Tag: vic country

Scouting notes: AFLW U18 Championships – Wednesday, July 11

THE story of the day was Queensland getting an upset win over Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships in a wonderful performance. The other winners of the day were in-form teams, Vic Country and Western Australia. Julia Montesano and Peter Williams were there to take notes on all the action that unfolded.

 

Queensland vs. Vic Metro

Queensland: 

By: Julia Montesano 

#5 Lily Postlethwaite

Played a fantastic game for Queensland and was one of their key players during the game. Delivered a nice composed kick to a teammate in the back half, showing composure with the ball in hand. Also demonstrated great run and carry which was highly effective in the fast-paced game. Her tackling was particularly a highlight as she laid an excellent run-down tackle to win herself the opportunity to create a scoring shot for Queensland.

#6 Zimmorlei Farquharson

Farquharson was the game-changer for Queensland, kicking the last two goals of the game to seal the upset win for her side. One goal was truly wonderful, as she kicked it from a difficult angle near the boundary line on the run. Her second goal bought the house down, as it proved to be the match-winner and was reward for her hard work during the day. She ran hard inside 50 and showed good acceleration when she needed to.

#7 Isabel Dawes

Displayed excellent run and carry through the forward line and was a jet inside 50. Her tackling was aggressive and it paid off, as she was able to put forward pressure on the Metro defenders. Displayed great agility to kick a goal, which was a highlight of her game.

#10 Jacqueline Yorston

Delivered a nice kick into the forward line to a player on the lead and laid a good tackle inside 50 to dispossess the ball of her opponent in a danger zone. Followed this up with another great tackle on Maddy Brancatisano, stopping her in her tracks. Delivered a perfect centering kick to a player in the forward line, demonstrating her great kicking. Also combined it with her agility when she executed a clean pick up off the deck and delivered a nice kick down the line.

#14 Tori Groves-Little

Laid a lovely run-down tackle in middle of the ground in the first quarter and won a free kick for efforts. Groves-Little did some clever things throughout the game such as executing a great slide to trap the ball. Did well to execute a great pick-up off the deck and followed this up by displaying wonderful running down the win. When she aimed to spoil and it didn’t work out for her, she immediately tackled her opponent, displaying a good second effort.

#18 Ellie Hampson

Displayed nice agility to dodge around her opponents and get the handball away. Backed this up with a great pick-up off the deck, followed by a clever spin around her opponents and a nice kick while being held. Also took a great mark running back with the flight of the ball, demonstrating her good intercept work.

#20 Natalie Grider

Provided good run and carry for Queensland and ran into space well. Took a great contested mark and also took a fantastic intercept diving mark, demonstrating strong hands. A highlight of her game was when she emerged out of a park and accelerated well with the ball in hand.

#24 Charlotte Hammans

Executed a great side step around two opponents to run into a goal just outside the goal square, which was Queensland’s first major of the day. Executed a great kick around her body inside 50 and gave off a great quick-fire handball to Zimmorlei Farquharson who was streaming into goal, being the catalyst for that game-changing passage of play. Led well and took a great mark lace-out. Also showed good composure to lower her eyes and spot up Serene Watson on the wing.

#26 Serene Watson

Took a nice mark in the centre of the ground. Although she knew she had space, she didn’t blaze away, showing good composure. Laid a great tackle to put the pressure on Metro in a stoppage. Demonstrated great reading of the footy when she trapped it behind the back the back of the pack. A great role player for Queensland.

#27 Tiarna Ahwang

Executed a good pick-up off the deck and a nice kick down the line. Delivered a nice high kick inside 50 and showed great run and carry before she disposed of the ball, highlighting her exciting pace. Gave her teammates the opportunity to attack footy in space with these kicks, proving to be very important in terms of forward 50 entries. Did well to trap the ball after she dropped the mark and executed a nice kick around her body, showing her clever footwork.

#35 Lauren Bella

Bella fought hard in the ruck and did extremely well, bringing the ball down well for her midfielders. She took a good intercept mark in the middle of the ground to send it back forward for Queensland, displaying good composure under pressure. Competed hard all day and is having a really consistent tournament.

 

Vic Metro: 

By: Peter Williams

#3 Emerson Woods

Had a really promising start to the game, working in close and using her superior vision to find teammates on the outside. Her agility and ability to move swiftly through traffic was on show, and she covered the ground well.

#6 Madison Prespakis

Another impressive game from the Calder Cannons skipper who just keeps on performing at a high level. She won plenty of the ball, often running into space and using her high work rate to work over her opponents and win the footy on the wing or in holes around the field. Prespakis kicked the final goal of the game, and while it was not enough to change the result, she finished the game with a terrific 20 disposals. She dropped back into defence and helped out, mopping up on a number of occasions.

#8 Georgia Patrikios

Clean, classy and versatile, Patrikios spent some time at half-back as she did in game one, then would push up the ground and use her foot skills to advantage in the front half. Just goes about her business well and rarely wastes a touch, kicking over all distances and having the perfect balance between inside and outside.

#17 Georgia Macpherson

One of Metro’s best in the game and was a rock at half-back intercepting everything she could. Macpherson took some fantastic intercept marks and rebounded out of the back 50, making the Queensland side have to pick their way through the set-up and put more pressure on her back there. Really strong one-on-one in the air and ground level.

#18 Abbie McKay

Another solid performance from the Sandringham Dragons midfielder who was often found in the middle of a contest, right at the coal face. In the opening term she took a strong mark and also won an important one-on-one along the wing. In a midfield full of stars, she was important on the inside.

#20 Gabby Newton

Newton played a really inside game and was often found handballing to teammates in space more so than her traditional long kicking. She still had a number of long bombs going forward, but covered the ground really well, winning the football in each third. A good four-quarter performance overall.

#21 Eleanor Brown

Stood out across half-back and through the middle, particularly in the second half. She mopped up everything in defence best she could, and just found the ball with ease. Ended up with the second most disposals behind Prespakis and won the majority of them in a contest. Took some vital marks and spent plenty of time through the midfield.

#22 Katie Lynch

A really prominent opening term, Lynch was often the player her teammates released to on the outside as she ran past. A long kick of the football, she was not as influential as the first game, but still managed to find the football and use it fairly well.

