Tag: vflw

Taking opportunities pays off for Katie Lynch

IN the midst of Year 12, Katie Lynch had a lot on her plate.

She featured in the TAC Cup Girls competition, represented Vic Metro, played for Collingwood in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition and balanced school sport commitments as well. Although it was a difficult situation to be in for Lynch, she says she had no choice but to take those opportunities that came her way.

“Obviously I was a bit under the pump earlier in the year, well at least I put myself under the pump,” Lynch said. “I had the opportunities come my way and I just had to take them and I thought I did that pretty well so it’s got me here. “I’m proud of myself.”

Now, she finds herself on Collingwood’s AFL Women’s list, with the club selecting her with pick 10 in the draft. Lynch says although it was unexpected, she was relieved to hear her name being called out on draft day.

“It was obviously really exciting, probably something I didn’t expect either,” she said. “But I heard my name get read out and yeah it was just a real relieving feeling I guess but I’m excited to get started.”

Lynch has already experienced playing for the Magpies, having played with them in the VFLW, meaning she will be able to continue playing with some familiar faces. This also signals a new opportunity for Lynch to mingle with the new draftees, who she regards quite highly.

“There’s some really exciting players that we’ve drafted as well,” Lynch said. “We’ve got Jordy Allen so I’m just excited, everyone’s great, I know a lot of the faces there which will really help.”

The 18 year-old admits the VFL experience, along with the TAC Cup Girls and AFL Women’s Under 18 competitions, have helped her adapt to different game styles. This is something that she hopes will hold her in good stead for her upcoming stint in the AFL Women’s.

“TAC Cup, Metro, VFL, they all bring a different kind of game,” Lynch said. “They’re each unique in their own way so it was kind of interesting trying to adapt to each game style. “But at the end of the day, you’re just playing footy so it was good.”

Despite the simplicity of playing the game, Lynch admits she is is still coming to terms with being an AFL Women’s footballer, not accustomed to the prestigious title.

“It’s pretty surreal, hard to believe, really,” she said. “But I guess I’ll start believing it once everything really kicks off into pre-season but at the moment, it’s really surreal.”

Growing up as a Richmond supporter, Lynch has quickly adapted to the black and white, donning the stripes for both the Oakleigh Chargers and Collingwood Magpies this year. Now she will have the opportunity to continue to dominate in those colours at the highest level.

Hanks excited about her next football chapter

NEW Melbourne midfielder, Tyla Hanks has experienced it all coming into her first AFL Women’s season.

After enduring a winless 2017 season with the Gippsland Power, her side improved to a 3-5 season this year. Hanks also represented Vic Country and spent some time with Carlton’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side, leading the way in disposals in her first match. The 18 year-old admits she knew going to Melbourne was something that could happen, but nonetheless is thrilled to be able to pull on the Demons jumper in 2019.

“I didn’t really know what was going to happen before that pick but yeah, I’m really excited to be there and definitely think it’s a place that’s going to be really good for me,” Hanks said.

Hanks was one of the first names to be called out on draft day, walking up on stage as a pick six selection for the Demons. When she realised she had got drafted, a mixture of emotions overwhelmed her.

“It’s a really amazing feeling but it’s pretty raw sometimes,” Hanks said. “It’s a lot of relief once you’re up there so really looking forward to it.”

This milestone also brings an element of sadness though, as Hanks will leave her beloved Gippsland Power to pursue an AFL Women’s career. Gippsland experienced a nice form turnaround this year, getting a couple of wins along the way. Despite being busy with the Demons, the Power midfielder hopes to come back to the club and help out its next generation.

“It was a pretty big turnaround for us but yeah I’m really excited for what they can do in the coming years,” Hanks said. “I was really happy to be a part of that and I’ll still try and keep contact with Gippsland Power and keep helping the development out there.”

Hanks also reflects on her time at Carlton and the AFL Women’s Academy, citing both as memorable and helpful experiences.

