State Academy notes: 2023 SANFLW Round 5

SOUTH Australia’s top AFL Women’s draft prospects returned for Round 5 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s on the weekend. As always, we took a look at each of the state academy athletes running around in the League competition and made notes on their individual performances.

*Each note is the opinion of the individual author.

  • Team
  • West Adelaide
  • Woodville-West Torrens

West Adelaide:

#30 Lauren Young

Bounced back from a rare quiet game last round to put in a dominant performance for the losing side at Hisense Stadium. She collected 22 disposals, took six marks – one contested – laid six tackles and had seven clearances playing through the midfield, also racking up five inside 50s. Her strength overhead was impressive as usual and though she was often accompanied by close-checking opponents, she got on top with her ability to cover the ground and impact the contest. In the third term Young fell hard on her shoulder but continued to play and provided a force to be reckoned with throughout the four quarters.

#43 Emma Kilpatrick

The reliable defender worked her way into the game, and was particularly prominent after the main break, generally using the ball well. Aside from an out on the full under pressure midway through the second term, Kilpatrick was neat by foot and used the short, quick passes to advantage to set up attacking plays. She took a lovely intercept mark in the sixth minute of the final term and delivered a pinpoint pass into Tabby Saville inside 50.

#46 Asha Dufour

Stepping up in the absence of key personnel, Dufour racked up 16 disposals as well as four marks, two inside 50s and four rebound 50s, working hard off a wing and then dropping back into defence. She covered the ground well with long strides and then competed strongly in the air, often opposed to young gun and fellow State Academy member, Goody. Though she lost that one-on-one across the course of the match – as just about anyone would – she influenced the match for her team in her own way.

#51 Ruby Ballard

Brought the heat as you would expect from the tenacious forward/midfielder, and though she was not a massive ball-winners, she was thereabouts consistently. While only credited with the one tackle in Round 5, Ballard buzzed around applying pressure acts, then worked into space to fire off handballs and keep the ball moving in transition. In the fourth term, Ballard took a great courageous mark on the wing and her kick was clean and effective as usual, then a couple of minutes later won a contest against two opponents.

Woodville-West Torrens:

#2 Jemma Charity

Spent more time deeper inside 50 with the return of Abbey Dowrick, but it worked out just fine for Charity who slotted three goals from eight disposals and four marks. Likely to be that medium forward at the next level to eventually roll into the midfield, she slotted two goals in the opening term to kick-start her side’s day. She marked 25m out and converted a set shot midway through the first term, then took a mark 60m out, burnt off an opponent, took a couple of bounces to run inside 50 and kick the goal on the run. Her third goal came late in the match when she took a brilliant mark and made it three goals.

#7 Grace Martin

Returning to the side, Martin did not look out of place at League level, having a number of clean gathers and moving well. She kicked a nice goal after a second effort where she turned her opponent inside out and kicked the major three minutes into the second term. She also showed outstanding smarts at half-forward to tap the ball to a running Leah Cutting without taking possession. Not the complete player yet, but has obvious talent.

#30 Marlie Fiegert

The Eagles leader played arguably her best game of the year en route to 20 disposals, three marks, four tackles and two clearances, working hard up and down the ground. She continued to be involved and her kicking was more effective this week, running hard to hold her position as that half-forward/midfielder. She got back to help the defence and even won the ball in the back half a little to get it moving up the ground.

#34 Shineah Goody

Producing her best performance of the season, Goody was simply sensational across four quarters and will be the subject of our SANFL Women’s Player Focus this week. That will run through her performance in detail, but Goody collected 23 disposals, five marks, five tackles, four inside 50s and booted a goal in the win.

  • Team
  • Norwood
  • Sturt


#50 Elle Lineage

After initially being dropped from the Redlegs side, Lineage was a late call-up for Ebony O’Dea and subsequently played her best game of the season. She spent time on-ball and picked up three clearances to go with 13 disposals, as well as laying three tackles. She did well late in the first term when he had a clean pick up, shrugged off a would-be tackler and kicked inside 50 which ultimately lead to a score. She was clean in close and even looked strong against a stacked Sturt midfield, winning a few clearances via hand in the second half.

