Tag: Nina Morrison

AFLW Draft preview: Geelong

ONE of the two new teams in the AFL Women’s competition is Geelong and the Cats have gone a different way to the other new addition, North Melbourne. The Cats recruited most of their players off their own Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s list, and come into the competition with a wealth of experience already. Now, they just need some young players to back this up and they have plenty of that at their disposal.

 

GEELONG AFLW LIST (20 /30)

  • Cassie Blakeway
  • Maddie Boyd
  • Hannah Burchell
  • Mia-Rae Clifford
  • Richelle Cranston
  • Julia Crockett-Grills
  • Kate Darby
  • Renee Garing
  • Rebecca Goring
  • Melissa Hickey
  • Erin Hoare
  • Jordan Ivey
  • Meghan McDonald
  • Maddy McMahon (rookie)
  • Phoebe McWilliams
  • Aasta O’Connor
  • Danielle Orr
  • George Rankin (rookie)
  • Anna Teague
  • Hayley Trevean

DRAFT PICKS

1, 2, 7, 14, 20, 24, 35, 46, 56, 61, 66, 70, 73, 76, 78

POSSIBLE DRAFT PROSPECTS

Geelong has an array of talent at its disposals, with many Vic Country stars nominating to play for the Cats in 2019. The most talked about player have of course been TAC Cup Best and Fairest and AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships Most Valuable Player (MVP), Nina Morrison. Morrison is a likely number one pick and will end up at Geelong either way, having nominated to stay in her hometown. She could be joined by Geelong Falcons premiership teammate, Olivia Purcell. Purcell won the Falcon’s Best and Fairest and will give the Cats some aggression and inside pressure in 2019, should she be selected. Denby Taylor, who was best on ground in the Falcons’ premiership win, is another exciting player who has nominated to play in the blue and white hoops next year. Taylor proved her versatility in that match by shifting from her normal position in defence to playing on the wing. A player that is not from the Falcons but is just as good is Rebecca Webster. The AFL Women’s Academy member has played for the Murray Bushrangers in the TAC Cup Girls and is able to rotate through defence and in the midfield. She’s one who can break through congestion and clear space with great run and carry and long kicking. Likewise, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels key defender, Georgia Clarke, who is another who will add to the Cats’ side in 2019.

AFL Women’s Draft Combine wrap

AN Eastern Ranges duo and the potential number one pick in the Under 18 AFL Women’s Draft have emerged as the top performers from the AFL Women’s Draft Combine yesterday.

Geelong Falcons star, Nina Morrison walked away with two combine records, smashing the Yo-Yo test with an 18.2 score, as well as clocking 7:14 in the 2km time trial. Morrison remarkably finished top five in six of the possible seven events. Eastern duo, Emerson Woods and Charlotte Wilson won their respective events in the 20m sprint and standing vertical jump, with Woods easily breaking the previous record when she produced a dazzling 3.129-second sprint. Wilson achieved a 56cm standing vertical jump, two centimetres more than any other participant.

Wilson finished second in both the running vertical jumps, and finished third in the 20m sprint and Yo-Yo test. Woods finished second to Morrison in the Yo-Yo test, third in the agility and 2km time trial, and equal fifth in the standing vertical jump. Both Eastern girls produced top five finishes in five of the seven tests.

Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ Sophie Van De Heuvel and Murray Bushrangers’ Rebecca Webster recorded the next best overall results, finishing top five in three events, with the pair taking out the left and right running vertical jumps respectively. In the other events, Gippsland Power co-captain, Tyla Hanks clocked up 8.788 in the agility to break the record in that test ahead of Geelong Falcons onballer, Olivia Purcell.

Of those participants outside Victoria, Queensland ruck, Lauren Bella was impressive with top five finishes in the running vertical jumps, while Tasmania’s Libby Haines finished fifth in the 20m sprint with a time of 3.299 seconds, and fourth in the 2km time trial. Others who achieved top five finishes were GWV Rebels, Rene Caris, Lauren Butler and Georgia Clarke, Sandringham Dragons’ Eleanor Brown, Northern Knights’ Madeline Brancatisano and Dandenong Stingrays’ Jordyn Allen.

