WHILE Round 8 of the 2022 NAB League Girls season was condensed to four fixtures, there was no shortage of quality in our latest Team of the Week edition. An even spread saw all eight regions involved with at least two players apiece – headlined by four from victors Dandenong, Sandringham, and Western. Check out the full 24-player squad, including three emergencies, below.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
It was difficult to look past Sandringham Dragons midfielder Sofia Hurley for Player of the Week honours in Round 8. She captains our team this week at the heart of midfield, having amassed a team-high 32 disposals, 10 tackles and two goals in her side’s 30-point win over Northern. The top-age gun was also inevitably named in the Vic Metro Under 18 squad, having delivered on the promise she showed as a bottom-ager.
An experienced and strong final line props up the back six in this week’s team, complimented by a more dynamic and attacking half-back setup. Northern’s Tarrah Delgado was one of her side’s best in a five-goal loss, and comes in at full back next to Sandringham’s Georgia Foran, who did her usual job at the opposite end to Delgado on Monday. Another over-ager, Erin Woodford fills the other pocket, having been kept busy in a loss to Dandenong.
There is plenty of run and attacking flair off half-back, with Eastern top-ager Mia Busch featuring once again having also rotated through midfield, while 2006-born Western prospect Lou-Lou Field was impressive enough to also earn a starting berth. In between them in the key position post, it is no surprise to see Mackenzie Eardley assume her seemingly regular spot after another standout showing.
There are a couple of genuine wingers to compliment a ridiculously strong centre bounce combination this week. Dandenong’s Taylah Gatt packed a punch with her touches, while Tasmania’s Madison Brazendale racked up game-high numbers on the outside and drove the Devils forward with purpose. They both earn starting spots.
Hurley takes her place in the centre, with future Metro teammates Ava Jordan and Montana Ham joining her. Jordan could well have snatched Player of the Week honours off Hurley having been prolific in the same game, while Ham and her Jets continue to soar in second spot after another victory. Rucking to them is another Jet, in Krystal Russell who earned a round-high 27 hitouts.
There is a decent spread among the front six, but two Stingrays feature on one side. Amber Clarke found her way into the forward pocket, joined by teammate Olivia Robinson at half-forward as both players rotated through midfield. This week’s leading goalkicker, Charli Granville features in the opposite pocket to Clarke after her three majors.
In the key position posts, Georgia Clark‘s marking prowess was on full show for Tasmania, and earned her a spot at centre half-forward, while fellow bottom-ager Mia Zielinski was a real threat inside 50 throughout four quarters for Sandringham. Rounding out the forwardline is Calder third-gamer Heidi Woodley, who had a breakout performance in her side’s loss.
There is a bunch of midfield leadership and quality on this week’s bench, headlined by Western skipper Charlotte Baskaran. Fellow Metro squad members Charlotte Taylor, Keely Coyne and Reese Sutton were among their respective sides’ best players, as were Isabelle Khoury and Priya Bowering in the Eastern-Tasmania clash.
ROOKIE ME CENTRAL NAB LEAGUE GIRLS TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 8
B: Erin Woodford (OC) – Tarrah Delgado (NK) – Georgia Foran (SD)
HB: Mia Busch (ER) – Mackenzie Eardley (DS) – Lou-Lou Field (WJ)
MID: Taylah Gatt (DS) – Sofia Hurley (SD, c) – Madison Brazendale (TD)
HF: Olivia Robinson (DS) – Georgia Clark (TD) – Heidi Woodley (CC)
F: Amber Clarke (DS) – Mia Zielinski (SD) – Charli Granville (ER)
FOL: Krystal Russell (WJ) – Montana Ham (WJ) – Ava Jordan (NK)
INT: Charlotte Baskaran (WJ), Priya Bowering (TD), Keely Coyne (SD), Isabelle Khoury (ER), Reese Sutton (CC), Charlotte Taylor (OC)
EMG: Charlotte Blair (DS), Ruby O’Dwyer (ER), Kiera Whiley (WJ)