Tag: Millie Brown

Brown learning off others to succeed

MURRAY Bushrangers bottom-ager, Millie Brown loves to learn.

She has had the privilege in being able to learn in one of the leading TAC Cup Girls sides, alongside coach, Sam Ahmet and AFL Women’s Academy member, Rebecca Webster. Brown says people like this not only help her learn, but make the learning process an enjoyable one.

“It was a bit slow when I was starting because I just transitioned from the boys and I found it a lot different but I’ve had some really good people around me like Sam Ahmet, he’s been my coach at the Bushies for the whole time of being here so him and a lot of the older players like Becky Webster are great to have around,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed it.”

This learning attitude still exists for Brown even though she HAs been playing football for a long time. Her football journey started as a youngster and has now flourished into a thriving career.

“I have (played footy all my life),” the 17 year-old said. “I started Auskick in Grade One, I missed Grade Prep, I was always messing around with the boys at school playing footy and through up until top-age 14s then transitioned over to the girls.”

Since transitioning to the girls, Brown has enjoyed plenty of game time with Murray, playing eight games this season. Brown also made the Vic Country squad for this year’s AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Even before knowing she was in the team, Brown was excited nonetheless.

“I am looking forward to a chance at that (playing nationals),” the Vic Country representative said. “They’re always a great time, a really great standard of footy with all the girls and coaches so yeah I’m looking forward to that. “I’m pretty comfortable with a lot of the girls now, I probably won’t be too nervous heading into that. “I’ll just give it my best shot and see how I go.”

This would not have been possible if Bushrangers coach, Sam Ahmet did not get into contact with Brown’s father, Paul Brown, who played 84 games for Geelong.

“I think Sam got in contact with my Dad actually and I went down and watched one of the trainings when they (Bushrangers) were still with the Bendigo Pioneers,” the 17 year-old said. “Then I joined fully in the next year and I think I played a bit of the V/Line cup.”

Murray endured a difficult TAC Cup Girls campaign this year, and Brown says although she’s disappointed, she was impressed about the attitude shown in the side’s losses.

“We’ve had a few losses and we were expecting to go a bit better than we did,” she said. “But you know, that’s footy, that happens. “I think our team still showed a lot of courage in the games that we did lose so the effort was still really there.”

Looking back, Brown believes that the long travel time was sometimes a factor in the side’s losses.

“Sometimes it can be difficult with long trips, I think we had to travel three hours to go to Oakleigh so that can be a factor but it makes it hard more so with training,” she said. “We’ve got a very spread out squad so we have to travel and an hour and we can only train once a week so it does make it more difficult but you work with it.”

Brown has been able to work with the scattered training, where she has been able to develop her versatility. She believes this is a strength in her game.

“I think I’m quite a versatile player, I think I can pop into different positions comfortably and just do what the coach asks me,” Brown said. “I love to learn and play off the other people around me.”

But being the trademark learner that she is, Brown still has skills in her minds that she would like to improve on.

“I’m really working on my overhead marking at the moment because I’ve grown a lot recently,” she said. “So now that I’m a bit of a bigger body on the field, I need to clunk them.”

Brown is eligible for next year’s AFL Women’s Draft and could be picked up as a father-daughter selection, given her father played for Geelong.

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.

Scouting notes: National AFLW Under 18s Championships

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

 

Vic Country: 

#1 Shelley Heath

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

#2 Julia Harvey

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

#3 Kodi Jacques

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

#5 Emily Haeusler

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

#6 Tyla Hanks

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

#7 Olivia Purcell

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

#8 Sophie Van De Heuvel

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

#9 Nina Morrison

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

#10 Nikia Webber

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

#11 Lauren Butler

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

#14 Jordyn Allen

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

#16 Molly McDonald

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

#19 Tarryn Love

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

#20 Isabella Shannon

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

#21 Rene Caris

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

#22 Rebecca Webster

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

#23 Lucy McEvoy

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

#24 Millie Brown

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

#25 Georgia Clarke

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

#26 Amy Dunn

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

#32 Courtney Jones

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

#35 Lucinda Cripps

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

 

Vic Metro: 

#1 Marnie Jarvis

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

#2 Jemma Owen

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

#3 Emerson Woods

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

#6 Maddy Prespakis

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

#7 Mikala Cann

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

#8 Georgia Patrikios

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

#9 Daisy Bateman

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

#10 Maddy Brancatisano

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

#13 Molly Warburton

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

#14 Isabella Grant

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

#15 Hannah McLaren

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

#17 Georgia Macpherson

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

#18 Abbie McKay

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

#19 Laura McClelland

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

#20 Gabby Newton

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

#21 Eleanor Brown

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

#22 Katie Lynch

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

#23 Sarah Kendall

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

#24 Charlotte Wilson

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

#32 Lauren Szigeti

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

#35 Carla Rendelmann

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

#36 Holly Bate

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

AFLW U18 National Championships: Vic Country vs. Vic Metro

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

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

Vic Country:

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

Vic Country squad:

Kodi Jacques
Balanced Midfielder | 163cm | Bendigo Pioneers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lucinda Cripps
Key Position Utility | 175cm | Dandenong Stingrays

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

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

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

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

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

Lucy McEvoy
Tall Utility | 172cm | Geelong Falcons

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

Nina Morrison
Balanced Midfielder | 167cm | Geelong Falcons

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

Olivia Purcell
Inside Midfielder | 161cm | Geelong Falcons

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

Tarryn Love
Balanced Midfielder | 165cm | Geelong Falcons

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

Amy Dunn
Ruck | 180cm | Gippsland Power

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

Emily Hauesler
General Defender | 163cm | Gippsland Power

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

Nikia Webber
General Forward | 169cm | Gippsland Power

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

Tyla Hanks
Balanced Midfielder | 157cm | Gippsland Power

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

Georgia Clarke
Key Position Defender | 177cm | GWV Rebels

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

Lauren Butler
Balanced Midfielder | 170cm | GWV Rebels

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

Rene Caris
Ruck | 184cm | GWV Rebels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Millie Brown
Tall Utility | 176cm | Murray Bushrangers

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

Emergencies:

Tamara Smith
Inside Midfielder | 161cm | Murray Bushrangers

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

Sophie Molan
Tall Utlity | 176cm | GWV Rebels

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

Vic Metro:

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

Vic Metro squad:

Carla Rendelmann
Ruck | 182cm | Calder Cannons

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

Georgia Patrikios
General Forward | 171cm | Calder Cannons

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

Madison Prespakis
Balanced Midfielder | 164cm | Calder Cannons

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

Molly Warburton
Tall Defender | 174cm | Calder Cannons

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

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

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

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

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

Georgia Macpherson
Tall Defender | 173cm | Eastern Ranges

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

Laura McClelland
Tall Forward | 175cm | Eastern Ranges

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

Lauren Szigeti
Small Defender | 162cm | Eastern Ranges

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

Mikala Cann
Balanced Midfielder | 173cm | Eastern Ranges

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

Sarah Kendall
Ruck | 178cm | Eastern Ranges

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

Gabby Newton
Tall Utility | 178cm | Northern Knights

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

Maddy Brancatisano
Inside Midfielder | 169cm | Northern Knights

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

Marnie Jarvis
Outside Midfielder | 160cm | Northern Knights

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

Daisy Bateman
General Forward | 166cm | Oakleigh Chargers

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

Hannah McLaren
Tall Utility | 176cm | Oakleigh Chargers

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

Katie Lynch
Balanced Midfielder | 179cm | Oakleigh Chargers

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

Abbie McKay
Inside Midfielder | 171cm | Sandringham Dragons

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

Eleanor Brown
Outside Midfielder | 176cm | Sandringham Dragons

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

Holly Bate
Key Position Forward | 180cm | Sandringham Dragons

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

Jemma Owen
Inside Midfielder | 165cm | Sandringham Dragons

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

Isabella Grant
Tall Utility | 176cm | Western Jets

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

Emergencies:

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

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

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

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

Season reviews: TAC Cup Girls – Murray Bushrangers

AFTER a positive start to their TAC Cup Girls campaign, the Murray Bushrangers fell away late, losing their last five games of the season. They came out firing, claiming some big wins against the Pioneers and Cannons but struggled to keep that momentum going for the rest of the season.

Position: 7th
Win-loss: 3-5-1
Percentage: 101.72%

Results:

R1: defeated Calder Cannons by 46 points
R2: defeated Bendigo Pioneers by 40 points
R3: drew with Gippsland Power
R4: defeated Western Jets by 25 points
R5: lost to Geelong Falcons by 9 points
R6: lost to Sandringham Dragons by 15 points
R7: lost to Greater Western Victoria Rebels by 6 points
R8: lost to Eastern Rangers by 46 points
R9: lost to Northern Knights by 30 points

Key players:

Rebecca Webster: Webster was a key player for the Bushrangers, providing good leadership and demonstrating her silky skills. The AFLW Academy player was a real standout with her ability to create space and shrug tackles. She was not afraid to go in hard and win the footy and was influential around the stoppages. Webster provided good run and carry across the ground and was a real play maker, creating plenty of thrusts forward to help create scoring opportunities for her teammates. She also worked hard down back providing good run out of defence and applying plenty of physical pressure through laying strong tackles on her opponents. Due to her skill and footy smarts, Webster was named in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year after receiving four nominations throughout the season for the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week. The talented midfielder continued to impress with her clean hands in congestion and ability to hit players on the lead.

Eloise Ashley-Cooper: Ashley-Cooper was a real workhorse down in defence for Murray with her ability to take impressive intercept marks and impose herself on the contest. She tackled hard throughout the season and was a real general down back, controlling the flow down in defence. Her slick hands were invaluable for the Bushrangers as she helped to get them out of trouble in defence and wasn’t afraid to take on the opposition. Ashley-Cooper’s run and carry was also a great asset for the Bushrangers as she helped to open up the play for her teammates. Her impressive footy smarts won her two nominations in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week and just narrowly missed the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year, instead named in the second team for hard work and class down back.

Olivia Barber: Barber was Murray’s leading goal kicker for the season, slotting seven goals. She was a key player for the Bushrangers with her ability to lead up at the footy and create good forward pressure by laying strong tackles and trapping the ball inside 50. The youngster has been a real revelation, displaying her footy smarts and composure under pressure, and booted two goals for Vic Country in the Under 16s win over NSW/ACT on the weekend.

