SANFLW 23 Under 23 in 2023: #7 Elaine Grigg
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 #7 and it is North Adelaide premiership player and Central District recruit Elaine Grigg.
#7 Elaine Grigg (Central District)
Position: Medium Forward/Wing
Local club: Broadview
The sole person on this list who has changed SANFL Women’s clubs over the off-season, talented top-age prospect Elaine Grigg makes her way into number seven in our countdown. Starting off her career at Gaza and then moving onto Broadview, Grigg worked her way into the North Adelaide juniors program, finally cracking through for half a dozen games in 2021. Though the Roosters would not go all the way in her debut season, the 16-year-old would celebrate a flag the following season.
Like any good side, Grigg was made to work for her spot under Krissie Steen, cracking in Round 5 against Woodville-West Torrens, the same team she debuted against the year before. There, she held her place for the rest of the season albeit when she had to go for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Not a massive accumulator of the ball, Grigg still averaged 10.1 disposals, 1.1 marks, 2.0 inside 50s, but critically, 6.4 tackles.
Playing as a small forward, Grigg has that outstanding defensive pressure that sets herself aside from her peers, and though her production and some fundamentals can further improve, she has a high work rate. That was on display in the Under 17s Futures match where she ran out on GMHBA Stadium and played as a winger. It completed a real breakout year for the late-year birth talent, who is only eligible for this year’s AFLW Draft by eight days.
Over the off-season it was announced that Grigg would head further north to join Central District, the same club her grandfather had become quite entrenched in. Likely to fill the void left by the injured Georgia McKee, Grigg will likely spend more time on the wing than she did at the Roosters, and provide the balance of explosive speed and incredible defensive pressure. Already having premiership success at such a young age, expect her to enjoy the freedoms of the midfield and will improve exponentially in 2023, which is why she finds herself in the top third of this countdown.