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Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 7

IT was a cracking weekend of Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s football where the ladder-leaders went down and TAC Cup Girls players shone in their respective games. We watched three games on the weekend and took notes on who performed well in each outing.

 

Southern Saints vs. NT Thunder

By: Peter Williams 

Southern Saints:

#8 Alison Drennan

It’s clear she is a big ball winner through the midfield, covering ground with ease and getting to contest after contest. She lays plenty of tackles and burrows in under the packs. Drennan also has a nice first few steps to charge away from a contest and kick forward.

#10 Lauren Arnell

The former Blues skipper now Lion, was one of the Saints’ best early on, booting a goal late in the first quarter leading to space and kicking truly for a long range set shot. She had another in the second term but it was touched on the line. Provided some important nous up forward.

#15 Tara Bohanna

Booted a great goal off a step from a loose ball in the second term, and finished the game with three majors to be the dominant forward on the ground. Put an end to the contest with her two majors in the final quarter within a few minutes of each other to hand the Saints a vital win.

#24 Kayla Ripari

Played up forward and I thought immediately ‘her stats won’t look good but she is doing everything right’. The kind of forward who hunts the ball, hunts her opponents and just continues to play the brand of football teammates love. She crashes packs, gives off handballs, applies shepherds, does all the one percenters and thought she did a terrific job.

#30 Charlotte Wilson

The Eastern Ranges defender was really impressive on debut, particularly in the first term where she often got in front of her opponent, won the ball with clean hands and handballed clear. She was courageous and not afraid to switch play when she had a chance. Took a few strong marks back there too.

#33 Jemma Owen

Good defensive pressure up forward and along the wing, showing good vision on her knees to handball into space to a teammate without her breaking stride in the opening term. In the second quarter she was agressive and laid a shepherd so Ripari could get a clear kick to Bohanna in the second quarter for a goal.

#35 Gabriella De Angelis

A hard-working, clever player who had a couple of real highlights. In the opening term she had a smart pick-up near the boundary line and had the composure to kick in-board to the leading Lauren Arnell who goaled. Then in the second term, De Angelis showed off her work rate by receiving the pass on the wing from Shelley Heath, then kicked to half-forward, sprinted hard into the forward line and was involved in the next pass deep inside 50.

#39 Eleanor Brown

Can find the ball with ease and moves well for a taller player. Clean and just got involved around the ground, playing in her preferred wing position. She showed quick hands on both the inside and outside to keep it moving. The one improvement I would give to her is to not get too sucked in to the play because I noticed her opponent would drift out into space behind her while she ran towards the contest. Another solid performance though.

#42 Courtney Jones

Started on the bench and came on to have an immediate impact. Her first pass was a perfectly weighted kick to Lauren Arnell on the wing. She showed good hands at ground level to handball to a teammate in space and applied some good hip-and-shoulders. Jones took a strong intercept mark in defence and kicked long to Shelley Heath.

#43 Shelley Heath

The best of the TAC Cup Girls and looked natural at the level. Despite being smaller than her opponents, she never stopped running and generally used the ball pretty well. She was not afraid to back into a contest and won a free kick in one instance because she was pushed in the back doing so. Reads the ball well in the air or at ground level and showed great hands in close. A huge cheer came in the second term when she stood strongly in a marking contest to spoil, her opponent recovered, picked up the ball, ran off, but Heath did not give up and ran her down, earning a free kick.

#49 Ashleigh Allsopp

Kicked the opening goal of the game, roving forward to read the ball drop off hands.

 

NT Thunder:

#3 Angela Foley

Just wins so much of the ball and works hard on the inside. She is a strong tackler and a piercing kick of the football. She showed great vision and smarts to chop off a Gabriella De Angelis pass and kick forward, cutting short a potential goal surge from the Saints. Foley is a powerful kick and was NT’s best early, winning the ball in all thirds of the ground.

#5 Machaelia Roberts

Put her body on the line in the opening term, had a running shot on goal but was tackled doing so and it just missed. Worked hard in the forward line, providing a strong body and pressure to her opponents down there.

#12 Jasmine Anderson

A big contributor through the midfield, she often played on some of the talented TAC Cup Girls in Eleanor Brown or Shelley Heath, and won her fair share of the footy. She worked well with Angela Foley and Emma Swanson in the middle and spread out to the wings, winning it on the outside and kicking forward.

#17 Emma Swanson

A really strong tackler. Just fierce with the way she went about it, making sure her opponents earned every touch and won a number of frees for holding the ball. She worked hard on the inside and applied plenty of defensive pressure to the ball carrier so the Saints midfielders knew to be wary of her around the stoppages.

#25 Jess Allan

A superb job in the ruck, I thought she was one of their best. Her hands were good and she was mobile with her second efforts. She often won the tap, then roved her own work, but the most noticeable thing was her spread around the ground. She would take the important contested mark or intercept grab at half-forward or half-back, and ran hard to get to positions to impact.

#31 Jess Sedunary

Had a highlight moment in the first term, booting a goal off the ground in the goal square, just pouncing on the loose ball and using her smarts to get the Thunder on the board. It was not a day for forwards, but Sedunary kept trying throughout.

 

Casey Demons vs. Western Bulldogs

By: Peter Williams 

Casey:

#7 Bianca Jakobsson

Donning the long sleeves, Jakobsson took some great overhead marks and just kept getting involved across the four quarters. A contributor without being dominant, Jakobsson was a good link in the chain from defence to midfield, pushing up the ground and influencing the contest.

#13 Katherine Smith

A big game from Smith who was one of Casey’s best in the wet. She laid some fantastic tackles, including one on the opposition ruck in the final term. Buzzed around the stoppages and won it on the inside or out, and also did all the defensive things right. Played what you would call a wet weather brand of footy and led by example.

#16 Casey Sheriff

Really liked her game because she never took a backwards step. Just so strong in close, and the amount of times she would extract the ball from a tight situation was amazing. On one occasion she ripped the ball from an opposition player and got it out of the zone. She also showed her smarts by being able to have a deft kick avoiding her opponent who was about to pounce.

#21 Harriet Cordner

Had a shot on goal on the edge of three quarter time and just nailed it – it was perfect in the wet and luckily it just cleared the line. Got more involved in the final term, producing a thumping kick off half-back while standing up in the tackle. Pumped the ball long inside 50 in the final term too.

#22 Kasey Guthridge

Showed some promising signs, just needs to build confidence. Won a few frees and threatened to break the lines, but sometimes stop-started. Took some good marks around the ground and had a good long kick.

#29 Eden Zanker

The key forward was enormous in conditions that were not suited for taller players, taking several strong grabs, or bringing the ball down in front and working hard with second efforts to pass to teammates in space. She took a great mark sliding on her knees in the opening term, and was unlucky not to have a goal earlier with a snap just being rushed through. A second quarter set shot just missed, with the kick travelling 50 metres, showing her ability to fire from long range. She presented up the ground throughout the game, making leads out of the forward 50, and assisted with rucking when up forward, showing a good vertical leap. A very impressive performance, unlucky not to be rewarded with at least a goal or two.

#34 Darcy Guttridge

Really good early on, has that great acceleration and fearlessness through the contest. She has quick hands and once she sees an opening she takes it. Her power through acceleration is great, and she has a lovely long penetrating kick. She has the smarts when under pressure at ground level to punch it clear, using good vision to spot a teammate free on the outside. Works well through traffic and is really suited to the half-back role with the way she attacks the contest and kicks cleanly.

#38 Jordyn Allen

Played a role similar to the one we have become accustomed to at half-back in the TAC Cup Girls competition. She would win the football in the defensive half and kick long to the wing. Often her kicks are more to the advantage of her teammates rather than directly to them, but she has good decision making which helps. She was clean despite the conditions, and worked hard up the ground to win possessions on the wing as well.

#49 Brooke Struylaart

The Dandenong Stingrays’ AFL Women’s Academy member kicked a great opportunistic goal from a snap out of nothing, showing her great goal sense.

 

Western Bulldogs

#1 Brooke Lochland

A severely underrated player in the whole scheme on things. She has that great balance between offence and defence, and can hurt the opposition in a number of ways – kicking goals and running them down in bone-crunching tackles. She looked dangerous from the get-go with a number of chances early, hitting the post from a 20 metre set shot. But she worked hard, laying some fierce tackles, and pushed up the ground, then worked back, tiring her opponents. She took a great mark dropping back inside 50 in the third term and slotted the goal from 20 metres out on a slight angle. One of the Dogs best.

#2 Ellie Blackburn

In her debut game, Blackburn only lasted a half before coming off after a hard hit late in the second term. She played her usual game, winning plenty of it on the inside and running to the outside, and the opposition let her know they were there, with Blackburn drawing a number of free kicks. A true warrior, hopefully it is not a major injury.

#6 Kirsten McLeod

The forward ended up being the most damaging for the winners on the scoreboard, slotting two goals, including the first of the game with a quick pick-up and snap off a step. She made it two with another snap in the third term and had a chance for a third in the final term, but her shot went across the face. She laid a number of tackles and put pressure on her opponents both up forward and through the midfield.

#12 Jessica Francke

The Bulldogs forward took a good mark deep in the pocket in the second term, but her shot just missed. She did not manage to kick a major after a good game last week, but showed a good set of mits in the wet weather and led at the football, taking some strong grabs and using her body well one-on-one.

#17 Hayley Wildes

A smart player who pounced on a loose ball and ran into an open goal for the Dogs’ second goal. She was instrumental throughout the game, stepping up particularly when Ellie Blackburn went off, and refused to give in, putting in a four-quarter effort and covering the ground well.

18 Libby Birch

The important rebounder off half-back, Birch continued to remain involved throughout the four quarters. She has that smart sense to know when to push up the ground, and when to drop back. She would have recorded plenty of metres gained as she often intercept marks and takes off down the wing. She had a good deep kick inside 50 in the third term and worked hard throughout the game with good running.

#32 Alyssa Mifsud

Another Dogs forward who provides the dual-edge sword of offensive and defensive pressure on the opposition. She harasses the ball carrier and has great second and third efforts, never giving in and eventually laying a strong tackle on the possessor of the pill. Did not end up with a goal, but continually pressed hard in the attacking end.

#51 Katarina Rebuffo

The Western Jets player did not look out of place in the contest when the ball came in her zone. She showed a willingness to lay tackles and put pressure on the ball carrier.

 

Hawthorn vs. Essendon

By: Julia Montesano

Hawthorn:

#8 Rebecca Beeson

Beeson did not disappoint. She went in hard for every ball that she could, demonstrated when she went head-first into a contest. Although she came off groggy, she still got straight back up and prepared for the next incoming contest. She bobbed up in a lot of spots for the Hawks throughout the day, taking some lovely marks and using her speed and smarts to move play on quickly. She delivered some nice kicks on the day as well, proving to be a vital link in the chain. Was lively in the forward line as well where she has had so much success for Greater Western Sydney (GWS).

#22 Tamara Luke

Luke was damaging in the first quarter, booting the opening goal of the game in a matter of seconds, prompting an opening of the floodgates for the Hawks. After spending most of last year in defence, she looked right at home up forward at Box Hill, kicking two goals for the day. Her work rate was exceptional as she didn’t just sit back in the goal square. She made her direct opponent for most of the game, Tanya Hetherington work hard as Luke often found herself taking big grabs at the top of the 50 metre arc, creating scoring opportunities with her booming kick. Hetherington and teammate, Lauren Morecroft had to rotate playing on Luke because of her domination in the forward line. Great game from the experienced player.

