2023 RM Central Talent League Girls Team of the Year

OUR 2023 Rookie Me Central Talent League Girls Team of the Year has been confirmed. The 24 players selected – as well as three emergencies – has been locked in with the top four sides combining for 13 of those representatives.

The official Talent League Girls Team of the Year will be announced tomorrow night at the virtual awards night, but the Rookie Me Central Team of the Year focuses on purely Talent League performances. Based around our Team of the Weeks each round, the 24-player squad features 12 of the 13 full-time clubs.

Last week, our 48-player squad was released, with each representative needing to have played more than 50 per cent of the season (seven games). From the 48-player squad, the final 24-strong team would be selected.


Geelong Falcons topped all-comers with four representatives, while Eastern Ranges, Oakleigh Chargers, Dandenong Stingrays shared the load with three each. Calder Cannons, Tasmania Devils and Western Jets also had multiple players in the side. The remaining five players were spread across the other talent pathways, with Murray Bushrangers being the only team not represented on this occasion.


Lou-Lou Field (Western Jets)

The bottom-age talent is already well experienced at Talent League level, having been involved with the Jets program as a triple bottom-ager. Boasting a damaging left foot and a capacity to beat her opponent one-on-one in the air or at ground level, she looms as one of the top Victorian defenders for next year.

Sienna Tallariti (Oakleigh Chargers)

Though often undersized against taller forwards, Tallariti has some outstanding hands, reads the play brilliantly and rarely makes a mistake by foot. Though trialled through both the midfield and up forward, she has found her position in defence, and has been a consistent rebounding machine for the Chargers.

Mackenzie Williams (Tasmania Devils)

Completing the full-back line of bottom-agers, Williams is a natural ball-winner who loves to mop up and take grass wherever she can. With a booming kick she can put to good use, and a natural competitiveness in the air and at ground level, she is a top Tasmanian talent for 2024.


Ash Centra (Gippsland Power)

Already having a Vic Country MVP under her belt, Centra makes our Team of the Year for a second successive season. After playing forward in her double bottom-age year, Centra found her home in defence, with her strong hands, elite kick and strong decision making among a wide array of weapons in her game.

Millie Lang (GWV Rebels)

An easy lock for the Team of the Year centre half-back role due to the fact she played there full-time all year for the Rebels. Often having to take the big jobs while providing intercepting ability, Lang is a full-on offensive player with an outstanding left foot. She can also use her right, and her work rate is impressive.

Laura Stone (Eastern Ranges)

The oldest player in the defence, Stone is the only top-ager amongst the back six. She has explosive speed, good hands and can play on all three lines. Having started as a defender and played time there this season, she slots in at half-back, though will be a midfielder long-term at AFLW level.


Mikayla Williamson (Dandenong Stingrays)

Vic Country’s co-captain and All-Australian, Williamson had a slight delay to the Talent League season, but once she hit her straps she never looked back. Her explosive pace, dare to run, and balance of offensive and defensive traits make her a valuable utility, earning her a spot on the wing.

Kayley Kavanagh (Calder Cannons) (vc)

Picking up the most Team of the Week nominations from a top-age perspective, Kavanagh was another easy choice for the centre position. Though she started the year as a pure inside midfielder, Kavanagh has improved her outside game and is now well balanced and having outstanding impact across the field. Kavanagh earned the vice-captaincy for her incredible consistency and eight nominations.

Zoe Hargreaves (Northern Knights)

Capable of playing in a number of positions, Hargreaves finds herself on a wing due to the three locks on-ball. She is another bottom-ager who has some outstanding pace, and is able to take the game on. With high-level defensive pressure too, the elder of the Hargreaves sisters enjoyed a huge debut Talent League season.


Sierra Grieves (Western Jets)

It might have been funny to think of Grieves at half-forward early in the season, as the natural inside midfielder had the ball on a string. But to increase her versatility, she was thrown into attack and arguably lifted her impact on games via the scoreboard. An all-round ultra strong season from the bottom-ager.

Georgia Clark (Tasmania Devils)

It was a big year for Clark who started like a house on fire, and though the going was tough at times through Allies and then when forward in some Devils losses, she is still one of the best forwards in this year’s draft. With velcro hands and a reliable set shot for goal, she is a hard-running tall forward.

Sophie McKay (Sandringham Dragons)

Another dual position player, McKay has rolled between midfield and forward this year, able to rest inside 50 and hit the scoreboard. A standout player at the stoppages, McKay has that touch of class about her and won the Under 17 Futures MVP for a 30-disposal game. The eligible Carlton father-daughter prospect is one to watch next year.


