SANFLW 23 Under 23 in 2023: #8 Lucy Boyd
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 #8 and it is West Adelaide tall talent, Lucy Boyd.
#8 Lucy Boyd (West Adelaide)
Position: Tall Utility
Local club: Blackwood
Talented bottom-age tall Lucy Boyd makes three in a row for the 2006-born youngsters, with Boyd joining Charlotte Riggs and Jemma Charity inside our Top 10. Unlike her equally talented peers, Boyd was able to crack into the South Australian Under 18s squad from game one, playing two matches and averaging 8.0 disposals, 1.0 marks and 2.5 inside 50s. Capable of playing at either end, or even through the middle, Boyd is a prototypical tall utility with plenty of upside.
The Blackwood talent is a later year birth, only turning 16 last October, so played the entire SANFL Women’s, and AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships as a 15-year-old. Still raw and finding her consistency, Boyd’s ability to cover the ground is rare for a player of her age. It was not unusual to find her winning the ball in the defensive 50, before being a target at half-forward a couple of possessions later.
She is able to move smoothly around the ground, has enough speed and evasion to worry opponents, and is that in-between height where she can play as a marking target, or as a ground level player. In her debut SANFL Women’s season, Boyd averaged 10.8 disposals, 1.4 marks and 4.5 tackles, as well as an inside 50 and rebound 50 per game. Perhaps her split game time in different roles – including defence – was even more fitting by her five goals in 10 games.
Coming into 2023, Boyd is now a bottom-ager with two seasons left in the SANFL Women’s until she is eligible to be drafted. With a new coach at West Adelaide – Bruce Dawes taking over from Mark Moody – and the return of potential top draft pick Lauren Young, expect the 172cm tall to have a big year. Her upside is impressive; and combine her natural ability with her athleticism, and she is quite the player. It will be fascinating to see what role she ends up slotting into, or if she plays a multitude of different positions once again. Either way, Boyd will be a key player for the Croweaters at the 2023 AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships.