Season 7 AFLW preview: Sydney
SYDNEY is the last (alphabetically) of the four Season 7 expansion sides to be previewed, and is a team with typically great culture which will look to hit the ground running in its maiden AFL Women’s campaign.
The Swans’ list is both very young and very inexperienced, with the club not quite able to land the big fish that the other clubs could. But will they in-turn be a side which catches others off guard while flying under the radar?
Jaide Anthony, Kiara Beesley, Montana Beruldsen, Tiarne Cavanagh, Madelane Collier, Sarah Dargan, Molly Eastman, Sarah Ford, Montana Ham, Cynthia Hamilton, Lexi Hamilton, Ella Heads, Sofia Hurley, Zoe Hurrell, Bridie Kennedy, Genevieve Lawson Tavan, Brooke Lochland, Ally Morphett, Aliesha Newman, Rebecca Privatelli, Ruby Sargent Wilson, Paige Sheppard, Sarah Skinner, Bella Smith, Lisa Steane, Lauren Szigeti, Brenna Tarrant, Eliza Vale, Aimee Whelan, Alana Woodward
Inactive: Alice Mitchell
Round 1: vs. St Kilda | North Sydney Oval
Round 2: vs. Western Bulldogs | Alberton Oval
Round 3: vs. GWS | SCG
Round 4: @ Port Adelaide | Alberton Oval
Round 5: vs. Hawthorn | Swinburne Centre
Round 6: @ North Melbourne | Arden St Oval
Round 7: vs. Gold Coast | Henson Park
Round 8: @ Essendon | Ikon Park
Round 9: vs. Fremantle | Henson Park
Round 10: @ Geelong | GMHBA Stadium
POTENTIAL BEST 21:
B: Lexi Hamilton – Eliza Vale
HB: Ruby Sargent-Wilson – Bella Smith – Molly Eastman
C: Sofia Hurley – Lisa Steane – Maddy Collier
HF: Aliesha Newman – Brenna Tarrant – Brooke Lochland
F: Sarah Dargan – Rebecca Privitelli
R: Ally Morphett – Montana Ham – Cynthia Hamilton
INT: Sarah Skinner – Paige Sheppard – Ella Heads – Bridie Kennedy – Jaide Anthony
EMG: Sarah Ford – Aimee Whelan – Lauren Szigeti
Remaining players: Kiara Beesley, Montana Beruldsen, Tiarne Cavanagh (rookie), Zoe Hurrell, Genevieve Lawson Tavan (injury replacement player), Alana Woodward
Inactive: Alice Mitchell (knee injury)
LEAGUE B&F CONTENDER: Montana Ham
It is not often that a player in their debut season is their side’s top league best and fairest contender, but such is the talent of Ham and where her sides sits as a collective.
The key for Ham to poll well is whether or not opposition teams look to tag her out of the game, so how she handles that is on her, and the rest of the Sydney midfield to ensure it does not happen.
BIG YEAR FOR: Brenna Tarrant
Tarrant was one of many of Melbourne’s departures last season who were the victim of the Dees’ list depth. She just could not lock down a spot in that Melbourne defence.
But Season 7 is a totally different story. She is back home in Sydney, at a brand new club and in a brand new situation. She is now one of the most experienced leaders in the line up, and has the perfect opportunity to not only lock down a spot in the starting side, but make a huge impact on her new team.
KEY TALKING POINTS:
How will Sydney match it with the other sides?
One thing that expansion sides have most of the time found when they come into the AFLW is that it is hard to match it with the top sides, and the expectation is that Sydney will be the same.
The thing that is different with the Swans though is that they are significantly younger and less experienced then the other expansion sides have been, so their challenge to try and match it with the established sides becomes just that bit harder.
What is the ‘benchmark’ for the Swans?
In a recent interview with us here at Rookie Me Central, Sydney coach Scott Gowans said that the goal for this season “is to know what our benchmark is, so that we can then build and develop for season two.”
The question with that is, what is that benchmark? One win, two, even more? We have 10 weeks to find out what that is.
How prominent will Sydney’s top draft picks be?
One of the coups of the offseason was the Swans being able to pick up top draftees Montana Ham and Sofia Hurley. The thing with those pick ups is that they are both Victorian, with the former still at school, so will that affect the Swans’ ability to get the most of their young stars in their debut season? How many games will they be able to play? Time will tell.
Will their VFLW stars be able to make the leap up to AFLW?
One major part of Sydney’s list build was how many players they picked up from the VFLW, including the likes of Gena Lawson-Tavan, Eliza Vale and Molly Eastman.
The question with that is will they be able to translate their state league experiences into useful things in their transition to AFLW? Yes state leagues and AFLW are very different kettles of fish, but will that experience and maturity still help and still translate?