Tag: Andrew McKay

AFLW Draft review: Carlton

AFTER finishing on the bottom of the table last season, the Blues needed to go big in the 2018 AFL Women’s Draft. That’s just what they did, acquiring the services of Madison Prespakis, Abbie McKay, Jayde Van Dyk, Charlotte Wilson, Emerson Woods, Rhiannon Watt and Jessica Edwards. To add to that, Carlton added 32 year-old former Fremantle star, Kirby Bentley to its line-up in a bid to move up the ladder in 2019.

What they needed:

  • Defenders to fill the void of Kate Gillespie-Jones, Danielle Hardiman, Lauren Arnell and Laura Attard
  • Midfielders to replace Maddison Gay and Madeline Keryk
  • Tall forward to fill the absence of Kate Shierlaw

 

Players selected:

Madison Prespakis – Calder Cannons

Prespakis was the first metropolitan player to be picked in the draft, after one of the most stellar Under-18 careers. This year alone, Prespakis won the joint Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Vic Metro’s MVP, was the joint TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest winner and won the Calder Cannons Best and Fairest. She is a bull in the midfield who racks up plenty of the football. Undoubtedly, she is one of the most exciting prospects for next year, as her run and carry and booming kick can break open a game for any team.

Abbie McKay – Sandringham Dragons

McKay has been long touted to go to the Blues, after her dad, Andrew played 244 games for the club. But the famous name is certainly not the only reason why the 17 year-old got drafted to the Blues. She is a skilful midfielder that was one of the standouts in the Sandringham Dragons line-up this year. She displayed quick hands and superb run and carry, not only for the Dragons but for Vic Metro as well. McKay drew plenty of interest from other clubs, so the Blues cleverly selected her early to ensure that she was their game-changer.

Jayde Van Dyk – Hawthorn

Van Dyk’s Hawthorn Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s coach, Patrick Hill touted her as a potential number one pick. So Carlton getting her in the 20s is a steal, as the defender dominated in all areas of the VFLW this year. She was the recipient of the VFLW Rising Star award, was named in the VFLW Team of the Year and won her club Best and Fairest award. Van Dyk is a classy defender who looks ready-made for AFLW. She can shut down players well and displays amazing composure on the last line of defence. Van Dyk will play a big part in preventing Carlton from enduring another season like 2018.

Charlotte Wilson – Eastern Ranges

The Eastern Ranges co-captain was a rock in defence this year with her great overhead marking and ability to shut down players. She was also able to rotate through the ruck to provide some support there, highlighting her versatility. Wilson still plays basketball now, but it could change with the addition of an AFL Women’s contract. She enjoyed representing Vic Metro this year and also tested well in the AFL Women’s Draft Combine, coming first in the standing vertical jump, and finishing in the top five in the running vertical jump (left and right), 20-metre sprint and the yo-yo intermittent test. Her athleticism will be quite valuable for the Blues this season.

Emerson Woods- Eastern Ranges

Woods had a very successful Under-18 year, representing Vic Metro, co-captaining the Eastern Ranges and winning a premiership with Hawthorn in the VFLW. Woods has the ability to go forward or play in the midfield, thanks to her elite endurance and blistering speed. She is very smart with the ball in hand and displays quick hands in congestion. She also has a great overhead mark and is agile in the air. Woods dominated the AFL Women’s Draft Combine, breaking the 20 metre sprint record with a time of 3.129 seconds. She also came in the top 10 for the vertical jump, the agility test, the yo-yo intermittent test and the 2km time trial.

Rhiannon Watt – Southern Saints

The Southern Saints ruck was quite impressive in the VFLW this year, being named as the leading ruck in the VFLW Team of the Year and winning the Southern Saints Best and Fairest alongside Alison Drennan. Watt displayed all the classic qualities of a ruck, and complemented this with her great ball-use at ground level. She will provide great support for Breann Moody, making Carlton’s ruck stocks a formidable force.

Jessica Edwards – Collingwood

The Collingwood VFLW captain was unexpectedly snapped up in the AFL Women’s Draft by traditional rivals, Carlton. Edwards is highly deserving of an AFLW contract after leading her side to a minor premiership this year in the VFLW. She is quite a smart footballer, knowing where to position herself to find space. Her hands are clean and her kicks are quite accurate, making her a handy acquisition for Carlton’s midfield.

Kirby Bentley – Fremantle

Bentley was a star for Fremantle in the first season of the AFLW, averaging 10 disposals a match in her role at half-back and through the midfield. She was named as a part of the 40-player All Australian squad. However, a knee injury suffered in that year’s State of Origin game ruled her out of AFLW 2.0, and she made the decision to retire from AFL Women’s. But now, ready to play again, Bentley has been snapped up by the Blues and will add some much-needed experience to their line-up.  

 

How they went:

Carlton has recruited exceptionally well in the AFL Women’s Draft. The Blues have been able to fill the void of Danielle Hardiman and Kate Gillespie-Jones through picking up Van Dyk, Wilson and Bentley, who will all give the opposition forwards plenty of headaches. Bentley can also provide support in the midfield, and replaces the experience of former Blues captain, Lauren Arnell. The Blues’ midfield has also received a huge boost with the acquisition of one of the best Under 18 midfielders in the country, in Madison Prespakis. Prespakis will add an element of aggression and will be able to break the lines with her football smarts. Together with Jessica Edwards, Abbie McKay and Emerson Woods, Carlton’s new-look midfield will certainly turn some heads. To add to this, the Blues’ ruck department has received a boost with Wilson able to head into the ruck alongside Rhiannon Watt and Breann Moody. Emerson Woods can also head into the forward line, and could present well like Kate Shierlaw did for Carlton last year.

AFLW Draft preview: Carlton

THE Blues have conducted a big clean-out after finishing on the bottom of the ladder, and would hope to boost their side with young talent. Amelia Barden, who comes from Collingwood will add to Carlton’s inside midfield brigade while rugby sevens duo, Chloe Dalton and Brooke Walker could add exciting aggression and agility to the Blues’ outfit. With Darcy Vescio having a stellar Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season and Brianna Davey sticking with the Blues, a rise could be on the cards for Carlton.

 

Last season: 8th

In: Amelia Barden, Chloe Dalton, Brooke Walker

Out: Maddison Gay, Lauren Arnell, Danielle Hardiman, Kate Gillespie-Jones, Maddy Keryk, Sarah Last, Laura Attard, Kate Shierlaw, Tiahna Cochrane (rookie), Katie-Jayne Grieve (rookie), Sophie Li

CARLTON AFLW List (21/30)

  • Shae Audley
  • Amelia Barden
  • Lauren Brazzale
  • Chloe Dalton
  • Brianna Davey
  • Alison Downie
  • Georgia Gee
  • Kerryn Harrington
  • Tayla Harris
  • Reni Hicks
  • Jess Hosking
  • Sarah Hosking
  • Bridie Kennedy
  • Katie Loynes
  • Tilly Lucas-Rodd
  • Breann Moody
  • Natalie Plane
  • Gabriella Pound
  • Nicola Stevens
  • Darcy Vescio
  • Brooke Walker
  • Courtney Webb

DRAFT PICKS

3, 16, 27, 38, 48, 49

POSSIBLE DRAFT PROSPECTS

The Blues have the first of the Victorian metropolitan picks and undoubtedly, Calder Cannons captain, Madison Prespakis will be on their mind. Prespakis was a favourite to go number one in the AFL Women’s Draft this year, but after nominating to go a metropolitan Victorian club, it ruled her out of going to Geelong at pick one. This presents a prime opportunity for the Blues to take one of the best Victorian metropolitan players. Vic Country representative, Tyla Hanks will also be a key prospect, having played with the Blues in the VFL Women’s season. Hanks was the leading disposal-getter in her first game with the Blues and has proved to be a dangerous midfielder throughout her junior career. Carlton AFL Women’s coach, Daniel Harford has expressed interest in Sandringham Dragons midfielder, Abbie McKay, who is the daughter of Carlton premiership player, Andrew McKay. These midfielders could help fill the void left by Maddison Gay and Madeline Keryk, who were both delisted from Carlton’s list. The Blues will make history by drafting McKay, as it will be the first ever father-daughter selection. With the loss of Danielle Hardiman and Kate Gillespie-Jones,Carlton could fill its defensive stocks by drafting Vic Country representative, Jordyn Allen. Allen led the way for the Dandenong Stingrays this season and also made the AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian side. Vic Metro representative, Eleanor Brown may also be a name that the Blues will keep an eye on, as she can play in the midfield or across half-back.

Team Selection: VFLW – Round 16

ROUND 16 marks the final round of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s home and away season. While the top four might be locked in, teams will still be looking to finish strongly. Two debutants look to take to the field this week alongside an array of changes. The last round of the 2018 season opens with the Southern Saints taking on the Tigers.

 

SOUTHERN SAINTS v. RICHMOND

Round 16 – 25/08/2018

11:00AM

SkyBus Stadium

Both out of the finals race, the Southern Saints and Richmond will be lining up for the last game of the season to kick off Round 16. The Saints have made five changes ahead of the match, featuring the inclusion of AFLW star, Lauren Arnell. They have also called upon TAC Cup Girls leading goal kicker, Holly Bate to join the field, alongside Sandringham midfielder, Eleanor Brown, Amy Silver and Eastern Ranges defender, Charlotte Wilson. Missing out this week are Alice Ryan and Sasha Long.

The Tigers will be returning from their Round 15 bye this weekend and have made four changes to their line-up. Nuala Clarke, Niamh Clarke, Gabrielle Deller and Ellie George have all been named to take to the field. On the other hand, AFLW duo, Emma King and Lauren Tesoriero have both been named out which is sure to leave room for younger players to stand up one last time in the 2018 season.

Southern Saints

B: 16. K. Thompson, 23. J. Rolland, 30. C. Wilson
HB: 29. M. Macdonald, 17. L. Olsen, 4. G. Ricardo
C: 39. E.  Brown, 2. A.  Brown, 43. S.  Heath
HF: 49. A. Allsopp, 15. T. Bohanna, 24. K. Ripari
F: 10. L. Arnell, 13. C. Munn, 35. G. De Angelis
R: 28. R. Watt, 8. A. Drennan, 32. S. Johnson
Int: 45. S. Binder, 42. C. Jones, 40. M. Maitland, 19. A. Silver
23P: 3. H. Bate

In: E. Brown, A. Silver, H. Bate, L. Arnell, C. Wilson
Out: A. Ryan,  S. Long

Richmond

B: 84. L. Bieniara, 63. J. Graham, 69. E. Burry
HB: 54. L. Bailey, 73. L. Davie, 83. J. Gardner
C: 75. B.  Lynch, 85. N.  Clarke, 88. P.  Monahan
HF: 61. J. Colwell, 89. G. Deller, 76. E. Ross
F: 93. C. Bernardi, 81. E. George, 53. K. Dixon
R: 68. A. Edmonds, 60. K. Dempsey, 52. J. Kennedy
Int: 86. N. Clarke, 71. R. Edmeades, 72. J. Radnell, 59. A. Woodward
23P: 92. T. Smith

 

HAWTHORN  v. GEELONG CATS

Round 16 – 25/08/2018

11:30AM

Box Hill City Oval

After its impressive interstate win over the NT Thunder last weekend, Hawthorn will be needing a repeat effort when it comes up against the Cats on Saturday. A win this weekend could cement the Hawks a top two finish. They have made three changes ahead of the clash, bringing in Claire Dyett and Jess Sibley. Nicky Cormack has also been named as the 23rd player.

Following suit, Geelong has also made three changes this week. Hayley Trevean and Hannah Mangan have both been named in while Geelong Falcons’ Tarryn Love has been selected as the 23rd player. Vic Country representatives, Georgia Clarke, Nina Morrison and Olivia Purcell have all been named out.

Hawthorn

B: 32. K. Ebb, 5. C. Perera, 11. D. Haines
HB: 25. M. Hutchins, 36. J. Van Dyk, 21. P. Randall
C: 12. T.  Nestor, 1. E.  Mackie, 13. E.  Nixon
HF: 33. E. Gilder, 8. R. Beeson, 35. C. O’Donnell
F: 22. T. Luke, 28. S. Perkins, 7. P. McWilliams
R: 19. L. Wotton, 24. R. Dillon, 6. J. Crockett-Grills
Int: 45. M. Cann, 26. C. Dyett, 40. E. Macdonald, 31. J. Sibley
23P: 53. N. Cormack

In: C. Dyett, N. Cormack, S. Carroll, J. Sibley
Out: O. Flanagan,  E. Woods

Geelong Cats

B: 44. R. Goring, 40. A. Teague, 26. R. Pearce
HB: 25. E. Coventry, 1. J. Woollett, 34. A. McDonald
C: 4. C.  Blakeway, 45. M.  Keryk, 3. H.  Burchell
HF: 2. D. Orr, 5. J. Ivey, 33. H. Trevean
F: 7. M. Clifford, 6. M. Boyd, 8. K. Darby
R: 41. C. Stevens, 30. R. Cranston, 13. M. Fogas
Int: 23. I. Currenti, 11. M. Klingbeil , 17. H. Mangan, 10. L. Taylor
Emg: 27. R. Benham, 28. M. Fedele, 15. M. Janssen
23P: 53. T. Love

In: T. Love, H. Trevean, H. Mangan
Out: G. Clarke, N. Morrison, O. Purcell

 

CASEY DEMONS v. COLLINGWOOD

Round 16 – 25/08/2018

11:30AM

Casey Fields

The Casey Demons will face the current ladder leaders this week for their final game of the 2018 season. They have selected five inclusions for the match, highlighted by AFLW players, Harriet Cordner and Catherine Phillips, who can hopefully steer the team to a win to end the season. They will take to the field alongside Gippsland Power defender, Emily Haeusler, Lorianne Lowerson and Jasmine Garner. Taking to the sidelines will be former Vic Country skipper, Darcy Guttridge and Dandenong Stingrays skipper, Jordyn Allen.

With a guaranteed top two finish, the Pies have made an array of changes this week in order to keep legs fresh. AFLW players, Illish Ross and Jamiee Lambert are sure to see the Pies’ strong form continue when they take to the field this week. Similarly, Julia Halaseh-Russo, Carle Rooks, Jessica Edwards and Sarah King have also been selected to play. Named out this week are Sophie Alexander, Daisy Bateman, Erica Fowler, Elise Korteman, Hillary Grubb and Hannah McLaren.

Casey Demons

B: 18. K. Bentvelzen , 27. A. Harrison, 37. L. Lowerson
HB: 3. R. Clayton, 41. T. Mesiti, 23. G. Gourlay
C: 7. B.  Jakobsson, 28. M.  Gay, 35. C.  Phillips
HF: 9. A. Johnson, 12. G. McLean, 26. S. Sloane
F: 24. N. Garner, 46. E. Haeusler , 22. K. Guttridge
R: 29. E. Zanker , 21. H. Cordner, 17. S. Scott
Int: 47. M. Hogg, 14. T. Orgill, 25. M. Shevlin, 8. M. Tatham
23P: 50. A. Dunn

In: E. Haeusler , L. Lowerson, H. Cordner, N. Garner, S. Phillips, C. Phillips
Out: D. Guttridge,  J. Allen

Collingwood

B: 72. K. Lee, 18. R. Schleicher, 21. I. Ross
HB: 22. S. Casey, 12. S. Livingstone, 52. N. Hales
C: 50. G.  Buchan, 13. J.  Lambert, 99. S.  Marsh
HF: 77. C. Leighton, 73. G. Biedenweg-Webster, 28. H. Whitford
F: 3. N. Hildebrand, 93. S. King, 2. C. Molloy
R: 11. E. Hynes, 47. J. Edwards, 41. K. Stratton
Int: 70. J. Ferguson, 60. J. Halaseh-Russo, 61. A. Malander, 90. C. Rooks
23P: 59. K. Lynch

In: J. Halaseh-Russo , I. Ross, C. Rooks, A. Bild , J. Edwards, S. King, J. Lambert
Out: S. Alexander, D. Bateman, E. Fowler, H. Grubb, E. Korteman, H. McLaren

 

DAREBIN  v. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Round 16 – 25/08/2018

12:00PM

Bill Lawry Oval

Falling just short of the top four, Darebin will still be looking to finish the 2018 season strongly in Round 16 when it comes up against the Dogs. They have named six inclusions for the occasion, starring AFLW midfielder, Elise O’Dea, alongside Cherelle Byrne, Esther Honybun, Jessica Dal Pos and Northern Knights midfielder, Marnie Jarvis. Chelsea Delbridge has been named as the 23rd player.

After last week’s loss, the Western Bulldogs will be wanting to finish the season on a high note in Round 16. Ahead of the match, they have made multiple changes, bringing in Elise Muller, Rachael Gastin, Brittany Wunhym, Tiarna Ernst and Alicia Rooth. Mary Spurs has been named as the 23rd player.

Darebin

B: 31. E. Gardner, 10. G. Lawson-Tavan, 21. K. Roe
HB: 32. G. Colvin, 14. M. McDonald, 24. B. Patterson
C: 15. A.  Lister, 9. M.  Eastman, 11. K.  Tyndall
HF: 36. C. Byrne, 45. N. Deiter, 13. K. Shierlaw
F: 39. M. Jarvis, 17. S. Simpson, 46. L. Szigeti
R: 40. L. Pearce, 20. M. Guerin, 30. E. O’Dea
Int: 12. J. Dal pos, 44. S. Fairchild, 22. G. Hammond, 1. E. Honybun
23P: 50. C. Delbridge

In: E. O’Dea, C. Byrne, E. Honybun, J. Dal pos, M. Jarvis, C. Delbridge
Out: A. Morrow,  L. Jacobs,  R. Hibbert,  A. Pronesti,  M. Wilson

Western Bulldogs

B: 5. R. Martinuzzo, 40. N. Gills, 42. N. Paul
HB: 15. R. Ashley, 19. T. Ernst, 35. S. Ruedin
C: 29. J.  Davies, 20. A.  Guest, 27. E.  Muller
HF: 10. S. Jolly, 32. A. Mifsud, 4. D. Teasdale
F: 41. A. Scott, 6. K. McLeod, 37. B. Wunhym
R: 47. N. McMahon, 22. H. Scott, 9. T. Dinuccio
Int: 12. J. Francke, 25. R. Gastin, 31. A. Gunn, 30. A. Tessari
23P: 38. M. Sandral

In: E. Muller, R. Gastin, B. Wunhym, T. Ernst, M. Sandral
Out: L. Spark, B. Toogood, A. Goldring

 

ESSENDON  v. CARLTON

Round 16 – 25/08/2018

03:00PM

Windy Hill

The 2018 season has resulted in only one win for Essendon, so it will be hungry to finish with a victory in the final game of the season. The Bombers have brought Natasha Hardy into the forward line while Calder Cannons ruck, Eleanor Cornish has been named out.

