Scouting Notes: 2023 Talent League Girls – Round 15

JUST four games were on the Coates Talent League Girls agenda, including a top five battle and a bottom two clash. We took note of some of the standout players, focusing on those from the Victorian trials, or non draft-eligible players. All notes are the opinion of the individual author.

  • Team
  • GWV Rebels
  • Eastern Ranges

By: Michael Alvaro


#5 Jessica Rentsch

Employed in the Rebels’ midfield, Rentsch got to showcase her breakaway speed and gutsy contested efforts on Saturday. The National Academy member did all of her best work facing forward, attacking the ball hard and proving near-impossible to lay a hand on once she had exited out the front of a stoppage. Rentsch gained plenty of meterage with her driving runs and looked to attack the corridor at all costs, notching 15 disposals in a productive outing.

#15 Millie Lang

A bottom-ager who reads the play and competes like a far more experienced prospect, Lang was the only Rebel to notch up 20 disposals in Round 15. Among them were seven rebound 50s, with the left-footer making her presence felt on the intercept and carrying her momentum into bustling rebound runs. She won crucial possessions with the ball in dispute and used her 177cm frame to advantage when setting up GWV’s transitional play.

#17 Claire Mahony

Another talented bottom-aged tall in the Rebels’ ranks, Mahony showed glimpses of strong potential en route to 12 disposals, five marks and five inside 50s. At 181cm, she presented as a great aerial outlet up the ground; using her height, mobility, and clean hands to clunk the ball at high points. Mahony was a key link player beyond the arc but also got involved close to goal, snapping a classy major on the turn to put her side ahead during term two.

#27 Tyla Crabtree

Coming off two of her most prolific performances for the season, Crabtree warmed to the contest on Saturday and offered typically strong two-way contested acts. The 161cm midfielder threw herself at the footy both in the air and at ground level, and worked into the game through sheer will. Her effort led to more possessions, ending with 16 and five tackles, as a player who set the tone at the source.


#6 Hayley McLaughlin

McLaughlin has the wing role down pat and proved that again on Saturday as the game’s equal-leading disposal getter. The helmet-donning outside midfielder gathered 23 touches, five marks and six inside 50s throughout a busy outing, where she tracked back and drove forward with great proficiency. Her ability to get loose in attacking phases and run the ball into dangerous launch zones ensured she had maximum impact per possession.

#11 Jess Vukic

There’s a lot to like about what Vukic can do as a mobile ruck-forward, but also a few areas to improve on. The 180cm top-ager regained form with 10 disposals, five tackles and 12 hitouts, impressing with her vertical leap and intent on the follow-up. Vukic wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and was efficient when either tackling or dishing off handballs in congestion. Going forward, she can look to leap through ruck opponents – as opposed to straight up – and have a more sustained impact around the ground – as opposed to just at the contest or inside 50.

#13 Georgie Brisbane

A powerhouse tall forward, Brisbane only registered two minor scores on Saturday but offered her usual presence in attack. The bottom-ager moves extremely well for a 175cm player and while she could have been more one-touch when attempting marks overhead or out in front, she got on her bike and presented strongly at the ball. Brisbane’s four marks and seven tackles highlight the kind of all-round impact she is capable of.

#14 Alyssia Pisano

Eastern tasked its star player with a different role in Round 15, starting Pisano off half-back. She plied her trade there in the first half and was relatively quiet, relying on receives rather than winning a lot of her own ball. Nonetheless, the top-ager produced a couple of brilliant moments with her evasiveness and turn of speed, before distributing classy left-foot kicks. Once shifted forward in the second half, Pisano also snared a trademark goal on her favoured side.

#17 Grace Baba

Baba is a prospect with incredible potential if she can put all the pieces together consistently, which she began to do as Saturday’s game wore on. Stationed in defence, the bottom-ager Recovered her first half fumbles to make good on the great positions she got in, splitting a series of contests and setting off with speed on the rebound. She finished with 15 disposals and three rebound 50s, covering plenty of ground with ball in hand and providing consistent effort.

