2022 AFLW U18s team review: Allies
AFTER an internal clash between the Allied states that resulted in Tasmania and the Northern Territory triumphing over NSW-ACT, the four states and territories combined to tackle Western Australia and Queensland. The Allies pushed Western Australia all the way, falling five points short at Werribee, before closing out their campaign with a 50-point defeat at the the hands of the Queensland.
MVP: Zarlie Goldsworthy (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
The 2022 Rookie Me Central Medallist carried on her form from the 2022 NAB League Girls season to earn MVP honours for the Allies. In the most even team across the board, Goldsworthy earned the gong after big games against the Allied NT/Tasmania side as well as Western Australia. In both those games she kicked goals and had 18 and 17 disposals, respectively, whilst still having some eye-catching plays in the final game loss to Queensland. Her penetration by foot and strength and power through stoppages were on show again.
J’Noemi Anderson (St Mary’s/Northern Territory)
The Northern Territory AFLW Academy member enjoyed a consistent carnival, having come out and averaged seven tackles across the three games, as well as picking up 10 clearances. She continually provided a strong attack on the ball around the stoppages and then went forward and was an aerial threat with her strong hands. Her carnival was step up on her bottom-age one.
Brooke Barwick (Tasmania Devils/Tasmania)
The bottom-age AFLW Academy member does not need a lot of touches to do a lot of damage, and was sensational in all of her games and would have gone incredibly close to the MVP for consistency sake. One who is in the top echelon of talents for next year, few can match her balance of hardness and natural football skill, able to pick off elite passes whilst also racking up incredible defensive act numbers.
Cynthia Hamilton (Queanbeyan Tigers/NSW-ACT)
Though not quite reaching the heights of her MVP standard last year, Hamilton came in off the back of only one game prior to the carnival, and still was among the best across the course of the matches. Her game for NSW-ACT was her standout with 27 touches, four marks, three tackles, six clearances, five inside 50s, three rebound 50s and a goal. She backed up with a 19-disposal effort against Western Australia before a quieter 11-disposal outing against Queensland.
Georgia Clark (Tasmania Devils/Tasmania)
The bottom-age tall forward showcased her strong hands and ability to create scoring opportunities even when she is not hitting the scoreboard herself. Clark looked the most dangerous forward inside 50, averaging 4.3 marks per game across the three matches. Perhaps the fact the marking talent also laid 20 tackles is the most promising factor for the future.
Zara Hamilton (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
A natural accumulator, Hamilton finished with disposal tallies of 22, 15 and 14 across the carnival. Playing in the defensive half of the ground as well as her natural wing role, Hamilton was able to stand up through games and become the link in the chain going forward. After a strong NAB League Girls season, the tall winger was able to match it with opponents on the national stage.