State Academy notes: WAFLW – Round 11

THE West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s State Academy members were back in full flight for Round 11, with the 2022 AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships in the rearview mirror. We took note of some of the top Academy members from each match who stood out, with a South Fremantle Under 16s star having a breakout game.

All notes are the opinion of the individual author.

  • Team
  • East Fremantle
  • Claremont

East Fremantle:

#7 Georgie Cleaver

The talented AFLW Academy tall returned to the side and provided a good target up forward, kicking a couple of goals for her troubles against a pretty handy Claremont defence. The Sharks forward kicked her first from a quick bouncing snap four minutes into the match, then her second came midway through the final term, where after dropping the mark, she recovered well to kick it off the deck for a major. Throughout the game, Cleaver provided a target in the forward half, and even pushed up to half-back. She also laid a strong tackle on the wing in the second term, and showed her balance of offensive and defensive traits, and pinch-hitting in the ruck. Cleaver finished with 11 disposals, three marks, four tackles, six hitouts and two goals.

#38 Zippy Fish

The exciting Under 16s talent best showcased her defensive pressure early on, laying multiple tackles and winning the ball back for her side. Though she could not always pinpoint her pass when she had it, Fish did provide some run and carry which had been an area she could improve given her outstanding athletic gifts. She took a bounce going inside 50 in the third term, and then had a great play later in the third by intercepting a pass in the midfield and taking off to bounce and kick inside 50. Fish recorded 10 disposals, two marks, three tackles and three inside 50s for the day.


Under 16s State Academy member Tiani Teakle also kicked a great goal out of congestion, and managed four marks from six touches and laid three tackles with some eye-catching moments. Her sister Julia was once again a good target forward of centre for the Sharks, but was a little wayward with her goalkicking, booting 1.3 from nine disposals and four marks, but both the Teakle sisters were able to kick a goal in front of the Northampton crowd, where they grew up playing prior to 2022.


#9 Emily Elkington

Unable to have her usual impact on the game, it was Elkington’s first game back since the championships, which was already interrupted due to Health and Safety Protocols. She always provided great pressure around the stoppages and then forward, with her kicking being impactful when given the chance. Hitting each target she needed to with ball-in-hand, no doubt the Tigers would have loved the elite disposal user to amass more than the five kicks, two marks, two tackles and two inside 50s in the game.

#36 Mackenzie Webb

The tall had some good moments as well, laying a strong tackle on Larissa Versaci early in the second term. She also won a free kick at the 10-minute mark of the third term and was neat with her kick, winning a couple of touches in the quarter. In the fourth term, Webb was impressive later, having a deep, long kick inside 50, then intercepting the ball at half-forward and though her kick was not pinpoint, it still went to advantage. Webb managed the 10 disposals two marks, three tackles and two inside 50s.


Fremantle train-on player Mikayla Western was once again lively through midfield going forward, booting two behinds from 16 touches, five marks, three tackles and two inside 50s. Dangerous forward Tessa Doumanis only kicked the one goal but was particularly lively early, ending with eight touches and two tackles.

  • Team
  • Subiaco
  • South Fremantle




Producing another outstanding performance, Abbey Dowrick further showcased her class and power with 27 disposals, five marks, eight tackles and six inside 50s, whilst captain Tarnica Golisano produced the game of her season with 29 touches, two marks, five tackles and six inside 50s, being neat by hand or foot and covering the ground with ease.

South Fremantle:

#9 Lauren Wakfer

Back into the South Fremantle lineup, Wakfer stated her intent from the first bounce with a clean tap out of the middle. She reads the ball well in the air and times her jumps effectively, but also gets around the ground and wins a lot of the ball. As a ruck who loves pulling it down from the ruck and having a flying shot on goal, Wakfer tried this from a forward 50 stoppage but it unfortunately went out on the full. She continued to be involved in the chain from defence to attack, and she was one of the more prolific ball-winners for the Bulldogs. She took a strong intercept mark late in the game to finish with 14 touches, two marks, five tackles, 20 hitouts and two inside 50s.

#33 Molly O’Hehir

One of the most exciting future prospects in West Australian footy, the Under 16s star was at her best, piecing together a career-high 24 disposals. O’Hehir weaved and dodged her way through traffic, took the game on, and played from defence to on-ball as easily the best afield for the Bulldogs. She was hitting targets with ease, clean by hand as well, and set up Stockwell for a goal in the third term. Late in the third term, O’Hehir burst out of the stoppage and kicked inside 50 at speed in one of the most eye-catching plays of the day. Her running and metres gained would have been off the charts, and if this performance was what to expect for the future, then O’Hehir is going to provide plenty of highlights over the next couple of years. She picked up 24 disposals, two marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and countless rebound 50s, as well as some clearances for her troubles.