#27 Gabby De Angelis

The exciting forward was strong and clean throughout the game and while she does not win a heap of the football, she uses it pretty well. In the second term she used her goal nous to pounce on a loose ball in the goal square and kick Metro’s first major of the game.

#32 Lauren Szigeti

An important defender for Metro, she had a really nice run along the wing in the second term and was able to rebound plenty in the second half. Thought her way through her kicks and stood tall when the defence was under siege in the final term.

#36 Holly Bate

Did not win a heap of it, but booted a goal and set up another. She took a good running mark in the second term and had a crack from long range, where it was spilt and Gabriella De Angelis managed to boot the goal. In the final term, a 50m penalty saw Bate kick the easiest of goals from the square.

 

Vic Country vs. Central Allies

Vic Country:

By: Peter Williams

#1 Shelley Heath

Used her trademark dash to create some run and carry down the field across the four quarters. She was strong in the contest in the final term, taking a good mark under pressure, and kept running with a series of handball receives and kicking forward to break through the opposition defensive zones.

#3 Kodi Jacques

Always battled away hard, using her body underneath packs and laid some strong tackles. Courageously went up for a mark in the final term, backing back with danger coming from all sides, and despite not holding it, backed it up with second efforts.

#6 Tyla Hanks

Just worked hard across four quarters rotating between midfield and up forward. Early on she had some great bursts out of congestion and was strong overhead and at ground level. In the second term, Hanks produced a great snap from the boundary line and she delivered a good pass to the advantage of Lucy McEvoy who won a free and goaled. A consistent, four-quarter effort.

#7 Olivia Purcell

Played a really strong inside game, winning the ball at the coal face, then spreading into space where she was able to provide an option. Purcell also laid some strong tackles and linked up well in transition, often winning the ball at half-back or in the middle and sent it forward with interest.

#8 Sophie Van De Heuvel

One of Country’s best, just needed to finish a little better. Had numerous opportunities and kicked four behinds. Despite this, she had the opportunities to hurt the opposition and was constantly involved in the play. Van De Heuvel created good run in the forward half and used her long kick to advantage.

#9 Nina Morrison

One of Vic Country’s top midfielders, Morrison backed up her top performance in the opening game with another sensational effort in the second match. She showed good vision and speed throughout, and had multiple bounces along the wing in the fourth term. Threw herself into contest after contest with little regard for her safety and took a really strong mark in the air, clunking it cleanly with pressure from behind.

#10 Nikia Webber

Almost like a defensive forward’s game, Webber was able to provide a target, while also working hard to lock the ball inside the forward 50. On paper she might not have won a lot of possessions, but every time she went near it, she was either putting pressure on an opponent, or opening up space for a teammate. She was rewarded for her hard work in the third term with a good mark on a lead and goal from a set shot. A really underrated performance and once that was worthy of being in the best. 

#14 Jordyn Allen

A strong captain’s game from the midfielder who managed to cover ground really well and find plenty of the football. She used her thumping kick to clear the defensive zone and go deep inside 50, and also took a number of intercept marks in the middle of the ground. Had a shot on goal from 50m after taking a bounce, but her shot had an unlucky bounce and bounced back into play.

#21 Rene Caris

The ruck showed off her versatility by also playing forward and back, winning a lot of the ball in midfield, then taking some important grabs around the ground. Her last quarter was really important in defence, clunking a couple of contested intercept marks and clearing the zone when Central Allies attacked vigorously.

#22 Rebecca Webster

Played on the inside and predominantly used her body to shield opponents from winning the easy clearance, particularly working hard against Nikki Gore when Gore was starting to take control in the middle. She laid a strong tackle in the third term to force a turnover, and continued to present around the ground.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Another match-winning performance up forward from the bottom-ager who is so strong and smart inside 50. She booted her first goal in the second term, and then had an opportunistic moment in the moments later off the deck, while winning a freekkick and converting from 15m out in the third term, then running into an open goal in the final term. Just a dominant performance up forward.

#35 Lucy Cripps

Worked her opponent well and restricted her direct opposition too much opportunity to do damage. Was outmarked by Katelyn Rosenzweig on one occasion giving away the free kick, but otherwise did really well. She charged out of defence, peeling off her opponent and providing a contest up the ground, and took some good intercept marks.

 

Central Allies:

By: Julia Montesano

#7 Janet Baird

Displayed great run and carry through the middle of the ground, as she just loves to get and go. She also did well defensively when she caught her opponent in a tackle and did well to dispose her of the ball.

#8 Danielle Ponter

Made a real impact in this game with two of her side’s three goals. Kicked a great goal from just inside the boundary line to kickstart her day. Displayed great reading of the play to run onto the ball for her second major. I thought her hands were also strong and were handy up forward for the Allies.

#10 Hannah Munyard

Munyard for me was one of the Allies’ key players and was also a good role player in Monday’s match. Plays a real team role and shows great hunger to win the ball. Did well during the game to show clean hands when picking the ball up off the deck, following this up with getting a kick away. Delivered a nice composed centering kick to an opponent in another instance, showing composure when she gets the ball on her foot. Also showed her aggressive side when she laid a great run-down tackle on Sophie Van De Huevel to stop her in her tracks.

#20 Rachel Dunstan

Dunstan’s hands were superb on the day as she used great body work to take a defensive mark. Followed this up with a good lead-up mark in defensive 50 to stop Country from penetrating forward. Used her body well to take a lovey contested mark, using her strong hands to effect. Also demonstrated nice kicking when she executed a good kick down the line.

#22 Jaslynne Smith

Kicked a long ball out of defence that gave her teammates opportunity to run onto it. Showed courage when she ran back with the flight of the ball and got a kick away. Did well to trap the footy and cause a stoppage after some good run and carry from Vic Country was showing worrying signs for Queensland.

#23 Teah Charlton

Took a nice lead out mark, displaying great hands. Followed this up with a good lead out mark on the chest, repeating her efforts effectively to get the ball forward for the Allies. Did well to get a kick away while being tackled

#24 Amber Ward

Trapped the ball well and followed it up by smothering Tyla Hanks’ kick towards goal. Took a great mark and displayed good run and carry to stream away immediately, showing great footy smarts and acceleration. Demonstrated good strength in a one-on-one defensive contest and also when she was able to fend-off a player and get the handball away. A highlight of her game was when she laid an excellent smother on the last line of defence to save a certain Rene Caris goal.