#51 Coby Morgan

The speedster only had the eight touches and did not kick a goal this week, but still maintained the pressure, laying four tackles. She did get brought down by Hannah Prenzler when she tried to fend her off at one stage, though won a free kick of her own in the opening minute of the final term hitting Georgie Jaques on the wing. Winning a few of her touches in the last quarter, Morgan burst forward past a few players before they could react, but needed that touch more polish in her finishing, rushing it and it went through for a behind to the left.


#6 India Rasheed

The skilful left-footer built on from her return last week with an impressive performance in Round 5. Still with much improvement left in her to get back to her best, Rasheed contributed the 14 disposals, three marks, three inside 50s and two behinds, but what was most impressive was her defensive pressure. She laid a massive eight tackles and continually harassed opposition defenders to try and lock the ball inside 50 or in the forward half of the ground. She uncharacteristically sprayed a shot from the left four minutes into the third term in her pocket where she kicked that miraculous goal in the grand final. Her kicking going forward was simply sublime and she is building nicely.

#11 Abbey Rigter

Not able to hit the scoreboard this week, Rigter had an early chance with a shot midway through the first term after a mark but it fell short and was rushed across, then opted to kick to Amy Brooks-Birve later in the quarter. She pushed up to the wing as the game went on, then going forward marked again midway through the third term kicking it in Millie McCarthy’s direction who tried to kick it off the deck but it too missed. Her final touch in the last two minutes was in the defensive 50 as she covered the ground well.

#16 Monique Bessen

Had some nice moments throughout the match and continues to be a player who can provide a highlight and breakdown the opposition’s defensive zone. She worked hard to help out in defence and work then provide some run in transition. At one point she set up a scoring chance after gathering on the wing early in the second term. Her five tackles to go with her 12 disposals were testament to her defensive pressure.

#24 Lily Whitcombe

Whitcombe applied defensive pressure throughout the contest and was able to compete strongly one-on-one both in the air and at ground level, including a terrific spoil on Najwa Allan in the third term. She showed she is not afraid to compete against accomplished players, and though she only won the eight disposals, her four tackles and numerous defensive acts speak to her strengths.

  • Team
  • Central District
  • Glenelg

Central District:

#8 Elaine Grigg

Backing up a promising game in Round 4, Grigg again found 20 disposals for the Bulldogs in Round 5. Unlike last week though, Grigg had less time and space, and the majority of her touches were quick, clean handballs. A tough player who is not afraid to win the hard ball and apply plenty of defensive pressure, she was not able to get her trademark run going often, and was tightly watched at half-forward and when rolling into the midfield. She had a couple of eye-catching players with sidestepping or kicking into space to set up Evans’ goal, but was largely forced to handball out of congestion, or lay fierce tackles – totalling up nine – to go with 20 disposals, three clearances, two inside 50s and four rebound 50s.

#12 Sophie Eaton

The talented double-bottom ager was a little quieter than usual but still presented well in the forward half, taking four marks from seven disposals. She was clean with her touches when in play and just missed a snap on goal late in the third term. Showing her effort right up until the final siren, Eaton laid a massive tackle on the wing just before the full-time buzzer.

#27 Jasmine Evans

Evans started her match off on the perfect note, soccering home a goal in the opening minute from the same goalsquare where she kicked the winning goal against Norwood back in Round 3. She finished with just the five disposals for the match, but forced a rushed behind in the third term and took a good mark on the wing late in the first half pushing up the ground.


#6 Violet Patterson

Starting off like a house on fire, Patterson attacked it hard off a wing and presented up and down the ground. She did not always win clean possessions, but produced an effective spoil in the attacking 50, then took a great mark on the wing working back down the ground. Not as prolific as past weeks, Patterson had a number of kicks in the second half that were fairly neat, with a kick into the corridor earlier in the match a little risky but ultimately locked up. Takes the game on and finished with nine disposals, two marks, two tackles and two inside 50s.

#8 Piper Window

Another 20-disposal, two-goal game for Window who continues to mount a case as one of the top three players in the country for this year’s AFLW Draft. She had not hit the scoreboard in the first three quarters, but then took control in the last 10 minutes of the game, kicking back-to-back goals to ice the game. She protected the ball drop brilliantly and watch a matchup nightmare, being either too quick for the stronger players or too strong for the quicker players. Though she took seven marks – three contested – she even dropped a couple that bounced off her chest so could have even had a bigger day. She had a shot nine minutes into the third term but dropped it short for Matilda Scholz to mark and goal instead.