Coming up against the Dons, Carlton has made three changes. The Blues’ skipper, Kristi Harvey has been brought back into the side to lead her side out for the final time in the home and away season. Another exciting inclusion this week for Carlton is father-daughter prospect, Abbie McKay, daughter of premiership player, Andrew McKay. The Vic Metro representative will debut this weekend, named as the 23rd player. Jess Malouf has also been added to the mix, while AFLW listed players, Reni Hicks and Alison Downie will take to the sidelines.

Essendon

B: 20. J. Anwyl, 17. T. Hetherington, 41. M. Warburton
HB: 7. K. Hicks, 25. R. Neaves, 27. A. Morcom
C: 18. K.  Heil, 8. H.  Bullas, 9. L.  Williams
HF: 16. L. Morecroft, 35. V. Moreau, 1. J. Trend
F: 3. M. DeMatteo, 4. N. Hardy, 6. A. Quigley
R: 30. S. Nalder, 44. M. Collier, 22. N. MacDonald
Int: 15. L. Caruso, 26. A. Madden, 46. C. Ugle, 19. B. Winbanks
23P: 23. A. Nichols

In: N. Hardy, A. Nichols
Out: E. Cornish

Carlton

B: 50. J. Borg, 25. T. Morgan, 6. G. Pound
HB: 34. A. Chuot, 5. D. Pedersen, 66. O. Vesely
C: 55. C.  Dalton, 19. G.  Gee, 90. B.  Walker
HF: 40. K. Harvey, 36. C. Moody, 18. T. Lucas-Rodd
F: 20. C. Bromage, 3. D. Vescio, 15. I. Gietzmann
R: 31. R. Caris, 8. M. Brancatisano, 27. K. Cox
Int: 82. N. Burns, 7. S. Last, 17. J. Malouf, 37. B. Schultz
23P: 2. A. McKay

In: K. Harvey, A. McKay, J. Malouf
Out: A. Downie, M. Suzuki, R. Hicks

 

MELBOURNE UNI  v. WILLIAMSTOWN

Round 16 – 26/08/2018

02:30PM

Melbourne University Main Oval

Melbourne Uni has brought in a mix of its new North Melbourne AFLW recruits to play out their last game of the season. This includes Emma Kearney, Katherine Gillespie-Jones, Emma Humphries and Danielle Hardiman. Airlie Runnalls has also been named in alongside Tasmanian Under 18 representative, Chloe Haines, who has been named as the 23rd player in her debut. Haines comes from the Burnie Dockers and is the twin sister of Libby Haines, who also plays for Melbourne University.

Williamstown go into its final game of the season unchanged. Coming off back-to-back wins, the Seagulls will be hoping to finish off the season with another victory.

Melbourne Uni

B: 12. M. Cantwell, 29. K. Klatt, 6. E. Keaney
HB: 20. L. Belza, 31. D. Hardiman, 17. E. Hay
C: 19. L.  Ahrens, 15. E.  Kearney, 47. E.  Humphries
HF: 1. S. Abbatangelo, 41. K. Gillespie-Jones, 21. R. Webster
F: 38. K. Angelis, 26. C. Greiser, 9. K. Price
R: 8. C. Fitzpatrick, 3. K. Ashmore, 7. A. Riddell
Int: 22. D. Edward, 2. H. Ibrahim, 44. A. Runnalls, 18. A. Tupper
23P: 52. C. Haines

In: A. Runnalls, C. Haines, E. Kearney, K. Gillespie-Jones, L. Munday, D. Hardiman, E. Humphries
Out: M. Smith,  J. Anderson,  M. McDonald,  J. Limbrick,  A. Saundry,  M. Prespakis

Williamstown

B: 19. E. Meade, 20. S. Seabrook, 8. C. Portelli
HB: 1. R. Dardengo, 24. A. Saxton, 34. J. Reid
C: 22. M.  Lowe, 30. A.  Melnikas, 11. K.  Smith
HF: 4. E. Paterno, 25. J. Garner, 33. S. Van De Heuvel
F: 17. S. Chapman, 39. S. Whiting, 2. J. Duffin
R: 9. R. Achampong, 35. J. Bruton, 16. A. Cameron
Int: 12. G. Harris, 44. I. Porter, 13. N. Wallace, 36. M. Williamson
23P: 15. E. Gardner

Abbie McKay’s football family inspires her success in Aussie Rules

SANDRINGHAM Dragons midfielder, Abbie McKay might the daughter of former Carlton player, Andrew McKay, but she is making a name of her own in football.

McKay starred in the middle of the ground for the Dragons this year, being named among the best players five times during the nine-round season.

With a father who played 244 games for the Carlton Football Club, footy was always in McKay’s veins. Her early memories of the game were not watching her dad play, but simply kicking the footy with him at the park.

“My dad played 240 games or something like that so I always grew up with it (footy),” she said. “I had to go and kick the footy at the park with my brother and him so that’s how I got into it.”

Despite his illustrious career, McKay admits she was oblivious to her dad’s role at the Blues.

“He was just my dad so to be honest, I probably didn’t realise he played for Carlton,” she said.

After a couple of Auskick stints, McKay turned her attention to basketball, netball and tennis. Then at 15 years of age, she found her love for football, but this time, she had her mum to thank.

“When I was about 15, my mum just thought it would be fun to start up a team at the local club,” the now 17 year-old said. “So we got together with lots of school friends and my love grew from there. I just got out there and I was like this is so much fun, I get to tackle!”

In her short football career, McKay has already achieved so much. When she was asked to play for the Sandringham Dragons in the TAC Cup Girls competition, she was given the belief that she needed to pursue her footballing career further.

“I got asked to join Sandy Dragons and I was like ‘oh maybe I actually have a shot at this’,” McKay recalled. “I thought I may as well give it a go. I didn’t really know what it was so I just got asked about it and thought I’ll just go down and see what it’s like. Then people told me about how big it actually is. I was like that’s pretty cool!”

After a solid season at the TAC Cup Girls club, McKay received the shock of her life when she was named in the Vic Metro squad for this year’s AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. The 17 year-old says she didn’t see the selection coming, but is thankful for the opportunity.

“Never in a million years!,” she said about her thoughts on ever being selected for Vic Metro. “I got asked and I was like ‘really? You want me?’ It’s so cool and getting to know all the girls is really nice.”

On top of that, she is keeping the McKay name alive at Carlton, as she is currently training with the Blues’ VFL Women’s side. But above all, McKay is a role model to her younger sister, who loves the game and wants to be just like her big sister when she grows up.

“She is obsessed (with football),” McKay said. “Every time I get back from Vic Metro she asks ‘are you going to become a footy player yet?’ I’m like ‘don’t get your hopes up too soon!’ But no she loves it, she wants to be the same when she’s older.”

Arnell heads north as part of three-way trade

BRISBANE has landed an experienced leader as part of the first AFL Women’s trade to drop in the 2018 Re-signing and Trade Period.

The Lions have brought in former Carlton skipper Lauren Arnell, in a three-way trade which saw Nicole Hildebrand head to the Magpies, and Collingwood’ pick 40 traded to Carlton. Arnell was the inaugural skipper of the Blues, and played 11 games in the first two seasons at Ikon Park. After missing out on selection in a number of games last season, Carlton’s Head of Football Andrew McKay told the Carlton website Arnell was keen for more senior opportunities.

“We are tremendously grateful to Lauren. She played an instrumental role in establishing our women’s football program and will always be acknowledged as an integral contributor to the Carlton Football Club,” McKay said. “With an eye on the future, Lauren was looking for more opportunity in an on-field capacity, so we fully supported her decision to pursue the opportunity up north and believe this deal is a win for all involved. “We wish her well for the coming season as she continues her career at the Lions.”

Brisbane Lions Womens’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Breanna Brock is excited about the experience Arnell brings to the young Lions list.

“Lauren will provide great mentoring for our young group and new players coming on to the list,” Brock said. “She’s an outstanding person and has done so much for the women’s game. We look forward to working with such an experienced campaigner and can’t wait to see her pull on the Lions colours.”

Collingwood’s Strategy and Performance Manager Marcus Wagner said Hildebrand would fit in well, slotting into defence.

“We’re thrilled to have Nicole join the Pies. She’s a tough defender whose AFL Women’s knowledge will be a welcome addition to our backline,” Wagner said. “Trading for Nicole in exchange for pick 40 leaves us in a strong position. We’re really excited to have been able to secure an experienced player without compromising our draft position.”

Team selection: TAC Cup Girls – Round 2

Continue reading “Team selection: TAC Cup Girls – Round 2”

TAC Cup Girls previews: Round 1

FOR many aspiring AFLW players, the start of the TAC Cup Girls season could not have come fast enough. But for those who have put their minds and bodies to the test over the summer will now be able to get stuck into actual matches with round one kicking off tomorrow. Each week we will preview the upcoming games and name some players you might like to keep an eye out for.

GEELONG FALCONS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 1 – Saturday, March 3, 11am

Deakin University – Geelong

The Falcons come into round one with the hope of adding a TAC Cup Girls premiership to its already decorated club rooms. The boys side was successful in the TAC Cup final last year, and the girls have every chance to follow suit in 2018. Geelong has a whopping five AFLW Academy members (Lucy McEvoy, Denby Taylor, Olivia Purcell, Nina Morrison and Eliza Shannon), who will be huge role models for the younger players who are coming into the side for the first time. This week, keep an eye out for Sophie Walmsley, who is debuting for the Falcons after only starting her footballing career last year. Walmsley comes from an athletics background and has been touted as a great runner.

Sandringham finished with three wins last year and would be hoping to challenge the Falcons at Deakin University. Famous football relations, Alice Burke (daughter of former St Kilda player, Nathan Burke) and Abbie McKay (daughter of former Carlton player, Andrew McKay) will suit up in defence in the round one clash. Coming from an athletics background, Eleanor Brown has been given free reign to take charge in the midfield. The top-age player will play on the wing, where she will be able to utilise her impressive endurance, and perhaps cause some headaches for the Geelong midfield.

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 1 – Saturday, March 3, 11am

Holm Park Recreation Reserve, Beaconsfield

Dandenong boasts a 2017 TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year selection in Jordyn Allen in its round one side. Allen is in the AFLW Academy and will play in the midfield in a bid to tackle the Knights’ strong line-up in the middle of the ground. Allen has been sent into the midfield after playing in defence during 2017, but she is not the only one who will change positions for round one. Courtney Jones kicked five goals in her four games last year, but will play across the half-back line, in order to combat the fierce Knights forwards, such as leader, Jess Fitzgerald.

The Northern Knights secured an impressive four wins last year, and have packed its midfield with leaders in the hope of securing a round-one win. Four of the Knights’ five leaders in Madeline Brancatisano (captain), Maggie Antypas (vice-captain), Britney Gutknecht, and Gabby Newton will be looking to cause havoc in the middle of the ground, and showcase their on-field leadership to the young girls in the group.

 

EASTERN RANGES v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 1 – Saturday, March 3, 12:45pm

Holm Park Recreation Reserve, Beaconsfield

AFLW Academy member, Emerson Woods will be hoping to continue her excellent 2017 form in round one, when she suits up for the Eastern Ranges at Beaconsfield. She will be able to assist first-gamer Mikala Cann, who will play on-ball in the round one clash. Cann has not played football before, and will work well in tandem with Woods, using her elite athletic ability to burst away from the stoppages. Defender Georgia Macpherson is another one to watch coming off the half-back flank.

The Greater Western Victoria Rebels are well aware of the firepower in the Eastern Ranges outfit, and have included a host of stars in the round one side.  Captain Lauren Butler will line up alongside draft prospects, Rene Caris and Sophie Van De Heuvel  in the midfield, in what looks to be an intriguing battle at Beaconsfield. Caris and Van De Heuvel will go head-to-head with fellow AFLW Academy member, Emerson Woods, in a battle that could be the difference between a win or loss for either side. Top prospect Georgia Clarke will line-up at half-forward.

