Tag: Alice burke

Season reviews: TAC Cup Girls – Sandringham Dragons

THE Sandringham Dragons nearly earned themselves a grand final berth with a strong run home. They won six straight games to end their season on a high note, with half of those wins being more than 50 points. The Dragons only lost to the two teams above them on the ladder, demonstrating their ability to put away weaker sides and show their strength in the competition.

Position: 3rd
Win-loss: 7-2
Percentage: 208%

Results:

R1: lost to Geelong Falcons by 20 points
R2: defeated Oakleigh Chargers by 33 points
R3: lost to Northern Knights by 30 points
R4: defeated Dandenong Stingrays by 15 points
R5: defeated Calder Cannons by 55 points
R6: defeated Murray Bushrangers by 15 points
R7: defeated Western Jets by 50 points
R8: defeated Bendigo Pioneers by 71 points
R9: defeated Gippsland Power by 24 points

Key players:

Eleanor Brown: Brown was a prolific ball-user throughout the season, with her clean hands and long kicks allowing swift ball movement. She was a ball magnet in the midfield and could cover ground really well to back up her work in key areas of the ground. Her strong hands were also key in the season, as she took many intercept marks to help penetrate the ball forward for her teammates. Brown has had a busy off-season already, playing a game for both Vic Metro and the Southern Saints in the VFLW, excelling in both matches.

Bella Eddey: Eddey was a great user of the footy in the forward line, often getting on the end of a lot of goals throughout the season. She worked hard in and under the contests to win the footy and also presented well at forward entries to ensure that she could contribute to the Dragons’ fierce attacking. Has a huge tank and can run up and down the ground with the same intensity and effort throughout the game. Eddey was rewarded for her six goals from seven games in the TAC Cup Girls season with a spot in the Vic Metro U16 side in the AFL Women’s National Under 16 Championships.

Jemma Owen: Owen was a great leader for the Dragons and seemed to improve as the season went on. She played every game for Sandringham and was versatile in her approach to winning the football. Traditionally an inside midfielder, Owen always went in hard for the footy and tackled strongly. But she could also work up the ground and make an impact up forward, as she kicked six goals for the season. A hard runner, Owen always did her best to ensure she was first at the footy, which put immense pressure on the opposition. The Dragons captain has already had the opportunity to show off her skills on the big stage, as she lined up for Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium in Series One of the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships.

Abbie McKay: A midfielder that loved to take the game on, McKay was a vital member in the Dragons’ squad. She had the ability to move the ball swiftly through the corridor, which was testament to her clean hands and precise kicking. Had the ability to float into defence where she would use those same attributes as well as strong hands to mop up the footy well for Sandringham. McKay often demonstrated good power to burst out of a stoppage and her work in close was an asset of her game. She was able to display her signature style of football in Vic Metro’s win over Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium, and is training with Carlton’s VFLW side in a bid to play with the club that her father played for.

Eliza McNamara: An exciting young midfielder that showed class and skill on the field. McNamara showed impressive endurance and great ball movement throughout the season, and was a key cog in the Sandringham midfield. She often provided excellently delivered kicks to her teammates and her hands in close were exceptional. It was difficult to identify that McNamara was a bottom-ager as her ball-use and ability to fight hard for the footy against a bigger body displayed extreme maturity on her behalf. Testament to this, she got to pull on the big ‘V’ and run out with Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s National Under 16 Championships.

Holly Bate: Bate was the TAC Cup Girls leading goal kicker of the season, booting through 18 goals from nine games. She particularly hit her straps inside 50 towards the end of the season, where she backed up a five goal performance with a seven goal performance in two consecutive weeks. Bate provided a good target up forward for the Dragons, as she often positioned herself well against an opponent or did enough to put pressure on them to turn the ball over. Her season was capped off with a spot in the Vic Metro side in the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships.

Alice Burke: Playing in defence, the Vic Metro Under 16s representative became one of the shining lights throughout a positive season, making the switch from the round ball game to seem natural in the back half. She rebounded well and pushed up the ground when required, named among the best on a number of occasions. One of a number of Under 16s that will continue to develop at the club holding out hope for sustained success.

Season summary:

The Dragons had a strong season where they were able to record some big winning margins and some narrow losing ones. With a long list of players, the Dragons had plenty of options to choose from each week and used young players like Winnie Laing, Sarah Hartwig and Alice Burke to create some excitement in their line-up. With a strong 2018 season, they are right in the mix for a top two spot next year.

Scouting notes: National AFLW Under 16s Championships

IN what was a great opportunity for the most talented Under 16s girls, Vic Country took on Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday morning as a curtain raiser to their Under 18s counterparts. Vic Metro got the job done in an entertaining contest, and Peter Williams (Vic Country) and Julia Montesano (Vic Metro) took notes on each of the players who took part. Note all reviews are opinion-based.

Vic Country:

#1 Jerusha Devarakonda

Throughout the match she showed a fierce attack on the footy, particularly in the third term where she was involved in a number of plays. She was often deep in defence or running off the half-back flank, she had quick hands and did not take a backwards step. She gave away a free kick to Tarni Brown in the third quarter, but it was her attack to win the footy that was most impressive.

#2 Leila Raymond

Raymond showed great defensive pressure in the back half, laying a number of strong tackles. It was almost déjà vu for the Gippsland Power player, who had no problems burying her opponent in a fantastic tackle in both the third and fourth quarters. She also saved a goal with a great tackle as an opponent ran towards the big sticks.

#3 Holly Andrews

Attacked the contest hard and had a good first term where she laid a couple of great tackles – unfortunately giving away a free for holding on too long. She created run out of defence in the second term, and was reliable with her disposal, including a good kick from half-back to the wing in the third term.

#4 Elizabeth Snell

Had a couple of nice passages of place including a good handball at ground level under pressure in the first term, and quick hands out of a stoppage in the third term.

#5 Megan Fitzsimon

Fitzsimon showed quick hands under pressure and a cleanliness at ground level to collect and go. She had a good kick to the wing after picking the footy up cleanly off the deck in the second half. She continued to stay involved along the wing.

#6 Renee Saulitis

Along with Tyanna Smith, was a driving force in the midfield. She won the footy throughout the four quarters and put in a really consistent effort. She did the defensive things well, laying tackles and providing bumps, while taking a courageous mark on the wing in the second term. She kicked well off half-back and had a fantastic run-down tackle on Ellie McKenzie after copping a don’t argue in the third term and earned a free kick for her troubles. She covered the ground well, also winning possessions in the forward half of the ground.

#7 Jemma Finning

Unfortunately Finning was injured early in the second term and did not get to play the game out.

#8 Kate Adams

Took a lovely mark at half-back in the final term and had a good centering pass to a teammate. She also showed a quick kick out of a stoppage late in the game.

#9 Emily Nicholson

Played in defence and constantly went in hard. She took a good one-on-one mark early and was able to quickly dispose of the ball under pressure. Nicholson had a highlight laying a strong tackle on Olivia Meagher, not fooled by Meagher’s attempt to sidestep her inside 50.

#10 Abbey Jordan

Jordan stood under a high ball in defence and despite contact coming did not waiver. She was unlucky not to get a free, showing good courage. In the third term she had a piercing kick inside 50 after moving through traffic, and then took a good intercept mark on the wing. Jordan laid a fierce bump on her opponent in the final term.

#11 Brooke Hards

Hards showed a willingness to back herself at all times coming off half-back. She got caught a couple of times, but for the run and ability to crash through opponents, it was worth it. She charged out of defence a number of times and was often under pressure. She laid a great tackle at half-back early in the game and hit-up Maggie Caris on the wing.

