Tag: nsw/act

Weekly wrap: NSW/ACT state leagues

ANOTHER premiership player from the Eastern Allies’ New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory contingent emerged, while a handful of others narrowly missed out on premiership glory. Just one player remains in contention for a flag with the preliminary final next weekend.

Ahlani Eddy made it premiership player number three from the NSW/ACT contingent that travelled to the Gold Coast as part of the Eastern Allies squad for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Eddy was part of the victorious Sawtell Toormina Saints who simply smashed Port Macquarie Magpies, restricting their opponents to just four behinds for the match, while having 12 scoring shots on their way to a 38-point win.

It was heartbreak in the Sydney Harbour Youth Girls Division One, with Willoughby Mossman going down to Southern Power by eight points in the grand final. NSW/ACT representative, Alice Mitchell played for the Swans in the defeat, having led by four points at the final break before the Power booted the only two goals of the final term to win by eight. Zoe Hurrell, while a member of the side, did not play in the decider.

There was equal heartbreak over in the AFL Broken Hill League with South going down to Central in arguably the upset of the season. Central finished third on the table well behind the top two sides, toppled North and then knocked off the heavy premiership favourites in South in the grand final on the weekend. It meant Eliza Cumming and Melisa Keenan missed out on an elusive premiership, with both named among the best, and Keenan kicked a goal.

Angela Priftis‘ premiership dreams are still alive after her side, Auburn-Penrith Giants defeated the Southern Power in a do-or-die semi-final. Priftis was named best on ground in the victory, which while keeping her flag hopes alive, dashed that of her NSW/ACT teammate, Jemima Wrigley. Trailing at every break, the Giants booted the only two goals of the final term to come from behind and run out narrow three-point winners. The Giants move onto the preliminary final next weekend to face UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs for a spot in the decider the following week. Meanwhile in Division One, Brenna Tarrant‘s season is over after her side, East Coast Eagles went down in the preliminary final. Matching it with Woollongong Saints for most of the contest and trailing by just six points at the final break, the Saints proved too good in the final stanza, booting the only four goals of the fourth quarter to run away 33-point victors. Tarrant was named among the Eagles’ best in the loss.

Meanwhile in other NSW/ACT AFL Women’s Under 18 related news, Alyce Parker was named captain of the AFL Women’s Under 18 All-Australian side after a superb season and championships.

Weekly wrap: NSW/ACT state leagues

A SECOND player from the NSW/ACT contingent that travelled to the Gold Coast for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships has emerged as a premiership player this year, while a number of others had the week off due to their sides making their respective grand finals.

Murray Bushrangers star, and NSW/ACT defender, Eloise Ashley-Cooper became the second player from her state side to win a premiership in the 2018 season. Ashley-Cooper joined Eastern Allies teammate, Alyce Parker in celebrating a flag, after her Finley side won the Shepparton and District Junior Football League Youth Girls’ Grand Final. In a low-scoring affair which saw just six goals kicked between the sides – four of which came in the first term – the Cats got up with a 4.9 (33) to 2.0 (12) victory over Shepparton United. Ashley-Cooper’s terrific season ended on a high note, named best on ground and booted a goal in Finley’s victory. Unfortunately it meant Bushrangers teammate Kate Adams was on the wrong side of the result, named in the best for the Demons.

There was a bye in the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division, after last week, Angela Priftis enjoyed a 23-point win over fellow NSW/ACT Under-18 representative, Jemima Wrigley. Priftis’ Auburn-Penrith Giants proved too good for Wrigley’s Southern Power, booting seven goals to three after quarter time to record a 8.4 (52) to 4.5 (29) victory. The match was a pre-cursor for the finals series which starts this week as the third placed Giants host the fourth placed Power in a do-or-die semi-final at Blacktown this weekend. Meanwhile Division One played its first week of finals on the weekend, as Brenna Tarrant kept her premiership dream alive in East Coast Eagles’ 18-point win over Pennant Hills Demons. She was named second best for the Eagles in the win, as the home side restricted their opponents to just one behind after quarter time, booting the final four goals of the match. They face Woollongong Saints for a spot in the Division One decider.

In the Sydney Harbour Youth Girls Division One, Willoughby Mosman earned a week off after their semi-final win the week before, so Zoe Hurrell and Alice Mitchell will look forward to the grand final this weekend. They will be hoping for a similar result to the semi-final, with the Southern Power winning their preliminary final to earn a second crack at the top side. The Power’s win did come at the expense of Georgia Garnett and Emily Hurley‘s Kellyville Rouse Hill’s side, as the Magpies went down to 17 points, bundled out of the finals race. In the AFL North Coast Women’s league, Ahlani Eddy rested up after her side Sawtell Toormina Saints won through to the grand final with a semi-final victory the week prior. They easily accounted for the Port Macquarie Magpies – the side that will run out against Eddy and her side in the decider this weekend.

Over in the AFL Broken Hill Women’s competition, both Melisa Keenan and Eliza Cumming earned a week off after their South side won the minor premiership. In the pre-final match, Central knocked off North by 28 points in what was an upset given North had finished three wins ahead of Central and earned the home ground final. The pair will hope to wear premiership medallions by the end of the weekend if South can topple Central in the decider.

Scouting notes: U17s – Vic Country vs Queensland

IN the first game at Ikon Park yesterday, Vic Country defeated Queensland in an exciting contest. We review all the players from both teams.

Vic Country:

By: Peter Williams and Craig Byrnes

#1 Kobe Brown

Had an early shot on goal on the run, but had an unlucky bounce and it went to the wrong side and out of bounds. A highlight-worthy moment came later in the game when he cleanly picked up the ball off the deck and side-stepped an opponent on the forward 50 arc. Fantastic agility.