Tamara Smith: She was a clear standout throughout the season, showcasing her ability to hit the packs hard and use her skills to extract the footy out of stoppages. Smith was creative with ball in hand and more importantly showed great composure when under pressure. The talented midfielder competed hard throughout the season and starred with her dash across the ground. Her ability to create forward bursts was important for the Bushrangers as her kicks into the 50 and tackling pressure added even more forward momentum for her side.  Smith was included in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year after being named in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week three times, credit to her classy use of the footy.

Grace Egan: Egan was another star down back for Murray, showcasing her marking talent and hunger to win the footy. She never backed away from a contest and used her quick hands to work the ball out of defence and move the footy forward. Egan imposed herself on the contest, laying strong bone-crunching tackles and being a real workhorse. Throughout the season, she displayed her running power with her ability to rebound off the defensive 50 and create play up ahead for her teammates. Credit to her good year she was named in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week three times.

Julia Harvey: The small midfielder/forward always caused headaches for opposition sides, buzzing around the field and winning plenty of the football when at the coal face. She would go forward and hurt opponents on the scoreboard, having good goal sense, and a knack for getting into the right positions to score. One of a number of players who was named in the Vic Country squad, she will look to provide good speed and a hard edge to the team up forward. Booted six goals in the 2018 TAC Cup season.

Millie Brown: The bottom-age AFLW Academy member managed eight games and got better as the season went on, named among the best in her final three matches. In the absence of a number of others including Webster and Egan at various times in the final few rounds, Brown provided the Bushrangers forwards with a penetrating kick from midfield, and good strength when in defence. With a year still remaining at TAC Cup level, she is a player who will be looked upon to step up in 2019.

Season summary: 

The Murray Bushrangers would not have expected to finish seventh in the ladder in 2018, but the main focus of development has been fulfilled. Many Bushrangers players have developed in leaps and bounds, and the team has strong players across every position on the ground. From Julia Harvey in the midfield to Grace Egan in defence to Olivia Barber in the forward line, Murray had options all over the ground. With many top-age players moving on from the program, it allows younger players such as Chelsea Hargreaves, Millie Brown, Kate Adams and Claudia McKimmie to step up in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

Team of the Year squad: [50]

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

Single nominations: [43]

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

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

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls- Round 9

THE 2018 TAC Cup Girls grand final has been set. The Northern Knights successfully defeated Murray Bushrangers in the first game of the day, booking themselves a grand final spot against the Falcons. But the other games throughout the day at Craigieburn were no less entertaining! 

 

Northern Knights vs. Murray Bushrangers 

By: Julia Montesano

Northern Knights:

#4 Neve O’Connor

Laid a nice tackle after her kick got smothered, displaying a good second effort. Got nice elevation in the ruck and was able to tap the ball down nicely. Attempted to take a great mark running back with the flight, but when she didn’t mark it, she laid a strong tackle to hold the ball up.

#5 Madeline Brancatisano

Did well to trap the ball on the ground and got quick hands away. The captain did that on a couple of occasions, showing that she has really good agility to bend down and get straight back up.

#18 Sarah Sansonetti

Great smother off her body which stopped a forward thrust for Murray. Tackled hard throughout the day, especially when she laid a great defensive tackle that saved a goal in the goal-square for Murray. Took a great mark in defensive 50 and stepped up her game in the second half.

#22 Britney Gutknecht

Elevated her body well to get her arms free in a tackle. Was able to take a nice mark in space but her kick got smothered by Webster’s body. Gutknecht again worked some magic in a tackle, getting a handball away while under pressure. Did well to pursue the ball on the boundary line to try and keep it in. Got a great pick-up off the deck and kicked it off one step while being tackled.

#23 Gabrielle Newton

Tapped the ball down well and came down with it swiftly to receive the quick hands from a teammate. She then kicked it into space, creating a forward thrust for Northern. Gave off two great handballs under pressure and stood tall in the tackle. Computed her weight well to gently tackle Tamara Smith, and got a holding-the-ball free kick. Newton took a great mark running back with the flight of the ball. Ended up with two holding-the-ball free kicks from strong tackles.

 

Murray Bushrangers:

#1 Julia Harvey

Got on the end of some quick hands by Millie Brown. Was a good link in the chain throughout the day and was able to showcase her speed. Harvey was a quick thinker and used the ball well, whether it was by hand or by foot. Was on the bottom of the pack plenty of times.

#17 Rebecca Webster

Read the tap well and got a nice kick away. Webster did well to follow up the kick and trap the ball after she got a handball she wasn’t expecting. Great pick-up and acceleration out of the pack. Webster was really good at reading the ball in the air and was able to bring it down to ground on plenty of occasions. Kicked nicely, smothered nicely, and tackled nicely. Produced some good run and kick off half-back. Webster excellently burst off half-back and ran well into space. She then tripped over but somehow managed to get a handball away on her knees. Good all-round performance from her. 

#19 Millie Brown

Did a good job kicking out of full-back when she was required to do so. Nice long kick around the body. Kicked it nicely inside 50, where the ball fell out the back but just went through for a behind. Read the tap well and got a good clearance away.

#22 Tamara Smith

Kicked the ball nicely inside 50 to create a scoring opportunity for Murray. Did well to break away from congestion. Never stopped trying for the Bushrangers all day, showcasing her speed and aggression in the depths of the contest.

