Tag: emily haeusler

McEvoy’s five majors inspires Vic Country to 56-point victory

A FIVE-goal haul to Geelong Falcons’ Lucy McEvoy highlighted a fantastic 56-point win over Queensland in the first game at Metricon Stadium today. McEvoy booted all five goals within the space of a combined three minutes, with three goals scored in the second quarter within two minutes, then back-to-back goals in the fourth term in just a minute.

It was Gippsland Power’s Tyla Hanks who got Country on the board with a great running goal in the fourth minute to hand the Country side an early lead. For Queensland, Ellie Hampson and Kitara Farrar were working hard and rebounding out of defence. Midway through the first term, Queensland responded through Dee Heslop, with Natalie Grider unlucky not to kick a second Queensland goal from a set shot. Moments later, Heslop almost had her second, pouncing on a loose ball and having a powerful shot on goal but it just missed. Emily Haeusler and Denby Taylor were good out of defence for the Country side early, while Rene Caris was strong in the ruck. Both teams headed to quarter time at 1.2 (8).

The second term started with a number of highlights including a bone-crunching tackle from Zimmorlei Farquharson and great running out of the back 50 from Farrar. It was Murray Bushrangers’ small Julia Harvey who had the first opportunity, running into an opening goal and nailing it perfectly to put Country seven points up a few minutes in. Country were relentlessly attacking inside their forward 50, but Queensland were holding up well. Sophie Van De Heuvel had a chance from the pocket after a great tackle to dispossess, as did Shelley Heath on the run, but both could not quite get it through the big sticks. Enter Lucy McEvoy. The Geelong Falcons utility found space, and her range to convert the set shot from 35m out, then less than a minute later made it two with an amazing shot from the boundary that sailed through. Then if that was not enough, she outmarked her opponent and kicked a third in just two minutes. While the defensive efforts of Farquharson, Grider and Lily Postlethwaite were halting the visitors, McEvoy proved the difference in the second term to blow the lead out to 27 points at the main break.

While she was not on the end of it early in the third term, it was the work from McEvoy to win the contested ball, stand up in the tackle and give off the handball to a running Harvey who kicked the easiest of goals from the goal square, her second of the match. The defensive partnership of Hampson and Brooke Randall was working well in keeping the pressure high, while Postlethwaite and Farquharson was massive in the middle. Despite their best efforts, it was Vic Country who continued to attack and it was Rene Caris who bent the ball around her body and delivered a great bouncing goal of Country’s second of the third term at the 12-minute mark. It was the last score of the quarter and Country held a very comfortable 39-point advantage at the final break, a score that was arguably not reflective of the game play. While Country controlled the contest, Queensland was holding its own in the one-on-one contests. Rebecca Webster was huge for Country in the term, leading the way through the middle, while Nina Morrison continued to have the ball on a string. Caris’ second efforts were noticeable as she matched it with the taller Bella around the ground and went forward to have an impact.

Both sides were switched on in the final term with Farquharson taking a strong grab off a good vertical leap, her shot just missed, but the home team continued to push. Bella Dawes was getting involved, while for Country, Jordyn Allen was rebounding out of defence and Harvey continued to evade her opponents with good agility. Tori Groves-Little had a real opportunity for goal, but her shot was marked on the defensive last line. Country had a brilliant end-to-end play with Lauren Butler delivering the ball inside 50 to Hanks on the lead. Her set shot missed to the right, however. Olivia Purcell continued to be important for Country, winning a free, and her work led to another goal to her Geelong Falcons teammate. A long kick to the square saw McEvoy rise up and clunk a grab off two bites, then run around and snap her fourth. Then moments later as if the crowd needed a sense of deja vu from the first term, Hanks sprinted out of the middle from a centre clearance and delivered it inside 50 where McEvoy grabbed it and drilled her fifth – again in the space a minute. Not long after, Morrison took advantage of some space and booted another for Country with a minute remaining and the visitors were going to celebrate a terrific victory.

QUEENSLAND 1.2 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 1.5 (11)
VIC COUNTRY 1.2 | 5.5 | 7.6 | 10.7 (67)

GOALS:
Queensland: Dee Heslop.
Vic Country: Lucy McEvoy 5, Julia Harvey 2, Tyla Hanks, Rene Caris, Nina Morrison.

BEST:
Queensland: Zimmorlei Farquharson, Ellie Hampson, Lily Postlethwaite, Kitara Farrar, Natalie Grider, Dee Heslop.
Vic Country: Lucy McEvoy, Nina Morrison, Rebecca Webster, Julia Harvey, Rene Caris, Olivia Purcell.

AFLW U18 Championships previews: Central Allies

SOUTH Australia and Northern Territory’s top footballers will form the Central Allies in a formidable outfit for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. In the first series, South Australia won both its clashes against Northern Territory, but the top-end talent in both sides is clear. We took a look at the side’s key players and its upcoming fixture ahead of round two of the National Championships on the Gold Coast.

Key players:

Nikki Gore

An unbelievable young talent who took out the SANFL Women’s Rising Star award after a terrific season. The 17 year-old South Adelaide midfielder was named in the best a massive seven times out of a possible nine for her side, five of which she was deemed to be in the best two players in the side. Considering her team won the premiership and had the likes of GWS GIANTS star Courtney Gum in the side, it was a massive achievement for Gore to standout and expect her to be a shining light for the Central Allies in the upcoming national carnival. Not surprisingly, she made the SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League Team of the Year. In what was not a surprise to anyone, Gore was named South Australia’s top player from the first series against Northern Territory. Also joined NT Thunder for the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition and made her debut on the weekend, booting a goal against Collingwood.

Danielle Ponter

Already shining in the VFL Women’s competition for Essendon, Ponter has become a reliable mid/forward who predominantly spends time at half-forward while pinching minutes through the middle at times. A member of the AFL Women’s Academy, Ponter is looking to carry over her good form from the Victorian state league to be a crucial key up forward for the Central Allies. She has represented Northern Territory on 11 occasions so far and has won the Sharyn Smith Medal (best and fairest) every year in the Youth Girls. Ponter has famous bloodlines being a niece of Essendon legend Michael Long.

Katelyn Rosenzweig

The dominant goal kicker in the side, Katelyn Rosenzweig is the fifth tallest player in the Central Allies squad, and uses her height to advantage in the forward line. Against Northern Territory, she was the main target, booting three goals in both games to cause all sorts of headaches. Now in an even stronger team, expect her to work well with Ponter in the forward half. At senior level in the SANFL Statewide Women’s League, Rosenzweig booted a massive 15 goals from 11 games, including bags of four (Sturt) and three (Glenelg and South Adelaide). It will take a good defender to stop her and she will be one of the contenders for leading goal kicker in the carnival next week.

Janet Baird

Like Gore, Baird is an NT Thunder player in the VFL Women’s, making her debut earlier in the season against Darebin Falcons where she recorded 11 disposals, two marks and laid six tackles. Her defensive pressure is a highlight of her game and one of the key Northern Territory players to watch. She has great speed and is an exciting youngster who is a December-born player meaning still plenty of development left in her. At 160cm, she will be a pocket rocket around the ground that opposition sides will need to watch.

Esther Boles

A standout for North Adelaide this season, Boles was voted captain of the Croweaters ahead of the two-game series with the Northern Territory. In the SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League, Boles booted eight goals in 11 games, including six goals across four matches, named in the best on a couple of occasions. She has been know in the South Australian youth girls system since booting three goals against Norwood in the Under 16s competition back in 2015.

Abbie Ballard

If there is one South Australian girl to keep an eye on for the 2020 National AFL Women’s draft, it is Abbie Ballard. Before her 16th birthday, Ballard was already standing out in the SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League for West Adelaide, booting two goals in the final game of the season to be named best by her coaches. It was the fourth consecutive game she was named among the bests for West Adelaide, including two majors the week before. She might be the second youngest in the squad – born nine days earlier than fellow Croweater Teah Charlton – but she is expected to make a big contribution at the national carnival.

Rachel Dunstan

The vice-captain of the South Australian team played for Sturt in the SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League given her aligned club of Woodville-West Torrens were yet to have a side. She managed nine games with the Double Blues, named in the best on a couple of occasions and booting a goal. Her leadership will be important, as will her height in a side which is predominantly smaller – Dunstan is 168cm with 19 players below 165cm. In 2017, she played at the National Championships at half-back and is one of the better playmakers in the side, with impressive skills that hurt opposing sides.

 

Fixture:

Game 1: vs. Eastern Allies

Monday July 9 at Metricon Stadium

The first day will see the Central Allies take on fellow combined side Eastern Allies in a game they will go in confident they can win. The Eastern Allies have some serious top-end talent in Alyce Parker, as well as Chloe and Libby Haines, but the likes of Janet Baird and Abbie Ballard will look to counteract the taller side and use pace to run them off their legs. If they can control the ball through the midfield it gives their strong forward line a huge chance to kick a winning score on the big ground at Metricon Stadium.

Game 2: vs. Victoria Country

Wednesday July 11 at Broadbeach

Heading over to Broadbeach, the game against Vic Country will prove to be a challenging one. The likes of Tyla Hanks, Nina Morrison and Olivia Purcell in the middle will always cause headaches for opposition sides, and the good defensive outfit will be touch to kick a score against. Danielle Ponter could find herself lining up against Emily Haeusler – a defender who’s strength is in her one-on-ones and is quick, while Katelyn Rosenzweig might find Lucy McEvoy wears her like a glove. To beat Vic Country, you just have to be smart with the ball and make the most of your opportunities.

Game 3: vs. Victoria Metro

Friday July 13 at Bond University  

The final game of the week does not get any easier, with likely title favourites Vic Metro standing in the Central Allies’ way at Bond University. Madison Prespakis vs. Nikki Gore should be a thrilling midfield battle, while the Metro side is littered with class such as Georgia Patrikios up forward – who could well be a great head-to-head with Rachel Dunstan. The speed of Metro through Mikala Cann and Marnie Jarvis is sure to be a big consideration in team selection for the Central Allies, with perhaps Tabitha May and Janet Baird among those looking to cause havoc with speed the other way.

Scouting notes: National AFLW Under 18s Championships

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

 

Vic Country: 

#1 Shelley Heath

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

#2 Julia Harvey

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

#3 Kodi Jacques

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

#5 Emily Haeusler

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

#6 Tyla Hanks

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

#7 Olivia Purcell

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

#8 Sophie Van De Heuvel

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

#9 Nina Morrison

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

#10 Nikia Webber

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

#11 Lauren Butler

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

#14 Jordyn Allen

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

#16 Molly McDonald

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

#19 Tarryn Love

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

#20 Isabella Shannon

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

#21 Rene Caris

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

#22 Rebecca Webster

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

#23 Lucy McEvoy

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

#24 Millie Brown

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

#25 Georgia Clarke

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

#26 Amy Dunn

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

#32 Courtney Jones

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

#35 Lucinda Cripps

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

 

Vic Metro: 