#25 Meg Hutchins

Hutchins was composed with the ball in hand and provided fantastic outside run. Her kicks were penetrating and precise, giving her teammates prime opportunity to run a mock up forward. She was often the spare player in a contest, always ready to receive a handball or kick on the outside, demonstrating her exquisite positioning throughout the day. Loves to wheel around and go.

#37 Jade Barnden

Yet another debutant who impressed in her first outing for the Hawks. A classy runner that knew how to find the footy, Barnden used it well and was always there to help a teammate out. Her pressure around the ball was good and resulted in her getting a lot of it. She often generated good outside run and had solid hands throughout the day.

#45 Mikala Cann

Cann was superb in her Hawthorn debut. There was a never a moment where she did not go in hard for the footy, showing constant hunger and determination. After two early behinds, Cann got on the board with a running goal, being rewarded for her hard work in the contest. Usually it is her hands that are exceptional when she plays for the Eastern Ranges, but at Box Hill, her kicks were just as good. What stood out for me was her follow up work, as she proved how impressive her endurance is by running through after the kick and getting into a good position to receive the ball again.

 

Essendon:

#1 Jessica Trend

Trend was a key cog in defence, penetrating the ball well in the back line. Her kicks were long and she used them to effect to rebound the ball whenever she could. She positioned herself well against bigger bodies and did whatever she could to win the ball. Even floated up forward to kick Essendon’s second goal. Pressured well in defence to ensure that Hawthorn only scored five goals from 16 scoring shots.

#17 Tanya Hetherington

Hetherington was dealt with a big task in her first game for the Bombers, having to play on Tamara Luke. Hetherington competed well and was great aerially, bringing down some strong marks. She brought vital experience and footy smarts to the back line which the Bombers are in need of. Never did too much with the ball in hand and always tried her best to create slingshot footy from the defensive 50. Was thrown up forward in the last quarter to provide a target for the Bombers, which is a move that could occur throughout the season.

#32 Tait Mackrill

Just like in round one, Mackrill was one of Essendon’s best players. She crashed in hard at the contests, often bollocking her way through two or three players to surge the ball forward. Her marking was spectacular and was often in a contested situation, demonstrating good composure in congestion. Her kicks were long and strong, often getting the Bombers out of trouble. She was a big part of Essendon’s manic pressure game. Was thrown forward to try and steer the ship for the Bombers and competed well.

#35 Valerie Moreau

The Canadian jet competed hard at Box Hill, bollocking her way through contests. She kicked Essendon’s first goal of the day and was lively inside 50. Her kicking was sound and she worked hard to get the ball both on the inside and outside. Faded in and out of the game but overall she did well to keep Essendon in the game throughout the second and third quarters, applying plenty of pressure on her opponent.

#44 Maddy Collier

I thought Collier was Essendon’s best player on the day. She worked immensely hard to get the ball and created run and drive. While the Bombers struggled with the ball inside 50, Collier was always there to mop up errors. She had great hands and kicked the ball just as well, demonstrating composure with the ball in hand. Never seemed rushed to get a kick away and held the fort down well for the Bombers throughout the second and third quarter, where they pressured the opposition hard.

VFL Women’s 2018 season preview

THE new-look VFL Women’s season features 10 new teams in a 13 team competition. The sides feature plenty of elite AFLW, TAC Cup and local talent in what is shaping up to be a fascinating season of the state league. We have looked at each side’s players in the lead-up to the season’s commencement on Saturday.

 

Carlton Blues

The Carlton Blues have one of the most exciting TAC Cup Girls players joining their new team in 2018.

Gippsland Power co-captain and gun midfielder, Tyla Hanks will pull on the navy blue to test her skills against some bigger bodies. Hanks has been named in the best players in each game she has played for the Power this season and is a member of the AFLW Academy. Hanks will be joined by fellow AFLW Academy member, Rene Caris. Caris has been a solid force in the ruck for the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels this season and has been awarded with a navy blue jumper. Oakleigh’s Isabella Gietzmann will also suit up for the Blues this season. Gietzmann plays cricket as well as footy and could be a potent player for Carlton.

The Blues have also secured the services of their AFLW players including 2017 AFLW leading goal-kicker, Darcy Vescio, 2018 club best and fairest, Breann Moody, 2017 TAC Cup Girls best and fairest, Bridie Kennedy, 2018 Carlton captain, Sarah Hosking and 2017 Carlton captain, Lauren Arnell.

 

Casey Demons

The Casey Demons have combined Melbourne stars with Dandenong guns in their inaugural VFL Women’s side.

Coach and former Melbourne defender, Colin Garland will be able to work with plenty of AFLW talent, including Aliesha Newman, Bianca Jakobsson, Kate Hore, Katherine Smith and Shelley Scott. Two well-known former TAC Cup Girls players will also join the Melbourne brigade, with Eden Zanker and Darcy Guttridge donning the red and blue in this VFL Women’s season. Zanker hails from the Bendigo Pioneers and starred in her late appearances for the Demons in the AFLW. Guttridge on the other hand is a former Gippsland Power player who suited up for the Pies in the AFLW season, and will now get an opportunity to combine her skills with a new group of players in the VFL Women’s season.

In terms of TAC Cup players, the Demons have gone with two talented Dandenong Stingrays to fill their side. Captain, Jordyn Allen is a key acquisition for the club, as she is a talented defender who oozes composure and class. She will be joined by forward, Brooke Struylaart, who knows how to find the goals and provides plenty of assists along the way.

 

Collingwood Magpies

Collingwood’s VFL Women’s coach is a pioneer in female football.

Penny Cula-Reid was instrumental in getting the Youth Girls competition up and running. After being told at the age of 14 that she could not play football with the boys anymore, she took the case to the Victorian and Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and AFL Victoria created the competition for the young female footballers. Although Cula-Reid only played two games for Collingwood, she played in excess of 150 games at the St Kilda Sharks VFL Women’s club and has a brilliant footy mind.

Collingwood will have a very strong line-up with plenty of its AFLW players joining the Magpie brigade in the VFL Women’s season. 2018 Collingwood best and fairest, Chloe Molloy will be joined by AFLW captain, Stephanie Chiocci, former Calder Cannon, Sarah Dargan, and plenty more. The club also has a strong connection to TAC Cup Girls club, Oakleigh Chargers, signing three players for its inaugural VFL Women’s campaign. Oakleigh captain, Hannah McLaren is the most notable of the signings. McLaren has been one of the Chargers’ most important players this year, demonstrating her versatility in the side’s line-up. Other Oakleigh signings include former players, Julia Halaseh-Russo and Sarah Cameron, who will be players to watch throughout the VFL Women’s season.

 

Darebin Falcons

The Darebin Falcons are the most successful VFL Women’s side, having won five consecutive premierships.

The Falcons have lost Melbourne AFLW captain, Daisy Pearce, who will take a year off from VFL Women’s. However, they have plenty of players from local roots, with all but three coming from Darebin. These include AFLW players, Karen Paxman, Elise O’Dea, Lauren Pearce and Maddy Guerin. But that’s just from Melbourne. The Falcons will also have the services of Greater Western Sydney star, Jessica Dal Pos, as well as Aasta O’Connor and Nicole Callinan from the Western Bulldogs. Perhaps the most notable signing is Ainslie’s Hannah Mouncey. The transgender footballer was ineligible for the 2017 AFLW draft, but will be keen to play some good football for Darebin.

Darebin has also recruited the services of three TAC Cup Girls stars. Northern Knights forward, Alex Pronesti will pull on the Falcons jumper this year, after kicking nine goals for the undefeated Knights so far. She will be joined by teammate, Marnie Jarvis, who has been a valuable player for the Knights with her agility and speed around the contest. Eastern Ranges defender, Lauren Szigeti also has the opportunity to pull on the Darebin jumper in the VFL Women’s season. Szigeti has been a solid asset in defence for the Ranges, and could have the same impact for the Falcons.

 

Essendon Bombers

The Essendon Bombers have recruited a number of Calder Cannons and Diamond Creek players to join the newly-formed VFL Women’s side.

Current Calder players, Carla Rendelmann and Molly Warburton have earned a spot on the Bombers’ list this year. Rendelmann is a dominant force in the ruck and has represented Vic Metro while Warburton is a hard-working defender who boasts a place in the AFLW Academy squad. Premiership Cannons captain, Lauren Caruso also has an opportunity to pull on the footy boots again after not playing as an over-ager in the TAC Cup Girls this season. Caruso was a fantastic on-field leader in the midfield and 2018 is likely not to be any different. The Calder trio will be joined by another solid ruck presence in Bridie Winbanks from the Oakleigh Chargers. In the upcoming VFL Women’s season, Winbanks will have an opportunity to go head-to-head against Chargers teammate, Hannah McLaren, who will play for Collingwood.

The Bombers have also poached 17 (14 VFL Women’s players and three development players) Diamond Creek players, including the face of their AFLW bid, Michaela Long, who is the daughter of Essendon legend, Michael Long. Essendon has also recruited some local talent, including Natasha Hardy, who hails from the Sunbury Lions in the Essendon District Football League (EDFL). Hardy is a fantastic on-field leader and adds a mature presence in the Bombers’ VFL Women’s line-up. She will be joined by another experienced player in GWS defender, Tanya Hetherington, who often matched up on the damaging key forwards in the AFLW this year.

 

Geelong Cats

The Geelong Cats boast a number of AFLW players as well as some TAC Cup talent, but not who you may think.

GWV Female Talent Manager, Krista Woodroffe will line up for the cats in 2018, having an opportunity to do battle against Rebels ruck, Rene Caris, who will don the navy blue in the VFL Women’s competition. She will be joined by GWV defender, Georgia Clarke, who has been fantastic in the Rebels backline this seasonGeelong’s Mia-Rae Clifford will be another player who will be involved in an intriguing battle. Clifford, who is a former Melbourne AFLW player will play against the side that her partner, Penny Cula-Reid coaches, in the Collingwood Magpies.

Speaking of Melbourne, Geelong boasts two current AFLW Demons players on its VFL Women’s list. Powerful forward, Richelle Cranston and agile ruck, Erin Hoare will line up for the Cats in 2018. Hoare, who is a former Melbourne Vixen, got the opportunity to play AFLW this year for the Demons after being a rising star for the Cats last year.

 

Hawthorn Hawks

Hawthorn boasts a very experienced VFL Women’s list, with a host of AFLW players donning the brown and gold for the upcoming season.

Recently retired Pie, Meg Hutchins was one of the club’s first signings, and will provide a level head in defence. The forward line on the other hand, will be explosive with Adelaide’s Sarah Perkins and Greater Western Sydney’s (GWS) Phoebe McWilliams headlining the Hawks forward 50 line-up. Perkins was named as an AFLW All-Australian forward in 2017 while McWilliams was the Giants’ leading goal-kicker in 2018. Perkins grew up in Waverley and was a Hawthorn supporter growing up. The club also welcomes back Collingwood AFLW mid/ forward, Melissa Kuys, who captained Box Hill in 2017.

There is also no shortage of TAC Cup talent, with 2017 TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year member, Olivia Flanagan suiting up for the Hawks. Flanagan played for Box Hill last year and was also a key cog in the forward line for the Eastern Ranges. She will be joined by current Eastern Ranges players, Emerson Woods, Georgia Macpherson, Mikala Cann and Sarah Kendall. Woods is the co-captain of the Ranges side this year and is a member of the AFLW Academy. Macpherson is also a member of the Academy, and has been a key cog in Eastern’s defence this year with one some of the best hands in the TAC Cup Girls competition. Cann is a basketballer, and has showed her immense speed in the midfield this year for Eastern. Kendall has been dominant in the ruck and can also play a sweeping role in defence.

