WAFLW Draft Combine invitee notes: Semi-Finals
NOW the AFLW Draft Combine invitees have been named, the focus of the weekly West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s Academy notes will look to those draft-eligible players and how they perform each round. These notes will be separate to the game-by-game notes, which will focus on bottom-age talents and others who catch the eye.
As always, notes are the opinion of the individual author.
AFLW Draft Combine invitees:
Jaide Britton (Peel Thunder)
Finishing off an outstanding 2022 season, Britton had another strong performance across the board, finding plenty of the ball and looking to create some run and carry in transition. The Thunder winger was able to break away from half-back in the second term, taking a bounce and hitting a nice short pass, and was effective with her disposals. On a couple of occasions she copped some big knocks leaving her worse for wear, but she continued on and had a number of critical touches in the final term trying to get her side across the line.
Abbygail Bushby (Swan Districts)
One of Swan Districts’ best throughout the match, Bushby kept accumulating the ball and had a really busy first half, amassing 14 disposals. She cracked in hard to win it in close, but also spread well and took the game on to try and break the lines and boot the ball forward on a number of occasions. The midfielder-forward was a dominant player, and even did well behind the ball to take some strong marks in the defensive half o the ground and take off in transition. She will be critical in the black and white’s clash against Claremont next weekend.
Bella Mann (Peel Thunder)
The defender had her colours lowered early against the AFLW-listed Ashley Sharp, but showed her determination to get back on top. Mann got to the front in marking contests, but in the first term it saw the ball go over the back and Sharp show the teenager the ball Shai Bolton-style as she ran in and slammed home the major. Sharp kicked a second off a quick step in the second term, but other than that, Mann was able to do well one-on-one, then provide some offensive drive from defence, particularly in the second half. Mann kept Sharp goalless after half time.
Ella Roberts (Peel Thunder)
A standout performer throughout the match, it was fitting that her final game – perhaps in Peel colours depending on AFLW and WAFLW clashing dates – was a big one. After the final siren she was dejected given she missed a couple of chances late – one she would normally nail, another from an impossible angle – but Roberts could not have done much more. She was ridiculous in close, winning the ball against multiple opponents and handballing it clear, as well as presenting aerially and taking control there, always looking dangerous every time she went near it. Roberts starred on the day, and was forever creating chances for her side.
Madeleine Scanlon (Claremont)
Found plenty of the ball for Claremont and was among the Tigers’ best again, working off half-back and through the middle to create some run and carry. She had the kickout duties at times, and won her disposals in a variety of ways, but was generally able to nail her short kicks and settle down her team in the defensive 50. She did all she could to keep the Tigers in it, and had more disposals than anyone else this round, picking up 27 touches, five marks and five tackles in the loss.
Taya Chambers (East Fremantle)
Providing run and carry and a booming kick, Chambers was able to read the ball well from the back half and charge down the ground. She can have an awkward end-on-end kicking style, but it works for her, and she is strong in the air, taking a number of intercept marks when her side was under pressure. She had both rebound 50s and inside 50s, indicating how well she covered the ground throughout the match.
Zippy Fish (East Fremantle)
Fish was a standout player for East Fremantle and will be out WAFLW Player Focus for this week, with the article to be released tomorrow. Check that out for a full run down on her performance, which included 16 disposals, six marks and eight tackles in East Fremantle’s win.
Jaime Henry (Swan Districts)
The consistent midfielder had another solid all-round game, hardly putting a foot wrong. She launched a ripping goal from long-range that bounced home to get the Swans going, and looked incredibly dangerous when forward. Henry got her hands dirty plenty to lay another seven tackles, adding her defensive work to her offensive output.
Jorgina Kean (Swan Districts)
The bottom-ager kicked a really vital goal 15 minutes into the second term to put the Swans in front, and looked lively across the ground. She had another running shot in the third term that looked on target but hit the post, and overall competed well, including having to go up against Roberts one-on-one at one stage.
Anjelique Raison (East Fremantle)
Kicked what was funnily enough the winning goal in the third term to put her side four points up. She lead out hard, took it strongly in her hands, and managed to compose herself after being pushed into the turf. She nailed the long-range set shot, and had a number of other memorable moments, having a couple of almost-chances on goal.
Ella Slocombe (Claremont)
The only Claremont goalkicker on the day, Slocombe was clean and quick from hand to foot to snap it off the deck and slot it home from the goalsquare as she was dragged down amongst traffic. She has some high-level footy smarts, as she showed early in the final term to keep tapping it along the ground from half-back to the wing before it was forced over the line. A player to watch in the coming years.
Kaitlyn Srhoj (Peel Thunder)
The talented winger started slowly, but worked her way into the game, having a nice spin out of trouble in the first term, but was able to get her running game going as the match went on. She only had the five handballs to half-time, but finished with nine more disposals, and though not afforded as much time and space as she normally would get, still created some nice run and pressured opponents.