THE Eastern Ranges and Bendigo Pioneers are the best represented regions in our NAB League Girls Team of the Week for Round 5. Both sides won by over 10 goals over the weekend, recording four players apiece in another competitive squad. There was a good spread among the other four victors, and a few standouts also feature despite heavy losses. Check out the full squad, including three emergencies, below.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Tasmania Devils forward Georgia Clark was a lock for Player of the Week honours after her dominant performance on Saturday. The bottom-ager kicked four of her side’s six goals from 21 disposals and eight marks, as the Devils downed the Northern Knights by 26 points. She spearheads a front six full of goals, but stands out as one of only two players to have booted four in Round 5.
There is plenty of rebounding flair and a couple of rotating midfielders in this week’s defence. Top-age guns Mia Busch and Keeley Skepper again feature across half-back, with the latter’s Murray teammate Cassidy Mailer slotting into a pocket. She joins Geelong under-ager Sara Howley on the last line, who racked up nine rebound 50s. In the key position posts, Western Jets intercept marking machine Laura Elliott was a lock for centre half-back, while Bendigo over-ager Jayda Richardson was slotted in at full-back.
Competition for spots in midfield is always tough, and that was no different this week. Western skipper and standout Charlotte Baskaran was squeezed out to a wing, featuring opposite to Sandringham’s Keely Coyne after the pair locked horns. At the centre bounces, 2007-born Tasmanian Priya Bowering offers plenty of contested prowess, while Ava Jordan gets in for her 31 touches in the same game, joined by the classy Octavia Di Donato who skippered Bendigo on Sunday. In the ruck, bottom-age Calder tall Ellie Sbeghen comes in after kicking two goals and notching the most-ever hitouts to advantage in a NAB League Girls match – 14.
It is goals galore among this week’s forwardline, with a total of 18 shared between the starting six. Clarke was the most prolific of the lot with four alongside Eastern Ranges small Alyssia Pisano. Fellow Ranges prospect Mia Austin snared three and makes for a solid marking partnership inside 50 with Geelong’s Analea McKee. Up on the flanks, Bendigo’s Lila Keck was another who found the goals thrice in a best afield performance, while Murray bolter Zarlie Goldsworthy makes a swift return to the side after her inspired performance in a losing cause.
A couple of stars are sighted on the interchange, headlined by Hawthorn’s inaugural AFL Women’s player, Bridget Deed. The Eastern captain had 28 touches as her side won big, further confirming just why she earned such an honour. Montana Ham is another big name on the bench, as is Paige Scott, while under-agers in Amy Gaylor and Lucia Painter round out the side along with Grace Purcell.
ROOKIE ME CENTRAL NAB LEAGUE GIRLS TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 5
B: Cassidy Mailer (MB) – Jayda Richardson (BP) – Sara Howley (GF)
HB: Mia Busch (ER) – Laura Elliott (WJ) – Keeley Skepper (MB)
C: Keely Coyne (SD) – Priya Bowering (TD) – Charlotte Baskaran (WJ)
HF: Lila Keck (BP) – Georgia Clark (TD) – Zarlie Goldsworthy (MB)
F: Alyssia Pisano (ER) – Mia Austin (ER) – Analea McKee (GF)
FOL: Ellie Sbeghen (CC) – Ava Jordan (NK) – Octavia Di Donato (BP)
INT: Bridget Deed (ER), Amy Gaylor (CC), Montana Ham (WJ), Lou Painter (BP), Grace Purcell (GF), Paige Scott (GWV)
EMG: Zoe Barbakos (SD), Ava Campbell (ER), Paige Glover (GWV)