“I think playing against Geelong (in the VFLW) really helped me,” she said. “So did the AFL Academy, I think learning about the whole environment really held us in good stead.”

Now a Demon, Hanks of course admires the work of Daisy Pearce. But she also has another player in mind that she is looking forward to playing alongside.

“I think Lily Mithen’s someone that’s a really good character in the group,” Hanks said. “Even though Daisy Pearce will be out, hopefully she’ll still be around and I’ll learn a little bit off her.”

Season reviews: VFLW – Western Bulldogs

THE Western Bulldogs took a while to get going in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season. But when they got going, they looked unstoppable, winning six consecutive games to get their season back on track. With seven wins and seven losses in their first season of VFLW, the Dogs can be happy with their 2018 campaign.

 

Position: 6th
Win-loss: 7-7
Percentage: 84%

Results:

Round 1: Lost against Richmond by 38 points
Round 2: Lost against Carlton by 46 points
Round 3: Bye
Round 4: Lost against Collingwood by eight points
Round 5: Lost against NT Thunder by 36 points
Round 6: Defeated Williamstown by 56 points
Round 7: Defeated Casey Demons by three points
Round 8: Defeated Geelong Cats by 22 points
Round 9: Defeated Melbourne University by 21 points
Round 10: Defeated Essendon by six points
Round 11: Defeated Williamstown by 40 points
Round 12: Bye
Round 13: Lost against Southern Saints by 31 points
Round 14: Lost against Hawthorn by 55 points
Round 15: Lost against Melbourne University by 33 points
Round 16: Defeated Darebin by four points

 

Key players:

#10 Sarah Jolly

Jolly impressed with her run and carry through the midfield and ability to win the ball in congestion. She played all 14 games this season and kicked six goals. Jolly was also named in the best four times, with one of her standout performances coming in Round 10 when she racked up 20 disposals.

#16 Naomi Ferres

Ferres was one of the Bulldogs’ most consistent midfielders all season, consistently going in hard for the football. She won the Western Bulldogs’ Best and Fairest count on 76 votes, highlighting her ability to capture the attention of others. Ferres had an impressive performance against the Mugars with 20 disposals, two marks and six tackles.

#18 Libby Birch

Birch continued her great AFL Women’s form in defence with the Bulldogs’ VFLW side. She was agile and great in the air and impressed with her run and carry as well as her marking. She came third in the Western Bulldogs Best and Fairest count and made the VFLW Team of the Year, which is a remarkable effort considering she only played eight games this season. One of her best games was in Round 6, when she gathered 19 disposals, took six marks and laid two tackles.

#20 Ashleigh Guest

Guest never disappointed in the midfield for the Bulldogs, impressing with her football smarts. She had clean hands under pressure and kicked the ball well too. Like Birch, she only played eight games this season, but she finished ahead of the defender in the Best and Fairest, coming second with 60 votes. Guest was named in the best five times, with one of her stellar performances coming against Darebin. In that game, she led the way on the ground with 23 disposals, and also took six marks to go along with her four tackles.

#47 Nicole McMahon

In her first year of football, McMahon looked right at home in Bulldogs colours. She was trusted with the ruck duties for the season, and did well to give her midfielders first use of the football. She was awarded the Best First Year player at the Bulldogs’ Best and Fairest after a great year.

 

Season summary:

The Bulldogs looked in trouble at the start of the season, losing their first four games. But after this, the side kicked into gear, bringing some of its AFL Women’s talent back in to score some much-needed wins. From Round 6, the Dogs won six straight games and looked like possible finals contenders at that point. But a couple of late losses gave them a sixth place finish, which is a respectable feat in their first season of VFLW.

Season reviews: VFLW – Southern Saints

THE Southern Saints were one of the surprise packages of the season, finishing eighth with only two AFL Women’s player on their list in Lauren Arnell and Laura Attard. Many would have expected the new team to finish on the bottom of the ladder but the Saints snuck away with a few crucial wins, including handing NT Thunder its first defeat of the season.

 

Position: 8th
Win-loss: 5-9
Percentage: 92%

Results:

Round 1: Lost against Carlton by 22 points
Round 2: Defeated Williamstown by 30 points
Round 3: Defeated Casey Demons by eight points
Round 4: Defeated Essendon by 36 points
Round 5: Bye
Round 6: Lost against Hawthorn by 33 points
Round 7: Defeated NT Thunder by 20 points
Round 8: Bye
Round 9: Lost against Casey Demons by 11 points
Round 10: Lost against Geelong by 38 points
Round 11: Lost against Melbourne University by three points
Round 12: Lost against Hawthorn by nine points
Round 13: Defeated Western Bulldogs by 31 points
Round 14: Lost against Darebin by four points
Round 15: Lost against Collingwood by 38 points
Round 16: Lost against Richmond by three points

 

Key players:

#8 Alison Drennan

Drennan was one of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s premier midfielders, constantly racking up the touches week-in, week-out. She was classy with the ball-in-hand and strong in congestion. She took out the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest, along with Rhiannon Watt, and made the VFLW Team of the Year in what was a stellar season for her. Her season earned her an AFL Women’s contract with North Melbourne. One of her standout games was in Round 2, when she gathered 35 disposals to go along with seven tackles and a goal.

#15 Tara Bohanna

Tara Bohanna was a star up forward for the Southern Saints, kicking 15 goals from 14 matches. She presented well at the football and was able to peel off players inside 50. Bohanna finished inside the top 10 in the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest and finished equal third in the VFLW goal kicking tally. Bohanna had two three-goal hauls during the season, highlighting her impressive ability to hit the scoreboard.

#17 Leah Olsen

Leah Olsen was an extremely reliable defender for the Southern Saints. Often playing on a half-back flank, Olsen could match up on key players and produce exciting run and carry. She finished fourth in the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest with 86 votes. Olsen was a key contributor in almost every game for the Saints. She played a great game in Round 9, when she gathered 18 disposals and laid four tackles.

#24 Kayla Ripari

Ripari excited with her dash across half-forward and her clever ball-use. She was often calm with the ball in hand and aggressive without it, laying some bone-crunching tackles during the season. Ripari finished seventh in the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest after playing every game and making solid contributions. One of her more impressive games was against the NT Thunder when she was named best-on-ground for her side with 14 disposals and two tackles.

#28 Rhiannon Watt

Watt was arguably the best ruck in the VFLW competition, using her height to advantage to give her midfielders prime use of the ball. She was agile at ground level as well, as she was able to rack up the numbers during the season as well. She won the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest, along with Alison Drennan, and made the VFLW Team of the Year as the leading ruck. She had a standout game in Round 12, with 20 disposals, four marks and seven tackles.

 

Season summary:

The Southern Saints should be extremely proud of their season, having hardly any AFL Women’s players on their list. They trusted their young talent to pull through and they did, recording a respectable five wins this season. While the losses outweighed the wins, it wasn’t by much, as five of their nine losses were under 10 points. The Saints are building their list along nicely for an AFL Women’s berth in 2020, and could be a key contender in the VFLW next year if they get some more AFL Women’s talent on their list.

Season reviews: VFLW – Richmond

RICHMOND started and ended its Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season with a win, but fell away in the middle. The Tigers lost every game between their byes, but had some impressive and unexpected wins against the Bulldogs, Melbourne University, Southern Saints, as well as Essendon. With an AFLW team on the horizon, the future is bright for these players, as they will get the opportunity to further prove themselves by cementing some more wins in the 2019 VFLW season.