 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Oakleigh Chargers 

By: Taylah Melki

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

#2 Renee Saulitis

She was instrumental up forward for the Rebels, bagging two goals for the game and competing hard to win the footy in the forward 50. Saulitis applied plenty of good forward pressure and looked promising when she had the ball in hand.

#16 Lauren Butler

She showed some really good footy smarts throughout the game and helped to open up space across the field with her strong leads. Butler applied plenty of good strong tackles and showed a lot of fight to win the footy both at ground level and in the air. She took a good intercept mark and used her long penetrating kick to propel her team forward. Her clean hands in and around the contest and at stoppages were important for the Rebels.

#18 Sophie Van De Heuvel

Presented a good option up forward and constantly offered good leads. She showcased her ability to run hard and covered the ground really well for the Rebels. In difficult conditions, Van De Heuvel displayed her impressive strong kick and was quite dynamic up forward.  

 #23 Sophie Molan

Molan was a clear standout for the Rebels and worked hard all game to win the ball at the coalface. Her effort in and around the stoppages allowed her to release her teammates and open up space, creating scoring opportunities for GWV. She constantly went in hard at the stoppages and scored a goal in the second term from a free kick. Molan looked dangerous all game and really showcased her footy smarts by putting the ball into space and applying plenty of forward pressure to keep the footy trapped inside their forward 50.

#25 Georgia Clarke

Clarke was solid down back once again for the Rebels and showed great composure with ball in hand. She was a real general down back and helped to control the flow of the play in the defensive end for her side. She went down with a possible back injury and received treatment at three-quarter time but returned to the field in the final term. Clarke impressed with her ability to shut down her opponent.

#35 Rene Caris

Competed really hard in the ruck and showcased her impressive leap. Caris got her hands to plenty of the ball in the ruck and displayed some good tap downs to advantage. Her follow-up work around the ground was also important for the Rebels.

 

Oakleigh Chargers:

#2 Mimi Hill

Hill showcased her physicality, applying plenty of good tackling pressure throughout the match. She fought hard to win the ball and create opportunities for her teammates.

#11 Bridie Winbanks

Had a really consistent game but laid a really strong tackle in the third quarter that affected a shot at goal. She showed great fight for the ball and never gave up around the contest, competing hard to win the ball both in the air and at ground level.

#14 Hannah McLaren

McLaren competed hard all game for Oakleigh and was never far from the contest. She covered the ground really well and was a key player for the Chargers.

#30 Gemma Lagioia

Lagioia shone with her good tackling pressure and persistent fight to win the footy at ground level. She was really clean in and around the stoppages and showcased her footy smarts throughout the match. Her ability to read the play allowed her to take important intercepts and propel her team forward into attack. Lagioia applied plenty of good forward pressure and tried hard all game to create scoring opportunities for her teammates with her long penetrating kick into the forward 50.

#38 Daisy Bateman

In difficult and windy conditions Bateman competed hard all game to try and win the footy when it came her way. Her intensity really lifted in the final term as she showed plenty of run and carry. The full forward imposed herself on the contest and applied some good forward pressure, laying a strong tackle in the last quarter. Bateman used her speed and footy knowledge to try and break through the Rebels pressure and open up space for her teammates. 

 

Gippsland Power vs. Sandringham Dragons

By: Taylah Melki

Gippsland Power:

#6 Emily Haeusler

Haeusler showcased her strong hands for the Power, taking a few strong grabs down in defence and using her long penetrating kick to move the ball forward. Her run and carry for Gippsland was important, and she showcased her footy smarts with a clever shepherd to allow her teammate a free run at the footy.

 #8 Chandra Abrahams

Abrahams imposed herself around the ground, applying strong tackling pressure and applying an impressive smother against her opponent

#27 Nikia Webber

Webber was on fire in the opening minutes of the match, kicking the first major of the game and putting the Power in good stead. She worked hard to try and open up space and displayed her strong set of hands, taking a few big grabs. Webber showcased her versatility and clean hands to pick the ball up in difficult and windy conditions.

 #28 Tyla Hanks

Hanks continued her hot form, dazzling with her impressive evasive skills and clever footwork along the boundary line to turn her opponents inside out. She also showed great composure to be able to hit targets while under pressure. Her ability to read the play allowed her to create opportunities for teammates and help propel her team forward. Whenever Hanks had the ball in hand she seemed to have plenty of time and space to think her options through and impact the play. Hanks took a huge contested grab and her ability to create a contest even when out-numbered was invaluable for the Power.

#45 Lily Van Berkel

Van Berkel took a huge pack mark in the second quarter in blustery conditions. Her ability to read the play and her strong hands made for a good marking contest for the Power. 

 

Sandringham Dragons:

#25 Isabella Eddey

Eddey really stood up in the last quarter, scoring a huge goal to get the Dragons back in front. In testing conditions she showcased her booming and accurate kick that helped to propel her team forward. Eddey applied a lot of good forward pressure to help trap the ball inside Sandringham’s forward 50 and get repeat entries. 

#30 Eleanor Brown

Brown is a really smooth mover and covers the ground well to get herself into damaging positions. She was really good with her follow-up efforts and competed hard to win the footy, whether it be aerially or on the deck. Brown also impressed with her clean pick-ups and quick hands in and around the contest. Her speed and ability to open up space across the ground was really important in creating spread for the Dragons.  

