SANFLW Academy notes: Round 7
THE South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s continued for Round 7 and from this point on, we have trimmed the SANFLW Academy notes to those players who made the final 30-player squad for the upcoming 2022 AFLW Under 18 Championships. This includes the couple of over-agers who were added to the team and loom as AFLW Draft prospects this year.
All notes are the opinion of the individual writer.
#4 Sachi Syme
The talented midfielder had a dominant performance against West Adelaide on her way to a league-record 12 clearances, as well as a career-high 27 disposals. Syme also recorded two marks, four inside 50s, four rebound 50s and laid eight tackles. Her full performance analysis is available in her Player Focus for Round 7.
>> SACHI SYME PLAYER FOCUS
#18 Molly Brooksby
The bottom-age wing is a player with a lot of neat traits and she continued to show that on the weekend. She kicked a fantastic goal midway through the second term, running from half-forward, taking a bounce and then having the composure to finish on the run. Time and time again she would get the ball forward in transition and make few mistakes with neat skills and good decision making. She took a strong intercept mark at half-forward in the final term, and also applied some great defensive moments such as a smother in the first term and a number of tackles. Brooksby recorded 14 disposals, two marks, four tackles, two clearances, seven inside 50s and one goal.
#41 Lana Schwerdt
Schwerdt is piecing together a really consistent season thus far, and her balance of offensive and defensive traits are very good. She cracks in and can apply a lot of defensive pressure, but also find space and impact on the outside. As she has at times, Schwerdt was able to get forward and then went up for a mark, earning a free kick for in the back. Her set shot from 20m sailed home for some reward, but it was her pinpoint passing going inside 50 to se up goal-scoring chances was very good. At one stage she bit off more than she could chew trying to take on Emma Kilpatrick on the wing but got caught. Overall Schwerdt only trailed Syme in disposals for the Redlegs, amassing up 23, as well as three marks, eight tackles, two clearances and three inside 50s.
Had a quieter game by her standards for the most part, but was most productive in the last term to really try and keep the ball out of the danger zone in defence. She had a number of kicks from defence out long, and more often than not, were good decisions. She had a few touches each quarter, and aside from a rushed kick in the opening minute going forward, used the ball well and also laid a great tackle towards the end of the first half. After 12 disposals in the first three quarters, Kustermann finished with 18, as well as two marks – one contested – nine tackles, four clearances, four inside 50s and two rebound 50s, emphasising her consistent defensive effort and ability to still impact the game even when her side was not going well.
Burst out of the blocks with some freedom compared to most weeks and actually won her fair share of the pill in midfield. Scutchings had four disposals in the opening term, and given her usual defensive-natured roles average her five touches in a match, she was enjoying the extra time and space. Her defensive attributes were what still stood out, and she laid some great tackles, and had a fantastic spoil at one stage, with some clever plays such as a toe-poke later in the second term to win it with a quick kick.
#41 Lucy Boyd
The athletic forward seemed to have the most impact on a game she has thus far, with the Under 16 talent ale to piece together a strong four-quarter performance. Her turning circle at half-forward was very impressive for a player of her size, and her work below her knees, in particular her cleanliness, really caught the eye. She kicked West Adelaide’s only goal in the third term after some great hard running to receive the handball from Jess Macolino, straighten and finish well. She took a number of strong marks as well, and her work rate up and down the ground was very noticeable and impressive, even if she was not always rewarded with disposals.Boyd picked up 13 disposals, three marks – two contested – six tackles, four inside 50s and booted 1.1 in the loss.
#22 Amelie Borg
Borg had another good game this week for the Roosters, really building some nice form ahead of the 2022 AFLW Under 18 Championships. The defender was able to intercept the ball on a number of occasions and often looked to boot it long, putting it out of the danger zone. Her quick hands were clean under pressure, and she managed to pick it up cleanly off the deck at one stage and as she absorbed contact, got it out to half-back. Borg recorded 13 disposals and four marks.
#30 Elaine Grigg
A real livewire up forward who is definitely benefiting from more League minutes, Grigg looks capable of just creating something at any given time. She laid a great tackle inside 50 that allowed the ball to spill and Ewings to kick the first goal of the game, then another forward 50 tackle earned her a free kick, but her kick on goal just went in between sailing through and getting to Ewings in the goalsquare, eventually going through for a behind. Grigg got on the end of a nice passage of play thanks to her hard running midway through the second term to kick her first, then put the icing on the cake in the early stages of the final term by sidestepping an opponent on the attacking goal line and kicking a straightforward goal from a metre out. Grigg picked up 13 disposals, four tackles, two clearances and booted 2.2.
#31 Hannah Ewings
Ewings played her role with some nice highlights without doing anything too majorly dominant. She seemed to spend more time inside 50 this week to try and replicate her four-goal effort from the week before, but just booted the one in the first term. That was another eye-catcher with a clean spin, shrug of the hips and terrific finish. She should have had a couple more, with a 35m set shot uncharacteristic of the booming kick, then missed a set shot late in the final term from a tight angle. Overall she was clean with ball-in-hand and off the deck, pinpointing a perfect pass to Cristie Castle inside 50 to set up a goal. Ewings had 14 disposals, four marks, seven tackles, five inside 50s and 1.1.
An incredibly dominant game by the Bays’ top-age defender, Goodwin racked up the equal second most rebound 50s of all-time with 12. She mopped up time and time again and did a lot of things right, which varied from tackles to smothers to just plain pressure acts, whilst using her skills and outside run to breakdown the opposition’s defensive zone. In a game that Glenelg will not look too fondly on in the future, Goodwin was certainly a shining light, with her clean hands in the air, and at ground level hard to fault. At one stage in the second term, she produced an elite kick to the wing, received the handball and then kicked long to get it again and pass it off. That came after applying great pressure close to the goalline and forcing through a rushed behind. Goodwin almost managed to set up a goal to Madison Bennett inside 50, but the latter’s kick off the ground cannoned into the post. Goodwin had the ball on a string as she picked up 32 disposals, 10 marks – three contested, three inside 50s and 12 rebound 50s in the loss.
#38 Matilda Scholz
Worked hard through the ruck and really dominated with her extra size and athleticism compared to her opponents, Scholz’s ball use around the ground was mixed, though often coming under pressure. She took a great intercept mark late in the third term, and continued to present around the ground, often opting to handball to running teammates. Scholz had 11 disposals, two tackles, 15 hitouts and two inside 50s.
#43 Ella Boag
Applied pressure and had a crack which is expected of the top-age State Academy member. Though not winning as much of it as she has before, she had a great chase early in the game, then produced a good spoil on Jessica Edwards in the third term. Often under pressure with her disposal, Boag did not have the time and space she was afforded in past weeks, but still brought some great pressure acts even if they were not rewarded with tackles. Boag managed the nine disposals.
Getting better by the week, Riggs has shot up from some potential moments throughout games, to being an incredibly consistent contributor. Her inconsistent marking became far more consistent in this game, and took some strong contested grabs and one-on-one lead marks to intercept at half-back. She provided great offensive rebound out of defence, and though her execution can definitely be tidied up at times, Riggs does the difficult things well. She gets to the right spots, positions herself, and pulls down marks, then rebounds offensively to match her defensive accountability. She can also pinch hit in the ruck like she did in the defensive 50, and overall was just an intercept machine. Rigs took seven grabs all up, of which two were contested, to go with 17 disposals, two tackles and three rebound 50s.
