Tag: Sandringham Dragons

Weekend Previews: TAC Cup – Preliminary finals

WE are down to the final four TAC Cup sides for season 2018, with Dandenong Stingrays taking on Sandringham Dragons, and Gippsland Power facing Oakleigh Chargers to determine the two, 2018 Grand Finalists.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Preliminary Finals  – Saturday, September 15, 11.30am
Ikon Park, Carlton North

Last week:

In the first of two preliminary finals, we take a look at the minor premiers, Dandenong Stingrays, taking on the fourth placed Sandringham Dragons. Last weekend, the Stingrays were on another level compared to the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, thumping them by 110 points, while the Dragons proved too good for the Murray Bushrangers in a 43-point win.

Last time:

Sandringham Dragons 6.10 (46) defeated by Dandenong Stingrays 14.9 (93)

In the final round of the TAC Cup season, Dandenong Stingrays ensured the Dragons had a nervous wait across the weekend, with a top four spot on the line. Sandringham luckily witnessed Northern Knights upsetting Murray Bushrangers to earn a weekend off. On the day, Sam Sturt and Finlay Bayne both booted three goals, while Matthew Cottrell claimed best on ground for the Stingrays. For the Dragons, Angus Hanrahan was the only multiple goal kicker with two majors, while James Rendell and Liam Stocker were impressive – Stocker picking up the three votes in the match despite the 47-point loss.

 

THE KEY – INSIDE MIDFIELD

The big key in the game is which side can win the ball at the coal face and get the ball down to their key forwards and crumbers. Both sides have good firepower inside 50, and the clearances will be an area to watch with the teams having strong contested ball winners. Looking at the starting midfields, there is not much to split them with clearances and contested possessions practically even. Dandenong’s starting three midfielders lay more tackles, with Toby Bedford also spending time up forward and adding pressure up there.

Sandringham:

Liam Stocker 12.5 contested possessions, 5.6 clearances, 4.5 tackles
Harry Reynolds 10.0 contested possessions, 3.3 clearances, 2.3 tackles
Kai Owens 8.7 contested possessions, 3.8 clearances, 6.2 tackles

= 31.2 contested possessions, 12.7 clearances, 13 tackles

vs.

Dandenong:

Sam Fletcher 13.4 contested possessions, 5.2 clearances, 7.7 tackles
Campbell Hustwaite 11.0 contested possessions, 5.0 clearances, 6.1 tackles
Toby Bedford 8.0 contested possessions, 2.3 clearances, 5.7 tackles

= 32.4 contested possessions, 12.5 clearances, 19.5 tackles

 

WHY THE TEAMS WILL WIN?

Dandenong: The best team all year, depth that is envious of any other side and equal to that of fellow challenger, Oakleigh. They seem to have winners across all thirds of the ground and just made the Rebels look silly last week. A last round win against the Dragons will have the Stingrays’ confidence high to repeat the effort again. The Stingrays love a scrap and will be keen to beat the Dragons at the contest and use their bigger bodies to extract the ball and pump it long.

Sandringham: Any side with Ben King inside 50 is a threat, and the Stingrays will not only look to nullify him, but just cut off the delivery to him, full stop. But if the Dragons midfielders can get on top on the inside, then the Stingrays defence could be under siege. They also possess the ball really well and will look to play the ball on their terms with slick, short ball use.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Preliminary Finals  – Saturday, September 15, 2pm
Ikon Park, Carlton North

Last week:

Gippsland Power managed to get over the highly dangerous Geelong Falcons with a 35-point victory at Ikon Park. They took four quarters to do it – leading by just eight points at the final break before a five-goal final term saw the second placed Power storm away with the game. The Chargers had a much easier game against Western Jets, shaking off an early challenge by the Jets to post a massive 120-point victory to earn a place in the preliminary final.

Last time:

Oakleigh Chargers 8.7 (55) defeated by Gippsland Power 9.6 (60)

Not much can be read into it given Oakleigh was missing the majority of its best 22, but Gippsland got the job done in a thriller at Warrawee Park with a Noah Gown goal in the dying seconds sealing a great comeback win. Noah Answerth bombed through a goal on the siren, but not release the ball until a second too late. The result left Oakleigh’s top four hopes in the lurch, but an impressive win over Sandringham Dragons and a 15-goal rout of the GWV Rebels put any threat of missing the week off to bed pretty soon. Daniel Scala booted four goals for the Chargers, while Trent Bianco and Sam Harte were named Oakleigh’s best in the loss. For Gippsland, Gown, Harrison Pepper and Sam Flanders all booted two goals, while Gown and Boadie Motton were named in the Power’s best.

 

THE KEY – FIREPOWER FORWARDS

Both Gippsland and Oakleigh head into the clash as sides that have dynamic forward lines. Gippsland has more structure to it, with two traditional talls in Gown and Josh Smith, while Oakleigh relies on a number of medium-talls and smalls rather than a key position monster. Last week, Dylan Williams booted six goals, while Atu Bosenavulagi, Jake Gasper, Charlie Whitehead and Jay Robertson all contributed multiple goals, while Gippsland had 10 individual goal kickers, with their club leading scorer Gown, contributing just the one.

As you will see from the below total, the top six goal kickers playing in the match provide plenty of options for midfielders to kick to, with some of the forwards spending time through the middle. Oakleigh’s six will largely form the six-man forward line against the Power, while Gippsland’s will see a number of their players begin in the midfield and rest forward.

Gippsland firepower:

Noah Gown – 30.18
Josh Smith – 20.7
Sam Flanders – 19.18
Austin Hodge – 14.13
Irving Mosquito – 14.4
Xavier Duursma – 13.5

Top 6: 110.65 (725)

Oakleigh firepower:

Jake Gasper – 38.15
Matthew Day – 20.10
Dylan Williams – 18.12
Jay Robertson – 15.8
Charlie Whitehead – 14.10
Atu Bosenavulagi – 13.9

Top 6: 118.64 (772)

 

WHY THE TEAMS WILL WIN?

