WAFLW Player Focus: Jaime Henry (Swan Districts)
SWAN Districts talent Jaime Henry is one of three West Australians in the AFL Women’s Academy and looms as a top-end AFLW Draft pick at the end of the year. Boasting outstanding footy IQ, terrific strength and a nous for winning the contested ball, Henry is capable of playing as a midfielder or a defender. In this week’s WAFL Women’s Player Focus, we take a look at her big performance against West Perth where she racked up 24 disposals at 67 per cent disposal efficiency.
2023 WAFL Women’s Round 10
Swan Districts 10.6 (66) def. West Perth 2.4 (16)
STATS: 24 disposals (16 kicks, 8 handballs – 67% efficiency), 13 contested possessions, 4 marks, 2 tackles, 4 clearances, 5 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s
Jaime Henry surprisingly started out of the centre square at the opening bounce, but quickly rotated in there a few minutes later. She had a kick from the wing into the middle for her first touch, and then won a free kick at half-forward and went inside 50.
Later on in the opening term, Henry was able to do what she does best and extract the ball out of congestion, using her strength and clean hands to dish out a couple of handballs to teammates. She worked well under pressure, and even spun out of a stoppage at one point to create her own space. Another touch later in the term saw he get boot to ball in a stoppage while being dragged down, but that unfortunately went out on the full.
Henry started on-ball in the second term and won a clearance in the opening two minutes by bullocking through and kicking inside 50. She continued to use her power to move through the congestion, winning another touch – a handball – in the fifth minute to get it out to a teammate. A further kick inside 50 was turned over a minute later, before the top-ager covered the ground well to get back into defence and mop up at half-back, giving off a clean handball.
Henry went on to win a free kick for a great tackle shortly after, and her subsequent kick hit the target on the wing. She finished off the term by pushing to half-forward and going up for a mark, and while she was spoiled, provided a strong second effort by laying a tackle on Liliana Grassenis.
Henry took a little bit to get involved in the third term, with a handball in the sixth minute after being spoiled going for a mark, but was quick to recover. She kicked down the wing effectively a few minutes later and then pushed up to win another touch. From there, she kicked long down the wing which was also effective.
In the eighth minute, Henry took a strong intercept mark at half-forward, then tricked the player on the mark she was going right, but the natural left footer swung back onto her preferred side, selling candy in the process. She delivered beautifully inside 50 yo a leading target. Shortly after, Henry and Kayla Van Den Heever crashed into each other in a courageous marking contest, which Henry recovered to win it and deliver inside 50.
Another strong mark in the middle and pinpoint pass to a teammate followed that, before winning a contested ball at a stoppage and feeding out a handball by wrestling her arms free. Henry’s final touch in the quarter was when she tried to take on a couple of opponents and was dragged down. Though she got a handball out, it went out of bounds and was deemed last touch.
In the fifth minute of the final term, Henry won a touch via a fend-off and kicked to a contest at half-forward. She almost had a couple more touches shortly after, but was tackled by Van Den Heever on two separate instances. After a quieter term through the next 10 minutes, Henry won a contested ball on the wing and was able to get it to Courtney Zappara. Henry’s final touch came in the 16th minute when she won the ball on a wing and kicked down to Cassie McWilliam at half-forward with great effect.
CLOSING THOUGHTS ….
Jaime Henry is one of the top prospects in Western Australia and has been the most consistent over the last two and a half years. As one who is more than capable of competing with senior players at the top level, Henry is one of the safest selections, and could be deployed as either an inside midfielder or tall defender, which makes her more important to a team’s structure.