There were a couple of other South Fremantle State Academy representatives who ran out for the Bulldogs, as Aaliyah Ugle (defence) and Rosie Anderson (forward/midfield) finished with two and three touches respectively. Another youngster worth remembering the name is dual-sport talent Poppy Stockwell. A promising cricketer, Stockwell was very lively at half-forward, taking eight marks from 13 touches and delivering with precision inside 50, collecting three inside 50s and booting a goal.

  • Team
  • West Perth
  • Swan Districts

West Perth:

#1 Megan Norbury

The West Perth winger had another impressive performance, using her athletic capabilities to get around the ground and win plenty of the ball. Her decision making by hand or foot was very good, and she was able to hit targets more often than not. Her pressure acts as a predominantly offensive player are quite high, and she looms as a really exciting prospect for the coming years, still being a part of the Under 16s State Academy squad. Her closing speed is an area of particular advantage compared to other players. Norbury picked up 14 disposals, six marks, three tackles and two inside 50s in the loss.

#9 Kayla Van Den Heever

Returning from the AFLW Under 18 Championships, Van Den Heeaver was able to crack in across four quarters and have a fairly consistent effort from start to finish. She was strong in tackles, standing up and getting her hands free, as well as clearing it from the danger zone. Van Den Heever has the footy smarts – such as intercepting a handball in traffic by running in its path and anticipating it well, but just has to be that touch more consistent with her efficiency and marking. Van Den Heaver managed 15 touches, one mark, two tackles and two inside 50s in the game.


It was another standout performance from Jess Roper who was terrific out of the back half in Round 11, with the West Perth defender racking up 22 disposals, three marks, four tackles and two inside 50s. For a full wrap of her performance, check out the WAFLW Player Focus for Round 11.


Swan Districts:

#6 Tyla Fitzgerald

Had a really busy performance in the forward half, but could not quite find her range, kicking 1.4 for the day. Still looking dangerous every time she went near it, Fitzgerald’s sole major came a minute into the final term, booting it off the deck in the goalsquare. She took a great mark at the five and a half minute mark of the term to then turn and kick towards goal, just going a bit wide with the kick. She had another couple of chance in that final term but they bounced the wrong side of the posts. When in midfield she often thumped it inside 50, and tried to clear the area as much as possible to allow her forwards to go to work. Fitzgerald had 18 disposals, one mark, three tackles, six inside 50s and booted 1.4.

#9 Jorjina Kean

On debut, Kean looked a lively type inside 50, kicking a great goal on the run four minutes in to signal she belonged at the level. What followed was a nice sidestep and handball to Henry at the top of 50, but then tried to do it to Karla Stagg and got pinged for holding the ball. Kean took a good mark out at half-back and was able to kick long to the middle later in the game, then took another good mark at half-forward going inside 50. She had a number of inside 50s late in the game to record 16 disposals, three marks, three tackles and four inside 50s to go with her goal.

#11 Jaime Henry

The standout Swan Districts player from the game, Henry was simply outstanding in close, firing off handball after handball from congestion to a runner on the outside. Often teaming up well with Bushby in midfield, Henry bombed it long when she could get boot to ball, but also used her high footy IQ to full advantage. She weights her handballs well and with great vision, opens up opportunities for her teammates. Though at times her bullocking style can result in her getting pinged for holding the ball, Henry is often involved in multiple disposal chains in a play, such is her presence around the ball and her ability to get to the right spots to win it. Henry recorded 28 disposals, two marks, five tackles and seven inside 50s.

#14 Abbygail Bushby

Bushby continued her fine season with another big game for Swan Districts, looking at home in the midfield. She had a flying shot on goal early in the match, and then when kicking from midfield to forward, was effective with her disposals. If she does not pinpoint her passes, then they are in the general vicinity of her teammates, and she has good spacial awareness, which she showed during the third term to go to ground and spin her body to dispose of it. She moves through stoppages well, and teamed up with Henry on-ball, often sharing handballs between each other as they took control at stoppages. Bushby had 26 disposals, two marks, three tackles and six inside 50s for the game.

#15 Tamzyn Beros

Another debutant for Swan Districts in Round 11, Beros kicked a couple of goals from 10 touches, four marks, five tackles and three inside 50s to be a very effective player in the front half. In the first term she went up for a big mark, could not quite pull it down, but recovered and goaled from point blank range. She kicked her second not long after, taking a strong grab 15m out on a tight angle and nailed the set shot. Her marking consistency is an area for her to work on going forward, but she gets to the right spots and times her jumps, having another set shot from an intercept mark inside 50 that just fell short.


Swan Districts certainly had plenty of outstanding performances both inside and outside the State Academy. Top talent Tara Stribley unfortunately injured herself in the second term and played no further part after four touches and four tackles, whilst Kyah Chirichilli had six touches in defence, and Emma Nanut (13 disposals, two marks, three tackles and two inside 50s) had her moments. Ruby Mahony remains a name to just keep in mind as a top performer this season, whilst Isabella Edgley was solid for another week in defence.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments