Scouting Notes: 2023 Talent League Girls – Round 6

ONLY the three games were played across the Coates Talent League Girls Round 6 with Oakleigh Chargers, Eastern Ranges and Northern Knights all winning to occupy the top three spots on the ladder. We took note of some of the top performers from their respective victories. All scouting notes are the opinion of the individual writer.

  • Team
  • Northern Knights
  • Western Jets

By: Michael Alvaro


#1 Winnie Buckley

In a game packed with repeat stoppages, Buckley was one of many midfielders who racked up strong numbers. She landed on a team-high 25 touches, including 18 handballs in conditions which allowed her to showcase her strengths. The hard working bottom-ager proved clean at the contest and played the basics well, dishing off quickly and allowing others to carry the ball on the outside.

#5 Zoe Hargreaves

Northern has unleashed a slew of promising bottom-agers this season, and Hargreaves may well be the best of the lot. The powerful midfielder went to work with 24 disposals and nine tackles in another imposing outing, making her presence felt with and without the ball. She was very difficult to move off the line of the ball and even harder to bring down in tackles, often seen bustling her way to the outside or bursting through the corridor at speed. A snap on goal in the last five minutes would have capped off her day nicely, but went wide.

#11 Hannah Scott

In two 20-plus disposal outings this season, Scott has been an absolute force off half-back. She won 23 touches on Saturday and provided unrelenting rebound run, carrying her forward momentum on each intercept possession. He pressed a high line behind the ball and had a happy knack for being in all the right spots to cut off Western kicks, before turning defence into attack with five inside 50s.

#12 Tahlia Plunkett

Playing a similar role to Buckley, Plunkett was one of five Knights who ticked up over 20 touches, finishing with 23 to go with five tackles rotating through midfield. The bottom-ager showed terrific stoppage craft, creating space for herself at the fall of the ball and proving polished once it hit the deck. Plunkett even troubled the scorers after winning a high free kick in term three, slotting the set shot with aplomb. She almost made it two straight with a snap shortly after, but couldn’t quite pull the kick around enough.

#14 Ava Jordan

Though not as prolific as usual while others shone in the midfield battle, Jordan still produced her usual moments of class with 15 disposals. She started in attack before rotating on-ball, making great decisions when given the time and space to do so, but also proving shrewd in the clinches. For what she may lack, the top-ager boasts an enviable all-round skillset of smarts and skill, making most of her touches good ones.


#9 Sierra Grieves

Comfortably the most prolific player afield, Grieves took out Player of the Week honours in her side’s Round 6 defeat. The bottom-ager accumulated 36 disposals, six marks and four inside 50s, working hard in midfield to give the Jets a chance at staying in the game. Much of her early work consisted of quick possessions; either flicking the ball out by hand or blasting it on her boot, but Grieves began to find smoother exits as the game wore on and was more composed. Her running capacity got her from contest to contest with proficiency, and she also rolled up her sleeves to lay eight tackles. Yet to kick a goal this season, Grieves has a couple of chances to do so but alas, a six-pointer eluded her for another week.

#10 Tamara Henry

In the absence of Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner, Henry was essentially Western’s primary tall forward at 171cm and proved a more than capable target. The top-ager worked high up the ground and through the corridor, showcasing clean fundamentals to mark much of what came her way before dishing off without fuss. As the link player between the arcs, Henry was happy to sit under high kicks and absorbed contact well when competing in the air or on the deck. She covered plenty of ground with and without possession, even taking the game on with some run-and-carry. The only thing missing was a goal, which Henry couldn’t quite nail with a couple of attempts on the run.

#11 Lou-Lou Field

Western’s most prolific player outside of the centre bounces, Field managed 20 disposals (19 kicks), five marks and eight rebound 50s in her usual role down back. While others tended to blaze away long, the bottom-ager looked to find space before disposing of the ball, even if that was tough to do in the early stages. She scrapped away in the second half and began to showcase her ability to run and kick sharply, even getting a go in midfield. Among her best moments was a big pack mark in defensive 50, crashing in from the side.