Gippsland: The Power play an exciting brand of football that blends both speed and pressure which is really eye-catching, and will look to match Oakleigh at its own game of doing the same. The Power must simply bring the heat to the contest, because letting Oakleigh have too much time and space results in undesirable results for the team doing so.

Oakleigh: You cannot read into the season of the Chargers despite still finishing third. They are right up there with Dandenong in terms of premiership favourites and have stamped their authority with 90 and 120-point wins in their past two outings. They have ridiculous amounts of midfield depth and big bodies to control the inside while using their runners on the outside.

Bate kicking goals at all levels

HOLLY Bate has never really listened to popular opinion. If she had, she might never have joined Prahran and kick-started a football career that would see her take out the TAC Cup Girls Leading Goalkicker Award in her top-age year. Looking back, Bate is glad she took the chance on running around with the boys.

“Well I have a twin brother and it was about Under 9s and he played his first game of footy at Prahran junior footy club,” Bate said. “I went to watch and I was like ‘that’s so cool, like ‘I really want to play’, but I was the only girl and would be the only girl on the team so I was like ‘I can’t really play’. “I didn’t really think much of it, but everyone else was like ‘it’s a bit weird’ and so I was like ‘nup I want to play’ so I just joined up and was playing with the boys and I got along really well with the boys so it was an easy transition to start playing.”

The Sandringham Dragons forward burst onto the scene in 2018 when she booted 12 goals in two games against Western Jets and Bendigo Pioneers and snatched the leading goalkicker award.

“I didn’t really think much of it,” Bate said. “It kinda just happened, I didn’t really set out to try and win the goal kicking. “I think those few games we played at Trevor Barker were pretty handy. “I didn’t really celebrate it, I must say.”

Bate believed it took until later in the season for her to rise up above the level she had admittedly been at for some time, but is glad she did, enjoying her football on the way to representing Vic Metro at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships.

“I found that I came into it at a level I’d been at for a while now at the end of the last season,” Bate said. “I felt I had stepped up a bit, had improved. “I learned how to play forward at a more complex level. “It was quite enjoyable.”

Speaking of the championships, Bate was thrilled to run out representing her state alongside so many other talented players.

“It’s pretty full on,” she said. “I’ve never properly done this before. “It’s more elite than anything I’ve done, but it’s really good. I love it.”

Like so many others, Bate has noticed a definite standard increase amongst the competition describing the TAC Cup Girls as having “improved out of sight”. Now the Sandringham Dragons teenager hopes to keep playing at the highest possible level, following a newly found dream of playing AFL Women’s.

“(It’s) not always (been my dream to be drafted), because I never thought women’s footy would be a thing in my career,” Bate said. “Now it’s got going, I’m definitely playing now.”

Undecided about what she wants to do in her career just yet, she hopes to go to university once her Year 12 studies are over, something she has learnt to balance.

“Doing Year 12 it’s pretty busy at the moment, it’s very full on, but I’ve found ways to balance it all out,” she said.

Aside from the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Bate has also tasted senior football with the Southern Saints in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition, kicking a goal on debut and continuing her passion of playing as high as possible in the football pathway.

Father’s influence inspired Jemma Owen’s love for Aussie Rules

BEING the daughter of a man that has played and coached over 500 games in Melbourne’s south east region is no easy feat to live up to.

Throw in an uncle who is a former Victorian Football Association (VFA) player for Oakleigh, and you have one talented football family. But perhaps the most talented of them all is Sandringham Dragons captain, Jemma Owen.

Owen’s name became well-known when she booted a bag of 16 goals for her local team, Highett, and since that moment, has grown in leaps and bounds. The 18 year-old credits her improvement to the dedication of her late father, Kevin.

“So I got into footy through my dad,” Owen said. “My dad coached and played over 500 games. “Just going down to the ground with him and watching the boys play, I was like that’s what I want to do when I grow up, I want to play footy.”

Owen first picked up a football in a competitive environment at Auskick, where many TAC Cup Girls players discovered their love for the game. After playing with the boys for many years, the Sandringham skipper grasped the rising opportunities for females at the time, and reflected on how the pathway has grown over the years.

“Definitely coming through the ranks and going through Auskick and everything to playing with the boys, they’re kind of like oh there’s a girl!,” Owen said. “Now seeing that there’s so many girls playing and having the opportunity to come through is really great.”

Before she started to take her opportunities in football, Owen did athletics for 11 years. She competed in discus and loved playing that sport, as well as many other sports, but football was always in the back of her mind.

“I wanted to do every sport under the sun,” Owen said. “Athletics was always there and I wasn’t bad at it, my thing was discus. “Obviously as I got older, the body started to get bigger and I was still small, and so I couldn’t compete at that level so definitely footy was the big thing for me.”

This year, Owen has been able to grasp an opportunity that not many players get to have. After four years playing in Dragons colours, she led the side in 2018 and was thrilled to do so.

“I’m very honoured to be picked as captain,” Owen said. “I’ve been playing with Sandringham for four years and finally getting the chance to captain them and playing under awesome captains is definitely a proud moment for me and definitely one I’ll remember.”

Another memorable moment for Owen came this year when she was selected in Vic Metro’s AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships squad. Owen featured in Metro’s match against Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium and was just glad to be selected in the first place.

“It’s definitely a massive honour (being selected),” the Dragons captain said. “I’ve probably worked for four years to have this opportunity and to be selected to play. “It’s an amazing opportunity and something I’ve wished for for a long time.”

The hard work has paid off as Owen is now a member of the Southern Saints’ Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s team. The 18 year-old has played six games for the Saints this season and has thoroughly enjoyed the transition to VFLW.