20m sprint:

1 Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro) 3.129 seconds
2 Sophie Van De Heuvel (GWV Rebels/Vic Country) 3.242
2 Charlotte Wilson (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro) 3.242
4 Madeline Brancatisano (Northern Knights/Vic Metro) 3.25
5 Libby Haines (Burnie/Tasmania) 3.299

Yo-Yo Test:

1 Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country) 18.2
2 Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro) 16.7
3 Charlotte Wilson (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro) 16.5
4 Lauren Butler (GWV Rebels/Vic Country) 16.3
5 Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power/Vic Country) 16.2

Agility:

1 Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power/Vic Country): 8.788
2 Olivia Purcell (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country): 8.809
3 Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro): 8.859
4 Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country): 8.878
5 Jordyn Allen (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country): 8.891

2km time trial:

1 Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country) 7:14
2 Eleanor Brown (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro) 7:29
3 Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro) 7:39
4 Libby Haines (Burnie/Tasmania) 7:51
5 Lauren Butler (GWV Rebels/Vic Country) 7:52

Standing vertical jump:

1 Charlotte Wilson (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro) 56cm
2 Rebecca Webster (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country) 54cm
2 Sophie Van De Heuvel (GWV Rebels/Vic Country) 54cm
4 Georgia Clarke (GWV Rebels/Vic Country) 52cm
5 Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro) 50cm
5 Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country) 50cm
5 Rene Caris (GWV Rebels/Vic Country) 50cm

Running vertical jump (right):

1 Rebecca Webster (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country) 63cm
2 Charlotte Wilson (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro) 62
3 Rene Caris (GWV Rebels/Vic Country) 61
4 Lauren Bella (Bond University/Queensland) 59
5 Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country) 59

Running vertical jump (left):

1 Sophie Van De Heuvel (GWV Rebels/Vic Country) 70cm
2 Charlotte Wilson (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro) 68cm
3 Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country) 66cm
4 Lauren Bella (Bond University/Queensland) 65cm
5 Rebecca Webster (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country) 65cm

Future is bright for women’s football

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Number Crunching: VFLW – Grand Final

THE 2018 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s finals series concluded with a nail-biting final between Hawthorn and Geelong. In a tight, low-scoring game, Hawthorn claimed the premiership over Geelong 4.6 (30) to 2.5 (17). The Cats were simply not able to break through Hawthorn’s tight defence. The Hawks were able to keep Geelong to only one goal until early in the fourth quarter, when Kate Darby finally broke through. Overall possession throughout the game was tight and reflected the opportunities both teams had, with 52 per cent in the Hawks’ favour and 48 per cent with the Cats.

Hawthorn’s season-defining defence proved to be too much for an otherwise strong Geelong side. Chantella Perera became the well-deserved Lisa Hardeman Medal winner, leading her defence with 13 disposals and four marks. Perera’s command in the back line was assisted by veteran player, Meg Hutchins. Hutchins, who gathered 17 disposals and a game-high seven marks, finally got her first premiership after 16 years of football. Additionally, Hawthorn key forward, Phoebe McWilliams had an explosive game. McWilliams took a game-high four contested marks to lead to a total of six marks.

Geelong still was able to perform despite facing a superior Hawthorn side. Young gun, Nina Morrison had an excellent game with 20 disposals and five tackles. Morrison is certain to get drafted into Geelong’s 2019 AFLW side and continued to solidify that notion with her performance in the Grand Final. Her Falcons teammate, Olivia Purcell was able to shine through with 19 disposals and a game-high eight clearances. Madeline Keryk also continued her blistering finals form with 18 disposals and nine tackles.

Totaled team stats- VFLW Grand Final

TEAMGBHDKHMKSTKSFFFAHODI50s
Hawthorn4515176598615124522724
Geelong2512185248512152920634

 

Top player stats- VFLW Grand Final

PLAYERTEAMGBHDKEKIEHEHIEHRCMUMMKSTKS
Chantella PereraHawthorn00516112245
Meg HutchinsHawthorn011033151672
Phoebe McWilliamsHawthorn02344214262
Nina MorrisonGeelong00549270005
Olivia PurcellGeelong004285101111
Madeline KerykGeelong00485130229

 

Scouting notes: VFLW Grand Final

HAWTHORN’S Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side claimed the premiership on the weekend with a hard-fought victory over Geelong at Etihad Stadium. We took note of some of the impressive players on the day.

 

Hawthorn vs. Geelong

Hawthorn:

#1 Emma Mackie

Went for a ride on Anna Teague on the wing but was pinged for unrealistic attempt. Then had a crack with a clever snap on goal which bounced past three running Geelong defenders, before unluckily bouncing into the post. Made her chance count when she got another one in the second term with an attempt off a step and kicked it through the middle to hand Hawthorn an 11-point lead in the 13th minute.