#1 Marnie Jarvis

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

#2 Jemma Owen

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

#3 Emerson Woods

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

#6 Maddy Prespakis

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

#7 Mikala Cann

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

#8 Georgia Patrikios

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

#9 Daisy Bateman

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

#10 Maddy Brancatisano

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

#13 Molly Warburton

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

#14 Isabella Grant

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

#15 Hannah McLaren

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

#17 Georgia Macpherson

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

#18 Abbie McKay

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

#19 Laura McClelland

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

#20 Gabby Newton

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

#21 Eleanor Brown

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

#22 Katie Lynch

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

#23 Sarah Kendall

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

#24 Charlotte Wilson

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

#32 Lauren Szigeti

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

#35 Carla Rendelmann

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

#36 Holly Bate

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

AFLW U18 National Championships: Vic Country vs. Vic Metro

THIS year’s Vic Country side may be one of the strongest Vic Country sides ever, with many premiership players set to take the field in their home territory on Saturday. The side consists of 17 and 18 year-olds, with the 18 year-olds having a chance to be drafted by an AFLW side in the AFLW Draft later this year. The TAC Cup Girls sides who feature in the Country line-up are the Bendigo Pioneers, Dandenong Stingrays, Geelong Falcons, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Murray Bushrangers.

The finest Victorian metropolitan female footballers will face Vic Country in the side’s first hit-out in the AFL Women’s Under 18 National Championships. The game will take place at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong on Saturday at 1pm. Players featured are born in the years 2000 and 2001, with those born in 2000 being eligible for this year’s AFLW Draft. The TAC Cup Girls sides featured in the Vic Metro squad are the Calder Cannons, Eastern Ranges, Northern Knights, Oakleigh Chargers, Sandringham Dragons and Western Jets.

Vic Country:

B: 35. Lucinda Cripps – 23. Lucy McEvoy – 11. Lauren Butler
HB: 5. Emily Haeusler – 25. Georgia Clarke – 22. Bec Webster
C: 8. Sophie Van De Heuvel – 16. Molly McDonald – 9. Nina Morrison
HF: 10. Nikia Webber – 24. Millie Brown – 20. Isabella Shannon
F: 2. Julia Harvey – 26. Amy Dunn – 7. Olivia Purcell
R: 21. Rene Caris – 14. Jordyn Allen – 6. Tyla Hanks
INT: 3. Kodi Jacques – 1. Shelley Heath – 32. Courtney Jones – 19. Tarryn Love
EMG: 13. Tamara Smith – 33. Sophie Molan

Vic Country squad:

Kodi Jacques
Balanced Midfielder | 163cm | Bendigo Pioneers

Jacques is the definition of never giving up. She always applies herself to every contest and has a beautiful deft kick, quick hands and an ability to enforce plenty of pressure acts to trouble opponents.

Courtney Jones
Inside Midfielder/General Forward | 168cm | Dandenong Stingrays

A powerful player with good body work, which allows her to win the ball plenty of times in dangerous positions. Her kick is one of the longest in the competition, and when she uses it inside 50, it is quite damaging.

Isabella Shannon
Inside Midfielder/Tall Forward | 169cm | Dandenong Stingrays

Shannon’s strong hands and long kicking allows her to create scoring opportunities for her side. She was able to put away a couple of goals for the Stingrays during the TAC Cup Girls season, kicking 11 goals from nine games.

Jordyn Allen
Inside Midfielder/Tall Defender | 174cm | Dandenong Stingrays

Allen has one of the best sets of hands in the TAC Cup Girls competition, intercepting everything that comes her way. She also has a very accurate kick that allows her to pinpoint opponents, demonstrating her ability to always find the right option.

Lucinda Cripps
Key Position Utility | 175cm | Dandenong Stingrays

Cripps has a really clever kick and utilises it to spear passes to teammates perfectly. She also runs hard and displays good movement in space to penetrate the ball forward.

Molly McDonald
Outside Midfielder/General Defender | 167cm | Dandenong Stingrays

McDonald’s versatility held her in good stead throughout the Stingrays season. This was recognised by her coaches as she was named in the best four times throughout the season.

Shelley Heath
Outside Midfielder/General Defender | 160cm | Dandenong Stingrays

Has immense speed that can break a game open. Bobs up at every contest and uses her quick hands to get teammates out of trouble.

Lucy McEvoy
Tall Utility | 172cm | Geelong Falcons

McEvoy’s strong hands and long kicking combined for plenty of forward thrusts for the Falcons during the season. Her quick hands on the inside are invaluable and she is a player that can play solid footy throughout the game, never seeming to drop off in effort and stamina.

Nina Morrison
Balanced Midfielder | 167cm | Geelong Falcons

One of the best chase-down tacklers in the TAC Cup Girls competition, Morrison always put on the afterburners to cause turnovers and headaches for the opposition. Her precision kicking and quick hands on the outside also provided an opportunity for her teammates to run into space and create scoring opportunities.

Olivia Purcell
Inside Midfielder | 161cm | Geelong Falcons

Purcell is one of the strongest tacklers in the TAC Cup Girls competition, as she can stop an opponent in their tracks instantly. Her work on the inside can often be game-changing, as she uses her long penetrating kick to create movement or her slick handballing to gradually build up a scoring opportunity.

Tarryn Love
Balanced Midfielder | 165cm | Geelong Falcons

Love has a huge tank as her running on the outside seems to never stop. She always goes in hard for the footy and can utilise space with speed and power when she gets it.

Amy Dunn
Ruck | 180cm | Gippsland Power

Has really strong hands and isn’t afraid to take powerful contested marks. Presents a valuable target for her teammates as she is able to use the ball well both by hand and by foot.  