#33 Molly Denahy Maloney

She imposed herself on the contest and covered the ground really well in wet and cold conditions. Denahy Maloney positioned herself well throughout the game and moved into damaging positions to try and create forward pressure.

#36 Jemma Owen

Owen showcased her footy smarts and ability to read the play, bagging an impressive soccer goal in the last quarter of the game. Her forward pressure lifted in the final term, scoring two majors within six minutes which helped her team secure a big win. She worked really hard throughout the game to win the footy at the coalface and was not afraid to go in and scrap for the ball.

#50 Holly Bate

Kicking into the wind, Bate missed a set shot in the second quarter but went on to make amends later in the match, slotting a goal in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter. She impressed with her strong hands and took an impressive mark at full extension in the last quarter.

 

Geelong Falcons vs. Western Jets

By: Peter Williams

Geelong Falcons:

#7 Olivia Purcell

Another top performance from the talented midfielder who enjoyed many tough one-on-one contests with the Jets midfielders. She was the dominant clearance player on the day and won the football on both the inside and outside. Purcell is able to find space where there seems to be none, and can kick out of a stoppage well.

#18 Nina Morrison

Played almost exclusively at full-forward and gave us more of a sneak peak into her versatility as a permanent forward. The wind reeked havoc on any attempt on goal, with Morrison finishing with three majors and a number of behinds as well. She was strong in the air and unbeatable on the lead, she also provided serious forward pressure and continually harassed the ball-carrier to win the football back.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

An anchor off half-back, McEvoy was always there to clean up the crumbs and propel the ball forward. A noticeable trait for the captain is her ability to weigh her kicks and take power off them to find teammates 20 metres away with a “chip” kick over the top of an opponent. She is a fierce tackler and often forces her teammates to lead or run into open space and she puts it to their advantage. A booming kick who was able to be effective going long from half-back to half-forward.

#27 Denby Taylor

Played at both ends like she did in the AFLW Academy match against Geelong. She seems to have a natural aggression at the football and is more of a marking player than a spoiling one which is why she has been able to influence up forward. A huge grab in the second term was a highlight, but she just missed the set shot. Did well with a couple of handballs to teammates in the third term.

#38 Renee Tierney

The forward played her role once again for the Falcons, kicking two goals in the match and also pushed up the ground. She won a contested ball on the wing and had the vision to handball to Stephanie Williams on the outside by putting it in front of her in space.

#39 Tarryn Love

A consistent midfielder who applies fantastic pressure on the ball carrier. For a smaller player she can roost the ball a fair way and just continually buzzes around the contest. Along with Purcell, Love was one of the best midfielders on the ground.

#42 Sachi DeGiacomi

The other permanent Falcons forward had another good day out, booting two goals and causing headaches on the lead for the opposition. Almost assisted in a goal in the second term as well but the shot was touched on the line. DeGiacomi showed good bodywork in one-on-one contests and provided a presence in attack for Geelong.

 

Western Jets:

#16 Elisabeth Georgostathis

A really impressive game from Georgostathis, whose performance is always littered with pressure acts and strong tackles. She wins free kicks from her tackling pressure, and one of her best efforts was a fantastic run-down tackle on Olivia Purcell in the second term when her opponent tried to side-step her. She was composed under pressure and able to dispose of the ball quickly, winning plenty of it throughout the game. In one instance in the third term she won a 1v2 contest when she was out-numbered and was able to clear the ball to a teammate. Really held her own against a number of AFLW Academy midfielders on the day.

#30 Isabelle Pritchard

Saw plenty of the ball down her end but showed good composure when flying for marks. In the third term she took a good contested grab and did push up the ground at times, particularly when Western was kicking with the wind. Early in the fourth term she stopped a certain goal when a couple of Falcons opponents tried to handball through the defence but her pressure was enough to cause a mistake and force a throw in on the boundary line.

#43 Caitlin Greiser

Greiser kicked Western’s first and only goal late in the opening term before heading to defence. She nailed a powerful set shot with the wind to open the Jets’ account then showed off her versatility by playing in the defensive half, most notably at full-back. In one instance of a kickout she cleared the 50 metre line with the aid of the wind in the third term, and won a one-on-one on the defensive side of the wing, protecting the ball drop area and clearing the ball with a long kick to half-forward.

 

Calder Cannons vs. Eastern Ranges

By: Peter Williams 

Calder Cannons:

#2 Felicity Theodore

A composed user of the ball, Theodore spread well across the course of the game and showed sure hands in the wet conditions with a good mark on the lead at half-back. She can take the game on at times and back herself in as well.

#3 Madison Prespakis

There is not much more that can be said about Prespakis that has not been said 1000 times before. Another best on ground performance and vintage display from the midfielder who just continues to battle hard throughout four quarters. She was a dominant player once again, and aside from working hard and kicking clear of the congestion on a number of occasions, she impacts up forward week-in, week-out. Booted an early foal from a set shot 45 metres out and assisted in more forward entries. Rarely puts a foot wrong.