#5 Chantella Perera

With Geelong attacking early with momentum, it was Perera’s tackle on a Geelong opponent that earned an important free kick and rebound down the other end. Then had another impressive defensive moment with an intercept mark then pass to Pepa Randall who found a target inside 50. Her drive off half-back and ability to take the game on earned her Best on Ground honours.

#6 Julia Crockett-Grills

Kept her feet in a one-on-one contest and gained some vital meterage for her team going forward. Did a lot of work that might have gone unnoticed on the stats sheet, but really contributed to the on-ball brigade.

#7 Phoebe McWilliams

Good one-one one mark just inside 50, then delivered the ball on a platter to Tamara Luke leading out from the square. Had a golden chance from 15 metres out in the second term almost identical to Clifford in the first term, and McWilliams also missed. She started to have a real impact in the second despite the miss, leading out and taking another strong mark then kicking to the danger zone 20 metres out from goal. Had a chance in the fourth quarter and decided to pass it off but it fell short.

#8 Rebecca Beeson

Worked hard at the coal face with a big opening term, collecting five disposals and laying a tackle. Cracked in hard and won a one-on-one contest in the second term on the wing. Beeson led all-comers by half-time with 11 disposals and three tackles to be a key reason why the Hawks were on top. Almost bit off more than she could chew on the wing but got out of the tackle. Won a holding the ball free against Nina Morrison on the wing.

#13 Ebony Nixon

Massive cheer rang out across the Hawks’ defensive end when Nixon cleanly picked up a ball and kicked to a teammate on defensive 50 to stop a potential Geelong goal.

#14 Olivia Flanagan

Just attacked the contested hard and showed cleanliness at ground level. Could not quite keep it in on the wing early in the game, but buried herself at any contest she could throughout the opening stanza. Had a shot on goal in the second term from the set shot but it fell short and was rushed across the line. Always busy around the stoppages.

#21 Pepa Randall

Made her presence felt early, stopping Maddy McMahon from running into the 50 with a front on bump. Then delivered a lovely ball inside 50 to a teammate on the lead. Took a strong grab in the middle intercepting to send it back inside 50.

#22 Tamara Luke

Took a strong one-on-one mark leading out and converted the set shot. Impressive second term saw Luke win a number of free kicks for getting to the ball first.

#24 Rosie Dillon

Sold a bit of candy at half-forward to kick inside 50 and force a stoppage.

#25 Meg Hutchins

A rock in the back half, was quiet early, but had a good kick in the second term along the wing. Drifted forward and then had a quick snap which missed. Headed back down the other end and then took a big intercept mark on the last line. Showed good power to dash off half-back and kick long along the wing. Stood tall with a strong intercept mark off a Nina Morrison kick going inside 50.

#28 Sarah Perkins

Had an early shot on goal from a quick snap, which went through for a behind. Had a second chance off a split second, missing the shot as she was pushed down and it went out on the full in the second quarter. Got the Hawthorn faithful up and about with a snap 15 metres out after juggling the mark, playing on and kicking around her body – was the first Hawthorn inside 50.

#31 Jess Sibley

Big grab in defence to intercept and clear to the defensive 50 in the final term with the game on the line.

#32 Kim Ebb

Won a free kick for copping head-high contact at ground level inside 50, showing courage.

#33 Emily Gilder

Had a set shot from 30 metres out which nailed the game and put it beyond doubt with seven minutes remaining in the final term.

#36 Jayde Van Dyk

Goal-saving tackle one-on-one on her opponent, Michele Fedele when she was running into an open 50 and the bounce went astray. Unbelievable chase and stopped a certain goal. Laid another strong tackle just out from goal when her opponent tried to turn around and Van Dyk wrapped her up. A terrific effort in the third term when Geelong was doing all the attacking, standing up strong and kicking clear, while taking a number of marks.

#40 Ellie MacDonald

Won a free kick for being held after going in for the ball at half-back when Geelong was attacking and kicked along the wing. Forced a ball-in on the wing with a big grab.

#45 Mikala Cann

Took a really strong intercept grab at half-forward, then showed off her tackling prowess late in the first term with a massive tackle to force a throw-in inside the Hawks forward 50. Just attacks the contest and does not take a backwards step.

 

Geelong:

#1 Jamie Woollett

Provided a big front on bump to Ellie MacDonald in the first term, but helped her opponent up in a show of good spirit. Had a few nice touches on the wing. Continued showing her physicality with a strong tackle on the wing.

#2 Danielle Orr

Fell into the hole and took a good uncontested grab, but like so many others, missed the chance with the wind from the doors being opened at the Lockett end pushing it to the left.