Emily Hauesler
General Defender | 163cm | Gippsland Power

Hauesler seemed to improve in each TAC Cup Girls game, patrolling the back line with hard running and strong hands. Her kicking is an asset in her game as her rebound out of defensive 50 provides teammates with the opportunity to move forward.

Nikia Webber
General Forward | 169cm | Gippsland Power

An exciting forward who hunts the footy well inside 50. Webber managed to kick 12 goals from eight games and complemented this with a high level of forward pressure.

Tyla Hanks
Balanced Midfielder | 157cm | Gippsland Power

Hanks is one of the most influential players in the TAC Cup Girls competition, demonstrated through being named in the best in each game that she played throughout the season. Her quick hands and clearing kicks were invaluable for the Power, and her strong tackling complemented this, never allowing her opponents to have an inch of space.

Georgia Clarke
Key Position Defender | 177cm | GWV Rebels

Clarke was one of the best defenders in the TAC Cup Girls competition, as her strong hands and ability to win one-on-one contests is second to none. She always positions herself well across half-back and can rebound the ball fiercely out of defensive 50, giving the opposition no chance to slingshot the ball back inside 50.

Lauren Butler
Balanced Midfielder | 170cm | GWV Rebels

One of the most consistent players in the competition, Butler hurts opponents with her ability to nullify their impact through great defensive efforts in the midfield. Always plays the team role and applies herself at every contest.

Rene Caris
Ruck | 184cm | GWV Rebels

An agile ruck that has a great vertical leap, but can also work around the ground to get herself in dangerous offensive and defensive positions. Matched it up with a mature ruck in the AFLW Academy’s hit-out against Geelong VFLW.

Sophie Van De Heuvel
Inside Midfielder/ General Forward | 171cm | GWV Rebels

Had one of the best kicks in the TAC Cup Girls competition, and used it well wherever she played. She is especially lively in the forward line, where she was able to kick six goals this season.

Rebecca Webster
Inside Midfielder/General Defender | 172cm | Murray Bushrangers

A player that wins the hard ball on plenty of occasions in the depths of congestion. Has a really long kick that is useful both in the midfield and in defence, where she would often play to steady the ship for the Bushrangers.

Julia Harvey
Inside Midfielder/General Forward | 164cm | Murray Bushrangers

A tough inside midfielder that is not afraid to go in hard for the footy. Can also rotate up forward where she uses her precise kicking to create scoring opportunities.

Millie Brown
Tall Utility | 176cm | Murray Bushrangers

Provides penetration with her kicking and strength in marking contests. Can also move into the ruck, using her strong overhead ability to her advantage.

Emergencies:

Tamara Smith
Inside Midfielder | 161cm | Murray Bushrangers

Has great agility and can move well laterally. Also has a good set of hands and always applies herself at the contest.

Sophie Molan
Tall Utlity | 176cm | GWV Rebels

Although her best work is done on the outside, Molan can play in other positions on the field, demonstrating her versatility. Wherever she plays, she moves the ball well and finds plenty of it, allowing her to showcase her consistency during the TAC Cup Girls season.

Vic Metro:

B: 13. Molly Warburton – 24. Charlotte Wilson – 32. Lauren Szigeti
HB: 17. Georgia Macpherson – 20. Gabby Newton – Hannah McLaren
C: Emerson Woods – 7. Mikala Cann – 21. Eleanor Brown
HF: 14. Isabella Grant – 19. Laura McClelland – 9. Daisy Bateman
F: 14. Maddy Brancatisano – 36. Holly Bate – 23. Sarah Kendall
R: 35. Carla Rendelmann – 6. Madison Prespakis – 22. Katie Lynch
INT: 1. Marnie Jarvis – 2. Jemma Owen – 8. Georgia Patrikios -18. Abbie McKay

Vic Metro squad:

Carla Rendelmann
Ruck | 182cm | Calder Cannons

Really powerful in the ruck and is able to manipulate her taps to her midfielders. Can get good penetration on her taps and is a good ball-user, especially by foot.

Georgia Patrikios
General Forward | 171cm | Calder Cannons

An exciting forward who knows where the goals are. Her agility is arguably the most impressive in the TAC Cup Girls competition, as she would easily side-step opponents and surge forward with her lovely kicking.

Madison Prespakis
Balanced Midfielder | 164cm | Calder Cannons

Prespakis is arguably the most damaging player in the TAC Cup Girls competition. She was named best-on-ground by her coaches in seven of the eight games she played, thanks to her brilliant long kicking, strong tackling and outstanding leadership, allowing herself to make an impact both in the midfield and in the forward line.

Molly Warburton
Tall Defender | 174cm | Calder Cannons

A strong defender who excels at playing a lock-down role. Warburton has strong hands and can penetrate the ball forward with her long kick out of defence.

Charlotte Wilson
Ruck/Key Position Defender | 177cm | Eastern Ranges

Wilson holds up the fort immensely well in defence, often creating a wall of her own to block opposition forwards from surging inside 50. The Ranges co-captain can also double up in the ruck and make an impact thanks to her impressive endurance and high footy IQ.

Emerson Woods
General Forward/Inside Midfielder | 171cm | Eastern Ranges

Woods is a forward who can be extremely damaging once she gets on a roll. She has strong hands and gets good penetration on her kicks.

Georgia Macpherson
Tall Defender | 173cm | Eastern Ranges

One of the strongest sets of hands in the TAC Cup Girls competition, Macpherson is a contested and uncontested marking beast. Her high level of endurance enables her to patrol the back line and divert opposition players from kicking the ball near her, as she mops up the footy immediately.