Position: 12th
Win-loss:
 4-10
Percentage: 69%

Results:

Round 1: Defeated Western Bulldogs by 38 points
Round 2: Lost against Darebin by 39 points
Round 3: Lost against Collingwood by 43 points
Round 4: Lost against Williamstown by 31 points
Round 5: Defeated Essendon by 34 points
Round 6: Defeated Melbourne University by 29 points
Round 7: Bye
Round 8: Lost against Hawthorn by four points
Round 9: Lost against Essendon by eight points
Round 10: Lost against Casey by 18 points
Round 11: Lost against NT Thunder by 23 points
Round 12: Lost against Carlton by 41 points
Round 13: Lost against Geelong by 59 points
Round 14: Lost against Williamstown by one point
Round 15: Bye
Round 16: Defeated Southern Saints by three points

 

Key players:

#52 Jessica Kennedy

Kennedy captained Richmond for its inaugural VFLW season. She is an inside midfielder who is quick, courageous and is also an incredibly smart footballer. She took out Richmond’s Best and Fairest by one vote with 49, with Jacqueline Graham finishing second.

#68 Alice Edmonds

She was outstanding in the ruck for Richmond all year, exceeding expectations. Her dominance gave the likes of Kennedy first use of the football in the middle of the ground. She was rewarded with VFLW Team of the Year honours on the bench as a relief ruck.

#53 Kate Dixon

Dixon was named the vice-captain for the Tigers in season 2018, and took charge of the forward line with her presence. She was the spearhead at full-forward that Richmond needed to crash packs and take pack marks. She won the club’s goal kicking with nine goals from fourteen games.

#63 Jacqueline Graham

Jacqueline Graham had an outstanding year, playing in the back line for Richmond. Nothing would get past her which led to her being named in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year. She was further rewarded for her efforts in the back half with finishing second in the club’s best and fairest count, one vote behind winner, Jessica Kennedy. She was able to not just beat her opponents but also spread and win her fair share of the ball, which was an advantage for the Tigers as they used her damaging kicks to start attacks from the back half.

 

Season summary:

Finishing twelfth may not have been the result that Richmond was looking for ahead of the 2018 season, however four wins in season 2018 will spur the Tigers on for greater success in 2019. Although they did have some blowout losses, they did not let defeat keep them down. They finished the season off strong, losing to Williamstown by one point then beating the Southern Saints by three. The season highlight for the Tigers would be in Round 1, when they knocked off AFLW premiers, the Western Bulldogs by 38 points in a win that surprised many.

Season reviews: VFLW – Carlton

IT was hard to make a definitive statement on Carlton’s year throughout the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season, with the Blues experiencing mixed results. A strong end to the season allowed them to finish in the middle range of the ladder.

 

Position: 7th
Win-loss: 14-6
Percentage: 105%

Results:

Round 1: Defeated Southern Saints by 22 points
Round 2: Defeated Western Bulldogs by 46 points
Round 3: Lost against Hawthorn by 51 points
Round 4: Lost against Geelong by seven points
Round 5: Lost against Darebin by 49 points
Round 6: Lost against NT Thunder by 36 points
Round 7: Lost against Collingwood by 37 points
Round 8: Lost against Melbourne Uni by six points
Round 9: Bye
Round 10: Defeated Williamstown by 29 points
Round 11: Lost against Collingwood by 17 points
Round 12: Defeated Richmond by 41 points
Round 13: Lost against Casey by 10 points
Round 14: Bye
Round 15: Defeated Darebin by 25 points
Round 16: Defeated Essendon by 75 points

 

Key players:

#3 Darcy Vescio

Won the VFLW leading goal kicker award (Rohenna Young Medal) with 26 goals from nine games. Averaged 2.89 goals per game due to her liveliness in the forward line and cleverness with the ball in hand. Undoubtedly, her season highlight was when she kicked nine majors against the Bombers in Round 16. Of those nine goals, eight were all of Carlton’s first half goals.

