2023 WAFLW State Scouting notes: Round 11
IN the latest edition of our WAFL Women’s State scouting notes for Round 11 of the 2023 season, we highlighted 10 players across the four games who are members of the 2023 State Academies and stood out across the competition.
#2 Eva Popovsky (Subiaco)
The tough over-age talent continued her strong form in the midfield, racking up 16 disposals and six tackles. She put her body on the line several times and bulldozed her way through stoppages. Popovsky had an outstanding run-down tackle in the final term with her subsequent free kick being effective. It was another impressive defensive game for the clean inside talent.
#40 Olivia Wolmarans (Subiaco)
Presenting up forward once again, Wolmarans has well and truly adapted to the level, picking up another 16 disposals. She was ultimately better at ground level once bringing the ball to the deck, and ended up kicking a great goal by getting forward and running home to get on the board. Though she is still ironing out some fundamentals in her game, Wolmarans is definitely one the most exciting prospects to keep an eye on for the future.
Double bottom-ager Olivia Crane was able to impact the game behind the ball, with Madison Dodd also competing well. Charlotte Newland took up her place in defence, while Jaime Henry was tightly guarded in the midfield after a huge game last round.
#7 Georgie Cleaver (East Fremantle)
The ruck/forward has pieced together some nice form over the past month and that continued on the weekend by kicking two goals against the Royals. Her first came after a good mark from 30m out and her second was a running goal showcasing her athleticism in the third quarter. She was busy not just in the air, but also at ground level, providing a great “fourth midfielder” role once she had competed in the ruck stoppage. Cleaver recorded 13 disposals, four marks, 14 hitouts, five inside 50s and 2.1 for her troubles.
#38 Zippy Fish (East Fremantle)
The silky defender spent a lot more time in the midfield this week, but still worked back into defence and found space to intercept or mop up. On several occasions she won the ball from the centre stoppage and burst through in an elite play, hitting a bullet pass to Raison on the lead. The bottom-ager can provide highlights on the regular that few others can, which makes her move into midfield very exciting.
Anjelique Raison had plenty of chances but was not as potent in front of goal as the week before, only kicking the one major while having a few drift to the side or just fall short. She still brought the heat to be the best of the rest, while Tayah Palmer provided a spark in the third quarter with two goals before hurting herself in the final term and having to be helped off. Natasha Entwistle, Caylen Crook and Taya Chambers were the other State Academy members running around for the Sharks.
#2 Evie Cowcher (Peel Thunder)
The double bottom-age defender was at it again being an intercepting force to be reckoned with in the back 50. Time and time again she would fly in to either clunk a mark or bring it to ground, showing off her outstanding reading of the play and game awareness. She generally made the right decisions wit ball-in-hand and continued her outstanding debut League season with 21 disposals and six marks.
#13 Kaitlyn Srhoj (Peel Thunder)
In her best game of the season, Srhoj was able to use her speed on a number of occasions through the midfield and look to release teammates running back. She had a chance late in the third term in the goalsquare but was paid a free against, though kept cracking in and working hard to win the ball in each third of the ground to be one of the Thunder’s best.
#40 Holly Britton (Peel Thunder)
Easily her best game of the year, Britton really looked comfortable rotating between the wing and stoppages and provides a hard edge that can mix with her nice evasion. Using her slick sidestep on a number of occasions, Britton is comfortable at evasion, but also usually looks to flick off a handball to a teammate. With ball-in-hand she can use the ball well enough and had good vision at the coalface.
West Perth winger Megan Norbury showed some promising signs throughout the game, while Liliana Grassenis started in defence then went forward and kicked a goal from a set shot after a great mark early in the third term. For the Thunder, Dakota Sexton created some run and carry, while Kate Newson competed in the ruck.
#33 Molly O’Hehir (South Fremantle)
Playing at half-forward, O’Hehir gave her side the spark it needed in the second term when she won a 50m penalty for encroachment to slot the goal from point-blank range. She kicked her second goal a minute later in much more eye-catching fashion, collecting it at ground level and weaving between two opponents to slam it home on the run.
#16 Ella Slocombe (Claremont)
Though she did not hit the scoreboard this week, the midfielder/forward still showed off some trademark burst from the stoppage and looked to crack in. She was not able to have as much time and space as she normally would, but still managed 12 disposals, four marks and two tackles.
#36 Mackenzie Webb (Claremont)
Doing a job in the back 50 each and every week, the Claremont tall was again strong throughout the match and a key reason why the Tigers were able to contain the dangerous South forwardline for the most part. Webb had 11 disposals and took four marks, and was good one-on-on yet again.
The remaining State Academy members all finished with seven touches or less, but chipped in when they could including South Fremantle’s Noa McNaughton who was tightly watched. Claremont trio Juliet Kelly, Charlotte Tompkin and Jayde Musika also played in the match.