 

Melbourne University

There is plenty of TAC Cup Girls talent in the Melbourne University lineup this year, including one Calder Cannon who has been tearing up the competition so far.

Calder captain Madison Prespakis will have the opportunity to play VFL Women’s for the first time this year, and could be a key cog in the Melbourne University midfield. She will be joined by fellow AFLW Academy member, Rebecca Webster, who has been a versatile player across the midfield and in defence for the Murray Bushrangers this year. Up forward, Western Jet Caitlin Greiser will have an opportunity to continue her solid goal-kicking form into the VFL Women’s competition, after kicking eight goals for the Jets so far this season. Former Bendigo Pioneer, Aisling Tupper will be one to keep an eye out for, as the small and powerful midfielder starred for the Pioneers last season. Sandringham’s Alanna Dalley and Nicole Amiet round out the elite list of TAC Cup Girls players in the Melbourne University side.

As far as AFLW players go, Melbourne University only has one. But it is the best of the lot, as 2018 AFLW best and fairest, Emma Kearney will suit up for Melbourne University this season. After dominating in the midfield for the Bulldogs in 2018, Kearney will be a North Melbourne player in 2019, as the club prepares to enter AFLW for the first time.

 

Northern Territory Thunder

The Northern Territory (NT) Thunder unsurprisingly has a number of Adelaide AFLW players in its VFL Women’s side.

The club has a strong connection to the Crows, and could be a surprise package in the VFL Women’s competition. This is because the club has acquired the services of Adelaide co-captain, Chelsea Randall, Adelaide United’s Jenna McCormick, leading ruck, Rhiannon Metcalfe and exciting forward, Ruth Wallace. Defenders, Marijana Rajcic, Deni Vernhagen, Jasmyn Hewett and Angela Foley are among the other notable inclusions for the side.

The Thunder outfit also features two GWS players in Renee Forth and Emma Swanson. Forth was a solid presence for the Giants in the AFLW season, and is a mentor in the AFLW Academy program. Swanson is the GWS vice-captain and was a fantastic on-field leader for the side in 2018.

 

Richmond Tigers

Richmond have poached some Collingwood AFLW players ahead of its first season in the VFL Women’s competition.

Emma King, Lauren Tesoriero and Amelia Barden will swap the black and white for yellow and black, as they prepare to suit up as Tigers for the 2018 VFL Women’s season. All three players were key contributors to Collingwood’s AFLW outfit, with King dominating in the ruck, Barden having some nice moments in the forward line while Tesoriero was a lively player around the ground.

The Tigers have also acquired two Murray Bushrangers, Grace Egan and Sophie Damon. Egan has been a star in defence for the Bushrangers this season, and has also proven her versatility through stints in the midfield. Damon has been solid in the ruck for Murray and has been one of the most valuable players for the side in the TAC Cup Girls season. Eastern Ranges’ Jess Provan will also pull on a yellow and black jumper this season, after formerly playing at Diamond Creek.

 

Southern Saints

The Southern Saints are one of the new sides in the VFL Women’s competition, and have a diverse line-up.

The line-up will feature two Sandringham Dragons stars in Eleanor Brown and Jemma Owen. Brown has been a key cog in the midfield and has produced plenty of fantastic performances throughout the TAC Cup Girls season. Owen, who is the Dragons captain, has been leading from the front, as she has been dominant in the midfield and has even found herself up forward a couple of times, proving her versatility. Dandenong midfielder, Shelley Heath also joins the Saints side, and may have an opportunity to match up against TAC Cup Girls teammates, Jordyn Allen and Brooke Struylaart, who will suit up for Casey this season.

While the Saints have no AFLW players, they have a combination of players from Cranbourne, Seaford, and Mornington, recruiting local talent to boost their side’s chances in 2018.

 

Western Bulldogs

The Western Bulldogs have a host of AFLW premiership players in their VFL Women’s side.

Players include 2018 leading goal-kicker, Brooke Lochland, captain, Katie Brennan, and Rising Star nominees, Monique Conti, Aisling Utri and Bonnie Toogood. Star midfielder, Ellie Blackburn has also joined the side after making the move from Melbourne University. The club has also acquired the services of Bree White, who retired from AFLW in 2018 after playing for the Pies.

Three TAC Cup Girls players will also feature for the Bulldogs’ VFL Women’s outfit. GWV Rebels captain, Lauren Butler has been a wonderful leader for the Rebels this season, after making solid contributions in the midfield. Also joining the Bulldogs is Western Jets, Lauren Basto and Katarina Rebuffo. Rebuffo has been a key cog in defence for the Jets and will look to continue her form into the VFL Women’s season. Basto played for the Jets last season and would be keen to make an impact at the Bulldogs. 

 

Williamstown Seagulls

Williamstown has an even mix of local, AFLW and TAC Cup talent in its inaugural VFL Women’s side.

Bendigo captain Megan Williamson will play for the Seagulls this year, after being a shining light for the Pioneers in the midfield this season. She will be joined by AFLW Academy forward, Sophie Van De Heuvel. Van De Heuvel has kicked five goals in five games for the GWV Rebels this season, and has been a key link in the chain in the Rebels forward line. Western Jets defender, Sharnie Whiting will also have the opportunity to stay close to home, after doing a wonderful job in the Jets’ backline during the TAC Cup Girls season.

The Seagulls have one of the leading AFLW defenders lining up for their side this year. Collingwood’s Jess Duffin was dominant in the back line, and was able to show composure and class at all times. She will be joined by teammate, Jasmine Garner, who revolutionised her game through moving from the forward line to the back line. Garner showed that she can dominate in both roles, which is a dangerous prospect in the VFL Women’s competition. Bulldogs premiership player, Jenna Bruton rounds out the AFLW players who are featuring in the Seagulls outfit.

From TAC Cup Girls to VFLW, talented juniors set to test themselves in the state league

AT least 28 TAC Cup Girls will take part in the groundbreaking new season of the Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW), with the competition kicking off this weekend. While the TAC Cup Girls still have at least two matches of under 18s to play, they have been training with their respective VFLW clubs as some of the more experienced players get to test themselves against senior bodies, including a number of AFLW opponents.

Among the top TAC Cup Girls players to take part in the competition are Calder Cannons captain Madison Prespakis and fellow star AFLW Academy member Rebecca Webster who will join Western Jets leading goal kicker Caitlin Greiser at Melbourne University. Eastern Ranges’ quartet Georgia Macpherson, Emerson Woods, Sarah Kendall and Mikala Cann will swap their blue for brown after they signed on with Hawthorn’s VFLW side.

Gippsland Power dynamo Tyla Hanks will rove to her AFLW Academy and Vic Country ruck in GWV Rebels’ Rene Caris at Carlton, while Dandenong Stingrays captain Jordyn Allen will team up with forward Brooke Struylaart at Casey Demons. They might face Stingrays teammate Shelley Heath at some point, with the speedster joining Southern Saints along with talented Sandringham Dragons pair, Jemma Owen and Eleanor Brown.

Northern Knights duo Marnie Jarvis and Alex Pronesti join the reigning premiers Darebin Falcons, as does Eastern Ranges defender Lauren Szigeti. Essendon has opted for height out of the TAC Cup Girls, picking up Oakleigh Chargers’ ruck Bridie Winbanks, as well as Calder Cannons ruck Carla Rendelmann. The latter’s Cannons teammate Molly Warburton will also don the red and black in the 2018 VFLW season.

Murray Bushrangers pair Grace Egan and Sophie Damon will head to Tigerland for the 2018 VFLW season, joining Eastern Ranges’ Jessica Provan at Richmond. Sandringham Dragons pair Alanna Dalley and Nicola Amiet will front up for Melbourne Uni, while Oakleigh Chargers players have been divided up with Isabella Gietzmann (Carlton) and Hannah McLaren (Collingwood) set to face off as bitter rivals on the field after being teammates this season. While not named on the VFLW lists that came out yesterday, GWV Rebels’ defender Georgia Clarke confirmed she will join her Rebels Female Talent Manager Krista Woodroffe at the Cats after the conclusion of the TAC Cup Girls season.

Geelong Falcons’ Sophie Walmsley will be aligned with the Western Bulldogs, as will GWV Rebels captain Lauren Butler, and Western Jets pair Lauren Basto and Katarina Rebuffo.

It is worth noting that VFLW sides can make up to 10 changes to their list throughout the 2018 season, meaning more TAC Cup Girls prospects can be added to clubs at different stages. Some players will consider playing VFLW at the conclusion of the National Under 18 Championships.

Updated list of TAC Cup Girls on VFLW lists, as of May 3*:

Carlton: Isabella Gietzmann (Oakleigh Chargers), Rene Caris (GWV Rebels), Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power)

Casey Demons: Jordyn Allen (Dandenong Stingrays), Brooke Struylaart (Dandenong Stingrays)

Collingwood: Hannah McLaren (Oakleigh Chargers)

Darebin Falcons: Marnie Jarvis (Northern Knights), Lauren Szigeti (Eastern Ranges), Alex Pronesti (Northern Knights)

Essendon: Bridie Winbanks (Oakleigh Chargers), Carla Rendelmann (Calder Cannons), Molly Warburton (Calder Cannons)

Geelong: Georgia Clarke (GWV Rebels)

Hawthorn: Georgia Macpherson (Eastern Ranges), Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges), Sarah Kendall (Eastern Ranges), Mikala Cann (Eastern Ranges)

Melbourne Uni: Maddison Prespakis (Calder Cannons), Caitlin Greiser (Western Jets), Alanna Dalley (Sandringham Dragons), Nicole Amier (Sandringham Dragons), Rebecca Webster (Murray Bushrangers)

NT Thunder: Nil.

Richmond: Jessica Provan (Eastern Ranges), Grace Egan (Murray Bushrangers), Sophie Damon (Murray Bushrangers)

Southern Saints: Jemma Owen (Sandringham Dragons), Eleanor Brown (Sandringham Dragons), Shelley Heath (Dandenong Stingrays)

Western Bulldogs: Lauren Butler (GWV Rebels), Lauren Basto (Western Jets), Katarina Rebuffo (Western Jets), Sophie Walmsley (Geelong Falcons).

*Note: Some TAC Cup Girls players might be aligned to clubs, but may not be officially on lists yet due to the uncertainly of availability with the National Under 18 Championships and other commitments over the next six months.

Team Selection: TAC Cup Girls – Round 6

With the AFLW Academy games done and dusted, the TAC Cup Girls sides have plenty of players available for selection going into round six, making way for several changes to their line-ups. The Western Jets claimed a big scalp, knocking off the undefeated Eastern Ranges and will be hoping to bring that form into the current round. Meanwhile, the Dandenong Stingrays are still on the hunt for their first win of the 2018 season. Up the other end of the ladder, the Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights remain unbeaten sitting first and second and will be bolstered by the return of some of their key players.

GEELONG FALCONS v. EASTERN RANGES

Round 6 – Saturday 21 April, 12.45pm
McDonald Reserve, Belmont

This match up could prove to be one of the biggest games of the round with the Falcons sitting pretty at the top of the ladder and the Ranges in third. The two teams are littered with classy players across the field who ooze footy smarts and good ball use.

The Eastern Ranges defence will be bolstered with the return of defenders Abbey Tognazzini and Ashleigh Allsopp who were sorely missed in the previous round. They both offer great composure and strength down back for the Ranges and work well together to shut down their opponents. Co-captain Emerson Woods will also be set to return as well as midfielder/forward Olivia Meagher who wins plenty of footy across the ground. However the loss of Georgia Macpherson is a tough one.