#3 Hannah Burchell

Had a chance to kick an early goal in the second term but just missed and it was knocked across the line for a behind.

#4 Cassie Blakeway

Showed courage in the last term sliding in to mark the ball and copped front on contact.

#6 Maddie Boyd

Showed great defensive pressure on her opponents early, laying an important tackle 15 metres out and then slotting the set shot with a neat stab kick. Took what looked to be a strong mark on the 50 but it was not paid. Used her body well.

#7 Mia-Rae Cllifford

Took a huge grab at the top of the square, but missed from 20 metres out. Had a chance in the third term but was rushed across the line for another behind.

#8 Kate Darby

Gave Mia-Rae Clifford silver service after winning a free and then delivering her kick inside 50 on a platter to Clifford, who unfortunately missed the set shot. Was unlucky not to be paid a mark in the second term on the wing, and then Hawthorn cleared it, leading to a Phoebe McWilliams goal. Won a free kick in a forward ruck contest for being pushed in the back, but missed her attempt. Nailed her third chance in the final term, taking a mark under a high ball and kicking truly.

#16 Olivia Purcell

Won an important one-on-one clearance and got her hands on the ball early. She was the equal highest disposal winner on the ground at quarter time with six, firing out five handballs to teammates outside the stoppage. Massive on the inside throughout the game, not only winning the ball but laying 10 tackles. Really important on the inside just getting to the right positions and giving it off cleanly to teammates on the outside.

#20 Nina Morrison

Looked all class in the first term when she spun around and fired out a handball to a teammate in traffic in forward 50. Morrison was putting good defensive pressure on her opponents, spending time on the more experienced Meg Hutchins at times. Just kept winning the football with important touches, racking up 10 disposals by half-time, and also laying three tackles. Won a hardball at a contest in the third term at half-forward then kicked inside 50. Morrison had a massive impact in the final term and continued to rack up the ball at will with some big inside 50s.

#24 Maddy McMahon

Copped a big front-on bump early in the first term but bounced straight back up and was one of the Cats’ best with six touches (four kicks) in the quarter. Had another big moment in the final term with a nice kick inside 50 to the the hot spot early which resulted in a Kate Darby goal.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Almost kicked a miracle goal from 50 metres around her body but the ball bounced up and was taken away. Fended off an opponent in the second term and kicked forward, got more involved with a couple of powerful kicks to try and inspire her team.

#40 Anna Teague

Showed courage and strength at ground level in the first term to go in hard while protecting herself to pick up a contested ball and hold it up.

#45 Madeline Keryk

Had a big first half, often kicking out of defence with nine kicks from 10 disposals and mopping up for the Cats.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Grand Final

THE stage is set for traditional rivals, Hawthorn and Geelong to make history in the inaugural Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Grand Final. The Hawks and Cats have been even all season on the ladder and will get to show what they’re made of in the first game played at Marvel Stadium.

 

HAWTHORN  v. GEELONG CATS

Sunday, September 23, 12.30pm
Etihad Stadium, Docklands

Form line:

Hawthorn:

Ladder position: 2nd
Wins: 12
Losses: 2
Percentage: 180%

Geelong:

Ladder position: 4th
Wins: 10
Losses: 3
Draws: 1
Percentage: 163%

 

Last time they met:

Hawthorn 6.5 (41) defeated Geelong 3.7 (25)

In the biggest match of the round, it was Hawthorn who got the early breakaway after an even first quarter. The Hawks kicked three goals to Geelong’s one in the second quarter, giving them a 14-point lead at the main break. They were able to extend their lead in the third with one goal, while keeping Geelong goalless. The Cats had a chance to fight back in the last quarter, but kicked 1.4, which gave Hawthorn the win.

AFLW duo, Sarah Perkins and Rebecca Beeson each kicked two majors on the day while Claire Dyett and Rosie Dillon booted through one each. Beeson had a dominant game with 22 disposals, five marks and six tackles and was complemented by fellow goal kicker, Rosie Dillon, who racked up 17 disposals and eight tackles. Skipper, Emma Mackie was huge on the day with 20 disposals and five tackles while Jayde Van Dyk was as resilient as ever down back with 18 disposals, four marks and five tackles.

Despite her side’s loss, Richelle Cranston was the leading disposal-getter on the ground with 25 touches as well as three marks and five tackles. Madeline Keryk wasn’t far off though with one goal, 24 disposals and nine tackles in another great game in the blue and white hoops. Kate Darby and Mia-Rae Clifford also got on the scoreboard with one major each. Darby gathered 12 disposals, three marks and eight tackles while Clifford was kept quiet with six disposals.

GOALS

Hawthorn: R. Beeson 2, S. Perkins 2, C. Dyett, R. Dillon
Geelong: M. Clifford, M. Keryk, K. Darby

BEST

Hawthorn: J. Van Dyk, R. Dillon, K. Ebb, S. Perkins, E. Mackie, M. Cann
Geelong: R. Cranston, A. Teague, E. Coventry, R. Goring, M. Keryk, K. Darby

 

Players to watch:

Hawthorn:

#1 Emma Mackie

Mackie has been outstanding this season and has managed to find her form from the start of the year in the last couple of weeks. Last time she faced the Cats, she racked up 20 disposals and five tackles, then followed this up with three goals, 18 disposals and four tackles in the qualifying final against the Pies.

#6 Julia Crockett-Grills

Crocket-Grills is an interesting situation, playing against the team that she has recently been recruited to in the AFL Women’s. An agile midfielder, Crockett-Grills can burst the game open with her speed and footy smarts. Against the Pies two weeks ago, she gathered 10 disposals and laid five tackles.

#8 Rebecca Beeson

Rebecca Beeson has been one of Hawthorn’s most consistent players throughout the season, playing roles in both the forward line and in the midfield. Lately, she has been in the midfield and has made a huge impact. She was dominant against Geelong in Round 16 where she gathered 22 disposals, five marks, six tackles and kicked two goals.   

#24 Rosie Dillon

Dillon has strung together a couple of good games in the lead-up to this match. She arguably played her best game of the season against Collingwood in week one of the finals, as she gathered 20 disposals, two marks and four tackles to go along with her major. Against Geelong in the home and away season, she was again one of the star players for the Hawks with one goal, 17 disposals, three marks and eight tackles.

#36 Jayde Van Dyk

Jayde Van Dyk well and truly deserved the VFLW Rising Star award after a breakout season in the brown and gold. Van Dyk was a lock in the backline each week and shut down her opponents extremely well. Her agile frame also allowed her to get involved in the contest with great run and carry. She got heavily involved against the Cats in Round 16 where she racked up 18 disposals, took four marks and laid five tackles.

#45 Mikala Cann

The Eastern Ranges midfielder has only played a handful of games for the Hawks, but they have all been of a high quality. Cann is an inside bull who tackles hard and runs hard in and out of stoppages. She’s one who can turn a game on its head with her explosive impact. Cann was the leading disposal-getter on the ground against Collingwood with 21 disposals, three marks and eight tackles.

 

Geelong:

#6 Maddie Boyd

Maddie Boyd’s aerial ability is really going to trouble the Hawks. Her contested and uncontested marking has been superb this season and has played a big part in getting the Cats to Marvel Stadium on Sunday. Against the Pies, she kicked two goals and took seven marks. Last time she faced the Hawks, she gathered 11 disposals and took five marks.

#7 Mia-Rae Clifford

Mia-Rae Clifford’s move into the forward line has been a revelation, as she has kicked 15 goals from 16 games. Clifford also made the VFLW Team of the Year thanks to her consistency with the ball in hand. She didn’t kick a goal against the Pies last week, so she would come into this game hungry for a couple of majors. Clifford still managed to rack up 11 disposals and lay six tackles in the fierce contest.

#16 Olivia Purcell

Olivia Purcell comes into this game with a chance to win her second premiership this season. She has rightfully earned her spot in the team with some great inside work and ferocity around the contest. This was highlighted last week when she laid 14 tackles against the Pies, not giving their midfielders an inch of space. Against the Northern Territory (NT), she got plenty of the ball, racking up 19 disposals and kicking a goal.

#20 Nina Morrison

Purcell’s premiership teammate, Nina Morrison is in the same situation as her, vying for her second premiership this season. There’s not much Morrison hasn’t won this season, winning both the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest alongside Madison Prespakis. Morrison missed last week’s game against the Pies after she was named best-on-ground in the Cats’ win over NT. In that game, she gathered 18 disposals and laid seven tackles. She is a key inclusion in this match.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Richelle Cranston will be a worrying prospect for Hawthorn with her strength around the contest. Cranston has the tenacity to bullock through packs and win the hard ball to get it out of congestion, which has played a big part in Geelong’s success this year. Her finals campaign has been outstanding with two goals, 19 disposals, five marks and six tackles against the NT. Against Collingwood, she racked up 15 disposals and laid seven tackles.

