2022 SANFLW Academy Watch: Round 5

UNLIKE previous weeks, the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s had some one-sided results. Despite the results, players from both sides still showed plenty of promise, and whilst a number of talented State Academy players were missing in Round 5, we take a look at how those who did play, performed.

All notes are the opinion of the individual writer.

  • Team
  • Woodville-West Torrens
  • North Adelaide

Woodville-West Torrens:

#2 Jemma Whitington-Charity

It was not a great day for the Eagles midfielders who were well beaten in the clearances by the bigger-bodied Roosters, but Whitington-Charity just gave it a crack. Being a smaller player, she was often having to battle against far stronger opponents, but she had one terrific moment in particular, pulling down a great contested mark against Ewings who is arguably the best contested mark when factoring in size. Whitington-Charity was often tackled as soon as she won it, but when having time and space used the ball well going forward. As a 2006-born talent there is much more to come from here, and she has the smarts to get to the right spots. Whitington-Charity managed the nine disposals, two marks – one contested – tow inside 50s and two rebound 50s in a hard-working performance.

#30 Marlie Fiegert

Having a great duel with Ewings at one stage, the pair traded free kicks as they got stuck into each other at stoppages and around the ground. Fiegert worked her way into the game and came away as one of the Eagles best in there. She picked up an equal team-high four clearances, and used quick fire handballs when under pressure, whilst also drawing head-high free kicks off opponents such as Ewings and Erin Sundstrom. One passage of play saw Fiegert kick from the middle to half-forward, then followed up with a second effort to handball to Goody. Fiegert managed 12 disposals, four clearances and three inside 50s on the day.

#34 Shineah Goody

Like the other young midfielders, Goody could not quite have her dominant impact as she did earlier in the season, but still managed to win as many touches as any other Eagle. She is always going to find space, spread well and provide an option, but her best work was in her running and able to dish off with quick hands. As previously stated in this piece, Goody is one of the best exponents of the long handball I have ever seen, and her kicking is generally outstanding. Much like the week before, she still made some uncharacteristic errors by foot, but also produced some nice pinpoint passes. Her work rate far surpasses anyone else’s and it shows in her knack for winning the ball even when the game is going against her. Goody managed the 14 disposals, three marks, three tackles, two clearances and three inside 50s.

North Adelaide:

#30 Elaine Grigg

Coming in for her first game of 2022 after six games last year, the speedster certainly had an impact. Though raw and not quite polished just yet, Grigg had some incredibly exciting moments and could have capped off her game with multiple goals. She kicked her sole major by swooping in from the side in the goalsquare and kicking it off the deck with a great burst. Grigg had another couple of chances including a set shot 25m straight in front, but perhaps the most memorable moment was when she kicked a massive high ball looking for goal but it fortuitously fell in the arms of Brianna Arthur who kicked the goal. Grigg’s intent and pressure around the ball was good, and she finished with 13 disposals, seven tackles and 1.2 from the game.

#31 Hannah Ewings

There is not much left to say when it comes to South Australia’s top AFLW Draft prospect this year really, Ewings had another outstanding game and was amongst the Roosters best through the midfield. She summed up what she is capable of in the opening minute with a clearance, inside 50, second effort to run forward, receive, snap and goal all in the first 60 seconds. She kicked a second goal in the third term where she marked in the goalsquare and made no mistake, then also released a perfect handball to Katelyn Pope at half-forward who hit up Jade De Melo for a goal in the final term. She almost kicked a major against the momentum in the second term, with a flying shot from 55m just drifting to the left. Throughout the four quarters, Ewings continued to amass the ball with ease and contibuted to a number of other scoring opportunities as well, often getting the ball forward after winning it in midfield. The standout State Academy member, certainly from a midfield perspective this week, racked up 20 touches, five marks, three tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s and kicked 2.1.

  • Team
  • Central District
  • Glenelg

Central District:

#9 Charlotte Riggs

The athletic ruck/defender spent more time in the defence this week, getting involved in passages of play than recent weeks. Though still raw and making the odd mistake – such as a turnover that went straight to Jessica Bates for a goal – Riggs had some impressive highlights, such as a great smother and steal in the one play through the second term in defensive 50, to then stride away and hit up McKee at half-back. Riggs’ ruck work and defensive smarts – particularly in terms of positioning and getting to the right spots – seem to be quite good, and it is about ironing out her execution, particularly when in dangerous situations – such as the back 50. Regardless, Riggs still had some impressive moments and being a 2006-born tall, she will take time and the League experience will benefit her greatly.

#21 Georgia McKee

It was no surprise to see McKee first on the board for the Doggies when they needed a spark, reading the ball off hands and pressuring an opponent, then kicking it off the deck when it spilled in the goalsquare. Her lovely kicking ability off either side was on show early, and her athleticism – such as her clean sidestepping – was also a feature, and in the third term she stepped around an opponent and straightened to hit a target inside 50. Though not as prominent as past weeks, she had moments when in the midfield, and took the chance when presented with it in front of goal. Overall it was still a solid performance, picking up 10 disposals, two marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and kicking that goal.