#12 Tyanna Smith

The Vic Country captain was one of the best with Renee Saulitis. Smith spread well to the outside and worked hard back into defence to help out. On a number of occasions, Smith read the loose ball in the air superbly, sticking out a hand and grabbing it cleanly before disposing of it by hand. She showed great acceleration out of a stoppage and kicked a goal on the run in the second term, really starting to dominate through the midfield. She laid some strong tackles and also took intercept marks at half-back.

#13 Chloe Leonard

Played in defence and had a number of kicks from half-back to the wing, rebounding where possible. She showed a good long kick and took a great mark dropping back in the first term to intercept.

#16 Sharmaine Reilly

Showed good courage going back with the flight at half-back to impact a contest despite copping body contact. She also applied good defensive pressure at half-back, applying a good shepherd to allow a teammate to run on.

#17 Sophie Milsome

A quieter first half, but took a great mark on the lead 35m out for a set shot in the third term. The shot drifted right, but she was presenting to the midfielders. She also laid a great smother at half-forward to put the ball out of bounds in the final term and force a throw in.

#18 Zoe Hill

Had a very nervous start to the day with some fumbles and caught holding the ball once for Alyssa Bannan to goal. Once she settled in she got back to what we have come to expect from her with a couple of strong intercept marks and was reliable by foot.

#19 Matilda Van Berkel

A quiet game, but always attacked the contest hard. She had a fantastic kick in the third quarter with a perfect pass to Sophie Milsome on the lead.

#20 Stephanie Glover

Busy early in the game, showing good vision to handball to a teammate at half-back through a couple of opponents. She has really good evasion and is able to step around opponents well. She threw it on the boot once, but is often more composed with the ball, and is quite athletic.

#21 Isabella Robson

Had a good moment to knock Ellie McKenzie off balance and drop the ball as she streamed towards 50 in the first half.

#22 Renee Tierney

Just continues to pop up at times despite not having a lot of opportunities. She had a clean pick-up off an awkward bounce at half-forward and was able to maintain composure to give it off to a teammate while she was under pressure. Tierney’s highlight came in the third term with the goal of the match after picking it up, snapping quickly from the boundary and dribbling it home. She also took a huge contested grab in the forward 50 later in the term, clunking the mark and looking dangerous.

#23 Isabella Simmons

When the ball went in her forward zone she showed good defensive pressure and was able to lock the ball up with a good tackle.

#24 Olivia Barber

Barber’s second efforts are noticeable in her ruck work, often winning her own ball from the taps. She laid a number of fierce tackles at ground level and continued to work hard. She snapped at goal off a couple of steps but just missed to the left.

#25 Maggie Caris

A raw but talented ruck who is smart with her hitout work. She was strong overhead and often marked at the highest point. A learning curve for her would be the game smarts when Alyssa Bannan was having a set shot from 40m and she stood at the top of the goal square instead of on the line and it bounced through with no-one to stop it. A really solid game all round, however.

VIC METRO:

#1 Olivia Meagher

Meagher was really lively up forward and was not afraid to take the game on. This was shown when she kicked a long bomb from just inside 50 that sailed through the goals. Before that, she read the ball well out of a stoppage and snapped through a goal from just outside the goal square. She was able to generate good acceleration and cleared the ball well after tackling a Country player. Meagher was not afraid to run the ball through the corridor and used her long kick to advantage on multiple occasions. Hacked a kick nicely out of a stoppage. Meagher kicked her third goal with a beautiful pick-up and snap and utilised excellent closing speed to chase down the Country player and earn a free kick. 

#2 Mietta Kendall

Chased the ball well in defence, as she attempted to tackle three players. Nicked one of the jumpers and won a dropping the ball free kick, thanks to her desperation at back half. Laid a goal-saving tackle and always gets involved in the right moments.

#3 Taylah Morton

Morton followed the footy with purpose and intent throughout the day. She was able to trap the footy well and often used the ball well by foot. She also displayed great clean hands while being tackled, showing her strength in the contest.

#5 Mary Daw

Took a nice mark in defence to stop Country running forward and then hit a target with her kick.

#6 Abigail Bennett

Bennett competed hard throughout the match and displayed some great work inside 50. Kicked two goals for the day. Her first was a snap from an angle while being slung to the ground, which got the momentum swinging in Metro’s favour after a slow first quarter. Bennett has great composure with the ball in hand and when she does not have it, she follows it up well, laying strong tackles to prevent any opposition forward movement.

#7 Jessica Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald followed the footy nicely throughout the match and got plenty of it, which was a credit to her efforts around the stoppages. Executed a good pick-up and laid off a nice handball out of a stoppage while on hands and knees. The Northern Knights product always followed up her efforts well, through tackling hard.

#8 Bella Eddey

Gave off a nice quick-fire handball out of a stoppage inside 50. Picked the ball up with ease off the deck and got a quick handball away to Alyssa Bannan. Played well on the wing considering her normal spot is up forward while playing for the Dragons.

#9 Winnie Laing

Laing read the play well and hunted the footy with intent. She got a lot of the ball and did everything she could to get the ball out of a stoppage. Often used her speed to break away and get the ball forward for Metro.

#10 Ashleigh Snow

Snow had great hands out of stoppages and showed good strength while doing so. While being pursued by two players, she got a clean handball out to a teammate on the outside. Snow got the ball away while being tackled multiple times, giving her teammates first opportunity to get onto the football.

#11 Eliza McNamara

Executed many nice kicks to the top of the square, giving them good height and allowing her forwards to jump at the footy. Also had the ability to pinpoint kicks, displaying good all-round footwork throughout the day. McNamara accelerated well with the ball in hand, clearing it out of the centre square in one instance. Also did well defensively when she laid a strong wrap-around tackle on a Vic Country player then followed it up with another aggressive tackling effort.

#12 Tarni Brown

Had a sensational first half for Metro then played consistently for the rest of the game. Brown created so many scoring opportunities for Vic Metro with her clean hands and accurate kicking. She was able to boot the ball forward when needed to or she would get the play started with a strong handball out of a stoppage. Brown did nicely to find space and utilised it with lovely acceleration. Her blind turns were a highlight of her game, as one ended up in a handball to Abigail Bennett on the outside, who kicked her second major of the day as a result. Brown also demonstrated a high footy IQ when she lowered her eyes to spot Alyssa Bannan on the outer side, who then kicked a goal while being tackled. 

#13 Alice Burke

Took a good leading mark on the wing and read the ball well off a tap. She then moved the ball well with a nice clearing kick out a stoppage.

#15 Mimi Hill

Gave off a good handball on hands and knees to get the ball out of congestion.

#16 Alice O’Loughlin

O’Loughlin laid a great tackle that prevented a Vic Country breakaway. Did most of her hard work up forward with a good kick towards goal that was on line but just didn’t make the distance. O’Loughlin’s defensive efforts were sound as she laid a strong tackle to earn a free kick. She then pinpointed the pass perfectly to Olivia Meagher for a set shot, giving her prime opportunity to kick a goal.

#17 Alisa Magri

Magri displayed strong hands throughout the day. She took a great mark off an Alice O’Loughlin kick inside 50, but she just missed the set shot. Took another miraculous mark inside 50 in a one-on-one contest, grabbing the ball with one hand and moving it forward. She is an exciting player with the ball in hand.

#18 Amber Micallef

Micallef pursued the ball with intent and then kicked it well around her body towards the boundary line. This showed great composure as it helped to slow the play down for Vic Metro.

#19 Sarah Hartwig

Hartwig gave off a good handball while being tackled strongly. Also took a strong contested mark and followed it up with a pinpointed a kick to Bennett at half-forward.

