Preview | SANFLW R4: AFLW talent returns

AFTER a well-earned break for Adelaide Cup weekend, the SANFL Women’s sides return to the field for Round 4. This weekend marks the return of AFLW talent to the state league, and while some had already been running around in the opening three weeks, a more extensive list of names will be back in club colours, as well as some fresh faces.

  • Team
  • Norwood
  • Woodville-West Torrens


Opening the round is a Friday night battle between the two winless sides of the competition. With a minimum six wins required for finals, and seven just to make sure, dropping to 0-4 with eight games left effectively puts a line through the losing team’s season. Norwood has been incredibly unlucky, losing by a combined nine points across three rounds, while the Eagles have shown competitiveness in patches, but were blown away by the Roosters in the second half last week.



B: Emily Bartsch (27), Ali Ferrall (19)
HB: Sarah Branford (9), Lauren Smith (24), Ashlee Gould (16)
C: Nicola Burns (23), Georgie Jaques (61), Morgan Johnston (1)
HF: Coby Morgan (51), Lana Schwerdt (41), Najwa Allen (66)
F: Rosette Zerella (32), Jade Halfpenny (22)
R: Sachi Syme (4), Georgina Birchall (37), Tesharna Maher (14)

INT: Rosie Boon (46), Shai Hiscock (13), Ebony O’Dea (63), Charlotte Nenke (44), Hannah Dunn (64)

Woodville-West Torrens:

B: Poppy Waterford (1), Chloe Charity (9)
HB: Abbey Dowrick (15), Channy Mitchell (5), Amie Blanden (12)
C: Jemma Charity (2), Neave Delaney (16), Sophie Zuill (24)
HF: Beatrice Devlyn (6), Yasmin Duursma (60), Hannah Scholar (19)
F: Bianca Portaro (3), Leah Cutting (26)
R: Shineah Goody (34), Ella Little (22), Annie Falkenberg (8)

INT: Marlie Fiegert (30), Chloe Newton (49), Brianna Walling (13), Nikita McRostie (25), Audrey Holt (10), Olivia Evans (28), Madison Turner (47)


Norwood will be counting the cost of a number of injuries sustained since its last match, with the arrival of the AFL Women’s players a blessing. The Redlegs will bring in the top-end experience of Ebony O’Dea, Hannah Dunn and Sachi Syme, as well state league experience players in Shai Hiscock and Rosette Zerella.

Young tall Rosie Boon also returns to the lineup, with Elle Lineage and Kiana Lee making way. Reigning leading goalkicker Alana Lishmund and fellow forward Grace Mulvahil have both injured their ankles, while Tahlita Buethke is out due to illness.

Woodville-West Torrens have simpler inclusions, with AFLW-listed Abbey Dowrick and Yasmin Duursma coming in, the latter for her first SANFLW game. State Academy member Chloe Charity, and Neave Delaney have also been added to an extended side, while Tayla Coles joins Ashley Baker (ribs) as omissions.


Norwood captain Alison Ferrall is playing her 50th SANFLW match and will be a key cog in defence as always for the Redlegs, while Lana Schwerdt and Tesharna Maher will be buoyed by the return of Syme to the lineup. Defender Emily Bartsch was impressive in the loss to Central last week.

It will be fascinating to see how Duursma fares at the state league level, with Charity having worked hard to get back into the team and play alongside sister Jemma. As always, the talent of Shineah Goody and Chantelle Mitchell will be on display, with opposition midfielders having more players to worry about this weekend.


Lineage drops back to the Development level after some solid League performances, while the Whittakers – Grace and Kaitey – are not too far away from senior selection. Charlie Hazelhurst is another future youngster to watch, while for the Eagles, names such as Grace Martin and Cher Waters are at the top end of the level.


Norwood has been in better form in terms of overall performance despite not picking up the crucial two points. At home under lights, the Redlegs simply have to win this game, and while the Eagles will pick themselves up and be far better than last round, they will be up against it with the strong inclusions of the home team.