#45 Madeline Keryk

Madeline Keryk gets better as each week goes on, dominating the midfield with her tenacity and footy smarts. Keryk hits the packs hard and her kicking and handballing is precise. She is a ball magnet and has demonstrated this in her last two games. Against the Thunder, Keryk gathered 16 disposals and laid nine tackles. She bettered this when she faced the Pies, with 24 disposals and four tackles.

 

Preview:

These two teams have been evenly poised throughout the season, with both teams always in contention for the premiership flag. Both have knocked off minor premiers, Collingwood, and Geelong has had the added bonus of knocking out the NT. Hawthorn comes into this game off a break, giving a chance for players such as Olivia Flanagan to return from injury and slot back into the side. Geelong has kept it simple in the lead-up to the Grand Final, bringing in star draft prospect, Nina Morrison to impose her outside run on the Hawks’ midfield.

The midfield will be littered with Under 18 Victorian representatives, with Morrison, Olivia Purcell, Mikala Cann and Emerson Woods to all play a role on the day. Experienced players, Rebecca Beeson and Emma Mackie could go up against Richelle Cranston and Rosie Dillon in what should be an enthralling battle. In the 50s, Geelong captain, Rebecca Goring could see eye-to-eye with Adelaide Crows forward, Sarah Perkins while Jayde Van Dyk could match up on Mia-Rae Clifford.

It’s also a match-up of two of the best coaches, with Patrick Hill and Paul Hood matching up tactics against tactics. Geelong coach, Hood believes his side can get revenge on the Hawks after an improvement of form since their last meeting.

“We’re quietly confident we can improve our performance after that day,” he said. “Obviously we learn a bit from playing against the Hawks, they put in a really powerful performance. “It’s no great surprise to us that we’re here but obviously we needed a bit of luck along the way.  “We’re really grateful to get the opportunity to play this weekend.”

Patrick Hill is also grateful to grace Marvel Stadium with his Hawthorn players, admitting that he didn’t see a Grand Final berth coming so fast.

“If you told me I’d be here two years ago in a Grand Final, I probably would’ve laughed at you,” Hill said. “We’re incredibly well supported by our club. “I think it shows how many great athletes there are in women’s sport. “It’s not like men’s sport where they’ve already been through trials and a lot of development programs thrown at them since they were seven years old, they’ve had to sort of fight to be involved. “Once we opened up the doors to all our women in, you see how many amazing athletes there are out there, they’re extremely coachable and a delight to work with.”

Hawthorn has been one of the best offensive sides this year while Geelong has been one of the best defensive outfits, so if the game is played on the Hawks’ terms, it could be a fast-paced game. But if the game is played on the Cats’ terms, it could be a defensive, hard-fought slug which Geelong has been accustomed to this year. Either way, this will be a tight contest with both teams desperate to lift up the first ever VFLW premiership cup on Sunday.

Team Selection: VFLW – Grand Final

OVALS across not only Victoria, but also Australia have been graced by the presence of many Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) players this year. Many new faces have had their time in the spotlight and old favourites have continued to inspire. This weekend the two strongest sides, Geelong and Hawthorn will come head to head to battle it out for the premiership. Both sides have made a few team changes ahead of the big game.

 

HAWTHORN  v. GEELONG CATS

Sunday, September 23, 12.30pm
Etihad Stadium, Docklands

After defeating Collingwood in the first round of finals, Hawthorn has had the benefit of a week off going into the premiership match. However, AFLW star and former Box Hill VFLW captain, Melissa Kuys will miss the match, still suffering from injury to her achilles from the first round of finals. Similarly, Dianna Haines will miss out this week with an injury to her medial ligament. Coming in to fill their shoes is Olivia Flanagan, who will come in for her first game since Round 15. Flanagan suffered a hamstring injury earlier in the season and has now been given the green light to take to the field. Emily Gilder is another important inclusion this week and has been named on the interchange bench. Her consistent goal kicking this year is sure to bolster Hawthorn’s forward line. Ellie Macdonald has also been selected and will start in the midfield in the Grand Final.

The Cats might not have had a week’s rest, however coming off last week’s victory over the Pies, they are sure to have some momentum behind them. With a ‘don’t fix what’s not broken’ mentality, Geelong has made only one change this week, bringing in Nina Morrison. The Vic Country representative, who was named Most Valuable Player in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships this year, will be an important inclusion to the Cats midfield.