#2 Jye Chalcraft

One of the more impressive Country players, Chalcraft showed fantastic strength and composure inside the forward 50 arc. We already knew he had top-class agility, but he went out with a real desire to hunt the football and the ball carrier in a contested brand of football. Spent a little bit of time through midfield, but majority inside 50, booting a goal in the final term to ice the game for Country. Laid some fantastic tackles and almost had a goal early in the game but just missed on the run.

#4 Jarryd Barker

Had one of the best clearances out of the middle early on, managing to burst away and hit-up a teammate lace-out in the first term by lowering the eyes. From then on it was a workman-like performance, laying some big tackles and he did well by hand or foot, lowering the eyes going inside 50. He had a shot on goal in the final term, but missed to the right. He still accumulated the footy, but a lot of it was in the contest, and often feeding it out to teammates, playing an important role at the stoppages.

#5 Flynn Perez

An exciting talent who oozes X-factor. His consistency throughout games still needs to improve, but when he has the ball he can do some magical things with it. He lowers his eyes going inside 50 and hit-up Fraser Phillips coming through the midfield when he was coming off half-back. Clean hands at ground level and his closing speed is top-notch. He was used in transition going forward, and was rewarded for hard running by playing deeper, marking 35m out and converting the set shot.

#6 Riley Baldi

An absolutely huge first half, having the ball on a string and seemingly covering the ground with ease. He was strong at the packs, winning clearances, cracking in hard at the contested ball and just extracting the ball to teammates in space. He was moved around in the second half, from half-back to half-forward and did not have as much impact as the first half through the guts, but he was still very solid and got to the right positions when required.

#7 Mitch Martin

Some players seem to step up at the higher level, and Mitch Martin was one of those players today. At the Rebels, Martin is always solid, but with the extra time and space, and plenty of midfield minutes, he thrived on the open spaces of Ikon Park. His kicking was sublime and equally matched by his vision. He is not a huge accumulator, but every time he won it, he seemed to use it well, setting up Flynn Perez for a goal in the third term. He almost kicked one himself after a good mark but missed to the right.

#8 Lachlan Williams

Cracked in hard and while he was another who did not win a lot of it, he had a couple of ‘wow’ moments in the third term. He used great vision to kick inside to Fraser Phillips, then teamed up with Phillips again with a pin-point pass to his teammates’ advantage amongst a pack of Queensland opponents who had zoned off in defence.

#9 Fraser Phillips

Building a rich vein of form of late and that continued on the weekend, with some really good play inside 50. He is a good runner and moved up to half-forward well, kicking inside 50 with good precision. He lowers the eyes when entering the 50 and gave his teammates chances to score. Booted a goal early in the peace by running back with the flight and nailing the short-range set shot, and just missed a couple of chances later on in the game.

#10 Leo Connolly

Provided good pressure on his opponents to force turnovers, and in one instant, took a mark off the next possession from the turnover. Laid a massive tackle early to bring his opponent to ground and keep the ball in the middle.

#12 Isaac Wareham

Not his best game, but was playing a defensive role in the back half. Just kept a close eye on his opponent at all times.

#13 Izaac Grant

Ultra-impressed with what Grant showed at IKON Park. Coming into the game I hoped to see if he could play a role other than the pigeonholed small forward which he has been thus far, and he showed some serious intent, not just in the midfield, but in contested situations as well. He was a lovely kick in space and not only used quick hands, but blocked an opponent while handballing to a teammate to give his teammate an extra couple of seconds. One of the better field kicks out there, and still showed his vertical leap. Did not kick a goal which is his forte, but his game was better than matches where he has kicked multiple goals – another string to his bow.

#14 Tye Hourigan

He plied his trade in defence as he usually does for Gippsland with commitment. While he only stands at 188cm, Hourigan is very capable in a key position role and is difficult to move off the ball. He generally reads the ball before his opponent, as shown during the third term when he took a strong intercept mark. More of a stopper at this stage, but I feel there is another offensive gear in him.

#15 Jake Van der Plight

Was in and out of the game a bit, but generally produced quality moments when he got his hands on the ball. Starting mostly on the wing, he ran up and down the ground, winning an excellent ground ball in the defensive 50 during the third term which was sharply released by hand. He is a lovely size at 188cm and is capable of playing multiple positions. He is another Gippsland bottom ager to keep an eye on next year.

#16 Jesse Clark

Clark looks an interesting type behind the ball. He was particularly calm when he gained possession in the defensive arc, displaying good skills and well thought out decisions. During the second term he was given the ball under pressure deep inside defensive 50, but found a teammate in the corridor by foot with minimal fuss to release the immediate pressure. I’m looking forward to having a closer look over the next 15 months or so.

#17 Riley Ironside

After a relatively quiet first half, Ironside came to life in the third term with a lovely left foot pass inside 50 to Martin. That classy piece of play saw him become more involved and while he shanked a set shot not long after, he started having an influence at the stoppages and spread to offensive positions. He hit another brilliant left foot pass inside 50 to Williams in the final quarter to show he has some forward of centre weapons at his disposal.

#19 Jimmy Boyer

Boyer was another player who was dangerous running out of the back half, moving the ball forward with speed whenever he got the opportunity. Vic Country looked likely of scoring when he had the ball and his kicking was first rate on most occasions. While his offensive football was what immediately stood out, he also laid a heavy tackle in the third term to earn a holding the ball free kick.

#20 James Schischka

The Bendigo Pioneer was one of Vic Country’s better players on the day, controlling things in defence with his ability to read the play quickly and peel off his man when required. He took two strong intercept marks in the first term that appeared to spark his confidence to get to as many aerial contests as he could. While there were times he had to play deep KPD, when the opportunity presented he would look to swap with an opponent and get in the dangerous space. He laid a vital tackle in the final term to finish off a very solid outing.