#25 Bella Clarke

Executed a great spoil that prevented a mark inside 50 for Country’s Rene Caris. She then took a great mark on the last line of defence to prevent a goal, showing her defensive prowess. Used good body work on Amy Dunn as well, demonstrating that she is talented in many defensive areas.

 

Western Australia vs. Eastern Allies 

Western Australia 

By: Julia Montesano 

#5 Mikayla Hyde

Hyde came to life in the second half, kicking all three of her goals in that period. Nothing is to be taken away from her first half though as she showed consistent hunger to win the footy. Displayed nice run and carry throughout the match and also good composure, such as when she handballed the footy backwards to create time inside 50 rather than blaze into the goals. Hyde kept running after the ball even when she got tackled, showing her intent to go hard at the footy and take heavy hits. Her leading towards the footy was superb and she blew me away when explosively led to the ball to kick her first major of the game. For her second goal, she got on the end of a downfield free kick and kicked the goal from a difficult angle. Ran in for her third major of the day in a great forward display.

#8 Ella Smith

Laid a great tackle to dispossess her opponent of the footy. Also delivered a nice kick towards the centre of the ground. Showed great agility when she executed a nice pick up and quick kick out of the pack. A very agile player who runs well across the ground.

#9 Sabreena Duffy

Duffy is one of the most composed players I have seen and is great to watch. Took a great one-on-one intercept mark from a full back kick in and then executed a great pick-up in defence. This was followed by lovely run and carry down the wing of the ground, displaying her exciting speed. Read the play well when it came off a pack and composed herself well with a kick to the wing. I thought she did really well on the last line of defence when she was there. Did well to take the game on out of full back when she played on to herself and provided great run and carry. Kicked a bullet of a ball to Mikayla Hyde which was outstanding, as it displays the variety of kicks she can pull off. Took a great intercept mark and displayed wonderful run and carry once again to create a chance for Western Australia up forward.

#10 Matilda Sergeant

Like Duffy, Sergeant is another composed player who is a great user of the footy. Her intercept marking was amazing, and she was often in the right spots to send the ball straight back inside 50 for Western Australia. Sergeant also read the play well and showed excellent desperation to get the handball out to Ella Smith while she was falling over near the boundary line.

#14 Rikkiesha Carling

Carling was buzzing around the contest and tackling hard all day. She picked up the ball well and showed agility when she performed a good spin inside 50. A highlight of her game was when she laid a great tackle to dispossess her opponent of the ball.

#17 McKenzie Dowrick

Dowrick was influential as always, being a playmaker in her side’s victory. She took a good mark down the line and also delivered a great long kick towards inside 50. Used this long kick again down the line, which gave her teammates the opportunity to win the ball aerially. Accelerated well out of a pack and followed it up with a good quick-fire handball to Sabreena Duffy. Showed her kicking prowess again when she excellently pinpointed kick down the line to Ella Smith. Did well defensively too when she laid a great smother to save a kick for goal inside 50.

#20 Abbey Dowrick

Dowrick is one of the most aggressive players I’ve seen which is a fantastic trait of hers. Blew me away when she executed an excellent pick-up off the deck and had a great long range punt at goal that sailed through. Displayed good hands when handballing and also marking, such as when she executed a great lead up mark in the forward line. Laid a clever tackle late in the match where she didn’t exactly dispossess her opponent of the ball, instead simply snatching it out of her hand. Dowrick goes hard at every ball and is always hungry to win it.

#23 Emma O’Driscoll

O’Driscoll was solid all day for Western Australia, simply playing her role and not overdoing it. She showed a great burst of acceleration with the ball in hand out of defensive 50. Also laid a great tackle on Chloe Haines to save a certain goal, which was a fantastic effort.

 

Eastern Allies 

By: Peter Williams

#1 Alyce Parker

A smooth mover who was once again among the Eastern Allies’ best. She thinks her way through situations and has a nice blend of pace, acceleration and agility to get out of trouble. Wins plenty of the ball and has a high work rate, laying strong tackles. Parker knows how to extract the ball out of a stoppage and always puts in a consistent four quarter effort.

#8 Georgia Garnett

A classy player who is a quick thinker and has a smart sidestep. She used good pace and nous to trap the ball in the air and keep it in front of her during the third term, and just won the football in and around the contest, spreading to the outside.

#11 Eliza Cumming

A real strong outside player who can also win the ball on the inside. Not as consistent across the four quarters as some, but the tools she has show her talent is untapped. She has good hands in traffic, a lovely burst of acceleration and a strong frame she uses to outmuscle and out-body her opponents.

#14 Mia King

King was busy early and is one player who has great agility and can win a one-on-one. Still a couple of years away from being draftable, King has class and can kick long to dangerous areas. Really classy player who used a neat sidestep to kick long and set up a goal

#16 Lauren Stevenson

One of Eastern Allies’ top defenders on the day, she kicked long out of the back 50 and was really consistent in her defensive efforts across the four quarters. The highlight was a fantastic goal-saving tackle on the last line on the red-hot Mikayla Hyde in the second term to deny her an easy goal.

#17 Netty Garlo

Just has that raw talent and X-factor, while the consistency is not there yet, you get the sense with time and development it will piece together. She has elite acceleration and her ability to close down opponents in short spaces of time is exciting. Garlo also hunts the opposition when they have the ball and is a strong pressure player. In the opening term she used her acceleration to lock the ball in at a contest against two opposition players and did well not to be caught holding the ball.

#20 Alexia Hamilton

Hamilton was another piece in the defensive puzzle for the Eastern Allies who was strong overhead and positioned herself at half-back. She took a number of good intercept marks and looked downfield to kick long and open up the game for her teammates. She was one of the top performers on the day and put pressure on her opponents throughout the match.

#21 Chloe Haines

One of Eastern Allies’ top players on the day, Chloe Haines was terrific across the ground, finding space on the wing, kicking long and then getting back and helping out the defence. She laid some great tackles to win a free kick in the midfield, then kicked the ball off the ground for a goal in the third term. She capped off her game with an important smother inside 50 in the final quarter to lock the ball in there.

#24 Brea Quinlivan

Was the main target up forward for the Eastern Allies across the four quarters and just missed opportunities to put it on the scoreboard early. She kicked a couple of behinds, but finally was rewarded for effort with a great goal on the run near the boundary line in the third term just before the siren. Constantly involved in the play up forward and made multiple leads, working hard to double back towards goal.