#20 Ellie McKenzie

McKenzie played a blinder of a game, particularly showing off her strong hands and exciting dash. She often found herself on the wing and created excitement when she fended off a player and streamed towards the forward 50. She did this in two separate points in the game, displaying her X factor and strength with the ball in hand. In many instances, she showed good situational awareness, as she knew she had space and used it to her advantage. In the forward half, she laid a good smother and attempted an almighty speccy. McKenzie leapt for every ball that came her way, and was fearless in attack. Demonstrated excellent run and carry when she streamed inside 50 to get the ball towards goal and creates a scoring opportunity. Showed class when she executed a great one-two with Alice O’Loughlin.

#21 Tamsin Crook

Crook did well in the ruck and followed up her work. She showed good intent to keep the ball moving when she dribbled the ball on the ground instead of just diving on it. This was smart play by her to keep it moving and then pick it up when she had the space to do so. Crook also tackled well on the day.

#22 Isabelle Pritchard

Ball didn’t go down her end that much but showed good intent when it came her way. At one point, she displayed good use of the body to shrug the tackle then executed a good second effort to create a stoppage.

#23 Jess Grace

Grace played in the ruck and contested well with Maggie Caris.

#24 Alyssa Bannan

Bannan was prolific in the forward line, demonstrating her high footy IQ. Took a good mark lace-out and then executed a perfect kick for goal from about 40 metres out. At this point, she backed herself and the ball bounced through. Bannan even had a stint in the ruck and competed well thanks to her height and footy smarts. A highlight of her game was when she punched the ball forward in the air to prevent a stoppage, then got the ball back off her punch and gave off a quick handball to Ellie McKenzie. Bannan also displayed clean hands throughout the game. Her kicking was on display too when she kicked a brilliant centering ball to Jessica Fitzgerald, giving Fitzgerald’s opponent no chance to compete. The Northern Knights forward finished with two majors for the day. 

#25 Isabel Young

Young tackled well and displayed good strength to stand up in the stoppage and get a handball away over the top.

Victorian Under 16s Girls prepare for National Championships

VICTORIA’S top Under 16s footballers from the TAC Cup Girls competition will converge on country venues this weekend in a couple of matches to test themselves against the best from other states. Vic Metro takes on South Australia in Horsham on Sunday, while Vic Country heads to the border to face NSW/ACT in Albury. The following week, Vic Metro will face off against Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium in a curtain raiser to the Under 18 Girls’ sides. For those wondering, the Under 16s are made up of players born in 2002 and are not eligible to be drafted until 2020.

Vic Metro squad:

NoNameHtDOBTAC Region
1Olivia Meagher15110/12/02Eastern Ranges
2Mietta Kendall1543/9/02Eastern Ranges
3Taylah Morton15723/7/02Oakleigh Chargers
4Leah Spargo15728/1/02Western Jets
5Mary Daw15911/3/02Western Jets
6Abigail Bennett16018/10/02Northern Knights
7Jessica Fitzgerald1618/3/02Northern Knights
8Bella Eddey16311/2/02Sandringham Dragons
9Winnie Laing16425/5/02Sandringham Dragons
10Ashleigh Snow15623/10/02Northern Knights
11Eliza McNamara16619/4/02Sandringham Dragons
12Tarni Brown16626/3/02Eastern Ranges
13Alice Burke1683/10/02Sandringham Dragons
15Mimi Hill1674/10/02Oakleigh Chargers
16Alice O’Loughlin1698/7/02Oakleigh Chargers
17Alisa Magri17019/3/02Calder Cannons
18Amber Micallef17021/2/02Oakleigh Chargers
19Sarah Hartwig17312/4/02Sandringham Dragons
20Ellie McKenzie17417/10/02Northern Knights
21Tamsin Crook1763/10/02Calder Cannons
22Isabelle Pritchard1768/3/02Western Jets
23Jess Grace17625/12/02Eastern Ranges
24Alyssa Bannan17713/4/02Northern Knights
25Isabel Young17913/7/02Calder Cannons

Some names to watch:

Isabelle Pritchard
Key Position Defender | 176cm | Western Jets

Strong overhead, great leader and rarely beaten one-on-one. Her game knowledge and awareness is ahead of her years. A standout performer this season for the Jets.

Ellie McKenzie
Tall Utility | 174cm | Northern Knights

Unbelievable impact so far this season, named in the best every game she played. Can play forward, midfield or back, and is strong in the air. Sister of Vic Metro boys’ representative, Tom. Strong in the air, can kick goals at will, shown by her huge day out against Bendigo Pioneers.

Alyssa Bannan
Key Position Forward | 175cm | Northern Knights

Lit up Beaconsfield earlier in the year with three goals in three minutes and provides a good target up forward. Mobile tall who can kick goals and very few players her height are quicker once she gets goal side.

Sarah Hartwig
Key Position Defender | 173cm | Sandringham Dragons

Good one-on-one defender, quick on the lead to spoil and provides good rebounds out of the back half. Will create a strong 1-2 partnership with Pritchard in the back half.

Alice Burke
General Defender | 168cm | Sandringham Dragons

A good user of the footy, can play up the ground but is really settled in the back half. Daughter of St Kilda champion, Nathan. Crossed over from soccer and has been a revelation at the Dragons.

Abigail Bennett
Small Forward | 160cm | Northern Knights

Another Knights player who has had some impressive moments at half-forward. Can push into the midfield as well.

Tarni Brown
General Forward | 166cm | Eastern Ranges

Very raw, but clearly talented. Has a very nice sidestep and can create something out of nothing. Daughter of Gavin and sister to Callum and Tyler.

Olivia Meagher
Small Forward/Midfielder | 151cm | Eastern Ranges

Seemed to get better as the season went on, plays a link-up role at half-forward, and can kick goals or win the footy through the midfield.

Mimi Hill
Outside Midfielder | 167cm | Oakleigh Chargers

Winger who provides good run in transition and played some impressive games throughout the season, especially in the absence of the Chargers top-age midfielders.

Jess Fitzgerald
Small Utility | 161cm | Northern Knights

Tends to play forward, but can play through midfield as well. A creative player who can kick goals from tight angles.

Winnie Laing
Inside Midfielder | 164cm | Sandringham Dragons

As tough as they come on the inside, loves the contest and does not take a backwards step.

Bella Eddey
General Forward | 163cm | Sandringham Dragons

Another creative forward who is good in the air or at ground level and just got better as the season went on.

Alice O’Loughlin
General Forward | 169cm | Oakleigh Chargers

Starred late in the season at half-forward and can push up the ground as well. Creative and a good user of the football going inside 50.

Ashleigh Snow
Small Defender | 156cm | Northern Knights

Was one of the Knights’ best in the grand final and plays taller than her 156cm. Good overhead and creates some great drive out of defence.

Alisa Magri
Tall Forward | 170cm | Calder Cannons

Was a mainstay of the Cannons forward line this season and managed to get on the end of a few goals throughout. Another tall target inside 50 for Metro.

Eliza McNamara
Inside Midfielder | 166cm | Sandringham Dragons

Had a blistering start to the season and had the ball on a string early. A crucial part of the inside midfield at the Dragons, she showed good strength and an ability to move out of traffic.