Laura McClelland
Tall Forward | 175cm | Eastern Ranges

McClelland booted 11 goals from nine games this season, including a bag of four against the Oakleigh Chargers. She is dangerous whenever she gets the ball in hand and is an accurate kick for goal.

Lauren Szigeti
Small Defender | 162cm | Eastern Ranges

An aggressive defender who applied herself to every contest, the Ranges players sure enjoyed having Szigeti around their side. She always goes in hard for the footy and is usually found at the bottom of every contest, showing her desperation to win the footy.

Mikala Cann
Balanced Midfielder | 173cm | Eastern Ranges

A speedy midfielder who has incredibly good hands. Cann’s aggressive tackling was also a highlight of her TAC Cup Girls season, which she used to complement her smart kicking.

Sarah Kendall
Ruck | 178cm | Eastern Ranges

Kendall is a dangerous ruck who makes an impact whenever she gets the ball in hand. Her ruck-work is impressive but it’s her follow-up work that makes all the difference, as she hunts the ball down and manages to hit targets, whether it’d be through a quick-fire handball or a booming kick.

Gabby Newton
Tall Utility | 178cm | Northern Knights

At just 16, Newton is immensely talented and one of the most influential players in the TAC Cup Girls competition. She can turn a game on its head thanks to her powerful kicking and swift ball-use, whether it’d be in the ruck or in the midfield.

Maddy Brancatisano
Inside Midfielder | 169cm | Northern Knights

Brancatisano is a hard inside midfielder that has an outstanding defensive game. Not only can she move the ball well through the contest, but she can also play a shut-down role on an opposition player and tackles hard, not giving her opponent an inch of space.

Marnie Jarvis
Outside Midfielder | 160cm | Northern Knights

Jarvis’ outside run provided plenty of X factor for the Knights this year. She was able to move the ball quickly on the wing and either utilised or created space whenever she had the opportunity to do so.

Daisy Bateman
General Forward | 166cm | Oakleigh Chargers

Bateman is a goal-kicking machine, kicking 14 goals from seven games which included a bag of five in round six. She has a high footy IQ and positions herself really well deep in the forward line.

Hannah McLaren
Tall Utility | 176cm | Oakleigh Chargers

McLaren’s strong hands are a huge asset in her game. She also has a long kick that gets her teammates out of trouble, and can back up her work behind the ball to stop any forward penetration by the opposition.

Katie Lynch
Balanced Midfielder | 179cm | Oakleigh Chargers

Lynch is a ball magnet and can use it well when she accumulates it. She can clear the ball out of a stoppage in an instant and her tackling is fierce.

Abbie McKay
Inside Midfielder | 171cm | Sandringham Dragons

McKay has a high work ethic in the middle of the ground and uses her clean hands to get the ball forward. She is strong overhead and provides some great X factor moments that can influence the game.

Eleanor Brown
Outside Midfielder | 176cm | Sandringham Dragons

Brown is one of the most classy and mature players in the TAC Cup Girls competition. Her ability to find space is second-to-none and she can even create space for her teammates with her long kick and strong hands on the outside.

Holly Bate
Key Position Forward | 180cm | Sandringham Dragons

The leading goal kicker of the TAC Cup Girls competition with 18 goals from nine games, including seven goals in round eight. Bate is a mobile forward who positions herself well against an opponent and applies great forward pressure.

Jemma Owen
Inside Midfielder | 165cm | Sandringham Dragons

A hard-nosed midfielder who tackles strongly and moves the ball well both by hand and by foot. Owen can also float up forward and make an impact inside 50, showcasing her impressive endurance and high work ethic.

Isabella Grant
Tall Utility | 176cm | Western Jets

A key player for the Western Jets this year, Grant was an impact player that utilised her powerful marking and long kicking to surge her side forward. She always knows where to position herself on the ground and often sees the opportunity to play on into space and move the ball quickly.

Emergencies:

Gabriella De Angelis
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward | 155cm | Eastern Ranges

De Angelis is a pint-sized pocket rocket, as her speed and endurance enable her to apply herself at every contest. She is a clever ball-user, and can get a few goals on the board when she gets the chance.

Britney Gutknecht
General Forward/Inside Midfielder | 167cm | Northern Knights

Gutknecht is a versatile player that can make an impact in any position. She excels at both being a midfielder and being a forward, shown by her booming kick from the stoppage and her bag of seven goals against the Bendigo Pioneers.

Passion is driving improved Haeusler to dream big

FROM camping and motorbike riding on her spare days, to working as an apprentice industrial electrician during the week, Gippsland Power’s Emily Haeusler has always enjoyed using her hands.

It comes without surprise that the Power defender has improved rapidly in season 2018, with intercept marking and rarely losing a one-on-one contest as the cornerstones of her game. Originally a midfielder, Haeusler was thrown into a role at half-back after round one and has been one of the most consistent defenders across the season, earning her a place in the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Year.

“I’ve mainly played through the midfield and this is only my third year, but I got put in the half-back and that was something quite new to me,” Haeusler said. “I had to ask where to stand when the ball goes up. “It’s been a really good year and I’ve developed so much, kicking on both feet and playing a new position it’s just great.”

Haeusler said she loved attacking the ball and had learnt when to approach a contest, and when to hang back. Her disposal by foot is the next step for her as a footballer to improve.

“I think that (my improvements) would mainly be my kicking,” she said. “I still kick them ones that are not high and they’re not direct, but there’s always room for improvement in that kind of thing.”

Her football journey almost could have been different had she not taken the opportunity to have a kick at her local school.

