Tag: Lucy McEVoy

Future is bright for women’s football

IF anyone ever had any doubts about the future of AFL Women’s, then they need look no further than this week’s V/Line Cup. The best 14-16 year-olds from across regional and rural Victoria tackled each other in Gippsland in the annual tournament held at Moe, Morwell and Traralgon. Walking away from the event, I was blown away by the quality of the competitors, not just in terms of skill development, but in terms of game smarts and decision making.

Put it down to coaching, natural development or other factors, the women’s game is growing, fast. Having watched the inaugural TAC Cup Girls competition in 2017, you had your absolute standouts like Chloe Molloy and Monique Conti tearing it up for Calder Cannons, and everyone had been talking about Isabel Huntington for years. Then there were the next group of talented players that made their way onto AFL Women’s lists such as Maddy Guerin, Sarah Dargan, Iilish Ross, Bridie Kennedy and Georgia Gee, plus others.

Fast forward 12 months, and attending the TAC Cup Girls competition in 2018, I attended 26 matches in the nine round season, and instead of having two or three unbelievable players, that had grown into double figures – that is, of players who could seriously impact at senior level almost immediately. Geelong Falcons duo Nina Morrison and Olivia Purcell were outstanding against their peers, and had no troubles finding the ball at higher levels. Mikala Cann is a perfect example of how players from other sports can adapt in such a short amount of time, while Emerson Woods joined Cann as a premiership player at senior level.

Even at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, having witnessed all the games on the Gold Coast, you saw those players who had starred at TAC Cup Girls level, go up to face the best players from across the country. Talents like Alyce Parker, McKenzie Dowrick, Nikki Gore, Nat Grider, and Chloe and Libby Haines showed why they had been held in such high regard in their respective states. All of the above earned invites to the National Draft Combine.

But what was just as pleasing at those championships, was the development of the bottom-age players who shone through. It is hard to believe the likes of Georgia Patrikios, Gabby Newton, Lucy McEvoy, Lily Postlethwaite, Montana McKinnon, Mia King and Mikayla Bowen should all be running around on the Gold Coast for their respective states again next year. Remarkably, the 2020 draft crop already has names that are worthy of representing their state, as Abbey Dowrick, Abbie Ballard, Netty Garlo and Zimmorlei Farquharson were among those double bottom-agers who still matched it with more experienced players. Add in the likes of Ellie McKenzie, Isabelle Pritchard, Renee Saulitis and Tyanna Smith who were all impressive for the Victorian Under 16s outfits, and the foundations for the future are certainly there. An extra element will be the possible father-daughter selections, with Abbie McKay (Carlton) being the first possible case study this year, while Tarni Brown (Collingwood) and Alice Burke (St Kilda) loom as two more.

While we will go into more detail about the V/Line Cup recap next week, the overall standard of the competition was arguably equal to or even better than the 2017 TAC Cup competition. Or in other words, the players are two to three years more advanced than their predecessors. In the Geelong Falcons game against Bendigo Pioneers, there were two players that were worth highlighting even early on in the game. In one instance, a player was against two opponents just inside 50 and the easiest option would have been to bring the ball out and cause a forward stoppage. Instead, she tapped the ball in front of her, not taking possession, but maintaining speed, and kept dribbling it ahead of her pursuing opponents, then without even taking possession, managed to kick it off the ground into the goal square, where a teammate soccered it through.

The second example was even better, and exemplified the game sense that players have developed over time. A player had the ball tight against the boundary line under pressure not far from the behind post. In year’s gone by, regardless of competition, most young players, especially at the age where goals are usually the only statistical measure you can brag about to your mates on the league website, would blaze away and go for the miracle snap. With so many opposition players inside 50, it would have been the easy option, and no-one would have blamed her for doing so. Instead, she calmly assessed her options and spotted a teammate amongst the chaos about 25m out, sending a nice kick to her advantage, setting up an easy shot on goal. Without being their live, you do not see these things, but it is little moments like that, which make all the difference.

Another example, just to show it was not just one game, was on the second day when a Western Bulldogs Next Generation Academy (GWV Rebels region) player won the ball at half-back. She won the ball in defence, had an opponent chasing her from a 45-degree angle to close her down, and backed her speed to take her on and get around her. She did just that, but looking ahead, the opposition had blocked up the easiest option along the wing. She would have to kick long to a contest, probably outnumbered. Instead she briefly glanced inside and in one of the toughest kicks to do, managed to hit that kick around her body to the defensive 50 where a teammate marked, and not only was it an effective kick, but it opened up the corridor, and the game, with the opponents already set in running towards the wing.

Aside from the few examples, there was more contested marking, more protecting of ball drops and ground balls, more fend-offs, more deft taps to teammates. Areas in which players generally do not always think of as first options. But the past week, it was happening more and more. There is no doubt there has been some serious critics of women’s football, and no doubt that will continue, but if you can stop and look hard enough, you do not have to look too far to see the game is blossoming, and I for one, am excited for what 2019 and beyond holds.

2018 AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australians – Profiled

IT has been a stellar year of Under-18 female football across the country and it showed on Friday night when the best of the best went head-to-head at the Adelaide Oval. From the Victoria vs. All Stars clash, the initial All Australian squad of 48 was reduced to a team of 24. We describe the attributes of each player which led them to being an All Australian.

 

BACK LINE:

Serene Watson – Queensland

A member of the Gold Coast Suns Academy, Watson is an impressive player who is composed under pressure. She has strong hands in the contest and can find the ball in space. Despite not being the biggest-bodied player, Watson is able to excite with her run and carry across the defensive 50, where she was able to get her Queensland side out of trouble many times during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships.

Lucy Cripps – Vic Country

One of the most consistent players for the Dandenong Stingrays in the TAC Cup Girls competition, Lucy Cripps rarely missed a beat during the season. She continued her good form into the Under 18 Championships, often playing a good lock-down role on some of the star forwards from the other states. She could run the ball out of defence in a flash and was pivotal in Vic Country’s success during the tournament.

Natalie Grider – Queensland

The Queensland captain and Most Valuable Player (MVP) was very unlikely to miss the final cut of the All Australian squad after a sensational Under 18 Championships. Grider had strong hands in defence and her endurance was impressive as she was able to move up and down the ground with ease. Grider’s tackling is also a feature in her game, as it often saved crucial forward thrusts from opposition teams.

 

HALF BACKS:

Jordyn Allen – Vic Country

One of the best on-field leaders, Allen never disappointed during the TAC Cup Girls competition. She was an intercept marking machine, creating a wall of her own across half-back multiple times. She continued to do this in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, and complemented her marking with great run and carry and tackling. Allen is also a versatile player who can head into the midfield when required, where she able to have the same damaging influence.

McKenzie Dowrick – Western Australia

Dowrick is one of the most talented West Australian (WA) Under 18 players and is no stranger to making the All Australian team. A member of the AFL Women’s Academy, Dowrick has been able to show what she has learnt from the academy with slick skills and smart ball-use. She is a clever left-footer who can kick precisely to hit any target, and like Allen, can make an impact in any position. Dowrick’s footy smarts are elite as she is able to read the play and execute the one percenters to get the ball forward for her side.

Sabreena Duffy – Western Australia

Like Grider, Sabreena Duffy was unlikely to miss the final All Australian cut due to her great performance as WA captain during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She was named WA’s MVP of the tournament due to being a rock in defence. Duffy’s hands were solid as she was able to mark the ball well and give off quick handballs to running teammates, opening up the game for her side. She was one that her team relied on, as she would often kick the ball out of full-back and steady the ship for her side with her precise kicking. This is Duffy’s fifth All Australian jumper in what has been an amazing career for her in Under 18s football.

 

CENTRE LINE:

Georgia Patrikios – Vic Metro

Another player who can make an impact in any position, the All Australian selectors could have put Patrikios in any position on the field. During her time at the Calder Cannons, Patrikios played mostly in the forward line and creates excitement when combining her great run and carry with her elite agility. During the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, she often floated back into defence where she was able to use her quick hands and accurate kicking to get the ball forward for Metro. The AFL Women’s Academy member arguably does her best work on the wing though and the selectors have recognised that. This is due to her outside speed and long kicks creating forward momentum for her team.

Madison Prespakis – Vic Metro

What a year it has been for Madison Prespakis. She was awarded the Calder Cannons’ captaincy, won the Best and Fairest for her club, was named MVP for Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, as well as joint MVP of the tournament, and she now has an All Australian spot under her belt. It’s hard to fault Prespakis’ year as she has dominated across all competitions with her high footy IQ. Her kicks are booming, her hands are clean and swift and her tackling is ferocious. She is also an accurate kick for goal, and often made an impact up forward both for the Cannons and Vic Metro. In her last Under 18 game, she racked up 21 disposals, five clearances and four inside 50s to cap off an unbelievable year. She was also the joint TAC Cup Girls best and fairest.

Nina Morrison – Vic Country

Nina Morrison can be talked about on the same level as Prespakis, as she too was the joint MVP of the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships and was named as the MVP of Vic Country. Morrison has made the wing her own during the TAC Cup Girls season, providing blistering speed and aggressive tackling to stop any player in their tracks. Her football smarts allowed her to use quick hands and long kicks to get the ball forward for her side. She is an exciting player to watch and is one of the most promising draft prospects this year. She was also the joint TAC Cup Girls best and fairest.