“It’s been an awesome opportunity,” Owen said. “The girls down there have been really great. “They’re really supportive of the TAC girls coming down. “It’s been an awesome opportunity to play at that elite level.”

Fantastic Five: Memorable moments from the weekend

FROM amazing goals and individual hauls, to giant battles and impressive performances, there were plenty of memorable moments from last weekend’s football action.

Jack Higgins’ goal

It is probably the most controversially talked about ‘snag’ in recent history, but sometimes you just have to sit back and admire the football smarts from a first year player with that kind of goal sense. Whether it was officially a throw or not is all academic, because once he had kicked the goal, the review could not overrule a non-call from a field umpire. The goal stood and it is a highlight that will be replayed over and over again, much to the delight of the Tiger faithful and the rest of the football community. Well done, Jack Higgins.

Depth gets it done for Dragons

Sandringham Dragons cope with most of their best 22 missing throughout the year due to school football, relying on a lot of bottom-agers to come up and play roles in the team. It makes it difficult to get consistency in their performances, and with the finals approaching, every week is crucial. Last weekend, the Dragons defeated Bendigo Pioneers by eight points in a low-scoring affair, and while it was not pretty, the Dragons remain in contention for a top four spot with three rounds to go, and only one round without their key players.

Victorian giants do battle

Regardless of club allegiances, the top four clash between Richmond and Collingwood – the two sides with the largest membership base – saw an absolute thriller for three quarters, until Richmond did what it does best and put separation on its opponent in the final half an hour. The Tigers looked every bit the premiership contender as they have all season, while the Pies faithful would have walked away thinking that with a bit more luck and a few less injuries, they are just about there. If these two face off in a final, expect Melbourne to be rocking.

Salisbury grab third

Their form over the past fortnight in particular has been as good as anyone, and now Salisbury is in a great position heading into the South Australian Women’s Football League (SAWFL) finals. They drew with minor premiers Morphettville Park last week, unlucky not to get the four points, and then knocked over Christies Beach to snatch third spot and remain in the hunt for second. While Salisbury is expected to win its final game, so is second placed Adelaide University, meaning Salisbury will likely face Christies Beach in a sudden death semi-final. But at least they will have the home ground advantage.

Kira Phillips’ form

There’s consistency, and then there’s Kira Phillips. The goal-scoring machine has been an enigma for the premiership favourites Peel Thunderbirds in the Western Australian Women’s Football League (WAWFL). On the weekend against the lowly Perth Angels, she booted 10 majors, but remarkably it was not the first time she had done it. Earlier in the season she had booted 10 against East Fremantle, as well as bags of nine (South Fremantle), eight (Perth Angels) and two bags of six (South Fremantle and West Perth). If her 11 goals from four games to start the season looked solid, then her 76 goals from 15 matches has been massive. That means she has kicked 65 goals from her past 11 games – practically six goals a game. Wow.

Unsatisfied Brown determined to improve

MAKING Vic Metro for the second consecutive year, named among Sandringham Dragons’ bests on multiple occasions and called up to play for Southern Saints in the VFL Women’s, the talented Eleanor Brown was not satisfied with her TAC Cup season.

She described her individual TAC Cup Girls season as “disappointing”, clearly showing that the onus of you are your own harshest critic rings true. Her performances were good enough to book a ticket to the Gold Coast for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, and catch the eye of the Southern Saints talent scouts. Brown was pleased with how the Dragons went in the second TAC Cup Girls competition.

“We did pretty well the team I thought,” she said. “Especially in the second half of the season, we kept improving and finished third, so we were pretty happy.”

Brown named her endurance as her main strength, although many who have watched her know how strong she is in the air and her ability to win one-on-one contests is as good as anyone. Her focus right now is that of her disposal, an area that has been improving over time and one she is working hard on developing.

“(I want to improve) everything, but probably my kicking is a bit of a weakness,” she said. “I’m not very accurate so I work on that mostly and just everything.”

The Vic Metro representative played a key role for her state side at the championships, especially in the second game loss to Queensland where she did everything she could to rebound out of defence.

“It’s so fun I love it (Vic Metro experience),” Brown said. “It was a really good experience last year. I didn’t play very well, but it was just such good experience and I was really excited to get in the team.”

It is amazing to think how far Brown has come in the past few years, starting back at local football midway through high school.

“I think I started in Year 9 or 10, just at my local club Glen Iris because they were always short on players,” Brown said. “So I used to go down after netball training and play with them and then I started playing at Sandringham two years ago.”

Brown was not sure of the reason behind focusing more on football, but she admits she has become “more serious” with the sport and has had to cut back on netball. She is in her first year at university, studying physiotherapy, something she hopes to follow through on over the next few years.

Her dream on the field is to take her football as far as she can, something that was not possible when she was growing up, knowing there was no clear pathway to the elite level.

“When I was really young I loved footy,” she said. “I didn’t play and it wasn’t really an option to be professional but I always wanted to be a professional netballer in primary school. “Now for sure it’s a dream to play footy.”

The unselfish Brown credits everyone involved in the sports she has played with her development in football.

“Probably just all my coaches from every sport (are the biggest influences),” Brown said. They’ve all helped me in different ways, I think like I’ve had a lot of coaches, but they’ve all definitely helped so much. “My teammates as well, they’re always looking out for each other.”

Brown is already impressing with the Southern Saints, winning plenty of the ball and running hard along the wings, no doubt catching eyes with consistent performances that are building towards the end-of-year AFL Women’s draft.

Scouting notes: Sandringham Dragons vs. Eastern Ranges

SANDRINGHAM Dragons got the job done against Eastern Ranges in the standalone TAC Cup game on Saturday and Scott Dougan watched on to take note of the extended Victorian squad players who took part in the match.