With the Geelong Falcons still boasting an unbeaten record, they have only made a few changes to their line-up to take on the Eastern Ranges. Geelong will see the return of Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison who are contested ball winners and are clean in and around the stoppages. The Falcons will also recall Lucy McEvoy to the midfield, but Tarryn Love will miss the game after an injury late in their last match.

Geelong Falcons

B: 38. S. Dinneen, 37. A. Chapman, 22. K. Haustorfer
HB: 33. M. Sheppard, 35. S. Hungerford, 28. D. Taylor
C: 18. N.  Morrison, 11. L.  Lesosky-Hay, 36. S.  Walmsley
HF: 10. S. Atkins, 42. S. DeGiacomi, 27. M. Skinner
F: 6. P. Sheppard, 39. R. Tierney, 2. E. Vella
R: 34. Z. Inei, 24. L. McEvoy, 7. O. Purcell
Int: 15. J. Devarakonda, 16. L. Gardiner, 21. D. Smith, 4. B. Thompson
Emg: 5. J. Dover, 29. L. Ryan, 40. E. Shannon

In: N. Morrison, L. McEvoy, D. Taylor, J. Dover, O. Purcell, E. Shannon
Out: E. Lawson,  E. Allan,  T. Love,  S. Milsome

Eastern Ranges

B: 11. M. Edwards, 43. A. Tognazzini, 50. S. Zappia
HB: 18. A. Allsopp, 49. C. Wilson, 48. L. Szigeti
C: 8. C.  Delbridge, 21. M.  Cann, 41. J.  Richardson
HF: 38. L. McClelland, 40. T. Merrett, 3. E. Woods
F: 22. C. Chamberlain, 28. L. Kelly, 47. J. Provan
R: 46. S. Kendall, 39. O. Meagher, 10. N. Cormack
Int: 35. B. Cubitt, 6. G. De Angelis, 51. J. McCormick, 15. J. Torney
Emg: 34. S. Bowden, 17. M. Kendall, 23. C. Smith, 42. M. Taverna

In: A. Allsopp, C. Chamberlain, S. Bowden, J. Provan, M. Edwards, T. Merrett, A. Tognazzini, O. Meagher, E. Woods
Out: G. Macpherson, E. Horne, I. Ball, M. Wandin, J. Grace, P. Buruma

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS 

Round 6 – Saturday 21 April, 3.15pm
Morwell Football Ground, Morwell

The Northern Knights dominated once again last week even with the absence of key players keeping their undefeated run in-tact. The Power will be full of confidence after a good win over Bendigo last week making for an intriguing contest.

The Knights will be pleased to see the likes of midfield star Gabby Newton back out on the field while key forward Gulia Ceravolo is set to play against the Power after they both missed round five. However the in-form Ellie McKenzie and talented Neve O’Connor and Ciara Fitzgerald will all miss the match.

The midfield battle will be one to keep an eye on with the likes of Tyla Hanks returning for the Power up against the midfield trio of Newton, Maddy Brancatisano and Alyssa Bennett who are important onballers for the Knights. Gippsland will also the return of Leila Raymond and Caitlyn Beale who are vital to the Power’s line-up as they offer a good contest around the footy.

Gippsland Power

B: 47. E. Cornish , 45. L. Van Berkel, 17. S. Trewin
HB: 8. C. Abrahams, 65. J. Redmond, 6. E. Haeusler
C: 1. E.  Jones, 57. J.  Ferguson, 30. A.  Rippon
HF: 13. H. Andrews, 32. C. Bird, 12. M. Fitzsimon
F: 29. C. Bray, 27. N. Webber, 10. T. Dower
R: 58. A. Dunn, 28. T. Hanks, 49. M. Shaw
Int: 59. C. Beale, 7. L. Raymond , 4. J. Ross, 9. T. Whitehead
Emg: 2. S. Beaton, 11. S. Walker, 60. E. Williams

In: C. Bird, S. Walker, C. Beale, T. Hanks, L. Raymond
Out: H. Balmer,  M. Van Berkel

Northern Knights 

B: 27. P. Kearney, 32. A. Snow, 20. J. McCarthy
HB: 10. P. Chisholm, 18. S. Sansonetti, 12. O. Dikranis
C: 9. M.  Chaplin, 5. M.  Brancatisano, 2. M.  Jarvis
HF: 6. A. Bannan, 31. T. Shell, 8. G. Ceravolo
F: 1. M. Antypas, 24. A. Pronesti, 3. N. Morris-Dalton
R: 26. E. Clayton, 22. B. Gutknecht, 23. G. Newton
Int: 7. A. Bennett, 33. T. Curavic, 16. T. Manson, 13. M. Suzuki
Emg: 25. T. Mills, 30. M. Rodezno     

In: G. Ceravolo, E. Clayton, T. Curavic, G. Newton, T. Manson
Out: E. McKenzie, N. O’Connor, C. Fitzgerald

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 

Round 6 – Saturday 21 April, 3.30pm
Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta

The Dragons will be hoping to continue their impressive form again this week against the Murray Bushrangers who will be boosted with the return of key players across the ground. Suffering a loss to the Falcons last week the Bushrangers will be searching to keep their finals hope alive with a big win against the Dragons. Sandringham and Murray have both recorded the same number of wins making for a highly contested match with both teams evenly poised across the ground.

The inclusion of gun midfielder Rebecca Webster will provide the Bushrangers with some composure with ball in hand. Webster has a great ability to read the play and is vital throughout the middle of the ground for Murray. The return of Millie Brown for Murray will provide a target up forward with her strong hands and accuracy in front of goal. The Bushrangers will be without Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Chelsea Knight who both provide good run and carry for the team.  

Sandringham have gone in with a relatively unchanged line-up but have the likes of Taylah Grasso and Grace Bridges as emergencies. Both players have strong hands and provide composure down back for the Dragons. The strong form of Sandringham lately means the Dragons will go in confident, but will need to be at their best to topple the Bushrangers.

Murray Bushrangers

B: 21. C. Boschetti, 39. H. Doohan, 32. N. Watts
HB: 8. O. Hall, 42. G. Egan, 26. E. Nicholson
C: 31. S.  Locke, 17. R.  Webster, 33. M.  Trethowan
HF: 19. M. Brown, 6. K. Adams, 1. J. Harvey
F: 37. S. Damon, 34. E. McPherson, 5. C. Hargreaves
R: 43. T. Verhoeven, 22. T. Smith, 36. C. Mckimmie
Int: 11. A. Chessor, 3. P. Crelley, 10. G. Kelly, 20. R. Winiata

In: R. Winiata, G. Kelly, R. Webster, T. Verhoeven, C. Hargreaves, P. Crelley, C. Boschetti, M. Brown
Out: Z. Spencer,  C. Knight,  E. Freeman,  E. Balaburov,  M. Cook,  M. Jones,  M. Eze,  E. Hibble

Sandringham Dragons

B: 31. B. Arnold, 60. G. Strangio, 13. D. Walker
HB: 23. C. Bowen, 32. S. Hartwig, 65. C. Saultry
C: 30. E.  Brown, 43. A.  McKay, 5. J.  Tait
HF: 50. H. Bate, 56. G. Emberton, 25. I. Eddey
F: 49. L. Amelung, 3. S. Rothfield, 1. M. Wilson
R: 20. A. Dalley, 36. J. Owen, 64. E. McNamara
Int: 46. A. Burke, 33. M. Denahy Maloney, 2. W. Laing, 39. M. Purcell
Emg: 58. G. Bridges, 24. T. Grasso, 42. R. Woods

In: T. Grasso, R. Woods, G. Bridges

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 6 – Sunday 22 April, 11.30am
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

After a disappointing game against the Dragons in round five, the Calder Cannons will be looking to get back into the winners books with the return of some key players. The Rebels have also rung in the changes, making seven changes to their line-up.

The Cannons will be pleased to see the return of star midfield duo Madison Prespakis and Georgia Patrikios who win plenty of the footy and are smooth operators. Their ability to win the ball at ground level helps to propel their team forward. Molly Warbuton has also been named for the Cannons after playing in the AFLW Academy game and will be a good addition both in the centre of the ground and down back in defence. The likes of Emily Vukovic and Lethea Phillipou are also expected to take the field for Calder.

The Rebels did not shy away from the changes bringing in the likes of half-forward Lucy Moloney to help provide a target up forward. GWV will be pleased to see the return of key midfielder and play maker Sophie Van De Heuvel, along with Rene Caris and key defender Georgia Clarke. On the other hand, the likes of Georgette Douhadji and Stephanie Glover are among the outs for the Rebels.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels 

B: 15. T. Jasper, 26. G. Pidgeon, 14. L. Sykes
HB: 19. K. McAloon, 25. G. Clarke, 4. A. Nicholson
C: 27. N.  Dojiok, 8. E.  Wood, 10. H.  Simpson
HF: 3. L. Moloney , 21. D. Henson, 18. S. Van De Heuvel
F: 7. A. McAuliffe, 13. C. Leonard, 22. I. Rustman
R: 35. R. Caris, 16. L. Butler, 23. S. Molan
Int: 6. N. Butler, 20. T. Heath, 11. T. Marra, 1. A. Trigg
Emg: 42. B. Gregory, 41. K. Harris

In: L. Moloney , K. Harris, G. Clarke, A. Nicholson, R. Caris, S. Van De Heuvel, E. Wood
Out: R. Saulitis,  A. Humphries,  S. Glover,  G. Douhadji,  J. McAuliffe ,  I. Simmons

Calder Cannons

B: 42. K. Sutton, 48. C. Brown, 8. E. Vale
HB: 11. A. Barba, 15. G. Marsland, 2. F. Theodore
C: 29. S.  Elias, 21. G.  Patrikios, 9. M.  Warburton
HF: 32. T. Fry , 17. E. Cornish, 34. Z. Hardiman
F: 37. F. Holloway, 46. G. Elarmaly, 25. A. Magri
R: 18. C. Rendelmann, 3. M. Prespakis, 23. G. Dicker
Int: 10. M. Hemburrow, 31. K. Petrevski, 36. L. Philippou, 12. E. Vukovic
Emg: 16. C. Hodgson, 44. I. McNeill-Wren, 50. B. Tolson

In: M. Warburton, E. Vukovic, G. Patrikios, L. Philippou, C. Hodgson, I. McNeill-Wren, M. Prespakis
Out: T. Crook, L. Cocomello, I. Young, M. Muller, A. Driscoll

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 6 – Sunday 22 April, 2.00pm
Golden Square, Bendigo

They Bendigo Pioneers will be hoping to assert their dominance in their home game against the Chargers on Sunday. With both teams evenly poised it will make for a highly contested match with good match ups across the ground.

The Pioneers have made minimal changes to their side with the likes of Gemmi Murrell and Grace Sladden making way for Elizabeth Snell and Eloise Gretgrix. Bendigo will be looking to the likes of Kodi Jacques who showed great endurance and composure with ball in hand as well as their captain Megan Williamson who offers consistency and an attack on the footy.

Similarly, the Oakleigh Chargers have only named one out for the match with Tiana Johnson out of the team. The likes of versatile full-forward Hannah McLaren is set to take on the Pioneers while important midfielder Gemma Lagioia will also return after injury. McLaren’s presence up forward will provide a great target for the Chargers and Lagioia’s work in the middle will help to propel her team forward.