 

HALF FORWARDS:

Sophie Van De Heuvel – Vic Country

A cricketer, an AFL Women’s Academy member, a Vic Country representative and now an All Australian – Sophie Van De Heuvel’s year has been a solid one. Van De Heuvel played a great role up forward for the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels this season, taking some strong marks and kicking six goals from seven games. Her role was more dynamic in the Under 18 Championships as she was able to rack up plenty of the football as well as get the goals on the board. She was named in the best in all three matches on the Gold Coast, highlighting her consistency in the ‘Big V’.

Gabrielle Newton – Vic Metro

She is only 17, but Gabrielle Newton is already tearing the TAC Cup Girls competition to shreds. Newton is a versatile player who does her best work in the midfield, but finds herself up forward on plenty of occasions. She has one of the cleanest sets of hands in the TAC Cup Girls competition and when she’s on, she is one of the most influential players as she can turn the game on its head. She was one of Vic Metro’s most consistent players across the Under 18 Championships as she consistently racked up high disposals and complemented this with goals, making her an exciting prospect next year.

Belle Dawes – Queensland

Dawes is an exciting forward who provides plenty of X-factor with the ball in hand. She applied sensational forward pressure during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, highlighted by her strong tackling. She’s a player that loves to get amongst the goals and is a versatile mover inside 50. Dawes is a member of the AFL Women’s Academy as well as the Brisbane Lions Academy, and is eligible for the draft next year, meaning she will be able to go to Brisbane or the Gold Coast Suns if she elects to stay in Queensland. She also became a premiership player for Wilston Grange, playing a key role through the midfield.

 

FORWARDS:

Daisy Bateman – Vic Metro

If there’s a game with Daisy Bateman in it, you can almost be certain that she will kick a goal. She kicked 14 goals from seven games in the TAC Cup Girls season this year and five goals from four games in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She has also been kicking goals with Collingwood’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s team, showing that she has been able to match it up against the bigger bodies. Bateman is a great mark of the footy and is a great leading target. She can also crumb the footy off the back of the pack, sneaking in plenty of goals to make her one of the most dangerous draft-eligible forwards.

Lucy McEvoy – Vic Country

Lucy McEvoy played as a defender in the TAC Cup Girls competition, but led the way in goals during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. The Geelong premiership captain ended up with nine goals from four games, including a five-goal haul to kick-start her Gold Coast tournament. McEvoy is known for her strong hands and smart kicking under pressure. She can also bring her teammates into the game with quick hands, making herself known as a great team player. At just 17 years-old, McEvoy captained the Falcons to a premiership this year and still has one more year to show what she is made of before she is eligible to be drafted.

Montana McKinnon – South Australia

A well-deserved addition in the side, McKinnon was extremely impressive during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She had arguably the best hands in the tournament, marking everything that came her way. McKinnon could make an impact at either end of the ground and also worked hard in the ruck when needed. She is a player with a high footy IQ, as her kicks and smooth hands are second to none. Her tackling pressure was also high throughout the tournament and as a result of all these attributes, she backed up her MVP award with an All Australian spot.

 

FOLLOWERS:

Lauren Bella – Queensland

It is no surprise to see Lauren Bella in the All Australian ruck position, as she carried the load in style for Queensland. She gave her midfielders prime use of the football with her clever taps and she also was able to rove her own ball, giving off quick hands to running teammates. Bella is a member of the AFL Women’s Academy and the Gold Coast Suns Academy. She also made the 2017 Under 18 AFL Women’s All Australian team, highlighting her consistency in the ruck position.

Alyce Parker – NSW/ACT

A proficient ball-winner and a bonafide star, it is hard to look past Alyce Parker when watching her play. She is an inside brute, as she is able to extract the ball out of tight contests and boot it out of trouble, opening up the ground for her teammates. She also provides great run and carry with the ball in hand and can float up forward to get some goals on the board too. She was named as NSW/ACT’s MVP after the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships and backed up her All Australian appearance last year with another spot this year. Parker is also a member of the AFL Women’s Academy and she has most recently become a premiership player at her local club, Thurgoona. She was named best on ground in the Grand Final and kicked 18 goals from her six games.

Tyla Hanks – Vic Country

Hanks was the dominant player for the Gippsland Power this year, with the co-captain being named in the best in every game she played this year. A member of the AFL Women’s Academy and a 2017 All Australian, Hanks has now backed up her good form in the perfect way with another All Australian jumper. She is a class above with her clean hands and long kicks, which was a huge reason why the Power experienced plenty of success this season. Her tackling pressure is immense and she can also float up forward to put some scores on the board, showing how versatile she is.

 

INTERCHANGE:

Jacqueline Yorston – Queensland

Jacqueline Yorston impressed in the Under 18 Championships with her precise kicking and tackling pressure. Her hands were also clean on the inside and she was able to extract the ball out of tight contests and create space with her run and carry. She also can match it up with the bigger bodies, playing with Wilston Grange in the Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) and enjoying a premiership alongside fellow Queensland All Australian Belle Dawes.

Lily Postlethwaite – Queensland

Lily Postlethwaite could have also received the MVP award for Queensland at the end of the AFL Women’s Championships, as she was named as best-on-ground in each of the three matches at Gold Coast. Her run and carry in the midfield was exquisite as she was able to clear the ball out of congestion and break away from opponents. Her clean hands and accurate kicks were also a highlight of her game and were pivotal in Queensland’s success in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Postlethwaite is just 17 and a member of the AFL Women’s Academy, making her eligible for next year’s draft.

Olivia Purcell – Vic Country

The Geelong premiership player is a midfield star who knows how to continually rack up the possessions. She was one of the strongest tacklers in the TAC Cup Girls competition, running down opponents with ease and aggression. Her hands on the inside were elite and her kicks allows teammates to find space. Purcell is also a great clearance player and can get the ball out of trouble for her side. She has most recently won the Geelong Falcons’ top award, being named the Best and Fairest.

Eleanor Brown – Vic Metro

Rounding out the side is Sandringham’s Eleanor Brown, who has been a revelation for the Dragons this season. Brown’s run and carry in the midfield has been elite and her kicks were long and created plenty of space. Her quick hands made an impact on both the inside and the outside and she loved to use the space she had to run. Brown played mostly in the midfield during the TAC Cup Girls season but floated back to defence during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, where she was still able to make an impact with her strong hands and precise kicking. She has already had a taste at a high level, playing VFLW with the Southern Saints in the TAC Cup Girls off-season.

Eastern Ranges lead the way in TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year

THE TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year has been announced, with the Eastern Ranges getting the most spots in the team. Defender, Georgia Macpherson, midfielders, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann, ruck, Sarah Kendall and forward, Laura McClelland were the Ranges who made the side.

Premiership side, Geelong Falcons were next best with four nominees, headlined by premiership captain, Lucy McEvoy. She was joined by Falcons Best and Fairest, Olivia Purcell, AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships joint Most Valuable Player (MVP), Nina Morrison and Grand Final Player of the Match, Denby Taylor. The players were joined by coach, Jason Armistead, as the premiership coach capped off his wonderful year by being named the TAC Cup Girls Coach of the Year.   

The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Sandringham Dragons also fared well with three members each in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year. All Australians, Eleanor Brown (Sandringham) and Sophie Van De Huevel (GWV) headline the team for their TAC Cup Girls sides.

The Calder Cannons, Northern Knights and Dandenong Stingrays were the next best in line with two players from each team making the side. Cannons captain, Madison Prespakis was named in the middle while fellow captain, Jordyn Allen slotted into the back line. Georgia Patrikios joined teammate, Prespakis after a stellar year while Lucy Cripps lined up with Allen in the back line.

Knights duo, Gabrielle Newton and Madeline Brancatisano were both named in the forward line after leading their side to a Grand Final.

Oakleigh’s sole member is All Australian forward, Daisy Bateman while Rebecca Webster leads the way for the Bushrangers. Gippsland co-captain, Tyla Hanks was the only Power nominee and slotted into the star-studded midfield.

No Western Jets or Bendigo Pioneers players made the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year.

AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian Team announced

MORE than one third of the 2018 AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian side is still more than 12 months away from being drafted onto and AFL Women’s list. The 22-player team was announced at the conclusion of the State of Origin match last night, with Victoria making up more than half of the team, while Queensland’s unbelievable talent was rewarded with the most of any non-Victorian state.

Queensland’s six was one more than Vic Metro, while Vic Country had the most of any state side with seven All Australians. Western Australia (two), NSW-ACT (one) and South Australia (one) made up the remaining four places in the side. Of the All Australian side, defenders Lucy Cripps and Serene Watson, forwards Gabrielle Newton, Belle Dawes, Lucy McEvoy, Montana McKinnon, and midfielders Georgia Patrikios and Lily Postlethwaite are all bottom-agers and not eligible to be drafted until next year.

The midfield is star-studded with AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships’ Most Valuable Players (MVPs) Madison Prespakis, Nina Morrison and Alyce Parker making the side, while Western Australia’s Sabreena Duffy made the team alongside the versatile McKenzie Dowrick. South Australia’s MVP, McKinnon was named in the forward pocket and would no doubt share the ruck load with Queensland’s Lauren Bella. Natalie Grider (Queensland MVP) was named in the back pocket after a really consistent season, joined in the side by state teammate Jacqueline Yorston.

Others who made the side include AFL Women’s Academy members Jordyn Allen, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Tyla Hanks and Olivia Purcell. Daisy Bateman and Eleanor Brown are the other two players who have impressed not only at TAC Cup Girls level, but at Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s level as well for their respective sides, Collingwood and Southern Saints.