#38 Dakota Williams

Still working back from that hamstring tightness a couple of weeks ago and had a quieter game, ultimately unable to really impact in what she can. She still had some clean handballs and was attempting to bring the same pressure, but only managed the one kick amongst her touches, so could not bring her impressive metres gained. Nonetheless, she kept digging in defensively against a very strong Glenelg midfield, and recorded six disposals for the game.


#6 Violet Patterson

It has been said regularly in this piece before, but when the Under 16s talent is able to find some composure with ball-in-hand, then wow. She has all the tools to be a very good player in the future, with athletic gifts including a great burst and high-level running capacity, knows where to find it and takes the game on. It is just the execution and finish at the end that is not quite at the level. When that improves, Patterson could definitely be one of the most interesting talents, with the potential Collingwood father-daughter already eye-catching. Given she is another 2006-born talent, expect her to improve over the next two years, so remember the name because she is already finding the ball without any issues amongst a team stacked with senior talent. Patterson managed 12 disposals and three inside 50s for her troubles.

#8 Piper Window

Had more of a balance midfield and forward, with captain Ellie Kellock also brought back in but spent time inside 50. Window is just a contested beast who thrives on the inside ball and refuses to lose contests. Even if she is unable to pull down a mark, she immediately lays a follow-up tackles such is midway through the final term. She won a free kick for said tackle, her kick was smothered, but again she followed up and got the handball away. Though her kicking at times can be rushed, when she is in full flight she can do some serious damage such as a pinpoint pass to Caitlyn Swanson inside 50 late in the third term. Window reads the ball off hands at the stoppages, and then can hit the scoreboard when forward, kicking one of the easiest goals she will ever kick due to her hard running to mark unopposed in the goalsquare early in the match. Window managed the 12 disposals, four marks – two contested – six tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and one goal.

#11 Sarah Goodwin

The clean midfielder might have had a quieter game compared to her others this season, but Goodwin definitely knows how to seemingly flick a switch and have a purple patch for a term. That happened in the third quarter where after a quieter first half, she came alive, Surprisingly she actually missed a couple of kicks in the first few minutes of the term, but then hit an absolute bullet at half-forward, ran to provide the extra number, received it back and kicked inside 50. Goodwin also had a nice smother in defence as an opponent ran into goal. Though she was not as consistent and clean as previous weeks, she still had her moments, trying to run it in the final term. As a whole, Goodwin managed the 15 disposals, two marks, three tackles, two clearances and three inside 50s for the match.

#28 Matilda Scholz

Having a really good test against one of the more prominent rucks in the league in Isabelle Starmer, Scholz passed the test by winning more hitouts and disposals. Though Starmer was more impactful at the stoppages in terms of follow-up work, Scholz worked hard to get her hands to it, and took a number of good marks, including some intercept marks around the ground. Her hands were clean and she kept competing. At one stage she had an “almost-play” with a moment where she intercepted at half-forward, ran off but then did not have any teammates ahead of her so had to handball to a teammate who was immediately tackled. Other than that, Scholz did not make too many errors, having a brilliant tap to Window to see up a scoring opportunity in the final term, and generally holding her own in most situations.

#43 Ella Boag

Backing up her impressive debut game, Boag still had a solid outing despite not quite being as impactful. She found herself under more pressure when trying to break the game open, and was often forced into more rushed situations. Her kicking was clean as a whole after the early stages where she turned a ball over, with most of her other disposals hitting targets. She had a chance to kick a goal at one stage with a mark 30m in front, but the set shot just fell short and was knocked over the line. Her kicking in the second half was outstanding, and at one stage did well to push Laitiah Huynh off the ball on the wing, but could not quite get it and Huynh won it back and kicked inside 50. Overall though she did not win as much of the ball as she did in Round 4, Boag was still predominantly clean with each of her touches. Boag notched up nine disposals, two marks and two inside 50s in the win.

  • Team
  • Norwood
  • Sturt


#4 Sachi Syme

A tireless worker who can play inside or outside, Syme attacks the contest hard and is good at extracting it. She plays a simple, yet effective game, working within her means and able to stand up defensively, whilst still having an impact offensively. She often has to win the ball in tight situations, but when she can get free and be involved in transitional play, she is able to direct the ball to the right spots. Her spreading and quick hands stood out in the loss. Syme managed the 17 disposals, eight tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s.

#18 Molly Brooksby

Could have finished as one of the best afield had she converted her multiple chances on goal, particularly late. Though her efforts only earned her three behinds, Brooksby never stopped trying and is one who can find the ball and use it well more often than not, without too many glaring issues in her game. She often runs hard along the wing and is able to find the ball all over the ground, and is a kick-first player. She did get caught trying to run away from defence in the third term, but her body work and attack on the ball is terrific. Brooksby recorded 12 disposals, three marks and two clearances in the match.

#41 Lana Schwerdt

Schwerdt just keeps thriving on the contest, and after a quieter first term in regards to numbers – though her pressure was still high – the talented midfielder started to work into the game. She generally used the ball well around the ground winning it in each third, setting up a goal to Alana Lishmund inside 50. Her vision and decision making when given time and space is superb, but when not, then she just attacks it hard. Usually clean by hand or foot. She picked up a team-high 19 disposals and laid nine tackles, as well as had four clearances and four inside 50s in the loss.

#46 Rosie Boon

A real tough day for the talented athlete, who had to go up against the ridiculously athletically gifted Zoe Prowse and one of the most dominant rucks in the competition in Jasmyn Hewett who was best afield. She positioned herself well at the ruck stoppages, and kept working hard, though copped a knock through the middle of the game and had to come off. She returned in the final term, and finished with four touches, 10 hitouts and three tackles.


#24 Lily Whitcombe

A quieter game by the Sturt defender, but not really due to her own volition. Playing a deeper role in defence as she can at times, Whitcombe amassed the six touches, three marks, two rebound 50s and a tackle in the Double Blues’ win over Norwood, playing her role in such a cohesive defensive back five.

  • Team
  • South Adelaide
  • West Adelaide

South Adelaide:

#37 Brooke Boileau

Returned to the team for her third League game of the season, Boileau held her own at times and went in hard. Her best work was done defensively with her tackling and pressure, covering the ground well across the match. Her first half was fairly quiet, but Boileau found more of it in the second term, with a clean pickup in the he last minute to deliver a nice kick from half-back to half-forward. She got pinged for holding the ball just earlier, but generally used the ball fairly well as the game went on, finishing with a solid return. Boileau managed nine disposals, four tackles and three inside 50s in the win.

#38 Shae Archbold

The talented Under 16s forward had an outstanding game for the Panthers, and was our Player Focus for Round 5. Now leading the SANFL Women’s goalkicking with 10 majors, Archbold added four to her tally in the match, also laying seven tackles and taking two contested marks from her three total, to accompany her 10 touches.


#49 Jemma Ellis

Not as involved around the ground this week, Ellis was still heavily involved in the ruck, leading the side as the number one ruck after captain Brianna Wedding went down last week. In terms of her ruck work, Ellis was certainly good at winning the hitouts, and she managed a game-high 26 in the clash against fellow young rucks, Sigley and Tamika May. Possessing a nice leap, Ellis used clean hands when in close, and was able to play her role, gaining great experience as the number one ruck. The South Adelaide tall recorded seven disposals, three inside 50s and laid eight tackles to go with her 26 hitouts.

West Adelaide:

#8 Keeley Kustermann

After copping a knock late in the game last week, it was going to be interesting to see how Kustermann responded in this match, and she more than held her own. Recording team-highs in disposals, clearances and inside 50s, as well as laying plenty of tackles, there was not too much to fault for the West Adelaide talent who was more efficient than the previous week. Having a bit more freedom against the Panthers compared to Sturt, Kustermann amassed the ball across the ground, and spent time forward, just missing a chance to hit the scoreboard in the third term. Though a lot of her kicks were often under pressure, she still managed to hit her fair share of targets, setting up a goal to Lily Johnston in the final quarter.

#21 Grace McNicol

Coming into the side for her first League game of the season and second career game, McNicol was often unrewarded with her work around the stoppages, getting ready for the quick handball but it did not always come. She applied good pressure and worked hard, running along with the experienced Nicole Campbell and no doubt learning plenty of the matchup. She had a couple of lively moments in the final term where she won a free kick inside 50, kicked to the pocket, then followed up to win it again, had a snap and just missed.

#34 Bethany Sigley

Sigley also come in for her first League game of the year and held up well in the absence of Kate Walsh. Though beaten in the ruck by Ellis, it was Sigley’s follow-up work both at the stoppage and around the ground that really stood out. She harassed, chased and applied pressure at ground level, whilst also getting involved once the ball had hit the deck. She did well against the Panthers’ second ruck Ella Radbone, and was one of the more consistent Bloods across the match. Sigley recorded 13 disposals, three tackles, 13 hitouts and two clearances in the game.


9 – Hannah Ewings (North Adelaide)
9 – Shae Archbold (South Adelaide)
6 – Lana Schwerdt (Norwood)
5 – Keeley Kustermann (West Adelaide)
5 – Piper Window (Glenelg)
5 – Sachi Syme (Norwood)
5 – Violet Patterson (Glenelg)
4 – Molly Brooksby (Norwood)
3 – Sarah Goodwin (Glenelg)
3 – Shineah Goody (WWT Eagles)
3 – Bethany Sigley (West Adelaide)
2 – Georgia McKee (Central District)
1 – Elaine Grigg (North Adelaide)

In each edition of Academy Watch, 60 votes are distributed amongst the Academy talents rather than the traditional 5-4-3-2-1 per-game system used with the NAB League Girls. This way, players who go above and beyond are awarded additional votes, with no cap on a minimum amount from teams. In Round 2, seven of the eight teams are represented.

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