WAFLW Draft Combine invitee notes: Preliminary Final
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. The penultimate round saw just two AFLW Draft Combine invitees remaining.
As always, notes are the opinion of the individual author.
AFLW Draft Combine invitees:
Abbygail Bushby (Swan Districts)
The Swan Districts midfielder/forward did not have her most prolific game she has had this season (just the seven disposals), but she was still very noticeable because each of her touches were able to either gain meterage or open the match up. Though her first two kicks were turnover s in the opening term and then got mowed down in a tackle in the second quarter, Bushby laid a great tackle of her own midway through the quarter, and remained involved along the wing in transition. In the first 90 seconds of the final term, Bushby drove the ball inside 50, and did her best to try and create separation from opponents at the stoppages. Tough she was caught a couple of times – including just before the final siren, she worked hard defensively to win the ball off half-back.
Madeleine Scanlon (Claremont)
Accumulating the ball quietly, Scanlon came alive in the second term and was able to hit-up Mikayla Western at half-forward, as the first of a number of inside 50s. She always looked to move the ball quickly and kick long, and whilst sometimes she would turn it over, when it paid off, it really paid dividends. She laid a fantastic tackle on Henry in the third term to win a holding the ball free kick and went inside 50 to set up a second goal to Katherine Bennett. She continued to launch from the middle going forward which was her style on the day as it has been all season, and she finished with 17 disposals and six inside 50s in the win. As a potential AFLW draftee, Scanlon did her final game before the big night no harm with her performance, having spent more time up the field in the absence of Ella Smith and Sasha Goranova.
Tamzyn Beros (Swan Districts)
Though only the seven touches, Beros had some lively moments, such as a great tackle in the third term and a quick handball at half-forward, presenting as an option in the fourth quarter. Good overhead and strong defensively, Beros still has to sharpen up her execution and decision making, but has some eye-catching traits for the future.
Jorja Elisseou (Claremont)
The fierce tackler loved to get involved in the contested stuff, showing a high-level of aggression in her attack on the footy. Though still rough around the edges with her technique, Elisseou used her burst speed to have a number of chances on goal, which were unfortunately spoiled on the line or rushed through by Swans defenders. She played one of her better games for the Tigers in the match, and finished with eight disposals and two tackles.
Jaime Henry (Swan Districts)
You would struggle to find too many bad games from Henry, and that continued again in the preliminary final, even if she was not at her dominant best. Henry was still able to accumulate the ball and put her body on the line, applying pressure and getting the ball out to her teammates. She was caught a couple of times with the Claremont midfielders keeping a close eye on her given her skill and ability to impact a game, but the bottom-ager still managed 14 disposals and four tackles in the loss.
Jorgina Kean (Swan Districts)
After an impressive effort against Peel Thunder in the semi-final, Kean was again eye-catching, but could have completed a more dominant game had she nailed two gettable chances. She had a golden opportunity in the second term when she ran in from the overlap 20m out but just pushed it to the right, then had another quick chance in the fourth term from a snap but unluckily hit the post. Still, Kean gave it her all and was clever with her evasion and defensive pressure, laying five tackles to go with her 10 touches and two behinds.
Ella Slocombe (Claremont)
Such an eye-catching player, the Under 16s talent has that athleticism and natural talent to-boot, always looking to take the game on. She had a couple of little fumbles or was dragged down when trying to get it forward, but when she got away she could create great separation. Always looking dangerous, Slocombe sealed the win with a great goal running in off a handball from Western to ice the game and send her team into the grand final. An impressive 16-disposal, 1.2 performance.