Eastern Ranges:

#24 Kye Quirk

On a wet day, in a scrappy contest, Quirk tried his hardest to move the ball forward when possible. He played as a midfielder and worked hard to link up with his teammates. His agility in tight situations came in handy as he tried to find space in a contested game. Quirk tackled strongly and amassed plenty of possessions in all areas of the ground, making him one of the Ranges best.

#23 Xavier Fry

Fry played the majority of the game on the half-back flank but also contributed to the Ranges midfield at times. He was one of very few players that were clean in wet conditions. Fry’s speed and agility were important for the Ranges when rebounding defensive 50. His ball use was brilliant, especially in the second quarter when he hit Dermot Reynolds with an opposite foot kick.

#42 Tom Lockman

The wet and windy conditions did not suit Lockman and he struggled to have an impact. A quiet game, but he did impress with a big tackle deep inside 50 in the second quarter. His continuous efforts in bringing the ball to ground level in marking contests helped the Ranges small forwards.

Sandringham:

#2 Alastair Richards

Richards was able to impact the contest with his speed, defensive pressure and decision making. He played on the wing in the first quarter and showed off his pace and composure. He lowered his eyes on multiple occasions when moving the ball forward, trying to find the best available target. In the fourth quarter, he delivered a beautiful kick inside 50 to Dawit McNeish, who kicked the sealer for the Dragons.

#6 Harry Houlahan

The midfielder was a consistent performer over four quarters for the Dragons. He had no trouble finding the ball in all areas of the ground and spent the majority of the game in the middle of the ground. He caught the eye in the third quarter when he took the game on through the middle of the ground, kicking the ball deep inside forward to the advantage of his teammates.

#7 Liam Stocker

Stocker was involved in the first two passages of play in the game, which resulted in a goal to Charlie Dean. He put his head over the ball relentlessly and demonstrated his strength in contested situations. He accumulated plenty of the ball and his clearance work was a standout.

#19 Sam Forbes

Forbes made good decisions when he had the ball and his skills were noticeable in sloppy conditions. The penetration and accuracy of his kicks when entering the forward 50 proved difficult for the Ranges to defend at times. A good game off half-back.

#33 Will Kennedy

Kennedy’s defensive work was fabulous and he showed that he can play multiple positions, drifting forward in the last quarter. When defending, he was able to spoil the ball in marking contests and also when he got caught behind on the lead. His ball use was clean and he showed composure for a big man. He didn’t have the same impact forward as he did defensively, but he provided some strong leads and competed hard.

#61 Fischer McAsey

Due to the conditions, McAsey also found it difficult to get involved. His kick inside 50 in the second term resulted in a goal to George Grey. In the third quarter, McAsey led strongly to a kick inside 50 from Forbes and was rewarded with a free kick. He put the Dragons two points ahead after successfully converting the goal.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 7

ROUND seven sees the ladder-leaders in Geelong having a bye, meaning that this week is the time to shine for the next tier of teams. With traditional rivals doing battle and teams close on the ladder going head-to-head, this weekend’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s action is unmissable.

 

SOUTHERN SAINTS v. NT THUNDER

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

11:15AM

SkyBus Stadium

After losing their first game in four weeks, the Southern Saints will be hungry to regain that winning form. But coming up against the undefeated Northern Territory (NT) Thunder is no easy feat, as it sits second on the ladder with an average winning margin of 53 points. This match pits current AFLW stars against the next generation of potential elite footballers, as NT’s host of Adelaide players will do battle against some of the most exciting TAC Cup Girls players. Last time Sandringham star midfielder, Eleanor Brown played for the Saints, she amassed 25 disposals and kicked a goal, as did Eastern Ranges forward, Gabriella De Angelis. Expect big games from these talented players as well as Dandenong Stingrays duo, Courtney Jones and Shelley Heath, who both bring about X-factor in their game.

 

COLLINGWOOD v. CARLTON

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

01:00PM

Warrawee Park

Originally a curtain-raiser before the men’s game, the women now get their own stage on Saturday at Warrawee Park where a cracking match is set to take place. Both teams would be keen for a win, as the Pies are coming off a bye and the Blues are coming off their fourth consecutive loss. It is not all doom and gloom for Carlton though, as their leading disposal-getter in round four, Tyla Hanks comes back into the side following a solid performance in the big ‘V’ for Vic Country. She will be joined by a host of AFLW players such as Bridie Kennedy, Natalie Plane and Tilly Lucas-Rodd. It will be interesting to see how they match up against Collingwood’s AFLW contingent, which features the likes of Best and Fairest winner, Chloe Molloy, midfielder, Jaimee Lambert and defender, Sarah D’Arcy.

 

CASEY DEMONS v. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

04:00PM

Casey Fields

With each team only tasting victory once this season, both sides would go into this game thinking that they are a chance to record their second win. The Bulldogs come in with all the momentum, having recorded their first win of the season last week, when they thrashed Williamstown. Casey are not far off though, having defeated the Seagulls in the previous round. Demon, Harriet Cordner will have a tough task this week, as she will have to shut down the in-form Jessica Francke, who is coming off a five-goal performance. Be sure to keep an eye out for Vic Country captain, Jordyn Allen, who will start up forward for Casey to prove her versatility, after spending most of her TAC Cup Girls season either in defence or in the midfield.

 

MELBOURNE UNI  v. DAREBIN

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

06:30PM

Melville Oval, Hamilton

Unfortunately, this VFLW season hasn’t gone to plan for Melbourne Uni with the Mugars only recording one win so far. They will be thrilled to welcome back Calder Cannons captain, Madison Prespakis back into the midfield, after her last game saw her rack up 23 disposals. She will be able to take advantage of a Darebin side without two of its most influential midfielders, as AFLW duo, Lily Mithen and Nat Exon will not feature in a must-win clash for the Falcons. After a disappointing performance last week where no goal was scored for three quarters, expect a big game from gun forward, Hannah Mouncey, who did not kick a goal in the match at GMHBA Stadium. She currently leads the VFLW goal kicking tally with 12 goals from five games.

