Croweaters confirm 2023 AFLW U18s squad

SOUTH Australia confirmed its 30-player squad for the upcoming 2023 AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships today. The squad, which will feature reigning carnival MVP Shineah Goody as well as previous South Australian MVP Lauren Young, will be eyeing off back-to-back titles after going undefeated in last year’s event.

The Croweaters will head into the three-match carnival as favourites, with an AFLW Academy midfield of Goody, Young, Piper Window and Molly Brooksby who could arguably be the top four players in this year’s AFLW Draft. A big loss for the squad – though a win for the state’s development – was the selection of Glenelg ruck Matilda Scholz to Port Adelaide, which would have completed a ridiculously strong centre square group.

South Australia does have the depth though, with Central District defender Charlotte Riggs capable of playing ruck, as is developing South Adelaide tall Jacinda Schunselaar who has cut her teeth at Development Level. Other talls include bottom-age utility Lucy Boyd and Scholz’s younger sister Poppy who has been playing in defence this season after being a wing in 2022.

The father-daughter rule will be one to watch for a couple of key players in the upcoming championships, with Port Adelaide Academy member Marlie Fiegert – daughter of Nigel – and tenacious winger Violet Patterson – daughter of former Pie, Stephen – among those with club ties.

Though the Scholz sisters will not get to play together, there will be a pair of sisters running out alongside each other in the Charity’s. The oldest of the pair is top-age tall Chloe Charity who has played as a defender but switched forward this season, while younger sister Jemma is a classy forward who will be a midfielder long-term.

Returning for another year in the tri-colours are the likes of Central District speedster Elaine Grigg, Sturt defender Lily Whitcombe and exciting forward India Rasheed who will all get the chance to don the jumper again. One big improver this season has been Zara Walsh who caught the eye as an athletic forward with a rangy kick and X-factor, and has cracked into the State Academy squad after going back to play local footy the last couple of years.

From a top-age perspective, others who are into the squad this year include a South Adelaide quartet Holly Ifould, Melissa Anderson, Brooke Boileau and Alissa Brook. Boileau has been the most consistent of the four, playing as a big-bodied inside midfielder, with fellow contested ball-winner Anderson cracking in for her debut last round. Ifould has played as a running winger, while Brook is yet to step up to the League side, but is an athletic tall defender.

The remaining players in the squad are all 2006-born talents, with the exception of Monique Bessen and Sophie Eaton. Bessen is a versatile talent out of Sturt who is eligible for the Under 16s squad, as is Eaton who has proven herself as a high-upside forward with good hands and a long kick.

North Adelaide’s Laela Ebert and Norwood’s Coby Morgan will provide some pace in the front half of the ground, while Grace Martin and Ruby Ballard are other bottom-agers who have shown talent through Eagles and West Adelaide respectively. The remaining three players are defenders Esther Schirmer (South Adelaide) and Emma Kilpatrick (West Adelaide), and Bloods’ utility Asha Dufour who played on the wing in Round 5.

South Australia will be coached by former assistant Jason Rivett who replaces outgoing mentor, Tim Weatherald. Rivett will have a strong coaching panel of Bek McMahon, Bill Economou and Craig Lum.

The Croweaters take on Western Australia in Perth on April 30, with further matches on July 9 (Vic Metro in Melbourne) and July 16 (Queensland in Adelaide). They will also face a SANFL Women’s Under 23s side on June 25 as a warm-up for those final two matches.


Elaine GriggCentral
Jasmine EvansCentral
Charlotte RiggsCentral
Sophie EatonCentral
Piper WindowGlenelg
Violet PattersonGlenelg
Poppy ScholzGlenelg
Laela EbertNorth
Coby MorganNorwood
Molly BrooksbyNorwood
Jacinda SchunselaarSouth
Melissa AndersonSouth
Esther SchirmerSouth
Holly IfouldSouth
Alissa BrookSouth
Brooke BoileauSouth
Monique BessenSturt
Lily WhitcombeSturt
India RasheedSturt
Zara WalshSturt
Asha DufourWest
Ruby BallardWest
Emma KilpatrickWest
Lucy BoydWest
Lauren YoungWest
Jemma CharityWoodville-West Torrens
Chloe CharityWoodville-West Torrens
Marlie FiegertWoodville-West Torrens
Shineah GoodyWoodville-West Torrens
Grace MartinWoodville-West Torrens

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