  • Team
  • Central District
  • South Adelaide


Starting the season with its best ever record, Central District now faces its biggest challenge of the season, taking on a red-hot South Adelaide. The Panthers have won three on the trot, albeit all at Noarlunga, and are making the longest trip in SANFL footy by heading to Elizabeth. The Bulldogs gained a confidence-boosting win over Norwood at The Ponderosa last round, making it a 2-1 start to the 2023 season.


Central District:

B: Laitiah Huynh (41), Jessica Allan (35)
HB: Caitlen Teague (17), Madison Lane (40), Shannon Murphy (10)
C: Dakota Williams (38), Shelby Smith (1), Julia Teakle (6)
HF: Jasmine Evans (27), Charlotte Riggs (9), Elaine Grigg (8)
F: Karissa Searle (22), Lauren Breguet (28)
R: Olivia Levicki (13), Georgia Madigan (7), Sophie Eaton (12)

INT: Caitlin Wendland (42), Katelyn Rosenzewig (2), Georgia Avery (18), Chantel Reynolds (30), Shelby Raven (36), Jovanka Zecevic (23), Tess Gerhardy (33)

South Adelaide:

B: Jaslynne Smith (35), Esther Schirmer (23)
HB: Sam Pratt (22), Litonya Cockatoo-Motlap (18), Lucy Northcott (12)
C: Elise Barwick (24), Brooke Boileau (37), Holly Ifould (2)
HF: Taylah Levy (33), Jordann Hickey (4), Laquoiya Cockatoo-Motlap (17)
F: Jorja Hooper (38), Kyanne Campbell (60)
R: Soriah Moon (32), Senna Gulden (25), Nicole Campbell (9)

INT: Lily Baxter (56), Tiffany Copley (14), Czenya Cavouras (11), Caitlin Couch (8), Jodie Hunt (30), Charlotte Dolan (28), Caitlin Radbone (34)


Central District has some huge changes, and in more ways than one, with the inclusion of key position Port Adelaide players, Julia Teakle and Olivia Levicki. It will be the land of the giants at Ponderosa, who will outsize the Panthers for a change, as the home team only has the one confirmed out in Jessica Schulz.

South Adelaide counted the cost of the win over West Adelaide losing Gypsy Schirmer to a foot injury, while Bridgette Needs also misses Round 4 with a similar ailment. Caitlin Ross is unavailable, while in a show of depth, the Panthers have dropped stalwart Jess Kirk.

Coming into the team are Port Adelaide twins, Litonya and Laquoiya Cockatoo-Motlap. Also named among the inclusions are Willunga’s Jodie Hunt and Adelaide’s newest AFLW player, Taylah Levy. Caitlin Couch and Caitlin Radbone are also into an extended team.


Katelyn Rosenzweig is playing her 50th game in the league in what is sure to give the Bulldogs a morale boost, while Madison Lane will be better for her first run a fortnight ago and step up even further in Round 4.

The big question will be on how coach Ben Hunt manages his talls, with Levicki, Teakle, Rosenzweig, Chantel Reynolds and Jess Allan all potential targets inside 50. South will look for his young midfield including Brooke Boileau and Holly Ifould to continue their form, while the forward prowess of Jordann Hickey and Kyanne Campbell up front is key.


Scholz dropping back to Development Level will provide much needed experience, with Ella Mickan and Emma Keys making the side more composed. Kirk back at the second tier with Nari Wright makes for a ridiculous one-two pairing on the wings, while Lauren Clifton is another who is a step above at that level.


South Adelaide deserves the favouritism based off its undefeated start to the season and earning the arguable flag favourites tag. Central District is always a danger though, and with the incredible depth of talls rotating inside 50, if the Bulldogs can win the midfield, they are every chance to cause an upset.

