2023 WAFLW State Scouting notes: Round 12
IN the latest edition of our WAFL Women’s State scouting notes for Round 12 of the 2023 season, we highlighted 10 players across three of the four games and are members of the 2023 State Academies.
Note: The match between Swan Districts and East Perth did not feature any current State Academy members, with top talent Jaime Henry not playing.
#16 Ella Slocombe (Claremont)
Cementing her spot as the bolter from Western Australia, Slocombe just keeps getting the job done with a nice balance of offensive and defensive traits. Picking up 14 disposals, three inside 50s and laying eight tackles, Slocombe also kicked a classy goal in the final term thanks to a brilliant spin inside 50. She used the ball well and is clean at ground level, with an all-round game of smarts and athleticism.
#19 Juliet Kelly (Claremont)
Playing her best game for the season, the double bottom-ager was composed with ball-in-hand en route to 15 touches for the Tigers. She provided some nice rebound and did take a nice intercept mark at half-forward. Though Kelly still has plenty of development left, she is tracking nicely in the competition’s benchmark side.
#2 Eva Popovsky (Subiaco)
The 2004-born Popovsky is a player who is thereabouts in terms of her potential to go to the next level, with the inside midfielder defying her size. She cracks in with intent and has outstandingly clean hands at the coalface, with defensive pressure always a feature of her game. She laid nine tackles to go with her 15 disposals and four marks, able to get to the outside after feeding the ball from the inside.
#15 Olivia Crane (Subiaco)
Spending more and more time up the field, Crane is such a smooth mover with the way she operates. Able to mop up in defence and drive the ball down the field, the left-footer has great vision and looks to hit-up those risky kicks to help her side. In Broome, Crane managed 15 disposals, two marks, four tackles and four inside 50s.
Subiaco utility Madison Dodd held her own and played in defence this week picking up 13 disposals, two marks, seven tackles and two inside 50s. Tall forward Olivia Wolmarans produced a massive bump on an opponent in the first term, and rolled through the ruck for 10 disposals and 11 hitouts. Charlotte Newland held her place in the Lions’ defence, while for the Tigers, Mackenzie Webb had some important moments up the other end with 12 disposals and two marks.
#2 Evie Cowcher (Peel Thunder)
The star double bottom-ager was outstanding in defence with her intercepting ability, particularly in the first term. She pulled down a ridiculous amount of marks, and would finish with 12 for the game, as well as a league-high 30 disposals. Her efficiency was a touch lower than usual due to extra South numbers pressing up, but had it not been for her intercepting abilities and drive out of defence, the result could have got more ugly.
#15 Renee Morgan (South Fremantle)
On her League debut, the 2007-born Morgan was prolific, playing off half-back and pushing into the midfield at times. She racked up 23 disposals and had nine inside 50s, with a lot of those coming in the second half. Morgan adapted to the contest and speed of the game, with outstanding foot skills and smarts that showed she will play plenty more games at the level.
#33 Molly O’Hehir (South Fremantle)
Building some really nice form for the Bulldogs this year, O’Hehir spent more time in the midfield this week and was able to extract the pill from the stoppages and explode away. She has a booming kick and can beat most players on-on-one in the air and at ground level, and set up goal-scoring opportunities on multiple occasions. She should have finished herself but her set shot missed to the right. Overall a promising game which featured 23 disposals and seven inside 50s.
#1 Noa McNaughton (South Fremantle)
The crafty small forward got a chance in the midfield at times and did not let her side down, finishing the game with 19 disposals, but also capitalising on two goals. Her forward craft is as good as anyone’s in the country, so it was no surprise to see both majors coming from outstanding pickups off the deck, weaving through traffic and getting boot to ball. McNaughton should have had a third major when she ran into goal in the opening minute but the rushed kick hit the post on the way through.
#13 Kaitlyn Srhoj (Peel Thunder)
Playing arguably her best game of the WAFLW season – and building on her benchmark of last year, Srhoj spent a fair bit of time off half-back where she could utilise her running to best effect. When in the midfield, Srhoj had a nice couple of bursts from the stoppage, and finished with 20 disposals, six marks, five tackles and two inside 50s.
Peel Thunder had another trio of State Academy members who played, with Holly Britton having another solid game using clean hands at the coalface, while Dakota Sexton worked hard on the inside. The pair both recorded double-digit disposals, while ruck Kate Newson had seven hitouts competing against quality opposition.
#38 Zippy Fish (East Fremantle)
It was business as usual for Fish who started the game on fire running from half-back and having multiple early touches. She then kicked a goal pushing high to half-forward, where she slammed home a goal from 40m. As good as any prospect next year with her elite skill and decision making, Fish had an instant where mid run with an opponent bearing down, she signalled to a teammate where to lead when kicking inside 50. Her professionalism and consistency is hard to match. Fish had 14 disposals, two marks, three tackles, four inside 50s and a goal, and her 14 disposals are like 30 for value.
Making it 17 consecutive WAFLW matches with a goal, Anjelique Raison found the big sticks with a nice snap under pressure midway through the final term. She realistically should have walked away with a few goals, with one from close range pushed to the right early,, and another snap that just missed. Taya Chambers had some nice plays from the defensive half of the ground, while Caylen Crook cracked in applied good pressure. For the Falcons, Liliana Grassenis worked hard all day and kicked a consolation goal in the final minute of the match, sidestepping an opponent and getting to her left side from 20m out.