WAFLW 23 Under 23 in 2023: #18 Taya Chambers
AS PART of a new series leading into the 2023 Western Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s season, we count down 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 WAFL Women’s senior match and have never been on an AFL Women’s list. Today we continue our countdown at number #18, East Fremantle bottom-ager Taya Chambers.
#18 Taya Chambers (East Fremantle)
Position: Tall Utility
Local club: Canning Vale
The first bottom-ager to land in our countdown, Taya Chambers has proven herself at both ends of the field. In her debut WAFL Women’s season, Chambers yo-yoed between the Rogers Cup and League sides, but showed plenty of potential when at senior level. Having to adjust to the tempo of the League side with far more experienced teammates around her, Chambers still had her eye-catching moments, and saved her best for the big stage.
Though her team went down in the WAFL Women’s Grand Final to Claremont, the 15-year-old Chambers racked up 16 disposals, three marks, five tackles and two inside 50s to have the third most disposals on her side. Though at times her style of bursting off half-back and charging down the ground before thumping it long could resort in turnovers, her dedication and confidence to do so really shone out. When in time and space, Chambers used the ball well and was clean by hand or foot, often putting the opposition defence under pressure with her long kicking.
Though playing at half-forward for East Fremantle, Chambers did play in defence for Western Australia’s Under 16s when the Academy had their intra-state battle. In that game, Chambers notched up 20 disposals, three marks, three tackles and six rebound 50s to be among the more productive players and is more than capable of making the transition to senior level consistently.
Expected to play more of a role for the Under 18s State side in 2023 having been named in the Academy, Chambers looms as a player who could have a breakout year. Standing at 174cm, Chambers is a good size to not only play off a flank, but potentially on-ball, and use her explosive speed and stronger frame to burst out of stoppages. Though the Sharks lineup is a tough one to crack into, expect to hear plenty more about Chambers in the coming years, as she is not eligible to be drafted until next year.