#6 Gabriella Pound

Pound was solid in defence all season, using her run and carry to penetrate the ball out of defensive 50. She gave her opponents trouble with her football smarts and could lock down a key player very convincingly. Despite only playing six games, Pound finished in the top 10 of Carlton’s Best and Fairest count. She played one of her best games in Round 16 when she gathered 25 disposals, took four marks and laid two tackles.

#10 Sarah Hosking

The AFL Women’s midfielder showed her trademark ferocity at the contest during the VFLW season. Hosking was able to find the football in congestion and tackle hard, making her one of the most dangerous players on the field. In her seven matches, she was named best-on-ground three times by her coaches. She played one of her best games against Richmond when she kicked a goal, gathered 21 disposals, took five marks and laid 10 tackles.

#17 Tilly Lucas-Rodd

Finished third in Carlton’s Best and Fairest count after a really consistent season. Lucas-Rodd impressed with her long kicks and football smarts around the ground. Was also a key link-up player for the Blues throughout the season, playing a team role. Despite a 49-point loss to Darebin, Lucas-Rodd stood up with 23 disposals, three marks and three tackles.

#40 Kristi Harvey

The Blues skipper was inspirational this season, with some huge tackling and great goals up forward. Her long, booming kick was a highlight of her game and she used it to effect on plenty of occasions. Harvey was able to move the ball really well through the ground, using her high football IQ to do so. She kicked eight goals from 13 games and played a blinder of a game against the Pies in Round 11. In that game, she kicked three majors, racked up 17 touches and took six marks.

 

Season summary:

The Blues stormed out of the blocks early with two convincing wins to kick off their VFLW campaign. It then suddenly looked disastrous for Carlton, losing its next six matches before the bye. The bye however seemed to be a blessing in disguise, as the Blues won four of their last six games to finish seventh. In Round 15, Carlton sat eighth on the ladder with a percentage of 90.85. But their Round 16 thrashing of the Bombers allowed them to rise up the ladder, and see their percentage increase by 14 to finish off a promising inaugural season.

Season reviews: VFLW – Casey Demons

TO finish off the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season, AFL Draft Central will be reviewing each team’s year. The Casey Demons were one of the new teams in the competition and while the ladder position wasn’t too flash, they did show some promising signs.

 

Position: 10th
Win-loss: 5-9
Percentage: 70%

Results:

Round 1: Bye
Round 2: Lost against Hawthorn by seven points
Round 3: Lost against Southern Saints by eight points
Round 4: Lost against Darebin by 64 points
Round 5: Defeated Williamstown by 12 points
Round 6: Bye
Round 7: Lost against Western Bulldogs by three points
Round 8: Defeated Essendon by 26 points
Round 9: Defeated Southern Saints by 11 points
Round 10: Defeated Richmond by 18 points
Round 11: Lost against Geelong Cats by 41 points
Round 12: Lost against NT Thunder by 12 points
Round 13: Defeated Carlton by 10 points
Round 14: Lost against Melbourne University by 53 points
Round 15: Lost against Geelong by 37 points
Round 16: Lost against Collingwood by 32 points

 

Key players:

#5 Stacey Poke

A hard nut at the contest and a key contributor to the side, Stacey Poke was impressive throughout the season. She was able to make an impact in each of her eight games and showed promising signs. In Round 2, she led the way with 17 disposals and eight tackles.

#7 Bianca Jakobsson

An accomplished Melbourne defender, Jakobsson was able to shift into the midfield this season for Casey and have an impact. One of her best games was against Richmond where she racked up 20 disposals, nine marks and seven tackles. She hit the contest hard and was a proven ball magnet during the season.

#13 Katherine Smith

Smith was a workhorse in the midfield for the Dees, working hard to get the ball in congestion. She was able to feed the ball out of stoppages and was able to swiftly move the ball through the ground. One of her best games was in Casey’s narrow three-point loss against the Bulldogs, where she gathered 26 disposals, laid six tackles and kicked a goal.