Vic Country squad:

NoNameDOBHtTAC Region
1Jerusha Devarakonda3/3/02158Geelong Falcons
2Leila Raymond9/3/02158Gippsland Power
3Holly Andrews15/8/02160Gippsland Power
4Elizabeth Snell14/3/02161Bendigo Pioneers
5Megan Fitzsimon10/8/02162Gippsland Power
6Renee Saulitis14/8/02163GWV Rebels
7Jemma Finning19/3/02165Bendigo Pioneers
8Kate Adams15/3/02165Murray Bushrangers
9Emily Nicholson19/3/02165Murray Bushrangers
10Abbey Jordan8/9/02165Dandenong Stingrays
11Brooke Hards19/7/02166Bendigo Pioneers
12Tyanna Smith29/10/02166Dandenong Stingrays
13Chloe Leonard1/2/02167GWV Rebels
15Chandra Abrahams24/3/02169Gippsland Power
16Sharmaine Reilly8/11/02170Bendigo Pioneers
17Sophie Milsome23/4/02172Geelong Falcons
18Zoe Hill13/5/02173Dandenong Stingrays
19Matilda Van Berkel6/9/02174Gippsland Power
20Stephanie Glover11/11/02176GWV Rebels
21Isabella Robson26/4/02176GWV Rebels
22Renee Tierney23/5/02168Geelong Falcons
23Isabella Simmons19/4/02181GWV Rebels
24Olivia Barber14/7/02184Murray Bushrangers
25Maggie Caris21/12/02188GWV Rebels

Renee Tierney
Tall Forward | 168cm | Geelong Falcons

Has had a really consistent season for the Falcons. Good overhead, booted a bag of goals against Oakleigh at Warrawee Park earlier in the season.

Jemma Finning
Balanced Midfielder | 165cm | Bendigo Pioneers

After the two top-age girls in Megan Williamson and Kodi Jacques, Finning was one of the more consistent midfielders at the Pioneers, regularly named in the best.

Brooke Hards
General Defender | 166cm | Bendigo Pioneers

A rebounding defender who can play forward, Hards is good in the air and reads the play well.

Renee Saulitis
Small Forward | 163cm | GWV Rebels

Talented small forward who can kick some great goals from tight angles. Very quick and can pounce on a spillage from a marking contest.

Isabella Simmons
Key Position Forward | 181cm | GWV Rebels

Tall target up forward who pushes up the ground and provides a contest. Raw but has shown some good signs.

Zoe Hill
Key Position Defender | 173cm | Dandenong Stingrays

One of the more consistent 15-16 year-old defenders in the league. Worked well with Lucy Cripps to ensure the Stingrays had good defensive strength in the air.

Olivia Barber
Ruck/Key Position Forward | 184cm | Murray Bushrangers

Rotated between ruck and key forward and was named in the Bushrangers best a number of times. Could rotate with Maggie Caris through the ruck or up forward.

Chandra Abrahams
Tall Utility | 169cm | Gippsland Power

Has played a mixture of forward and back, and while the consistency is still building, she has tricks that not many players have, such as a penetrating kick from 50m on the run from a couple of steps.

Kate Adams
General Forward | 165cm | Murray Bushrangers

Buzzes around the forward line and can push up into the midfield. Fairly clean and clearly talented, will be a player to watch at the Bushies over the next couple of years.

Maggie Caris
Ruck | 188cm | GWV Rebels

With her sister Rene in the AFLW Academy, Maggie followed her into the Rebels program and looked good in the final game of the season against Oakleigh. Already 188cm, Caris will likely play ruck, but could be tried in key position positions as well.

Tyanna Smith
Balanced Midfielder | 166cm | Dandenong Stingrays

Another player who seemed to get better as the season went on, Smith played through the midfield and won her own ball as well as created run in transition.

Jerusha Devarakonda
Small Defender | 158cm | Geelong Falcons

Raw, but talented defender who pushed up to the wing for the Falcons. Got involved a number of times in the grand final and has plenty of scope for the future. Quick and fierce.

Stephanie Glover
Key Position Utility | 176cm | GWV Rebels

Impressed down back, but also showed she could go forward and kick a goal for the Rebels. Good overhead and nimble, she provides plenty of rebound out of the back half.

Holly Andrews
Outside Midfielder/Small Forward | 160cm | Gippsland Power

Played all nine games this season and was named among the best a couple of times for the Power. Had some nice moments within games.

Chloe Leonard
General Forward | 167cm | GWV Rebels

Booted four goals in eight games, including two against Calder Cannons. Was named in the Rebels’ best a number of times and provided a target inside 50.

Emily Nicholson
General Defender | 165cm | Murray Bushrangers

Played every game this season for the Bushrangers and became a regular in the back six. She was named among the best on a couple of occasions.

U16 Fixtures:

June 10 – Vic Metro vs. South Australia in Horsham & Vic Country vs. NSW/ACT in Albury
June 16 – Vic Country vs Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

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.

Team of the Week: TAC Cup Girls – Round 9

IT was quite a bizarre day at RAMS Arena, with all 12 teams coming together to face off in a fantastic ‘Super Saturday’ of matches. For the final AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls’ Team of the Week, we find the highest ever number of players from a losing side making the team. The Western Jets were well beaten by the Geelong Falcons, but their top three players stood out so much in the wet that they earned places in the Round 9 Team of the Week. Remarkably, their opponents, the Geelong Falcons also had three players in the team. Conversely, despite winning their match well, the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels had just the one player in the team – mainly due to the fact it was hard to split such an even contribution.

For Western, it was their highest number of representatives for the year, with regular nominees Elisabeth Georgostathis and Isabelle Pritchard and making the team for the fifth and fourth time respectively. But a fresh face to the team was ruck Taylah Kolevski who was ultra-impressive around the ground and at the stoppages in wet conditions. On the opposition side, Olivia Purcell collected her fifth Team of the Week nomination, joined in the side by Nina Morrison and Sachi DeGiacomi who are both no stranger to making the Team of the Week – both named four times.

Six of the remaining 10 teams had two nominees in the side, with Northern Knights’ Ellie McKenzie making a remarkable sixth Team of the Week – sitting third overall on most nominees. She is joined in the team by debutant in the side, Ashleigh Snow in the back pocket. Of the two with more nominations than McKenzie, they are fairly handy players in Madison Prespakis and Tyla Hanks – both making it eight out of eight games played. Their respective teammates at Calder Cannons, forward Georgia Patrikios and Power half-back Emily Haeusler have made it for the third and fourth time respectively.

In the back pocket is Sandringham Dragons’ Alice Burke who makes it for the third time, along with now two-time nominee forward Isabella Eddey. Rounding out the defence on the flank is GWV Rebels’ captain Lauren Butler who is the sole Rebel in a rather unlucky round given Rene Caris was one of many ruck choices in a week where plenty of key position players stood tall. But she was not the only one, with Sophie Molan also deemed impressive in the wet and would be an emergency in the round’s Team of the Week.

The remaining starting midfielder in the Team of the Week is Kodi Jacques, who for the first time is joined by fellow Bendigo Pioneers hard nut Megan Williamson. The pair have almost exclusively held a spot in the best 22 throughout the season, with Jacques (now five nominations) and Williamson (four) both impressing despite Bendigo’s loss to Dandenong Stingrays. Speaking of the Stingrays, Isabella Shannon returns to the Team of the Week, joining Courtney Jones, who is situated at half-forward, for their second and third times respectively.

Earning places on the bench in losing sides were talented trio, Eastern Ranges’ Mikala Cann (for the second consecutive week), Murray Bushrangers’ Tamara Smith (third time) and Chloe O’Malley (first time). Gippsland Power’s Jasmine Ferguson was the other unlucky emergency with Caris and Molan who just missed out on making the side.

Victorian squads named for National AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships

VICTORIA’S top youth girl prospects have been selected to represent Vic Metro and Vic Country at the upcoming AFL Women’s Under 18 and Under 16 National Championships.

The players will begin training immediately after the TAC Cup Girls Grand Final on Saturday, May 19, with the first training session to be held at Ikon Park the following day. A second training session will be held at Windy Hill on June 3 ahead of the competition with Vic Country Under 16s hosting Vic Metro on May 27 in both Albury and Horsham. On June 16, both Under 16s and Under 18s will face off against each other at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong. The teams then fly north to compete in the AFL Women’s Under 18 National Championships with three games held on July 9, July 11 and July 13.