#25 Libby Haines

Played primarily in defence and moved up the ground at times, Libby Haines was another in the Eastern Allies best. In the first term she laid two fantastic smothers showing a great defensive intent, then laid a great tackle on the wing in the second term to dispossess her opponent and kick long. She took a strong one-on-one mark in the third term and kicked clear, then showed good vision at half-back to handball to a teammate in space.

AFLW U18 Championships previews: Vic Country

ON paper, Vic Country is one of the most dangerous sides in the AFL Women’s U18 Championships. Littered with premiership players, the side is a formidable outfit to say the least. Country may have suffered a loss to Vic Metro but will be keen to make amends on the Gold Coast. We took a look at the side’s key players and its upcoming fixture ahead of round two of the National Championships on the Gold Coast.

Key players:

Olivia Purcell

A 2017 All Australian, a Geelong Falcons premiership player and an AFLW Academy member, Olivia Purcell sure has a fitting résumé for this prestigious tournament. She is a hard-nut midfielder whose tackles were one of the strongest in the competition. Purcell’s penetrating kick and acceleration was often the catalyst for many Geelong forward thrusts. She also has an aggressive side which can challenge the opposition players who have been tasked with the role on her. Purcell will be damaging on the inside for Vic Country.

Tyla Hanks

Hanks too is a 2017 All Australian and an AFLW Academy member. The Gippsland Power co-captain was named in her side’s best players in every match she played in the TAC Cup Girls season, thanks to her versatility. Not only is Hanks a prime inside ball-mover but she can also float down to the forward line and kick some majors in an instant to get her side some points on the board. She was one of the best players for Vic Country in their loss against Vic Metro, which does not come as a surprise, considering she is one of the most in-form players in the Championships.

Lucy McEvoy

Coming into the tournament as a premiership captain, Lucy McEvoy will definitely be a player to keep an eye on. McEvoy is a classy defender who has strong hands and a good kick. She too is a 2017 All Australian and an AFLW Academy member, which will allow her to bring poise and experience to the side. The 17 year-old can also play up forward and can be quite dangerous there, thanks to her great marking which she has demonstrated so well in the back line.

Jordyn Allen

Jordyn Allen is a player that will never let you down, as she gives her all in every game. The Vic Country captain led the Dandenong Stingrays this season in the TAC Cup Girls competition, made the All Australian side last year and is in the AFLW Academy, giving her license to let her experience do the talking on the Gold Coast. Allen primarily plays in the back line and creates a wall of her own, intercepting any ball that comes her way. She can also make an impact in the midfield thanks to her booming kick and strong tackling. Allen’s great season with the Stingrays has awarded her with a spot in the Casey Demons Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side, giving her another accolade to add to her growing list.

Georgia Clarke

Georgia Clarke was one of the most consistent players in the TAC Cup Girls competition, as she always did a solid job for the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels at centre half-back. Her fantastic season was rewarded with a club best and fairest win. Clarke too is a member of the AFLW Academy thanks to her unbelievable intercept work and marking in defence. She can play a great lock-down role as well, meaning that it will be very difficult for opposition players to get past her.

Nina Morrison

Nina Morrison was one of the best outside runners in the TAC Cup Girls competition. Her closing speed was also remarkable, and assists in her tackling, as she would hit her opponents hard. She can run all day and is a good user of the ball both by hand and by foot. A premiership player for the Geelong Falcons and an AFLW Academy member, Morrison has excelled in many assets of her football career, and now adds a Vic Country representation to her accolades.

Tamara Smith

One of the more underrated midfielders in the Vic Country team, Smith took out the Murray Bushrangers’ Best and Fairest award for season 2018. She has good hands on the inside, is not afraid to win her own ball and propels it forward with tenacity. She does all the defensive things right and expect her to be one that might match up on a strong opposition midfielder and be the one shovelling the ball out to teammates on the outside.

Kodi Jacques

The sole Bendigo Pioneer in the side, Jacques is another underrated midfielder who can play inside or outside. She will work well with the rest of the midfield group and look to win her own ball, while providing an option to run and kick to her forwards. She can play around the ground if needed, but is often in close knuckling down to win the hard ball.

Fixture:

Game 1: vs. Queensland

Monday July 9 at Metricon Stadium

The ruck battle between the AFLW Academy’s Rene Caris and Queensland’s vice-captain, Lauren Bella could be one of the most enthralling battles of the tournament. Both players are coming into the carnival in good form, with both being named amongst their side’s best players in the lead-up matches to the Gold Coast. Expect Lily Postlethwaite to spend some time next to the likes of Olivia Purcell, Nina Morrison and Tyla Hanks, which will be a challenging task but a great battle nonetheless.

Game 2: vs. Central Allies

Wednesday July 11 at Broadbeach

Georgia Clarke could have the job on dangerous forward, Danielle Ponter, who has been on fire for Essendon in the VFLW. Both players have strong hands and position themselves well under the flight of the ball, which could mean that we could have an even battle on our hands. Clarke or fellow defender, Lucy McEvoy could even line up on the Allies’ focal point in the forward line, Katelyn Rosenzweig, who is no stranger to bagging plenty of goals. Seeing 17 year-old midfielder, Nikki Gore go head-to-head against Vic Country midfielder, Tyla Hanks could be one of the best battles of the game, as both players go in hard for the footy and possess sensational skills.

Game 3: vs. Western Australia

Friday July 13 at Bond University

Black Swans dominant goal kicker, Kate Bartlett could have her work cut out for her if she is to match up on the likes of Georgia Clarke or Lucy McEvoy. However, Bartlett is coming to the Gold Coast on good form, having kicked three goals from Western Australia’s two games against Queensland. Undoubtedly all eyes will be on Tyla Hanks and McKenzie Dowrick, as the two versatile midfielders could go head-to-head in this match. Both are huge impact players, meaning the game could be won and lost in the midfield.

Potential 22:

B: Bec Webster – Lucy McEvoy – Denby Taylor
HB: Emily Haeusler – Georgia Clarke – Shelley Heath
C: Nina Morrison – Tamara Smith – Jordyn Allen
HF: Julia Harvey – Nikia Webber – Sophie Van De Heuvel
F: Courtney Jones – Isabella Shannon – Lauren Butler
R: Rene Caris – Olivia Purcell – Tyla Hanks
INT from: Kodi Jacques – Lucy Cripps – Molly McDonald – Amy Dunn – Sophie Molan – Mille Brown

‘Jonesy’ sets sights on All-Australian goal

AFL Women’s Academy member and Dandenong Stingrays’ mid/forward Courtney Jones has no problem aiming high in a bid to try and get the most out of herself. The versatile player who has kept getting better throughout the 2018 TAC Cup Girls season is eyeing off a spot in the All-Australian side. While the huge accolade is an achievement that only few receive each year, ‘Jonesy’ has been working hard to reach her dream which she set a while ago.

“I’m hoping to make the All-Australian side if I can, it’s been a goal for a while now,” Jones said. She also has a broader goal in mind for the conclusion of the national championships. “I’m really just learning new things, being with a new bunch of girls every year and just improving.”

Jones’ pathway started from a young age, with her focus being on getting the most out of football and fitting in however she could to play as much football as she could.

“I started at Under 9s and worked my way through the boys,” Jones said. “Once I realised I couldn’t play the boys anymore I went to the girls. I didn’t really know there was a pathway or anything like that and first year girls I started finding the pathways, doing interleague and then eventually Stingrays and worked my way from there.”

This year Jones has enjoyed being a part of the Dandenong Stingrays’ program, improving her leadership and learning new structures – something she has built on with her experience in both Vic Country and the AFL Women’s Academy.

“It’s been a great experience and developing with things, learning new game plays, making new friends as well and just learning off the coaches to be a better leader,” Jones said. “It’s been an elite program, it’s been hard to transition from work to footy to Stingrays to Vic because they’re all different levels and all have different styles of play but it’s been good to learn to new things and improve as a player, on-field and off-field. “It’s been really good meeting new girls from other states and being able to work together as one group. Having the best coaches you could I guess, teaching you all about footy, what to do, what not to do on and off the field.”

Outside of football, Jones has not decided exactly what she wants to do, but is considering following her father into a trade, with her preferred trade being an electrician. Looking ahead to the national carnival, Jones wants to build on the foundations she has set this season in the TAC Cup Girls.

“I think I started off slow in Stingrays but I worked my way through it and finished off really strong and hopefully get to Nationals and have a good carnival there,” Jones said. “My improvements are my running but I think my strengths is my read of the play, my kicking.”

While performing at the nationals are the immediate task at hand, Jones is well aware that a lifelong dream could come to fruition in the near future.

“Definitely, as a kid it’s the thing (getting drafted) that I wanted,” Jones said. “I wanted to play in the AFL, I wanted to get there one day and it just wasn’t there until a couple of years ago, so it’s good to see AFLW coming out and really getting bigger.”

Expect Jones to play between midfield and forward in the upcoming carnival next week, with Vic Country starting their campaign against Queensland on Monday.

Weekend previews: National U18 Championships – Round 4

IN what will be a big five days for the most talented Under 18s in the country, the National AFL Championships continue tomorrow in the first of two double headers in Victoria. Tomorrow, teams clash at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong before reconvening next Wednesday at Etihad Stadium. Vic Metro has the bye tomorrow, while Vic Country plays its final game of the series in Geelong.

ALLIES VS. SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Friday, June 29, 2.10pm
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

The Allies come into this clash after a good performance against Vic Metro where they narrowly fell short in the dying minutes. Jacob Koschitzke was one of the most impressive, restricting potential number one pick Ben King to just one goal – unfortunately it was the match winner. His job does not get any easier this week, with a potential match-up on likely number on pick Jack Lukosius. He will look to work in tandem with Dirk Koenen – who also played well in the last match – likely to take fellow tall Hugo MunnFraser Turner was the Allies’ best in the last game and he could line-up on AFL Academy member and potential first round pick Connor Rozee, while on the inside, Connor McFadyen joins Tarryn Thomas and Chayce Jones against the A-grade midfield of Izak RankineLuke Valente and Tom Lewis, with Jackson Hately rotating between midfield and forward. Kieren Briggs and bottom-agers Thomas Green and Mitchell O’Neill are others who have impressed in the championships thus far.

In defence, Riley Grundy and Will Gould have been impressive and will likely be given the jobs on Caleb Graham and Nick Blakey, while Mathew Walker provides a medium-tall option in attack, with plenty of smalls creating havoc at ground level. Jez McLennan has looked good this carnival in defence, while Hayden Sampson has shown promising signs in attack and through the midfield. The attacking end for South Australia is unbelievable, with Lukosius and Munn joined by high-flying overager Oscar Chapman who returns to the team, while clearance machine Boyd Woodcock makes his debut for the Croweaters. Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy member Kai Pudney leads the strong depth on the bench with Ben Jarvis and Kade Chandler – others who have impressed at times this carnival.

South Australia head into the game as deserving favourites, but given the Allies were able to push Vic Metro all the way and South Australia was largely challenged by Vic Country, anything is possible in this game. A win to South Australia sets up a tantalising match with Vic Metro next week in what would decide the 2018 National Under 18 Championships title.

 

VIC COUNTRY VS. WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Friday, June 29, 4.40pm
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

In the second game of the double header, the two sides without a win do battle to open their account in the National Under 18 Championships. Vic County has lost all three of its games thus far and will want to end the carnival on a high, while Western Australia can finish off with two wins if it can topple Country and then the Allies next Wednesday. After losing to South Australia by 89 points in the opening round, Western Australia were much improved at home against Vic Metro. In this game, the exciting Jason Carter returns to provide some speed on the wing, joining a talented Black Swans outfit that will be without Jarrod Fazioli who booted three goals against Country in last year’s National Championships. The midfield of Luke FoleyDeven Robertson and Luke English is a consistent base, while Ian Hill and Rylie Morgan are always dangerous up the forward end. In defence, Jake Pasini and Louis Miller come into the team, while Regan Spooner and Damon Greaves will be hoping to continue their form.

For Vic Country, Murray Bushrangers midfielder Ely Smith receives the call-up to replace the injured Mitch Riordan, and will be hoping to back-up his 37-disposal game in the TAC Cup last weekend. Smith is joined in an extended side by teammates Zane Barzen and Hudson Garoni, while Gippsland bottom-agers swap spots with Brock Smith coming in and Caleb Serong heading out. Connor Idun and Kyle Reid have been consistent in defence and will want to finish the carnival with a positive note taking on the likes of Dillion O’Reilly and Tyson PowellTom Berry will have a strong challenge against Hill, while Laitham Vandermeer and Hayden Young will look to create run out of defence. Ely Smith joins Sam Walsh and Sam Fletcher in the midfield, while the forward set-up of Oscar BrownlessNed McHenry and Xavier Duursma seemed to provide opportunities last week, with Brodie Kemp coming into the mix for his first game.

Following her brother’s lead pays off for Jordyn Allen

DANDENONG Stingrays captain, Jordyn Allen followed her brother around as a youngster, throwing herself into any sport he did.

Unlike many TAC Cup Girls players who have come from a netball or basketball background, Allen’s journey into Aussie Rules has been quite unique.

“I think I did one ballet performance and tried a couple of horse riding things but it never really stuck,” she said. “Then I raced motocross for seven years when I was younger. “For three or four years, I was playing footy and racing motocross and then footy kind of started to amp up a little bit.”

It came about because her brother took up the sport, and little did she know that she would be picked to play for the Dandenong Stingrays as a 13 year-old and captain the side in 2018.

At the start of the year, captaining the side was a challenging role for Allen, who had to remain positive despite five losses to start the season. But being a mature person, that was not a problem for one of the best captains in the TAC Cup Girls competition.

“We were in it to win games,” Allen admitted. “That was the whole thing, we just needed to get to that next level. “We lost a lot of games by making silly errors so it was about refining that and addressing that, overcoming it and adjusting our game plan and our style of play around that.”

Thanks to Allen’s positive reinforcement, as well as her stellar football, the Stingrays stormed home to win their last four games of the season.

As for her own season, Allen has had the opportunity to represent the AFLW Academy against Geelong’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side, and captain Vic Country in its first hit-out of the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. The Dandenong Stingrays captain believed that being a part of the AFLW Academy has benefitted her in many ways as she strives for a spot on an AFLW list.

“That (AFLW Academy) is probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of,” Allen said. “It’s so awesome. “You have access to elite coaches and facilities and some of the opportunities that have arisen from it have been phenomenal. “It really does take your football to the next level. “It’s an awesome thing to be a part of.”

Allen’s most recent football achievement comes from the Casey Demons VFLW club, where she has played two games for the side so far. Although it is another commitment to add to her busy schedule, she admits that being in the Casey side has helped to balance her week.

“Now that I’m with Casey VFLW, I get two sessions in one,” Allen said. “We do gym after training so it kind of takes the edge of me having to find time to do another training session during the week. “I train twice with Casey during the week but it was harder to juggle school and TAC because I was training two nights then having to do two weight sessions as well as school and settling into Year 12. “It was stressful at times but I probably wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Next, she is off to the Gold Coast to don the ‘Big V’ for Vic Country in her fifth year of representing Victoria. Despite being selected so many times for Vic Country, Allen admits that receiving the letter of invitation to represent her state is still a moment that gives her goosebumps.

“It (being selected) still gives you tingles every single time you get selected,” the 17 year-old said. “It’s no guarantee you’re going to get selected regardless if you’re an Academy player or a TAC Cup player and I think more so this year, it was more of a relief because there’s so much talent coming through. “It was more like my job’s not done, I still have a lot to prove.”

Allen is not only hoping to prove herself in the ‘Big V’ but has her eyes well and truly set on proving herself in an AFLW jumper.

“AFLW is the dream for me, I have my heart set on it,” the Dandenong Stingrays captain said. “Obviously I want to have a career in another field on the side, but AFLW’s definitely something I’m aiming for.”

South Australia, Vic Metro claim first round U16 victories

A GOAL in the dying seconds to Cooper Horsnell has helped South Australia to an opening round win in the National Under 16 Championships. With the final two rounds to be played on the Gold Coast on July 9 and July 13, South Australia claimed a vital win over a very competitive Western Australia side by just three points.

The Black Swans led by four points at quarter time, but a four goals to two second term saw the Croweaters hit the front by seven as they headed into the main break. Both teams capitalised on their opportunities in the third term, booting three goals apiece, before a final quarter thriller saw the home side just scrape home. Western Australia hit the front with a Lewis Evans-Thomson goal in what was a thrilling opening eight minutes which saw the Black Swans boot two majors and South Australia boot one. The Black Swans will rue missed opportunities in the final stanza, kicking a number of behinds before Horsnell split the middle and gave South Australia a crucial two-point lead. From there, the Croweaters held on for the 11.3 (69) to 9.12 (66) victory, despite having seven less scoring shots.

South Australian captain Kaine Baldwin was dominant up front, booting four majors, while Isiah Dudley and Ethan Schwerdt were dangerous at his feet, booting two majors. Corey Durdin was the standout player on the ground, amassing a game-high 23 disposals, five marks, seven tackles, four clearances and eight rebounds for the home side, while Riley Thilthorpe showed great ground coverage, playing through the ruck to record 30 hitouts, but have a Brodie Grundy-like game with 17 touches, eight marks and four tackles to go with it. Henry Nelligan assisted Durdin through the middle with 19 disposals, three marks and seven clearances to be a threat on the inside.

For Western Australia, tall forward Logan McDonald booted three goals, while fellow key position player Jack Allen finished the game with two majors. Ira Jetta was among Western Australia’s best with 19 disposals, two marks, four clearances, four inside 50s and eight tackles, while David Yaccob was deemed the Black Swans’ best with 15 disposals, three marks, four inside 50s and two rebounds. Full-back Denver Grainger-Barras had almost one-third of his team’s rebounds, racking up seven from his 13 disposals and three marks. Brandon Walker (17 disposals, two marks and three rebounds) was used effectively off half-back, while Zane Trew (16 disposals and five clearances) and Taj Schofield (14 disposals and 10 tackles) were other top players for the visitors.

South Australia go on to face the other winner in Vic Metro, while Western Australia will look to bounce back with a victory against Vic Country. Both games will be played at Southport on July 9. The final round of action will see South Australia take on Vic Country and Vic Metro face Western Australia, which is played at the GABBA on July 13.

For more specific information on South Australia’s victory, head to the game wrap by Zac Milbank on the SANFL website.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA  2.0  6.1  9.2  11.3 (69)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA  2.4  4.6  7.8  9.12 (66)

GOALS:
South Australia: Baldwin 4, Schwerdt, Dudley 2, Wright, Dumesny, Horsnell.
Western Australia: McDonald 3, Allen 2, Western, Curley, Bellchambers, Evans-Thomson.

BEST:
South Australia: Durdin, Nelligan, Baldwin, Thilthorpe, Roberts, Schwerdt.
Western Australia: Yaccob, Grainger-Barras, Walker, Trew, Schofield, Jetta.

Meanwhile at Ikon Park, Vic Metro came from behind to record a memorable eight-point win on Saturday. Vic Country booted five goals to three in the first term, then extended its advantage to 27 points at the main break. Metro made serious inroads in the third quarter, piling on four goals to one to cut the deficit to six points by the final break, then finished the game off strong with another four-goal quarter, while restricting its opponents to two goals, in order to win 12.9 (81) to 11.7 (73).

Western Jets’ Lucas Failli was the key up forward with three majors for the winning side and was a clear standout up the attacking end. Oakleigh Chargers’ Lochlan Jenkins and Sandringham Dragons’ Jake Bowey were also able to hit the scoreboard with multiple goals, the latter of which was also named among the best.

Northern Knights’ Ben Major was deemed the top Metro player on the day, named among the best with Oakleigh Chargers’ Will Phillips (one goal), Sandringham Dragons’ Darby Hipwell and Eastern Ranges’ Connor Downie. The Metro victory was a crucial one, ahead of its clash with South Australia at Southport on July 9.

For Vic Country, talented forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan was a live-wire up the attacking end, booting three goals and looking creative and dangerous. Gippsland Power’s Thomas Fitzpatrick also booted three majors, while Bendigo Pioneers’ Sam Conforti and Murray Bushrangers’ forward Elijah Hollands booted two in a strong offensive effort by the Country side.

GWV Rebels’ Nick Stevens was named as Country’s best, booting a goal and combining well between midfield and half-forward. Hollands, Ugle-Hagan and Murray Bushrangers’ full-back Ethan Baxter were also impressive, as were Geelong Falcons’ pair midfielder Charlie Lazzaro and half-back Tanner Bruhn.

VIC METRO          3.0      4.3       8.6        12.9 (81)
VIC COUNTRY    5.2      8.6        9.6        11.7 (73)

GOALS
Vic Metro: Failli 3, Bowey 2, Jenkins 2, Varagiannis, Laurie, Phillips, Raak, Hart
Vic Country: Ugle-Hagen 3, Fitzpatrick 3, Conforti 2, Hollands 2, Stevens

BEST
Vic Metro: Major, Failli, Phillips, Hipwell, Bowey, Downie
Vic Country: Stevens, Hollands, Ugle-Hagen, Baxter, Lazzaro, Bruhn

Ely’s form warrants a Country call-up

MURRAY Bushrangers’ inside midfielder Ely Smith will pull on the ‘Big V’ for Vic Country after his sensational TAC Cup form, coupled with a number of injuries to the Country midfield brigade. AFL Draft Central spoke to Vic Country Talent Pathways Manager Lee Fraser about Smith’s inclusion and reasoning behind him being added to the squad ahead of the fourth and final game against Western Australia at GMHBA Stadium on Friday.

Smith is ranked first for clearances in the TAC Cup competition, racking up 54 from his 10 games, while also averaging 22.8 disposals and five tackles per game. He also averages more than half of his possessions at the coal-face, a key reason Fraser said the Murray Bushrangers midfielder was called upon for the final National Under 18 Championships game. Fraser also said Smith filled a key void that Country had lost due to a few injuries over the carnival.

“It’s on the back of Ely’s good form first and foremost,” he said. “He wasn’t too far away from making the squad in the early stages, but his TAC Cup form has been very good. “Secondly, we’ve lost Jye Caldwell and Mitch Riordan from that inside role. “Having lost those two guys, and Sam Fletcher being ill last week, we had to bolster that inside midfield for game four.

Fraser said there are official protocols to follow, but everything was ticked off and Smith will line-up in the middle against the Black Swans on Friday.

“We applied to the AFL to have him included, and we received support from recruiters,” he said. “It means we will have 36 players representing Vic Country over the championships which is exciting. “Of course the other factor is scheduling four games in 21 days. “But the main factor is we had a specific need due to losing Caldwell and Riordan on the inside.”

Fraser said the Victorian representative sides always needed flexibility when it comes to selection because of schedule and injuries, with the staff keeping a close eye on the TAC Cup while the National Championships rolled on. A recent example was fellow Murray Bushranger now Geelong Cat, Esava Ratugolea who was a late call-up to the Vic Country side on the back of some sensational bags in the TAC Cup.

“We’ve always got an eye on the TAC Cup games during the middle of the year while the championships are on,” Fraser said. “You start with a list at the start of the championships, but there’s also the need for flexibility, particularly with those four games in 21 days. “Those games included travelling to Sydney and Adelaide, and that’s always a challenge for players coming from rural areas.”

When asked about the possibility of Tom Berry going inside, Fraser said he was an option, but his form at half-back was justifying his selection there, a role that he is likely to play throughout the TAC Cup season too.

“He (Berry) could possibly go in too,” he said. “We’re happy with Berry’s form at half-back. He can also potentially go to half-forward. “But we’ve seen his burst speed, closing speed and one-on-one competitiveness against (Izak) Rankine and then (Curtis) Taylor. “We’ll make a few changes to the squad.”

Vic Country takes on Western Australia at 4.40pm at GMHBA Stadium. Both sides head into the game winless, with the match being the final game for the Country side in this year’s carnival.

Rebels’ BnF winner thankful for opportunities

GREATER Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ defender Georgia Clarke has had a whirlwind few years of Youth Girls football, returning to the game after time out given the lack of opportunities in her area. She chose to focus on other sports, and just played football at school, ensuring that her love for the game was never lost.

Since she returned to the sport, she has gone from Youth Girls to TAC Cup Girls to AFL Women’s Academy and Vic Country, representing Victoria at Etihad Stadium last year for the Under 18s game against the Allies.

“I probably started Auskick when I was five/six years-old so I went through that program and loved every bit of that,” Clarke said. “(I) didn’t care if I was the only girl. “Then I never really moved on to under 12s boys footy, or stuff like that but I always stayed doing school footy through primary school, and then I had a while off footy and then I picked it back up in Year 9 when Youth Girls started to come around in my area. “Then that was with the Rebels and I’ve been with the Rebels for three years now.”

