SANFLW 24 to Watch in 2024: Esther Schirmer

BACK for another year, Rookie Me Central’s 24 to Watch in 2024 returns and this time around, the focus is on underage players, being those who are yet to have an AFLW Draft chance. For the list of 2024, it will range between players who are predominantly 2006 (top-age) and 2007-born talents likely to take the SANFL Women’s by storm or set themselves up for the future.

South Adelaide defender Esther Schirmer is a rock solid back with nice athletic traits to go with her highly competitive nature. Often taking on big roles through the SANFL Women’s and Under 18 Championships, the 17-year-old enters her top-age season ready to take her game to another level in 2024.


DOB: 08/06/2006
Height: 177cm
Position: Defender
Club: South Adelaide


Schirmer is the younger sister of fellow Panther Gypsy, who also came through the South Australian junior pathway. Though missing out being drafted, Gypsy had the experience of the AFLW Academy as well as Under 18 Championships, the latter of which Esther experienced last season.

Playing in her familiar defensive role for the Croweaters, Schirmer averaged 8.0 disposals, 1.7 marks, 2.7 tackles and 1.3 rebound 50s, often locking down on direct opponents. Though she has the athleticism to create more offensive drives, Schirmer is very strong aerially one-on-one with a natural defensive mindset that helps her contain dangerous forwards.

At 177cm, Schirmer is a good height and can play on talls or smalls thanks to her athleticism, and she showed that for the Panthes at SANFL Women’s level. For the second consecutive season, Schirmer found herself entrenched in the best 21 at Noarlunga, where she featured in the back five every week she was available.

Adding 13 games in 2023 to her 12 from her debut season, Schirmer averaged 9.5 disposals, 1.8 marks, 3.5 tackles and 1.5 rebound 50s. Her form throughout the year saw her retain her spot throughout the finals series, playing off in the SANFL Women’s Grand Final. She will be among the key players in the Panthers’ lineup in 2024 as she aims to take her game from strength to strength.


>> Emma Kilpatrick (West Adelaide)
>> Lily Baxter (South Adelaide)
>> Grace Martin (Woodville-West Torrens)
>> Laela Ebert (North Adelaide)
>> Steph Tredwell (West Adelaide)
>> Matilda Wilmore (Glenelg)
>> Charli Hazelhurst (Norwood)
>> Chloe Tonkin (West Adelaide)
>> Imogen Trengove (Woodville-West Torrens)

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