 

HAWTHORN  v. ESSENDON

Round 7 – 24/06/2018

11:45AM

Box Hill City Oval

After Carlton and Collingwood do battle on Saturday, another set of traditional rivals in Hawthorn and Essendon will go head-to-head on Sunday. The Hawks will be fancying their chances as they face a Bombers side who are yet to experience victory this season. Essendon will welcome in Calder Cannons young guns in Carla Rendelmann and Molly Warburton, but its forward line has taken a hit, as leading goal kicker, Alex Quigley and goal-sneak, Danielle Ponter will not take the field this week. It will be up to Canadian duo, Kendra Heil and Valerie Moreau to provide some X-factor inside 50. However, with an experienced Hawthorn defence featuring Meg Hutchins, Pepa Randall and Jayde Van Dyk, the task could prove quite difficult. Keep an eye out for the brilliant kicking of Eastern Ranges co-captain, Emerson Woods and TAC Cup Girls teammate, Mikala Cann,who brings immense speed to the midfield thanks to her athletics background. The Vic Metro duo will take the field for the brown and gold for the first time this season.

Team selection: VFLW – Round 7

A host of TAC Cup Girls will make their Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s debut this week, as they prepare for the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships commencing on July 9. A couple of traditional rivals will go head-to-head this weekend as well with both Carlton and Collingwood and Hawthorn and Essendon battling it out for a round seven victory.

 

SOUTHERN SAINTS v. NT THUNDER

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

11:15AM

SkyBus Stadium

The Southern Saints will have to fight hard to get back on the winner’s list this week as they face the undefeated NT Thunder this Saturday. Sandringham Dragons duo, Eleanor Brown and Jemma Owen will retake to the field this week after representing Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. They have been named in alongside Carlton AFLW player, Laura Attard, Eastern Ranges pair, Gabriella De Angelis and Charlotte Wilson as well as Dandenong Stingrays duo, Shelley Heath and Courtney Jones.

NT Thunder have made 11 changes with lots of Northern Territory talent being re-injected into the side. Tabitha May will be making her senior debut this week after being named most valuable player in round one of the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. Coming back to the side will be defenders, Tahlia Holtze, Jemma Iacono, Morgan Johnstonand Lisa Roberts. Similarly, Jasmine Anderson, Lucy Adam and ruck, Jess Allan will be welcomed back into the midfield. For the forward line, the skillful Jasmyn Hewett will return from rest alongside Jordann Hickey and Ruth Wallace. However, the Thunder has rested AFLW Adelaide Crows stars, Sophie Armitstead, Georgia Bevan, Courtney Cramey, Chelsea Randall, Deni Varnhagen, Jenna McCormick and Sally Riley in line with an AFL Victoria directive to reduce the number of South Australian-based players in the team each weekMadeline Gault, Sue Nalder and Kristy Irvine will also miss this week’s match up.

Southern Saints
B: 29. M. Macdonald, 14. I. Quintal, 30. C. Wilson
HB: 17. L. Olsen, 38. S. Karlson, 31. G. Walker
C: 39. E. Brown, 2. A. Brown, 52. T. Gordon
HF: 21. D. Lawrence, 15. T. Bohanna, 27. K. Macqueen
F: 35. G. De Angelis, 13. C. Munn, 33. J. Owen
R: 28. R. Watt, 8. A. Drennan, 32. S. Johnson
Int: 10. L. Arnell, 18. L. Attard, 43. S. Heath, 40. M. Maitland
Emg: 49. A. Allsopp, 24. K. Ripari, 19. A. Silver, 22. D. Smith
23P: 42. C. Jones

In: E. Brown, J. Owen, L. Attard, G. De Angelis, C. Jones, C. Wilson, S. Heath
Out: S. Bolding, A. Ryan, K. Thompson

NT Thunder
B: 5. M. Roberts, 7. L. O’Shea, 44. M. Johnston
HB: 18. T. Holtze, 37. S. Allan, 13. L. Roberts
C: 12. J. Anderson, 3. A. Foley, 32. K. Streader
HF: 31. J. Sedunary, 11. J. Hickey, 15. R. Wallace
F: 28. R. Forth, 20. J. Hewett, 6. L. Motlop
R: 25. J. Allan, 17. E. Swanson, 43. K. Duggan
Int: 1. L. Adam, 10. S. Barnett, 41. A. Chittick, 19. J. Iacono
Emg: 42. G. Cusack, 23. S. Mauboy, 47. T. May
23P: 48. N. Gore

In: T. May, J. Hickey, T. Holtze, M. Johnston, J. Iacono, J. Hewett, L. Adam, R. Wallace, N. Gore, L. Roberts, J. Anderson, J. Allan
Out: D. Varnhagen, C. Cramey, S. Riley, G. Bevan, S. Armitstead, M. Gault, C. Randall, K. Irvine, J. McCormick, S. Nalder

 

COLLINGWOOD v. CARLTON

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

01:00PM

Warrawee Park

Collingwood will be coming off a week’s rest when it takes on Carlton at Warrawee Park this weekend. The Magpies have made four key changes to their line-up, bringing in AFLW talents, Ruby Schleicher, Kristy Stratton and Emma GrantLeah French will also join the side this week, while Mua LaloifiGabrielle Biedenweg-Webster, Sarah Cameron and AFLW player, Holly Whitford have been named out. Oakleigh Chargers forward, Daisy Bateman comes back into the side as the 23rd player after scoring three goals on debut for the Magpies.