#14 Kiera Whiley

After a pair of 15-disposal outings, Whiley broke through for a season-high 23 touches this week. The Jets’ skipper was exclusively employed on-ball, but changed it up by rucking at a few centre bounces and proved strong as usual at the contest. Whiley looked best when dishing the ball out by hand and allowing others to clear on the outside, but began to drive her legs as the game opened up after half time. She adjusted nicely throughout the game to become more defensively aware at stoppage, in addition to laying nine tackles.

  • Team
  • Oakleigh Chargers
  • Calder Cannons

By: Peter Williams


#2 Sarah Poustie

Starting on-ball in a different role to her usual wing position, Poustie showed off her versatility. Already boasting a great work rate, Poustie is clean at ground level and neat with her touches, not having an issue covering the field. Impressively, the Chargers bottom-ager hit the scoreboard with a set shot goal late in the third term. She finished with 31 touches, seven marks, 14 tackles and a goal.

#5 Abbey Vicino

Vicino is a player who just gets into the right positions and knows how to find the ball. She is building a very solid bottom-age season since coming into the Chargers program, and while her execution is still an area of improvement, Vicino has the sweet sidestep and evasion to work her way through traffic and put the ball into dangerous positions down the ground.

#6 Maggie Mahony

The tenacious midfielder punches above her weight but is so quick around the stoppages, and strong in the hips that she can take the tackle and dispose of the ball, and likewise provide some physical pressure of her own. Mahony could have been cleaner at ground level a few times, but has the smarts and kicked a great goal in the final term from a snap. She should have had two with a set shot from 15m just a moment earlier missing.

#8 Lara Hausegger

Running out of defence, Hausegger was able to hold a higher line against the Cannons with her Chargers side well on top. She took some strong intercept marks early, then was largely used to mop up when required and drive the ball down the field. Hausegger can be deadly when given time and space, and her movement through traffic is very good. Under pressure she can tend to rush her kicks a little, but she still has a great influence on the game in transition.

#10 Amy Cariss-Brett

Playing her best game of the year, Cariss-Brett was outstanding on the wing, running all day long and providing both a switch option and a target in open space. Highly regarded as one to watch this year, Cariss-Brett often won the ball between the arcs, and thumped the ball inside 50. She had 28 disposals, seven marks and seven inside 50s, and was a key reason why the Chargers were able to get on top and particularly break the lines.

#20 Lily Hart

The over-age talent is likely to develop into a small forward if given her chance at AFLW level, so playing that role in the Round 6 match was an important look into what she is capable of. Hart is clean and smart and finished the game with three goals to her name, including two from set shots. She also set up another couple of majors to her teammates, and was more influential in this match to others because of her creativity inside 50.

#23 Maiya Stobie

The dangerous goalsneak just keeps hitting the scoreboard, and it was no surprise she dined out on the amount of forward looks the Chargers had. She finished with four goals all within that forward 50 arc and three of which were snaps around her body. A fourth major came after the siren in the third term, but she also set up the first goal of the match to Amelie Gladman.

#25 Emma McDonald

Continuing her impressive first season at the Chargers, the athletic key forward produced her best game thus far, showing off all her tricks. She spun, burst away, clunked good marks and set up teammates, while also finishing off herself. She won a free kick late in the first term and nailed the long-range set shot with ease. While she missed a couple of chances – one being a quick shot from 40m and the other a soccer off the deck – all in the first term, she looked dangerous throughout the match.


#19 Kyla Forbes

The talented bottom-age left footer was a prime mover in the midfield, providing some burst out o the stoppages. She read the ball off hands well and was the most prominent Cannons midfielder in terms of metres gained, with her main blemish being a brilliant running clearance going up the wrong end midway through the second quarter. Forbes has a low penetrating kick that can be impactful going forward, and though she did not always have the space she loves, Forbes still battled on for four quarters.

