WAFLW 23 Under 23 in 2023: #16 Ella Slocombe
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 #16 which is Claremont forward Ella Slocombe
#16 Ella Slocombe (Claremont)
Position: Medium Forward
Local club: Claremont JFC
Claremont’s Ella Slocombe becomes the first top-age talent in our 23 Under 23 in 2023 countdown for the WAFL Women’s. A raw type with high upside, Slocombe played 10 games for the Tigers’ League side, and her form at the level saw the December-born forward show signs to suggest she can forge a pretty handy career over the next few years.
Standing a 164cm, Slocombe has found herself playing in the forward half of the ground, identifying where to move in order to contribute on the scoreboard. Though not a high-production player and still slight when it comes to competing aerially, Slocombe impacts games by kicking quick goals in a matter of minutes and helping build strong leads for the Tigers.
In 2022, Slocombe averaged 8.4 disposals, 2.5 tackles and 1.6 inside 50s, while booting seven goals in 10 games. She only took the four marks, and did her best work at ground level, signalling an area to improve for the future. Without a doubt, Slocombe is clean below her knees and has great spacial awareness to spin and weave, and once she can work into her game the ability to dispose of the ball cleanly when under pressure, she will be something special.
An eye-catching player with natural talent and athleticism, she not only kicks goals herself, but sets up scoring opportunities for her teammates. Her best game of the year came in the preliminary final when she booted 1.2 from 16 disposals, before adding seven touches and two tackles to her name a week later, becoming a premiership player. While Claremont is a tough team to crack into, it is hoped that Slocombe can hold her spot in the League team and become a regular fixture in that side, having played a mix of League, Reserves – which no longer exists – and Rogers Cup in 2022.
Though Slocombe still has areas to work on, her natural talent is there, and she has the potential to have a breakout year in her top-age season. A member of the State Academy, she will be looking to have a strong season in order to establish herself as a crucial member of the Black Ducks side for the national championships.