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. WESTERN JETS

Round 1 – Saturday, March 3, 1pm

Epsom Huntly Reserve, Bendigo

Bendigo would be hoping to kick off 2018 with a win, after the side only tasted victory once last season. Jordyn Joliffe is one player who could be the difference for the Pioneers. Joliffe will play at centre half-forward, where she will be looking to get her side on the scoreboard early. At the other end of the ground will be Sophie Kerridge (sister of Carlton midfielder, Sam Kerridge), who would be hopeful of cementing a spot in the backline for Bendigo,

The Western Jets have also named some famous football relations of its own for the round one clash at Epsom Huntly Reserve. Isabella Grant is the daughter of former Western Bulldogs player, Chris Grant, and will feature in the Jets’ forward-line. The bottom-age player is also in the AFLW Academy, so she will be one to keep an eye on throughout the season. We will also see sister of North Melbourne ruckman, Majak Daw, Mary Daw line up for the Jets in round one. Daw has been touted as a great runner, and will be looking to impress in the Jets’ first game of 2018.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 1 – Sunday, March 4, 11.30am

Moe Recreation Reserve, Moe

The match between the Power and the Chargers will be played as a curtain-raiser to the AFLW clash between Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs. Gippsland will be hoping that the coaches of the AFLW sides will be keeping an eye on exciting draft prospect, Tyla Hanks. The AFLW Academy player was named in the 2017 TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year, and will play a key role in the Power’s midfield. Up forward, former netballer and gymnast, Leyla Berry will be one to watch, while Jazz Ferguson is set to impress at centre half-back.

The Chargers will be hoping the trip to Moe will be a worthwhile one, as they aim to kick off 2018 with a win. Daughter of AFL Umpire Scott McLaren, Hannah McLaren is set to be an X-factor in the Oakleigh midfield, and will be joined by top-age player, Bridie Winbanks. Winbanks has been touted as a hard worker, and would be likely to dig in deep through the middle of the ground throughout the match for the Chargers.

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 1 – Sunday, March 4, 1pm

JC Lowe Oval, Yarrawonga

In perhaps the most anticipated clash of the year, the Bushrangers and Cannons will be aiming to keep their winning streaks intact at JC Lowe Oval. Murray finished second on the ladder last year, and would be hoping to hand Calder its first loss in the TAC Cup Girls competition. AFLW Academy member, Rebecca Webster will play in the midfield in the round one clash, instead of playing in defence. Webster starred in the back-line last year and was named in the 2017 TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year as a result of that. In the forward-line, 2017 best and fairest, Millie Brown will suit up for Murray, and will be joined by under-16 national basketballer, Olivia Barber. The duo could certainly challenge the Calder defence on Sunday.

The Calder Cannon enjoyed a successful 2017, winning the TAC Cup Girls competition, and having three players drafted to AFLW sides (Chloe Molloy, Sarah Dargan and Monique Conti). But 2018 is a new year, and the Cannons face their biggest challenge yet in the TAC Cup Girls competition. To combat the Murray midfield, Calder has chosen AFLW Academy members, Madison Prespakis and Georgia Patrikios to go head-to-head with the Bushrangers in the middle of the ground. Calder has slotted its other AFLW Academy member, Molly Warburton into the back-line, making for a very formidable Cannons outfit.

Team selection: TAC Cup Girls – Round 1

THE TAC Cup Girls teams have not mucked around in round one of the 2018 competition, stacking their sides with experienced players, exciting debutants, and hot draft prospects.

GEELONG FALCONS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 1 – Saturday, March 3, 11am
Deakin University – Geelong

All three of Geelong’s 2017 TAC Cup Team of the Year members in Lucy McEvoy, Denby Taylor and Olivia Purcell will pull on the Falcons’ jumper to face off against the Dragons. McEvoy was named as a defender in last year’s Team of the Year, but in round one, she will start in the forward line, in what could be a permanent positional change in 2018.

Geelong’s opponents in Sandringham will have a host of famous football relations in its round one side. Fifteen year-old Alice Burke is the daughter of former St Kilda player, Nathan Burke. Burke will debut in the Dragons’ backline, and will be looking to stop the likes of Lucy McEvoy in Geelong’s forward line. Teammate, Abbie McKay will also join Burke in the backline. McKay is the daughter of former Carlton player and current Head of Football at the club, Andrew McKay.

Geelong Falcons

B: 15. J. Devarakonda, 36. A. Chapman, 24. K. Gleeson
HB: 32. M. Sheppard, 21. K. Haustorfer , 27. D. Taylor
C: 18. N.  Morrison, 11. L.  Lesosky-Hay, 35. S.  Walmsley
HF: 10. S. Atkins, 42. S. DeGiacomi, 26. M. Skinner
F: 6. P. Sheppard, 23. L. McEvoy, 4. B. Thompson
R: 33. Z. Inei, 7. O. Purcell, 39. T. Love
Int: 44. C. Elsworth, 19. I. Long, 20. D. Smith, 2. E. Vella
Emg: 37. S. Dinneen, 34. S. Hungerford, 29. S. Milsome

Sandringham Dragons

B: 21. A. Burke, 17. C. Bowen, 3. J. Owen
HB: 15. A. McKay, 2. S. Rothfield, 13. D. Walker
C: 9. E.  Brown, 8. N.  Amiet, 45. S.  Hartwig
HF: 37. N. Borg, 25. T. Grasso, 1. I. Stutt
F: 57. L. Amelung, 11. H. Bate, 55. M. Wilson
R: 18. A. Dalley, 7. E. McNamara, 5. W. Laing
Int: 43. B. Arnold, 53. G. Bridges, 35. M. Denahy Maloney, 47. E. Harkin, 65. P. Hobday, 63. G. Strangio, 67. J. Tait, 49. T. Tysoe

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 1 – Saturday, March 3, 11am
Holm Park Recreation Reserve, Beaconsfield

On Saturday, Northern Knights captain, Madeline Brancatisano will lead her side out against the Stingrays. Brancatisano will play in a stacked midfield that contains fellow leaders, Britney Gutknecht, Maggie Antypas, and Gabby Newton, which will be a dangerous prospect for their opponents.

Dandenong is welcoming a positional change for 2017 Team of the Year member, Jordyn Allen. Allen played in defence throughout last year, but will suit up in the midfield in round one, in order to challenge the exciting Northern Knights leadership group in the middle of the ground.