#25 Kayley Kavanagh

Kavanagh is a 100 per cent effort player each and every week, producing another big production game of 27 disposals in the heavy loss. Along with her natural defensive and ball-winning traits that included 16 tackles, she was clean at ground level and quick by hand, though had a tough time with the Oakleigh swarm around her more often than not. She was the most consistent Cannon across four quarters as she has been all year.

  • Team
  • Eastern Ranges
  • Sandringham Dragons

By: Peter Williams


#6 Hayley McLaughlin

McLaughlin has established herself as a hard-running winger over the last two seasons and picked up another 19 touches against the Dragons. She adds a balance of offensive and defensive impact and works well between the arcs. She took a few good grabs and is quick and clean by hand which helps her release to teammates and keep the ball in motion.

#10 Laura Stone

One of the most consistent players this season, Stone just keeps on getting the job done in midfield. She accumulated another 20 disposals in the win, and also had nine inside 50s. Her ability to read the ball off taps is very good and is a better second possession winner from the stoppages. Her aerial ability is strong for a midfielder and she spreads incredibly well. A couple of times she could have scooped the ball up a little cleaner, but all in all she has a wide variety of skills that influence a contest.

#11 Jess Vukic

The AFLW Academy ruck/forward produced one of her best games of the season, not just because of her impact in the ruck, but being able to spread around the ground and find the ball and offer herself as a target. She had the 13 touches and 13 hitouts, along with four inside 50s. She did not quite finish off with a flying snap late on goal in the last minute of the fourth term, but she put the ball into dangerous spots consistently.

#14 Alyssia Pisano

Pisano is one of those players who is a nightmare matchup because even if as a defender you keep her completely nullified for 70 minutes in an 80-minute match, she can still kick multiple goals in the blink of an eye. That is exactly what happened in the second term after Pisano was kept out of it in the opening quarter. Between the sixth and 10th minutes of the quarter, the talented small kicked three goals and hit the post to move her side from six points down to 13 points up. Her positioning, footy IQ and clean hands at speed were outstanding, and she is the standout Victorian prospect this year in terms of her all-round natural ability.

#19 Ava Campbell

The rebounding defender got further afield in the match against the Dragons and was one of the best going around. Her aerial prowess has always been a strength, but with the Ranges getting on top later, she was able to hold a higher line and intercept on a number of occasions. At one stage, she took three straight intercept marks, though her first two long kicks going inside 50 were intercepted themselves. Overall, she was able to find plenty of the ball and work hard from the back 50 to provide some run and use her raking boot to get the ball moving in transition.


#8 Judie Goldman

Primarily used as an inside midfielder with clean hands, Goldman was a first possession winner who extracted the ball time and time again for her teammates to run away with it. Though not able to show off her own speed too often due to the area she was winning it, the bottom-ager showed great courage and was quick with ball-in-hand. Along with her 22 disposals, Goldman laid six tackles and had three inside 50s.

#12 Annabelle Embelton

The key position defender played her best game of the year, and while her role was largely the same – mopping up in defence and kicking long – she did have a couple of strong defensive efforts that stood out. One in particular was an intercept mark on the goalline to save a certain goal, and the 178cm defender looked to run at all costs. Her play was largely aimed at clearing the defence and getting it to a teammate 60m on the boundary, but she competed strongly one-on-one.

#14 Mia Zielinski

Playing just her second game of the year, it was evident Zielinski can be quite a handful for any opposition defender. But with the X-factor comes unpredictability and Zielinski effectively had a bit of everything from a deadeye set shot through the middle to a flying snap missing everything, and then other shots that fell short. In the end, she kicked 2.2 from nine disposals and five marks, with her strong hands and leading patterns the standout area. Finishing off more consistently could have netted her up to five snags, but a promising game.

#15 Sophie McKay

McKay was a standout for the Dragons and the subject of our Coates Talent League Girls Player Focus this week. She provided run and carry, and won it on the inside and outside, as well as being a capable, creative forward. She racked up 24 disposals, three marks, three inside 50s, four rebound 50s and laid seven tackles, with her full performance detailed in our Player Focus.


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