WAFLW Player Focus: Eva Popovsky (Subiaco)

ONE of the most impressive over-agers in the WAFL Women’s competition, Eva Popovsky has bolted into AFLW Draft contention off the back of an impressive start to the 2023 season.

Initially coming into Subiaco’s senior program as a smart small forward, Popovsky has cracked into the midfield over the past couple of months, and was called up to the State Academy squad.

Popovsky is small in stature, but punches well above her weight in terms of her strength. She is a neat right foot kick, and has a balance of offensive and defensive traits.

Though she will have to develop an opposite foot and is not the most explosive player, her smarts and strength hold her in good stead. This week’s Player Focus looks at her Round 14 performance against Peel Thunder.

2023 WAFL Women’s Round 14
Subiaco 5.11 (41) defeated Peel Thunder 0.0 (0)

STATS: 20 disposals (12 kicks, 8 handballs), 3 marks, 6 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 1 goal, 2 behinds


Popovsky started forward as she would often do throughout the match and buzzed around inside 50, making leads and creating space for both herself and teammates.

In the third minute at a forward stoppage, Popovsky won it, burst away shrugging off a would-be tackler but put it on the outside of the right boot due to it being her dominant side. The kick went across the face and bounced out of bounds.

A minute later, Popovsky did it again, using her body at a stoppage to bump off her opponent, won the ball and was involved in a one-two before taking a flying shot at the goal off balance. That shot missed to the right as well, but she was looking dangerous.

For the rest of the term, Popovsky won a number of touches, largely handballs, but was pinged for a last touch trying to disguise a handball as a fumble close to the line in the 12th minute.


Popovsky was quick to find the ball in the second term, having another flying shot on goal that also went to the right, but again used the outside of her right boot.

In the third minute, she lead out from deep forward against two opponents and kept her hands strong to maintain possession in front of her. Not giving up easily she shrugged off one tackler, but was brought down by the second tackler and pinged for holding the ball.

Midway through the quarter, Popovsky marked in the middle of the ground and nailed a pinpoint pass to a teammate on the edge of the centre square at half-forward.

She also laid a good tackle shortly after, before pushing forward again. In the 16th minute, Popovsky received a handball at the top of the goalsquare, snapped around her body and put it through finishing off a productive half well.


It took a little while for Popovsky to make an impact in the third term, but when she won it in the eighth minute, she released a nice handball under pressure in the middle of the ground.

A couple of minutes later, she pushed hard forward, received the handball from Olivia Crane on the run and launched from 45m out. Unfortunately for her, Evie Cowcher was back on the line to mark, but it was set to sail through.

After missing that chance, Popovsky had another kick deep inside 50 after winning it at half-forward, but it was touched off hands on the way through.

Still, the chaos ball lead to Megan Brown finishing off with a goal from close range. Finishing off the term, Popovsky continued to apply pressure in the forward half of the ground and when rotating into the middle.


Popovsky started forward yet again in the fourth term and 90 seconds into the match, received the handball 30m out, but a quick snap off the right bounced far to the right for a second behind.

Pushing up into the middle, she read the ball well off the bounce through traffic, winning it at speed and turning to her right to hit an open target on that 45-degree kick on the attacking side of the centre square.

In the 10th minute, Popovsky found herself in the defensive 50, applying great physical pressure to force a turnover from the Thunder’s defensive 50 exit.

Her final touch in the 17th minute was a good one, marking on the wing and moving it on with a lovely kick to half-forward. It lead to an overlap and another goal to Brown a minute before the final siren.


Popovsky is a naturally gifted footballer who can play both midfield and forward. Though others in her roles might be more athletic, she poses as a high IQ player, and has incredible strength for a 162cm talent. An elite runner, Popovsky just outside the top 10 nationally for the Yo-yo test and has come a long way in a short space of time with Subiaco.

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