SANFLW 23 Under 23 in 2023: #21 Jaslynne Smith

AS PART of a new countdown series leading into the 2023 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season, we will name 23 players to watch who are under 23. We are only looking at those players who were born January 1, 2000 or later, have played a SANFL Women’s senior match and have never been on an AFL Women’s list. Today we are up to number #21 and South Adelaide defender, Jaslynne Smith.

#21 Jaslynne Smith (South Adelaide)

DOB: 17/08/2000
Height: 168cm
Position: Medium Defender
Local club: Morphettville Park Roos

A second player in the list joining Maya Rigter as one who only just sneaks into the eligibility, the 22-year-old has plied her trade for many years in the same role, having great success as a rebounding defender. One of the few who can boast she debuted in the inaugural round of the SANFL Women’s – then as a 16-year-old – Smith played the four games for West Adelaide, before crossing to South Adelaide for the 2018 season.

The next two years brought about great success for Smith, as she tasted premiership success in both, averaging 12.9 disposals, 2.9 marks and 1.1 rebound 50s across 11 games in 2018, the 9.1 disposals, 1.8 marks and 2.4 rebound 50s across 12 games in 2019. From 2020 onwards, Smith went from being a reliable role player into a crucial ball-winning defender.

As the older firm either moved on or were drafted into the AFL Women’s, Smith was a constant and her skill by hand or foot remained the same. She would intercept or be there to mop up in defence, and drive the ball forward all through the challenges of the 2020 season. The defender continued to build, and her most recent season was her best, averaging 16.5 disposals, 3.3 marks, 3.9 tackles and 4.2 rebound 50s from 12 games.

Now one of the most complete medium defenders in the competition, Smith is more of an offensive defender than a defensive one, but remains accountable in the back half. She is one of those players who plays an uncomplicated style of football, and is effective, making good decisions with ball-in-hand. Though she is those few years older than some of the other overlooked talents on this list to come, Smith has a style that can adapt to any level.

Now a leader and a 50-plus game player at the Panthers, she has the football smarts, skill and drive to fill a role at the elite level, but no doubt South Adelaide is still happy to have her in the defensive 50. At 168cm, Smith can play on those in-between types in terms of height, but is usually the designated playmaker from the back 50. If she continues at the trajectory she has shown thus far, then she should be one that might be too difficult to ignore for AFLW clubs.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments