Tag: Eastern Ranges

From Eastern to Hawthorn, Ranges duo celebrate flag

EASTERN Ranges duo Mikala Cann and Emerson Woods have basked in the glory of a Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s premiership yesterday. The Ranges and now Hawthorn midfielder/forwards just “played their role” as they said, in Hawthorn’s 13-point victory over Geelong. Cann finished the game with 14 disposals, one mark and a team-high nine tackles, while Woods’ defensive pressure saw her also lay five tackles to go with two touches.

Both players were thrilled after the game, hardly believing the moment.

“It’s just surreal,” Woods said. “I definitely wasn’t expecting this, just coming at such a young age as well coming into the team, just to get a spot (is good) I suppose.” Cann was equally as excited. “You can’t describe it,” she said. “Winning a premiership with the best group of girls, it’s indescribable”

Woods said the speed of the game was the crucial difference between the TAC Cup Girls and VFL Women’s.

“It’s much faster, quick ball movement, pretty hard to keep up at times, but it’s good,” Woods said. Cann said she felt the bigger presence of opponents out there and stronger bodies. “(It’s) a lot more physical, the bodies are larger, but I guess you want to be playing at the highest level so this is one step closer.”

The last quarter saw the game on a knife’s edge and Geelong was attacking fiercely throughout the second half. Cann said the team knew the Cats would come at them, and had prepared for the momentum swing.

“We prepared what we had to do at training with our composure,” she said. “We just knew what we had to do and we implemented it.”

Woods said the most amazing feeling was with the clock counting down, knowing they would soon be premiership players.

“Yeah towards the end of the game, it was a bit of a surreal feeling with 30 seconds to go knowing that we’d won it,” she said.

Now both draft-eligible players will prepare for the AFL Women’s Draft Combine next week ahead of the AFL Women’s Draft in late October.

Cann powers home with remarkable improvement

IF there is one player in the TAC Cup Girls competition who has come from the back of the pack to storm home in the final straight, it is Eastern Ranges’ Mikala Cann. Having starred as a sprinter, and enjoyed playing basketball, Cann decided to try her hand at football once her friends were taking up the sport.

“I was playing basketball before I played footy and a lot of my mates started playing so I think that was the biggest influence and I really love the physically side of basketball, so coming to footy it’s all about the physicality and I really loved that part,” Cann said. “That was the main influence right there.”

Having rocked up to Eastern Ranges try-outs in the pre-season and not sure what to expect, Cann not only managed to hold her own, she caused some jaw-dropping reactions with her ability to use her great combination of speed and strength in advantage. Eastern Ranges Female Talent Manager Jessie Mulholland singled out Cann as one to watch from the pre-season.

“Mikala Cann – she has never played football in her life and she’s definitely going to be a utility player [to watch],” Mulholland said. “She can run out of that 50 insanely. “She played midfield on the weekend [vs. Calder two weekends ago] and the way she can get that ball out of the centre square will be incredible to watch for somebody that has no idea. “Basically we have to teach her the rules from scratch.”

The assessment was something Cann could relate to, admitting the rules were an area she had to learn.

“I think it was the knowledge that a lot of the other girls had because they had that first year playing at Eastern and that was the difference,” Cann said. “Me trying to learn all the structures and the positions and just really learning about the game. “That was the biggest thing, really trying to learn where the ball is and where to stand and all that. But they’ve done really well and taught me a lot, so I’ve learnt a lot, it’s been really good.”

Cann said the development at the Ranges was first class and has helped her rapid rise to Vic Metro and named in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year.

“Absolutely (love it),” the Eastern Ranges midfielder said. “I reckon I enjoy it (footy) more than basketball, I enjoy Eastern, there are such good people around. “I’ve loved every minute of it, it’s been so good. “I played a bit at school footy, but it was more just running around with mates. “It wasn’t really intensive skills or that. “I was just trying to kick a few snags, not in terms of technical stuff we do here.”

Cann said the physical nature of the game is what attracted her to the sport, and what she considered to be a major strength in her game.

“I think my strengths and what they really try teach me to do and focus on is my in and under, so tackling, and pressure and then trying to burst away from the contest too,” she said. “Getting in and under and getting it out and getting away too. “My physical side I try to focus on most.”

Along with her continued game sense, Cann said she was learning to kick on her opposite foot “as much as she didn’t want to”.

“Obviously the knowledge of the game,” she said. “Getting to the contests and knowing where the ball’s going to be, where to stand, how to read the tap from ruckman’s tap, they’re the biggest one. “Also my skill level too. “Using my left side, as much as I don’t want to, I have to as you get higher up, you’re going to need to start.”

Such has been Cann’s rise in the football ranks that the sprinter is now on the verge of a finals appearance for Hawthorn in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition. Once told of her call-up to Hawthorn intially, Cann could hardly believe it.

“Not really at all (expecting to be picked for VFLW), I was just trying to get picked every week,” Cann said. “I was really focusing on VFL and/or higher up and I think just focusing on each week has enabled me to really try and play the best each week and not really focus on it. “I like thinking in the now, rather than the future. “That’s really enabled me, but I never really thought about it.”

Cann said the close bond at Eastern made it an enjoyable year, and heading to the Gold Coast with so many teammates – and head coach Tom Humphrey – made it an easy transition into Vic Metro. The eye-catching runner said the team success had made everyone better players.

“I thought that we played really well against some really top quality sides and I think we developed and we got better as we got on, which is the best thing that can really happen is your improvement and individually,” Cann said. “I feel like I played well when the team played well. “When the team’s up and about, it gets everyone up and about.”

Cann said she was lucky not to have too much travel involved with her football saying she enjoyed the road trips.

“It’s not too bad, fortunately enough, mum loves coming to my games so she’ll always drive me,” she said. “I really like the driving to the games, the experience and the excitement for a game, I dunno, I love it. It’s not too bad.”

As for the next step in her career? Cann was determined to make it as high up as possible.

“Yeah to get drafted is the end-goal,” Cann said. “I guess that’s for everyone, but we’ll see how we go.”

From “definitely not” interested in footy; Woods eyes off an AFLW career

FROM never intending to play football at all let alone at the highest level, Eastern Ranges co-captain Emerson Woods has certainly changed her tune of the past couple of years, going from strength to strength. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Woods found her love for the game after a while and now her sights are firmly set on achieving the AFL Women’s dream.

“No definitely not (always wanting to play Australian rules),” Woods said. “I didn’t really have any intentions of playing footy at all, it’s probably I didn’t really think about it playing it at Mount Evelyn. “But as soon as I got up in the ranks and playing at Eastern Ranges I thought it could be something to work towards.”

Having started out at Mount Evelyn and playing there a couple of seasons, Woods was just enjoying getting used to the sport, then things ramped up.

“Obviously I wasn’t expecting much from just playing local,” Woods said. “Obviously i was just there for a bit of fun but everything came on top of each other. “Eastern Ranges and Vic and everything. “It was pretty full on and pretty fun.”

Woods represented Vic Metro at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, something she has cherished having played alongside so many talented players.

“It’s been really good obviously getting to know the girls and getting to play against them,” she said. “They are some of the best talent in the state, it’s been amazing playing with them.”

Woods said her athletic ability – her endurance, speed and agility – have helped her adapt faster to the increasing pace of the game. She also identifies her kicking and fundamental skills as the biggest focus for her improvement. The midfielder-forward has embraced everything that football has given to her and she now feels involved in the community as well as the club.

“The community, the club, everyone’s super nice,” she said. “You can really get to know heaps of people, it’s not just about the sport, it’s about the community around you and the people you get to know as well.”

Representing the AFL Women’s Academy against the Geelong Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side at GMHBA Stadium was a surreal experience, much like her call-up to Hawthorn’s VFL Women’s team.

“It’s (Hawthorn call-up) pretty amazing,” Woods said. “It feels a bit surreal, but I’m really excited to get out there with them. “It was a really good experience, obviously first time playing against women, great to get to know the feel of the bodies and what I have to come up against in the future playing at Hawthorn.”

Her workload has also been a challenge, juggling between school and football, at one stage having five SACs in the week following Vic Metro training on the Sunday. Woods is also still unsure of a career path just yet, purely focusing on getting through her final year of schooling.

But has the player who had no interest in playing football at the highest level changed her mind?

“Yeah definitely,” she said. “I’m working towards it (being drafted), it’s a long road ahead still but I think there’s a lot of opportunities out there for me.”

Love of the game inspires De Angelis to chase AFLW dream

LAST year, Eastern Ranges midfielder, Gabriella De Angelis used football as a method of stress relief to calm her nerves.

Now, the 17 year-old has instilled the belief in herself to try and achieve her ultimate goal, thanks to her love of the sport.

“I do (have my sights set on AFLW),” she said. “Since about last year… I said I was just going to play and just go back to loving the game because I’ve always played because I love the game. “So now I’m just going to give it my best shot and see how I go.”

De Angelis discovered her love of the game at a very young age when she began playing Auskick. Even after taking a hiatus from the game, she admits that she still loved playing and was glad that she picked up the sport again.  

“I was playing Auskick at Donvale and then moved with the boys in under 11s and under 12s I think for two or three seasons, and then I stopped because I didn’t think there was anything, I didn’t know there was a girls competition,” De Angelis said. “So I had a break for a season and a bit and then someone told me they were playing footy. “I joined Whitehorse and stayed there ever since and I’ve just loved it.”

Along with Whitehorse, the 17 year-old also played with the Eastern Ranges, represented Vic Metro at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships and now pulls on the boots for the Southern Saints in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition.

When she was approached to play for the Saints, she was in shock. De Angelis also experienced a feeling that she has become accustomed to in Aussie Rules, feeling the nerves before her first hit-out with the side. But she admits that after she overcame that hurdle, she has enjoyed being a Saints player.

“When they said St Kilda wants to talk to you, I didn’t believe it,” De Angelis said. “I love the game but I never thought it would really go anywhere. “I was really nervous at the start (of my first game) and then I got into the game, I kicked a goal. “I’m really enjoying it there.”

The opportunity to play with the Saints comes after she finished playing with the Eastern Ranges this year. While she admits it’s sad to finish off at the club, this season in particular was one to remember.

“It was my favourite Academy season,” De Angelis said. “I don’t know if that’s just because it’s my last one but I really, really loved it. “I felt I improved a lot more so yeah I really enjoyed it.”

She attributes this improvement to learning off both the older and younger players in the side. De Angelis admits that she often turns to them for advice on her game, which shows the camaraderie of the TAC Cup Girls side.

“I love playing with them because they push me to do better things. “I can look up to even the ones that are younger than me, their skill, their knowledge. “I just love learning from them.”

De Angelis got the opportunity to play with some of her Eastern Ranges teammates in the “Big V”, as they travelled up to the Gold Coast to face off against the best female footballers in the country. The 17 year-old overcame some heartache last year to make the side, but is glad she got to represent her state this year.

“I didn’t make Metro last year, didn’t really expect to and I didn’t really expect it this year so I’m over the moon to get another opportunity,” she said.

Not only has De Angelis played representative football, but she also used to play representative basketball. Like many other TAC Cup Girls players, she juggled basketball and football for many years. After some deep thought, she decided to make football her sole sport.

“It was a very tough decision (to give up basketball),” she said. “In Year 11, I was playing rep basketball and footy and they got a bit too much so mum said ‘you have to choose’. “I’ve stopped playing basketball now to focus on footy.”

Now in Year 12, footy is still the focus for De Angelis, but she also has another career path in mind for the future.

“Eventually, I’d like to go into the police force but I’ve just got to work out what I really want,” the Vic Metro representative said.

At the moment, De Angelis is enjoying her time at the Southern Saints and has excelled in both Eastern Ranges and in Vic Metro colours. In her most recent game for the Saints, De Angelis recorded 10 disposals and laid three tackles. Her side next plays Hawthorn on Saturday at Trevor Barker Beach Oval.

Constant challenge of improvement drives Kendall

A CHANCE referral from basketball teammates resulted in Sarah Kendall deciding to take up Aussie Rules and she has not looked back. The Eastern Ranges ruck has enjoyed the social aspect of playing in the TAC Cup Girls, as well as the physicality that comes with contact sport. Kendall said she first started when she was 15.

“From (basketball) all the girls started talking about football and how it’s coming along and they said we’re building a team so did you want to join along?” she said; “So I went along to that at East Ringwood when I was 15, and played there in the Lightning Premiership for the season which was a good start with a couple of friends and it built up from there, I went Knox after there for two years. “Then obviously to Eastern Ranges and to Chirnside now.”

Kendall said the experience from local leagues to the national stage had been unforgettable. Even trying out a new position in defence, where she has become more comfortable this year, was a highlight along the way.

“Just all the friends that come with it, all the life experiences you learn and ultimately the physicality as well,” she said. “It’s a new sport and I’ve always loved playing since I was little with my dad and stuff like that. It’s different, it’s unique, it’s good fun as well. “Last year I played for Vic Metro and they put me in the backline but I really enjoyed it, it was a good challenge. “It was different to being in the ruck but I learnt heaps of stuff and I’m open to new opportunities. “I do like it down there and I’m starting to find my spot which is good I reckon.”

Kendall prided herself on her leadership and direction to help the younger girls around the ground and be a target for her teammates to kick to.

“I think my strength is in the ruck at the moment because I feel like I know what is going on around the ground and I can use my knowledge to help direct the girls and tell them where to go,” she said. “Especially when we kick a point and its coming out, like telling them, especially the younger ones, like what to do.”

The Ranges utility admits her disposal by foot is an area she has worked on, but has tried to soak any information passed down to her from coaches or more experienced teammates.

“Well my kicking can improve a bit I reckon at the moment, it’s a little bit all over the place,” she said. “Working on my left foot and just getting more knowledge of the game. “I’m still young, I’m still an 18 year-old. “To get some knowledge passed down will be good, and to get some more experience would be great as well.”

Outside of football, Kendall enjoys a challenge as much as she does on the field. She said she has always thought about joining the armed forces and the experience within a football club, is not too dissimilar to that within a battalion.

“I’ve always been interested in the Army when I was younger,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in having a challenge and promoting women in the Army so much and to see all the ads and stuff. “It would be cool to go along and do something like that. “Now I’ve been part of the footy environment I hope to give me knowledge back to some of the younger kids, like doing the Under 15  program, just passing down the knowledge that I’ve learnt. “I’m not 100 per cent sure what I want to do yet.”

The Eastern Ranges finished the season with a 6-3 win-loss record, starting strongly, but a loss to the Western Jets saw them slip behind, before finishing with losses to eventual premiers Geelong Falcons, and the Calder Cannons in pouring rain. Nonetheless, Kendall said the 2018 season was beneficial for her.

“(It’s been) really good,” she said. “I’ve learnt lots and obviously built heaps of friendships and stuff like that. “My skills have improved, I’ve loved it, it’s been great. “It’s helped me as a person, not just as a footy player, but just in life in general, heaps of lessons.”

Kendall’s dream is like that of so many others in the TAC Cup Girls – finding her way onto an AFL Women’s list. But for now, her focus is on her Vic Metro duties on the Gold Coast, where she will likely share the ruck load with Carla Rendelmann as she did in Metro’s win against Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium in Round 1 of the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships.

“Yeah I’m looking forward to that, because last year was my first time playing Metro for me which was good,” she said. “This year I have a couple of my friends coming along and Tommy’s (Humphrey, Eastern Ranges coach) coming along (so) just to meet them and I know a lot of people from last year as well, it’s a similar team. “I think we’ll have better connections and I’m looking forward to it and what it’s going to bring.”

Kendall is a part of a strong Eastern Ranges contingent in the Vic Metro squad with co-captains Emerson Woods and Charlotte Wilson, midfielder Mikala Cann, exciting forward Gabriella De Angelis and defender Lauren Szigeti among those who made the final squad and were a part of Metro’s victory over Vic Country.

Scouting notes: Sandringham Dragons vs. Eastern Ranges

SANDRINGHAM Dragons got the job done against Eastern Ranges in the standalone TAC Cup game on Saturday and Scott Dougan watched on to take note of the extended Victorian squad players who took part in the match.

Eastern Ranges:

#24 Kye Quirk

On a wet day, in a scrappy contest, Quirk tried his hardest to move the ball forward when possible. He played as a midfielder and worked hard to link up with his teammates. His agility in tight situations came in handy as he tried to find space in a contested game. Quirk tackled strongly and amassed plenty of possessions in all areas of the ground, making him one of the Ranges best.

#23 Xavier Fry

Fry played the majority of the game on the half-back flank but also contributed to the Ranges midfield at times. He was one of very few players that were clean in wet conditions. Fry’s speed and agility were important for the Ranges when rebounding defensive 50. His ball use was brilliant, especially in the second quarter when he hit Dermot Reynolds with an opposite foot kick.

#42 Tom Lockman

The wet and windy conditions did not suit Lockman and he struggled to have an impact. A quiet game, but he did impress with a big tackle deep inside 50 in the second quarter. His continuous efforts in bringing the ball to ground level in marking contests helped the Ranges small forwards.


#2 Alastair Richards

Richards was able to impact the contest with his speed, defensive pressure and decision making. He played on the wing in the first quarter and showed off his pace and composure. He lowered his eyes on multiple occasions when moving the ball forward, trying to find the best available target. In the fourth quarter, he delivered a beautiful kick inside 50 to Dawit McNeish, who kicked the sealer for the Dragons.

#6 Harry Houlahan

The midfielder was a consistent performer over four quarters for the Dragons. He had no trouble finding the ball in all areas of the ground and spent the majority of the game in the middle of the ground. He caught the eye in the third quarter when he took the game on through the middle of the ground, kicking the ball deep inside forward to the advantage of his teammates.

#7 Liam Stocker

Stocker was involved in the first two passages of play in the game, which resulted in a goal to Charlie Dean. He put his head over the ball relentlessly and demonstrated his strength in contested situations. He accumulated plenty of the ball and his clearance work was a standout.

#19 Sam Forbes

Forbes made good decisions when he had the ball and his skills were noticeable in sloppy conditions. The penetration and accuracy of his kicks when entering the forward 50 proved difficult for the Ranges to defend at times. A good game off half-back.

#33 Will Kennedy

Kennedy’s defensive work was fabulous and he showed that he can play multiple positions, drifting forward in the last quarter. When defending, he was able to spoil the ball in marking contests and also when he got caught behind on the lead. His ball use was clean and he showed composure for a big man. He didn’t have the same impact forward as he did defensively, but he provided some strong leads and competed hard.

#61 Fischer McAsey

Due to the conditions, McAsey also found it difficult to get involved. His kick inside 50 in the second term resulted in a goal to George Grey. In the third quarter, McAsey led strongly to a kick inside 50 from Forbes and was rewarded with a free kick. He put the Dragons two points ahead after successfully converting the goal.

Three years of football, three big opportunities for Ranges co-captain, Charlotte Wilson

EASTERN Ranges co-captain, Charlotte Wilson is only into her third year of football, but has made the most of the opportunities that have come her way.

In this short period of time, she was asked to play for and co-captain the Eastern Ranges, represented Vic Metro and on top of that, made her Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s debut for the Southern Saints. The 17 year-old reflects on her journey, as she went from a casual school footballer to an elite VFL Women’s footballer.

“I first started playing at school a few years ago but I never really played local,” Wilson said. “Then last year I started playing TAC for Eastern Ranges and I’d touched a footy like twice in my life. “This year I was kind of more, not expecting it, but felt comfortable (playing for Eastern).”

Into only her second year of the program, Wilson was named co-captain along with Emerson Woods. The defender/ruck was privileged to receive the opportunity and loved having the support of Woods during the year.

“It was exciting but I think it’s a good opportunity to just bring everyone else up and help everyone else out,” Wilson said. “It was good to have like someone else to rely on instead of just feeling it all myself. We could just take turns to do everything.”

She and Woods led the side to six wins and three losses this year, and although the wins were enjoyable, Wilson admits that the losses were a bit disappointing.

“The few losses were a bit disappointing but the wins were good for everyone to get up and about,” the 17 year-old said. “But I think they kind of made the losses hurt more.”

Wilson herself has had a personal win, being selected to represent Vic Metro at the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. She is not only excited by the opportunity but is also looking forward to furthering her knowledge and skills.

The Ranges co-captain had the opportunity to do so a fortnight ago, donning the big ‘V’ at GMHBA Stadium and having a solid performance. She followed this up by debuting for the Southern Saints a week later, as she continues to make the most of her opportunities to play Aussie Rules.

Wilson’s week rotates between basketball and football, as she combines her two sporting loves during her final year of high school. But now with the AFLW up and running – and booming –  Wilson believes that football is the right sporting path for her to follow.

“I’m leaning towards footy because it’s given me more opportunities than basketball has in my shorter period of time,” she said. “It’s achievable (playing AFLW), it’s there. “It’s not just something that’s up in the clouds that you’re never going to reach but if you work hard, the pathway is there.”

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 7

ROUND seven sees the ladder-leaders in Geelong having a bye, meaning that this week is the time to shine for the next tier of teams. With traditional rivals doing battle and teams close on the ladder going head-to-head, this weekend’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s action is unmissable.



Round 7 – 23/06/2018


SkyBus Stadium

After losing their first game in four weeks, the Southern Saints will be hungry to regain that winning form. But coming up against the undefeated Northern Territory (NT) Thunder is no easy feat, as it sits second on the ladder with an average winning margin of 53 points. This match pits current AFLW stars against the next generation of potential elite footballers, as NT’s host of Adelaide players will do battle against some of the most exciting TAC Cup Girls players. Last time Sandringham star midfielder, Eleanor Brown played for the Saints, she amassed 25 disposals and kicked a goal, as did Eastern Ranges forward, Gabriella De Angelis. Expect big games from these talented players as well as Dandenong Stingrays duo, Courtney Jones and Shelley Heath, who both bring about X-factor in their game.



Round 7 – 23/06/2018


Warrawee Park

Originally a curtain-raiser before the men’s game, the women now get their own stage on Saturday at Warrawee Park where a cracking match is set to take place. Both teams would be keen for a win, as the Pies are coming off a bye and the Blues are coming off their fourth consecutive loss. It is not all doom and gloom for Carlton though, as their leading disposal-getter in round four, Tyla Hanks comes back into the side following a solid performance in the big ‘V’ for Vic Country. She will be joined by a host of AFLW players such as Bridie Kennedy, Natalie Plane and Tilly Lucas-Rodd. It will be interesting to see how they match up against Collingwood’s AFLW contingent, which features the likes of Best and Fairest winner, Chloe Molloy, midfielder, Jaimee Lambert and defender, Sarah D’Arcy.



Round 7 – 23/06/2018


Casey Fields

With each team only tasting victory once this season, both sides would go into this game thinking that they are a chance to record their second win. The Bulldogs come in with all the momentum, having recorded their first win of the season last week, when they thrashed Williamstown. Casey are not far off though, having defeated the Seagulls in the previous round. Demon, Harriet Cordner will have a tough task this week, as she will have to shut down the in-form Jessica Francke, who is coming off a five-goal performance. Be sure to keep an eye out for Vic Country captain, Jordyn Allen, who will start up forward for Casey to prove her versatility, after spending most of her TAC Cup Girls season either in defence or in the midfield.



Round 7 – 23/06/2018


Melville Oval, Hamilton

Unfortunately, this VFLW season hasn’t gone to plan for Melbourne Uni with the Mugars only recording one win so far. They will be thrilled to welcome back Calder Cannons captain, Madison Prespakis back into the midfield, after her last game saw her rack up 23 disposals. She will be able to take advantage of a Darebin side without two of its most influential midfielders, as AFLW duo, Lily Mithen and Nat Exon will not feature in a must-win clash for the Falcons. After a disappointing performance last week where no goal was scored for three quarters, expect a big game from gun forward, Hannah Mouncey, who did not kick a goal in the match at GMHBA Stadium. She currently leads the VFLW goal kicking tally with 12 goals from five games.



Round 7 – 24/06/2018


Box Hill City Oval

After Carlton and Collingwood do battle on Saturday, another set of traditional rivals in Hawthorn and Essendon will go head-to-head on Sunday. The Hawks will be fancying their chances as they face a Bombers side who are yet to experience victory this season. Essendon will welcome in Calder Cannons young guns in Carla Rendelmann and Molly Warburton, but its forward line has taken a hit, as leading goal kicker, Alex Quigley and goal-sneak, Danielle Ponter will not take the field this week. It will be up to Canadian duo, Kendra Heil and Valerie Moreau to provide some X-factor inside 50. However, with an experienced Hawthorn defence featuring Meg Hutchins, Pepa Randall and Jayde Van Dyk, the task could prove quite difficult. Keep an eye out for the brilliant kicking of Eastern Ranges co-captain, Emerson Woods and TAC Cup Girls teammate, Mikala Cann,who brings immense speed to the midfield thanks to her athletics background. The Vic Metro duo will take the field for the brown and gold for the first time this season.

Team selection: VFLW – Round 7

A host of TAC Cup Girls will make their Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s debut this week, as they prepare for the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships commencing on July 9. A couple of traditional rivals will go head-to-head this weekend as well with both Carlton and Collingwood and Hawthorn and Essendon battling it out for a round seven victory.



Round 7 – 23/06/2018


SkyBus Stadium

The Southern Saints will have to fight hard to get back on the winner’s list this week as they face the undefeated NT Thunder this Saturday. Sandringham Dragons duo, Eleanor Brown and Jemma Owen will retake to the field this week after representing Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. They have been named in alongside Carlton AFLW player, Laura Attard, Eastern Ranges pair, Gabriella De Angelis and Charlotte Wilson as well as Dandenong Stingrays duo, Shelley Heath and Courtney Jones.

NT Thunder have made 11 changes with lots of Northern Territory talent being re-injected into the side. Tabitha May will be making her senior debut this week after being named most valuable player in round one of the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. Coming back to the side will be defenders, Tahlia Holtze, Jemma Iacono, Morgan Johnstonand Lisa Roberts. Similarly, Jasmine Anderson, Lucy Adam and ruck, Jess Allan will be welcomed back into the midfield. For the forward line, the skillful Jasmyn Hewett will return from rest alongside Jordann Hickey and Ruth Wallace. However, the Thunder has rested AFLW Adelaide Crows stars, Sophie Armitstead, Georgia Bevan, Courtney Cramey, Chelsea Randall, Deni Varnhagen, Jenna McCormick and Sally Riley in line with an AFL Victoria directive to reduce the number of South Australian-based players in the team each weekMadeline Gault, Sue Nalder and Kristy Irvine will also miss this week’s match up.

Southern Saints
B: 29. M. Macdonald, 14. I. Quintal, 30. C. Wilson
HB: 17. L. Olsen, 38. S. Karlson, 31. G. Walker
C: 39. E. Brown, 2. A. Brown, 52. T. Gordon
HF: 21. D. Lawrence, 15. T. Bohanna, 27. K. Macqueen
F: 35. G. De Angelis, 13. C. Munn, 33. J. Owen
R: 28. R. Watt, 8. A. Drennan, 32. S. Johnson
Int: 10. L. Arnell, 18. L. Attard, 43. S. Heath, 40. M. Maitland
Emg: 49. A. Allsopp, 24. K. Ripari, 19. A. Silver, 22. D. Smith
23P: 42. C. Jones

In: E. Brown, J. Owen, L. Attard, G. De Angelis, C. Jones, C. Wilson, S. Heath
Out: S. Bolding, A. Ryan, K. Thompson

NT Thunder
B: 5. M. Roberts, 7. L. O’Shea, 44. M. Johnston
HB: 18. T. Holtze, 37. S. Allan, 13. L. Roberts
C: 12. J. Anderson, 3. A. Foley, 32. K. Streader
HF: 31. J. Sedunary, 11. J. Hickey, 15. R. Wallace
F: 28. R. Forth, 20. J. Hewett, 6. L. Motlop
R: 25. J. Allan, 17. E. Swanson, 43. K. Duggan
Int: 1. L. Adam, 10. S. Barnett, 41. A. Chittick, 19. J. Iacono
Emg: 42. G. Cusack, 23. S. Mauboy, 47. T. May
23P: 48. N. Gore

In: T. May, J. Hickey, T. Holtze, M. Johnston, J. Iacono, J. Hewett, L. Adam, R. Wallace, N. Gore, L. Roberts, J. Anderson, J. Allan
Out: D. Varnhagen, C. Cramey, S. Riley, G. Bevan, S. Armitstead, M. Gault, C. Randall, K. Irvine, J. McCormick, S. Nalder



Round 7 – 23/06/2018


Warrawee Park

Collingwood will be coming off a week’s rest when it takes on Carlton at Warrawee Park this weekend. The Magpies have made four key changes to their line-up, bringing in AFLW talents, Ruby Schleicher, Kristy Stratton and Emma GrantLeah French will also join the side this week, while Mua LaloifiGabrielle Biedenweg-Webster, Sarah Cameron and AFLW player, Holly Whitford have been named out. Oakleigh Chargers forward, Daisy Bateman comes back into the side as the 23rd player after scoring three goals on debut for the Magpies.

Carlton has made five changes in the lead up to this week’s match, starting with the exciting inclusion of this year’s TAC Cup Girls Northern Knights captain, Maddy Brancatisano. She will come in as the 23rd player and bring her leadership experience after leading her side to the inaugural TAC Cup Girls Grand Final. She will be joined by another TAC Cup Girls leader in Gippsland co-captain, Tyla Hanks, who was one of the best on ground for Vic Country in its first Nationals hit-out. Carlton AFLW players, Natalie Plane and Bridie Kennedy have also been named to take the field this week, as well as sister of Breann Moody, Celine Moody. They will have big shoes to fill with AFLW teammates, Jess Hosking and Sophie Li being rested. Oakleigh Chargers forward, Isabella Gietzmann and Rachel King have been omitted while Courtney Bromage has shifted her focus from football back to her studies for the remainder of the season.

B: 52. N. Hales, 61. A. Malander, 72. K. Lee
HB: 22. S. Casey, 18. R. Schleicher, 47. J. Edwards
C: 81. B. Jones, 4. S. D’Arcy, 99. S. Marsh
HF: 49. S. Alexander, 77. C. Leighton, 2. C. Molloy
F: 54. H. Grubb, 75. E. Fowler, 13. J. Lambert
R: 11. E. Hynes, 5. E. Grant, 55. L. French
Int: 65. E. Browning, 50. G. Buchan, 63. P. Nash, 41. K. Stratton
Emg: 56. P. Davey, 53. R. Grant, 62. E. Korteman, 68. S. Yoannidis
23P: 66. D. Bateman

B: 24. R. Hicks, 7. S. Last, 56. C. Williams
HB: 34. A. Chuot, 5. D. Pedersen, 40. K. Harvey
C: 55. C. Dalton, 32. N. Plane, 18. T. Lucas-Rodd
HF: 38. L. McCarthy, 50. J. Borg, 90. B. Walker
F: 27. K. Cox, 42. C. Hardeman, 41. K. Cunico
R: 16. B. Moody, 26. S. Audley, 51. T. Hanks
Int: 82. N. Burns, 23. B. Kennedy, 36. C. Moody, 37. B. Schultz
Emg: 45. R. King, 35. S. Li, 66. T. Plowman, 63. O. Vesely
23P: 8. M. Brancatisano

In: O. Vesely, N. Plane, T. Hanks, M. Brancatisano, B. Kennedy, C. Moody
Out: J. Hosking, C. Bromage



Round 7 – 23/06/2018


Casey Fields

Both the Casey Demons and Western Bulldogs come into round seven with one win under their belt and hungry for more. Coming off last week’s bye, the Demons have brought in AFLW players, Laura Duryea and Kate Hore, Bianca Jakobsson and Katherine Smith. They will be joined by Dandenong Stingrays and Vic Country captain, Jordyn Allen, as well as Taylor Mesiti and Sally Fyfield. This week the Demons also signed Shae Sloane, sister of Rory Sloane, who will don the red and blue jumper for the first time this weekend as the 23rd player. The former Volleyroos captain is an exciting addition to the team.

Coming off their first win of the season, the Bulldogs have pulled the ace from their sleeve this week, bringing in AFLW premiership captain, Ellie Blackburn for her VFLW debut. She will be joined by another debutant in AFLW premiership forward, Deanna Berry. Both girls are no stranger to a tough game of football and are sure to add class to the Dogs’ line-up. Laura Bailey, Nicole Paul, Brittney Wunhym and Katerina Rebuffo have also been named in for the round seven clash.

Casey Demons
B: 37. L. Lowerson, 27. A. Harrison, 15. S. Phillips
HB: 34. D. Guttridge, 21. H. Cordner, 16. C. Sheriff
C: 25. M. Shevlin, 22. K. Guttridge, 8. M. Tatham
HF: 18. K. Bentvelzen , 29. E. Zanker , 41. T. Mesiti
F: 38. J. Allen, 12. G. McLean, 7. B. Jakobsson
R: 14. T. Orgill, 13. K. Smith, 2. A. Newman
Int: 48. S. Fyfield, 9. A. Johnson, 6. A. McDonough, 5. S. Poke
Emg: 3. R. Clayton, 47. M. Hogg, 30. A. Marshall, 33. L. Rutter, 49. B. Struylaart
23P: 26. S. Sloane

Western Bulldogs
B: 9. T. Dinuccio, 42. N. Paul, 5. R. Martinuzzo
HB: 26. T. Morgan, 18. E. Birch, 38. C. O’Brien
C: 13. L. Bailey, 21. B. Hunt, 10. S. Jolly
HF: 1. B. Lochland, 12. J. Francke, 6. K. McLeod
F: 7. D. Berry , 32. A. Mifsud, 41. A. Scott
R: 24. K. Rennie, 2. E. Blackburn, 17. H. Wildes
Int: 31. A. Gunn, 29. T. Hamilton, 47. N. McMahon, 51. K. Rebuffo
Emg: 16. N. Ferres, 40. N. Gills, 36. A. Gogos , 27. E. Muller
23P: 37. B. Wunhym

In: L. Bailey, N. Paul, B. Wunhym, N. Gills, D. Berry , E. Blackburn, K. Rebuffo
Out: E. Mackay, R. Ashley, A. Tessari



Round 7 – 23/06/2018


Melville Oval, Hamilton

Melbourne Uni will go into this week’s clash against Darebin missing two Kangaroo recruits, Jamie Stanton and Danielle HardimanMarta Cantwell has also been named out. In their place, Vic Metro captain, Madison Prespakis will be welcomed back to the field alongside the fearless Sophie Abbatangelo, Asha Price, Alexandra Saundry, Candice Adams and Lauren Munday.

Darebin has made six changes to its round seven side. This involves the inclusion of AFLW player, Nicole Callinan as well as Cherelle Byrne, Janelle Bertoni, Shree Fairchild and Eastern Ranges and Vic Metro defender, Lauren Szigeti who comes in as the 23rd player. The Falcons will be going into the game without powerhouse, Lily Mithen, who is a former captain of Vic Country, and Melbourne AFLW player. Fellow AFLW midfielder, Nat Exon is another big out for the Falcons this week.

Melbourne Uni
B: 27. J. Anderson, 29. K. Klatt, 6. E. Keaney
HB: 53. J. Grierson, 43. L. Munday, 24. S. Wilson
C: 10. K. Ashmore, 15. E. Kearney, 44. A. Runnalls
HF: 11. P. Cordes, 9. K. Price, 2. H. Ibrahim
F: 1. S. Abbatangelo, 34. A. Price, 7. A. Riddell
R: 33. C. Adams, 41. K. Gillespie-Jones, 18. A. Tupper
Int: 19. L. Ahrens, 38. K. Angelis, 20. L. Belza, 4. A. Saundry
Emg: 28. A. Dalley, 45. M. McDonald, 35. M. Shone, 16. T. Watson
23P: 46. M. Prespakis

In: S. Abbatangelo, C. Adams, L. Munday, A. Price, T. Watson, A. Saundry, M. Prespakis
Out: J. Stanton, D. Hardiman, M. Cantwell

B: 32. G. Colvin, 27. S. Hogan, 49. R. Hibbert
HB: 48. L. Jacobs, 14. M. McDonald, 21. K. Roe
C: 2. N. Callinan, 9. M. Eastman, 15. A. Lister
HF: 26. T. Olcorn, 24. K. Shierlaw, 56. M. Wilson
F: 22. G. Hammond, 43. H. Mouncey, 17. S. Simpson
R: 41. A. O’Connor, 20. M. Guerin, 12. J. Dal pos
Int: 36. C. Byrne, 44. S. Fairchild, 31. E. Gardner, 11. K. Tyndall
Emg: 37. J. Bertoni, 1. E. Honybun, 29. S. Normington – Dickens, 30. E. O’Dea
23P: 35. L. Szigeti

In: S. Fairchild, L. Szigeti, G. Hammond, N. Callinan, S. Normington – Dickens, C. Byrne, J. Bertoni
Out: L. Skipper, N. Exon, L. Mithen



Round 7 – 24/06/2018


Box Hill City Oval

Hawthorn will be looking for repeat efforts of last weekend when it takes on the winless Essendon. They have brought in two debutants for the occasion, including Eastern Ranges duo, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann. Both girls have proven to be tough competitors after their TAC Cup Girls experience this year. Clare O’Donnell and Nicky Cormack have had to make way for the young midfielders.

Yet to experience victory, Essendon will be desperate for a win, coming off the bye. The Bombers have trusted in three debutants to bring them the result they desire. Greater Western Sydney defender, Tanya Hetherington and 17-year-old Calder Cannons defender, Molly Warburton will hopefully bolster the Dons’ defensive pressure. Another 17-year-old Cannons recruit, Carla Rendelmann will also play her first game, being named as the 23rd player. Aysha Ward and Monique DeMatteo have also been named in while Jessica Anwyl, Danielle Ponter, Alex Quigley, Jenna Barker and Erin Bult have been named out.