Carlton has made five changes in the lead up to this week’s match, starting with the exciting inclusion of this year’s TAC Cup Girls Northern Knights captain, Maddy Brancatisano. She will come in as the 23rd player and bring her leadership experience after leading her side to the inaugural TAC Cup Girls Grand Final. She will be joined by another TAC Cup Girls leader in Gippsland co-captain, Tyla Hanks, who was one of the best on ground for Vic Country in its first Nationals hit-out. Carlton AFLW players, Natalie Plane and Bridie Kennedy have also been named to take the field this week, as well as sister of Breann Moody, Celine Moody. They will have big shoes to fill with AFLW teammates, Jess Hosking and Sophie Li being rested. Oakleigh Chargers forward, Isabella Gietzmann and Rachel King have been omitted while Courtney Bromage has shifted her focus from football back to her studies for the remainder of the season.

Collingwood
B: 52. N. Hales, 61. A. Malander, 72. K. Lee
HB: 22. S. Casey, 18. R. Schleicher, 47. J. Edwards
C: 81. B. Jones, 4. S. D’Arcy, 99. S. Marsh
HF: 49. S. Alexander, 77. C. Leighton, 2. C. Molloy
F: 54. H. Grubb, 75. E. Fowler, 13. J. Lambert
R: 11. E. Hynes, 5. E. Grant, 55. L. French
Int: 65. E. Browning, 50. G. Buchan, 63. P. Nash, 41. K. Stratton
Emg: 56. P. Davey, 53. R. Grant, 62. E. Korteman, 68. S. Yoannidis
23P: 66. D. Bateman

Carlton
B: 24. R. Hicks, 7. S. Last, 56. C. Williams
HB: 34. A. Chuot, 5. D. Pedersen, 40. K. Harvey
C: 55. C. Dalton, 32. N. Plane, 18. T. Lucas-Rodd
HF: 38. L. McCarthy, 50. J. Borg, 90. B. Walker
F: 27. K. Cox, 42. C. Hardeman, 41. K. Cunico
R: 16. B. Moody, 26. S. Audley, 51. T. Hanks
Int: 82. N. Burns, 23. B. Kennedy, 36. C. Moody, 37. B. Schultz
Emg: 45. R. King, 35. S. Li, 66. T. Plowman, 63. O. Vesely
23P: 8. M. Brancatisano

In: O. Vesely, N. Plane, T. Hanks, M. Brancatisano, B. Kennedy, C. Moody
Out: J. Hosking, C. Bromage

 

CASEY DEMONS v. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

04:00PM

Casey Fields

Both the Casey Demons and Western Bulldogs come into round seven with one win under their belt and hungry for more. Coming off last week’s bye, the Demons have brought in AFLW players, Laura Duryea and Kate Hore, Bianca Jakobsson and Katherine Smith. They will be joined by Dandenong Stingrays and Vic Country captain, Jordyn Allen, as well as Taylor Mesiti and Sally Fyfield. This week the Demons also signed Shae Sloane, sister of Rory Sloane, who will don the red and blue jumper for the first time this weekend as the 23rd player. The former Volleyroos captain is an exciting addition to the team.

Coming off their first win of the season, the Bulldogs have pulled the ace from their sleeve this week, bringing in AFLW premiership captain, Ellie Blackburn for her VFLW debut. She will be joined by another debutant in AFLW premiership forward, Deanna Berry. Both girls are no stranger to a tough game of football and are sure to add class to the Dogs’ line-up. Laura Bailey, Nicole Paul, Brittney Wunhym and Katerina Rebuffo have also been named in for the round seven clash.

Casey Demons
B: 37. L. Lowerson, 27. A. Harrison, 15. S. Phillips
HB: 34. D. Guttridge, 21. H. Cordner, 16. C. Sheriff
C: 25. M. Shevlin, 22. K. Guttridge, 8. M. Tatham
HF: 18. K. Bentvelzen , 29. E. Zanker , 41. T. Mesiti
F: 38. J. Allen, 12. G. McLean, 7. B. Jakobsson
R: 14. T. Orgill, 13. K. Smith, 2. A. Newman
Int: 48. S. Fyfield, 9. A. Johnson, 6. A. McDonough, 5. S. Poke
Emg: 3. R. Clayton, 47. M. Hogg, 30. A. Marshall, 33. L. Rutter, 49. B. Struylaart
23P: 26. S. Sloane

Western Bulldogs
B: 9. T. Dinuccio, 42. N. Paul, 5. R. Martinuzzo
HB: 26. T. Morgan, 18. E. Birch, 38. C. O’Brien
C: 13. L. Bailey, 21. B. Hunt, 10. S. Jolly
HF: 1. B. Lochland, 12. J. Francke, 6. K. McLeod
F: 7. D. Berry , 32. A. Mifsud, 41. A. Scott
R: 24. K. Rennie, 2. E. Blackburn, 17. H. Wildes
Int: 31. A. Gunn, 29. T. Hamilton, 47. N. McMahon, 51. K. Rebuffo
Emg: 16. N. Ferres, 40. N. Gills, 36. A. Gogos , 27. E. Muller
23P: 37. B. Wunhym

In: L. Bailey, N. Paul, B. Wunhym, N. Gills, D. Berry , E. Blackburn, K. Rebuffo
Out: E. Mackay, R. Ashley, A. Tessari

 

MELBOURNE UNI  v. DAREBIN

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

06:30PM

Melville Oval, Hamilton

Melbourne Uni will go into this week’s clash against Darebin missing two Kangaroo recruits, Jamie Stanton and Danielle HardimanMarta Cantwell has also been named out. In their place, Vic Metro captain, Madison Prespakis will be welcomed back to the field alongside the fearless Sophie Abbatangelo, Asha Price, Alexandra Saundry, Candice Adams and Lauren Munday.

Darebin has made six changes to its round seven side. This involves the inclusion of AFLW player, Nicole Callinan as well as Cherelle Byrne, Janelle Bertoni, Shree Fairchild and Eastern Ranges and Vic Metro defender, Lauren Szigeti who comes in as the 23rd player. The Falcons will be going into the game without powerhouse, Lily Mithen, who is a former captain of Vic Country, and Melbourne AFLW player. Fellow AFLW midfielder, Nat Exon is another big out for the Falcons this week.

