AFLW U18s Player Focus: Kiara Bischa (Queensland)

DEFENDERS do not often get the same credit as teammates further afield, but it is hard to deny that Queensland defender Kiara Bischa has enjoyed a great start to her national carnival. She has already had some massive roles – taking on top draft talent Lauren Young and potential top draft talent next year Ash Centra among others – but has held her own for the most part.

Her performance during Queensland’s five-goal win over Vic Country was the subject of our Player Focus, looking not just what she did with the ball, but without it as well.

2023 AFLW Under 18 Championships
Queensland 10.12 (72) def. Vic Country 6.6 (42)

STATS: 14 disposals (11 kicks, 3 handballs | 71.4% efficiency, 58.3% contested), 2 marks, 2 tackles, 1 clearance, 4 rebound 50s


Kiara Bischa started the match on Centra, and her first touch came in the fourth minute of the first term, with a quick and clean pick up in defence, after reading it well and rebounding outside of the defensive 50 to a contest. She nullified the next contest by being pushed out of bounds, then had a number of one-on-ones.

Shortly after, she did get nudged under the ball by Centra playing in front, and then lost her opponent in congestion as Centra took advantage of a loose ball to handball to Lila Keck who snapped Country’s first major of the contest. In the sixth minute, Bischa was again nudged under the ball after playing in front, but was not beaten again, competing aerially in the next one-on-one and bringing the ball to ground.

In the eighth minute, Bischa found herself opposed to Seisia White who overran the ball at half-back. Bischa cleanly took it, was immediately tackled, broke through that one and then another by Bryde O’Rourke, before White went again and dragged her down. Though she arguably could have disposed of it quicker, her strength and determination were impressive.

In the ninth minute, the ball bounced in front of Bischa, and though it went away from her, she followed it up, won it and hit up Sophie Peters with a neat, short pass on the wing. Fast forward to the final few minutes – after Queensland had the ascendancy up the other end, and Bischa beat Lila Keck in a one-onn-one, bringing it to ground and allowed a teammate to clear. She then again beat Keck to the ball close to the boundary, with her opponent throwing her over the line in the last minute of the quarter.


Bischa did not take long to have an impact in the second term, with Vic Country winning the opening clearance and inside 50, where Bischa scooped it off the deck at speed, sidestepped an opponent and nailed a kick to Tara Harrington down the ground. In the sixth minute, she was able to spoil a ball against Centra in an impressive win.

Unfortunately the defender was rested during a critical time that saw Centra boot two goals in two minutes up against the smaller Brooke Sheridan. Upon her return, Bischa read the ball well with a kick inside 50 off O’Rourke’s boot to mark in front of Centra.

Bischa was happy to let Centra get into the congestion if she could protect the corridor and be waiting for a dump kick out of the stoppage. Unfortunately Country won a free in that instance, but a minute later, Bischa had another great clean pickup under pressure, and utilised a quick sidestep to kick outside the defensive 50.

Unfortunately that kick was intercepted, but Bischa got back to the goalsquare in a two-on-two situation, won the contest against Centra after her opponent dropped it, and was able to clear via hand to release the pressure valve on the situation.


For the first half of the third term, there was not much to report on Bischa as she had a pretty easy time up the opposite end of the field. Queensland dominated proceedings kicking five goals to one in the quarter, with the defender winning her first touch in the 11th minute of the term.

Bischa cleanly took it one-grab off hands in the defensive 50, was tackled but got an effective handball away. Darting back to goal as Vic Country won it back via turnover, Bischa desperately tried to rush the ball across, but among a host of players on the goalline, Vic Country forward Chantal Mason got her boot to it and kicked a goal.

A minute later, going head-to-head with White, Bischa applied a good bump to force a kick out on the full. She took the subsequent kick and crossed the defensive 50 to Sheridan who cleared it from danger. In the 17th minute of the term, Bischa took a brilliant contested mark against Mason in a two-on-two pack, reading it all the way to her hands. She finished off her quarter with a lovely kick to Sienna McMullen.


Vic Country had more ascendancy in the fourth term, and Bischa had a rare mistake in the air, dropping a mark she should have taken in the first two minutes. She quickly mopped up to win the ball and kick effectively to the wing, but her teammate also dropped the ball. Bischa followed up from that kick to win a hardball off the deck and dish off an effective handball.

At the five-minute mark, Bischa won a handball receive at half-back, went to kick on her left but then naturally shifted onto her right which resulted in the disposal being a dribbler along the ground. A minute later, she was able to disguise a deliberate out of bounds with a well-timed fumble against Mason. Moments later, she would spoil her opponent who flew up to try and take a huge grab inside 50.

In the ninth minute, Bischa took the kickout, and a bounce, going long to half-back, but after coming off hands it came back into the danger zone. She applied enough pressure on Sophie Butterworth with a bump to force a spill and then lock it up. Her last disposal was a kickout that went to 45m out but that came off hands, landed with Centra who set up a goal to Lily Jordan.


Kiara Bischa is still a developing talent, but what she does have is some traits that clubs can work on, and a natural competitive instinct that shows she hates to be beaten. Playing on some of the best players in junior football, while Bischa can be beaten due to their extra height, she is more than capable of doing what she can to bring the ball to ground.

Unlike many who might try and outmark their opponent, Bischa knows she has the pace and clean hands at ground level to win it if she can spoil, but if the time came to pull down a mark, she is equally capable of that. That aspect is what stands out, because she can win it aerially or at ground level, and aside from being nudged under the ball on a number of occasions, generally held her own.

A top-age defender in a draft where there are not a heap of defensive options who can play tall or small, Bischa is quietly making a name for herself at the national carnival, with her final game to come against the Allies on Sunday.

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