“So my brothers, they always played football and that was sort of everything I wanted to do, but it was always the boys’ sport and my dad said ‘Nah you can’t play because you’ll get hurt’,” Haeusler said. “So I started playing footy in Year 7 with the girls team and just loved it ever since. I came to Gippsland Power and just it’s just been my thing, I think I’ve found my groove.”

The friendships brought about by the sport, and particularly at the Gippsland Power, have been some of the best memories for Haeusler over the past couple of years, and many long road trips have been spent chatting on the way to games.

:For training I’ve only got to go 20 minutes, it’s really, really convenient and I’m very lucky in that way,” Haeusler said. “(For) games they’re mainly Melbourne-based because we’re a country team, but it still doesn’t affect me because I carpool with a lot of friends. “It doesn’t change my love for the game and wanting to be there.”

Haeusler is the first to admit she is probably in a different situation to many other top-age TAC Cup Girls footballers.

“There’s not many girls that are out of school,” she said. “We’ve got those few that are 19 year-olds and in uni. “But I’m a first year apprentice which is very different and it’s hard because I can get quite tired and sometimes I will work and still go to the footy. “The girls and the club have been very understanding of that though, so it’s good.”

The 17 year-old apprentice industrial electrician is following a passion of hers, that combines a number of aspects she loves.

“I’ve always wanted to do things with my hands but I still love physics and the maths based side of everything like that, so electrician was sort of the way to go,” she said. “It still engaged my brain a lot of the time, but it was a practical job.”

Outside of work and football, Haeusler loves family trips, and will pitch a tent or jump on a motorbike whenever she gets the chance.

“We’re a very outdoorsy family so I’ve just done whatever the brother did and followed in his footsteps, so lots of going up the bush with the family and any of that sort of stuff,” she said. “That is (the perfect weekend), and sometimes I incorporate them both (footy and outdoors activities). “Obviously footy’s my priority for the weekend, but if I get the Sunday off, I will go up the bush. “That’s our thing.”

Haeusler hopes her passion for the sport she loves rubs off on the way she plays, with the goal of improving even more as the year goes on.

“(I’m looking forward to) people knowing who I am and (thinking) she’s still only young and she’s come from sort of nowhere and she really has that passion and that drive to get better,” she said.  “Hopefully (I can) play some VFL. “I did get a letter for Vic Country so I’m trying my very best to see how far I can go with that and see where it takes me.”

The amount of opportunities now available in the youth girls space has not been lost on Haeusler and has a message for anyone considering taking up the sport.

“It’s up and coming and exciting, there’s so many opportunities,” she said. “If they’re there, why not have a go and say yes to all them things? “There’s always room for improvement and development.”

Season reviews: TAC Cup Girls – Gippsland Power

AFTER a round one loss, the Gippsland Power came out firing, winning its next game and drawing in round three. The Power endured an up and down season but showed some really good patches of play. The side was in most of their games but could not quite get across the line in their last four games of the season.

Position: 8th
Win-loss: 3-5-1
Percentage: 69%

Results:

R1: lost to Oakleigh Chargers by 67 points
R2: defeated Western Jets by 15 points
R3: drew with Murray Bushrangers
R4: defeated Calder Cannons by 3 points
R5: defeated Bendigo Pioneers by 12 points
R6: lost to Northern Knights by 15 points
R7: lost to Eastern Ranges by 9 points
R8: lost to Greater Western Victoria Rebels by 14 points
R9: lost to Sandringham Dragons by 24 points

Key players:

Tyla Hanks: She reached new levels for the Gippsland Power this season with her silky skills on display each game. Hanks led from the front and dominated throughout the season with her clean hands at the stoppages and impressive evasive skills to break away from opponents and propel her team forward. Her ability to turn her opponents inside out was impressive as it helped to create more opportunities across the field for her teammates. Hanks’ work rate was phenomenal and her ability to hit targets proved to be essential for the Power. Hanks was never phased by the pressure, showing great composure and footy smarts with ball in hand. Hanks was named as vice-captain in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year and made an appearance in the Team of the Week line-ups every time she played, which was credit to her ability to impact on the ground. Hanks also impressed in the AFLW Academy side, starring with her impressive skill set.

Emily Haeusler: Haeusler consistently imposed herself on the contest, laying strong tackles and using her body to win the footy both in the air and at ground level. She impressed so much that she was named in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week four times and cemented a spot in the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year, credit to her hard work and determination. Haeusler was a key player down back for the Power and really helped to set up behind the ball. Her run off half back was instrumental for Gippsland and her safe hands provided great confidence for her teammates. Haeusler showed great composure throughout the season and was a good on-field leader.

Jazz Ferguson: Ferguson was instrumental for the Gippsland Power with her ability to tackle hard and use the footy efficiently and effectively. She flew under the radar for most of the season but was a real stand out when the going got hard, as she was not afraid to go in and win the footy at ground level. Her hands under pressure were invaluable, being able to dish out clever handballs to teammates streaming forward and taking big intercept marks to help out in defence.

Nikia Webber: She was another key player for Gippsland, posing as a scoring machine who was dynamic up forward and providing a good option inside the forward 50. Webber ended the season with 12 goals, credit to her accuracy in front of goal and work rate to lead up at the footy. She was strong to the ball and worked hard throughout the season to win the footy and create some good forward pressure by laying tackles and imposing herself on the contest. The youngster proved that she will be a serious force to be reckoned with in years to come.

Amy Dunn: The co-captain stood tall in the ruck all season and was rewarded with selection in the extended Vic Country squad. She went forward and provided target as well, and worked in tandem with Jazz Ferguson.

Chandra Abrahams: A talented utility who was named in the Under 16s Vic Country squad. Still working on consistency throughout four quarters, but she has quite a few tricks up her sleeve and her goal against Bendigo Pioneers off a couple of steps from 50m was an indication of what she is capable of. Still a couple of years off, so one to watch to see how she develops.

Season summary: 

Gippsland Power were the feel-good story of the year. After finishing at the bottom of the ladder last year without a win, the Power triumphed to three wins this season, including one against the reigning premiers, Calder Cannons. The Power was also able to keep the Murray Bushrangers at bay, drawing with them in round three. The side was led magnificently by co-captains, Tyla Hanks and Amy Dunn, who played selfless football throughout the year. There is plenty to like about this Gippsland side after playing a season of confidence-boosting football.

AFL Draft Central’s TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year

PREMIERS Geelong Falcons lead all-comers when it comes to the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls’ Team of the Year. The Falcons have four nominations in the best 24 (extending the bench to six), including one in the midfield, one in defence and two up forward. The Team of the Year has been constructed based on nominations across the nine TAC Cup Girls’ rounds. From the nine TAC Cup Girls’ Teams of the Week, we have picked 24 of the 26 players who received three or more nominations, with the next 24 players (named in the 2nds team) receiving two nominations.

Geelong captain Lucy McEvoy has made the starting defence, with Olivia Purcell named on the wing, Nina Morrison on a half-forward flank, and Sachi DeGiacomi lining up at full-forward. The Falcons’ grand final opponents the Northern Knights had the next most with three nominees. It is no surprise that with all the firepower the Knights have, their three nominations are in the forward 50. Ellie McKenzie and Britney Gutknecht have proved to be dangerous around goals, while Gabby Newton can play anywhere and was named at centre half-forward. It is worth noting that McKenzie had the third most nominations of any player with six, just behind our teams’ co-captains Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons) and Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power) with eight nominations apiece.

Prespakis’ bottom-age teammate Georgia Patrikios has made it into a forward pocket, while Hanks’ teammate Emily Haeusler slots onto the half-back flank. Also in defence is Alice Burke, the daughter of St Kilda champion Nathan, making the back pocket with teammate Eleanor Brown who slotted into the best 22. On the other half-back flank is Dandenong Stingrays’ captain Jordyn Allen who made the team, while teammate and fellow AFLW Academy member Courtney Jones was named as an emergency. Murray Bushrangers’ pair Tamara Smith and Rebecca Webster were no surprises into the Team of the Year after consistent form this season.

Holding down the fort at full-back is Isabelle Pritchard, with the Western Jets’ key position defender having a fantastic season, as has her teammate and midfielder Elisabeth Georgostathis who made it onto a wing. The other team with two nominees is the Bendigo Pioneers with midfield duo Kodi Jacques and Megan Williamson both making it onto the bench. Eastern Ranges had two nominee in our Team of the Year, Sarah Kendall and Emerson Woods who slot into the ruck and interchange respectively. The other clubs with just the one nomination are GWV Rebels’ Georgia Clarke at centre half-back and Bridie Winbanks (Oakleigh Chargers) on the bench. Both the clubs had three players with two nominations who just missed out on squeezing into the Team of the Year.

The only two players to receive three nominations and miss out are Dandenong Stingrays’ Courtney Jones, and Murray Bushrangers’ Grace Egan who both had wonderful seasons.

At AFL Draft Central we also wanted to recognise those players who received at least two nominations in our Team of the Weeks this season, including the two players missing out on the starting 24 (Courtney Jones and Grace Egan) slotting into the team. Jones has been selected as the captain for the side, with a number of unbelievable talents unlucky not to make the first team. TAC Cup Girls Grand Final Best on Ground Denby Taylor is one of many top players making it into the next 22, alongside fellow AFLW Academy members Georgia Macpherson, Sophie Van De Heuvel and of course, Jones.

There are seven teams with an amazing three players nominated in the Second Team of the Year, with just Bendigo Pioneers and Calder Cannons the only sides without a nominee. The premiers have Taylor, ruck Zoe Inei and tackling machine Samantha Atkins in the side, while the runners-up Knights have Alex Pronesti, as well as two 2020-draft eligible players in Alyssa Bannan and Abigail Bennett in the team. Eastern’s depth has been critical to their success throughout the season, and along with Macpherson, they also have Mikala Cann and Gabriella De Angelis making the team. Dandenong Stingrays have Shelley Heath running off a half-back flank, joining Jones and Isabella Shannon in the side.

The GWV Rebels have Van De Heuvel up forward, talented bottom-ager Sophie Molan in the midfield, and captain Lauren Butler also in the side. The Oakleigh Chargers midfield duo of Katie Lynch and Gemma Lagioia provide the team with some class, while the dangerous Daisy Bateman slots into the forward pocket. Leading competition goal kicker Holly Bate makes it into full-forward after nominations in round eight and nine for a combined 12 goals, joined in the team by fellow forward Isabella Eddey and 16 year-old midfielder Eliza McNamara.

Eloise Ashley-Cooper made the side after a good season, named in the back pocket with fellow Murray Bushrangers defender Egan. Right next to them is Western Jets’ defender Sharnie Whiting who made the team with two nominations, as did Caitlin Greiser who proved a handful up forward and slots into the forward pocket. The final spot in the team belongs to bottom-age forward Nikia Webber who showed some great signs of what is to come from the versatile tall.