AFL Women’s Under 18 State of Origin sides announced

VICTORIA’S top junior female footballers will take on the best young stars from around the country in the AFL Women’s Under-18 State of Origin match at Adelaide Oval tomorrow night. The 24-player Victorian team contains 12 Metro and 12 Country players, including five bottom-agers who are predicted to be crucial players for their respective teams in 2019. The All Stars side is even younger, with one third of the players not eligible to be drafted until next year.

Queensland has a remarkable talent base, with 10 players named in the 24-player squad, while Western Australia is the next highest represented in the All Stars side with six. New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW-ACT) and South Australia have three representatives each, while Tasmania and Northern Territory have one player each in the final side.

Gates open at Adelaide Oval at 5.15pm, with the first bounce at 5.25pm. The game is a curtain raiser to the EJ Whitten Legends Game.

Victoria:

#1 Georgia Patrikios (Calder Cannons)***
#2 Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges)
#3 Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons)
#4 Sophie Van De Heuvel (GWV Rebels)
#5 Olivia Purcell (Geelong Falcons)
#6 Daisy Bateman (Oakleigh Chargers)
#7 Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons)
#8 Eleanor Brown (Sandringham Dragons)
#9 Abbie McKay (Sandringham Dragons)
#10 Isabella Grant (Western Jets)***
#11 Jordyn Allen (Dandenong Stingrays)
#12 Courtney Jones (Dandenong Stingrys)
#13 Bec Webster (Murray Bushrangers)
#14 Georgia Clarke (GWV Rebels)
#15 Lucy McEvoy (Geelong Falcons)***
#16 Gabby Newton (Northern Knights)***
#17 Katie Lynch (Oakleigh Chargers)
#18 Hannah McLaren (Oakleigh Chrgers)
#19 Georgia Macpherson (Eastern Ranges)
#20 Mikala Cann (Eastern Ranges)
#21 Lucinda Cripps (Dandenong Stingrays)***
#22 Rene Caris (GWV Rebels)
#23 Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power)
#24 Denby Taylor (Geelong Falcons)

All Stars:

#1 Mia King (Tasmania)***
#2 Mikayla Bowen (Western Australia)
#3 Janet Baird (Northern Territory)
#4 Alyce Parker (NSW-ACT)
#5 Lily Postlethwaite (Queensland)***
#6 Belle Dawes (Queensland)***
#7 Rikkiesha Carling (Western Australia)
#8 Tori Groves-Little (Queensland)
#9 Dee Heslop (Queensland)***
#10 Natalie Grider (Queensland)
#11 Nikki Gore (South Australia)
#12 Sabreena Duffy (Western Australia)
#13 Kitara Farrar (Queensland)***
#14 Katelyn Rosenzweig (South Australia)
#15 Alexia Hamilton (NSW-ACT)
#16 Charlotte Hammans (Queensland)***
#17 Serene Watson (Queensland)***
#18 Jacqueline Yorston (Queensland)
#19 McKenzie Dowrick (Western Australia)
#20 Matilda Sergeant (Western Australia)
#21 Kate Bartlett (Western Australia)
#22 Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide)***
#23 Lauren Bella (Queensland)
#24 Brianna McFarlane (NSW-ACT)

*** bottom-ager

 

AFLW U18 Championships reviews: Vic Country

WITH the equal-most All-Australian nominations, Vic Country’s flawless series two AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships was a joy to watch for spectators at the three grounds. There was no shortage of impressive players, with quite a few standing up and making their performances count on the big state. We take a look at some of these key players, and the results at the championships.

 

Key players:

Nina Morrison

The star of the carnival, not only winning Vic Country’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, but also sharing the overall MVP award with Vic Metro’s Madison Prespakis. Worked hard on the outside, using her speed to advantage, and then going forward and taking some important grabs, or dishing off the handballs to teammates running past. Has gone from strength to strength this season and is a bonafide star through midfield. Laid some great tackles chasing down opponents and just caused a nuisance of herself to opponents by running them ragged around the ground.

Lucy McEvoy

The carnival’s leading goal kicker, the impressive key position defender played permanent forward in series too and had the most impact of any player in terms of hurt factor per minute. In the opening game she booted five goals in a combined three minutes – three in the space of two minutes and two in the space of another minute – in what was a match-winning effort against Queensland. She then backed it up with four goals in the second game, and should have had more than her solitary one in the final match, but just missed a few shots on goal.

Sophie Van De Heuvel

Switched kicking boots with Lucy McEvoy in the final game, because after missing her chances in the second game she nailed nearly every chance she had in the final match. Was best on ground against Western Australia and in the top couple against Central Allies on Wednesday. The link-up work between midfield and forward is vital and she is the perfect player to deliver the ball inside 50. Just a classy player who uses it so well when kicking inside 50.

Tyla Hanks

It is hard to think a player of Hanks’ calibre could be underrated, but it seemed to be that way at the championships. She was able to just do what she does best in midfield without too much fanfare and did a lot of work on the inside, bursting from a stoppage, and using her smarts to hit a target up forward. While Nina Morrison caught the eye with her pace and Lucy McEvoy and Sophie Van De Heuvel were the hurt factor up forward, it was Hanks and Olivia Purcell in the midfield who did all the grunt work getting it forward.

Olivia Purcell

Her last game was unbelievable and reminded everyone of the talent she has, with 28 disposals against Western Australia. She just wins the ball and burrows under packs to fearlessly throw herself at every contest. Her link-up work throughout the carnival, as well as her versatility to go forward and provide a target at half-forward was important as well. Just moves well and added a crucial layer to the Vic Country midfield.

Courtney Jones

A player who seems to step up when going to the next level, which is really exciting. For the AFL Women’s Academy earlier in the year she was ultra-impressive, and again in the championships she was another who stood up and make her performances count. One of her biggest strengths is her ability to remain composed and just lower the eyes when going forward and hit up targets on short leads. Played that high half-forward role to perfection and deserved her All-Australian honours.

Rebecca Webster

A strong inside midfielder who can literally play anywhere. Many of the Country midfielders are smaller but nearly all of them have great strength. Webster is that taller inside midfielder who drops back and helps out the defence, or can go forward and apply good defensive pressure around the stoppages. Can find the ball with ease and spreads well, often giving the quick handball to the outside to release a running teammate.

Georgia Clarke

The centre half-back was a rock in defence and rebounded everything she could, working well with Lucy Cripps back in Vic Country’s defensive half. She pushed up the ground at times and took intercept marks on the wing, then would pump the ball forward to teammates’ advantage. Clarke positions herself well and is strong overhead, then works hard with good second efforts to clear the danger zone.

Jordyn Allen

Another consistent player who played her role across the week, moving between midfield to half-forward and some time in defence. She used her long kick to advantage and showed good leadership along with all the other captains on the team. Allen seems to find space all around the ground and unsurprisingly earned All-Australian honours for her performances. Just never plays a bad game.

Lucy Cripps

Stood tall in defence with Georgia Clarke, really good one-on-one and created good rebound out of defence. Cripps continues to improve and did well against highly rated opponents on the big stage. She was one of the 12 All-Australian squad members from Vic Country and was one of the top defenders across the carnival.

 

Results:

Monday, July 9

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

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

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

 

Wednesday, July 11

VIC COUNTRY: 1.1 | 3.2 | 5.4 | 6.6 (42)
CENTRAL ALLIES: 0.0 | 2.0 | 2.0 | 3.1 (19)

GOALS
Vic Country: Lucy McEvoy 4, Molly McDonald, Nikia Webber.
Central Allies: Danielle Ponter 2, Katelyn Rosenzweig.

ADC BEST
VIC COUNTRY: Lucy McEvoy, Nina Morrison, Jordyn Allen, Olivia Purcell, Nikia Webber, Sophie Van De Heuvel.
CENTRAL ALLIES: Danielle Ponter, Amber Ward, Nikki Gore, Rachel Dunstan, Esther Boles, Hannah Munyard.

 

Friday, July 13

VIC COUNTRY 2.1 | 2.7 | 4.9 | 7.11 (53)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 0.3 | 1.3 |  2.4 | 2.5 (17)

GOALS:
Vic Country Sophie Van de Heuvel 3, Nikia Webber, Lucy McEvoy, Courtney Jones, Nina Morrison.
Western Australia: Mikayla Hyde, Savannah Ahearn.

ADC BEST:
Vic Country: Sophie Van De Heuvel, Olivia Purcell, Nina Morrison, Courtney Jones, Georgia Clarke, Rebecca Webster.
Western Australia: Sabreena Duffy, Emma O’Driscoll, Mikayla Hyde, McKenzie Dowrick, Sonia Dorizzi, Brianna Hyde.

2018 AFLW Under 18 All-Australian squad named

VIC Metro and Vic Country players have combined to make up 24 of the 48 players in the coveted All Australian side. In terms of the TAC Cup Girls sides, the Dandenong Stingrays, Oakleigh Chargers, Greater Western Victoria Rebels, Geelong Falcons and Eastern Ranges each have three representatives in the side, while the Cannons have two.

Queensland is the next best in line with 10 players in the side, thanks to a convincing tournament in which it defeated Vic Metro for the first time ever. AFLW Academy members, Lily Postlethwaite, Tori Groves-Little, Lauren Bella, Isabel Dawes and Dee Heslop headline the side.