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 24. E. Gretgrix, 32. S. Reilly, 9. D. Kelly-Guthrie
HB: 27. B. Hards, 20. K. Douglass, 3. C. Isaac
C: 11. J.  Finning, 28. M.  Williamson, 15. T.  Goodrem
HF: 30. B. Heiden, 8. S. Knoll, 31. H. Stewart
F: 21. H. Spencer, 7. G. Barton, 1. M. Tupper
R: 25. T. Stewart, 2. M. Baldwin, 19. K. Jacques
Int: 10. A. Bodilly, 12. T. Coad, 26. L. Newton, 29. E. Snell, 14. O. Taverna, 5. E. Turnbull

In: A. Bodilly, E. Snell, E. Gretgrix, E. Turnbull
Out: G. Murrell,  G. Sladden

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 5. A. van Oosterwijck, 45. T. Cowan, 17. N. Xenos
HB: 2. M. Hill, 39. T. Nichols, 14. H. McLaren
C: 31. K.  Hunter-Scott, 50. C.  Nancarrow, 30. G.  Lagioia
HF: 3. J. D’Amato, 43. E. Hastie, 19. E. Harley
F: 29. M. Bertuna, 38. D. Bateman, 18. I. Gietzmann
R: 11. B. Winbanks, 32. C. O’Malley, 41. K. Lynch
Int: 33. G. Byrne, 70. P. Fennell, 15. A. Ling, 22. Z. Makris, 69. L. Mayne, 26. A. Micallef, 21. C. Moon, 16. A. Porter

In: L. Mayne, C. O’Malley, J. D’Amato, G. Lagioia, H. McLaren
Out: T. Johnson

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. WESTERN JETS

Round 6 – Sunday 22 April, 3.00pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

The Stingrays have made multiple changes going into round six in hope to secure their first win for the season. Meanwhile the Western Jets have retained a relatively unchanged line-up after notching up their first win of the season. The Jets showed moments of brilliance last week to topple their undefeated opponents.

For the Stingrays, they will welcome back the likes of Jordyn Allen and versatile player Courtney Jones who offers great composure with ball-in-hand.  Key defender Rose Clancy-Dillon will also return after missing round five. Clancy-Dillon provides great strength down back and might be asked to curb influential Jets forward Caitlin Greiser.

Greiser will be out to dominant for the Western Jets sitting fifth on the goal scoring tally. Greiser offers a great target up forward for the Jets and is accurate in front of goal, but has been named in the ruck once again this week. The Jets will also see the likes of Isabella Grant return who offers a good presence across the ground while Lauren Basto and Katarina Rebuffo have also been named to take on the Stingrays. 

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 5. E. Allen-Burns, 51. Z. Hill, 18. S. Bayne
HB: 15. J. Allen, 40. R. Clancy-Dillon, 1. S. Heath
C: 12. M.  McDonald, 35. L.  Cripps, 31. B.  Vernon
HF: 44. S. Ryan, 26. I. Shannon, 28. T. Smith
F: 46. J. George, 29. B. Struylaart,
R: 45. M. Graham, 3. C. Jones, 20. E. Wilson-Macdonald
Int: 48. A. Carroll, 42. A. O’Sullivan, 2. S. Stratton, 16. A. West

In: A. West, J. Allen, S. Ryan, J. George, C. Jones, R. Clancy – Dillon, B. Struylaart
Out: L. O’Connell-Webb,  J. Lilley,  H. Thomas,  A. Jordan,  B. Borchard,  M. Layfield,  G. Hodder,  J. Guy-Toogood

Western Jets

B: 22. A. Chivell, 31. K. Rebuffo, 8. E. Gardner
HB: 21. M. Fenech, 30. I. Pritchard, 44. C. Myors-Moore
C: 14. I.  Grant, 13. C.  Jansen, 27. P.  Ozols
HF: 2. C. Gashi, 26. I. Negri, 36. J. Goodman
F: 19. O. Forsythe, 40. S. Whiting, 12. K. O’Keefe
R: 43. C. Greiser, 39. C. Saxon-Jones, 16. E. Georgostathis
Int: 33. L. Basto, 41. S. Forbes, 28. E. Hannett, 3. A. Lowe
Emg: 29. E. Cassar

In: I. Grant, L. Basto, K. Rebuffo
Out: L. Spargo, H. Bult

TAC Cup Girls previews: Round 5

WITH the AFLW Academy stars out of TAC Cup Girls action this week, it will undoubtedly be a test of depth for all sides across the board. Headlining the round five action is the battle between two undefeated teams in Murray and Geelong. This will be the last of a triple-header at Bendigo in what is set to be a huge day, and round, of TAC Cup Girls football.

WESTERN JETS V. EASTERN RANGES

Round 5 – Saturday April 7, 12.15pm
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

In the first true home match for the Jets, they go into the game relatively unscathed with Isabella Grant being the only AFLW Academy member for Western. But they come up against the Eastern Ranges who remain undefeated after four rounds of TAC Cup Girls football.

This will be an opportunity for Western’s defence to mimic the efforts of the Pioneers last week, who kept Eastern to four goals. Katarina Rebuffo has been one of the standouts for the Jets this season and could play a big role on the weekend. Caitlin Greiser has been named in the ruck, but could assert her dominance up forward after being the sole goal-kicker for the Jets last round.

For the Eastern Ranges who have to travel to the other side of town, it will no doubt be a big test for them to get a win. Although they are undefeated, Western is hungry for a victory and Eastern’s depth will have to match the pace of the young Jets. The Ranges can trust in Lauren Szigeti who played a wonderful game against Bendigo in defence. They will also have the speedy Mikala Cann in the midfield to provide some inside run and speed.

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS V. GIPPSLAND POWER

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 11am
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

This will be an intriguing battle between two young sides. The Pioneers boast the likes of Megan Williamson and Kodi Jacques in the midfield while the Power have plenty of depth to fill Tyla Hanks’ absence this week.

Co-captain Amy Dunn will have the opportunity to take the reigns on her own at Epsom and will undoubtedly be complemented by Jazz Ferguson and Alana Rippon, who have been among Gippsland’s best players each week. The Power also have a strong defensive set-up this week with Julia Redmond and Emily Haeusler floating across half-back.

Bendigo comes into the game with an unchanged side after restricting top side Eastern Ranges to just four goals last week. Keep an eye out for Jemma Finning and Maddie Baldwin who have been playing some wonderful footy for the Pioneers. Kate Douglass has been outstanding in defence and will look to minimise the impact of Chandra Abrahams and Nikia Webber, who booted two goals in a row last week in a match-winning performance.

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS V. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 12.15pm
Preston City Oval, Preston

All eyes will be on Oakleigh in this game as gun players Hannah McLaren and Gemma Lagioia will sit out the match at Preston this week after being involved in a head clash in round four. The story is not any better for the Knights as they will be without versatile leader, Gabby Newton who is in the AFLW Academy.

However Northern has a strong line-up of players and they will certainly step up in Newton’s absence. Abigail Bennett played another stellar game last week and would be keen to get on the scoreboard in this match, starting on the half-forward flank. A key name on the team sheet is Ellie McKenzie in the midfield. McKenzie has been playing fantastic in defence since her round three debut, and will be tested against Oakleigh’s Alana Porter and Mimi Hill .

One of the biggest ins for the Chargers is star midfielder, Katie Lynch who will undoubtedly provide some firepower through the middle of the ground. Lynch was one of the best performers in her last TAC Cup game in round three and she is likely to be up there again at Preston. Daisy Bateman and Melanie Bertuna also come into the side and will be looking to tear it up in the forward-line against a formidable Northern backline.

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS V. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 12.45pm
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

In the second game of a triple-header at Bendigo, the Stingrays and the Rebels will go head-to-head with some key players missing from the game. For Dandenong, Jordyn Allen, Courtney Jones and Brooke Struylaart will sit out the round five clash while Sophie Van De Huevel, Rene Caris and Georgia Clarke will watch from the sidelines for Greater Western Victoria (GWV).

But the Rebels still have plenty of firepower in their side, with Lauren Butler likely to dominate in the midfield. Nyakoat Dojiok has hardly put a foot wrong this season and will be looking to put the pressure on the Stingrays with her pace. Sophie Molan will also be a huge presence in the midfield alongside Butler and Dojiok, getting shifted there in the absence of Caris in the ruck.

Shelley Heath will line up for the Stingrays in the midfield as she always does and could go head-to-head with the likes of Butler and Molan, which should be an intriguing battle. Also keep an eye out for Eloise Allen-Burns and Lucinda Cripps, who have been as consistent as ever in defence. Samantha Ryan will start at full-forward for the Stingrays and will be hungry to kick some goals to lead her side to their first win of the season.

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS V. CALDER CANNONS

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 1.15pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

The Sandringham Dragons are arguably one of the strongest sides going into this round with no AFLW Academy absentees holding them back. It is a different story for the Cannons though as captain, Madison Prespakis as well as Georgia Patrikios and Molly Warburton will have to sit out the match.

Prespakis has been Calder’s best player in pretty much every match they have played this season so her loss will be a massive test for the Cannons. To soften the blow of her absence, the Cannons have the speed and acceleration of Grace Dicker as well as the endurance of Faith Holloway to provide some run through the middle of the ground. Zoe Hardiman will line up forward alongside Georgia Marsland, who was proactive inside 50 last week.

But Hardiman and Marsland could have a battle on their hands with Sarah Hartwig, Alice Burke and Laura Amelung in great form across the back-line. Eliza McNamara and Jasmine Tait will look to nullify the impact of Dicker and Holloway in the midfield, and could also float around the ground to add some versatility to the Dragons line-up. Jemma Owen played a true captain’s game against Dandenong and will be looking to lead her side to a win at home.

 

GEELONG FALCONS V. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 2.30pm
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

Round five has saved the best until last with two undefeated teams going head-to-head at Epsom. But both teams have quite a lengthy list of outs. Geelong will be without Lucy McEvoy, Olivia Purcell, Denby Taylor, Eliza Shannon and Nina Morrison. The Bushrangers will be without Rebecca Webster, Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Millie Brown.

But Murray still has star player Grace Egan, who will start forward after playing in defence throughout the season. Julia Harvey and Tamara Smith will also still be running around for the Bushrangers, and will be looking to continue their red-hot form against Geelong. Chelsea Knight and Sophie Damon will be key players in the midfield as they aim to combat the Falcons who are fresh off a 70-point victory.

Despite the absence of five key players, Geelong’s side still looks strong as Sophie Walmsley, Paige Sheppard and Tarryn Love headline the midfield. Abbey Chapman and Mia Sheppard will look to hold down the fort in defence in the absence of Denby Taylor. The Geelong forward-line is still strong with Sachi DeGiacomi dominating at half-forward while Renee Tierney is coming off a four-goal performance last week.

Team Selection: TAC Cup Girls- Round 5

WITH round five upon us there have been plenty of changes across the board with the AFLW Academy playing Geelong in a practice match on Tuesday. The Geelong Falcons, Northern Knights and Eastern Ranges will be looking to keep their undefeated record intact while the Western Jets and Dandenong Stingrays will be searching for their first win of the 2018 season. Though many teams have been forced to make changes through losing players to the AFLW Academy, it will allow plenty of new and young talent to shine in the upcoming matches.

WESTERN JETS v. EASTERN RANGES 
Round 5 – Saturday, April 7, 12.15pm
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

The Western Jets and Eastern Ranges are set to kick off the round in Williamstown with the Ranges looking to continue their undefeated run. On the other hand, the Jets will be hoping to notch up their first win of the season, making seven changes to their line-up.

With the likes of co-captain Emerson Woods and fellow midfielder Olivia Meagher out for the match, the Eastern Ranges will be relying on their depth to get them across the line against the Jets. The absence of Ranges defender Abbey Tognazzini and Ashleigh Allsopp will test their strength down back as they are key players for their team, but the inclusion of Sophia Zappia will provide some much needed composure.

For the Jets, the loss of forward Isabella Grant will be hard to replace as she provides some good dash across the field and uses the footy well. Grant was one of seven changes for the Western Jets who have named the likes of Katarina RebuffoEden Cassar, Emily Hannett and Chelsea Jansen to take on the undefeated Eastern Ranges.

Western Jets

B: 29. E. Cassar, 31. K. Rebuffo, 2. C. Gashi
HB: 21. M. Fenech, 30. I. Pritchard, 44. C. Myors-Moore
C: 19. O.  Forsythe, 13. C.  Jansen, 27. P.  Ozols
HF: 3. A. Lowe, 36. J. Goodman, 26. I. Negri
F: 39. C. Saxon-Jones, 41. S. Forbes, 40. S. Whiting
R: 43. C. Greiser, 16. E. Georgostathis, 4. L. Spargo
Int: 22. A. Chivell, 8. E. Gardner, 28. E. Hannett, 12. K. O’Keefe

In: E. Cassar, L. Spargo, C. Jansen, E. Hannett, J. Goodman, S. Forbes, K. Rebuffo
Out: I. Grant, M. Gregory, K. Ratu,  A. Bolt 

Eastern Ranges

B: 17. M. Kendall, 50. S. Zappia, 45. M. Wandin
HB: 37. G. Macpherson, 49. C. Wilson, 48. L. Szigeti
C: 8. C.  Delbridge, 6. G.  De Angelis, 16. E.  Horne
HF: 38. L. McClelland, 36. J. Grace, 41. J. Richardson
F: 42. M. Taverna, 28. L. Kelly, 15. J. Torney
R: 46. S. Kendall, 21. M. Cann, 10. N. Cormack
Int: 19. I. Ball, 9. P. Buruma, 35. B. Cubitt, 51. J. McCormick

In: M. Kendall, N. Cormack , S. Zappia, C. Chamberlain, J. Grace, S. Bowden, T. Merrett, I. Ball
Out: A. Tognazzini, A. Allsopp, O. Meagher, E. Woods

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. GIPPSLAND POWER 
Round 5 – Sunday, April 8, 11am
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

After a gallant effort last week against the Eastern Ranges, the Bendigo Pioneers will be hoping to bring their impressive form into round five. They were sound in defence but were ultimately outclassed by their undefeated opponents. The Power however fought hard to secure a three-point win against Calder, resulting in minimal changes to the team’s line-up.

The Pioneers go in unchanged after their strong performance last week with the likes of Kate Douglass and Megan Williamson proving their worth with their impressive work across the ground.

On the other hand, Gippsland Power have made five changes, with star midfielders Tyla Hanks and Leyla Berry unavailable for the game. The likes of fellow teammates Jazz Ferguson and Alana Rippon will have to stand up in the contest. The Power have included Charlize Bird, Tahlia Dower and Leila Raymond in their squad for their trip to Epsom.

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 3. C. Isaac, 32. S. Reilly, 14. O. Taverna
HB: 24. E. Gretgrix, 20. K. Douglass, 25. T. Stewart
C: 11. J.  Finning, 28. M.  Williamson, 21. H.  Spencer
HF: 30. B. Heiden, 8. S. Knoll, 26. L. Newton
F: 27. B. Hards, 7. G. Barton, 1. M. Tupper
R: 9. D. Kelly-Guthrie, 19. K. Jacques, 2. M. Baldwin
Int: Unknown. A. Bodilly, 15. T. Goodrem, 5. E. Turnbull

Gippsland Power

B: 2. S. Beaton, 45. L. Van Berkel, 29. C. Bray
HB: 6. E. Haeusler , 65. J. Redmond, 17. S. Trewin
C: 1. E.  Jones, 57. J.  Ferguson, 30. A.  Rippon
HF: 10. T. Dower, 8. C. Abrahams, 12. M. Fitzsimon
F: 4. J. Ross, 60. E. Williams, 27. N. Webber
R: 58. A. Dunn, 13. H. Andrews, 49. M. Shaw
Int: 21. H. Balmer, 47. E. Cornish , 50. M. Van Berkel, 9. T. Whitehead

In: C. Bird, T. Dower, L. Raymond , C. Prestidge, M. Van Berkel
Out: T. Hanks, L. Berry

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 

Round 5 – Sunday, April 8, 12.15pm
Preston City Oval, Preston

With the Knights sitting second on the ladder they will be hoping to continue their red-hot form, even though they have had to ring through the changes. The Northern Knights were forced to make five changes due to the AFLW Academy game taking place. Meanwhile the Oakleigh Chargers have named a huge extended list after losing three players to the Academy game.

The Northern Knights will be set to take on the Chargers without Jessica Fitzgerald, who has been a standout for them throughout the first four rounds. Though the Knights are filled with midfield power with the likes of Maddy Brancatisano and Alyssa Bennett, they will be missing Gabby Newton who is a huge force in the ruck and can make her presence felt all over the ground. The Northern Knights have brought in Sarah Sansonetti who provides a good target up forward.

The Chargers have lost Hannah McLaren, who is a key up forward for them along with Gemma Lagioia, who is so important through the middle of the ground. Both were involved in a head clash in the first quarter of their round four clash against Geelong. The Chargers have their absence covered though, bringing in Katie Lynch, Daisy Bateman and Melanie Bertuna, who are some of Oakleigh’s most dominant players. 

Northern Knights

B: 12. O. Dikranis, 10. P. Chisholm, 20. J. McCarthy
HB: 17. C. Fitzgerald, 27. P. Kearney, 32. A. Snow
C: 6. A.  Bannan, 5. M.  Brancatisano, 2. M.  Jarvis
HF: 7. A. Bennett, 18. S. Sansonetti, 25. T. Mills
F: 1. M. Antypas, 3. N. Morris-Dalton, 24. A. Pronesti
R: 4. N. O’Connor, 22. B. Gutknecht, 21. E. McKenzie
Int: 9. M. Chaplin, 30. M. Rodezno, 31. T. Shell, 13. M. Suzuki

In: M. Rodezno, J. McCarthy, A. Snow, M. Chaplin, T. Shell
Out: M. Uwland,  G. Ceravolo,  J. Fitzgerald,  E. Clayton,  G. Newton

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 50. C. Nancarrow, 45. T. Cowan, 5. A. van Oosterwijck
HB: 26. A. Micallef, 39. T. Nichols, 17. N. Xenos
C: 31. K.  Hunter-Scott, 19. E.  Harley, 16. A.  Porter
HF: 29. M. Bertuna, 21. C. Moon, 43. E. Hastie
F: 70. P. Fennell, 38. D. Bateman, 18. I. Gietzmann
R: 11. B. Winbanks, 2. M. Hill, 41. K. Lynch
Int: 33. G. Byrne, 52. L. Harris, 6. T. Johnson, 15. A. Ling, 22. Z. Makris, 69. L. Mayne, 32. C. O’Malley, 51. G. Relph

In: L. Mayne, G. Relph, Z. Makris, D. Bateman, M. Bertuna, A. van Oosterwijck, K. Lynch
Out: E. Jackson, G. Lagioia, H. McLaren

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS 

Round 5 – Sunday, April 8, 12.45pm
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

The Dandenong Stingrays will be looking to notch up their first win of the season against the Greater Western Victorian Rebels (GWV) in Epsom. The Stingrays may be a bit deflated after another loss last week but will be hoping the changes will bring around some good fortune. The Rebels on the other hand will be hoping to get back into the winning books and claim their second victory for the season.

After another loss, Dandenong have not shied away from the changes, making six changes to their line-up. The Stingrays will be without Lauree Metcalfe and defender Courtney Jones who provides some strength down back. In to replace Jones is Jenna George who will have her hands full in defence.

After her short return for the Rebels, classy midfielder Sophie Van De Heuvel will be unavailable for selection leaving it up to the likes of teammates Nyakoat Dojiok and Denver Henson to compete in the midfield. Van De Heuvel is just one of four changes for GWV with Alyssa Humphries and Tess Heath set to come into the side for the likes of Rene Caris and Georgia Clarke. 

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 5. E. Allen-Burns, 51. Z. Hill, 37. J. Lilley
HB: 46. J. George, 35. L. Cripps, 12. M. McDonald
C: 1. S.  Heath, 32. M.  Layfield, 28. T.  Smith
HF: 19. B. Borchard, 31. B. Vernon, 48. A. Carroll
F: 7. L. O’Connell-Webb, 44. S. Ryan, 2. S. Stratton
R: 45. M. Graham, 26. I. Shannon, 20. E. Wilson-Macdonald
Int: 18. S. Bayne, 21. G. Hodder, 10. A. Jordan, 42. A. O’Sullivan

In: A. Carroll, A. Jordan, J. George, S. Bayne, M. Layfield, J. Guy-Toogood
Out: J. Allen,  C. Jones,  R. Clancy – Dillon,  B. Struylaart,  L. Metcalfe

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 6. N. Butler, 26. G. Pidgeon, 19. K. McAloon
HB: 10. H. Simpson, 15. T. Jasper, 14. L. Sykes
C: 27. N.  Dojiok, 21. D.  Henson, 7. A.  McAuliffe
HF: 13. C. Leonard, 28. I. Simmons, 2. R. Saulitis
F: 12. G. Douhadji, 45. A. Humphries, 34. S. Glover
R: 22. I. Rustman, 16. L. Butler, 23. S. Molan
Int: 20. T. Heath, 11. T. Marra, 9. J. McAuliffe , 1. A. Trigg

In: L. Moloney , K. Harris, A. Trigg, A. Humphries, G. Douhadji, T. Heath
Out: G. Clarke, R. Caris, S. Van De Heuvel, M. Caris

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. CALDER CANNONS 

Round 5 – Sunday, April 8, 1.15pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

Sandringham will be looking to take advantage of its home ground and secure its third win of the season, while the Calder Cannons will be searching to claim their second victory. The Cannons have named an extended squad with two notable outs for the team, while Sandringham has only made a few changes for the clash on Sunday.

The Dragons have brought in a relatively unchanged line-up after last week’s strong win against the Stingrays. Sarah Hartwig stood up in defence in round four, showing her ability to tackle well and take important grabs. This will be needed again this week as Sandringham will be without Taylah Grasso and Grace Bridges who are key members of the Dragons backline. Meanwhile, Daisy Walker, Margie Purcell and Chloe Saultry have been named in the squad.

The Calder Cannons have made a few changes going into round five with the likes of Madison Prepakis and Georgia Patrikios lost to the AFLW Academy game. Molly Warburton (also in the Academy) will be missed down in in defence for the Cannons as she provides strength and composure. In their extended squad the Cannons have named Makeisha Muller to start at half-forward while Laura Cocomello and Ashton Driscoll are expected to play.