Clarke said girls football was developing, and the intensity, as well as the professionalism around the game was continually growing, giving others opportunities to follow their dreams.

“Programs like these, the TAC Cup back five years ago, weren’t that big,” she said. “More and more girls are actually wanting to play this as a sport professionally, not just as a little laugh. It’s like proper professional now.”

Clarke said she noticed the change within her own club as the competition for sports got more and more competitive.

“Yeah every year I reckon the team changes obviously getting more professional and just realising that TAC Cup is something special to be a part of.the intent is more and more each year,” she said.

For Clarke, the competition means she has to continually evolve her game, something she has been working on since returning to the sport. She said her knowledge from other sports has helped her adapt to situations on the field, and have improved her ability to compete even more so than before.

“My ability to read the play which comes in handy as a defender,” she said. “I find that’s come from other sports such as netball and basketball. “I feel like I can bring that to my game and that’s probably my strongest part. “(I have learnt to) use my strengths in the game, realising what I can and can’t do and just using them to my ability and stuff like that. “Using my height for example, I never really thought about it and I actually decided to use it a bit more.”

Clarke could not be more thankful of the opportunities she has been afforded at the Rebels and through the AFL Victoria programs, being a key member of the AFL Women’s Academy, which led her to running out on GMHBA Stadium earlier in the year and taking on the Geelong VFL Women’s side – a team she would ironically join by the end of the TAC Cup Girls season.

“That’s (AFLW Academy program) been amazing,” she said. “I’ve grown so much being in the academy and it’s shown each year, with this year being my second year, it’s definitely shown how much I’ve improved in those two years and four camps.”

Now at Geelong, Clarke has enjoyed a match already, holding up the defensive end, alongside a familiar face in GWV Rebels Female Talent Manager Krista Woodroffe. The pair have played alongside each other in the defensive end, and it has helped Clarke adapt to the club.

Focusing her efforts on the upcoming AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships, Clarke is excited about representing Vic Country on the Gold Coast. Hopefully she can add to her fond memories, but there is one memory that stands out beyond all others.

“It would have to be playing in the first State of Origin game, Under 18 game at Etihad Stadium,” she said. “I found that pretty special.”

The National Championships will cap off a fantastic year for the defender, taking out the Rebels best and fairest award for 2018 ahead of Sophie Molan and Lauren Butler at the recent count. The National Championships Series Two will begin on Monday, July 9 at Metricon Stadium.

Metro surge on despite Country challenge

VIC Metro has kept its unbeaten streak at the 2018 National AFL Under 18 Championships alive after surviving a late scare to overcome rivals Vic Country by 26 points at the MCG yesterday. Vic Metro booted the first three goals of the game, including two to Sandringham Dragons captain Bailey Smith, before Geelong Falcons duo Sam Walsh and Ed McHenry combined for Country’s three goals in the opening term.

A five goals to one second term looked ominous with Vic Metro seemingly running away with the contest, holding a 27-point lead at half-time. Country refused to give in however, booting four of the next five goals to draw within a kick in the final term, before Metro kicked away again, booting the final four goals of the game to run away with the 13.6 (84) to 8.10 (58).

Smith finished the game with three majors, as did Curtis Taylor who looked the most damaging forward on the ground. He slammed the door shut with a set shot midway through the final term and showed plenty of X-factor throughout the match. Overager Noah Answerth, potential number one pick Ben King, and Metro captain Xavier O’Halloran each booted two goals.

For Country, McHenry missed a few gettable shots after his opening two majors in the first term, while Sam Flanders was the other multiple goal kicker with two majors, but the Goal of the Day belonged to Oscar Brownless who snapped a perfect banana from the tightest of angles in the third term off a step. Bendigo Pioneers’ mid/forward Zane Keighran also scored a goal on debut after narrowly missing one earlier in the game.

Both Smith (20 disposals, four clearances, five tackles and three inside 50s) and Rhylee West (20 disposals, five clearances, two tackles and three inside 50s) were crucial in the midfield, working hard with Tom McKenzie (23 disposals, 12 marks and six rebounds) and Answerth (21 disposals, four marks and six tackles) finding plenty of the football and getting it forward. West in particular was important in close, while Smith provided great run down the field. Taylor (13 disposals and eight marks) was the beneficiary of the strong Metro midfield, while James Rowbottom (20 disposals, eight marks, four clearances and four inside 50s) was also solid, as was Eastern Ranges’ defender James Blanck (11 disposals, six marks and five rebounds) in the back 50.

Walsh (29 disposals, three marks, four tackles, five clearances, and six inside 50s) was clearly the standout player on the day, dominating from start to finish and stamping his authority as the best midfielder in the 2018 draft crop. He was ably assisted by McHenry (17 disposals, three marks and 10 tackles) and Gippsland Power captain Xavier Duursma (19 disposals, six marks, five tackles, five clearances and seven inside 50s) – of whom the latter narrowly missed two shots running into goal. Flanders (13 disposals and four marks) and Hayden Young (13 disposals, three marks and four inside 50s) would have caused a number of recruiters to take note for next year, while ruck Riley Bowman (10 disposals, three marks and 20 hitouts) and key defender Connor Idun (restricted King) were also impressive in their respective roles.

Both sides had wounded players from the clash, with Mitch Riordan injured again – he injured himself in the opening game of the carnival – while Jack Bytel also left the field and looks set to spend time on the sidelines.

Vic Metro now get a week’s rest from the National Under 18 Championships, while Vic Country face Western Australia on Friday when they meet at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong. Metro then play the final game of the tournament against South Australia on Wednesday, July 4 – in what will likely decide the overall title – while Country have the bye in the final round.

VIC METRO        4.1    9.1    9.5    13.6 (84)
VIC COUNTRY    3.1    4.4    7.6    8.10 (58)   

GOALS
Vic Metro: Smith 3, Taylor 3, Answerth 2, King 2, O’Halloran 2, Collier-Dawkins
Vic Country: McHenry 2, Flanders 2, Walsh, Bowman, Brownless, Keighran

BEST 
Vic Metro: Smith, West, Taylor, McKenzie, Answerth, Rowbottom
Vic Country: Walsh, Duursma, McHenry, Flanders, Bowman

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.