#16 Casey Sherriff

A real classy player who could play anywhere, but was suited in defence. She was composed with ball in hand, and skilful by hand or foot. She would often be used in transition to move the ball out of the back half and hit a target down field, or push up to the wing and get the ball going forward. Earned a call-up to Melbourne’s list, replacing Daisy Pearce.

#18 Kaila Bentvelzen

A key position forward whose leads and aerial work proved damaging. Bentvelzen was able to read the play well and positioned herself well against experienced opponents. She kicked 11 goals in 14 games and had a good all-round game in Round 2. In this match, Bentvelzen kicked one major, racked up 10 disposals and took five marks.

#25 Madelaine Shevlin

Shevlin proved to be a ball magnet in the Casey line-up, always going in hard to win the football. She ran well on the inside and outside and is clever with the ball in hand. Shevlin was consistent, playing 14 out of a possible 16 games and impressing in the majority of them. One of her best performances was against Melbourne University, where she kicked a goal, recorded 22 disposals and laid three tackles.

 

Season summary:

The Demons showed signs of improvement at the start of the season with two narrow losses to follow their bye. After a 64-point loss proving to be a backward step for the Demons, they made up for it by getting their first win straight after the hefty loss. After a loss and a bye, Casey’s season picked up again with three straight wins, looking promising to push for a high ladder position. But the Demons could only get one more victory in their last six games, ending the season with a tough run of games. They had players such as Taylor Mesiti and Tarryn Orgill standing up in certain games but less games from experienced AFLW players such as Shelley Scott and Catherine Phillips hurt their chances of pushing for a finals finish.

Number Crunching: VFLW – Grand Final

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

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

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

Totaled team stats- VFLW Grand Final

TEAMGBHDKHMKSTKSFFFAHODI50s
Hawthorn4515176598615124522724
Geelong2512185248512152920634

 

Top player stats- VFLW Grand Final

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

 

Scouting notes: VFLW Grand Final

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

 

Hawthorn vs. Geelong

Hawthorn:

#1 Emma Mackie

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

#5 Chantella Perera

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

#6 Julia Crockett-Grills

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

#7 Phoebe McWilliams

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

#8 Rebecca Beeson

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

#13 Ebony Nixon

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

#14 Olivia Flanagan

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

#21 Pepa Randall

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

#22 Tamara Luke

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

#24 Rosie Dillon

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

#25 Meg Hutchins

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

#28 Sarah Perkins

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

#31 Jess Sibley

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

#32 Kim Ebb

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

#33 Emily Gilder

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

#36 Jayde Van Dyk

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

#40 Ellie MacDonald

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

#45 Mikala Cann

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

 

Geelong:

#1 Jamie Woollett

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

#2 Danielle Orr

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

#3 Hannah Burchell

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

#4 Cassie Blakeway

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

#6 Maddie Boyd

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

#7 Mia-Rae Cllifford

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

#8 Kate Darby

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

#16 Olivia Purcell

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

#20 Nina Morrison

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

#24 Maddy McMahon

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

#30 Richelle Cranston

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

#40 Anna Teague

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

#45 Madeline Keryk

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

Weekend previews: VFLW – Grand Final

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

 

HAWTHORN  v. GEELONG CATS

Sunday, September 23, 12.30pm
Etihad Stadium, Docklands

Form line:

Hawthorn:

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

Geelong:

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

 

Last time they met:

Hawthorn 6.5 (41) defeated Geelong 3.7 (25)

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

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

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

GOALS

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

BEST

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

 

Players to watch:

Hawthorn:

#1 Emma Mackie

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

#6 Julia Crockett-Grills

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

#8 Rebecca Beeson

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

#24 Rosie Dillon

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

#36 Jayde Van Dyk

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

#45 Mikala Cann

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

 

Geelong:

#6 Maddie Boyd

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

#7 Mia-Rae Clifford

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

#16 Olivia Purcell

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

#20 Nina Morrison

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

#30 Richelle Cranston

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

#45 Madeline Keryk

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

 

Preview:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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