#22 Grace Belloni

Along with Georgia Knight, Belloni booted two goals and helped Eastern run away with the game in term four. The bottom-ager was polished with the large majority of her 13 touches, getting into positions to create and convert chances on goal. She’s yet another strong figure inside 50 for the Ranges, proving hard to shift off her line and offering balanced traits at 175cm.

#54 Tayla McMillan

McMillan looks like developing into a serious player, but has a while to go in the pathway given her status as a 2025-eligible draft prospect. She was a midfield mainstay on Saturday, looking polished beyond her years and waxing well with her more mature teammates to get on top at the contest. At 161cm, she was also deceptively strong and already has a natural knack for finding the ball, averaging a tick under 20 touches since debuting in Round 10.

  • Team
  • Northern Knights
  • Dandenong Stingrays

By: Peter Williams


#4 Holly Ridewood

The bottom-ager had some very nice moments in the loss, including a terrific run-down tackle at half-back and then was able to control the ball with a deft tap on along the wing. Generally she made good decisions, and got on the end of one in the third term, snapping a goal as she was tackled to the ground.

#5 Zoe Hargreaves

The standout Knight in the loss, Hargreaves was a prime mover in midfield, and critical in getting the ball inside 50, particularly early in the contest. She worked well with Tahlia Plunkett through the middle of the ground, but also brought the heat laying some big tackles. Her first term was a huge one, and she continued to contribute to the final siren. Hargreaves had a chance on goal in the final term coming after a brilliant burst forward to weave past an opponent but her running shot missed to the right.

#11 Hannah Scott

Rock solid in defence all game, Scott played her usual role back there with some strong intercepting, as well as cleaning up messes. Though she could make the odd mistake herself – such as turning it over from a kickout – she followed up with a good tackle to minimise the damage. Generally she saved quite a few forward forays from the Stingrays and got the ball to safety.

#14 Ava Jordan

Playing permanent forward, Jordan bobbed up when required, kicking a goal from a set shot right before the quarter time siren after setting up the opening goal of the contest with a slick handball. She nailed her second goal in the opening minute of the third term, and while she did not win a lot of it, Jordan still presented into ball-winning positions.

Northern Knights Ava Jordan celebrates her second goal of the day | Image credit: Rookie Me Central


#5 Sophie Butterworth

It was another big outing for the left-footed key forward who slotted four goals and probably should have had a couple more. She kicked two from set shots and another two on the move, with her reading of the play and understanding the situation really standing out. She always presented up and brought the ball to ground if she couldn’t have marked it, and even pressured her opponent on a number of occasions, forcing turnovers.

#7 Mikayla Williamson

The AFLW Academy member’s form continued against the Knights, being one of the more prominent ball-winners and using her explosive pace to advantage. She won quite a few clearances both via first and second possession in this method, and got behind the ball to mop up when the Knights did go forward. Her metres gained is what stands out, and she certainly had plenty of those on the weekend.

#8 Meg Robertson

Another prominent midfielder, Robertson was able to get involved all over the ground as she collected 23 disposals, five marks and five inside 50s. She could have capitalised a little better with some chances in the third term going begging, but Robertson has a knack for finding space inside 50 and around the ground. She can find her own ball in contested situations as well, and just ticks a lot of boxes across the board.

#15 Jemaya Bressan

Bobbed up at different points and had some eye-catching moments, Bressan liked to put pressure on the opposition defence with long kicks inside 50. In the third term she did just that, and then shortly after dished off a quick handball, followed up to win it again and kicked deep then won a third touch from that next contest off a handball receive to have a shot that hit the post. Bressan also ran down the speedy Phoebe Hargreaves in a defensive moment to highlight.

#23 Zoe Besanko

It was a strange day for Besanko who while presenting all game, effectively did all of her work in the second term. She booted 2.3 and had at least six of her 10 disposals in the quarter, kicking both her majors within two minutes close to goal. Though composure when heading towards goal is an area to improve, she has the exciting upside that comes with a player of her size and athleticism. She chopped out in the ruck too.