#21 Georgia McKee
McKee is the type of player who continually makes opponents sweat every time she goes near the ball. Her cleanliness at ground level, ability to kick long off either side, and her balance of contested and uncontested work is superb. She set up a goal to Paige Allan in the second term, and then kicked one herself late in the third after being pushed in the marking contest and nailing the set shot. She often won the ball further afield when rotating into the midfield and burst away, also capable of hitting targets at speed. She applied great second efforts of pressure, and between her offensive and defensive abilities is really the complete package, particularly for an Under 16s talent. McKee amassed 17 disposals, three marks, five tackles, four inside 50s and a goal in the win.
#38 Dakota Williams
Tried hard throughout the game despite not always being rewarded for her hard work. On a number of occasions she tried to burst away or win the ball at ground level, but was not able to get free, though did get a good inside 50 early in the game. Her pressure acts would be impressive when rolling through the midfield, and she is a fierce tackler with good follow up work. She took a good intercept mark at half-forward and delivered well to Karissa Searle just inside 50 in the final term. Ignore the two disposals and three tackles on the scoresheet, whilst Williams may have had a quiet game in terms of impact with the ball, her work without it was noticeable.
#20 Cher Waters
Not as productive as the week before, but she was far from alone. Still displaying her trademark clean and quick hands in close, Waters was good at releasing the ball under pressure, and she able to still stand up whilst being tackle. Though her kick through the middle later in the final term was turned over, her general disposal by hand was quite slick. Waters finished with nine disposals, three tackles and two inside 50s.
#34 Shineah Goody
The talented bottom-age AFLW Academy member had a pretty good game without being outstanding, as she was typically working hard running both ways across the ground. She mopped up regularly on the last line, and was able to kick long down the ground with effect, and though at times she was rushed, Goody always seems to remain fairly composed. The Eagles midfielder/defender had 10 touches to half-time, and after a quiet third term, had some slick passes in the final quarter, which included a nice inside 50 to a teammate. She just makes things happen even when it is not going her way, and Goody managed to record 20 disposals, three marks – one contested – two tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s.
#38 Shae Archbold
Archbold gave it a crack, but it was just not her day, with the leading goalkicker only picking up the three handballs in the match. She laid a massive seven tackles – the second most of anyone on her side, but was well held by the Sturt defence, and not given her avenues to goal that she has made her own this season. Her intensity was still there as emphasised by her tackling pressure, but just could not have the same influence on the game that she normally would offensively.
#24 Lily Whitcombe
The defender did well deep in defence and was able to utilise the ball neatly when kicking long. At times she might have been cut off by looking to go into the corridor that South had covered, but her clean hands and kicking down the line proved effective. Whitcombe is strong one-on-one and is certainly a player who can be relied upon to give a contest each and every time. Whitcombe managed the eight disposals, two marks and three tackles.
#29 India Rasheed
Returning to the side after injury, Rasheed had an early clean pickup before her kick was smothered, but then a second kick inside 50 looked so smooth. Her left-footed technique is wonderful to watch, and she is as effective as both a field kick and going for goal. She took a good intercept mark late in the first term to put pressure back on the Panthers defence, and applied pressure at times when in attack, but did have a quiet first-up game, with the six touches, two tackles and two inside 50s.
#33 Kiera Mueller
Added to this list due to her inclusion in the South Australian Under 18s squad as an over-ager, Mueller performed strongly in defence and used her effective kicking style throughout the match. She was able to take a number of good overhead marks, and even copped a hit late in the game, but bounced up well. Though at times the Panthers were well set up down the line to pick off her long kicks, Mueller was generally clean by hand and always competed. She has had more dominant games, and even more potent by foot, but she was still on of the more prominent Double Blues and provided value for mileage with her kicks. Mueller recorded 17 disposals, four marks – one contested – two inside 50s and two rebound 50s.
#40 Tahlia Walker
Started strong with a good mark at the top of 50 early in the match and kicked to a dangerous spot, then went in hard not long after, copping front-on contact. She used that free kick to deliver inside 50, but was fairly quiet throughout the rest of the game. Walker managed the five disposals, two marks and two inside 50s for the match.