GOING through the 2022 AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships undefeated, South Australia had its most successful carnival in junior female football history. The Croweaters belted Western Australia and Vic Country, before holding on in a thriller against Vic Metro to remain undefeated, the only side to do so this year.
MVP: Shineah Goody (WWT Eagles)
The bottom-age star stepped up throughout the entire carnival and showed why she is one of the top picks for next year, having being one of the best in each of her games, and averaging more disposals than any other player. She also shared the leading goalkicker award despite coming into the tournament having predominantly played midfield and then in defence. Goody averaged 26.7 disposals, 6.7 marks, 5.7 tackles, 4.7 clearances, 2.3 inside 50s and 2.0 rebound 50s, claiming the overall MVP for the tournament along with her State MVP.
Hannah Ewings (North Adelaide)
The top-age AFLW Academy member lived up to the hype and came up big at her first national carnival since 2018. She shared in the leading goalkicker at the tournament and was the next best behind Goody across the three games. When South Australia needed someone to step up, it was often Ewings, who averaged 21.3 disposals, 4.7 marks, 3.3 tackles, 3.3 clearances, 3.3 inside 50s and 2.0 goals across three matches.
Sarah Goodwin (Glenelg)
The smooth-moving Glenelg midfielder continued on her SANFL Women’s form with a great carnival off half-back. Goodwin earned All-Australian honours and averaged 19.0 disposals, 3.3 marks, 4.0 tackles and 2.7 rebound 50s, using her slick footskills and terrific reading of the play to get into the right spots. Pushing up the ground on occasion, Goodwin was able to impact regularly against quality opposition.
Georgia McKee (Central District)
The Bulldogs small forward was a livewire inside 50, and shared the leading goalkicker award with Goody and Ewings, slotting six goals in three games. McKee might have had a quieter third game against Vic Metro, but really dominated against Western Australia and Vic Country, and finished the carnival averaging 17.7 disposals, 3.0 marks, 2.3 tackles and 2.7 inside 50s, and an All-Australian in the forward pocket.
Sachi Syme (Norwood)
The midfielder-turned-forward raised her draft stocks further from the carnival with a really steadfast effort across the three games. She was a consistent ball-winner who rotated through the midfield on her way to 21 disposals, three tackles, three inside 50s and booting two goals. Overall she used the ball well, found space and was able to create for her teammates going forward.
Keeley Kustermann (West Adelaide)
After playing as a midfielder in last year’s championships, Kustermann rotated between defence and midfield, primarily playing off her familiar half-back role. She was one of the more consistent defenders in the carnival, and averaged 16 disposals, two clearances and two rebound 50s on her way to a spot in the All-Australian team at half-back.
Amelie Borg (North Adelaide)
The second North Adelaide player to earn All-Australian honours, Borg was a rock at half-back and slotted into centre half-back in that team of the carnival. The 177cm key position player averaged 93. disposals, 2.3 marks and 3.0 tackles, repelling a lot of attacks and beating each of her opponents to ensure the Croweaters were able to maintain possession.