Sandringham Dragons

B: 46. A. Burke, 33. M. Denahy Maloney, 13. D. Walker
HB: 49. L. Amelung, 32. S. Hartwig, 23. C. Bowen
C: 30. E.  Brown, 43. A.  McKay, 5. J.  Tait
HF: 25. I. Eddey, 3. S. Rothfield, 36. J. Owen
F: 31. B. Arnold, 50. H. Bate, 1. M. Wilson
R: 20. A. Dalley, 64. E. McNamara, 2. W. Laing
Int: 56. G. Emberton, 39. M. Purcell, 65. C. Saultry, 60. G. Strangio

In: D. Walker, M. Purcell, C. Saultry
Out: T. Grasso,  G. Bridges

Calder Cannons

B: 44. I. McNeill-Wren, 48. C. Brown, 8. E. Vale
HB: 29. S. Elias, 17. E. Cornish, 35. I. Young
C: 32. T.  Fry , 31. K.  Petrevski, 37. F.  Holloway
HF: 34. Z. Hardiman, 46. G. Elarmaly, 22. M. Muller
F: 25. A. Magri, 49. T. Crook, 15. G. Marsland
R: 18. C. Rendelmann, 11. A. Barba, 23. G. Dicker
Int: 38. L. Cocomello, 4. T. Cook, 39. A. Driscoll, 2. F. Theodore

In: L. Cocomello, K. Sutton, G. Elarmaly, M. Muller, C. Macumber, A. Driscoll
Out: M. Warburton, G. Patrikios, M. Prespakis

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 

Round 5 – Sunday, April 8, 2.30pm
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

The final game of the round could shape up to be one of the best spectacles for round five, as both teams will be evenly poised with quality players being absent for both teams. With huge outs in the midfield such as Rebecca Webster for the Bushrangers and Olivia Purcell for the Falcons, it will be a battle to see who can win the contested ball.

The Murray Bushrangers have been forced to make six changes to their line-up, losing star midfielder Rebecca Webster and Eloise Ashley-Cooper, who is important across the ground for the Bushrangers. Millie Brown will also be a big loss to Murray as she provides a good target up forward. But the Bushrangers have brought in the likes of Kate Adams to fill the void of Ashley-Cooper and Mikayla Jones up forward for Millie Brown.

For the Falcons they have brought in Mia Skinner to help provide a target up forward. It will be hard to replace the class of Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison in and around the contest, who provide clean hands around the footy and use the ball well.

Geelong Falcons

B: 15. J. Devarakonda, 37. A. Chapman, 22. K. Haustorfer
HB: 38. S. Dinneen, 35. S. Hungerford, 33. M. Sheppard
C: 2. E.  Vella, 11. L.  Lesosky-Hay, 36. S.  Walmsley
HF: 10. S. Atkins, 42. S. DeGiacomi, 27. M. Skinner
F: 31. S. Milsome, 39. R. Tierney, 4. B. Thompson
R: 34. Z. Inei, 20. T. Love, 6. P. Sheppard
Int: 48. E. Allan, 16. L. Gardiner, 46. E. Lawson, 21. D. Smith

In: M. Holdsworth, B. Thompson, M. Sherman, D. Smith, P. Sheppard, L. Gardiner, M. Skinner
Out: N. Morrison,  L. McEvoy,  D. Taylor,  O. Purcell

Murray Bushrangers

B: 26. E. Nicholson, 39. H. Doohan, 32. N. Watts
HB: 6. K. Adams, 23. E. Hibble, 24. Z. Spencer
C: 44. M.  Eze, 1. J.  Harvey, 33. M.  Trethowan
HF: 11. A. Chessor, 8. O. Hall, 36. C. Mckimmie
F: 40. M. Cook, 42. G. Egan, 35. M. Jones
R: 37. S. Damon, 22. T. Smith, 4. C. Knight
Int: 13. E. Balaburov, 25. E. Freeman, 31. S. Locke, 34. E. McPherson

In: K. Adams, S. Locke, E. Balaburov, H. Doohan, Z. Spencer, M. Jones
Out: O. Barber, C. Hargreaves, P. Crelley, E. Ashley-Cooper, R. Webster, M. Brown

TAC Cup Girls previews: Round 3

FOUR teams go into round three undefeated, and will be hoping to keep their undefeated streaks alive. Meanwhile at RAMS Arena, two winless teams in Calder Cannons and Western Jets will go head-to-head to register their first win of the season. Each week, we will preview all the upcoming action in the round of TAC Cup Girls football, giving you a comprehensive insight into the compelling competition that we have on our hands this year.

GWV REBELS V. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 3- Saturday, March 24, 10.30am

MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Bendigo Pioneers have an amazing opportunity to play at a prestigious stadium on the weekend. The Rebels will be searching for their first win of the season, after coming up against two premiership contenders in the first two rounds. Meanwhile, the Pioneers got off to a winning start in round one, and will be hoping to bounce back after last week’s loss.

Sophie Kerridge has kicked four goals so far for the Pioneers this season, and will look to continue her great form deep in the forward line. However, she will have to come across the likes of GWV AFLW Academy member, Georgia Clarke who will start at half-back to combat Kerridge and teammate, Kate Douglass.

Expect a great captain’s battle in the middle between GWV’s Lauren Butler and Bendigo’s Megan Williamson. Both players had solid outings last week and are sure to put on a cracking contest in the depths of the contest. Nyakoat Dojiok showed some impressive signs last week, and will join Butler in the middle of the ground to challenge the Rebels, who will be missing AFLW Academy member Sophie Van De Heuvel this week.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS V. GIPPSLAND POWER

Round 3- Saturday, March 24, 2.45pm

RAMS Arena- Craigieburn

The two teams will have to travel further down the highway this week, after their hit-out at Swinburne Centre was moved to RAMS Arena. This is not likely to faze either team, who both enjoyed round two victories.

Murray has been unstoppable so far and we are only two rounds into the competition. Rebecca Webster has been a dominant force in the midfield, while Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Olivia Barber have been holding down the fort at either end of the ground.

Webster may have her work cut out for her this week, as she is set to come up against Gippsland star, Tyla Hanks. Hanks has not put a foot wrong for the Power so far, and played a pivotal role in getting her side over the line for the first time in the TAC Cup Competition.

GEELONG FALCONS V. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 3- Sunday, March 25, 11am

Deakin University Oval, Geelong

The Geelong Falcons are one of the undefeated teams in the league so far and will return back home to take on a formidable Stingrays outfit. Dandenong on the other hand fell short to hard-hitting side, Eastern Ranges in round two. But captain, Jordyn Allen has been as consistent as ever, and is likely to continue her great form in Stingrays colours.

However she will have to come across tackling machine, Olivia Purcell in the Geelong midfield, who has been a hard player to combat in the first two rounds. Expect a great battle between Sandringham half-back, Lucinda Cripps and Geelong half-forward, Sachi DeGiacomi.

DeGiacomi is running a muck in the forward line, and is the joint leading goal-kicker, along with Northern Knights’ Alyssa Bannan. Tarryn Love will also play inside 50 for the Falcons, and will be one that applies plenty of forward pressure to trouble the Dandenong defence.

WESTERN JETS V. CALDER CANNONS

Round 3- Sunday, March 25, 11am

RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

The Cannons would not have expected to find themselves undefeated after two rounds. The Jets have come up against some formidable opponents so far and have not registered their first win of the season. But at RAMS Arena, both teams will have the chance to get a win on the board on what is set to be a rainy encounter.

Madison Prespakis has unsurprisingly been in sensational form, and will be keen to take on a talented Western Jets midfield this week. Prespakis would be familiar with impressive Jets midfielder, Elizabeth Georgiostathis, as they played in the same Youth Girls competition last year in the Essendon District Football League.

Isabella Pritchard has been a key player for the Jets so far, and will slot onto the half-back flank. She and Katarina Rebuffo will have to team up in defence to nullify the impact of Calder AFLW Academy member, Georgia Patrikios and Zoe Hardiman, who was named in the Cannons’ best last week.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS V. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 3- Sunday, March 25, 12.45pm

RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

The Northern Knights have charged out of the blocks this year, recording convincing wins in the first two rounds of the competition. The Dragons too have been competitive and have made significant inroads to developmental improvement. Sandringham recorded a confidence-boosting win against the Chargers last week, knocking them off the top of the ladder and preparing themselves appropriately for arguably the game of the round.

Abigail Bennett has been a star for the Knights, making an impact both in the middle of the ground and in the forward 50. She has been well complemented by Nell Morris-Dalton, who has used her strength to perfection to double up in the forward line and in the midfield.

The Knights’ dynamic mid/ forward combinations will undoubtedly be a challenging prospect for the Dragons, but Abbie McKay and captain, Jemma Owen are up to the task. Both are coming off wonderful performances last week, and were well complemented by Winnie Laing, who played a Chelsea Randall type role. Laing played in defence and through the midfield, and could play that role again to nullify the impact of Northern’s versatile outfit.

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS V. EASTERN RANGES 

Round 3- Sunday, March 25, 2.30pm

RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

The last of the triple-headers at Craigieburn sees the Chargers taking on the Ranges to bounce back from last week’s loss. Oakleigh had some time on top of the ladder after a big win in round one, while the Eastern Ranges are on the march to take top spot off the Knights.

Oakleigh has been boosted by the return of Katie Lynch, who sat out the round two loss. She had a wonderful performance in round one and can certainly take it up to the Ranges midfield. It will be interesting to see her and Gemma Lagioia go head-to-head against Eastern’s Mikala Cann and Sarah Kendall. Cann has been tearing it up with her explosive speed while Kendall has shown poise through the middle of the ground in her first two outings of the season.

Plenty of attention will be given to AFL Draft Central Player of the Week, Georgia Macpherson, who marked everything that came her way last week. Players would simply avoid kicking it in her vicinity, which is something that Oakleigh will definitely take into consideration this week.

Team Selection: TAC Cup Girls – Round 3

AS we enter round three of the TAC Cup Girls, we are beginning to see the ladder take shape. There are four undefeated sides – Northern Knights, Geelong Falcons, Eastern Ranges and Murray Bushrangers – while four sides – GWV Rebels, Dandenong Stingrays, Western Jets and Calder Cannons – are yet to taste victory; at least one of which will do so, with the Jets and Cannons clashing on Sunday.

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS vs. BENDIGO PIONEERS 

Round 3 – Saturday, March 24, 10.30am
Mars Stadium, Ballarat

The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels head into their clash with Bendigo Pioneers yet to taste victory after a tough couple of matches against Eastern Ranges and Geelong Falcons. Now back at their home stadium, the Rebels will look to take full advantage of their familiar blustery conditions to knock off Bendigo and claim the win. Georgia Clarke will start at centre-half back, possibly to curb the influence of Kate Douglass who was impressive for the Pioneers last week. Rebels captain Lauren Butler could go head-to-head with Kodi Jacques, while Sophie Molan will face off against Pioneers captain Megan Williamson in the middle.

Bendigo will be keen to bounce back from its loss to Murray, kicking the last three goals of the game but still going down to one of the benchmark teams this season. If they can carry their form into the round three game, they are every chance to get the result. Sophie Kerridge will line up at full-forward alongside Maeve Tupper, while possibly opposed to Georgia Pidgeon and Nekaela Butler respectively. Without the classy Sophie Van De Heuvel in the Rebels midfield, the Pioneers will look to take control and assert themselves through the corridor.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 6. N. Butler, 26. G. Pidgeon, 14. L. Sykes
HB: 44. E. Bibby, 25. G. Clarke, 34. S. Glover
C: 27. N.  Dojiok, 23. S.  Molan, 10. H.  Simpson
HF: 13. C. Leonard, 28. I. Simmons, 2. R. Saulitis
F: 4. A. Nicholson, 41. K. Harris, 8. E. Wood
R: 22. I. Rustman, 21. D. Henson, 16. L. Butler
Int: 15. T. Jasper, 5. V. Jewell, 9. J. McAuliffe , 7. A. McAuliffe

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 12. T. Coad, 32. S. Reilly, 5. E. Turnbull
HB: 23. G. Murrell, 3. C. Isaac, 25. T. Stewart
C: 11. J.  Finning, 28. M.  Williamson, 15. T.  Goodrem
HF: 27. B. Hards, 20. K. Douglass, 30. B. Heiden
F: 17. G. Sladden, 13. S. Kerridge , 1. M. Tupper
R: 9. D. Kelly-Guthrie, 19. K. Jacques, 2. M. Baldwin
Int: 6. M. Curran, 18. I. Gould, 14. O. Taverna, 22. M. Ward

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS vs. GIPPSLAND POWER 

Round 3 – Saturday, March 24, 2.45pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

Murray Bushrangers are running hot at the moment and will look to use their experience against the young Gippsland Power side. One of the most exciting battles of the day has to be Rebecca Webster going head-to-head with Tyla Hanks. Both players are among the top echelon in the competition and have been in super form this season. Up forward, the dangerous pocket rocket Julia Harvey or teammate Claudia McKimmie could have Power defender Emily Haeusler stand them, all three of whom are in good form.

Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Grace Egan represent some pretty potent half-back flankers and Holly Andrews and Nikia Webber will be looking to quell their influence. Julia Redmond has been a rock in defence, but she will be tested against Sophie Damon or Olivia Barber this weekend. Murray will head into the match as strong favourites, but with nothing to lose and plenty of speed, Gippsland has every chance of taking it up to one of the top sides in the competition.

Murray Bushrangers

B: 14. A. Duguid, 21. C. Boschetti, 32. N. Watts
HB: 16. E. Ashley-Cooper, 34. E. McPherson, 42. G. Egan
C: 11. A.  Chessor, 17. R.  Webster, 3. P.  Crelley
HF: 19. M. Brown, 6. K. Adams, 1. J. Harvey
F: 37. S. Damon, 45. O. Barber, 36. C. Mckimmie
R: 43. T. Verhoeven, 22. T. Smith, 4. C. Knight
Int: 8. O. Hall, 31. S. Locke, 26. E. Nicholson, 33. M. Trethowan

Gippsland Power

B: 29. C. Bray, 65. J. Redmond, 17. S. Trewin
HB: 6. E. Haeusler , 45. L. Van Berkel, 49. M. Shaw
C: 12. M.  Fitzsimon, 28. T.  Hanks, 30. A.  Rippon
HF: 13. H. Andrews, 8. C. Abrahams, 27. N. Webber
F: 4. J. Ross, 57. J. Ferguson, 60. E. Williams
R: 58. A. Dunn, 31. L. Berry, 10. T. Dower
Int: 1. E. Jones, 48. C. Prestidge, 50. M. Van Berkel, 11. S. Walker

 

WESTERN JETS v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 3 – Sunday, March 25, 11am
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

In the battle of the winless teams, Western and Calder will look to kick-start their 2018 campaign on Sunday. Western have been drawn as the “home” team given the fixture was originally scheduled for Avalon Airport Oval, but a late change to RAMS Arena hands the Cannons the homeground advantage. On the field, Isabella Pritchard and Katarina Rebuffo form a strong defensive duo, while Isabella Grant and Cleo Saxon-Jones are among the targets up forward for the Jets. Through the midfield, Olivia Forsythe and Elizabeth Georgostathis will be hoping to continue their form from last round against a strong Cannons midfield.

For the Cannons, all eyes will be on Madison Prespakis through the midfield as the star playmaker in the team. Down back, Molly Warburton and Eleanor Cornish will combine to provide some drive off half-back, while Georgia Patrikios is a skilful player in the forward half. With the likes of Faith Holloway and Felicity Theodore coming off the bench, the Cannons will have plenty of youthful run in the side.

Western Jets

B: 33. L. Basto, 31. K. Rebuffo, 2. C. Gashi
HB: 21. M. Fenech, 44. C. Myors-Moore, 30. I. Pritchard
C: 22. A.  Chivell, 4. L.  Spargo, 25. T.  Kolevski
HF: 8. E. Gardner, 36. J. Goodman, 14. I. Grant
F: 26. I. Negri, 39. C. Saxon-Jones, 40. S. Whiting
R: 43. C. Greiser, 19. O. Forsythe, 16. E. Georgostathis
Int: 5. M. Daw, 34. T. Evans, 17. I. Freeman, 27. P. Ozols

Calder Cannons

B: 29. S. Elias, 48. C. Brown, 44. I. McNeill-Wren
HB: 22. M. Muller, 17. E. Cornish, 9. M. Warburton
C: 32. T.  Fry , 31. K.  Petrevski, 8. E.  Vale
HF: 21. G. Patrikios, 28. R. Love, 11. A. Barba
F: 34. Z. Hardiman, 49. T. Crook, 25. A. Magri
R: 18. C. Rendelmann, 23. G. Dicker, 3. M. Prespakis
Int: 37. F. Holloway, 45. C. Macumber, 2. F. Theodore, 35. I. Young

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS 

Round 3 – Sunday, March 25, 11am
Deakin University, Geelong

The unbeaten Geelong Falcons welcome the determined Dandenong Stingrays to Deakin University on Sunday morning. The Falcons midfield which includes guns Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison will go head-to-head with the lines of Jordyn Allen and Isabella Shannon, while Lucy McEvoy will have the job on dangerous Stingrays forward Samantha Ryan. Shelley Heath is another nimble Stingrays player who might face off against the Falcons’ Demby Taylor.

Brooke Struylaart will go forward for the Stingrays, while Lucinda Cripps will hold down the fort – and for her sake hopefully Sachi DeGiacomi, with the Geelong Falcons centre-half forward in ripping form. Samantha Atkins and Molly McDonald played well last week and might go head-to-head in what should be a fascinating contest. The Falcons will naturally be favourites heading into the clash, but the Stingrays are strong defensively and will be hoping to nullify some of Geelong’s key ball winners.

Geelong Falcons

B: 22. K. Haustorfer , 37. A. Chapman, 33. M. Sheppard
HB: 38. S. Dinneen, 24. L. McEvoy, 28. D. Taylor
C: 18. N.  Morrison, 15. J.  Devarakonda, 36. S.  Walmsley
HF: 10. S. Atkins, 42. S. DeGiacomi, 2. E. Vella
F: 20. T. Love, 39. R. Tierney, 27. M. Skinner
R: 34. Z. Inei, 11. L. Lesosky-Hay, 7. O. Purcell
Int: 25. K. Gleeson, 46. E. Lawson, 31. S. Milsome, 6. P. Sheppard

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 19. B. Borchard, 51. Z. Hill, 47. L. Metcalfe
HB: 5. E. Allen-Burns, 35. L. Cripps, 12. M. McDonald
C: 46. J.  George, 26. I.  Shannon, 28. T.  Smith
HF: 1. S. Heath, 44. S. Ryan, 3. C. Jones
F: 42. A. O’Sullivan, 29. B. Struylaart, 31. B. Vernon
R: 45. M. Graham, 15. J. Allen, 21. G. Hodder
Int: 40. R. Clancy – Dillon, 10. A. Jordan, 2. S. Stratton, 39. N. Taylor

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 

Round 3 – Sunday, March 25, 12.45pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

In arguably the match of the round, the unbeaten Northern Knights take on the impressive Sandringham Dragons. The Dragons bounced back from a round one loss to Geelong Falcons, to run all over Oakleigh Chargers last week. The rebound off half-back from the likes of Winnie Laing, Sarah Hartwig and Eleanor Brown was telling, while Eliza McNamara and Abbie McKay were prime movers in the middle. Up forward, Laura Amelung and Sophia Rothfield could be dangerous, but the Dragons key to scoring lies in their ability to share the goals around.

For the Knights, they have one of the most potent forward lines in the league, with leading goal kicker Alyssa Bannan alongside other goal kickers Abigail Bennett, Alex Pronesti and Olivia Dikranis. Through the midfield, Nell Morris-Dalton, Maddy Bracantisano and Gabby Newton will look to take control, while Magdelene Antypas and Britney Gutknecht are other names to look out for. The battle in the ruck between Knight Neve O’Connor and Dragon Alanna Dalley will be another fantastic battle.

Northern Knights

B: 1. M. Antypas, 27. P. Kearney, 13. M. Suzuki
HB: 10. P. Chisholm, 18. S. Sansonetti, 21. E. McKenzie
C: 2. M.  Jarvis, 5. M.  Brancatisano, 23. G.  Newton
HF: 7. A. Bennett, 6. A. Bannan, 12. O. Dikranis
F: 17. C. Fitzgerald, 24. A. Pronesti, 11. A. Williams
R: 4. N. O’Connor, 14. J. Fitzgerald, 3. N. Morris-Dalton
Int: 8. G. Ceravolo, 26. E. Clayton, 22. B. Gutknecht, 16. T. Manson

Sandringham Dragons

B: 40. N. Borg, 42. R. Woods, 46. A. Burke
HB: 2. W. Laing, 32. S. Hartwig, 13. D. Walker
C: 30. E.  Brown, 43. A.  McKay, 5. J.  Tait
HF: 49. L. Amelung, 3. S. Rothfield, 31. B. Arnold
F: 25. I. Eddey, 50. H. Bate, 1. M. Wilson
R: 20. A. Dalley, 36. J. Owen, 64. E. McNamara
Int: 48. N. Amiet, 58. G. Bridges, 33. M. Denahy Maloney, 15. P. Hobday, 65. C. Saultry, 60. G. Strangio, 53. I. Stutt, 11. T. Tysoe

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. EASTERN RANGES 

Round 3 – Sunday, March 25, 2.30pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

In the final game of the round, Oakleigh Chargers will test themselves against Eastern Ranges at RAMS Arena. Oakleigh has some fantastic ball winners – lead by the classy Gemma Lagioia – and some huge inclusions for the clash, with Katie Lynch – who missed the round two loss – returning, as is Isabella Gietzmann, the dual sports athlete who has returned from cricket season. The forward line for the Chargers looks more potent with captain Hannah McLaren down at full-forward, while Melanie Bertuna will play off a flank. A big omission is that of goal sneak Daisy Bateman, who was quiet last week after starring in round one. Jasmine D’Amato, Nicola Xenos and Emily Harley are other players who have impressed so far this season.

For Eastern, it is harder to find a line without a star than one with it. Georgia Macpherson, Charlotte Wilson and Lauren Szigeti provide plenty of rebound, Laura McClelland, Tahlia Merrett and Emerson Woods will be a damaging half-forward set-up, while the speed machines in Mikala Cann and Olivia Meagher will look to outrun the Chargers midfield. An interesting head-to-head will be that of rucks Sarah Kendall and Bridie Winbanks, with both smart players when it comes to positioning at stoppages.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 26. A. Micallef, 45. T. Cowan, 17. N. Xenos
HB: 6. T. Johnson, 39. T. Nichols, 32. C. O’Malley
C: 2. M.  Hill, 50. C.  Nancarrow, 30. G.  Lagioia
HF: 29. M. Bertuna, 21. C. Moon, 52. L. Harris
F: 33. G. Byrne, 14. H. McLaren, 18. I. Gietzmann
R: 11. B. Winbanks, 16. A. Porter, 41. K. Lynch
Int: 3. J. D’Amato, 68. A. Dyer, 19. E. Harley, 15. A. Ling, 22. Z. Makris, 5. A. van Oosterwijck, 70. P. Fennell

Eastern Ranges

B: 18. A. Allsopp, 50. S. Zappia, 17. M. Kendall
HB: 37. G. Macpherson, 49. C. Wilson, 48. L. Szigeti
C: 16. E.  Horne, 39. O.  Meagher, 41. J.  Richardson
HF: 38. L. McClelland, 40. T. Merrett, 3. E. Woods
F: 26. T. Brown, 42. M. Taverna, 22. C. Chamberlain
R: 46. S. Kendall, 21. M. Cann, 10. N. Cormack
Int: 34. S. Bowden, 35. B. Cubitt, 6. G. De Angelis, 47. J. Provan