  • Team
  • West Adelaide
  • Sturt


A fascinating clash between a wounded West Adelaide outfit and a scorned Sturt side makes for a massive first clash in a double-header at Hisense Stadium. The Bloods lost a couple of players to injury last round in their first loss of the season to South Adelaide, while Sturt was disappointing during a forgettable loss to Glenelg. The Double Blues have regained some incredible talent, and it seems like a now-or-never game for Sturt to avoid slipping to 1-3. As an aside, current West Adelaide coach Bruce Dawes takes on the team he coached for a couple of seasons for the first time.


West Adelaide:

B: Milli Gentle (3), Jess Chyer (38)
HB: Grace McNicol (21), Lucy Boyd (2), Emma Kilpatrick (43)
C: Olivia Smith (22), Keeley Kustermann (8), Bec Hansen (10)
HF: Ruby Ballard (51), Gemma Houghton (67), Lily Johnson (33)
F: Steph Tredwell (42), Lauren Young (30)
R: Tess Huxtable (49), Zoe Greer (4), Illish Ross (60)

INT: Asha Dufour (46), Kelly Barltrop (15), Tabby Saville (18), Zoe Venning (9), Georgie Pater (26), Astrid Powell (16), Tamika May (32), Ella Maxwell (45)


B: Maya Rigter (22), Lucy Earl (26)
HB: Hannah Prenzler (20), Alex Ballard (19), Jemma Valente (36)
C: Elsie Dawes (5), Alisha Gepp (15), Molly Fletcher (31)
HF: Monique Bessen (16), Alysha Healy (10), India Rasheed (6)
F: Tessa Doumanis (4), Millie McCarthy (1)
R: Alex Pearce (38), Georgia Bevan (7), Jaimee Wittervan (35)

INT: Lily Whitcombe (24), Abbey Rigter (11), Georgia Swan (3), Isobel Kuiper (18), Tahlia Walker (40), Isabella Drew (28), Zara Walsh (57), Amy Brooks-Birve (44)


Both sides have some massive ins, and some massive outs due to injury, setting the game up to be a thriller. West Adelaide lost captain Madison Russell and wing Paige Allan to knee injuries in Round 3, while midfielder Jess Macolino was also helped off with a shoulder injury that game and will miss Round 4.

It was somewhat dampened the mood of the returns of AFLW players, with Port star forward Gemma Houghton making her SANFLW debut, while Lily Johnson and Keeley Kustermann are also included in the extended bench. Zoe Greer also returns into the midfield mix.

Sturt would have been at full strength given several huge returns, but unfortunately Crows talent Kiera Mueller will miss the match due to an ankle injury, and reliable midfielder Kate Harris is unavailable to play in Round 4.

There are some crucial returns for the Double Blues though, with bottom-age X-factor India Rasheed playing her first game of 2023. Isobel Kuiper plays her first League game since injuring her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in last year’s preliminary final. Defender Alex Ballard returns to the side, as does key forward Amy Brooks-Birve and Isabella Drew.


A forward line of Houghton and Young is scary enough, but when the Bloods throw in the already drafted Johnson, with bottom-ager Ruby Ballard and 2007-born excitement machine Steph Tredwell, then the front five is a setup to watch. The losses will seriously hurt though, with the midfield and defence copping a hit.

Adding Rasheed back into that forward mix – with Brooks-Birve also returning – throws back to the 2022 side that went all the way to the grand final. Kuiper stepping in earlier than expected will be a motivation boost, while Georgia Bevan and Alisha Gepp will benefit greatly from her return.


The injuries have meant that there have been few players dropping back to Development level for the Bloods, with Niamh Davis, Tiarna Harfield and Tiana Fernandez all with past League experience, while Allani Dawes plays against her former side in the earlier game.


Injuries have certainly taken a toll on both sides, ands it will come down to the midfield battle. Prior to teams being released West Adelaide looked to be the tip, and should still be favourites on form, but if Sturt can win the midfield – and avoid the Bloods getting too many entries inside 50 – then the Double Blues can do a lot of damage themselves up the other end. The tip remains with West Adelaide, but in a nail-biter.