#21 Georgia Patrikios

I would probably have her up there as one of the most naturally intuitive forwards going around. Every time she gets the ball inside 50, you get a sense that she could kick a clever goal and she did it again on the weekend. In the first term she got goal side of a contest and kicked a fantastic goal, but her second was one for the ages. Bucketing down at times and a heavy ball and wet ground, Patrikios managed to somehow kick a goal from the boundary line with an outside of the boot snap under pressure in which should not only be one of the highlights of the round, but highlights of the season.

#23 Grace Dicker

Talented bottom-ager who has a great blend of courage and natural talent. She won a free sliding into a contest to take a mark in the second term and moments later went back with the flight in another marking contest to impact in defence. She zipped around the ground and showed good acceleration, missed a couple of kicks with the wet ball, but just kept applying enormous amounts of defensive pressure, and applied a great spoil on a much taller opponent in the third quarter.

 

Eastern Ranges:

#3 Emerson Woods

The co-captain has put together a really consistent second half of the season and in the wet, she showed good leadership with strong hands. She wins the ball on the inside and often handballs into the path of her teammates running on the outside, directing them where to run and therefore leading by her actions. She is a quick thinker and has lightning quick hands in a stoppage. Knew to keep the ball moving and get it forward at all costs in poor conditions.

#21 Mikala Cann

A classy display in the wet with another good balance of offensive and defensive acts. Cann provided good tackling pressure and just continued to attack the contest hard throughout the four quarters. Despite the wet ball she seemed to be clean with her disposal and not flustered by the slippery conditions.

#38 Laura McClelland

Not a great day for forwards but McClelland did her best in the wet. She showed good hands out in front and in the pouring rain of the second quarter, managed to collect the ball off the deck with one swift pick-up, turned and disposed of it inside 50. She applied a good shepherd on the wing in the third term to allow her teammate to win the ball and then showed good defensive pressure inside 50 with a bone-crunching tackle.

 

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Bendigo Pioneers 

By: Julia Montesano

Dandenong Stingrays:

#1 Shelley Heath

Displayed a good quick burst out of a stoppage and delivered a nice kick inside 50. Displayed good work to hold the ball up for a stoppage and did nicely to trap the ball in a two-on-one. She won that battle as she got up on her feet first.

#3 Courtney Jones

Executed a nice wrap-around tackle, and her all-round tackling was great on the day. Jones worked hard to get the ball and when it didn’t go her way, she followed up with a second effort and created a stoppage. Took a great mark when she read the ball really well off Brooke Struylaart’s centring kick, just letting the ball go onto her chest. A highlight for me was when she had a set shot at goal. Jones dropped the ball lower on her run-up and just kicked it gently through the goal, which was smart play as she knew she couldn’t hack it because the wind would just take it. Displayed a high footy IQ in that instance. Executed a great one-two with Zoe Hill and then delivered a huge kick on the run which sailed through the goals. Jones really stepped up her game in the fourth quarter but had a good all-round performance.

#15 Jordyn Allen

Executed a great passage of play when she took a nice mark on the lead, gave off a quick handball and performed a nice one-two with a teammate. She was able to evade a tackler and gave off a quick handball on the inside to Lucy Cripps. She then evaded another tackle and got a kick away once the tackle stuck, showing great strength in the contest. Executed a great pick-up and spun her way out of trouble to kick well to a lead. Displayed excellent gut-running throughout the game, despite the trying conditions. 

 

#26 Isabella Shannon

Read the conditions well when she picked up the ball and kicked it along the ground. Executed a nice kick forward and took a great contested mark. Shannon played a good all-round game, not just inside 50 but all around the ground. Did well when she won a free kick for holding the ball, got a 50 metre penalty and scored a goal.  

#35 Lucy Cripps

For wet conditions, Cripps played the boundary line extremely well. This was shown when she displayed some nice work to keep the ball inside the boundary line and keep it alive for the Stingrays. In one instance, she got tackled but followed up well to pursue the ball. Executed a great pick-up on the boundary line and then gave off a nice quick handball to Isabella Shannon. Cripps displayed good work to follow up the ball and kept running after it after it got away from her. She did really well in one instance to shepherd the ball and got a kick into space. A highlight of Cripps’ game was when she managed to kick the ball out of the pack perfectly towards a target.

 

 

 

Bendigo Pioneers:

#19 Kodi Jacques

Jacques was outstanding for Bendigo. She displayed good hustle at the contest and good running to be involved wherever she could. Jacques fought hard for the footy and it paid off when she picked up the ball swiftly off the deck and got the ball into space. Executed a nice clearance, always seeming to find the footy. Jacques was able to get good penetration on her kicks and was rewarded through winning a couple of free kicks. Laid a good smother then did well to trap the ball to ensure it didn’t go anywhere. Executed a nice kick out of a stoppage and a nice fist over the boundary line. Did well in the heart of the contest where she got a few great clearances on the day. She read the taps perfectly and did everything she could for Bendigo. 

#20 Kate Douglass

Took a great mark in the back line and was able to follow up after missed marks. Worked really hard back there.  

#28 Megan Williamson

Displayed hard running towards the footy and was a general on-field leader. Williamson is a great role model for her teammates, always going in hard at the contest. She used the footy really well on the day and tackled hard when she needed to do so. She’s not so much a ‘wow factor’ player, but she’s certainly one that never stops working, and her efforts certainly don’t go unnoticed. 