SECOND TEAM OF THE YEAR:

B: Eloise Ashley-Cooper (MB) – Sharnie Whiting (WJ) – Denby Taylor (GF)
HB: Shelley Heath (DS) – Georgia Macpherson (ER) – Grace Egan (MB)
C: Gemma Lagioia (OC) – Mikala Cann (ER) – Sophie Van De Heuvel (GWV)
HF: Courtney Jones (DS) (c)  – Nikia Webber (GP) – Alyssa Bannan (NK)
F: Daisy Bateman (OC) – Holly Bate (SD) – Caitlin Greiser (WJ)
R: Zoe Inei (GF) – Katie Lynch (OC) – Sophie Molan (GWV)
INT: Abigail Bennett (NK) – Samantha Atkins (GF) – Isabella Shannon (DS) – Lauren Butler (GWV) – Isabella Eddey (SD) – Gabriella De Angelis (ER) – Eliza McNamara (SD) – Alex Pronesti (NK)

Fifty named in AFL Draft Central’s TAC Cup Girls’ Team of the Year squad

FIFTY players from across the TAC Cup Girls’ competition have been named in AFL Draft Central’s Team of the Year squad, with the even cut-off those who received two of more nominations in our Team of the Week. There have also been 43 players recognised by AFL Draft Central who put in an outstanding effort to be nominated once throughout the season.

Remarkably, there has been an almost even split, with 26 players receiving three or more nominations in our Team of the Week, while another 24 players made the team twice. Of the 50-player squad, Geelong Falcons received the most nominations with seven players receiving two or more nominations in the Team of the Week, while the Northern Knights (six) were next followed by Sandringham Dragons and Eastern Ranges (five each). It is no surprise that these four teams were the top four sides at the end of the TAC Cup Girls regular season.

It was an even split between the next five sides with Dandenong Stingrays, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, Murray Bushrangers, Oakleigh Chargers and Western Jets all having four dual nominees, while Gippsland Power had three. Bendigo Pioneers and Calder Cannons had the two standout players each who were nominated multiple times. In terms of total players nominated, the Geelong Falcons and Eastern Ranges both had an impressive 11 players nominated at least once, ahead of Northern Knights and Sandringham Dragons (10), Dandenong Stingrays and Murray Bushrangers (nine), Oakleigh Chargers (eight). GWV Rebels (seven), Western Jets (six), Bendigo Pioneers (five), Gippsland Power and Calder Cannons (three) to round out the 12 sides.

In terms of most nominations, it is no surprise to see Calder Cannons’ Madison Prespakis and Gippsland Power’s Tyla Hanks, are leading the way with a stunning eight nominations from eight games. The pair will be captain and vice-captain in the Team of the Year. Just as remarkably, 15 year-old Ellie McKenzie is outright third, with six nominations from her six games and will no doubt feature many times in the team over the next two years.

Team of the Year squad: [50]

Bendigo Pioneers [2]: Kodi Jacques, Megan Williamson
Calder Cannons [2]: Georgia Patrikios, Madison Prespakis
Dandenong Stingrays [4]: Jordyn Allen, Shelley Heath, Courtney Jones, Isabella Shannon
Eastern Ranges [5]: Mikala Cann, Gabriella De Angelis, Sarah Kendall, Georgia Macpherson, Emerson Woods
Geelong Falcons [7]: Samantha Atkins, Sachi DeGiacomi, Zoe Inei, Lucy McEvoy, Nina Morrison, Olivia Purcell, Denby Taylor
Gippsland Power [3]: Tyla Hanks, Emily Haeusler, Nikia Webber
GWV Rebels [4]: Lauren Butler, Georgia Clarke, Sophie Molan, Sophie Van De Heuvel
Murray Bushrangers [4]: Eloise Ashley-Copper, Grace Egan, Tamara Smith, Rebecca Webster
Northern Knights [6]: Alyssa Bannan, Abigail Bennett, Britney Gutknecht, Ellie McKenzie, Gabby Newton, Alex Pronesti
Oakleigh Chargers [4]: Daisy Bateman, Gemma Lagioia, Katie Lynch, Bridie Winbanks
Sandringham Dragons [5]: Holly Bate, Eleanor Brown, Alice Burke, Isabella Eddey, Eliza McNamara
Western Jets [4]: Elisbeth Georgostathis, Caitlin Greiser, Isabelle Pritchard, Sharnie Whiting

Single nominations: [43]

Bendigo Pioneers [3]: Eloise Gretgrix, Brooke Hards, Sophie Kerridge
Calder Cannons [1]: Felicity Theodore
Dandenong Stingrays [5]: Eloise Allen-Burns, Saige Bayne, Lucy Cripps, Samantha Ryan, Tyanna Smith
Eastern Ranges [6]: Ashleigh Allsopp, Tarni Brown, Olivia Meagher, Laura McClelland, Lauren Szigeti, Charlotte Wilson
Geelong Falcons [4]: Abbey Chapman, Luka Lesosky-Hay, Renee Tierney, Sophie Walmsley
Gippsland Power [1]: Jasmine Ferguson
GWV Rebels [3]: Stephanie Glover, Nyakoat Dojiok, Ella Wood
Murray Bushrangers [5]: Olivia Barber, Millie Brown, Julia Harvey, Chelsea Knight, Claudia McKimmie
Northern Knights [4]: Maddy Brancatisano, Jess Fitzgerald, Nell Morris-Dalton, Ashleigh Snow
Oakleigh Chargers [4]: Hannah McLaren, Alice O’Loughlin, Chloe O’Malley, Nicola Xenos
Sandringham Dragons [5]: Molly Denahy Maloney, Sarah Hartwig, Winnie Laing, Jemma Owen, Maddi Wilson
Western Jets [2]: Isabella Grant, Taylah Kolevski

The final AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year will be posted later in the week.

Team of the Week: TAC Cup Girls – Round 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under 18s:

Vic Metro:

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

Vic Country:

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

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

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