#21 Darcey Chirgwin

Chirgwin was one of Vic Country’s more impressive performers and arguably produced the most transferrable AFL attributes. He is a tall inside midfielder who stands 190cm and while he looked lanky at times, he presented moments of class and time under pressure that would have excited the club representatives in the stands. In the first half he spun around an opponent with ease to kick inside 50. Later in the game after being disposed, he gathered the ball cleanly, regained balance and brilliantly hit a target near the arc. He looks a likely type.

#22 Sam De Koning

Battled well by manning some of Queensland’s taller forwards. He killed a few long Queensland entrances and took the kick outs on occasions. He perhaps would have liked to use the ball better at times, but is usually a reliable kick.

#23 Zac Skinner

Having lacked opportunities at Gippsland due to so many other tall options, Skinner would have enjoyed the chance to spend more extended periods on the ground. He started the game well, taking a mark on the lead inside 50 early in the first term. He was then rotated in the ruck, showing a soft touch in the air and was especially clean below his knees for a 199cm kid. He has composure with the ball and often makes good decisions by hand.

#24 Bigoa Nyuon

The 195cm Nyuon provided some eye catching athleticism with his minutes forward and in the ruck, especially the latter where his outstanding vertical leap often won him the hit out. He gave his midfielders some excellent taps to advantage without breaking stride and competed defensively when the ball hit the ground. He didn’t win much of the ball, but that will come with further development.

#25 Josh Smith

The big, bullocking forward had a day out inside 50, kicking four goals and had a huge influence on the result. He made his presence known early in the game, taking a strong mark in the pocket and kicking truly with a brilliantly executed banana set shot. He demanded the ball all day and took a huge contested mark inside 50 during the third quarter. His work wasn’t all done in the air either, as he cleanly picked up a ground ball in the fourth term to set up a scoring chain. His fourth goal gave Vic Country the lead to end a great outing in the best possible way.

#26 Aaron Gundry

The 198cm Bendigo tall struggled to get consistently involved, but showed signs throughout the game forward and at times in the ruck. His best moment came deep inside in the pocket where he cleanly collected the ball and handballed to Smith for a goal assist.

Queensland:

By: Michael Alvaro and Ed Pascoe

#1 Danial Davidson

Davidson was slow to come into the game but began to rack up more possessions as the contest wore on. His tackling was good as a smaller midfielder, and he showed a willingness to attack the ball when the game was up for grabs in the second half.

#3 Hawego Paul Oea

The smooth moving forward posed a threat throughout the game with his pace and ability to find space in good areas. With ball in hand, Oea looked to move it on more often than not and was a valuable link between the wing and forward 50. He provided a smart assist to Will Martyn with a cutting ball from near the boundary in the fourth term, putting his smarts on full show.

#5 Corey Joyce

Joyce covers the ground really well and showed a solid work rate from the wing. While he didn’t rack up as much of the ball as in previous Maroons outings, Joyce was clean in possession and showed good agility in traffic. He has the potential to play above his size too, as he gets himself in handy positions to intercept and impact contests around the ground.

#6 Jack Wingrave

Wingrave was entrusted with the kick-out duties early on and spent most of his time in the defensive half. His long kicking out of the back is an asset, and he used it to good effect when clearing his own arc. A highlight of Wingrave’s game was a tough tussle with Country’s Fraser Phillips late in the piece, where the two battled hard for the ball deep in Country’s 50 with little separating the sides, showing his willingness to compete.

#7 Lachlan Barry

Sporting a yellow headband, Barry did not find huge amounts of the ball in his deep forward role but had a decent last quarter. He laid a hard tackle in the final term and hit up big-man Samson Ryan with a pin-point pass into the forward 50, which was his best moment.

#8 Coby Williams

Williams was another who was quiet until later on, but he made his presence felt with a big tackle on Country star Jye Chalcraft in the fourth quarter, as well as a nice intercept mark in the centre square to cap off his day.

#9 Connor Budarick

The skipper was one of the Maroons’ best throughout the day with an all-round performance from midfield. The Allies and Gold Coast Academy star has good speed around the contest and showed tenacity to win much of his own ball from the stoppages. He may be small in stature, but Budarick is solid and stood up in tackles – despite being caught holding the ball once in the third term. He bounced back from that with a nice take-on and run from half-back not long after.

#10 Jack Moseley

Moseley showed glimpses of promise from half-back, looking a natural footballer. Despite starting off with a crude in the back free kick against him, he went on to prove his worth with displays of agility and a cool head in traffic. His highlight was managing to deliver a perfect kick to Hawego Paul Oea after keeping his hands up and evading a tackler, showing off a bit of class.

#14 Will Martyn

Martyn was arguably his side’s best in an industrious midfield shift. While he was fumbly early on, the Brisbane Academy member continued to crash in and win the ball out of the stoppages through brute force. Martyn’s kicking improved alongside his handling as the game progressed, with some good balls inside 50 providing scoring opportunities. His final term was particularly impressive, as he stood courageously under a loopy ball to take a mark and slot his first goal, backing it up shortly after with a second set shot major to put his side in front, with an early celebration to boot.

#15 Bruce Reville

The wingman was another Maroon to really impress with good athletic traits and a knack for finding the footy in dangerous areas. Reville has good handles and can gather the ball at pace, highlighted by a nice gather at speed from a third term centre bounce. Based on the wing for most of the game, Reville had a brief stint at the centre bounces to start the second half, but quickly moved back outside where he continued to assist his forwards with effective inside 50 entries.

#16 Campbell Aston

Aston was quiet but battled hard in the back half, recording nine disposals. His highlight was a solid grab against the highly touted Riley Baldi in the first term where he showed good attack on the footy.

#17 Josh Gore

Gore continued his good form in the Queensland jumper with another effective display up forward. While he only managed the one major this time around, Gore had plenty of opportunities and was able to find the ball inside 50 well. His goal came from a decent mark backing deep towards the goalsquare in the second term, and he converted the set shot. Gore worked to find the ball further up the ground in the second half and proved calm when delivering the ball forward. He also laid a solid holding the ball tackle in the third quarter to cap an all-round game.

