SOUTH Australia and Vic Metro have the most representatives in our 2022 Rookie Me Central Team of the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. With the All-Australian team set to be announced over the next couple of days, we took the time to name our own team of the championships. The only rule in place was for players to have played all three of the championship matches, which unfortunately ruled out Jasmine Fleming and Ella Smith (both two games due to injury and rowing commitments respectively) for the team.
From the 24-player squad, the undefeated South Australia, as well as two sides who went 2-1 in Queensland and Vic Metro took the overall honours with five representatives a piece in the match. Meanwhile Western Australia, the Allies and Vic Country all recorded three players. Our captain in the team is South Australian midfielder Shineah Goody who won her state’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) and recorded more disposals and marks than anyone else at the tournament. Western Jets midfielder Montana Ham was named vice-captain after her sensational carnival for Vic Metro.
South Australia’s title-winning side featured three of the six forwards, lead by equal leading goalkickers Hannah Ewings and Georgia McKee, as well as midfielder turned forward for the carnival, Sachi Syme. Defender Sarah Goodwin slotted onto half-back to complete the Croweaters in the side.
Vic Metro also had five representatives including Ham, with her Western Jets partner-in-crime Charlotte Baskaran joining fellow midfielders Rylie Wilcox and Sofia Hurley in the 24-player squad. Defender Mia Busch also made the side, named in the back pocket for the hypothetical team.
Queensland finished the carnival with back-to-back wins, and had a spirited loss against Vic Metro. MVP winner Alana Gee has been named on the wing, with ruck Fleur Davies and on-baller Jasmyn Smith both earning starting spots. On the bench, Imogen Evans and Charlotte Mullins made it into the side after impressive carnivals.
Western Australia had the three representatives, but also two emergencies showing just how close the Sandgropers came to having a few more in the side. State MVP and last year’s overall MVP in Ella Roberts was named at centre half-forward, whilst captain Bella Mann earned her place at half-back, and Alli Nokes slotted into full-back. Midfielder Jaime Henry was nominated as first emergency, with ruck Lauren Wakfer another emergency.
The Allies also had the three representatives in the side, highlighted by MVP winner Zarlie Goldsworthy. Her versatility has seen the midfielder-forward named in the at half-forward, in the same front six as teammate J’Noemi Anderson. The sole Northern Territory prospect in the side, she is in a similar boat to Goldsworthy (NSW-ACT) and Allies teammate Brooke Barwick (Tasmania) as one from each of the Allied states.
Vic Country did not end up picking up a victory across the 2022 carnival, but still had the three representatives, with MVP winner Keeley Skepper named in a back pocket. Also in the team was Dandenong Stingrays duo and AFLW Academy members Mackenzie Eardley (centre half-back) and Amber Clarke (interchange). Forward Paige Scott was named as an emergency.
2022 ROOKIE ME CENTRAL TEAM OF THE AFL WOMEN’S UNDER 18 CHAMPIONSHIPS
B: Keeley Skepper (Vic Country) – Alli Nokes (Western Australia) – Mia Busch (Vic Metro)
HB: Bella Mann (Western Australia) – Mackenzie Eardley (Vic Country) – Sarah Goodwin (South Australia)
C: Rylie Wilcox (Vic Metro) – Shineah Goody (South Australia) (c) – Alana Gee (Queensland)
HF: Sachi Syme (South Australia) – Ella Roberts (Western Australia) – Zarlie Goldsworthy (Allies)
F: Georgia McKee (South Australia) – Hannah Ewings (South Australia) – J’Noemi Anderson (Allies)
R: Fleur Davies (Queensland) – Montana Ham (Vic Metro) (vc) – Jasmyn Smith (Queensland)
INT: Charlotte Baskaran (Vic Metro) – Brooke Barwick (Allies) – Amber Clarke (Vic Country) – Imogen Evans (Queensland) – Sofia Hurley (Vic Metro) – Charlotte Mullins (Queensland)
EMG: Jaime Henry (Western Australia) – Paige Scott (Vic Country) – Lauren Wakfer (Western Australia)