B: 22. T. Luke, 21. P. Randall, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 4. S. Carroll, 36. J. Van Dyk, 13. E. Nixon
C: 17. S. David, 1. E. Mackie, 9. M. Kuys
HF: 14. O. Flanagan, 25. M. Hutchins, 33. E. Gilder
F: 8. R. Beeson, 28. S. Perkins, 5. C. Perera
R: 32. K. Ebb, 39. S. McNamara, 6. J. Crockett-Grills
Int: 45. M. Cann, 40. E. Macdonald, 16. C. Papadopoulos, 19. L. Wotton
Emg: 37. J. Barnden, 24. R. Dillon, 11. D. Haines, 29. A. Tanner
23P: 43. E. Woods

In: D. Haines, M. Cann, A. Tanner, R. Dillon, E. Woods, J. Barnden
Out: C. O’Donnell, N. Cormack

B: 25. R. Neaves, 7. K. Hicks, 5. M. Warburton
HB: 17. T. Hetherington, 16. L. Morecroft, 27. A. Morcom
C: 44. M. Collier, 37. I. Malliaras, 46. C. Ugle
HF: 35. V. Moreau, 18. K. Heil, 47. A. Ward
F: 4. N. Hardy, 12. B. Kearney, 22. N. MacDonald
R: 30. S. Nalder, 9. L. Williams, 8. H. Bullas
Int: 15. L. Caruso, 3. M. DeMatteo, 32. T. Mackrill, 1. J. Trend
Emg: 14. J. Barker, 49. E. Bult, 26. A. Madden, 28. C. Portlock
23P: 36. C. Rendelmann

From local footy to All-Australian in 12 months: Macpherson’s rapid rise

FROM local footy to All-Australian defender in 12 months, Eastern Ranges’ AFL Women’s Academy member Georgia Macpherson can hardly believe how fast the past 18 months have flown by since joining the TAC Cup Girls club for the 2017 season. Originally from the Northern Territory, Macpherson made the move to Melbourne and has become a revelation in defence with her intercept marking and rebounding among her strengths in some impressive performances at both club and representative level.

“I started Auskick when I lived in Darwin,” Macpherson said. “A group of my mates from school just said come down and have a go so I did that. “Then came down to Melbourne and then started playing for Chirnside Park – and again a group of my friends invited me down and ever since I’ve been there. “I’ve played there for about five years or so and then Eastern Ranges invited me to come try out for them so this is my second year with them. I’ve had heaps of opportunities throughout.”

For Macpherson, looking back on her journey, it is not too dissimilar to the meteoric rise of women’s football as a whole, going from playing at a local level with Chirnside Park to finding herself running out on Etihad Stadium for Victoria.

“Last year was super quick,” Macpherson said. “I was just playing at local (footy) for five years and then Eastern Ranges came around and after that (I was) straight into Vic Metro and after that I was straight into All-Australian at Etihad Stadium. “That was pretty full-on and then I thought the season was over, so I went back and played with my local club for a couple of games, and then got invited to AFLW Academy so then that was another big camp in December. “Then it followed on throughout this year and pre-season started again for Eastern Ranges, so there wasn’t really a big break that I’m used to at a local level. “Within the intensity it definitely wasn’t, so it was a lot of a bigger workload on the body and coming into this year I was more aware of how much work I was going to have to put into this season just in 2018 so I’m just like preparing myself throughout the year and knowing this is just the beginning so I have a long way to go still.”

The Eastern Ranges talent has certainly noticed the increased intensity in the competition, taking out the club best and fairest in 2016, and had another top three finish this year despite missing a game through concussion.

“I feel like it’s definitely gone up a lot,” she said. “The standard’s gone up, the professionalism has gone up, like not from only the players but the coaching staff. “As soon as pre-season came, the girls from last year noticed a difference and I feel like that’s good because obviously you want to improve and get better. “We weren’t the strongest competition out there last year and I feel like we definitely came out a lot stronger at the start of the season. “I definitely see where Eastern Ranges are trying to come from last year. “We definitely want to get faster, fitter, stronger from last year. “I feel like it was a bit harder than last year, pre-season.”

Macpherson praised the work of her coaches in the various AFL Victoria organisations, with both Eastern Ranges and Vic Metro monitoring the workload on the players to ensure they do not overdo it.

“I [went] from Eastern Ranges and I’m under them, so they take control of my workload and then I [went] to Vic Metro and they take care of my workload, so they will roster me on to train with them and … once they’re done, I’ll go to Box Hill and so on,” the AFLW Academy member said. “It’s pretty good, they are aware that there other workloads that you have, and other commitments you have and they take that into consideration and they create the timeline for you and the training schedule and that’s really helpful because otherwise us girls at our age, we’d just work ourselves to the bone and crack at the end of the season.”

The challenge is keeping everyone happy from her studies to her work, but she is determined to make the most of an opportunity to play at the highest level.

“Well I go to SEDA so I have it pretty good compared to most Year 12s but I do work part-time which is a bit of a struggle,” Macpherson said. “There’s training sessions that I’m going to [at] all these different clubs, they train at different times and different places so it’s been pretty hard keeping my boss happy because I keep changing shifts on them. “I mean, you’re dedicated to the sport so you’ve got to go and put it first.”

While Macpherson said her intercept marking and reading of the play is what she prided herself on, she acknowledged there were areas she wanted to focus on to improve.

“I definitely want to build on my fitness and my muscles and all of that,” she said. “But just my basic game knowledge and everything, just keep learning the game because it’s only going to get faster and harder so keeping up with all that and just trying to get the best out of all of that and be the best I can be.”

While the AFL Women’s draft is now only a few months away, Macpherson is focused on the National AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships on the Gold Coast in July, after a successful performance against Vic Country on the weekend.

“AFL would be crazy if I make that level,” she said. “It will be insane if I am good enough to make that level. “Just even making VFL I’m gobsmacked, and that I’m actually there and have the opportunity to play. “If I know I’m at the AFL level, I’ll definitely apply for it at the end of the year.”