#18 Brandon Deslands

Deslands started the game in defence and was trusted with a kick out, you used his solid kicking up the ground more in the third and fourth quarter. Deslands managed to get some time in the midfield in the last quarter getting involved and laying a nice tackle.

#19 Gracen Sproule

Sproule played as a forward and he showed great movement and skill throughout the day. His best quarter came in the second when he kicked a nice long goal from beyond 50. What stood out from Sproule was his clean takes on the run and clean use by hand and his ability to move through traffic.

#21 Matthew Fraser

Had a quiet day but he looked good at ground level with his front and square work really impressing, he read the ball well and was clean at ground level. Fraser was not afraid to tackle and have an impact when the ball was in his area.

#22 Thomas Jeffrey

Jeffrey was impactful with his strong marking ability and long kicking being used to effect all over the ground. He had a lovely kick inside 50 in the 2nd quarter and got involved in a nice passage of play in the last quarter showing both his good marking and kicking ability.

#23 Sam Butler

A good user of the ball throughout the day, his best moment came with a good long kick to the hot spot in the first quarter hitting up teammate Matthew Conroy. Butler was neat with his handballing and his kicking was sound.

#24 Nickolas Haberer

Haberer played well down back taking some nice intercept marks and providing some good spoils and using his body well in one-on-one contests. Haberer did the defensive acts well with good tackling and spoiling while also using the ball well down back.

#26 Matthew Conroy

Conroy made a statement in the first half kicking a nice set shot goal in the first quarter and kicking a long bomb in the second quarter which hyped up his team. He competed well in the ruck and up forward before a quieter second half.

#27 Ashton Crossley

Queensland’s best player on the day, Crossley was industrious through he midfield using his strong body to crash packs and win the contested ball. Early in the game he had a few long kicks which were not accurate, but he improved as the game went on with one of his kicks in the last quarter coming from a nice mark and then unleashing a long penetrating kick out wide. His strong marking and contested ability was important for Queensland around the ground and he was a solid four-quarter player.

#28 Max Newman

Newman did some nice things down back with some timely spoils with one on the last line in the third quarter. Not a huge game but played his role well. 

#30 Joshua Hammond

Hammond was one of the better defenders for Queensland with some fantastic spoiling efforts especially in the first quarter where he was most prominent. Hammond did not get much of the ball but he did not give his opponents an inch and if he was not spoiling he was tackling hard and blocking for teammates. With a bit more confidence it would be good to see how well he could rebound himself to really make him a more complete modern day defender. 

#32 Thomas Wischnat

Wischnat was a permanent forward often giving good leads but wasn’t always rewarded. He kicked a nice snap goal in the first quarter and he took a nice lead up mark in the 2nd although he missed the set shot. Wischnat could have done more at ground level but also could have hit the scoreboard harder with better supply from teammates.

#33 Sampson Ryan

The 203cm Ryan not only use his height to his advantage in the ruck, but also managed to keep involved all over the ground working into defence to intercept and also resting forward, providing a good option despite spraying many of his opportunities at goal. What stood out with Ryan was his smarts around the ground for a ruckman with some nice visions by hand and even a solid opposite foot kick in the last quarter.

Weekly wrap: NSW/ACT state leagues

IN the weekend just gone, a NSW/ACT Under 18s star won a premiership medallion and was best on ground, while others competed in the final rounds of their competitions with finals quickly approaching.

Alyce Parker became the first premiership player this season from NSW/ACT Under-18 representatives, when her side, the Thurgoona Bulldogs, defeated Wodonga Raiders by 52 points in the North East Border Grand Final. Parker was a star for the winners, named best on ground in the decider, booting three goals. In her six games, Parker was named best on ground five times, booting 18 goals to be a class above.

Angela Priftis was named at centre-half back in the Auburn-Penrith Giants’ 43-point loss to UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs in Round 16 of the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division. Priftis has been in good form and continued that in the weekend’s match, named among the team’s best. With one round remaining, the Giants are locked into finals action and will finish third on the table ahead of the post-season series. It was a tough day at the office for Jemima Wrigley, who was named among the best for Southern Power, but her team succumbed to a 57-point loss at the hands of Sydney University Bombers. In Division One, Georgia Garnett had a day out stepping up to the senior grade, booting five goals and named among the best in a classy effort for the East Coast Eagles in their 138-point demolition of UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs. Brenna Tarrant also played in the Eagles’ big win.

In the Sydney Harbour Youth Girls Division One, Emily Hurley played in Kellyville Rouse Hill’s big 10-goal win over Queenwood, as did Alice Mitchell in her side – Willoughby Mossman’s – win by the same margin. In the AFL North Coast, Ahlani Eddy‘s Sawtell Toormina Saints had the bye and finished clear minor premiers, with the Saints to take on Port Macquarie Magpies for a spot in the grand final. In the Youth Girls, Lillian Doyle booted two goals in Grafton Tigers’ 10-goal win over Port Macquarie Magpies. The Tigers held the Magpies scoreless and did not miss a shot on goal, finishing second on the table and heading into the first week of finals with a chance to advance to the grand final. Zoe Hurrell did not play on the weekend.

In South Broken Hill’s nail-biting low-scoring seven-point win over Central Broken Hill, Melisa Keenan and Eliza Cumming were both named in the best. Keenan was named best on ground in the 3.1 (19) to 1.6 (12) victory, while Cumming was also impressive. South now heads into the finals series on top of the table, facing fourth placed South for a spot in the grand final. Meanwhile further south across the border, Eloise-Ashley Cooper had a weekend off with Finley’s triumph in the first final the week before following a big win over Echuca.

Passionate Hamilton keeps up with “crazy” fast pathway to the top

FROM the freezing mornings out on icy grounds in Canberra, Alexia Hamilton has always had a passion for Australian Rules football. The pathway was not there at first, but when it came about, she grabbed it with both hands and has not let go.

“As a young girl I always admired playing AFL, but there was never really an opportunity for me to play,” Hamilton said. “So I played a couple of sports, soccer, basketball, I come from a Judo background as well, so bit of martial arts as well. “Then my brother, he was playing at the time – he still does – and I was down at a local training, and the coach came up to me and said ‘do you want to have a kick?’ and I was like ‘I’d love to have a kick’ and from there it’s just been achievements, goals and just been a really great step in the future.”

Hamilton said the game had come along in leaps and bounds and it was hard to believe just how much it had grown in her years in the sport.

“It’s crazy,” she said. This game was so fast and so evolving especially with AFLW now, but it’s been hard to keep track, and with it its been very fast and a very quick journey but it’s been totally worth it so far.”

For Hamilton, like so many other aspiring female footballers, having the pathway gives those who love the game, an “end-goal” to strive towards in the future.

“Coming from the bottom where there was no pathway at all, even for Youth Girls, and now the pathway is almost finalised, it’s an incredible feeling just to have that end-goal, and when you get there it will just be amazing. It’s a dream for any footballer, really,” Hamilton said. “I just love the competition, the fun, the teammates, the family, everything comes out of this place. “Just the entire game you can form so many more bonds, you can learn so much stuff and it’s just a complete enjoyment.”

Hamilton travels about 40 minutes to train for the Queanbeyan Tigers in the AFL Canberra competition, something she admits “isn’t too bad” considering the lengths of which other girls travel. She describes herself as “pretty lucky” to have found such a great club. Her development there and with AFL NSW/ACT has helped her adapt to the higher standard of play at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, representing the Eastern Allies.

“It’s a great opportunity certainly,” Hamilton said, of the chance to represent Eastern Allies. “To play with Alyce Parker, and the (Chloe and LibbyHaines‘s and a couple of the girls from Tassie, and obviously our girls from NSW/ACT, they’re just fantastic to play with. “It’s a great opportunity and the journey has been good so far with them.”

The versatile utility said it was tough to get to know some of the Eastern Allies players that they had never met before, less than 48 hours before they would run out on the field together.

“We all met on the Saturday night so having to all meet, (learn) names and then find out how the individuals play was a really big challenge,” Hamilton said. “It was a great opportunity for all of our girls to try and bond in a really tight, quick situation and then expected to play the next couple of days, so it was a great opportunity with the girls. “We all bonded really well and we had a fantastic time over the last couple of days.”

Hamilton describes herself as an aggressive player who enjoys body contact and laying strong tackles to win clean possession of the football. Her goal this season was to ensure her work rate remained high, and her discipline to keep minding her opponent, remained on track.

Like a number of Under-18 talents, Hamilton was able to represent the Southern Giants in the Winter Series, something she will never forget.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” Hamilton said. “Just getting to play alongside and against some amazing AFLW players has been a real big opportunity for me, especially as a young player. “So it’s been an amazing journey.”

The 17 year-old said her pathway to the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, has been thanks to the development along the way, believing her skills were the biggest beneficiary of the AFL NSW/ACT program.

“My skills have improved out of sight,” Hamilton said. “I think my ability to read the play has been a lot better and my knowledge of the game. “Also probably my fitness has improved as well, I’ve been able to keep up with these ones (Eastern Allies girls) so it’s been fantastic.”

Outside of football, Hamilton enjoys Judo and Oztag in Canberra, but is yet to decide on a non-football career.

“At the moment I’m still at school,” Hamilton said. “So I’m just trying to get through the year, and then hopefully look at career options and hopefully the AFLW is one of those options.”

Hamilton said she was able to communicate well with her school and football clubs to ensure the right balance was met in her most important year.

“My school at the moment is very understanding of my commitments outside of my school opportunities,” she said. “So I’m currently training four or five days a week for just solely football and then obviously extra-curricular activities like gym and fitness activities. “It’s been a pretty full-on workload, but definitely worth it in the end.”

Her most fond memory is that of her first game, which sticks with her throughout her career, while her biggest inspiration is Sydney Swans talent, Isaac Heeney.

“I was in the freezing cold, my long socks and it was my first hit-out and it was a fantastic memory I’ll always remember,” she said. “He’s (Heeney) one that’s come through the program himself, being through the Rams himself. “Seeing him come out of it and being successful is a really good goal and you know it’s achievable. “Also you’ve got icons in the women’s everywhere – Daisy Pearce and Tayla Harris. “They’re all big names that I want to be like one day.”

Now Hamilton’s sights are firmly focused on joining the likes of Pearce and Harris in the AFL Women’s competition.

“I would love to be apart of that (draft) campaign,” Hamilton said. “Hopefully I’ll go through school and everything will be sweet and I’ll achieve my goals in that area and then besides that, keep going with local footy and hopefully win the championship or just keep improving with that ability.”

Three Fs drive Parker to success

FAMILY, footy and farming are the three Fs that have been the key pillars in country girl Alyce Parker‘s life. Now 18, Parker is in her final year of junior football and months away from the 2018 AFL Women’s Draft, but she has not forgotten the importance of the other two Fs.

“I live on a farm, and being on a farm with dad and mum and my two sisters since I could walk and I absolutely loved getting out on the farm and just doing everything I can,” Parker said. “It’s a huge part of not only my football career, but my life in general. “There’s football, there’s school, but then there’s the farm and I’ll be there every chance I get out on the farm.”

Parker is thankful for all the opportunities that have come along on her football journey, something that started by chance at school.