Murray Bushrangers’ coach Sam Ahmet and Eastern Ranges’ coach Tom Humphrey will lead Vic Country and Vic Metro respectively. Geelong Falcons’ Jason Armistead and Geelong VFLW assistant coach Natalie Wood were named as Vic Country assistants, while Northern Knights’ coach Marcus Abney-Hastings and Calder Cannons’ coach Paul Tilley will be the Vic Metro assistants.

AFL Victoria Female Talent Manager Darren Flanigan said it is pleasing to have a number of current TAC Cup Girls head coaches overseeing the U18 teams.

“Both Sam and Tom have good knowledge of the competition and the players within it,” Flanigan said. “We have been able to attract strong assistant coaching staff as well, which the players will benefit from.

“The Academy program provides players with the perfect opportunity to test themselves against the best players at this level, and start to showcase their capabilities to recruiters for the upcoming AFLW draft later in the year.

“Draftees such as Darcy Guttridge, Eden Zanker, Bridie Kennedy and Maddy Guerin all performed well at the 2017 championships, which certainly helped their draft chances later in the year. “It is a great learning experience to be part of the U18 Academy program, learning from other players and coaches in the competition.”

At Under 16 level, players selected will benefit from being mentored by current and former AFLW and VFLW players Mel Hickey, Emma Grant, Katherine Smith and Lauren Morecroft.

“The ability of these players to provide their time will only benefit the those selected in our program,” Flanigan said.

“Playing at the highest level possible, they will be able to share their experiences from the various levels of the female talent pathway, and help educate and develop these players to be ready to take the next step with their football.

In the under 18s, the Vic Metro midfield could contain the likes of top prospect Madison Prespakis, and fellow AFLW Academy teammates Emerson Woods and Gabby Newton, while the likes of Georgia Patrikios, Britney Gutknecht and Daisy Bateman add some X-factor up forward. Mikala Cann, Maddy Brancatisano, Katie Lynch and Eleanor Brown are a number of other players likely to roam through the midfield, while in defence, Georgia Macpherson, Molly Warburton and Hannah McLaren will hold up the fort.

For Vic Country, their midfield will include an AFLW Academy littered centre line featuring Tyla Hanks, Nina Morrison, Rebecca Webster and Olivia Purcell, who will rove to fellow AFLW Academy ruck Rene Caris. Lucy McEvoy, Georgia Clarke, Lucy Cripps, Denby Taylor and Jordyn Allen provide some strong numbers in defence, while up forward, Courtney Jones, Nikia Webber and Sophie Van De Heuvel will be key targets.

Under 18s:

Vic Metro:

Calder Cannons: Grace Dicker, Georgia Patrikos, Madison Prespakis, Carla Rendelmann, Felicity Theodore, Molly Warburton
Eastern Ranges: Mikala Cann, Gabriella De Angelis, Sarah Kendall, Georgia Macpherson, Laura McClelland, Jenna Richardson, Lauren Szigeti, Charlotte Wilson, Emerson Woods
Oakleigh Chargers: Daisy Bateman, Gemma Lagioia, Katie Lynch, Hannah McLaren, Bridie Winbanks, Nicola Xenos,
Northern Knights: Maddy Brancatisano, Britney Gutknecht, Marnie Jarvis, Neve O’Connor, Gabby Newton, Sarah Sansonetti
Sandringham Dragons: Holly Bate, Eleanor Brown, Molly Denahy Maloney, Abbie McKay, Jemma Owen, Jasmine Tait
Western Jets: Elisabeth Georgostathis, Isabella Grant, Cleo Saxon-Jones

Vic Country:

Bendigo Pioneers: Maddie Baldwin, Kate Douglass, Kodi Jacques, Megan Williamson
Dandenong Stingrays: Jordyn Allen, Lucy Cripps, Shelley Heath, Courtney Jones, Molly McDonald, Isabella Shannon
Geelong Falcons: Abbey Chapman, Zoe Inei, Tarryn Love, Lucy McEvoy, Nina Morrison, Olivia Purcell, Denby Taylor
Gippsland Power: Amy Dunn, Emily Haeusler, Tyla Hanks, Nikia Webber
GWV Rebels: Lauren Butler, Rene Caris, Georgia Clarke, Nyakoat Dojiok, Sophie Molan, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Ella Wood
Murray Bushrangers: Julia Harvey, Millie Brown, Tamara Smith, Rebecca Webster

The championships will begin June, with list reductions made in the lead-up to the first game.

The full Under 16s squads will be named on Wednesday.

 

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls – Round 8

THERE were some big margins this week, with the Eastern Ranges getting a 46-point win and the Sandringham Dragons getting a 71-point win. But perhaps the most important win of the round went to the Geelong Falcons, who handed the Northern Knights their first loss of the season while keeping their winning streak intact. With only one round to go in the competition, the Falcons have booked themselves a spot in the grand final. 

Calder Cannons vs. Dandenong Stingrays

Calder Cannons:

#2 Felicity Theodore

Has incredible acceleration and wonderful speed in general. She always goes hard for the ball and continues to follow it up even when she continues to get bumped and crunched. Theodore has the composure to back-track and kick. Displayed great speed to follow up on a missed kick.

#3 Madison Prespakis

Her long kick was on display once again and helped the Cannons penetrate forward. Prespakis got a high handball while being tackled, using her body to get the ball away. As usual, she just gets and kicks, and her kicks are often too hot for the opposition to mark. She displayed immense strength again, getting a kick away while being pushed over and displaying strong tackling. Kicked a great snap that bent back perfectly for Calder’s first goal. She is at the bottom of every contest, yet gets up so quickly, taking a great chest mark running at full speed. Kicked her second goal of the game with another lovely snap at a crucial moment. Displayed great gut running and even got strong penetration on her handballs.

#18 Carla Rendelmann

Dominated in the ruck again, winning nearly every hit-out. Has great acceleration and hunts hard for the ball. Took a good defensive mark and her kick was composed out of defensive 50, instead of being hacked out of there. Rendelmann got penetration on her taps and followed them up like a rover.

#21 Georgia Patrikios

Played her best game for the Cannons on Friday night. Ran really well and was able to deliver some long kicks down the field. Laid a strong tackle after she dropped the mark and continued that strong tackling throughout the contest. Her hands were clean, especially on the boundary line, where she was able to cleanly pick up the ball and turn her opponent inside out. Burst well out of the midfield and worked really well with Prespakis. Showed great agility when she picked the ball up off the ground, side-stepped and kicked the ball to Prespakis for her second goal of the day. Patrikios was able to get the ball and spin out of trouble on multiple occasions.

 

Dandenong Stingrays:

#15 Jordyn Allen

Allen’s footy IQ really stood out in this game. She displayed quick hands and did the little things, such as trapping the ball at her feet. Displayed excellent gut running to follow up the ball, and beat all her opponents to trap and kick it long. Allen always managed to get back behind the ball and displayed good composure. She effectively set up her own wall off half-back. Displayed some nice deft kicking. Took a fantastic contested mark after conceding a free kick. The Cannons could not get anything past her. Always applied strong pressure on her opponent and made them hesitate the kick.

#3 Courtney Jones

Jones read the footy well throughout the game. Kicked a great snap around the body for Dandenong’s second goal. Ran well on the wing and kicked great under pressure. Delivered a beautiful centring kick, having good awareness to not blaze away at goal. Kicked a long ball off one step and has an innate ability to kick around her body. Jones is one of the best in the league at around-the-body kicking. Took a good mark to stop the Cannons in their tracks and send it back inside 50.

#26 Isabella Shannon

Kicked a great mid-air snap while being pushed over. Did some good work to wrestle the ball out of the pack. Broke away well from a tackle, and still got the kick away while being pursued hotly. Shannon converted Dandenong’s first goal with a nice snap on an angle. Her courage showed when she bravely got up after a heavy hit.