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 5. E. Allen-Burns, 51. Z. Hill, 19. B. Borchard
HB: 3. C. Jones, 35. L. Cripps, 29. B. Struylaart
C: 4. J.  Guy-Toogood, 15. J.  Allen, 1. S.  Heath
HF: 18. S. Bayne, 31. B. Vernon, 28. T. Smith
F: 46. J. George, 44. S. Ryan, 55. H. Thomas
R: 39. N. Taylor, 26. I. Shannon, 12. M. McDonald
Int: 40. R. Clancy – Dillon, 45. M. Graham, 10. A. Jordan, 41. S. Repellin
Emg: 42. A. O’Sullivan, 30. P. Swayn

Northern Knights

B: 32. A. Snow, 26. E. Clayton, 13. M. Suzuki
HB: 10. P. Chisholm, 18. S. Sansonetti, 27. P. Kearney
C: 1. M.  Antypas, 5. M.  Brancatisano, 2. M.  Jarvis
HF: 12. O. Dikranis, 6. A. Bannan, 16. T. Manson
F: 14. J. Fitzgerald, 3. N. Morris-Dalton, 24. A. Pronesti
R: 4. N. O’Connor, 22. B. Gutknecht, 23. G. Newton
Int: 7. A. Bennett, 9. M. Chaplin, 17. C. Fitzgerald, 25. T. Mills
Emg: 8. G. Ceravolo, 35. M. Rodezno, 34. M. Uwland, 11. A. Williams

EASTERN RANGES v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 1 – Saturday, March 3, 12:45pm
Holm Park Recreation Reserve, Beaconsfield

The Greater Western Victoria Rebels are fielding a full-strength team for round one, stacking up the midfield with its captain, and two AFLW Academy members. Lauren Butler, Rene Caris and Sophie Van De Heuvel will really challenge the Eastern Ranges midfield with their impressive skills and leadership traits. In the backline, look out for Tara Jasper, who comes from an athletics and netball background. It is the 19 year-old’s last year in the program, so she would be looking to go out with a bang.

A player who would be nervous for Saturday’s match is Mikala Cann, who will start on ball in her first game for the Eastern Ranges. Cann comes from an athletics background, and the club is hoping to utilise her running power to burst through the corridor. She will be joined by AFLW Academy player, Emerson Woods, who will play on the wing for her first appearance in the TAC Cup Girls competition this year.

Eastern Ranges

B: 18. A. Allsopp, 44. H. Tucker, 17. M. Kendall
HB: 37. G. Macpherson, 43. A. Tognazzini, 48. L. Szigeti
C: 41. J.  Richardson, 16. E.  Horne, 3. E.  Woods
HF: 26. T. Brown, 40. T. Merrett, 19. I. Ball
F: 9. P. Buruma, 42. M. Taverna, 47. J. Provan
R: 46. S. Kendall, 21. M. Cann, 6. G. De Angelis
Int: 22. C. Chamberlain, 8. C. Delbridge, 39. O. Meagher
Emg: 10. N. Cormack , 35. B. Cubitt, 50. S. Zappia

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 34. S. Glover, 14. L. Sykes, 23. S. Molan
HB: 15. T. Jasper, 27. N. Dojiok, 19. K. McAloon
C: 2. R.  Saulitis, 44. E.  Bibby, 10. H.  Simpson
HF: 25. G. Clarke, 28. I. Simmons, 8. E. Wood
F: 41. K. Harris, 45. A. Humphries, 13. C. Leonard
R: 35. R. Caris, 18. S. Van De Heuvel, 16. L. Butler
Emg: 6. N. Butler, 26. G. Pidgeon, 17. A. Astbury , 21. D. Henson, 7. A. McAuliffe, 33. I. Robson

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. WESTERN JETS

Round 1 – Saturday, March 3, 1pm
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Bendigo

At Epsom Huntly Reserve, Sophie Kerridge will get to suit up for the Pioneers. The 19 year-old is the sister of Carlton player, Sam Kerridge, and has been touted as a player to watch this year. In the forward line, the Pioneers’ hot draft prospect, Jordyn Joliffe will be hoping to pick up where she left off last year in Bendigo colours, which could cause havoc for the Jets’ defenders.

The Western Jets have selected cousins, Payton Ozols and Savannah Forbes in their round one side. The girls come from a netball background, but enjoyed a great year for the VU Western Spurs in the Essendon District Football League. Forbes was awarded as the joint best and fairest in the Youth Girls competition, along with Spurs and now Jets teammate, Elisabeth Georgostathis, who will play across half back.

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 25. T. Stewart, 32. S. Reilly, 5. E. Turnbull
HB: 24. E. Gretgrix, 20. K. Douglass, 21. H. Spencer
C: 11. J.  Finning, 28. M.  Williamson, 3. C.  Isaac
HF: 30. B. Heiden, 4. J. Jolliffe, 23. G. Murrell
F: 27. B. Hards, 17. G. Sladden, 1. M. Tupper
R: 9. D. Kelly-Guthrie, 19. K. Jacques, 2. M. Baldwin
Int: 12. T. Coad, 13. S. Kerridge , 26. L. Newton, 14. O. Taverna, 22. M. Ward

Western Jets

B: 2. C. Gashi, 31. K. Rebuffo, 25. T. Kolevski
HB: 8. E. Gardner, 30. I. Pritchard, 16. E. Georgostathis
C: 22. A.  Chivell, 10. M.  Cooper, 6. L.  Wright
HF: 3. A. Lowe, 14. I. Grant, 4. L. Spargo
F: 7. L. Eustace, 39. C. Saxon-Jones, 40. S. Whiting
R: 43. C. Greiser, 19. O. Forsythe, 27. P. Ozols
Int: 26. L. Basto, 29. E. Cassar, 5. M. Daw, 21. M. Fenech, 41. S. Forbes, 1. M. Gregory, 12. K. O’Keefe

GIPPSLAND POWER v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 1 – Sunday, March 4, 11.30am
Moe Recreation Reserve, Moe

The Power will be hoping to get its 2018 campaign off to a great start, and have included AFLW Academy member, Tyla Hanks in the midfield. Hanks is a top draft prospect for Gippsland, and will be hoping to follow the footsteps of former teammates, Darcy Guttridge and Holly Whitford, who have earned spots on Collingwood’s AFLW list.

For the Chargers, daughter of AFL umpire, Scott McLaren, Hannah, will start on-ball. McLaren has joined Oakleigh as a defender, but will be looking to put pressure on the likes of Tyla Hanks in the Gippsland midfield. However, we will not be seeing cricketer, Isabella Gietzmann in the round one hit-out, but she is sure to appear later on in the season for the Chargers.