Western Australia has six representatives in the squad, which includes captain and AFLW Academy member, Sabreena Duffy. She is joined in the side by fellow Academy members, McKenzie Dowrick and Mikayla Bowen.

For NSW/ ACT, Alyce Parker slotted into the team after a dominant tournament and was joined by two other representatives from her state.

South Australia also notched up three representatives with NT Thunder player, Nikki Gore joined by forward, Katelyn Rosenzweig and marking machine, Montana McKinnon.

Tasmania and the Northern Territory have one representative each. Mia King had a solid tournament both in the Tasmanian and Eastern Allies outfit while Janet Baird showcased her skills in the Northern Territory and Central Allies jumper, backing up her solid form in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition.

The side will be split into two on August 31 when they take to the stage to play a curtain-raiser to the EJ Whitten Legends game. From there, the 48-player side will be split in half to determine a final 22-player All Australian team.

 

AFLW U18 ALL AUSTRALIAN SQUAD

NSW/ACT: Brianna McFarlane, Alexia Hamilton, Alyce Parker

NORTHERN TERRITORY: Janet Baird

QUEENSLAND: Lauren Bella, Isabel Dawes, Kitara Farrar, Natalie Grider, Tori Groves-Little, Charlotte Hammans, Dee Heslop, Lily Postlethwaite, Serene Watson, Jacqueline Yorston

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Nikki Gore, Montana McKinnon, Katelyn Rosenzweig

TASMANIA: Mia King

VIC COUNTRY: Jordyn Allen, Rene Caris, Georgia Clarke, Lucinda Cripps, Tyla Hanks, Courtney Jones, Lucy McEvoy, Nina Morrison, Olivia Purcell, Denby Taylor, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Rebecca Webster

VIC METRO: Daisy Bateman, Eleanor Brown, Mikala Cann, Isabella Grant, Katie Lynch, Hannah McLaren, Abbie McKay, Georgia Macpherson, Gabby Newton, Georgia Patrikios, Madison Prespakis, Emerson Woods

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Kate Bartlett, Mikayla Bowen, McKenzie Dowrick, Sabreena Duffy, Rikki Ryan-Carling, Matilda Sergeant

Scouting notes: AFLW U18 Championships – Friday, July 13

IN an entertaining final day of AFL Women’s Championships football, Vic Metro, Queensland and Vic Country came out on top in their respective matches. Overall, Metro and Country only dropped one match over the tournament’s two series, which is credit to some great team performances. Peter Williams and Julia Montesano travelled down to Bond University to note down the great individual performances on the final day of matches. 

 

Vic Metro vs. Central Allies 

Vic Metro:

By: Julia Montesano

#6 Madison Prespakis

The star of the day and the tournament for Vic Metro, Madison Prespakis was simply unstoppable. Her kicking was fantastic throughout the game, as her long kicks would create many forward thrusts. In particular, she delivered a great kick into the goal square that favoured her teammate in a one-on-one position, which was great lowering of the eyes by Prespakis. Repeated these efforts when she displayed an excellent second effort to get the ball back after being spoiled, brushed off her opponent and delivered a perfect kick to the advantage of Gabby Newton who goaled. She then hit up Madeline Brancatisano perfectly in the middle of the ground with a nice kick. Her tackling too was superb as she laid an excellent tackle on Janet Baird while she was trying to fend Prespakis off. Prespakis kept holding on and got a dropping the ball free kick in the end, which is not easy to do against a player of Baird’s speed. Followed this up with an excellent run-down tackle on Madeline Gault, displaying excellent closing speed on another speedy player in the Central Allies outfit. Capped off her day with an unbelievable goal which came about when she received the handball off Katie Lynch in the forward 50 and threaded the needle to kick her first goal of the day on a difficult angle close to goal.

#8 Georgia Patrikios

Executed good run and carry along the boundary line and followed this up with a nice kick down the line. Displayed excellent agility and run and carry through the middle of the ground and topped it off with a long kick that could’ve been her goal if Daisy Bateman didn’t kick it off the line. A highlight of her game was when she ran towards the ball, picked it up off the deck, side-stepped and kicked it forward. Kicked a nice goal to cap off her hard work throughout the day.

#9 Daisy Bateman

Executed a great spoil to get the ball out of bounds, continuing to display that same effort that she’s been displaying all tournament. Was able to read the play well when she spotted that Georgia Patrikios’ long bomb towards goal wasn’t going all the way, managing to get her toe on the ball on the goal line to make it a sure goal. Her second goal was courtesy of a good mark on the lead, which she has been able to do so well at during the tournament. 

#14 Isabella Grant

One of Grant’s best games of the tournament for mine. Displayed good agility and run and carry through the middle of the ground, managing to dodge her opponents really well. Repeated this effort in the forward line where she was able to evade her opponents once again and get the ball to Daisy Bateman. Also executed great bodywork to save a goal in the goal square and then pounced on the ball to ensure that it didn’t sail through. At this point, she displayed great run and carry once again and handballed the ball out of trouble. In another instance, she did well to push her opponent under the ball when it was looking likely that she was going to get a goal.

#18 Abbie McKay

Executed a nice pick-up off the deck and then fired off a quick handball to Madison Prespakis. Managed to pick up the ball cleanly off the deck and handball it out of congestion, displaying great hands throughout the day. Executed a great chase to tackle on her opponent, which was credit to her putting on great pressure. Followed this effort up with another chase tackle, exemplifying how good her tackling was on the day. Displayed great strength in the contest to battle through and get a kick away. Also showed great speed to get a nice clearance out of the middle of the ground.

#20 Gabby Newton

Nicely snapped a good goal for Metro’s second of the day. Took an excellent contested mark against Montana McKinnon, who was marking everything on the day for Central Allies. Newton also positioned herself at the back of the pack and used her strong hands and bodywork to get the mark inside 50, which was one of the best marks of the day in my opinion. She went back and made no mistake, kicking her second major of the day, finishing off her tournament with yet another bout of multiple goals.

#21 Eleanor Brown

Brown showed intent to win the footy all day and exemplified this through taking a great one-on-one mark. She also picked off a loose ball well and gave off nice quick hands to the middle of the ground. Executed a good pick-up of a loose ball and followed this up with a nice burst of run and carry. Displayed a good second effort after she dropped a mark, demonstrating her ability to find the footy, which she did plenty of times on the day. Executed a good trap of the footy and then gave off a nice handball out to the running Katie Lynch.

#22 Katie Lynch

A really consistent tournament topped off with another great performance from Lynch. Executed a good pick-up and quick clearing kick out of a stoppage. Did one better in another instance when she picked up the ball cleanly off the deck again and just bullocked her opponent off her and streamed forward. She showed great strength in that one-on-one battle and showed that same strength when she gave off a great handball out of the pack in a forward stoppage to Madison Prespakis who goaled. Showed great hands on the deck again with a nice pick-up and run and carry through the middle of the ground. Lynch continually stood up in tackles and often managed to follow up with deft kicks, showing good contrasts in her game.

#23 Sarah Kendall

Kendall had a superb game against the Central Allies as she had to shoulder the ruck duties in Carla Rendelmann’s absence. I thought she won the ruck battle on the day and showed this when she executed a great tap to Eastern Ranges teammate, Mikala Cann. Also made an impact around the ground when she executed a good pick-up and gave off a nice handball from the stoppage to Isabella Grant. Took a great intercept mark and followed this up with nice hands to a running teammate beside her. Displayed nice run and carry and followed this up with a good kick into the forward line.

#25 Cleo Saxon-Jones

Kicked one of the goals of the day when she executed an excellent pick-up and snap from the boundary line that went through the goals. I thought she played well as the back-up ruck, which was shown when she got a good tap to get it to the advantage of her teammate. Executed an excellent high kick to the goal square which set up a spectacular Gabby Newton mark. Picked up the ball cleanly off the deck in another instance and was able to switch the ball nicely across the ground. Did well when she fended off her opponent and got a nice high kick away towards goal.

#31 Britney Gutknecht

Another player who got on the board with two majors, Gutknecht was a dangerous forward for Metro. Executed a great pick-up off the deck and nicely ran into goal for her first of the day. She played as a deep forward and I thought she did well, thanks to her good body work. This was exemplified when she took a nice one-on-one mark. Kicked a nice goal for her second of the day, which she crumbed off a dropped mark.

 

Central Allies:

By: Peter Williams

#1 Madison Bennett

Small in stature but big in heart, Bennett always threw herself into the packs or any sort of danger with disregard for her own safety, but to help the team. She hunts the footy and spreads well. Was unlucky not to get a free after good positioning in the final term in a one-on-one in the goal square.

#2 Rachelle Martin

Kicked a fantastic goal from a quick pick up off the deck and snap, showing natural goal sense and game smarts with limited time under pressure. Another highlight was a third quarter tackle on Madison Prespakis, bringing her to ground, which is hard to do.

#4 Madeline Gault

One of Central Allies’ best, playing a fantastic role in defence. She had a good balance between offence and defence in the back half, providing run and drive, while also matching up well one-on-one. She saved a goal in the second term with a quick kick out of the danger zone outnumbered on the last line. She won a free in the third term at half-forward for going in hard, and pushed up the ground through the midfield and had a good inside 50 in the second half.

#7 Janet Baird

A real speedster who laid a fantastic early tackle on Emerson Woods and created options up forward in the second half in particular, leaping for the ball, but not quite clunking it. She followed up well with good second efforts.

#8 Danielle Ponter

A quieter first half, but finally hit the scoreboard in the fourth term where she showed off great running to receive the ball, give the quick handball off, receive it back and run into a goal from 20m under pressure and calmly slot it. She won more of the footy playing up the ground and was one of the more noticeable players in the last term.

#10 Hannah Munyard

Had her as Central Allies’ best in the match because of her four quarter efforts. She won numerous clearances throughout, and just won a truckload of the football. Munyard found space and provided an option on the outside, while also burrowing in and winning the pill on the inside. She attacks the contest with vigour and nailed a great goal in the final term with a snap after picking it up off the deck. Just a well-balanced player across the board.

#28 Montana McKinnon

A big opening half, McKinnon just moved really well for a taller player, clunking some big grabs and creating a presence both in the ruck and around the ground. She has good vision and she took a huge grab on the last line at full-back to save a certain goal. Really important early in the clash.

#29 Esther Boles

The captain played a hard working inside role and has quick hands at ground level. She attacked the contest well and earned a free kick for a high fend off in the final term. A real contested player who loves the going tough.

 

Queensland vs. Eastern Allies 

Queensland:

By: Julia Montesano

#4 Chloe Gregory

Executed a nice hack kick out of a stoppage, demonstrating her ability to get it and kick it. Picked the ball up well cleanly off the deck and followed this up with good run and carry to get the ball forward. Executed a great spin and step around her opponent followed by a beautifully delivered kick to Isabel Dawes. Picked up the ball off the deck cleanly again and managed a lovely kick down the line while she was getting tackled. This kick landed into the hands of her teammate perfectly, demonstrating her ability to spot up a teammate. Gregory also displayed excellent run and carry on the boundary line.

#5 Lily Postlethwaite

Executed a great holding the ball tackle in the opening minutes to win a free kick out of the middle. Took a great running mark and followed this up with a lovely stream into the forward line. She just missed the snap at goal but nonetheless it was a great effort to stream down there. Executed an excellent pick-up and followed this up with great running down the line, displaying excellent pace. Did well to push off her opponent off the ball and force her over the line, showing great strength. Highlights of her game included when she burst out of the middle for a fantastic clearance and followed this up with a centering kick from a boundary throw in to earn Charlotte Hammans a set shot on goal.

#6 Zimmorlei Farquharson

Farquharson’s hands were spectacular during this match. She took a nice lead-up mark to a Serene Watson kick and also took an excellent running mark. In this instance, she dived on the low ball and it landed into her chest, demonstrating her ability to read the play brilliantly. Also took a great overhead mark in a one-on-one contest. Farquharson executed an excellent spin and kick forward that nearly sailed through the goals. She also showed great strength to get a handball out while being tackled.

#7 Isabel Dawes

Smothered the ball well in one instance, managing to execute one percenters in her game. Won a free kick moments later and hacked it down the forward line with a nice kick to Lily Postlethwaite. Hacked a kick out of congestion again, showing her ability to just get the ball and kick it. Also took a nice mark on the lead, capping off a solid tournament for her.

#8 Jade Ellenger

Executed a good pick-up off the deck and a nice hack kick. Displayed a great second effort when she didn’t get the ball in the first instance as she then got a handball out on hands and knees. Picked up the ball well off the deck again cleanly, spun and then followed this up with quick hands. Ellenger displayed excellent run and carry and also took a nice mark, followed by delivering a nice kick into the forward line. Executed a fantastic run-down tackle in the middle of the ground on one of the most dangerous players, Alyce Parker who was streaming through for a clearance, which I thought was a highlight of her game.

#14 Tori Groves-Little

Groves-Little’s tackling stood out from the rest on the day. She laid an excellent strong tackle to win herself a dropping the ball free kick in the middle of the ground. Followed this up with another great tackle that disposed her opponent of the ball. In another instance, she wrestled the ball out of her opponent’s hand and ran and carried through the midfield. Followed up this great run with a nice kick down the line.

#18 Ellie Hampson

Hampson displayed her remarkable agility during this match, side-stepping many opponents that came her way. In one instance, she side-stepped two opponents and then got the ball away and followed up this same effort again in the third quarter. Hampson took an excellent mark on the last line of defence to save a goal, complementing her agility with strong hands. Throughout the match, she continued to side-step opponents with ease and also managed to hit targets after some incredible footwork. At one point, she grabbed the ball and held it in one hand, fended off a player and got a clean handball out. Hampson used her big, long kicks to kick well out of full back when she was required to. Also executed a fantastic run-down tackle to earn herself a set shot on goal.

#20 Natalie Grider

Was brave to run back with the ball in defence and executed a nice kick out of defensive 50 after that. Grider took a nice one-on-one mark, displaying strong hands. A highlight of her game was when she executed an excellent goal-saving tackle on the goal line, making her opponent kick it off her knee which therefore didn’t count for a goal. Followed this effort up by chasing another nimble player on the ground in Netty Garlo.

#24 Charlotte Hammans

Another great game from Hammans who did plenty of nice things during the match. She was able to chase the ball down and get a handball out while being tackled. Also executed great run and carry and followed this up with a good handball into space. Laid an excellent strong tackle to win the holding the ball free kick and then followed this up with another solid tackle to stop her opponent from hacking it out of defensive 50. She kicked what turned out to be the winning goal after reading a perfect centring kick from Lily Postlethwaite.

#26 Serene Watson

One of the most consistent players on the day, Watson was huge for Queensland. Executed a nice pick-up and followed this up with a good spearing pass to a teammate who was able to get it forward. This started the link that led to Queensland’s first goal of the day. Watson displayed great run and carry throughout the day and also took a great intercept mark off an Allies hack kick. Was able to pick up the ball cleanly and kicked the ball well down the line.

#34 Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw

Led up well to the ball in the forward line and got two goals for her hard work inside 50. She led to the ball well in the first quarter to register Queensland’s first major of the day. Tawhiao-Wardlaw won a free kick and got her second goal of the day before half time. She took another great forward line mark in the third quarter, demonstrating her strong hands throughout the day.

 

Eastern Allies:

By: Peter Williams

#1 Alyce Parker

One of the performances of the carnival. Practically would have topped most statistical categories, and only needed to just finish off a few shots on goal that missed or fell short. But the list of what she did do well is fairly extensive as she cracked in hard, laid big tackles, won the contested ball, continually cleared it out of congestion and burst away with a first few quick steps. At times it looked like there were three of her out there, winning the ball in defence and being on the end of it in attack. Strong in the air or at ground level, stands up in tackles and wins the ball on a string, she just continually runs, and despite her team going down, she never gave in and thought she was best on ground in the loss.

#10 Camilla Taylor

Had a few opportunities throughout the game, winning a free kick in the second term and kicking long, then kicked inside 50 to a contest later on, but the ball was a bit high in the air and could be spoiled. Taylor also had a shot on goal from 30m out but just missed. She was presenting up forward which was good to see.

#11 Eliza Cumming

Had a busy first term just buzzing around the stoppages and showed good hands at half-forward and a strong body at the contest. Faded out a little bit then took a great intercept mark in the final term and kicked forward. Presented up the ground.

#14 Mia King

Another impressive game from King, who gets in under the pack and wins the footy, while also running hard to the outside to be on the receiving end as well. Almost got herself a goal in the first term, but could not quite get boot to ball in space. She worked it well out of defence at a stoppage in the second quarter and did well later on to spoil the ball across the line and stop a mark.

#16 Lauren Stevenson

A solid game from the defender who showed good composure under pressure and was able to kick calmly out of defence. She got involved in each term and just moved the ball well and also laid some big tackles and added defensive pressure to the ball carrier. Stevenson took a good intercept mark and kicked forward in the fourth term.

#17 Netty Garlo

Stepped up again after a solid game too and has that great acceleration and teamwork to use her speed to advantage. Laid a great tackle in defence in the opening term, and then bumped an opponent off the ball deep in defence to save a likely goal. Moved into the midfield at times and won a free for going in hard, then showed off her jets by putting the after burners on and bursting away from a would-be tackler.

#20 Alexis Hamilton

The player of the first term, Hamilton nailed two vital goals. Her first was from a free kick and the subsequent set shot from 35m out was perfect. Then, with a second to go, Hamilton clunked a huge mark – she had to get it one bite before the siren – and kept her composure to slot the goal at put the Eastern Allies up at quarter time.

#21 Chloe Haines

Was one of many trying to hold up the fort in defence, thumping the ball long. It was hard work back there later in the game, but she worked hard one-on-one and rebounded as best she could.

#25 Libby Haines

Was a quieter game compared to her past two, but worked hard in the back half, diving down for a mark in the fourth term but could not quite hold it. Kicked out on occasions and used her long boot to advantage.

#28 Alice Mitchell

Another solid effort from Mitchell who is strong overhead and presents around the ground. A reliable user who has solid vision, she just worked hard throughout the match.

 

Vic Country vs. Western Australia

Vic Country:

By: Peter Williams

#1 Shelley Heath

One of the best on the ground in the first term, she ran and ran and ran. She had a fantastic run along the wing and worked hard for second and third efforts, playing the role that got her into the side. Nimble with great agility, she broke down the opposition defence and continually pushed hard throughout. Still solid throughout the game presenting, but the first term was huge. Took a good mark one-on-one in the final term as well.

#6 Tyla Hanks

Started well with some early touches on the inside and rotated between midfield and forward. Had a good sidestep and a lovely weighted kick to Gippsland Power teammate Amy Dunn in the forward pocket in the second term. Hanks showed good tackling pressure inside 50 in the third quarter and produced a good spoil on the wing to knock it out of bounds. I probably mozzed her for her set shot from 20m out saying ‘you can put this one in the books’ before as what always happens, she missed, hitting the post.

#7 Olivia Purcell

The next best behind Sophie Van De Heuvel, Purcell was fantastic throughout the match, racking up the ball at will and winning plenty of clearances. She played up forward too and had a big role transitioning between midfield and forward. She set up Van De Heuvel with great hands in the opening term, and in the third quarter, narrowly missed a shot on goal herself. Produced a fantastic weighted kick to half-forward in the third quarter and kept running throughout the game.

#8 Sophie Van De Heuvel

The star of the show, bounced back from missing opportunities in the last game, to nailing her chances in this one. Kicked a great running goal in the first term, clunked a big mark in the forward 50 in the third term and delivered, then pounced on a loose ball and snapped truly just after that. She also pushed up the wing and took some strong marks and set the play up for her teammates up forward.

#9 Nina Morrison

Morrison showed great vision at half-forward and gave off quick hands, using her pace and agility to advantage. Had a good charge in from half-back to lay a tackle in the middle and then ran forward and and gave the quick hands to Sophie Van De Heuvel in the forward 50. Took a good mark in the forward 50 but her shot just fell short.

#18 Denby Taylor

Created good run and intercept work throughout the game. Taylor pushed up from half-back and took the game on which was good to see. In the third term, she broke a tackle with the arm break, and kept running before kicking long inside 50.

#21 Rene Caris

The AFLW Academy ruck worked hard around the ground and took some big grabs in the defensive half of the ground. She was strong overhead and pushed out to the wing, spreading well.

#22 Rebecca Webster

Another good game on the inside, Webster played well on the inside and won a lot of the ball in contested situations. She also dropped back and used the ball cleanly coming out of defence. Worked well with Olivia Purcell in the middle and was able to execute the ball out to the running teammates on the outside.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Had the opportunities she had the past two games but just missed the set shots. She was still very strong overhead, led really well and took some great marks, trapping the ball and making sure her defender had no opportunity to spoil. She seemed unbeatable in the air, and while she missed three gettable chances, she got on the board with a great snap on goal in the fourth term. Still a very good performance and dominant in the air.

#24 Millie Brown

The bottom-ager showed some tricks, twisting and turning in midfield and across half-back. She danced around a few opponents and was able to dispose of the ball cleanly, while also showing good defensive pressure in attack to knock a defender off her kick.

#25 Georgia Clarke

Prominent early when the going was hot. Took a couple of vital intercept marks and possessions, kicking long up the wing. She was able to move the ball well and in the second term kicked to Tyla Hanks’ advantage up forward.

#32 Courtney Jones

Her best game of the carnival for mine. Just presented all day long, was clean by foot and delivered low darts into the forward line, hitting up Lucy McEvoy twice, and Jordyn Allen at half-forward. Kicked a good goal from a set shot in the final term after setting up all her teammates. Great movement and agility throughout, a really strong performance.

 

Western Australia:

By: Julia Montesano

#3 Brianna Hyde

Executed a great pick-up and calm kick to a teammate on the wing. Read the play well to get it out the back and also delivered a nice kick out of full back, rather than rushing it and hacking it. Hyde did well on the last line of defence and took a great intercept mark to complement her good work. Also delivered a nice kick to a teammate down the line, which demonstrated her nice kicking throughout the day.

#5 Mikayla Hyde

Led well to the footy and took a good mark on the boundary line. Executed a good pick-up off the deck and followed this up with a great second effort to tackle Emily Haeusler after she got dispossessed. Consequently, she won the free kick, which was the start of a passage of play that turned into a scoring shot. Hyde delivered a nice kick down the line and was rewarded for her hard work with a goal. In this instance, she read the ball well off the back of the pack to kick her first goal of the day.

#9 Sabreena Duffy

Duffy was Western Australia’s best player in this match in my opinion. She chased the ball well and gave off a nice handball in close. Picked the ball up cleanly off the deck and delivered a nice kick into the forward line. Executed a great hack kick off the ground to get it forward, which showed great awareness because she knew she couldn’t pick it up otherwise players would come at her. Delivered some good long kicks out of full back when she needed to and also showed great agility from the kick-ins, as she ran one way then the other, evading her opponent. Executed a great fend-off and then gave off a good handball back to McKenzie Dowrick. Duffy shifted to the midfield in the third quarter and did well to lower her eyes from a centre square free kick and spot up Roxanne Roux on the lead. Did a great job to get a kick off the side of her boot to an outside teammate as well.

#17 McKenzie Dowrick

Like her sister, Dowrick’s long kicks were a common feature in her game. She delivered a great long ball into the forward line and also executed a nice long kick down the line on multiple occasions. Did well to break away from a tackle and head forward. Showed great strength when she still managed to get a handball away while being tackled by Olivia Purcell, who is a strong tackler. Also demonstrated great work to spoil it over the line with two opponents near her.

#20 Abbey Dowrick

Cleanly picked up a spilt ball off the pack and followed this up with a nice long kick. This was a trait of her game as she used her kick to penetrate the ball forward. Demonstrated great run and carry throughout the day, and loved to get into space. Dowrick showed good agility and got a nice handball away.

#22 Sonia Dorizzi

I thought Dorizzi was able to win the ruck battle at times and tried hard when she was not winning that battle. Did well to come to the ball and caresses it into her chest, rather than waiting for it. Gave off a good handball back to reset the forward structure, rather than just hacking it inboard. This showed her football smarts on the day. She also executed a long kick into the forward line and took a great intercept mark, capping off a good day for her.

#23 Emma O’Driscoll

O’Driscoll was a solid rock in defence for the Black Swans. Took a great intercept mark and also executed a great spoil to get the ball away from a mark. Did extremely well to accelerate to the ball and spoil. Picked up the ball cleanly and then burst out of defence. Took a great intercept mark where she positioned herself well and got forward of the ball to take it uncontested.

Van De Heuvel’s three helps Country make it three from three on the Gold Coast

VIC Country have finished their AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships carnival with a relatively comfortable 37-point win over a persistent Western Australian side on the final day of competition today. Sophie Van De Heuvel was the star with three majors, finding her accuracy in the final game, and being a damaging player up forward for the winners.

Country came out strong with two early goals to set up a handy 13-point buffer which was cut to 10 going into the first break. Nikia Webber slotted the first, converting from a nice one-on-one mark in the 50, while Van De Heuvel threaded the eye in the pocket to claim her major. For Country, Shelley Heath and Olivia Purcell had a heap of the ball with Lucy McEvoy providing a good target forward, while Abbey Dowrick accumulated plenty of the ball for WA alongside Sabreena Duffy, with Mikayla Hyde dangerous up forward.

The Black Swans managed to sneak in their first major late in the second term via a Savannah Ahearn soccer goal, but it did not change the margin at half-time, as it came after Country’s six behinds. Amy Dunn’s identical misses from the pocket made up two of them as she was influential up forward, while Purcell continued to motor away and Nina Morrison came into the game from the wing. For Western Australia, Duffy continued to impress out of defence, while Emma O’Driscoll did her bit in the back half with her one-percenters keeping the pressure on Country’s forwards.

The Victorian side were less wasteful in the third term as Van De Heuvel dominated, picking up plenty of the ball and bagging her side’s two goals. Purcell was again influential, carrying the ball forward and narrowly missing her chance to hit the scoreboard. Meanwhile, WA managed to maintain touch with Mikayla Hyde converting the easiest of chances from the goal square to set the margin at 17 points and give her side a chance. Her twin, Brianna Hyde was also good, nipping around the contests.

With it all to play for, Vic Country remained strong and stormed home with three final quarter goals seeing them out with a good win to end their carnival. Stars McEvoy and Morrison finally hit the scoreboard in the last quarter, along with Courtney Jones, while Western Australia were kept to a sole behind. Van De Heuvel was instrumental in the second half and finished with three goals, while Purcell racked it up through the middle and Morrison found her way into the game to have an impact. For Western Australia, Duffy started off solidly in defence and kept up the pace through the midfield alongside McKenzie Dowrick. Mikayla Hyde was their most dangerous forward, and perhaps deserved more than her one goal.

Final Scores:

VIC COUNTRY 2.1 | 2.7 | 4.9 | 7.11 (53)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 0.3 | 1.3 |  2.4 | 2.5 (17)

GOALS:

VIC COUNTRY: Sophie Van de Heuvel 3, Nikia Webber, Lucy McEvoy, Courtney Jones, Nina Morrison.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Mikayla Hyde, Savannah Ahearn.

ADC BEST:

VIC COUNTRY: Sophie Van De Heuvel, Olivia Purcell, Nina Morrison, Courtney Jones, Georgia Clarke, Rebecca Webster
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Sabreena Duffy, Emma O’Driscoll, Mikayla Hyde, McKenzie Dowrick, Sonia Dorizzi, Brianna Hyde

Scouting notes: AFLW U18 Championships – Wednesday, July 11

THE story of the day was Queensland getting an upset win over Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships in a wonderful performance. The other winners of the day were in-form teams, Vic Country and Western Australia. Julia Montesano and Peter Williams were there to take notes on all the action that unfolded.