#28 Tyanna Smith

Took a great mark and took her time to ensure she used the ball well. Her marking was on display throughout the match when she took another good mark and pursued with the footy despite tripping. In that instance, she did well to keep running, showing her intent to hunt the footy. Laid a great tackle and was able to quickly get a kick away. Picked up the ball cleanly and displayed nice movement through the ground.

#35 Lucinda Cripps

Ran well throughout the game and was able to follow up on her kicks. Displayed good movement from the stoppage to kick the ball away. Delivered a magnificent spearing pass to Jones inside 50 which beat all the players and fell out the back of the contest. Jones missed but deserved a goal because it was such a clever kick by Cripps.

 

Eastern Ranges vs. Murray Bushrangers

By: Peter Williams 

Eastern Ranges:

#3 Emerson Woods

A strong performance from Woods, particularly early in the game when the game was hot. In the opening term when the game was on the line she was huge. Her first contact was impacting a contest on the wing and killing a ball across the line, and proceeded to win a number of free kicks for fierce tackles. She had a set shot which went wide in the windy conditions, but continued to work hard on the inside, moving well through the stoppages. She also has that trademark handball where she gets her arms free of a would-be tackler and had the vision to execute to a teammate outside the stoppage. She reads the opposition taps well, sharking one from Sophie Damon, and played a good role between midfield and half-forward.

#21 Mikala Cann

Cann was the best player on the ground early, kicking a fantastic goal on the run under pressure and then giving off a second one to Catherine Chamberlain. She almost could have had three, but Ashleigh Allsopp’s set shot just missed. Her tackling pressure was very good and won a couple of free kicks under the holding the ball rule. Was quieter in the second half, but had a huge first half, both offensively and defensively.

#37 Georgia Macpherson

Worked into the game well after a quiet opening term given the ball hardly reached her vicinity. She took a number of strong marks across the four quarters and kicked long with penetration to half-forward or wide to the wing. She has a unique ability to mark the ball at full-speed and keep moving, or win the contested ball one-on-one and just burst a few steps before kicking long. She took a strong grab in the third term leaping high, and hit up Laura McClelland late in the fourth term after charging through the midfield.

#38 Laura McClelland

McClelland continued to present throughout the match and is a one-grab player. She took a great mark leaping in from the side in the second term, and took another on the lead in the third term. Her set shot dropped short, but she continued to show good aggression and defensive pressure. In the final term she took a good mark going back with the flight and hit-up Woods coming out of the attacking 50. She took a strong grab and shot for goal on the final siren, but it was rushed through, or counted as a behind.

#46 Sarah Kendall

Another solid performance rotating between ruck and defence. She quite often punched the ball clear for a teammate to run onto it, and took a strong intercept mark on the wing late in the first term. She laid a great tackle not long after to win a free kick, and then moved into defence where she was able to take a couple of good marks and perform well.

 

Murray Bushrangers:

#1 Julia Harvey

The small midfielder/forward never stopped trying and while Eastern was controlling most of the play early, Harvey was buzzing around winning the contested ball and trying to release her teammates. She showed good tackling pressure and won a free kick for being caught high. Sometimes she rushed a little and threw the ball on the boot, but showed good leadership at the stoppages and directed teammates where to run and stand.

#16 Eloise Ashley-Cooper

One of the more impressive Bushrangers, Ashley-Cooper provided plenty of run out of defence. She showed smart decision-making and found herself opposed to the dangerous McClelland at times. She was able to intercept the ball at half-back and took on the opposition in a number of occasions. She laid a strong tackle on Mikala Cann in the defensive 50 to lock the ball up when the Ranges were attacking, and just got better as the game went on. Put her body on the line on a number of occasions too.

#19 Millie Brown

Without Rebecca Webster in the midfield, Millie Brown stood up and did her best to try and drive the ball forward. She floated into the back half and took vital intercept marks and used her penetrating kick to clear the defence. Strong overhead and a textbook kicking action, Brown caused some headaches for the opposition and moved well along the wing often sending the ball back inside 50 for the Bushrangers. She even had a hit-out in the ruck showing off her versatility.

#22 Tamara Smith

A really solid game from Smith who never stopped trying. Worked hard through the middle of the ground and is really good at changing direction quickly and compose herself to kick long like she did in the second quarter. She laid a great smother in the third term and put her body on the line. Ran back with the flight and took a mark inside 50 but rushed to play on and her kick was affected by the opposition pressure.

 

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Western Jets

By: Peter Williams 

Oakleigh Chargers:

#2 Mimi Hill

A quick thinking midfielder, Hill is really good one-on-one and has good strength for a smaller player. She is able to dish off a quick handball and time her release well, and also lays some strong tackles. Hill won a free kick at half-back and was able to hit-up Bridie Winbanks in the middle of the ground in the second term with good vision.

#10 Alice O’Loughlin

A lively player up forward, O’Loughlin was busy around the 50m arc. She took a few marks, had shots on goal and was worrying the opposition defence. Did not end up finishing with a major, but opened up the forward line with her strong hands, including a good grab in the third term in front of a big pack of players.

#11 Bridie Winbanks

Used her height to advantage around the stoppages and often got the ball clear to the outside. She drifted around the ground and took a good contested grab at half-back in the third term and then brought down a mark on the goal line from an Isabella Grant set shot.

#14 Hannah McLaren

Another tireless effort from the Chargers captain who continually forced a contest at ground level. She played in the back half and provided plenty of pressure to the ball carrier and at the coal face. She won a big one-on-one contest and managed to free her arms to handball to a teammate in the second term. She also won a free kick in the final quarter for a great tackle.

#30 Gemma Lagioia

Really created drive and run across the ground, always on the move. She uses her vision to kick into space and opens up the other side of the ground with kicks to her teammates advantage. She nailed a great kick on the run to O’Loughlin in the third term, and had a perfect pick-up at top speed, collecting the ball off the deck and handballing almost in the same motion – a real one-touch player. Later in the game she continued to win a fair chunk of the football and took a good intercept mark on the wing.

#38 Daisy Bateman

Could sniff out a goal in a submarine. Kicked three majors, all of which were opportunistic, right-time, right-place type goals. She could have had another had it not been punched across the line in the second term by Isabelle Pritchard. She is smart and positioned herself well in the one-on-one marking contest where she took a mark in the goal square in the third term, turned around and booted it home. Shortly after, she kicked it off the deck after the ball bounced between two Jets opponents. She dropped into the hole 30m out from goal to almost kick a third in the term but couldn’t convert with the heavy ball dropping short.

 

Western Jets:

#14 Isabella Grant

Grant covers the ground quite well and moves nicely in transition from defence to attack. She teamed up well with Isabelle Pritchard in the second term in one instance where Pritchard handballed through traffic and Grant took off, kicking long to half-forward, where it was marked by Nikita Wright. Grant seems to love to go direct because when she wins the football she takes off and kicks long down the middle of the ground. It gained some really good meterage for the Jets. She had a shot on goal in the final term but her shot was marked on the line by Bridie Winbanks.

#16 Elisabeth Georgostathis

Georgostathis put in a hard-working performance through the midfield and was one of the better Jets players on the day. Some of her most noticeable traits were her ability to pick the ball up cleanly despite the weather and be able to change direction and dispose of it quickly. She showed good vision at a centre stoppage in the second term to handball over a couple of opponents to a teammate on the outside. In the second half she made a number of strong tackles, letting her opposition know that she was there. In the final term she took a strong mark in defence, marking the ball at full flight over the top of Isabella Gietzmann.