Hawthorn

B: 25. M. Hutchins, 32. K. Ebb, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 21. P. Randall, 36. J. Van Dyk
C: 40. E. Macdonald, 1. E. Mackie, 12. T. Nestor
HF: 14. O. Flanagan, 8. R. Beeson, 35. C. O’Donnell
F: 22. T. Luke, 7. P. McWilliams, 28. S. Perkins
R: 19. L. Wotton, 5. C. Perera, 6. J. Crockett-Grills
Int: 45. M. Cann, 4. S. Carroll, 24. R. Dillon, 33. E. Gilder
23P: 43. E. Woods

In: E. Gilder, E. Macdonald, O. Flanagan
Out: D. Haines, M. Kuys, S. Kendall

 

Geelong Cats

B: 26. R. Pearce, 44. R. Goring, 40. A. Teague
HB: 34. A. McDonald, 25. E. Coventry, 1. J. Woollett
C: 3. H. Burchell, 13. M. Fogas, 20. N. Morrison
HF: 4. C. Blakeway, 5. J. Ivey, 2. D. Orr
F: 7. M. Clifford, 6. M. Boyd, 8. K. Darby
R: 24. M. McMahon, 30. R. Cranston, 45. M. Keryk
Int: 28. M. Fedele, 17. H. Mangan, 41. C. Stevens, 33. H. Trevean
23P: 16. O. Purcell

In: N. Morrison
Out: L. Taylor

Team Selection: VFLW – Week 2 Finals

THIS weekend’s preliminary final will see the triumphant Geelong Cats take on the Collingwood Magpies, who will be enacting their double chance. While they might have finished on top of the ladder after the home and away season, Collingwood fell short of the Hawks last week. On the other hand, the Cats will be desperate to continue their form from last week’s win against the Northern Territory (NT) Thunder. Both teams will be pulling out all the stops to secure a place in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Grand Final next week and they have each made team changes to suit.

 

COLLINGWOOD v. GEELONG CATS
Preliminary Final
16/09/2018
11:45AM
Stannards Stadium

Collingwood:

B: 72. K. Lee, 18. R. Schleicher, 67. H. McLaren
HB: 22. S. Casey, 12. S. Livingstone, 52. N. Hales
C: 50. G. Buchan, 13. J. Lambert, 99. S. Marsh
HF: 8. B. Bonnici, 49. S. Alexander, 28. H. Whitford
F: 3. N. Hildebrand, 75. E. Fowler, 2. C. Molloy
R: 58. E. Hynes, 47. J. Edwards, 41. K. Stratton
Int: 73. G. Biedenweg-Webster, 4. S. D’Arcy, 5. E. Grant, 63. P. Nash
23P: 70. J. Ferguson

In: G. Biedenweg-Webster, S. Livingstone, J. Ferguson
Out: D. Bateman, I. Ross

Stacey Livingstone will be an important inclusion to the Pies outfit this weekend. After missing Round 1 of finals, the AFLW star has been named in the back line, taking the place of Iilish Ross. Also coming in this week is Gabrielle Biedenweg-Webster who has been named on the interchange after being elevated from last week’s emergency list. Her tenacity for the ball and skill up forward will hopefully give the Pies an edge this weekend. Gippsland Power ruck, Jasmine Ferguson will also come in as the 23rd player. She takes the place of Daisy Bateman.

Geelong Cats:

B: 26. R. Pearce, 44. R. Goring, 40. A. Teague
HB: 34. A. McDonald, 25. E. Coventry, 1. J. Woollett
C: 4. C. Blakeway, 13. M. Fogas, 3. H. Burchell
HF: 17. H. Mangan, 5. J. Ivey, 2. D. Orr
F: 7. M. Clifford, 6. M. Boyd, 8. K. Darby
R: 46. E. Hoare, 30. R. Cranston, 45. M. Keryk
Int: 28. M. Fedele, 24. M. McMahon, 41. C. Stevens, 33. H. Trevean
23P: 16. O. Purcell

In: M. Fedele
Out: N. Morrison

Confident with last week’s team, Geelong has only made one change in the lead-up to its clash with the Pies. Michelle Fedele is the only change to this week’s starting side but is nevertheless a crucial inclusion. The 2014 VFLW premiership player will be able to inject some finals composure into the team to help them bring home the win. She comes in for Vic Country representative, Nina Morrison. 

Number Crunching: VFLW – Week 1 Finals

WEEK one of the 2018 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s finals series went off with a bang, with two favourites beaten in blockbuster matches. With the Hawks claiming victory over Collingwood, they advance to the Grand Final in two weeks’ time whereas the Pies have this weekend to decide their fate in the preliminary final. A surprise, but well-fought, win against NT has also bolstered Geelong into the preliminary final. The Cats found themselves trailing for most of the game, but with a magnificent fourth quarter, they were able to snatch the victory in the end.