“I come from a farming family, we’re very much involved with footy and learnt to kick basically when I was walking,” Parker said. “So I always had a footy in my hand, but actually in my first game wasn’t until I was 12 with the school boys team. “The PE (Physical Education) teacher asked if I wanted a game. “I’d never played, I actually didn’t even know the rules but I had a left foot he noticed that, so that was where it all started. “Lucky for me I came in at a really prime time, as soon as I moved into Year 7 in high school the Youth Girls pathway just developed and I never had to stop, I was so lucky coming in that wave where the pathway is completely exploded and I had opportunities coming everywhere.”

Parker said both herself and all the other girls across Australia have the Youth Girls programs to thank for the rise of female football.

“It’s a huge gate opener to a career in AFL which in the last 12 months because of these programs,” Parker said. “I’ve developed and I have a huge passion for AFL now, and that’s purely for those pathways and without them I probably wouldn’t be sitting here talking today, so they’re the reason why so many girls, especially the younger age girls are playing AFL, and definitely in the coming years the reason why the game is just going to improve in every way.”

The talented midfielder said she noticed the difference in New South Wales (NSW) football and the fact that many younger girls saw Australian Rules as a viable option over rugby in the state.

“Yeah definitely, I come from southern New South Wales and even in Wagga, it’s very much rugby orientated, but now I’m training in Wagga a lot with AFL and see huge improvement in the population of girls playing AFL,” Parker said. “Coming from Albury, it’s (football) always been there, but in the last couple of years it’s just exploded and there’s so many new faces, but also there’s girls that just have this raw talent and they’re definitely going places and it’s amazing to be a part of.”

Living in rural NSW has made travelling to training and games challenging for Parker and her family, but it is something she has become accustomed to, and would not have it any other way.

“In a way it is disadvantaged living in rural NSW but at the same time, I’m only an hour or 50 minutes away from Wagga and an hour away from Albury, so in a way it’s no trouble at all,” Parker said. “Compared to girls who live five minutes around from the their training ground, but for me and my family we’re used to it, and we’re very lucky to have access to those two major growing talents of football in Albury and Wagga.”

Speaking of her family, Parker said she could not be more grateful of the sacrifices they have made for her football and life in general.

“Having them apart of my journey is obviously incredibly special to me, but also them too,” Parker said. “Mum and Dad are my number one supporters and the reason why I’ve achieved so much in my short career in a way. “Now that I have my Ps I can actually go to training myself, but they’ve been there since day one and the reason I’ve developed into the person I have and achieved the success in football, but also in other sports too.”

Having represented the Eastern Allies at the recent AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Parker enjoyed having the experience of bonding with new Tasmanian teammates and running out alongside them all within a few days of the first meeting.

“Yeah it definitely does add challenges,” Parker said. “We basically met on Saturday night having played against each other a couple of weeks ago, but for me that’s exciting having a few girls that I’ve never played with, but you know you can trust them and it just makes the last three days, you get to know them so quickly. “For the girls that I’ve known for years, in a way I’ve caught up with the girls I don’t know, because in a way we’re sort of, not forced but definitely have to, we don’t have a choice we’re playing together in two days, so we get to know each other as much as we can and we just know that we can trust each other and they’ll be there playing in the same guernsey.”

Having collected back-to-back Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards for NSW/ACT and Eastern Allies, Parker is not resting on her laurels, believing there is still much improvement in her game, and she has benefited under the tutelage of GWS GIANTS’ star Alicia Eva, who coached both her state sides at the two series.

“I have been working on a couple of things this year,” she said. “Particularly under the coaching of Alicia and the help and support she’s given me. “Having an opportunity in the winter series to play against some bigger bodies and in a way the AFLW players has definitely helped me. “It’s a very different contrast between Youth Girls and the AFL, so little things like, you only have one chance really when you’re up against the big bodies you don’t have much time so there’s quick decisions are something I’m working on.”

Parker has also been able to represent the Southern GIANTS in the Women’s Winter Series, giving her vital experience against bigger bodies having returned to compete against teenagers.

“Yeah definitely (it has helped),” Parker said. “I’ve noticed a huge difference a couple of weeks ago playing against Brisbane Lions obviously a very tough game, the scoreline wasn’t pretty. “But that experience against the likes of Sabrina (Frederick-Traub) and those amazing girls, then coming back to this level. “It’s not easier, but it’s definitely different and I feel it’s definitely improved my football in the last couple of weeks just coming a step down to those smaller bodies and having that experience against the bigger bodies, you can beat those younger ones.”

While her AFL Women’s dream could be just a couple of months away now, Parker is still balancing all of her passions.

“Being a family farm, I’m very much involved in it,” Parker said. “But I also have my AFL career so I’ll see where that takes me, but I’m very much involved in agriculture, and very interested by it. “But at the same time I’m interested by my sport and exercise too, so it will pan out and see what interests me the most. “But at the moment my focus will be on AFL in the coming months.”

NSW/ACT weekly wrap: AFL Women’s U18 stars perform

IN this week’s NSW/ACT wrap we take a look at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships’ NSW/ACT contingent with the Eastern Allies and how they fared over the weekend.

Angela Prifits was named third best for Auburn Giants in their draw with Western Wolves in the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division. She is making a mark at the level, having been named in the best in four of her six matches thus far in 2018, following on from her strong season last year. While the result was disappointing for Southern Power in their 23-point defeat to Western Wolves, teenager Jemima Wrigley was a standout, named in the best in her first game back from the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. It was her fifth consecutive game named in the best for the Power, building up some impressive form either side of the championships. In Division One, Brenna Tarrant was rested and will return to the East Coast Eagles side this weekend.

Meanwhile in the Sydney Harbour Youth Girls Division One, NSW/ACT teammates went head-to-head in the Kellyville-Rouse Hill and Willoughby-Mosman clash. Georgia Garnett booted a goal in the Magpies’ 19-point victory, while Zoe Hurrelland Alice Mitchell both took to the field for Willoughby-Mosman. Emily Hurley is Garnett’s teammate but did not play on the weekend. Of the quartet, Hurrell has played the most games, booting four goals in eight matches, while Garnett has slotted nine in seven. Hurley has managed six goals in four matches, while Mitchell has three in four.

In the AFL North Coast, Ahlani Eddy had the week off with Sawtell Toormina Saints having a bye, while in the Youth Girls, Lillian Doyle was a key contributor in Grafton Tigers’ 52-point win over Coffs Harbour Breakers. Moving across to the nation’s capital, Alexia Hamilton continues to impress for Queanbeyan Tigers, having mixed between the juniors and the senior side this season. On the weekend she booted two goals in her side’s 115-point demolition of Tuggeranong. It was not the first time she has booted multiple goals, with a huge five-goal best on ground effort against Ainslie earlier in the season. In the far west, Eliza Cumming played for South Broken Hill against Central Broken Hill. Holding a narrow lead at each break, South conceded the only goal of the final term to go down by five points.

In the North East Border league, NSW/ACT and Eastern Allies’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) Alyce Parker showed she was a class above with a best on ground performance for Thurgoona Bulldogs. Parker booted five goals in the Bulldogs 124-point rout of Murray Felines, and made it four consecutive best on grounds for the year in the league. Parker has also managed an impressive 15 goals in four games for the Bulldogs. Lavington Panthers had the bye for the round, which meant Brea Quinlivan had the week off. Quinlivan has booted 15 goals in seven games this season, named in the best four times. Across the border in the Shepparton and Districts Junior Football League, Eloise Ashley-Cooper booted two goals in a winning side. Finley defeated Euroa 45 points at the Murray Bushrangers defender got forward to snag a couple of majors and was awarded best on ground for her efforts.

Maroons storm home to knock off Rams

QUEENSLAND went close to doubling their three-quarter time score with five-final quarter goals, helping them to a 32-point win over Division Two rivals, NSW/ACT in the Under 17 Futures game at Southport.

It was somewhat of an arm-wrestle to open the game as the two sides went goal for goal, seeing the visitors hold a slender one-point margin at the first break. With the advantage of the scoring end, Queensland kicked away to a handy buffer of just under three goals at the main break, but the Rams managed to close the margin to just 10 points at the final change to be in with a huge chance of knocking off the hosts.

Kicking to the scoring end once again, an inspired Queensland came home strongly to seal the victory and showcase their stars for the future.

William Martyn was easily the leading possession getter and best-on with 30 touches coming with 10 tackles, seven marks, six clearances and a goal in a hard working display. Corey Joyce was damaging through the midfield with his 24 disposals, including six marks, four clearances and four rebound 50s. He looks a natural footballer who wins his own ball with a bit of zip. Up forward, Tom Jeffrey put on an outstanding display of marking with nine coming from his 21 disposals to go with six tackles, five inside 50’s and two goals. Jeffrey worked hard up the ground and was strong overhead, while reeling in a highlight reel one-on-one one-hander that had the crowd excited. He worked largely in tandem with Tom Wischnat, who played deeper forward and used his strong frame to boot two of his own goals.

For the Rams, Sydney Swans Academy member Josh Rayner showed why he has been touted as a potential 2019 first rounder as he collected 17 disposals, four clearances, three marks, three tackles and three inside 50s. While his numbers were not massive, Rayner was ultra impressive in the first half with his work rate and attack on the ball, and his big frame came into use as he read the ball well to take some nice overhead marks. Jackson Barling was the Rams’ leading ball winner with 23, doing his best work in-close to rack up six clearances and five tackles while also adding a snapped goal.

Others to impact the game were Lachlan Swaney, who had it 15 times and laid 13 tackles, while Swans Academy teammate Ky McGrath laid an impressive 15.

Final Scores:

Queensland: 11.8 (74) defeated NSW/ACT 5.12 (42)

GOALS:

Queensland: J. Gore 3, T. Jeffrey, T. Wischnat 2, W. Martyn, J. Hammond, B. Birch, L. Barry
NSW/ACT: J. Barling, J. Parks, N. Casalini, L. Delahunty, M. Kannan

BEST:
Queensland: W. Martyn, T. Jeffrey, C. Joyce, T. Wischnat, J. Gore
NSW/ACT: J. Rayner, J. Barling, L. Swaney, L. Parks, M. D’Agostino

Mariners, Rams kick-off U16 Championships with victories

TASMANIA and NSW/ACT have started the National Under 16s Division Two Championships off on the right foot, with two wins on the opening weekend. In the three-week series, each of the four sides will play the other three teams, with the first round held at Blacktown.

Tasmania knocked off Queensland by 22 points with North Launceston’s Jackson Callow and Glenorchy’s Jye Bearmanbooting three goals each to be the difference on the scoreboard. North Hobart’s Jye Menzie booted two majors and was named among the best with the other two key goal scorers. But Menzie’s North Hobart teammate Sam Collins was named best on ground in the 11.9 to 7.11 victory, while Launceston pair Toby Upsom and Will Harper – the only two Blues in the team, were also named among the best. For Queensland, Darling Downs’ Jack Briskey and Cairns’ Alex Davies booted two goals each, while the Tweed/Coolangatta’s Sam Clohesy was named Queensland’s best player in the loss. Moreton Bay’s Tahj Abberley, Davies and Wests’ Saxon Crozier were also named among the best for the losers.

In the other game, NSW/ACT were too good for Northern Territory, running away with a 62-point win. Maroubra’s small forward Errol Gulden was the star of the show, booting five goals and was named among the best. Lightly built Manly product Cooper Wilson was the Rams’ best on the day however, booting a goal and always looking busy. Kye PfrenglePierce Roseby and Coopa Steele (two goals) were also named among the best in the victory, while 198cm, 94kg, Jack Cullen was strong up forward booting two goals and also named among the best. For the losers, 14 year-old Andy Moniz-Wakefield was the star, while Brodie LakeJamal Lynch and Clarence Baird were also impressive.

Tasmania 11.9 (75) defeated Queensland 7.11 (53)

GOALS
Tasmania: Callow 3, Bearman 3, Menzie 2, Barwick, Davis|
Queensland: Briskey 2, Davies 2, Gates, Johnson, McGory

BEST
Tasmania: Collins, Upsom, Harper, Menzie, Bearman, Callow
Queensland: Clohesy, Abberley, Davies, Johnson, Crozier, Bulley

NSW/ACT 16.9 (105) defeated NT 6.7 (43)

GOALS
NSW/ACT: Gulden 5, Cullen 2, Steele 2, Eynaud 2, Monaghan, Wilson, Roseby, Dunstan, Dignam
Northern Territory: Tipiloura 2, Ford, Jeffrey, Barlow, Rioli

BEST
NSW/ACT: Wilson, Gulden, Pfrengle, Roseby, Steele, Cullen.
Northern Territory: Moniz-Wakefield, Lake, Lynch, Baird, Brock, Rioli

In the Under 17 Futures match, Josh Rayner was the dominant player up forward for NSW/ACT in the Rams’ win over Tasmania. NSW/ACT won by 49-points with Rayner booting five goals in the victory, while Jackson Barling booted three majors, and over-ager George Kendall finished with the two. For Tasmania, Oliver Burrows-Cheng was named the Mariners best, one of seven individual goal scorers on the day. Others named in the best were Jack McCullochBailey Gordon and Tyler McGinniss in the loss.

U17 Futures:

NSW/ACT 14.11 (95) defeated Tasmania 7.4 (46) 

GOALS
NSW/ACT: Rayner 5, Barling 3, Kendall 2, Pope, Conlan, Edwards, Thorne
Tasmania: Burrows-Cheng, McCulloch, Reeves, Viney, Bailey, Peppin, Stuart

BEST
NSW/ACT: Parks, Rayner, Barling, Edwards, Thorne, Whyte
Tasmania: Burrows-Cheng, McCulloch, Gordon, McGinniss, Peppin, Shaw

Metro, Country Under 16s claim victories in National Championships

VIC Metro and Vic Country have both claimed wins over their respective opponents in the National Under 16s Championships. Ahead of the big clash between the Victorian sides on Saturday, Metro defeated South Australia by 23 points, and Country knocked off NSW/ACT by 31 points in Horsham and Albury respectively.

Metro had to overcome an early deficit, kicking just one behind in the opening half as South Australia led by six points at the main break. But an inspired Victorian side came out to boot two goals in the third term, and three goals in the final quarter to run over the top of the Croweaters with a 23-point win. Alyssa Bannan was the key up forward for Vic Metro in the second half, with the Northern Knights star booting two goals, along with teammate Ellie McKenzie (one).

McKenzie was named in the best, along with Eastern Ranges small Olivia Meagher, who was dominant across the four quarters, named best on ground ahead of Ranges teammate, Tarni Brown. Fellow Ranges player Mietta Kendall, Oakleigh Chargers’ Taylah Morton, and Calder Cannons’ small forward Alisa Magri were named among Metro’s best. Sandringham Dragons’ Bella Eddey was the other goal scorer.

For South Australia, Aisha Thomas and Elouisa Thomas were the goal kickers, as Abbie Ballard was named the losing side’s best on the day. Hannah Ewings, Jamie Parish and Teah Charlton were also named among the best, in what was a strong performance from the South Australian side.

In the other game, Vic Country had control of the contest against NSW/ACT early, booting three goals to one in the opening term. The Rams hit back with the only goal in the next two quarters, to trail by just 11 points at the final break. A dominant last quarter saw Vic Country run away with the game, booting three goals to zero and record a 31-point victory.

Murray Bushrangers’ tall Olivia Barber was too strong, booting two goals, while midfielder/forward from the Dandenong Stingrays, Tyanna Smith also finished with two majors. Geelong Falcons’ forward Renee Tierney, and Bendigo Pioneers’ Elizabeth Snell both booted goals in the win. Greater Western Victoria (GWV) small forward Renee Saulitis was named best on ground for her efforts on the weekend, ahead of Smith, Snell and Rebels’ teammate Chloe Leonard. Tierney was also impressive, as was Pioneers rebounding defender, Brooke Hards.

For NSW/ACT, Amy Sligar and Abbey Martin were the goal kickers, making history as the first Under 16s side from NSW/ACT to compete in a National Championships. Sligar and Martin were among the Rams’ best in the loss, along with Jayde Hamilton and Arizona Cross. Natalie Sligar was deemed to be the Rams best in what was a memorable day for the state despite the defeat.

RESULTS:

South Australia           1.1   1.1   1.1    2.1 (13)
Vic Metro                      0.0   0.1  2.2    5.6 (36) 

GOALS
SA: 
Aisha Thomas, Elouisa Thomas.
Vic Metro:
Alyssa Bannan 2, Olivia Meagher, Bella Eddey, Ellie McKenzie.

BEST
SA:
Abbie Ballard, Hannah Ewings, Jamie Parish, Teah Charlton, Chloe Forby, Sarah Wright.
Vic Metro: 
 Olivia Meagher, Tarni Brown, Ellie McKenzie, Mietta Kendall, Taylah Morton, Alisa Magri

 

NSW/ACT                           1.0    2.1   2.2   2.2 (14)
Vic Country                       3.2    3.6   3.7    6.9 (45) 

GOALS
NSW/ACT:
Amy Sligar, Abbey Martin.
Vic Country: 
Olivia Barber 2, Tyanna Smith 2, Elizabeth Snell, Renee Tierney.

BEST
NSW/ACT: Natalie Sligar, Jayde Hamilton, Abbey Martin, Arizona Cross, Amy Sligar
Vic Country: Renee Saultis, Tyanna Smith, Elizabeth Snell, Chloe Leonard, Renee Tierney, Brooke Hards