 

Queensland vs. Vic Metro

Queensland: 

By: Julia Montesano 

#5 Lily Postlethwaite

Played a fantastic game for Queensland and was one of their key players during the game. Delivered a nice composed kick to a teammate in the back half, showing composure with the ball in hand. Also demonstrated great run and carry which was highly effective in the fast-paced game. Her tackling was particularly a highlight as she laid an excellent run-down tackle to win herself the opportunity to create a scoring shot for Queensland.

#6 Zimmorlei Farquharson

Farquharson was the game-changer for Queensland, kicking the last two goals of the game to seal the upset win for her side. One goal was truly wonderful, as she kicked it from a difficult angle near the boundary line on the run. Her second goal bought the house down, as it proved to be the match-winner and was reward for her hard work during the day. She ran hard inside 50 and showed good acceleration when she needed to.

#7 Isabel Dawes

Displayed excellent run and carry through the forward line and was a jet inside 50. Her tackling was aggressive and it paid off, as she was able to put forward pressure on the Metro defenders. Displayed great agility to kick a goal, which was a highlight of her game.

#10 Jacqueline Yorston

Delivered a nice kick into the forward line to a player on the lead and laid a good tackle inside 50 to dispossess the ball of her opponent in a danger zone. Followed this up with another great tackle on Maddy Brancatisano, stopping her in her tracks. Delivered a perfect centering kick to a player in the forward line, demonstrating her great kicking. Also combined it with her agility when she executed a clean pick up off the deck and delivered a nice kick down the line.

#14 Tori Groves-Little

Laid a lovely run-down tackle in middle of the ground in the first quarter and won a free kick for efforts. Groves-Little did some clever things throughout the game such as executing a great slide to trap the ball. Did well to execute a great pick-up off the deck and followed this up by displaying wonderful running down the win. When she aimed to spoil and it didn’t work out for her, she immediately tackled her opponent, displaying a good second effort.

#18 Ellie Hampson

Displayed nice agility to dodge around her opponents and get the handball away. Backed this up with a great pick-up off the deck, followed by a clever spin around her opponents and a nice kick while being held. Also took a great mark running back with the flight of the ball, demonstrating her good intercept work.

#20 Natalie Grider

Provided good run and carry for Queensland and ran into space well. Took a great contested mark and also took a fantastic intercept diving mark, demonstrating strong hands. A highlight of her game was when she emerged out of a park and accelerated well with the ball in hand.

#24 Charlotte Hammans

Executed a great side step around two opponents to run into a goal just outside the goal square, which was Queensland’s first major of the day. Executed a great kick around her body inside 50 and gave off a great quick-fire handball to Zimmorlei Farquharson who was streaming into goal, being the catalyst for that game-changing passage of play. Led well and took a great mark lace-out. Also showed good composure to lower her eyes and spot up Serene Watson on the wing.

#26 Serene Watson

Took a nice mark in the centre of the ground. Although she knew she had space, she didn’t blaze away, showing good composure. Laid a great tackle to put the pressure on Metro in a stoppage. Demonstrated great reading of the footy when she trapped it behind the back the back of the pack. A great role player for Queensland.

#27 Tiarna Ahwang

Executed a good pick-up off the deck and a nice kick down the line. Delivered a nice high kick inside 50 and showed great run and carry before she disposed of the ball, highlighting her exciting pace. Gave her teammates the opportunity to attack footy in space with these kicks, proving to be very important in terms of forward 50 entries. Did well to trap the ball after she dropped the mark and executed a nice kick around her body, showing her clever footwork.

#35 Lauren Bella

Bella fought hard in the ruck and did extremely well, bringing the ball down well for her midfielders. She took a good intercept mark in the middle of the ground to send it back forward for Queensland, displaying good composure under pressure. Competed hard all day and is having a really consistent tournament.

 

Vic Metro: 

By: Peter Williams

#3 Emerson Woods

Had a really promising start to the game, working in close and using her superior vision to find teammates on the outside. Her agility and ability to move swiftly through traffic was on show, and she covered the ground well.

#6 Madison Prespakis

Another impressive game from the Calder Cannons skipper who just keeps on performing at a high level. She won plenty of the ball, often running into space and using her high work rate to work over her opponents and win the footy on the wing or in holes around the field. Prespakis kicked the final goal of the game, and while it was not enough to change the result, she finished the game with a terrific 20 disposals. She dropped back into defence and helped out, mopping up on a number of occasions.

#8 Georgia Patrikios

Clean, classy and versatile, Patrikios spent some time at half-back as she did in game one, then would push up the ground and use her foot skills to advantage in the front half. Just goes about her business well and rarely wastes a touch, kicking over all distances and having the perfect balance between inside and outside.

#17 Georgia Macpherson

One of Metro’s best in the game and was a rock at half-back intercepting everything she could. Macpherson took some fantastic intercept marks and rebounded out of the back 50, making the Queensland side have to pick their way through the set-up and put more pressure on her back there. Really strong one-on-one in the air and ground level.

#18 Abbie McKay

Another solid performance from the Sandringham Dragons midfielder who was often found in the middle of a contest, right at the coal face. In the opening term she took a strong mark and also won an important one-on-one along the wing. In a midfield full of stars, she was important on the inside.

#20 Gabby Newton

Newton played a really inside game and was often found handballing to teammates in space more so than her traditional long kicking. She still had a number of long bombs going forward, but covered the ground really well, winning the football in each third. A good four-quarter performance overall.

#21 Eleanor Brown

Stood out across half-back and through the middle, particularly in the second half. She mopped up everything in defence best she could, and just found the ball with ease. Ended up with the second most disposals behind Prespakis and won the majority of them in a contest. Took some vital marks and spent plenty of time through the midfield.

#22 Katie Lynch

A really prominent opening term, Lynch was often the player her teammates released to on the outside as she ran past. A long kick of the football, she was not as influential as the first game, but still managed to find the football and use it fairly well.

#27 Gabby De Angelis

The exciting forward was strong and clean throughout the game and while she does not win a heap of the football, she uses it pretty well. In the second term she used her goal nous to pounce on a loose ball in the goal square and kick Metro’s first major of the game.

#32 Lauren Szigeti

An important defender for Metro, she had a really nice run along the wing in the second term and was able to rebound plenty in the second half. Thought her way through her kicks and stood tall when the defence was under siege in the final term.

#36 Holly Bate

Did not win a heap of it, but booted a goal and set up another. She took a good running mark in the second term and had a crack from long range, where it was spilt and Gabriella De Angelis managed to boot the goal. In the final term, a 50m penalty saw Bate kick the easiest of goals from the square.

 

Vic Country vs. Central Allies

Vic Country:

By: Peter Williams

#1 Shelley Heath

Used her trademark dash to create some run and carry down the field across the four quarters. She was strong in the contest in the final term, taking a good mark under pressure, and kept running with a series of handball receives and kicking forward to break through the opposition defensive zones.

#3 Kodi Jacques

Always battled away hard, using her body underneath packs and laid some strong tackles. Courageously went up for a mark in the final term, backing back with danger coming from all sides, and despite not holding it, backed it up with second efforts.

#6 Tyla Hanks

Just worked hard across four quarters rotating between midfield and up forward. Early on she had some great bursts out of congestion and was strong overhead and at ground level. In the second term, Hanks produced a great snap from the boundary line and she delivered a good pass to the advantage of Lucy McEvoy who won a free and goaled. A consistent, four-quarter effort.

#7 Olivia Purcell

Played a really strong inside game, winning the ball at the coal face, then spreading into space where she was able to provide an option. Purcell also laid some strong tackles and linked up well in transition, often winning the ball at half-back or in the middle and sent it forward with interest.

#8 Sophie Van De Heuvel

One of Country’s best, just needed to finish a little better. Had numerous opportunities and kicked four behinds. Despite this, she had the opportunities to hurt the opposition and was constantly involved in the play. Van De Heuvel created good run in the forward half and used her long kick to advantage.

#9 Nina Morrison

One of Vic Country’s top midfielders, Morrison backed up her top performance in the opening game with another sensational effort in the second match. She showed good vision and speed throughout, and had multiple bounces along the wing in the fourth term. Threw herself into contest after contest with little regard for her safety and took a really strong mark in the air, clunking it cleanly with pressure from behind.

#10 Nikia Webber

Almost like a defensive forward’s game, Webber was able to provide a target, while also working hard to lock the ball inside the forward 50. On paper she might not have won a lot of possessions, but every time she went near it, she was either putting pressure on an opponent, or opening up space for a teammate. She was rewarded for her hard work in the third term with a good mark on a lead and goal from a set shot. A really underrated performance and once that was worthy of being in the best. 

#14 Jordyn Allen

A strong captain’s game from the midfielder who managed to cover ground really well and find plenty of the football. She used her thumping kick to clear the defensive zone and go deep inside 50, and also took a number of intercept marks in the middle of the ground. Had a shot on goal from 50m after taking a bounce, but her shot had an unlucky bounce and bounced back into play.

#21 Rene Caris

The ruck showed off her versatility by also playing forward and back, winning a lot of the ball in midfield, then taking some important grabs around the ground. Her last quarter was really important in defence, clunking a couple of contested intercept marks and clearing the zone when Central Allies attacked vigorously.

#22 Rebecca Webster

Played on the inside and predominantly used her body to shield opponents from winning the easy clearance, particularly working hard against Nikki Gore when Gore was starting to take control in the middle. She laid a strong tackle in the third term to force a turnover, and continued to present around the ground.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Another match-winning performance up forward from the bottom-ager who is so strong and smart inside 50. She booted her first goal in the second term, and then had an opportunistic moment in the moments later off the deck, while winning a freekkick and converting from 15m out in the third term, then running into an open goal in the final term. Just a dominant performance up forward.

