2022 SANFLW Player Focus: India Rasheed

AT just 15-years-old, Sturt‘s India Rasheed is a player to watch. The talented medium-tall forward is athletic with some incredible upside and a deadly left boot. Not too dissimilar to State Academy teammate and fellow left-footed forward Shae Archbold, Rasheed is getting back into the swing of things again after missing seven weeks through injury. In her second game back, Rasheed kicked multiple goals for the first time in her career, helping Sturt to a big win over West Adelaide and putting in a Goal of the Year contender.

What sets Rasheed aside from many other forwards her size is her left boot and her tenacity at the contest. She moves well, can compete in the air or at ground level, and has a fierce attack on the ball-carrier. Though this can sometimes lead to overzealous tackles, Rasheed is a human highlight machine waiting to happen, and she showed it on the weekend. Capable of using her left boot to perfection, Rasheed has such a comfortable and smooth kicking action, it is evident to see she is an exciting talent for the future.

At this stage Rasheed is still a little raw and aiming to build consistency in her game. Best suited as a high half-forward, she has a high work rate, competes in the air, and is strong overhead. Though still needing to build strength as a lighter-bodied player, once the ball hits the deck, Rasheed can create some magic, and if she does not kick the goal, she can set up others. Whilst she has only booted the three goals this season, Rasheed’s work up the ground is what catches the eye, quite often being tasked with kicking the ball inside 50 and hitting targets in there, with no doubt high numbers of score involvements.



Height: 172cm
DOB: 29/11/2006
Club: Sturt
State: South Australia


Disposals: 16 (11.8)
Marks: 3 (4.0)
Tackles: 6 (3.0)
Inside 50s: 5 (3.0)
Goals: 2 (0.6)



India Rasheed is generally not a massive accumulator of the football, so watching her get to the right spots and apply strong defensive pressure is what the main aim is when she is not winning it. The talented forward did exactly that in the first term, laying a series of tackles, and if not bringing the player to ground and locking it in, she would force a turnover or a rushed disposal. Though not picking up much of the pill herself, she was present in her defensive mindset.


Rasheed’s second term really picked up with an early kick off her left, but it was rushed a touch and turned over going inside 50. The West Adelaide defence has plenty of experience and can read the ball in flight well, so the next kick Rasheed had a nice spin and lowered the eyes to hit an opponent at half-forward. At the eight-minute mark, Rasheed had to battle against two opponents in the middle, but brought the ball to ground and applied pressure, then had a series of touches over the next few minutes.

Rasheed won the ball via a mark at half-back cleanly and effectively hit a target chipping into the middle. She had a longer kick to half-forward from the wing as she was dragged down in a tackle, then had a brilliant 45-degree kick from the middle to half-forward, identifying the two-against-one contest at half-forward and executing to perfection. She had a couple of snaps shortly after, with one towards goal bouncing out of bounds and another inside 50 to the advantage of a teammate, but the teammate slipped at an inopportune time allowing the defender to rebound.


Up the forward end kicking into the breeze, Rasheed had a quiet quarter due to this fact, as West Adelaide rallied a little more in a last-ditch effort before Abbey Rigter shut the door on the result with back-to-back goals. Rasheed laid a strong early tackle, and then was forced to kick quickly from half-forward shortly after, bumped as she kicked it and was turned over. She harassed the ball-carrier, forced a turnover and applied a shepherd for a teammate just after that. She went for a mark at the top of 50 later in the term but was bumped off it, then in frustration gave away a head high free kick.


Easily the best quarter for the 15-year-old was the final term, with Rasheed looking dangerous every time she went near the ball. Her first snap across her body was smothered in the opening minute, before her second snap looked on target and set to go through the goals before it fell short. At the seven-minute mark, Rasheed marked in the middle and kept the ball moving with a fluid kicking action in transition. She almost soccered a ball off the deck against two opponents 15m out from goal but could not quite get her boot to it, though her time would come.

That time came at the nine-minute mark of the quarter, where she won the ball 40m out from goal and hooked it off her left, with a bit of a lucky bounce seeing it true and through the big sticks for her first. No more than 90 seconds later, Rasheed had a second, and this one was a Goal of the Year contender. Corralled into a pocket, Rasheed used the outside of her left boot to time it just right and give it a bit of air to bounce through the goals in an outstanding effort from the boundary. She finished with a brilliant hit-up kick to Rigter 35m out from goal a minute later, then provided great pressure both close to the goalline and up on the wing, emphasising her work rate.


India Rasheed is far from a finished product when it comes to her overall draft profile. For a 15-year-old – a December birth at that – to be already playing an important role in a strong team at SANFL Women’s level is something special, and there is much more to come from the medium-tall forward. She has the athleticism to make her a worry in the air or at ground level, and balances her offensive output, with her defensive mindset, so she can still impact when the game is not going her way. Though she may not be tipped to dominate at the AFLW Under 18 Championships just yet, opponents should be wary of her capabilities, and she is very good at getting to the right spots and then hitting targets inside 50 with that elite left boot.

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