2024 SANFLW Round 1: Saturday preview

ROUND 1 of the SANFL Women’s comes to a close tomorrow when Woodville-West Torrens takes on Sturt tomorrow afternoon at 1:30pm, while North Adelaide and Glenelg do battle under lights at Thebarton Oval from 7pm.

  • Team
  • Woodville-West Torrens
  • Sturt

Last Season

Woodville-West Torrens showed glimpses of its potential last year but ultimately finished seventh on the ladder, while Sturt had a “yo-yo” first half of the season in terms of results, before finding form but inaccurate goalkicking cost the Double Blues in finals.


WWT Eagles (2) – Sturt (5)

Sturt has held the wood over the Eagles the last three matches, with an average winning margin of 44.3 points. Last year’s 10-goal thrashing in Round 6 was the biggest yet, though this will be the first time a match has been played at Eastern Park Reserve.


WWT Eagles:

B: Lily Tarlinton (49), Christina Leuzzi (19)
HB: Audrey Holt (10), Annie Falkenberg (8), Leah Cutting (26)
C: Olivia Evans (28), Sophie Zuill (24), Poppy Waterford (1)
HF: Grace Martin (7), Rosette Zerella (32), McKenzie Dowrick (23)
F: Klaudia O’Neill (18), Taylah Levy (60)
R: Brooklyn Kraft (33), Lucy Moore (15), Marlie Fiegert (30)
INT: Renee Forth (27), Ashley Baker (44), Bianca Portaro (3), Amie Blanden (12), Brianna Walling (13), Cher Waters (20)


B: Lily Whitcombe (24), Sarah Wallace (37)
HB: Sophie Thredgold (17), Winnie Thornquest (25), Tahlia Walker (18)
C: Summer Ross (42), India Rasheed (6), Molly Fletcher (31)
HF: Abby Pengelly (7), Georgia Swan (3), Alisha Gepp (15)
F: Zara Walsh (14), Millie McCarthy (1)
R: Jasmin Fejo (36), Kate Harris (23), Isobel Kuiper (2)
INT: Claudia Edmonds (22), Monique Bessen (16), Georgia King (55), Amy Brooks-Birve (44), Isabella Drew (28)

New Faces

Woodville-West Torrens will have a vastly different lineup heading into the season with five new players and two AFLW experienced returning players coming to the fold. Along with McKenzie Dowrick and Leah Cutting who are back in Eagles colours after stints at the top level, Adelaide’s Taylah Levy also made the move across from the Panthers, and the club also picked up Lily Tarlinton in the SANFLW Draft making five AFLW experienced or listed players coming into the team.

The other fresh faces are Norwood’s Rosette Zerella who will cause some headaches up forward for opposition defenders as well as top-age Northern Territory local Popi Gikas and fellow Eagles junior, Lucy Moore.

Sturt just has a trio of bottom-agers in for their first games. Both Sophie Thredgold and Edwina Thornquest were on the list last season but had to wait patiently for a spot, while Summer Ross is a new recruit out of Blackwood.

Key Matchup

Annie Falkenberg (WWT Eagles) vs. Georgia Swan (Sturt)

It it hard to know if the pair will go head-to-head, but bearing similar gamestyles with their work rates and ability to get into the right spots at the right time is so important for their respective sides. The skipper Falkenberg can often drop deeper to help out her teammates, while Swan – who was named at half-back in the SANFLW Team of the Year last year – is now having a stint up forward, a role she has played in the past as an ultimate utility.

Development Watch

Popi’s older sister Erini Gikas will start off in the reserves, as well talented 2008-born young gun Imogen Trengove. Some other names from the Eagles to keep an eye on include tall Zahlia Niemann and experienced defender Hannah Scholar who played all 12 League games last season. The big name in the Double Blues’ Development squad is Jaimee Wittervan who has essentially played all bar one League game the last three seasons.


The match looms as a fascinating one. On paper, Sturt has lost a lot of experience, but still has a far more experienced midfield than the Eagles, who will have more experienced posts at either end. The younger Sturt backline might be vulnerable to the Eagles attack, but the Double Blues should be winning the midfield battle. If they do that, they will give their forwards enough chance to score, but lose the midfield battle and the Eagles will win.

  • Team
  • North Adelaide
  • Glenelg

Last Season

Both these teams who have been successful over the previous few years slipped outside the finals spots in what would have been disappointing for all concerned. Glenelg missed out in the final round with a loss to Sturt, while North Adelaide knew its fate a week earlier, finishing sixth coming off a flag in 2022.


North Adelaide (9) – Glenelg (5)

These teams have quite the history, though it has changed over recent years. After North won eight of the first nine encounters these sides had, Glenelg has won four of its past five against the Roosters, including a final round win over North Adelaide just weeks before the Roosters won the flag. The teams are meeting each other at Thebarton Oval for the first time.


North Adelaide:

B: Jemma Charity (7), Kristi Harvey (5)
HB: Ella Quinn (14), Ella Metcalfe (40), Katelyn Pope (13)
C: Laela Ebert (9), Jess Edwards (2), Erica Greet (25)
HF: Tamara Henry (31), Tayla Gordon (23), Brooke Wilson (60)
F: Amelie Borg (22), Aprille Crooks (10)
R: Cristie Castle (1), Sarah Steele-Park (36), Julia Clark (33)
INT: Indi Buckskin-James (19), Djimila Totham (30), Sarcha Taylor (52), Jessica Luciani (43), Amalie Innes (11)


B: Poppy Scholz (20), Sarah Goodwin (56)
HB: Ellen Tyminski (18), Jorja Eldridge (28), Lauren Edwards (34)
C: Ella Boag (43), Piper Window (45), Violet Patterson (6)
HF: Grace Duffy (10), Tamsyn Morriss (12), Brooke Tonon (40)
F: Sam Franson (5), Jess Searle (23)
R: Alex Pearce (20), Ellie Kellock (8), Jess Bates (29)

INT: Chloe Harding (26), Marie Martino (15), Matilda Wilmore (19), Ash Dyer (1), Eloise Mackereth (9)

New Faces

Both sides will welcome some fresh faces to the lineups with the Roosters able to bring in Crows-listed Tamara Henry at half-forward, while young gun top-age recruit Jemma Charity (WWT Eagles) will start in the back pocket as she did for South Australia at the Under 18s national carnival last year. Indi Buckskin-James is new to the club, while Djimila Totham and Amalie Innes make their debuts in their second seasons.

Glenelg will also bring in a couple of new players to SANFL Women’s level, welcoming aboard Port Lincoln’s Ash Dyer and Morphettville Park’s Chloe Harding. They join former Sturt ruck Alex Pearce and ex-Rooster Jorja Eldridge as new arrivals.

Key Matchup

Jess Edwards (North Adelaide) vs. Piper Window (Glenelg)

A battle between two absolute contested beasts, the pair had a great stoush last year as well. Edwards does well to try and limit Window off the mark by bodying up next to her, but Window countered that tactic by remaining on the move around stoppages and use her explosive speed to burn off Edwards. Another great clash incoming.

Development Watch

Ex-Eagle Chloe Charity will start in the development league, with defender Jamie Parish also named there after only missing a handful of games in the last two seasons since switching from the Eagles herself. The depth of the AFLW talent has forced inside midfielder Tessa Kohn and utility Madisyn Freeman back to the reserves for the first time each.


Both these teams have elite top-end talents as well as some promising youg guns coming through the system. Given North may take a little while to gel, and Glenelg’s preseason trial match form has been better, the Bays seem the way to go. The midfield looks one of the best assembled at state league level and will be hard to beat.

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