Melbourne Uni
B: 27. J. Anderson, 29. K. Klatt, 6. E. Keaney
HB: 53. J. Grierson, 43. L. Munday, 24. S. Wilson
C: 10. K. Ashmore, 15. E. Kearney, 44. A. Runnalls
HF: 11. P. Cordes, 9. K. Price, 2. H. Ibrahim
F: 1. S. Abbatangelo, 34. A. Price, 7. A. Riddell
R: 33. C. Adams, 41. K. Gillespie-Jones, 18. A. Tupper
Int: 19. L. Ahrens, 38. K. Angelis, 20. L. Belza, 4. A. Saundry
Emg: 28. A. Dalley, 45. M. McDonald, 35. M. Shone, 16. T. Watson
23P: 46. M. Prespakis

In: S. Abbatangelo, C. Adams, L. Munday, A. Price, T. Watson, A. Saundry, M. Prespakis
Out: J. Stanton, D. Hardiman, M. Cantwell

Darebin
B: 32. G. Colvin, 27. S. Hogan, 49. R. Hibbert
HB: 48. L. Jacobs, 14. M. McDonald, 21. K. Roe
C: 2. N. Callinan, 9. M. Eastman, 15. A. Lister
HF: 26. T. Olcorn, 24. K. Shierlaw, 56. M. Wilson
F: 22. G. Hammond, 43. H. Mouncey, 17. S. Simpson
R: 41. A. O’Connor, 20. M. Guerin, 12. J. Dal pos
Int: 36. C. Byrne, 44. S. Fairchild, 31. E. Gardner, 11. K. Tyndall
Emg: 37. J. Bertoni, 1. E. Honybun, 29. S. Normington – Dickens, 30. E. O’Dea
23P: 35. L. Szigeti

In: S. Fairchild, L. Szigeti, G. Hammond, N. Callinan, S. Normington – Dickens, C. Byrne, J. Bertoni
Out: L. Skipper, N. Exon, L. Mithen

 

HAWTHORN  v. ESSENDON

Round 7 – 24/06/2018

11:45AM

Box Hill City Oval

Hawthorn will be looking for repeat efforts of last weekend when it takes on the winless Essendon. They have brought in two debutants for the occasion, including Eastern Ranges duo, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann. Both girls have proven to be tough competitors after their TAC Cup Girls experience this year. Clare O’Donnell and Nicky Cormack have had to make way for the young midfielders.

Yet to experience victory, Essendon will be desperate for a win, coming off the bye. The Bombers have trusted in three debutants to bring them the result they desire. Greater Western Sydney defender, Tanya Hetherington and 17-year-old Calder Cannons defender, Molly Warburton will hopefully bolster the Dons’ defensive pressure. Another 17-year-old Cannons recruit, Carla Rendelmann will also play her first game, being named as the 23rd player. Aysha Ward and Monique DeMatteo have also been named in while Jessica Anwyl, Danielle Ponter, Alex Quigley, Jenna Barker and Erin Bult have been named out.

Hawthorn
B: 22. T. Luke, 21. P. Randall, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 4. S. Carroll, 36. J. Van Dyk, 13. E. Nixon
C: 17. S. David, 1. E. Mackie, 9. M. Kuys
HF: 14. O. Flanagan, 25. M. Hutchins, 33. E. Gilder
F: 8. R. Beeson, 28. S. Perkins, 5. C. Perera
R: 32. K. Ebb, 39. S. McNamara, 6. J. Crockett-Grills
Int: 45. M. Cann, 40. E. Macdonald, 16. C. Papadopoulos, 19. L. Wotton
Emg: 37. J. Barnden, 24. R. Dillon, 11. D. Haines, 29. A. Tanner
23P: 43. E. Woods

In: D. Haines, M. Cann, A. Tanner, R. Dillon, E. Woods, J. Barnden
Out: C. O’Donnell, N. Cormack

Essendon
B: 25. R. Neaves, 7. K. Hicks, 5. M. Warburton
HB: 17. T. Hetherington, 16. L. Morecroft, 27. A. Morcom
C: 44. M. Collier, 37. I. Malliaras, 46. C. Ugle
HF: 35. V. Moreau, 18. K. Heil, 47. A. Ward
F: 4. N. Hardy, 12. B. Kearney, 22. N. MacDonald
R: 30. S. Nalder, 9. L. Williams, 8. H. Bullas
Int: 15. L. Caruso, 3. M. DeMatteo, 32. T. Mackrill, 1. J. Trend
Emg: 14. J. Barker, 49. E. Bult, 26. A. Madden, 28. C. Portlock
23P: 36. C. Rendelmann

Season reviews: TAC Cup Girls – Sandringham Dragons

THE Sandringham Dragons nearly earned themselves a grand final berth with a strong run home. They won six straight games to end their season on a high note, with half of those wins being more than 50 points. The Dragons only lost to the two teams above them on the ladder, demonstrating their ability to put away weaker sides and show their strength in the competition.

Position: 3rd
Win-loss: 7-2
Percentage: 208%

Results:

R1: lost to Geelong Falcons by 20 points
R2: defeated Oakleigh Chargers by 33 points
R3: lost to Northern Knights by 30 points
R4: defeated Dandenong Stingrays by 15 points
R5: defeated Calder Cannons by 55 points
R6: defeated Murray Bushrangers by 15 points
R7: defeated Western Jets by 50 points
R8: defeated Bendigo Pioneers by 71 points
R9: defeated Gippsland Power by 24 points

Key players:

Eleanor Brown: Brown was a prolific ball-user throughout the season, with her clean hands and long kicks allowing swift ball movement. She was a ball magnet in the midfield and could cover ground really well to back up her work in key areas of the ground. Her strong hands were also key in the season, as she took many intercept marks to help penetrate the ball forward for her teammates. Brown has had a busy off-season already, playing a game for both Vic Metro and the Southern Saints in the VFLW, excelling in both matches.

