SANFLW Player Focus: Poppy Scholz (Glenelg)

GLENELG kicked off its 2024 SANFL Women’s season with a 22-point win over North Adelaide on Saturday night, breaking through after a hard-fought first half. Right in the thick of the action was rising prospect Poppy Scholz, who played the interceptor role expertly down back.

Scholz, the sister of Port Adelaide ruck Matilda, is a tall utility with terrific athletic traits and the ability to play in each third of the ground. She started her top-age campaign in style, racking up the ball and showcasing elite foot skills in a polished display under our Player Focus microscope.

>> Feature: Scholz sisters pushing for AFLW reunion

Poppy Scholz

Height: 179cm

Weight: -

DOB: 31-12-2006


2024 SANFL Women’s: Round 1
North Adelaide 1.1 (7) def. by Glenelg 4.5 (29)

#20 Poppy Scholz (Glenelg)
Stats: 20 disposals (12 kicks, 8 handballs), 8 marks, 4 tackles, 2 inside 50s


Somewhat of a confidence player, Scholz took a couple of involvements to truly get going but made an impact off North Adelaide’s first clearance. She rose to intercept at centre half-back in a major sign of what was to come, thriving off the freedom to peel off and force turnovers.

Scholz scuffed her first kick and juggled a couple of marking attempts, but blew out the cobwebs quickly to string together several clean passages. Whether clunking the ball overhead or mopping up at ground level, her intercept game was on point early and stood up against the frantic pace of the game.


The second was arguably Scholz’s quietest quarter as the end-to-end arm wrestle continued to unfold. Her reactions and defensive efforts were hard to fault though, playing relatively loosely but competing typically well aerially to at least bring the ball to ground.

One of her best moments came in a one-on-one against seasoned campaigner Jess Edwards at the top of defensive 50, where Scholz spoilt the high ball and followed up with a hard tackle which forced the ball to spill out. Double efforts – tick.

She could have been a touch cleaner in contested situations, but looked continually more composed with ball in hand and kept attacking the play with vigour. The best was clearly yet to come after a first half which saw a combined two goals kicked.


Scholz turned it on in term three with an outstanding display of intercept marking and kicking. Her decision making with and without possession was elite, not to mention the effectiveness of her ball use by foot – long and short.

The 17-year-old read the play better than anyone, building a wall across the centre square to cut off North Adelaide’s defensive clearances and launch repeat attacks for the Bays. She also seemed high on confidence and backed her skills when picking out passes down the line or inboard.

Playing a high line, Scholz ventured as far up the ground as centre half-forward, registering a couple of inside 50s – including a pass where she anticipated her teammate leading into the space in front of her and weighted the ball perfectly for her to latch onto.

Scholz also made use of her athleticism; whether out-reaching and leaping over opponents, skipping past them, or simply in getting from contest to contest. She was involved in just about everything and proved a major part in Glenelg’s ability to build forward half pressure.


It was more of the same for Scholz in the final quarter as Glenelg solidified its hold on the match via scoreboard pressure. The resourceful utility continued to use her height to spoil and mark, producing rinse and repeat efforts with relative ease.

Having not missed a kick since the opening exchanges, Scholz finally had one cut off but still made a good decision and launched many a Glenelg rebound. Her ball retention was ridiculously good across the night, forcing turnovers and giving up very few.

Her toughest moment of the final stanza was a one-on-one situation inside defensive 50, where she won the aerial battle but was at risk of losing the ground ball. The latter is a part of the game Scholz is seeking to improve on at around 180cm.


While Scholz is a well known quantity in some regards, there is plenty of untapped potential she is beginning to uncover. Just how good she can be is becoming clear after a starring role in Round 1, arguably putting her name into early top 10 calculations.

When you look at pure traits, Scholz’s array of attributes are hard to deny: versatile, athletic, competitive, skilful – all at 180cm. She is still working on becoming a cleaner ground level player but is beginning to read the play excellently down back and is an undeniable aerial asset.

She looms as a genuine ‘sky’s the limit’ kind of prospect at the pointy end of what looks like being a bumper draft crop. The likes of state teammates India Rasheed and Georgia McKee will also be right up there, next off South Australia’s prolific production line.

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