  • Team
  • Glenelg
  • North Adelaide


The final game of the round is a battle between two impressive finals chances with second ranked North Adelaide taking on the fourth placed Glenelg. Both sides have won two of their first three games, with the Bays’ stringing together back-to-back wins against the Eagles and Sturt, while the Roosters bounced back from a loss to West Adelaide to convincingly put away the Eagles in Round 3.



B: Poppy Scholz (20), Marie Martino (15)
HB: Ellen Tyminski (18), Serena Waters (32), Matilda Scholz (28
C: Violet Patterson (6), Madisyn Freeman (2), Brooke Tonon (40)
HF: Chelsea Packer (26), Matilda Wilmore (19), Lucy Armitage (14)
F: Ella Boag (43), Piper Window (8)
R: Shay’Lee Dayman (4), Ellie Kellock (5), Alice Bradley (21)

INT: Tessa Kohn (13), Caitlyn Swanson (9), Laura Chigwidden (24), Sarah Goodwin (11), Shae Partington (27)

North Adelaide:

B: Amber Ward (24), Kristi Harvey (5)
HB: Amelie Borg (22), Erin Sundstrom (34), Lauren Gauci (35)
C: Laela Ebert (9), Julia Clark (33), Katelyn Pope (13)
HF: Aprille Crooks (10), Sky Jensen (50), Jessica Edwards (2)
F: Britt Perry (19), Mattea Breed (3)
R: Isabelle Starmer (11), Hannah Ewings (31), Chelsea Farr (28)

INT: Doreena Hansen (41), Ella Quinn (14), Sarah Steele-Park (36), Kristen Rothwell (15), Jamie Parish (20), Sarcha Taylor (52), Jayde Visser (30)


After helping out the side in the first few rounds by running water for the Bays, Port Adelaide listed talents Ella Boag and Sarah Goodwin get their chance to play some SANFLW footy again. Glenelg’s chances are relatively simple, with the pair replacing Jess Searle and Renee Wurfel.

North Adelaide has lost both Jaimi Tabb and Erica Greet to the Western Bulldogs VFLW program, while Kalani Bates misses Round 4 with a knee injury. Speaking of knee injuries, last year’s co-skipper Erin Sundstrom fittingly returns to slot into half-back along with Adelaide-listed Amber Ward.

The attacking end also regained some serious firepower with AFLW Rising Star Hannah Ewings donning the red and white again with young forward Aprille Crooks. With Amelie Borg also returning for the Roosters, it meant the unlucky defender to drop out was Ella Metcalfe.


The defensive lineup of the Roosters, which includes Sundstrom, Borg, Ward, Lauren Gauci and Kristi Harvey is incredibly strong, and one of the most reliable any coach could field in the SANFLW. Add in the power and strength of Ewings alongside the silk of Katelyn Pope, and the midfield will also be humming.

Glenelg has the running capacity to break lines against the Roosters, which the Bays will have to do to try and breakdown that rock solid defence. Brooke Tonon, Violet Patterson and Madisyn Freeman can all take grass and run with it, while the form of Piper Window will be closely monitored considering it will be her toughest opponent thus far regardless of who she has to contend with inside 50.


The Development League game has some pretty impressive talents across the board, with Sheridan Howell, Tamsyn Morriss and Casie Coombe ones to watch for Glenelg, while Ella Metcalfe should be too good for the second tier for the Roosters. Letisha Ackland and Georgia Hamilton will provide some firepower in attack.


Glenelg is in great form, but it would be incredibly dangerous to go past a North Adelaide side with a defence that looks like that. The Roosters have very few question marks across the board, and while half the forwardline is still young, there are AFLW-experienced talents in there to steady the ship. Glenelg will have its biggest test to-date, and with a barrage of future AFLW talents, it makes for an exciting game.

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