#25 Jemma Reynolds

One of the standouts for the Stingrays, Reynolds did well through the midfield, and won the opening clearance of the second term. She got involved throughout that quarter and then kicked a great goal in the third quarter. Reynolds had a couple of other chances that missed, but she opened up scoring avenues for her teammates, often by hand. The Stingrays bottom-ager also reads the play well and can get into ball-winning positions.

#45 Elli Symonds

The bottom-age ruck was prominent throughout the game and helped herself to 19 disposals, 13 hitouts and a goal against the more physically developed Lauren Jatczak. Symonds had her covered for athleticism and got involved around the ground, always looking to get involved in transition and releasing well by hand. Building nicely ahead of a likely AFLW Under 18s clash against Queensland.

#61 Nikita Harris

Had a massive first half where she did the majority of her work before others took over, but the double bottom-ager showed her burst speed and clean hands both inside and outside the contest. At times there was a slight hesitation before kicking through the ball on the run, but her explosiveness and work rate around the ground made her look like the heir apparent to Williamson in the coming years.

Meg Robertson looks ahead in transition against the Jets | Image credit: Rookie Me Central

  • Team
  • Tasmania Devils
  • Calder Cannons

By: Peter Williams


#8 Sophie Strong

Continually catching the eye with her draftable traits, Strong has those moments that are hard to ignore. Not yet completely consistent, Strong’s second term in particular was outstanding, putting the jets on to leave her opponents in her wake going inside 50. She had a couple of chances on goal that did not quite work out including one being touched on the line, but rather than her stats – 11 disposals – it was her ability to back herself and break the lines from midfield to attack that impressed.

#10 Meg Harrison

Another bottom-ager who keeps having solid performances across the baord, Harrison is a player who is a reliable winger. She drops back into defence and can play a role off half-back too, and while there are areas to work on in her game, she reads the ball well and gets into good positions. Good overhead for her size – taking five marks – she knows how to protect herself in one-on-one contests, and when given time and space can release well by hand or foot.

#14 Candice Belbin

The skipper battled on throughout the four quarters and was a hard worker for the Devils, finding her fair share of the ball and bringing her competitive edge. She occasionally got pinged for doing too much or tackling too vigorously, but never stopped trying to put her body on the line. One of those players from whom you know what you are going to get.

#15 Priya Bowering

Playing through midfield, the young gun was a standout behind Clark, using her strong frame through midfield to win the ball. Also capable of resting up either end, she has a nice first few steps and is dual-sided. Bowering was able to win clearances on both her left and right sides, and looked to thump the ball long to put pressure on the opposition defence.

#24 Georgia Clark

The best on ground, Clark booted three goals from 21 disposals. and was ultimately the match-winner in a low-scoring contest. She competed both in the air and at ground level, and though her first goal came from point-blank range, her other two were from set shots, including one from a great contested mark, and another from a clever lead inside 50. She did plenty throughout the match and has returned to form the last couple of weeks.

#29 Mackenzie Williams

Playing her defensive anchor role at half-back, Williams’ statline should no surprise too many people, with 19 disposals, all of which were kicks. She importantly clunked six marks and had five rebound 50s, pushing up the ground at times to have an impact. She cracked in and put her body on the line, and early in the game took a couple of critical intercept marks in the defensive goalsquare that otherwise would have been goals.

#33 Mackenzie Ford

Another consistent performance from Ford who held her own throughout the contest. She was not afraid to lay some big tackles, but with ball-in-hand put the afterburners on to extract it from the coalface. Her offensive and defensive capabilities make her a well-balanced player, and she has shown some promising signs and is primed for a big national carnival.


#1 Maddison Albrecht

It has been a big few weeks for the tenacious small who was again one of the best afield. Athletically she has some terrific bursts and she is no stranger to defensive pressure despite only standing at 160cm. In the match, she laid nine tackles to go with her 18 disposals, and was rewarded with a clever snap goal late in the second term. Boasting a slick sidestep and capable of wriggling free of a tackle, Albrecht is building nicely in the back half of her bottom-age season.

#3 Chloe Baker-West

Difficult to contain, the Vic Metro Under 16s MVP was again lighting up the stats sheet with a ridiculous 38 disposals, 11 rebound 50s and 13 tackles. She has a high level of defensive pressure and loves to thump it forward, but has the skill and smarts to not only get into ball-winning positions but deliver it well. Often dump kicking when clearing from contests, she can roost it a long way, and her hands at ground level are very solid. On this occasions, she played more of a defensively minded game compare to her past couple of weeks.