#19 Matilda Wilmore

The defensively-minded Wilmore had an early chance 30m out from goal in the opening term but the set shot just fell short. She worked hard across the course of the match, often matching it with bigger and stronger opponents, but punching above her weight. Midway through the second term, Wilmore was out-positioned by Laitiah Huynh on the wing, but managed to fight her way back into it and lock it up. Though her execution could be hit and miss, she never shied away from a contest and always looked to break the lines even if it could get her into trouble such as fending off Grigg only to be pinged by Madison Lane.

#20 Poppy Scholz

Stringing together a quietly consistent season, the bottom-age defender took a number of good marks and did well one-on-one against Katelyn Rosenzweig, even outmarking her at one stage. At the next contest though, Rosenzweig showed her experience by sneaking out the back of a forward stoppage as Scholz went into it. as it came out the Central District forward snapped a goal, providing a lesson for the younger Scholz. Other than that though, Scholz held her well and provided a great intercepting presence in the back half.

#51 Jordan Horne

The debutant looked a bit nervous in the opening term, dropping a relatively simple chest mark then being pinged for holding the ball. After that first interaction though, Horne settled to mark late in the term and gave off a handball to Brooke Tonon to go inside 50. She was present throughout the game, and while she did not hit the scoreboard herself, marked inside 50 then gave off the handball to Tessa Kohn who slotted the goal in the 15th minute. Had the four disposals, two marks and two tackles in her first League game.

  • Team
  • South Adelaide
  • North Adelaide

South Adelaide:

#2 Holly Ifould

Worked hard across the game but did not have her usual impact which features her getting into space and taking a number of marks. Instead she often had to run into space to pick up the loose ball, or more likely the case winning it under pressure. She finished with the 10 disposals and set up a goal to Indy Tahau 20m out from goal. Has the talent when she can find that space, but North Adelaide did not make it easy on South’s wingers.

#23 Esther Schirmer

Played a defensive role on Hannah Ewings when the Port Adelaide forward was inside 50 early and then held a deep defensive line in the match. She only picked up the three disposals in a quieter effort, but also had a more accountability-focused role this week against the North attack.

#37 Brooke Boileau

Continuing her outstanding form this year, Boileau had another 19 disposals, four marks – one contested – four tackles and six clearances to be one of the better Panthers yet again. She is still cleaning up that polish, but her ability to extract the ball from the stoppage and use her booming kick to advantage is important. She has the power to take on the opposition, setting up a scoring chain in the opening term by taking a great mark midway through the quarter and hitting up Ifould at half-forward to get it to Tahau for a major.

#52 Melissa Anderson

A solid debut for Anderson who had an injury-interrupted 2022 season. After cutting her teeth through the Development side this season, she finally got her crack at League level and did not disappoint. Playing on-ball, Anderson might have only had the one clearance, but provided great pressure, then when resting forward was able to hit the scoreboard. Thanks to a clean pickup inside 50, she slotted a goal on the run right on the three quarter time siren much to the delight of her teammates.

#56 Lily Baxter

The double bottom-ager played a lively game as she collected 14 disposals, had four inside 50s and slotted two goals. Each touch she seems to have has an impact on the game, and she kicked a great goal off repeat possessions in the opening term. Marking in the middle of the ground, she kicked inside 50 then continued to push hard when her opponent did not go with her. She took another good mark and slotted the goal. She kicked her second with a clever outside of the boot in the fourth minute of the third term. An exciting, athletic talent, Baxter is one to keep an eye on over the next few years.

#60 Kyanne Campbell

Just the two disposals, one contested mark and one inside 50 for Campbell as she had a couple of ‘almost’ moments but was not able to capitalise. That included a touch in the third term where she sidestepped a couple of players but was then brought down. Always looking dangerous, the opposition defence was onto her and did not let her off the chain to hurt them on the scoreboard.

North Adelaide:

#30 Jayde Visser

Had a few moments in the game with some hard running between the arcs to finish with eight disposals, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s. She had a set shot from 40m that just fell short in the goalsquare, then ran hard forward to mark in the last erm, spilt the mark under pressure but Sky Jensen kicked the goal off the spill.

#52 Sarcha Taylor

The dynamic small forward only had the three touches, one tackle and one inside 50 in the game, but applied good pressure when she was near the ball. She had a great pickup, spin and handball early in the game, and while she was unable to do as much damage as she’s capable of, provided that zip inside 50 that forced a defender to be wary of her presence.

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