Eagle flies high in dominant SA U16s performance

HAVING just missed out on a place in South Australia’s side for each of the three AFLW Under 18 Championships matches, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles talent Jemma Whitington-Charity certainly made herself known in the recent South Australia Under 16 Championships. Playing for Team Yellow, Whitington-Charity was a dominant best on ground, racking up a whopping 34 disposals, 10 marks, five tackles, seven clearances, four inside 50s, four rebound 50s and three goals in an all-round performance.

Whitington-Charity is a 2006-born prospect, and would have likely played at the AFLW Under 18s Championships had it not being for a maximum of three ’06ers per match at the tournament. Instead, All-Australian Georgia McKee and talented forward India Rasheed played all three matches, with Lucy Boyd (two), Charlotte Riggs and Shae Archbold (both one) earned spots. Funnily enough, the only other Under 16s talent listed in the Under 18s squad that failed to play a game at the higher level championships was Glenelg winger Violet Patterson who was the best for the Blue team in the Under 16s clash.

Though her side went down by 68 points, Patterson collected 16 disposals, four clearances, six inside 50s, two rebound 50s and laid seven tackles. The Blue side was less experienced at League level, though still had eye catching defenders, Central District’s Riggs – who also spent significant time in the ruck – and West Adelaide’s Emma Kilpatrick, as well as Eagles mid-forward Grace Martin.

By comparison, the Eagles had Archbold who only played a half before coming off sore. The South Adelaide forward-turned midfielder slotted two goals from 15 touches and seven clearances – in a half – with her fellow strong forward, Eagles’ Klaudia O’Neill slamming home three goals from 12 touches, four marks and 16 hitouts. South Adelaide midfielder/defender Esther Schirmer was strong on her way to 22 disposals, two marks, six tackles, three hitouts and four rebound 50s, while West Adelaide’s Asha Dufour (23 disposals, five marks, two clearances, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s) also impressed.

Though those players have managed their SANFLW debuts, there are a number of players who will be competing for senior spots next year that stepped up. North Adelaide’s Sienna Yarwood is one of those who could crack her way in, picking up 20 disposals, three marks, three tackles and four rebound 50s, while 173cm Rooster teammate Maggie Clark had 19 disposals, tow marks, nine tackles, 14 hitouts, two clearances, two inside 50s and two goals in a promising performance up forward.

One name that is worth keeping an eye on next year is 2007-born Monique Bessen. The 175cm tall is a part of Sturt’s region hailing from Hahndorf and she was one that impressed. Picking up 18 disposals at 72 per cent efficiency, Bessen also clunked four marks – two contested – and slotted three goals. She showed she gets to the right spots and can be a danger in front of goal. Another 2007-born talent who was on the Blue team was Kyah Jaffer, who picked up 13 disposals and won a whopping 10 of them in a contest, cracking in as an inside midfielder and recording two clearances and three rebound 50s.

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