2023 WAFLW Team of the Week: Round 1

LADDER leaders West Perth, fresh off its first ever WAFL Women’s win, has recorded a league-high five players in our WAFL Women’s Team of the Week for Round 1. The Falcons took care of East Perth to finish with one more player in our 24-player squad than Claremont, while fellow winner Peel Thunder, and the drawn sides – Subiaco and South Fremantle – all had three representatives. East Fremantle also had three, with other losing teams Swan Districts (two) and East Perth (one) rounding out the squad.

West Perth’s five-player contingent is spread across the field, starting in defence where new recruit, co-captain and ex-Tiger Brooke Hongell is in the back pocket. She registered the 14 disposals and laid four tackles for the match, providing some much needed experience in the side. Further afield, the Falcons have a couple of dynamic forwards with Tia Bergin (three goals) and Grace Betti (two) both making the side. In midfield is returning Falcon and ex-Eagle Emily Bennett after a game-high 22 touches, while defender Jessica Roper squeezes onto the bench.

Claremont’s win yielded the reigning premiers four players and one emergency, with the Ortlepp sisters making the extended 27-player squad. Claire Ortlepp was named in her familiar position of full-back, while sister Rachel Ortlepp was one of three emergencies. Ex-Subiaco talent Jayme Harken impressed on debut for the Tigers with 17 disposals and six marks, while ruck Matilda Dyke was dominant at the stoppages. Jacinta Valentini sparked the Tigers in the second term with two crucial goals and slotted into centre half-forward.

Peel Thunder skipper Ebony Dowson leads our hypothetical Team of the Week after an impressive 24 disposals, three marks and four tackles coming out of defence down in Mandurah. Her opposing skipper Jessica Cox had a round-high 28 disposals, as well as five marks, eight tackles and six inside 50s in the tight loss.

Other Thunder players to make the side were debutant and double bottom-ager Evie Cowcher in defence, while Ebonee Hardie kicked the match-winner and finished with two majors for the match. Swan Districts’ Carys D’Addario is another young gun to watch, making it onto the wing, while Kayley King was named as an emergency.

Subiaco and South Fremantle played out a draw and had the three representatives each in the team, with 2007-born Olivia Crane named at centre half-back after starring on debut. Fellow debutant Joanne Cregg also made the team, while captain Tarnica Golisano started her year off with consistent football. The Bulldogs had Kahra Sprylan, first-gamer Ariana Hetherington and small forward Noa McNaughton as their representatives.

The other WAFL Women’s team to have three players in the squad was East Fremantle, with talented bottom-ager Zippy Fish starring in her new role off half-back, while Sharon Wong and Gabby O’Sullivan were critical in the resistance against Claremont. The other player in the Round 1 Team of the Week is East Perth’s Matilda Bennett who impressed through the ruck for the Royals in their inaugural game. Shark, Jae Flynn was the remaining emergency in the extended Round 1 squad.


B: Evie Cowcher (Peel Thunder) – Claire Ortlepp (Claremont) – Brooke Hongell (West Perth)
HB: Ebony Dowson (Peel Thunder) (c) – Olivia Crane (Subiaco) – Zippy Fish (East Fremantle)
C: Carys D’Addario (Swan Districts) – Jess Cox (Swan Districts) (vc) – Kahra Sprylan (South Fremantle)
HF: Jayme Harken (Claremont) – Jacinta Valentini (Claremont) – Gabby O’SulIivan (East Fremantle)
F: Tia Bergin (West Perth) – Ebonee Hardie (Peel Thunder) – Grace Betti (West Perth)
R: Matilda Dyke (Claremont) – Emily Bennett (West Perth) – Sharon Wong (East Fremantle)

INT: Matilda Bennett (East Perth) – Joanne Cregg (Subiaco) – Tarnica Golisano (Subiaco) – Ariana Hetherington (South Fremantle) – Noa McNaughton (South Fremantle) – Jess Roper (West Perth)

EMG: Jaye Flynn (East Fremantle) – Kayley King (Swan Districts) – Rachel Ortlepp (Claremont)

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