SANFLW 23 Under 23: Others to Watch
THE South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s league has an abundance of young talent that goes far beyond just 23 players. In an additional piece to the countdown of 23 Under 23 Player to Watch, we name others who were in contention to make the list, and would not be undeserving to have made it.
>> SANFLW 23 Under 23 to Watch Full List
Lauren Breguet (Central District)
14/02/2003 | 164cm | Utility
Breguet has been thereabouts in terms of draft chatter over the last two seasons, with her natural footballing ability and explosive speed easy to see. She came from the Sunraysia region and moved to Adelaide to progress her football, and has forged a pretty handy junior career as a forward who pinch-hit in midfield. Based off the recent trial matches, Breguet seems to have moved to a half-back flank for the 2023 season, but as she showed against West Adelaide, she can still get forward and kick a goal.
Brooke Boileau (South Adelaide)
28/01/2005 | 170cm | Midfielder/Forward
A late developer in terms of her form last season, Boileau was unlucky to miss out on a stacked State Under 18s squad for the AFLW Under 18 Championships, but did everything right in response to be in with another shot in 2023. A taller midfielder who cracks in without any fear, Boileau plied her trade as a forward, but showed her ability to play in multiple positions with some great form in the second half of the SANFL Women’s season last year as a contested ball-winning midfielder.
Rosie Boon (Norwood)
23/08/2004 | 178cm | Ruck/Forward
A raw talent in terms of footballing experience, the dual-sport athlete comes from a basketball background and it shows in her football. She is incredibly athletic and is only one year over-age which puts her in the perfect bracket for clubs to consider. Unfortunately injury on the eve of the AFLW Under 18 Championships put a line through her chances of getting to don the tri-colours, but the Redlegs are excited about what Boon can produce in 2023.
Sarah Branford (Norwood)
24/02/2003 | 159cm | Utility
From one end of the height scale at the Redlegs to the other, small utility Branford packs a punch wherever she plays. Having been utilised as a forward and then a midfielder – largely wing – Branford is an aggressive player with a high work rate. Though her production numbers are low, she is a skillful player who balances offensive and defensive traits. In 2023, Branford will play a new role behind the ball where she can utilise her football nous and kicking skills to full advantage.
Chloe Charity (WWT Eagles)
15/03/2005 | 174cm | Tall Utility
The older sister of Jemma who made the list, Charity was close to squeezing in on what she could accomplish in 2023. A very different player to Jemma – with extra height and more of a defender – Charity is strong in the contest and backs herself both one-on-one and when running off half-back. She has earmarked a role up forward in 2023, which will help her add another string to her bow, while also being capable of spending time in the midfield as a big-bodied contested onballer.
Julia Clark (North Adelaide)
05/03/2002 | 162cm | Winger
Playing a key role in North Adelaide’s run to the flag, Clark comes with high appraisal from premiership coach Krissie Steen. Clark was another on the precipice of making it in thanks to her hard running and skill going forward in transition. The talented 20-year-old has the traits to step up to the top level, with her key finding the confidence to perform on a consistent basis, though she had a good fist of it in 2022 and will be looking to build on it in 2023.
Marlie Fiegert (WWT Eagles)
05/10/2005 | 169cm | Midfielder
The daughter of Port Adelaide inaugural player Nigel, Fiegert is eligible to the Power as a father-daughter but is also a member of the club’s Academy. A contested ball-winner with a fierce nature, she likens herself to Ebony Marinoff on the field, and she draws similar traits. She is looking to get more consistency in her game, but coming into her top-age year, Fiegert has the potential to solidify herself as one of the top young midfielders in the SANFL Women’s.
Alysha Healy (Sturt)
29/09/2000 | 168cm | Forward
Hailing from the Northern Territory, Healy’s desire to reach the top level still burns bright, and in 2022, everything seemed to click. She became that reliable goal-scoring option for the Double Blues, kicking 14 goals in 15 games. She has had the long journey from the Territory to play through the VFL Women’s, the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, but has now used her experiences to advantage and become a dangerous threat inside 50.
Jorja Hooper (South Adelaide)
02/09/2004 | 182cm | Key Forward
Another dangerous threat inside 50 is key position forward Hooper. She is a very different player to Healy, being more of a contested marking, strong key forward who won South Adelaide’s goalkicking in 2021. Having suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury post-season, she missed the entire 2022 year and her top-age season. Back as an over-ager in 2023, Hooper is a critical cog in the Panthers’ attack and expect her to be a force.
Ella Metcalfe (North Adelaide)
02/01/2002 | 172cm | Tall Defender
A newcomer to the code, Metcalfe had an outstanding 2022 SANFL Women’s season, slotting into the Roosters side with aplomb. She averaged 10.1 disposals, 3.0 marks and 1.6 rebound 50s in 2022, and held her place throughout the year to play 13 games and earn a premiership medallion. Metcalfe could have a big role in 2023 to step up in the absence of others, but is still only 21 so has plenty of upside for the future.
Chantelle Mitchell (WWT Eagles)
02/12/2001 | 160cm | Forward/Midfielder
A pocket rocket originally out of the Bendigo Pioneers, Mitchell has played both in attack and through the midfield, and only turns 22 next week. She is not a high production ball-winner, but is all silk with ball-in-hand, and is set to play more as a permanent forward in Narelle Smith’s side. Having settled into Adelaide after arriving mid-year last season, Mitchell quickly showed she had the traits to keep up with bigger and stronger players in the SANFL Women’s.
Abbey Rigter (Sturt)
06/02/2005 | 170cm | Forward
The younger sister of Sturt captain Maya who made the 23 Under 23 list, Rigter only played her first season in the SANFL Women’s as a bottom-ager last season. There, she contributed to Sturt’s outstanding year, booting 16 goals in 15 games and being a dangerous forward inside 50. She only averaged 6.5 disposals, 1.0 marks, 3.2 tackles and 1.1 inside 50s, but has a defensive presence to match her scoreboard impact.
Madi Russell (West Adelaide)
24/01/2000 | 174cm | Tall Defender
Chosen as West Adelaide skipper in a tough transition time, the Bloods leader held her own throughout the year and was a shining light in a disappointing year. Standing up in an under-siege defence at times, Russell was able to guide her younger teammates and help develop them for the future. Now with some key inclusions – Iilish Ross in defence – Russell will have the support and a bit more relief to be able to play as much offensive as defensive play.
Georgia Swan (Sturt)
22/08/2003 | 171cm | Forward
The Sturt 19-year-old has a high-level footy IQ which makes her tricky to stop when she is on-song. A hard-working player who can both hit the scoreboard, and set up her teammates, Swan has become one of the most reliable half-forwards in the competition. Standing at 171cm, Swan is a good size for the role, and has the potential to move into midfield, while also being a Double Blues leader like she was at Under 18s level for her state.
Grace Whittaker (Norwood)
30/12/2005 | 171cm | Forward/Midfielder
A raw talent ready to explode, Whittaker has been one of the most impressive Northern Territory players over the last couple of seasons. She stands at 171cm, and while she goes back in the pecking order in terms of height and standing within the league in the SANFL Women’s compared to the NTFL Women’s, Whittaker is able to impress both overhead and at ground level. A nice leap and an eye for goals, Whittaker played forward for the League side in the Redlegs’ win over Glenelg on Friday night.
There were a trio of bottom-age talents also considered among the list, with Glenelg winger Poppy Scholz, South Adelaide inside midfielder/defender Esther Schirmer, West Adelaide defender Emma Kilpatrick and developing Eagles young gun Grace Martin. All three are ineligible to be drafted in 2023, so with impressive seasons, expect them to be on the list in 2024.