#18 Sarah Grunden

It was a mixed bag for Grunden who definitely showed some of her traits that have appealed this year, but also had some tough moments. She was unlucky with a set shot being touched on the line in the fourth term and shortly after a kick in the middle of the ground was smothered. She had further bad luck not winning a free kick for being held as she cleverly kept the ball in play in the pocket, Grunden made her own luck earlier in the game by threading the needle with a tight set shot late in the first term. She showed promising signs and clean hands throughout.

#19 Kyla Forbes

Found her fair share of the ball and loves to swing onto her left side, often off a step or two. She can roost the ball a fair way which helps, and puts pressure on the opposition defence. Forbes almost kicked an early goal but it was marked in the goalsquare by Williams. At times she can tend to rush to get onto her favoured left side, but she knows how to find it and can do damage on the scoreboard as well.

#25 Kayley Kavanagh

It is hard to fault Kavanagh from an effort perspective as she has hardly played a bad game. She cracks in, gives 100 per cent and will do all the team things. Building a nice well-rounded base, Kavanagh generally makes good decisions with ball-in-hand. She did try and burst through two opponents at one stage near half-time and was brought down, but has quick hands at ground level and laid another 12 tackles to go with her 21 touches.

  • Team
  • Western Jets
  • Murray Bushrangers

By: Peter Williams

Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner, Sierra Grieves and Tamara Henry celebrate one of Weston-Turner’s goals | Image credit: Rookie Me Central


#9 Sierra Grieves

Playing full-time forward, Grieves was able to kick a couple of goals and look dangerous whenever she went near it. Though she did not win the numbers she has been through the midfield, her slow transition inside 50 to allow for a role with Metro and develop a second position for the future has been a success. She should have nailed a relatively straight forward set shot in the final term, but brought her teammates into the game inside 50.

#10 Tamara Henry

The standout player on the ground, Henry was strong and clean both through the middle and at half-forward with the safest pair of hands. One of those players that has room for improvement, Henry is one who has blossomed with Grieves’ move forward, taking over more responsibility through the middle and able to use her skill and vision in transition.

#13 Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner

It was a highly anticipated return for the AFLW Academy member who came back for her first game since breaking her wrist. Given her long time out, it was a promising first up game, looking dangerous whenever the ball came near her. Though a little rusty in terms of her timing, she worked hard around the forward 50, kicked a couple of goals and could easily have had a couple more had it not been for her unselfish nature. She also sprayed a couple of chances early, and that has been an area of improvement in the past, but overall for her first game back it was quite impressive.

#14 Kiera Whiley

The Jets skipper held her own through the midfield and played a role that everyone has become accustomed to with Whiley. She laid plenty of tackles and backed up with second and third efforts, while using clean hands to release teammates. She had to fire off some quick bombs out of the stoppages at times, but put her body on the line and won hardballs to clear it forward for her side.


#2 Tamika Rourke

The speedy midfielder was lively again bobbing up at various times to extract it from the stoppage and get it forward. She has clean hands, is strong and has the explosive first few steps that catch the eye. She can run herself into trouble at times and be forced to rush, but her running clearances or sidestepping opponents are outstanding.

#5 Molly McLaren

Working hard on the inside and copping some knocks along the way, McLaren battled on hard throughout the game. She only won the eight touches, but it always feels like more as she either gets her hands to the ball or applies pressure to the opposition. One of the most competitive players going around.

#26 Kaylea Kobzan

Back in a key defensive post after a stint up forward of late, Kobzan provided an intercepting force in the air and was the standout Bushranger in the match. She clunked five marks from 18 disposals and had five rebound 50s to provide some resistance to the Jets’ forward attacks. One of her more impactful games in defence, Kobzan has run into a bit of form ahead of the AFLW Under 18 Championships.

Kaylea Kobzan was Murray Bushrangers’ best on the day against the Jets | Image credit: Rookie Me Central

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