfield, collecting 25 disposals.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 15

ROUND 15’s AFL Draft Central Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Team of the Week is dominated by the big winners of the weekend. Firstly, there is Hawthorn who has five representatives, which is the most of any team, after its 25-point win over Northern Territory (NT) Thunder. Collingwood, Melbourne University and Williamstown also fared well with three players each in the best 22 after their impressive wins on the weekend.

Essendon and the Southern Saints both have no players in the Team of the Week this round after both teams’ combined scores only added up to 13 in a bad weekend for the two proud clubs.

Hawthorn’s Jayde Van Dyk has once again earned her spot in the team this week, collecting 15 disposals and showing great leadership in the back half. Tayla Thorn (NT) and Rebecca Dardengo (Williamstown) also make their debuts in the Team of the Week after breakout games.

Emma Mackie was outstanding in the midfield for Hawthorn, kicking two goals to accompany her 24 disposals. She played a major role in Hawthorn’s win over the Thunder. Melbourne University’s Madison Prespakis and Seagull, Jess Duffin were at their usual best, with Prespakis gathering 25 touches and kicking a goal while Duffin racked up 28 disposals.

The Hawthorn spearheads were on fire this week with Phoebe McWilliams kicking three goals and Sarah Perkins kicking two, which formed a formidable duo. Jasmine Garner was crucial for Williamstown in blustery conditions as she was able to kick two late goals to help beat Essendon at Windy hill.

Defender, Gabriella Pound was a lock for the team this week after she was nearly best on ground in Carlton’s win over Darebin. At the other end of the ground, Sophie Alexander was superb for Collingwood, having a major influence on the game. She finished with 27 disposals in the Magpies’ win over the Saints.

Her teammate, Stacey Livingstone was unlucky to miss out on a place in the best 22 this week, as she was deadly in front of goal. She kicked two goals from 11 disposals. Melbourne University pair, Kaitlyn Ashmore and Ashleigh Riddell are in the same boat, with Ashmore kicking two goals and Riddell dominating in the middle of the ground with 26 disposals.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 14

DAREBIN and Geelong headline the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Team of the Week with three representatives each, after impressive wins on the weekend. On the other hand, Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs have one each after their losses in Round 14, while last-placed Essendon has no representatives after suffering a big defeat against the Cats. Every other team has two representatives in this week’s best 22.

The backline is spearheaded once again by Jayde Van Dyk, who is a mainstay in the back six. Western Bulldogs defender, Lauren Spark, who held her own against the Hawks, accompanies Van Dyk in the key position stocks. NT’s Jenna McCormick managed to get her hands on the ball a lot, gathering 31 disposals in an impressive game across half-back.

The midfield picked itself this week with NT captain, Angela Foley demanding her spot after a match-winning two goal and 29-disposal performance. Jess Duffin was also instrumental in Williamstown’s one-point win against Richmond with 30 touches and a goal. Vic Metro representative, Madison Prespakis dominated for Melbourne University, kicking a goal to go with her 28 disposals.

Round 14 was the round of the spearhead forward in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition with Hannah Mouncey, Kate Dixon and Sarah Perkins all prominent in their matches. Hannah Mouncey has found herself in some form once again with two goals to go with her 16 disposals for Darebin. Richmond’s Kate Dixon also managed to kick two goals while Sarah Perkins kicked three majors in Hawthorn’s mauling of the Dogs.

Melbourne University captain, Ashleigh Riddell can count herself as unlucky to miss out on a spot in the best 22 this week. She was a pivotal cog in the midfield with one goal from 18 touches. Geelong pair, Richelle Cranston and Mia-Rae Clifford are also extremely unlucky. Cranston was superb in the middle of the ground with 24 touches, while Clifford’s two goals from 13 touches were vital in the win.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 13

THIS round’s Team of the Week is evenly spread out, with no team having more than two representatives in the best 22. After their disappointing losses on the weekend, Williamstown and the Western Bulldogs are the only two teams to only have one player represented. Every other team has two players who made the cut in a week with many solid performances.

Eden Zanker had a breakout game for Casey up forward in its win against Carlton. She kicked three goals and had a real presence up forward all game. Anne Hatchard was also superb up forward for the Northern Territory, kicking four goals from 15 disposals in its big win over Williamstown. These two were locks in the Team of the Week after their stellar performances.