#30 Isabelle Pritchard

Stood strong in defence with a couple of crucial one-on-one wins. Pritchard spoiled the ball in the second term to punch it across the line and stop a Daisy Bateman goal. She then took a good mark at half-back in the third term and handballed to Isabella Grant who kept the play moving. She won a one-on-one at ground level by wrestling the ball back and handballed to a teammate whilst under pressure in the third term, then laid a fantastic tackle to lock the ball up 30m from goal a few minutes later. She won an intercept possession at half-forward in the final term and showed quick hands in the middle of the ground to give it off to a teammate streaming forward.

#39 Cleo Saxon-Jones

Stood up in the final term booting a powerful goal from a set shot, which she navigated the breeze well and went straight through. She showed good defence in the third term where she found herself opposed to the speedy Gemma Lagioia and did well to punch the ball away and out of bounds but was unlucky to be called for deliberate.

#43 Caitlin Greiser

Had an early shot on goal in the first term but didn’t quite get through the big sticks, then showed her strength and smarts in the second term. Greiser was one-on-one deep and indicated to her teammate to kick it long. She positioned herself at the back, taking a mark and then not breaking stride and running into goal, backing herself in and kicking a major from the top of the goal square. In the third term she had a shot from long range but just missed to the right.

 

Geelong Falcons vs. Northern Knights

By: John Van Noorden

Geelong Falcons: 

#7 Olivia Purcell

Was wherever the team needed her all day. Her hard work in the contest was evident and her tackling was ferocious. A highlight of her game was when she executed a Dusty-like fend-off to perfection. With her efforts on the inside and in the clearances, she was best on ground for me. 

#18 Nina Morrison

She is a great reader of the play, and her intercept and contested marking was on display all day, allowing Geelong to rebound quickly and turn defence into attack. She was clean and efficient throughout the day, and laid some important tackles. She is one of those players that makes all her teammates look better.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Her long kicking out of defence was a highlight, and never hesitated to go back with the flight. She was composed when her team needed it in the second half, and provided great structure to the Falcons backline.

#27 Denby Taylor

She was very quick, and her long kicking saw off many of Northern’s forward entries, and also set up her team well to rebound.

 

Northern Knights:

#4 Neve O’Connor

She had a big presence on the field, and was very effective at winning the hit-outs to space, and was always quick to follow up. She moves exceptionally well for a taller player, and she took a couple of great contested marks. O’Connor also delivered long kicks inside 50 to the advantage of Northern. 

#21 Ellie McKenzie

Was quiet in the first quarter (although most of the Knights were), but had an explosive patch in the middle of the second quarter. She chased and tackled, winning a free kick for her team on the back flank. She followed that with a long kick down the wing hitting her target on the chest, then sprinted forward and made a contest in the forward 50 to force a ball-up. A minute later, she was sitting on a player’s shoulders as she flew for a high mark, but could not bring the ball down. McKenzie was very influential. 

#22 Britney Gutknecht

Very classy and displayed excellent clean pick ups. Got high-quality possessions in the contest, and drew a free kick inside 25 metres but didn’t convert. Gutknecht’s composure was one reason why Northern was able to get back into the game in the second half. 

#23 Gabby Newton

She was composed under pressure and looked a level above at times. On a few occasions she displayed the awareness to change her decision at the last minute, making a better one and opening up space for teammates. Newton was strong in defence, and held the fort down well in the third quarter, enabling her teammates to mount a comeback against the breeze. Her unselfish team play was a highlight, and was best on ground for Northern in my opinion. 

 

Sandringham Dragons vs. Bendigo Pioneers 

By: Matt Balmer 

Sandringham Dragons:

#30 Eleanor Brown

Brown was a marking machine throughout the afternoon where she would’ve taken 10 plus marks. Standing at 176cm, her presence in the air made her a tough match-up for the Pioneers players. One of her standout marks was in the second quarter, where she smartly intercepted the ball. She was good marking overhead, as well on her chest. The left foot kicker also had a huge run down the ‘scoreboard’ wing in the final quarter, and was one of the Dragons’ best for the day.

#36 Jemma Owen

The Sandy Dragons skipper has the ability to break the lines, making her a damaging player. She is also willing to take players on to help get the ball moving forward. In one passage of play, she smartly ran hard to get the handball off the stationary player and used her good kick to get it moving forward. She also showed throughout the contest that she was willing to kick the ball on either foot if required.

#43 Abbie McKay

One thing I noticed about McKay was the noise that was made everytime she kicked the ball – the “thump” after every kick was obvious compared with some of the other girls and she had a long distance on her right foot. McKay also had an impressive passage of play, kicking the ball well inside 50 in the second quarter.

#46 Alice Burke

She had a quieter first half, but she got going in the second half playing a really good half. She won the opening contest of the third quarter, getting the ball and clearing it from the stoppage and kicking it inside 50. Similar to McKay, she also has a long right foot kick.

 

Bendigo Pioneers:

#19 Kodi Jacques

Played most of the game in the midfield trying hard during the contest, but the Pioneers were well and truly beaten during the match. She took an outstanding contested mark in the opening quarter and competed hard during the match. Her effort won her a free kick in the second quarter, while another highlight was a thumping right foot kick in the final quarter that hit the target up the ground.

#28 Megan Williamson

Was the Pioneers best player in my eyes, working exceptionally hard in the defensive half of the ground. The left footer did show she was willing to use it off her right foot if required, but hit most of her targets on her natural left foot. She was strong in the contest and at times, was willing to tuck it under her arm and run forward. She showed she was willing to put her head over the ball and deservingly won a free for high contact in the third term. Despite the score, she fought hard in the final term with multiple inside 50s – including a kick straight out of the middle early in the fourth quarter that ventured inside 50.

 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Gippsland Power 

By: Matt Balmer 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

#15 Tara Jasper

She did some nice things throughout the contest, but an outstanding piece of play had to be recognised in the third quarter. On the ‘scoreboard’ side of the ground, she laid an absolutely superb run-down tackle in the third quarter that stopped a certain inside 50 and possible goal for the Power.

#16 Lauren Butler

Was impressed with her work during the match, where she competes well around the ground, mostly playing across half-back. She puts her head over the footy, showing she is willing to win the footy in the contest.

#18 Sophie Van De Heuvel

Played almost exclusively across half forward, rarely pushing into the midfield. She did play as a high half-forward at times. What was most impressive about Van De Heuvel was her tackling, where she laid over five for the match, putting pressure on her opponents. Another impressive aspect is her recovery, while she did drop a mark in the opening term, she immediately laid a tackle on her Power opponent forcing a stoppage. She recovers well when the ball hits the turf and picks it up cleanly. She snapped a beautiful goal in the second quarter at the south end of Trevor Barker Oval.

#25 Georgia Clarke

Clarke was the player I was most impressed with for the entire day. She played almost as a quarterback role as a rebounding defender, repelling multiple Power attacks on goal. Her rebound work was outstanding and she used the ball well off her right foot. She is very agile and moves well around the ground. An intercept possession in the third quarter was a highlight and there was no doubting that Clarke was one of the Rebels’ best players.

#35 Rene Caris

Caris played in the ruck and it was the first throw-up of the day that was the most impressive, where she got up and over at the first ruck contest and hitting the ball down to a teammate. The right footer did find some football around the ground and was reasonable below her knees when the ball hit the ground in the wet conditions.

 

Gippsland Power:

#6 Emily Haeusler

Haeusler is a strong tackler, playing most of the game in the attacking half of the ground. She can use the ball reasonably well on either her left or right foot, but she hit a superb pass on the left on the wing in the second quarter. Her hands in close in the contest were good despite the slippery ball.