Gippsland Power

B: 2. S. Beaton, 45. L. Van Berkel, 17. S. Trewin
HB: 65. J. Redmond, 57. J. Ferguson, 27. N. Webber
C: 1. E.  Jones, 28. T.  Hanks, 30. A.  Rippon
HF: 13. H. Andrews, 8. C. Abrahams, 31. L. Berry
F: 47. E. Cornish , 50. M. Van Berkel, 12. M. Fitzsimon
R: 58. A. Dunn, 10. T. Dower, 6. E. Haeusler
Int: 32. C. Bird, 29. C. Bray, 7. L. Raymond , 49. M. Shaw
Emg: 48. C. Prestidge, 9. T. Whitehead, 60. E. Williams

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 13. T. Morton, 45. T. Cowan, 5. A. van Oosterwijck
HB: 19. E. Harley, 39. T. Nichols, 26. A. Micallef
C: 2. M.  Hill, 14. H.  McLaren, 30. G.  Lagioia
HF: 33. G. Byrne, 68. A. Dyer, 3. J. D’Amato
F: 29. M. Bertuna, 21. C. Moon, 17. N. Xenos
R: 11. B. Winbanks, 16. A. Porter, 41. K. Lynch
Int: 43. E. Hastie, 50. C. Nancarrow, 32. C. O’Malley
Emg: 9. E. Jackson, 15. A. Ling, 69. L. Mayne, 28. G. Wyett

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 1 – Sunday, March 4, 1pm
JC Lowe Oval, Yarrawonga

Consistent stars, Grace Egan and Rebecca Webster headline Murray Bushrangers’ round one side. Egan will be looking to hold down the fort in defence, while AFLW Academy member, Webster will be hopeful of a day out in the midfield. But perhaps the biggest story comes from the forward line, where under-16 national basketballer, Olivia Barber will battle it out at full forward.

The Calder Cannons has stacked its midfield ahead of its blockbuster clash on Sunday, weary of the Bushrangers’ fire-power in that area of the ground. Hot draft prospect and Calder captain, Madison Prespakis will lead from the front in the middle of the ground. She will be joined by fellow Vic Metro representative, Georgia Patrikios, who are a dangerous duo in the midfield.

Murray Bushrangers

B: 14. A. Duguid, 10. G. Kelly, 32. N. Watts
HB: 16. E. Ashley-Cooper, 42. G. Egan, 26. E. Nicholson
C: 11. A.  Chessor, 17. R.  Webster, 3. P.  Crelley
HF: 19. M. Brown, 5. C. Hargreaves, 1. J. Harvey
F: 37. S. Damon, 45. O. Barber, 8. O. Hall
R: 43. T. Verhoeven, 22. T. Smith, 4. C. Knight
Int: 6. K. Adams, 44. M. Eze, 36. C. Mckimmie, 33. M. Trethowan
Emg: 39. H. Doohan, 25. E. Freeman, 31. S. Locke, 34. E. McPherson

Calder Cannons

B: 24. K. Delia, 48. C. Brown, 32. T. Fry
HB: 29. S. Elias, 46. G. Elarmaly, 9. M. Warburton
C: 1. H.  Cooke, 23. G.  Dicker, 21. G.  Patrikios
HF: 34. Z. Hardiman, 17. E. Cornish, 22. M. Muller
F: 10. M. Hemburrow, 16. C. Hodgson, 2. F. Theodore
R: 18. C. Rendelmann, 3. M. Prespakis, 11. A. Barba
Int: 49. T. Crook, 25. A. Magri, 8. E. Vale, 27. E. Woodley
Emg: 30. S. Cameron, 37. F. Holloway, 35. I. Young

TAC Cup Girls preview: Sandringham Dragons

THE Sandringham Dragons had an okay inaugural TAC Cup Girls competition, winning two of their five games and had a number of standout players including Team of the Year selection Georgia Ricardo, and best and fairest winner OIivia Vesely.

Without a doubt the Dragons would have loved to have had Isabel Huntington out on the park in 2017 – with the AFLW National Draft top pick missing the entire year through an ACL rupture. Her talent was obvious from a young age and did not deter the Western Bulldogs from pouncing on the key utility with the first pick. One thing that stood out about the Dragons in 2017 is that they had 16 players who played every game of the season, and just four players in the squad that took part in three or less games, enabling some continuity within the team.

In 2018, the Dragons will be guided by Tamara Hyett who will lead them into battle against the Geelong Falcons on Saturday, before facing Oakleigh Chargers on March 17 and Northern Knights a week later. The Dragons had an early pre-season hit-out with the Chargers recently, culminating in a strong victory to give them plenty to be excited about for the year ahead.

Sandringham also announced its leadership group ahead of the season, with Jemma Owen named captain, alongside Chelsea Bowen, Maddi Wilson and Alana Dalley. Owen played all five games last season, named in the best on two occasions, and was one of the few who stood up against the onslaught of GWV Rebels in the final round.

Dalley is one to watch in 2018 with the over-age ruck a notable performer over the pre-season, after looking good last season. Another top-ager worth keeping track of is Eleanor Brown who shone in the Dragons’ loss to the Northern Knights last season, and was named Sandringham’s best. She causes headaches for the opposition and has a strong endurance base stemming from her athletics background.

Sandringham also has a number of players still a year or two off being drafted with Eliza McNamara one that is likely to catch the eye after being a standout for Melbourne Girls Grammar in the Herald Sun Shield Division 1 Senior Girls Grand Final last season. Despite being 15 years-old at the time, the talented junior was consistently named among the best throughout the tournament, even in the school’s 23-point loss to Ballarat Grammar in the final.

A teammate of McNamara’s during that grand final was Abbie McKay, who also stood out as one of the best across the tournament, with the daughter of former Blue Andrew, playing five games for the Dragons in 2017. McKay was another one who stood tall in the Dragons’ loss to the Rebels and will be one to watch as a potential father-daughter selection for the Blues at the end of the year.

Another famous name to carry on the football tradition at the Dragons is Burke, with sisters Molly and Alice to run out for Sandringham in 2018. The daughters of St Kilda star Nathan, Molly is eligible to be drafted this season, with Alice a couple of years away. It will be interesting to see how the soccer-converts take to the field, with Burke recently putting pen to paper in Inside Footy telling of his experiences with coaching female footballers.