Hawthorn’s dominance on Saturday was attributed to the excellent game and leadership of captain, Emma Mackie. Mackie was the player to disrupt the goal-for-goal game, kicking two unanswered majors against the Pies. She kicked a total of three goals for her team. Similarly, Hawthorn’s Rosie Dillon had an amazing game, moving the ball across the field with 20 disposals. Dillon’s ability wasn’t only in moving the ball through the Pies’ defence, but also up forward, as she kicked a goal.

Despite losing, Collingwood showed serious promise. Hawthorn’s defence was far too tight for the Pies, but a solid performance from Chloe Molloy attempted to keep the team afloat. Molloy kicked two of the Pies’ three goals for the match, showing her determination to win, especially with her final goal in the dying minutes of the match. Molloy’s drive showed potential for a Collingwood comeback, but Hawthorn still persisted with its strong backline.

Despite a ‘rocky’ start to the Cats’ semi-final, they displayed more and more determination as the game went on. Richelle Cranston was a major catalyst in this, being able to win even the toughest contests, with five marks and two goals. Due to Cranston’s resilience, she was able to kick an absolute screamer of a goal from more than 50 metres out to seal the game for her side. Another important player for Geelong was TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest, Nina Morrison. Morrison showed keen skill, being able to link the ball through NT’s defence and into the goal square. Morrison’s disposals aided in Geelong’s dominance in the final quarter. She will be a key player against Collingwood in the preliminary final.  

Kicking half of her team’s goals, Marijana Rajcic was a powerhouse for NT in the first half. Rajcic’s ability to consistently mark the ball and kick goals was a main factor in NT leading for the majority of the game. With Rajcic’s third goal coming at the start of the fourth term, it was thought that she would have won NT the game. Similarly, Jenna McCormick was a primary reason for NT’s success earlier in the game. McCormick moved the ball all around the field, usually being the key connection to a goal for Rajcic.

Top player stats: VFLW Finals Week 1

PLAYERTEAMGBHDKEKIEHEHIEHRCMUMMKSTKS
Emma MackieHawthorn304011340004
Rosie DillonHawthorn10387291124
Chloe MolloyCollingwood30343021238
Richelle CranstonGeelong Cats211123320556
Nina MorrisonGeelong Cats01744330117
Marijana RajcicNT Thunder30415011343
Jenna McCormickNT Thunder101074390220

Scouting notes: VFLW – NT Thunder vs Geelong

DOMINANT force, NT Thunder was knocked out of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s finals last week by the ever-consistent Cats. Geelong was able to get the upper hand in a tight tussle and advance to a do-or-die preliminary final against the Pies this weekend. AFL Draft Central’s Connor Ferris was at Port Melbourne to take note of the standout performers at Stannards Stadium.

 

NT Thunder vs Geelong

NT:

#3 Angela Foley

Great leadership all game long from the captain. Got on top in the clearances and attacked the footy with great intent throughout the day.

#5 Machaelia Roberts

Great run and carry off the forward flank. Had several pressure acts throughout the game including a great chase and tackle resulting in a goal late in the third quarter.

#22 Jenna McCormick

Terrific second quarter to get the Thunder on top. Great ball-use all day through the middle of the ground to drive the Thunder into attack.

#29 Marijana Rajcic

Took advantage of her opportunities in front of goal, kicking three straight. Kept the Thunder in the game with an early fourth-quarter goal.

#52 Ebony Marinoff

Dominant performance from the Adelaide AFL Women’s midfielder. She was an absolute ball magnet, tallying 28 disposals and using the ball extremely well.

 

Geelong:

#3 Hannah Burchell

Good forward pressure and hard running, which resulted in two goals. Was instrumental in helping the Cats get on top in the third quarter.

#6 Maddie Boyd

Presented as a strong target all day. Did not hit the scoreboard but brought the ball to ground multiple times to set up Geelong’s small forwards for scoring opportunities.

#16 Olivia Purcell

Strong midfield performance. She got plenty of the ball with 16 possessions and linked up well with her teammates up the ground.

#20 Nina Morrison

Great tackling pressure. Gave the Thunder’s midfielders headaches all day with her ferocious attack on the footy.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Began asserting herself in the second quarter and never looked back. Great in and around the contest, highly efficient and kicked a crucial goal at the start of the fourth quarter to draw the scores level.