SANFLW 23 Under 23 in 2023: #4 India Rasheed

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 #4 and it’s our last bottom-age prospect in Sturt’s India Rasheed.

#4 India Rasheed (Sturt)

DOB: 29/11/2006
Height: 172cm
Position: Tall Forward
Local club: Mount Lofty

Mercurial. That is arguably the best word to describe bottom-age forward India Rasheed, who despite being 15 years-old last season, would have been drafted into the AFL Women’s off talent and form alone. Possessing a deadly left boot, an almost unmatched goal sense, as well as being able to dominate far more experienced opponents in the air and at ground level, Rasheed is ready to explode in 2023. Even in 2022, she defied expectations and did things that go beyond sheer stats.

In her debut season having just turned 15 the previous November, Rasheed came out and took five marks, had five inside 50s and booted a goal from 16 disposals on debut alone. Though she would only kick the seven goals in 10 games, the Sturt forward would have some serious competition for scoring in a side that bolted up the ladder in the 2022 season. Incredibly, her best run of form in terms of scoreboard pressure came in the finals series, where she kicked four goals in three games, including two in the grand final.

Rasheed’s banana bender from the third row on the biggest stage was one of the largest roars there could be, having taken a contested mark. Though statistically she might have had bigger performance, it was hard to look past her two goals from nine touches and four marks – two contested – in a senior grand final. Had it not been for injury right at the end of the loss to North Adelaide in Round 3 – where she had 12 touches and a season-high eight marks – from a match-winning goal celebration no less, Rasheed might have filled her boots even more.

Rasheed averaged 15.0 disposals, 2.7 marks, 2.3 tackles and booted four goals in three games for the Croweaters at Under 18s level, playing two years above her age group and not looking out of place. Add in another two years of development, and it would be incredible to think where she could be heading into the 2024 AFL Women’s Draft. While those excited about South Australia’s crop for that year will miss not seeing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injured talents Georgia McKee and Shae Archbold, Rasheed is one set to light up the competition and it is hard to miss the athletic youngster with the elite left boot.

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