PREVIEW | 2023 Talent League Girls Grand Final
ONE SLEEP remains until the 2023 Coates Talent League Girls Grand Final takes place between Eastern Ranges and Oakleigh Chargers. Both sides have had sensational seasons, and finished inside the top two, winning their respective preliminary finals to book their place in the decider. We preview the big clash ahead of tomorrow’s huge game.
Saturday, September 23
Ikon Park @ 9:45am
These sides head to Ikon Park off the back of strong years, with Eastern Ranges entering the game with eight consecutive victories, including one in the final round against the Chargers. Oakleigh won nine of its first 10, and though the Chargers have lost two of their past five, had a number of impressive performances in that time.
Eastern Ranges 11.7 (73) defeated Oakleigh Chargers 3.6 (24) | Round 17, Sunday, September 3
Oakleigh Chargers 5.9 (39) defeated Eastern Ranges 1.2 (8) | Round 10, Saturday, June 17
10 KEY PLAYERS FROM EACH SIDE
Laura Stone (Eastern Ranges)
A speedy midfielder with great evasion and an ability to hit targets on the run, expect her to start off half-back and roll into the midfield throughout the game. One of Eastern two top 10 prospects in this year’s AFLW Draft.
Alyssia Pisano (Eastern Ranges)
The silky forward is a massive threat to the Chargers’ defence, and has enormous potential to win a game off her own boot in a quarter. The talented left-footer does not need much space to do damage and is outstanding at ground level.
Jess Vukic (Eastern Ranges)
The AFLW Academy ruck is one of the best exponents of ruck craft across the competition. Her ruck taps are a work of art, and if she can get forward and have an impact up there, then Eastern will go a long way to winning.
Ava Campbell (Eastern Ranges)
The rebounding defender plays a key role in the back half of the ground, being an anchor of sorts for starting scoring transition. She will compete one-on-one but is best peeling off and getting into the right spots to mark and kick down the ground.
Hayley McLaughlin (Eastern Ranges)
The hard-running winger has had a sensational season, using the ball well and having a mix of offensive and defensive traits. She will stretch the Chargers, and will likely have a great battle with one of Oakleigh’s smart wingers.
Georgie Brisbane (Eastern Ranges)
A marking forward with high upside, Brisbane earned a chance for Vic Metro and in the Under 17 Futures game. Though a natural forward, Brisbane has also spent time in the midfield, with the 175cm talent more than capable of finding the ball in there as well.
Grace Belloni (Eastern Ranges)
A similar player to Brisbane in the sense of being that taller forward who can step into the midfield, Belloni is very good at winning contested ball, and also going inside 50 and converting on the scoreboard. Another bottom-ager to keep tabs on next year.
Grace Baba (Eastern Ranges)
The exciting rebounding defender is one who has come on in leaps and bounds this year. She can be accountable one-on-one, while pushing up the ground and providing offensive output. Baba is a raw talent with enormous potential that she has shown in patches this year.
Tayla McMillan (Eastern Ranges)
A double bottom-ager with a long way to go in her junior footy career, McMillan is just class with a capital ‘C’. Her work around the stoppages to extract it and move it smoothly to the outside catches the eye, but she can also play in other positions around the ground.
Evie Parker (Eastern Ranges)
A natural forward who spent time in defence last week, Parker is a raw talent with plenty to build on for next year. A good size with natural athleticism, Parker has got better as the season went on and is primed for a big game on the big stage.
Jemma Rigoni (Oakleigh Chargers)
The rebounding defender who has turned into a hard-running winger is one who can breakdown the opposition defence with her outstanding burst. A good size and capable overhead, Rigoni does her best work when she can see the ground ahead and take off.
Lucy Cronin (Oakleigh Chargers)
Returning to the Chargers off an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury last season, though Cronin missed Vic Metro duties, still had a strong season. Her last few weeks have been sensational with her intercepting and ball use from half-back.
Lara Hausegger (Oakleigh Chargers)
The Chargers’ skipper moves well in traffic, and while she is not a huge possession winner, is not afraid to get involved. She can shut down opponents and peel off them, while being one of a number of defenders who play their role each week.
Emma McDonald (Oakleigh Chargers)
The bottom-age key forward is a marking machine and one who will always provide a contest. Boasting great courage and a reliable set shot, McDonald is a player who has already shown her worth for Vic Metro and is a top prospect for 2024.
Sarah Poustie (Oakleigh Chargers)
In-form and capable of playing both inside and outside, the bottom-ager is terrific overhead for her size. She reads the play well and gets into the right spots, while working hard to apply defensive pressure to the opposition. Poustie is one to watch for next year.
Sienna Tallariti (Oakleigh Chargers)
Copping a knee to the back in last week’s preliminary final, Tallariti was cleared of any damage that night and will be right to go, which is good news for the Chargers. She is strong overhead, competitive and has a reliable and penetrative kick.
Abbey Vicino (Oakleigh Chargers)
The inside midfielder finished second in the Talent League Girls’ Best and Fairest award, having caught the eye for her burst speed and clean hands out of the stoppage. The bottom-ager has some areas to work on, but also is a talent to develop.
Maggie Mahony (Oakleigh Chargers)
One of those players who is seemingly built for finals football, Mahony is a consistent inside ball-winner with plenty of potential. She cracks in and does the hard things right, while able to get forward and hit the scoreboard too.
Amy Cariss-Brett (Oakleigh Chargers)
One of the more impressive natural wingers in the competition, Cariss-Brett holds her width incredibly well, and can be a switch option on the outside. Cariss-Brett takes the game on, and though consistency is a work in progress, has some exciting upside.
Jacinta Baxter (Oakleigh Chargers)
After spending time on a wing and eventually settling forward, Baxter has shown she can impact games with her work in the front half. Good overhead and a knack for finding space and running hard, Baxter is another bottom-ager with potential for the Chargers next season.
Ash Close (Eastern Ranges)
“We respect Oakleigh and we respect the way they’re coached, we respect their players,” he said. “But we’re really keen to make this about us and focus on it being about the best version of us possible. There’s things we will have to address but really 90 per cent of what we’re talking about, even 95 per cent is about us and how we perform to optimum.”
Tyrone Vickery (Oakleigh Chargers)
“They’re what any good side is, they defend well, they work well as a unit,” he said. “They’re able to move the ball well in transition and get it into one-on-ones up forward. We need to defensively take some speed out of their game on defence but also try and make the ground pretty big and use our running power on offence… We’ll bring our pretty consistent gameplan and focuses.”
B: Delany Madigan – Grace Baba – Molly Paterson
HB: Laura Stone – Ava Campbell – Jordyn Allen
C: Hayley McLaughlin – Georgie Pruden – Indigo Linde
HF: Emma Stilve – Alyssia Pisano – Stasia Stevenson
F: Georgie Brisbane – Georgia Knight – Grace Belloni
R: Jess Vukic – Tayla McMillan – Georgia Stubs
INT: Isla Baldwin – Amelie Moore – Evie Parker – Mackenzie Bourne
B: Charlotte Brewer – Zara Neuwirth – Chloe Thorn
HB: Lara Hausegger – Lucy Cronin – Sienna Tallariti
C: Jemma Rigoni – Jorja Jackson – Amy Cariss-Brett
HF: Mikayla Lee – Jacinta Baxter – Emma McDonald
F: Alessia Dunn – Emily Tassiopoulos – Maiya Stobie
R: Marlo Cockerill – Abbey Vicino – Maggie Mahony
INT: Sarah Poustie – Lucinda Smith – Lily Hart – Amelie Gladman
The two best sides going at it for four quarters right down to the wire. Both times these teams have faced off, the loser has missed some quality top-end talent, but now it is the best of the best. Though it could go either way, the tip is with Eastern Ranges by 11 points, purely for the extra top-age talent in the side. Expect a ripping contest though.