#35 Lucy Cripps

Worked her opponent well and restricted her direct opposition too much opportunity to do damage. Was outmarked by Katelyn Rosenzweig on one occasion giving away the free kick, but otherwise did really well. She charged out of defence, peeling off her opponent and providing a contest up the ground, and took some good intercept marks.

 

Central Allies:

By: Julia Montesano

#7 Janet Baird

Displayed great run and carry through the middle of the ground, as she just loves to get and go. She also did well defensively when she caught her opponent in a tackle and did well to dispose her of the ball.

#8 Danielle Ponter

Made a real impact in this game with two of her side’s three goals. Kicked a great goal from just inside the boundary line to kickstart her day. Displayed great reading of the play to run onto the ball for her second major. I thought her hands were also strong and were handy up forward for the Allies.

#10 Hannah Munyard

Munyard for me was one of the Allies’ key players and was also a good role player in Monday’s match. Plays a real team role and shows great hunger to win the ball. Did well during the game to show clean hands when picking the ball up off the deck, following this up with getting a kick away. Delivered a nice composed centering kick to an opponent in another instance, showing composure when she gets the ball on her foot. Also showed her aggressive side when she laid a great run-down tackle on Sophie Van De Huevel to stop her in her tracks.

#20 Rachel Dunstan

Dunstan’s hands were superb on the day as she used great body work to take a defensive mark. Followed this up with a good lead-up mark in defensive 50 to stop Country from penetrating forward. Used her body well to take a lovey contested mark, using her strong hands to effect. Also demonstrated nice kicking when she executed a good kick down the line.

#22 Jaslynne Smith

Kicked a long ball out of defence that gave her teammates opportunity to run onto it. Showed courage when she ran back with the flight of the ball and got a kick away. Did well to trap the footy and cause a stoppage after some good run and carry from Vic Country was showing worrying signs for Queensland.

#23 Teah Charlton

Took a nice lead out mark, displaying great hands. Followed this up with a good lead out mark on the chest, repeating her efforts effectively to get the ball forward for the Allies. Did well to get a kick away while being tackled

#24 Amber Ward

Trapped the ball well and followed it up by smothering Tyla Hanks’ kick towards goal. Took a great mark and displayed good run and carry to stream away immediately, showing great footy smarts and acceleration. Demonstrated good strength in a one-on-one defensive contest and also when she was able to fend-off a player and get the handball away. A highlight of her game was when she laid an excellent smother on the last line of defence to save a certain Rene Caris goal.

#25 Bella Clarke

Executed a great spoil that prevented a mark inside 50 for Country’s Rene Caris. She then took a great mark on the last line of defence to prevent a goal, showing her defensive prowess. Used good body work on Amy Dunn as well, demonstrating that she is talented in many defensive areas.

 

Western Australia vs. Eastern Allies 

Western Australia 

By: Julia Montesano 

#5 Mikayla Hyde

Hyde came to life in the second half, kicking all three of her goals in that period. Nothing is to be taken away from her first half though as she showed consistent hunger to win the footy. Displayed nice run and carry throughout the match and also good composure, such as when she handballed the footy backwards to create time inside 50 rather than blaze into the goals. Hyde kept running after the ball even when she got tackled, showing her intent to go hard at the footy and take heavy hits. Her leading towards the footy was superb and she blew me away when explosively led to the ball to kick her first major of the game. For her second goal, she got on the end of a downfield free kick and kicked the goal from a difficult angle. Ran in for her third major of the day in a great forward display.

#8 Ella Smith

Laid a great tackle to dispossess her opponent of the footy. Also delivered a nice kick towards the centre of the ground. Showed great agility when she executed a nice pick up and quick kick out of the pack. A very agile player who runs well across the ground.

#9 Sabreena Duffy

Duffy is one of the most composed players I have seen and is great to watch. Took a great one-on-one intercept mark from a full back kick in and then executed a great pick-up in defence. This was followed by lovely run and carry down the wing of the ground, displaying her exciting speed. Read the play well when it came off a pack and composed herself well with a kick to the wing. I thought she did really well on the last line of defence when she was there. Did well to take the game on out of full back when she played on to herself and provided great run and carry. Kicked a bullet of a ball to Mikayla Hyde which was outstanding, as it displays the variety of kicks she can pull off. Took a great intercept mark and displayed wonderful run and carry once again to create a chance for Western Australia up forward.

#10 Matilda Sergeant

Like Duffy, Sergeant is another composed player who is a great user of the footy. Her intercept marking was amazing, and she was often in the right spots to send the ball straight back inside 50 for Western Australia. Sergeant also read the play well and showed excellent desperation to get the handball out to Ella Smith while she was falling over near the boundary line.

#14 Rikkiesha Carling

Carling was buzzing around the contest and tackling hard all day. She picked up the ball well and showed agility when she performed a good spin inside 50. A highlight of her game was when she laid a great tackle to dispossess her opponent of the ball.

#17 McKenzie Dowrick

Dowrick was influential as always, being a playmaker in her side’s victory. She took a good mark down the line and also delivered a great long kick towards inside 50. Used this long kick again down the line, which gave her teammates the opportunity to win the ball aerially. Accelerated well out of a pack and followed it up with a good quick-fire handball to Sabreena Duffy. Showed her kicking prowess again when she excellently pinpointed kick down the line to Ella Smith. Did well defensively too when she laid a great smother to save a kick for goal inside 50.

#20 Abbey Dowrick

Dowrick is one of the most aggressive players I’ve seen which is a fantastic trait of hers. Blew me away when she executed an excellent pick-up off the deck and had a great long range punt at goal that sailed through. Displayed good hands when handballing and also marking, such as when she executed a great lead up mark in the forward line. Laid a clever tackle late in the match where she didn’t exactly dispossess her opponent of the ball, instead simply snatching it out of her hand. Dowrick goes hard at every ball and is always hungry to win it.

#23 Emma O’Driscoll

O’Driscoll was solid all day for Western Australia, simply playing her role and not overdoing it. She showed a great burst of acceleration with the ball in hand out of defensive 50. Also laid a great tackle on Chloe Haines to save a certain goal, which was a fantastic effort.

 

Eastern Allies 

By: Peter Williams

#1 Alyce Parker

A smooth mover who was once again among the Eastern Allies’ best. She thinks her way through situations and has a nice blend of pace, acceleration and agility to get out of trouble. Wins plenty of the ball and has a high work rate, laying strong tackles. Parker knows how to extract the ball out of a stoppage and always puts in a consistent four quarter effort.

#8 Georgia Garnett

A classy player who is a quick thinker and has a smart sidestep. She used good pace and nous to trap the ball in the air and keep it in front of her during the third term, and just won the football in and around the contest, spreading to the outside.

#11 Eliza Cumming

A real strong outside player who can also win the ball on the inside. Not as consistent across the four quarters as some, but the tools she has show her talent is untapped. She has good hands in traffic, a lovely burst of acceleration and a strong frame she uses to outmuscle and out-body her opponents.

#14 Mia King

King was busy early and is one player who has great agility and can win a one-on-one. Still a couple of years away from being draftable, King has class and can kick long to dangerous areas. Really classy player who used a neat sidestep to kick long and set up a goal

#16 Lauren Stevenson

One of Eastern Allies’ top defenders on the day, she kicked long out of the back 50 and was really consistent in her defensive efforts across the four quarters. The highlight was a fantastic goal-saving tackle on the last line on the red-hot Mikayla Hyde in the second term to deny her an easy goal.

#17 Netty Garlo

Just has that raw talent and X-factor, while the consistency is not there yet, you get the sense with time and development it will piece together. She has elite acceleration and her ability to close down opponents in short spaces of time is exciting. Garlo also hunts the opposition when they have the ball and is a strong pressure player. In the opening term she used her acceleration to lock the ball in at a contest against two opposition players and did well not to be caught holding the ball.

#20 Alexia Hamilton

Hamilton was another piece in the defensive puzzle for the Eastern Allies who was strong overhead and positioned herself at half-back. She took a number of good intercept marks and looked downfield to kick long and open up the game for her teammates. She was one of the top performers on the day and put pressure on her opponents throughout the match.

#21 Chloe Haines

One of Eastern Allies’ top players on the day, Chloe Haines was terrific across the ground, finding space on the wing, kicking long and then getting back and helping out the defence. She laid some great tackles to win a free kick in the midfield, then kicked the ball off the ground for a goal in the third term. She capped off her game with an important smother inside 50 in the final quarter to lock the ball in there.

#24 Brea Quinlivan

Was the main target up forward for the Eastern Allies across the four quarters and just missed opportunities to put it on the scoreboard early. She kicked a couple of behinds, but finally was rewarded for effort with a great goal on the run near the boundary line in the third term just before the siren. Constantly involved in the play up forward and made multiple leads, working hard to double back towards goal.

#25 Libby Haines

Played primarily in defence and moved up the ground at times, Libby Haines was another in the Eastern Allies best. In the first term she laid two fantastic smothers showing a great defensive intent, then laid a great tackle on the wing in the second term to dispossess her opponent and kick long. She took a strong one-on-one mark in the third term and kicked clear, then showed good vision at half-back to handball to a teammate in space.