NORTH Adelaide and Central District shared a round-high of five representatives in the first Rookie Me Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Week for 2023. After a fascinating Round 1 of action, all eight teams are represented across the 24-player squad, with the four winners making up 17 of those players.
The reigning premiers and Bulldogs both had Round 1 wins and lead the way our Team of the Week, with fellow victors, South Adelaide (four) and West Adelaide (three) not far behind. Narrow Round 1 losers Norwood also had three, with other losers Glenelg (two), Sturt and Woodville-West Torrens (both one) rounding out the league.
North Adelaide opened the season and its premiership defence with a two-point victory over Norwood, headlined by a super effort from co-captain Kristi Harvey. While statistically she was down on her usual efforts (13 disposals, five marks – two contested – two tackles and one rebound 50), the leader played at both full-forward and full-back, providing a presence far outweighing statistical value, and therefore earning out captaincy for Round 1.
Harvey was joined in the side by co-captain Jessica Edwards in the on-ball position, after Edwards racked up 25 disposals, eight marks, six tackles, four clearances, six inside 50s and two rebound 50s in the 7.10 (52) to 7.8 (50) win.
New Roosters ruck Isabelle Starmer (24 disposals, four marks, four tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s) also made it into a height-stacked team. The other two North Adelaide representatives in the Team of the Week were winger Katelyn Pope (24 disposals, four marks, four tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s) and new recruit, forward Mattea Breed (18 disposals, four marks, two hitouts, three clearances, seven inside 50s and booted 2.2).
Central District put its traditional slow starts behind it, when the Bulldogs took down Woodville-West Torrens up at Elizabeth. Shelby Smith was named vice-captain in our Team of the Week following her 28 disposals, three marks, five tackles, five clearances and two inside 50s.
Two of her teammates were named in defence, with Georgia Madigan (15 disposals, four marks – one contested – and three rebound 50s) and Lauren Breguet (17 disposals, three tackles, two inside 50s and three rebound 50s) among the prime movers. Up the other end of the ground, Bulldogs duo Caitlin Wendland and Chantel Reynolds also made the team with a combined 35 disposals and 12 marks.
South Adelaide had a host of fresh and young faces make the Team of the Week, headlined by top-age talents, Brooke Boileau and Holly Ifould. Boileau racked up 21 disposals, eight tackles, four clearances and seven inside 50s in Round 1, while Ifould impressed on the wing as she collected 19 disposals, six marks, two clearances and three rebound 50s.
Ruck Soriah Moon successfully returned from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) to play a starring role for the Panthers, picking up 16 disposals, six tackles, 25 hitouts, seven clearances, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s to squeeze out a couple of other impressive ruck performances. Completing the South Adelaide quartet for Round 1 was Senna Gulden who recorded 21 disposals, seven clearances and laid 11 tackles in the win.
West Adelaide’s victory over Glenelg netted a trio of talented players in the Team of the Week. Top AFLW draft prospect Lauren Young returned from an ACL injury to boot 1.3 from 15 disposals and seven marks in a successful return. Bottom-ager Lucy Boyd starred off half-back on her way to 16 disposals two marks, six tackles and three rebound 50s, while over-age draft hopeful Zoe Venning worked her way to 21 disposals, six marks, six tackles, eight clearances and three inside 50s.
Despite suffering a heartbreaking defeat to North Adelaide, Norwood still had the three representatives in Team of the Week. Norwood recruits Meghan Gaffney (15 disposals, four marks – two contested – four tackles and two goals) and Georgie Jaques (13 disposals, three marks – two contested – four tackles, 31 hitouts, four clearances and two inside 50s) both made it in, while reigning best and fairest winner Tesharna Maher (17 disposals, two marks, five tackles, four clearances, five inside 50s and three rebound 50s) secured a spot on the bench.
Of the remaining losing sides, Glenelg had star youngster Piper Window (17 disposals, two marks – one contested – 17 tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s) and overage draft chance Madisyn Freeman (23 disposals, two marks, two tackles, 10 clearances, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) in the team.
Woodville-West Torrens’ representative was Leah Cutting who stepped up in the Eagles’ loss to Central District in a new key defensive role. Sturt’s sole player in the side was Adelaide Crows’ defender Kiera Mueller who returned back to the Double Blues, though midfielder Alisha Gepp was named as an emergency. She was placed as an additional three alongside Glenelg captain Ellie Kellock and North Adelaide defender Ella Quinn.
SANFLW TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 1
B: Georgia Madigan (Central District) – Kristi Harvey (North Adelaide) (c) – Leah Cutting (WWT Eagles)
HB: Kiera Mueller (Sturt) – Lucy Boyd (West Adelaide) – Lauren Breguet (Central District)
C: Katelyn Pope (North Adelaide) – Shelby Smith (Central District) (vc) – Holly Ifould (South Adelaide)
HF: Piper Window (Glenelg) – Lauren Young (West Adelaide) – Caitlin Wendland (Central District)
F: Meghan Gaffney (Norwood) – Mattea Breed (North Adelaide) – Chantel Reynolds (Central District)
R: Soriah Moon (South Adelaide) – Brooke Boileau (South Adelaide) – Jess Edwards (North Adelaide)
INT: Madisyn Freeman (Glenelg) – Senna Gulden (South Adelaide) – Georgie Jaques (Norwood) – Tesharna Maher (Norwood) – Isabelle Starmer (North Adelaide) – Zoe Venning (West Adelaide)
EMG: Alisha Gepp (Sturt) – Ellie Kellock (Glenelg) – Ella Quinn (North Adelaide)