 

Team of the Week: TAC Cup Girls – Round 8

IN the penultimate round of the TAC Cup Girls competition, the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week has welcomed five debutants into the best 22 after some standout performances in round eight. While the team is comprised of plenty of familiar names, five players – four from metro sides and one from country – are in the Team of the Week for the first time in Round 8.

In defence, Western Jets tall Sharnie Whiting was a clear standout and earned her place in the back pocket, joined in the team by regular Team of the Week nominee Elisabeth Georgostathis. On the opposition, dynamic forward Alice O’Loughlin was a danger for the Chargers in their win over the Jets, and she has earned a spot in the starting six, as has ruck Bridie Winbanks who was impressive once again.

Eastern Ranges welcomes two new faces into the team, with Mikala Cann‘s superb performance through the midfield seeing her take the centre position, along with Ashleigh Allsopp who in our eyes was the most damaging of a number of damaging Ranges forwards on the day. She just kicked the one goal, but helped create more and was constantly involved in the play. The team Eastern easily accounted for had two players make the best 22 this week, with Eloise Ashley-Cooper‘s work in defence, and Millie Brown‘s – the fifth debutant in our Team of the Week – strength through the midfield earning them spots in the team.

Of all the sides this week, it is no surprise to see Geelong Falcons again having their fair share of nominees, with three players – the only team to record that number this week. Lucy McEvoy was terrific in defence, Olivia Purcell again dominated through the midfield, and Sachi DeGiacomi makes it back-to-back nominations in the team after another strong performance in the forward line. Northern Knights still had two nominees with Ellie McKenzie filling her regular spot in the team, while Gabby Newton played a different role in defence – starring and now having filled places in the Team of the Week in the ruck, forward, bench and now defence.

In what has become almost a lock each week, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ centre-half back Georgia Clarke earns her place in the side once again, with the team unlucky to only have the one nominee – but in a game which was described as a real team performance, it was hard to single out top individuals. One such top individual was on the other side, with Tyla Hanks making the team yet again, having made it all seven times from her seven games – equal with Calder Cannons gun Madison Prespakis. Speaking of Prespakis, she is joined in the side by Georgia Patrikios for the second time, with the exciting forward having a damaging performance inside 50.

The Cannons went down to the Dandenong Stingrays on Friday night, and a couple of key reasons for that were the Stingrays’ AFLW Academy members. Jordyn Allen‘s performance in defence was top-notch, filling out the space on the half-back flank, while Courtney Jones was damaging through the midfield and half-forward. If you are talking about damage up forward, look no further than Holly Bate, our Round 8 TAC Cup Girls’ Player of the Week following her seven-goal haul for the Sandringham Dragons. Both Bate, and teammate Eleanor Brown made our Team of the Week. The Dragons’ win over Bendigo Pioneers was comprehensive, but one of the few shining lights for the Pioneers was captain Megan Williamson who again stood up for four quarters against the tide, earning a spot in the Team of the Week.

This week there were a number of unlucky players as there is always, with Geelong Falcons’ Denby Taylor, GWV Rebels’ Sophie Molan and Eastern Ranges’ Emerson Woods considered the three next in line for a place in the team after strong performances.

 

Weekend Wash-up: TAC Cup Girls – Round 8

GEELONG has booked a spot in the TAC Cup Girls grand final after they got the job done over the Northern Knights. Sandringham improved to six wins and two losses in season 2018 while the Dandenong Stingrays got over the line in a thriller over the Cannons. Although the season is coming to a close, the teams are still fighting hard to end their season on a high note. 

 

Calder Cannons 4.1 (25) defeated by Dandenong Stingrays 3.9 (27)

By: Julia Montesano 

The Dandenong Stingrays kept their winning streak alive, but only just, as the Cannons fought hard all game to limit the victory to just two points. Although Dandenong had most of the play, their inaccuracy hurt them and nearly cost them the game.

Captain, Jordyn Allen starred yet again for the Stingrays, creating her own wall behind the ball. She marked everything that came her way and moved the ball swiftly and cleanly. Down forward, it was Courtney Jones who was putting in the hard yards with plenty of forward pressure and a couple of goals. Tyanna Smith was important on the wing and through the middle of the ground, running hard throughout the night and using the ball well both by hand and by foot.

The Cannons tried to nullify Allen’s impact through throwing star midfielder, Madison Prespakis up forward. Prespakis ended up making an influence herself, kicking two goals and doing all the nice things we have gotten accustomed to seeing from her. Her teammate, Georgia Patrikios played one of her best games for the Cannons all season. Patrikios laid damaging tackles, and her inside 50 pressure was fantastic. Georgie Prespakis starred in her second game for Calder, starring with a long kick that looks incredibly similar, and has the same damaging impact as her sister’s. 

 

Eastern Ranges 7.5 (47) defeated Murray Bushrangers 0.1 (1)

By: Peter Williams 

A terrific performance by the Eastern Ranges has resulted in a 46-point victory over the Murray Bushrangers at Warrawee Park. The Ranges were on top for the entire game and put in a four quarter performance, restricting the Bushrangers to just one behind – a late score in the final term – while booting seven goals themselves with seven individual goal kickers. The win means the Ranges will finish top four, having just two losses from eight games this season with one match to come.

Mikala Cann put in a best on ground performance and was everywhere early, booting a sensational goal on the run under pressure to get the momentum flowing, then assisting in some more scores as she really stood out in the victory. Emerson Woods was strong early up forward, being involved in most passages of play with the co-captain impressing, as did fellow co-captain, Charlotte Wilson in defence. But it was the multi-pronged forward line that caused headaches for the opposition with Ashleigh Allsopp, Gabriella De Angelis, Jess Provan and Laura McClelland showing Eastern’s depth inside 50.

For the Bushrangers, the midfield of Millie Brown, Tamara Smith and Julia Harvey worked hard throughout without top star, Rebecca Webster, while Eloise Ashley-Cooper stood up in the absence of Grace Egan down back. Chelsea Knight also stood up in spite of a dominant Ranges’ midfield in what was a tough day at the office for the Bushrangers.

 

Oakleigh Chargers 5.8 (38) defeated Western Jets 3.5 (23)

By: Peter Williams 

A three-goal performance by Oakleigh leading goalkicker, Daisy Bateman has helped the Chargers record a solid 15-point victory over the Western Jets at Warrawee Park to take out the inaugural Zaidee’s Cup. In a great initiative by the two teams, the players worse Zaidee’s Rainbow Shoelaces to help raise awareness for organ and tissue donation. On the scoreboard, Oakleigh proved too good early to boot five goals to one in the opening three quarters – including two opportunistic goals in the third term to Bateman – to secure the victory. The Jets booted two goals in the final term to reduce the final deficit.

Bridie Winbanks was important in the ruck, while Alice O’Loughlin and Gemma Lagioia were crucial between midfield and forward for the Chargers. Captain, Hannah McLaren was strong in defence, in what was a great team effort for the Chargers who were missing Katie Lynch, Charlotte Moon and Nicola Xenos – three of their more consistent players – due to school football commitments, allowing others to stand up in their place.

For the Jets, full-back Sharnie Whiting stood up against constant pressure, while Elisabeth Georgostathis was consistent once again with some strong tackles across the ground. Caitlin Gashi and Payton-Ani Ozols were also among the best for Western, while talls, Caitlin Greiser and Cleo Saxon-Jones got on the scoresheet.

 

Geelong Falcons 4.7 (31) defeated Northern Knights 3.5 (23) 

By: Julia Montesano

The Geelong Falcons made it eight from eight against fellow undefeated team, Northern Knights with an eight-point win. The Falcons came out of the blocks with a three goal to none first half, then the Knights fought back with a three goal to one second half. 

AFLW Academy members, Lucy McEvoy, Denby Taylor, Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison were some of the best players on the ground yet again. McEvoy and Taylor held down the fort well in defence while Purcell and Morrison chased and tackled in the midfield. They were complemented by Zoe Inei in the ruck, who delivered some nice taps towards her gut-runners. In the forward line, it was Sachi DeGiacomi who put in all the hard yards to keep her side’s undefeated streak alive. 

For Northern, midfielder, Marnie Jarvis found herself up forward on a couple of occasions, slotting through two of the Knights’ three majors. Gabby Newton was a star, this time in defence, proving she can play just about anywhere on the field. Young gun, Ellie McKenzie had another standout performance for the Knights, as did Nell Morris-Dalton. Other solid contributors included Paije Kearney and Ashleigh Snow. 

 

Sandringham Dragons 10.14. (74) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 0.3 (3)

By: Matt Balmer 

The Sandringham Dragons kept their slim TAC Cup grand final berth alive with a strong 71-point win over the Bendigo Pioneers at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Saturday.

The Pioneers got an early score, but after that moment they struggled to get the ball inside their half of the ground, as the Dragons dominated. Forward, Holly Bate booted five first half goals, eventually finishing the match with 7.2 and a set shot after the siren on a very very tough angle not scoring to finish the match. Eleanor Brown marked exceptionally well during the contest and was the best player on the ground, as a marking machine. Abbie McKay had a strong second half, while captain, Jemma Owen led from the front as always in the midfield.

Despite not booting a goal, Megan Williamson was the Pioneers’ clear best, working very hard in the defensive half of the ground. Williamson hit up multiple targets on her left boot and competed well during the match.

 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels 3.4 (22) defeated Gippsland Power 1.2 (8)

By: Matt Balmer 

The Greater Western Victoria Rebels collected their fifth win of the 2018 TAC Cup Girls competition with a hard fought 14-point victory over the Gippsland Power at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Saturday.

The match started in overcast conditions, before the heavens opened for the next hour after quarter-time, with constant rain keeping the scoring close, making for a great contest. Georgia Clarke was exceptional across half back, rebounding the ball well, while Nekaela Butler was judged the Rebels’ best. Sophie Van De Heuvel booted the best goal for the Rebels, snapping truly in the second quarter – with the AFLW Academy member playing a good game as a high half-forward.

For the Power, Tyla Hanks was the clear standout, tackling hard and winning the contested ball. Hanks had multiple inside 50s and showed why she is one of the leading performers from the TAC Cup Girls this season. She also booted a great goal in the last quarter, keeping the Power in the contest – but ultimately they left their run too late, after trailing 16-2 at three-quarter time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under 18s:

Vic Metro:

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

Vic Country:

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

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

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