Bella Eddey: Eddey was a great user of the footy in the forward line, often getting on the end of a lot of goals throughout the season. She worked hard in and under the contests to win the footy and also presented well at forward entries to ensure that she could contribute to the Dragons’ fierce attacking. Has a huge tank and can run up and down the ground with the same intensity and effort throughout the game. Eddey was rewarded for her six goals from seven games in the TAC Cup Girls season with a spot in the Vic Metro U16 side in the AFL Women’s National Under 16 Championships.

Jemma Owen: Owen was a great leader for the Dragons and seemed to improve as the season went on. She played every game for Sandringham and was versatile in her approach to winning the football. Traditionally an inside midfielder, Owen always went in hard for the footy and tackled strongly. But she could also work up the ground and make an impact up forward, as she kicked six goals for the season. A hard runner, Owen always did her best to ensure she was first at the footy, which put immense pressure on the opposition. The Dragons captain has already had the opportunity to show off her skills on the big stage, as she lined up for Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium in Series One of the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships.

Abbie McKay: A midfielder that loved to take the game on, McKay was a vital member in the Dragons’ squad. She had the ability to move the ball swiftly through the corridor, which was testament to her clean hands and precise kicking. Had the ability to float into defence where she would use those same attributes as well as strong hands to mop up the footy well for Sandringham. McKay often demonstrated good power to burst out of a stoppage and her work in close was an asset of her game. She was able to display her signature style of football in Vic Metro’s win over Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium, and is training with Carlton’s VFLW side in a bid to play with the club that her father played for.

Eliza McNamara: An exciting young midfielder that showed class and skill on the field. McNamara showed impressive endurance and great ball movement throughout the season, and was a key cog in the Sandringham midfield. She often provided excellently delivered kicks to her teammates and her hands in close were exceptional. It was difficult to identify that McNamara was a bottom-ager as her ball-use and ability to fight hard for the footy against a bigger body displayed extreme maturity on her behalf. Testament to this, she got to pull on the big ‘V’ and run out with Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s National Under 16 Championships.

Holly Bate: Bate was the TAC Cup Girls leading goal kicker of the season, booting through 18 goals from nine games. She particularly hit her straps inside 50 towards the end of the season, where she backed up a five goal performance with a seven goal performance in two consecutive weeks. Bate provided a good target up forward for the Dragons, as she often positioned herself well against an opponent or did enough to put pressure on them to turn the ball over. Her season was capped off with a spot in the Vic Metro side in the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships.

Alice Burke: Playing in defence, the Vic Metro Under 16s representative became one of the shining lights throughout a positive season, making the switch from the round ball game to seem natural in the back half. She rebounded well and pushed up the ground when required, named among the best on a number of occasions. One of a number of Under 16s that will continue to develop at the club holding out hope for sustained success.

Season summary:

The Dragons had a strong season where they were able to record some big winning margins and some narrow losing ones. With a long list of players, the Dragons had plenty of options to choose from each week and used young players like Winnie Laing, Sarah Hartwig and Alice Burke to create some excitement in their line-up. With a strong 2018 season, they are right in the mix for a top two spot next year.

Abbie McKay’s football family inspires her success in Aussie Rules

SANDRINGHAM Dragons midfielder, Abbie McKay might the daughter of former Carlton player, Andrew McKay, but she is making a name of her own in football.

McKay starred in the middle of the ground for the Dragons this year, being named among the best players five times during the nine-round season.

With a father who played 244 games for the Carlton Football Club, footy was always in McKay’s veins. Her early memories of the game were not watching her dad play, but simply kicking the footy with him at the park.

“My dad played 240 games or something like that so I always grew up with it (footy),” she said. “I had to go and kick the footy at the park with my brother and him so that’s how I got into it.”

Despite his illustrious career, McKay admits she was oblivious to her dad’s role at the Blues.

“He was just my dad so to be honest, I probably didn’t realise he played for Carlton,” she said.

After a couple of Auskick stints, McKay turned her attention to basketball, netball and tennis. Then at 15 years of age, she found her love for football, but this time, she had her mum to thank.

“When I was about 15, my mum just thought it would be fun to start up a team at the local club,” the now 17 year-old said. “So we got together with lots of school friends and my love grew from there. I just got out there and I was like this is so much fun, I get to tackle!”

In her short football career, McKay has already achieved so much. When she was asked to play for the Sandringham Dragons in the TAC Cup Girls competition, she was given the belief that she needed to pursue her footballing career further.

“I got asked to join Sandy Dragons and I was like ‘oh maybe I actually have a shot at this’,” McKay recalled. “I thought I may as well give it a go. I didn’t really know what it was so I just got asked about it and thought I’ll just go down and see what it’s like. Then people told me about how big it actually is. I was like that’s pretty cool!”

After a solid season at the TAC Cup Girls club, McKay received the shock of her life when she was named in the Vic Metro squad for this year’s AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. The 17 year-old says she didn’t see the selection coming, but is thankful for the opportunity.

“Never in a million years!,” she said about her thoughts on ever being selected for Vic Metro. “I got asked and I was like ‘really? You want me?’ It’s so cool and getting to know all the girls is really nice.”

On top of that, she is keeping the McKay name alive at Carlton, as she is currently training with the Blues’ VFL Women’s side. But above all, McKay is a role model to her younger sister, who loves the game and wants to be just like her big sister when she grows up.

“She is obsessed (with football),” McKay said. “Every time I get back from Vic Metro she asks ‘are you going to become a footy player yet?’ I’m like ‘don’t get your hopes up too soon!’ But no she loves it, she wants to be the same when she’s older.”