In the midfield, Alison Brown dominated for the Saints with 28 disposals. As well as Brown, the Thunder’s Emma Swanson was also a lock in this week’s midfield as she kicked one goal from 27 disposals. In the back line, Hawthorn’s Jayde Van Dyk and Richmond’s Jacqueline Graham once again held their spots after 18 and 20 disposals each, respectively. Tanya Hetherington from Essendon and Iilish Ross from Collingwood both managed to get forward and kick goals from the back line as well as racking up a number of disposals each. The back line was easy picking this week with performances like these.

Jess Sedunary can count herself as unlucky not to be in the best 22 this week after a really good game for NT on the weekend. She kicked 21 disposals from the half forward flank and also managed to kick a goal in a really positive performance. Jenna Bruton is also in the same position, as Bruton and Jess Duffin were fighting for the same spot and Bruton unluckily missed out. She lit up the midfield for the Seagulls with 22 disposals in a losing effort to the Thunder.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 12

CARLTON has four players in the AFL Draft Central Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Team of the Week this round, after comfortably defeating Richmond at home. While the Blues have the most representatives in the team this week, their counterparts have the equal least players in this week’s best 22 with only two getting the nod. All of the other winners from the weekend have three players apiece as well as the Mugars, who were brave in their defeat at the hands of Collingwood.

With six teams sitting out this week with a bye, it gave Collingwood, NT and Hawthorn the opportunity to create a nice buffer away from Geelong in fourth. With three less games in Round 12, it gave more of an opportunity for new faces to make an appearance in the Team of the Week. South Australian Under 18 representative, Katelyn Rosenzweig grasped that opportunity with both hands, kicking two goals up forward in a great performance.

Darcy Vescio proved why she was a marquee AFLW forward with her 2.2 allowing her to display her dominance over the less experienced Tiger back line. Ashleigh Riddell and Emma Kearney were outstanding for Melbourne Uni against Collingwood, with both racking up a high amount of disposals. Their standout performances ensured that they were locks in the team this week.

In the back line, Jayde Van Dyk and Jacqueline Graham were once again solid and were therefore locks in this week’s defensive line-up. Van Dyk gathered 27 disposals while Graham recorded 20. Both players know how to rack up possessions, lock down their opponent and propel attacks, and week after week, they show why they are two of the best defenders in the league.

Jordann Hickey was great for the Thunder up forward with two goals and 12 disposals. She can count herself unlucky as that was not enough to get a position in the team. Madison Prespakis is equally unlucky as she was a bull in the midfield for Melbourne University against Geelong with 20 disposals.  But the competition for midfield spots is too great and others nudged her out on this occasion.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 11

GEELONG has the most representatives in the Round 11 Team of the Week, with five players making the cut after their side’s massive win over Casey. Similarly, NT Thunder and the Western Bulldogs have four and three representatives respectively, headlined by midfield bull, Ebony Marinoff with her 28 disposals against Richmond

After their 41-point loss to Geelong, the Demons failed to register a player in the best 22 this week with Kaila Bentvelzen’s two goals not quite enough to get into the forward six.

Marinoff was a lock in this week’s best 22 after dominating in the midfield against Richmond. In just her second game in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition, she is starting to hit her strides at the right time of the season. In the same game, Courtney Wakefield starred for Richmond up forward with three goals and an everlasting presence in the forward 50.

Jasmyn Hewett has been dominating in the ruck for the Thunder and once again has claimed her credentials for the VFLW Team of the Year. Madison Prespakis also slots straight back into the VFLW Team of the Week after finishing her Under 18 representative duties. She will be hoping to keep her spot and help drive Melbourne University out of the bottom three.

Geelong’s Kate Darby was unlucky to miss out this week with two goals and 16 disposals against Casey.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 10

AFTER their big wins on the weekend, Geelong and NT Thunder have the most representatives in this week’s best 22, with eight between them. The rest of the sides had quite an even group of contributors, with each team having at least one player in the Team of the Week.

This round was the week of the forwards, with numerous players kicking multiple goals. NT’s Abbey Holmes and Carlton’s Darcy Vescio headline the best 22 this week with four goals each.

Williamstown duo, Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton were once again outstanding in a losing side against Carlton. Duffin gathered 33 disposals while Bruton amassed 29 disposals and a goal. They were both automatic locks for the Team of the Week alongside Holmes and Vescio in the forward line.

Katelyn Cox was quite impressive for the Blues in their win against Williamstown with 13 possessions and two goals, although it was not quite enough to gain a spot in this weeks team. Hawthorn’s Jessica Sibley edged out teammate and Team of the Week regular, Jayde Van Dyk, who can count herself as an unlucky omission from this week’s team. Sibley was instrumental down back for the Hawks in their six-point thrilling win against Melbourne University.