#28 Tyla Hanks

You only need one look at Hanks to know she is going to be an outstanding footballer in the future. Her opening quarter was superb and she almost single handedly got her Power side over the line in the tight contest. She would’ve had close to 10 disposals in the opening quarter, where she begun the contest with a big inside 50 from the stoppage. She is strong in the contest and reads the taps from the rucks exceptionally well. She has a zip of speed and gets the ball moving forward whenever possible. She exits very well from the stoppages and booted an outstanding goal in the final quarter, snapping the ball and dribbling it through the goals – which in the end was the Power’s only goal of the day.

#58 Amy Dunn

The tall played most of the match in the ruck where she competed very well. Despite the wet conditions, she took a good mark inside 50 in the second quarter. A set shot on goal went for a point on her right foot. She marked well early in the match.

Team of the Week: TAC Cup Girls – Round 7

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.

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup Girls – Round 7

ROUND seven confirmed the two grand finalists for the TAC Cup Girls competition. The Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights have now won seven games in a row, and sit two games ahead of Sandringham and Eastern at third and fourth (respectively). All four teams had a win on the weekend and were joined by Greater Western Victoria (GWV) and Dandenong on the winners’ list.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels  5.8.38 defeated Murray Bushrangers 5.2.32

By: Peter Williams

The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels continued their fantastic form with their third straight win, following a thrilling six-point victory over the Murray Bushrangers. The Bushrangers have found themselves on the opposite side of the formline, with the loss making it three consecutive defeats since going nine games without a loss in the first season and a half of TAC Cup Girls football. Both sides were impressive throughout with a number of AFLW Academy stars putting on a show.

For the winners, Georgia Clarke was immense at centre-half back in the first half, rebounding all the Murray attacks, while up the other end, Sophie Van De Heuvel booted two goals and could have had a couple more had it not been for a few unlucky misses, or unselfish plays. Sophie Molan continued her fantastic form through the midfield and around the ground, while up forward, the exciting Renee Saulitis booted a goal and almost had a second, just looking dangerous every time she went near it. Captain Lauren Butler was another consistent player across four quarters playing all across the ground.

The Bushrangers’ midfield was the shining loss in the defeat, with Rebecca Webster leading the way despite being closely watched by her opponents, while Tamara Smith, Chelsea Knight and Millie Brown all threw themselves into the contest. Kate Adams was lively between midfield and forward, while Grace Egan was solid off half-back, producing some good rebounds and run-and-carry.

Oakleigh Chargers 4.4.28 defeated by Dandenong Stingrays 8.8.56

The Dandenong Stingrays backed up their first win of the season last week with a clinical 28-point win over the Oakleigh Chargers. The Stingrays led all day but in a positive for the Chargers, they outscored the away side by a point in the last quarter.

Alice O’Sullivan was the best afield for the Stingrays and was joined by usual suspect, Jordyn Allen among the top Dandenong players. The Stingrays captain has been a consistent performer in the back line all season and Saturday was no different. Isabella Shannon backed up her two-goal performance last week with another two goals against the Chargers. Amie Carroll was one of seven goal-kickers for the Stingrays, and also found her name in the best for the away side.

Playing without last week’s best-on-ground, Katie Lynch was always going to be a big challenge for Oakleigh. But the Chargers had plenty of players who stepped up in her place, including Chloe O’Malley, Melanie Bertuna and captain, Hannah McLaren. Bridie Winbanks was named the best player for Oakleigh after having another dominant performance in the black and white. Cricketer Isabella Gietzmann got on the board with a goal and also featured among Oakleigh’s best.

Eastern Ranges 4.5.29 defeated Gippsland Power 3.2.20

By: Taylah Melki

In a close encounter, it was the Eastern Ranges that came away with a nine-point win over the Gippsland Power. Both teams brought their a-game and competed hard throughout the game, with plenty of good match-ups across the ground. The Power threw everything at the Ranges in the last quarter but the Ranges showed great composure and held on to claim their fifth win for the season.

For the Ranges, Emerson Woods impressed both in the air and at ground level, going in hard to win the footy. Woods took a few good strong marks and consistently provided an option for her teammates. Nicole Cormack also played a big role in the Ranges win, slotting an important goal in the dying minutes to help secure the victory for Eastern. Georgia Macpherson applied plenty of pressure and was clean in and around the contest while Catherine Chamberlain imposed herself on the scoreboard, slotting a major.

Tyla Hanks was in impressive form yet again for the Power, slotting a big goal to keep them in the game and racking up plenty of touches. Her ability to read the play allowed her to release her teammates into space and propel her team forward. Jazz Ferguson also had a stellar game for the Power, laying plenty of strong tackles and taking a heap of intercept marks. Ferguson was really strong around the contest and showed her clean hands in tight. Emily Haeusler was in fine form once again winning plenty of the footy while teammate Chelsea Bray slotted an important goal for the Power.  

Sandringham Dragons 8.9.57 defeated Western Jets 1.1.7

By: Carly McClen and Julia Montesano

Sandringham kept the Western Jets goalless until late in the last quarter, making more noise on the ground than ever before and proving it near impossible for the Jets to get the ball- not just into their attacking 50, but across the halfway line. Nobody could get near Dragons forward Holly Bate, who kicked five majors for the day while Kaitlyn O’Keefe kicked the only goal for the Jets late in the last quarter.

Midfielder, Eliza McNamara was among the standouts on the weekend, continuing to show how much of an asset she is to the Dragons line-up. Alice Burke and Bryanna Arnold stood up in defence and had solid performances. But it was Holly Bate who stole the show for Sandringham, kicking five goals in a dominant performance inside 50. Abbie McKay also got on the board with two majors, and was named among the Dragons’ best players. 

For the Jets, Elisabeth Georgostathis had another fine day through the middle of the ground and never gave up throughout the match. Isabelle Pritchard was solid once again in defence and continues to trouble opposition forwards. Cleo Saxon-Jones had another commendable performance while Isabella Grant found her name in Western’s best once again, proving how valuable she is to the side. 

Northern Knights 14.7.91 defeated Bendigo Pioneers 3.2.20

By: James Halley

After an even first quarter, it was all the Knights from then on as they piled on 12 goals to two to stay undefeated after seven rounds. At quarter time, the match could have gone either way, but the Knights flicked the switch and kicked five goals to none in the second term to give themselves a game winning 35-point lead at half time.

Britney Gutknecht was enormous with six goals, jumping to second on the league’s top goal kickers list. Ellie McKenzie was influential in the middle of the ground, and was assisted by Neve O’Connor dominating the ruck and getting plenty of hit-outs throughout the game.

Kodi Jacques was clearly the best for the Pioneers, digging in deep in the midfield all day while also kicking a goal. Captain, Megan Williamson and Dayna Kelly-Guthrie were among the other leading performers for the Pioneers. 

The Knights will look to claim top spot in round eight against Geelong Falcons in a top-of-the-table clash, while Bendigo will face another tough game against third-placed Sandringham.

Calder Cannons 4.2.26 defeated by Geelong Falcons 7.4.46

At the end of the first quarter, the Cannons were leading the Falcons, prompting them to go bang with a six-goal second quarter. Calder fought back in the third quarter with three goals but Geelong’s second quarter was dominant enough to secure the victory at RAMS Arena.

Sophie Walmsley had a dominant performance for the Falcons, kicking two goals for the day and having a strong presence around the ground. Ella Mahoney also got on the board with two majors in her first game of the season. Nina Morrison continued her stellar season in the midfield with a high work ethic throughout the match, and was complemented by Zoe Inei in the ruck.

Madison Prespakis again starred for the Cannons, playing in the midfield and contributing at full forward. Prespakis kicked two goals for the day and her on-field leadership was second-to-none. Carla Rendelmann starred in the ruck and absolutely dominated, winning plenty of hit-outs. Midfielders, Felicity Theodore and Grace Dicker were among the best for the Cannons, providing important run throughout the day.