Alyssia Pisano (Eastern Ranges)

At her best, there are few who could do more damage to an opposition team. Pisano’s work around goal is unmatched, and her ability to turn nothing into something off a split second or half-step was on show throughout 2023. Though some inaccuracy plagued her late, she is still a premier small forward and a top 10 talent.

Sophie Butterworth (Dandenong Stingrays)

Finishing second in the overall leading goalkicker award, Butterworth kicked bags of goals for fun this season, with 30 goals in 13 regular season games. After not scoring a goal in Round 1, Butterworth kicked a major in every other regular season game, including a bag of five and three hauls of four.

Chantal Mason (Geelong Falcons)

The only player to kick more goals than Butterworth in season 2023 was Mason, who went on a ridiculous purple patch mid-season. Taking advantage of a good run of games where the Falcons took control, Mason slammed home 21 goals in four games to finish with 31 in 13 matches. She also kicked a total of five goals across her two finals


Elli Symonds (Dandenong Stingrays)

Symonds was an easy ruck selection, notching up six Team of the Week nominations, the most of any player in the position comfortably. Enjoying a terrific season, Symonds showcased her athleticism and ability to win the ball, as well as go forward and hit the scoreboard. The bottom-ager’s follow-up work particularly caught the eye.

Sara Howley (Geelong Falcons) (c)

This year’s Talent League Girls Team of the Year captain, Howley has a wonderfully consistent year, picking up 30 or more disposals in 10 of her 12 regular season games. Polling 45 votes to win the Rookie Me Central Medal as our best player for the season, Howley made it into a remarkable 11 Team of the Weeks, with only her Round 3 performance not earning her a spot. A well-deserved gong off the back of an incredible season.

Chloe Adams (Geelong Falcons)

Howley’s teammate and Falcons skipper, Adams also had a strong year, earning co-captaincy for Vic Country. Not taking a backwards step on the field, Adams has a well-balanced game from offensive to defensive traits, and is as courageous as they come. She earned seven Team of the Week nominations throughout the year.


Emma McDonald (Oakleigh Chargers)

Enjoying an outstanding debut season, McDonald burst onto the scene as a raw key forward and ended it as an All-Australian and noted goalkicker. She kicked 13 goals from 10 games but it was her work rate up the field, strong hands and tackling pressure for a tall that set her aside and she stands up as one of the top tall prospects for next year.

Hayley McLaughlin (Eastern Ranges)

A hard-running winger, McLaughlin did not put a foot wrong all season, earning a well-deserved spot on the interchange. She covers the ground well, can impact by hand or foot in transition, and works hard to provide defensive pressure and mop up off half-back. The dual sportsperson has been a consistent winger.

Jade McLay (Calder Cannons)

The sole 2007-born talent in the team, McLay came in and had an immediate impact for the Cannons, utlilised in a variety of roles. Capable of playing defence, offence, as a big-bodied midfielder or even as a ruck, McLay is the ultimate utility and she will form a great partnership with Chloe Baker-West over the coming seasons.

Mekah Morrissy (Geelong Falcons)

Another specialist winger who performed strongly enough to secure a bench spot off the back of six Team of the Week nominations, Morrissy has plenty of potential for next season. Though still finding her consistency, she has the running capacity and ability to get forward and set up scoring chances.

Lucia Painter (Bendigo Pioneers)

Playing the least amount of games of any player in the side, Painter’s year unfortunately finished early following injury. In that time, Painter averaged 24.1 disposals, 3.4 marks, 4.4 inside 50s, 3.3 rebound 50s and a whopping 7.9 tackles showing just how crucial she was for the Pioneers. Like Howley, Painter only missed out on one Team of the Week nomination.

Sarah Poustie (Oakleigh Chargers)

The bench seems to be filled with outside runners, though Poustie has also spent time on-ball as well as her starting wing role. Earning a Vic Metro spot, the bottom-ager is very strong overhead for her size, a neat kick and runs well between the arcs to have an influence on games.


Daisy Flockart (Sandringham Dragons)

Flockart is a classy operator and one who caught the eye throughout the season for the Dragons. Still building up her consistency, when she is on-song she can have a great deal of influence on matches, and even hit the scoreboard.

Jemma Reynolds (Dandenong Stingrays)

Another bottom-ager to watch, Reynolds contributed well for the Stingrays throughout the course of the season, playing midfield and in attack, using her composure and decision making to best advantage her side as the Stingrays reached the finals.

Hannah Scott (Northern Knights)

The sole top-ager among the emergencies, Scott was rock solid for the Knights all year, and though she missed out on Vic Metro selection, was a reliable player for Northern and and balanced between offensive and defensive roles.

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