2023 Coates Talent League POTW: Round 1

GEELONG Falcons bottom-ager Sara Howley is the 2023 Rookie Me Central Coates Talent League Player of the Week for Round 1. The former defender played a much more attacking role in the front half of the ground, flourishing under new coach Mel Hickey with a dominant three-goal performance to inspire her Falcons side to a victory over Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels.

In her first season in life as a midfielder/forward, Howley racked up 26 disposals – 21 kicks – took five marks and laid six tackles. Though best known for her rebounding work from defensive 50 last season, Howley had far more inside 50s on this occasion, totalling up seven, while still getting back for two inside 50s. Perhaps critically, in a low-scoring game, Howley booted three goals from five scoring shots to cap off a best on ground performance, one of which was the game sealer late in the match.

Howley’s Round 1 performance as a bottom-ager follows on from a largely successful first season last year where she averaged 18.2 disposals, 3.7 marks, 3.6 tackles and 3.7 rebound 50s. A kick-first player, Howley provides terrific run all of the ground and can deliver cleanly in transition. A January-born talent, Howley turned 17 earlier this year, and at 169cm is a medium height allowing her to play in multiple roles.

There were a number of potential other players who came close to Player of the Week, with AFLW Academy duo, Georgia Clark and Lila Keck the other impressive stars in Round 1. Clark booted 2.1 from 19 disposals, nine marks, four tackles, four hitouts and five inside 50s, while Keck had 24 disposals, four marks, six tackles, seven inside 50s and booted 2.2 in a one-point win over the Murray Bushrangers.


Round 1 – Sara Howley (Geelong Falcons)

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