State Academy notes: 2024 SANFLW – Round 2

ROUND 2 of the SANFL Women’s competition saw plenty of impressive performances from youngsters stand up and make their mark. We took note of how those in the State Academy performed, with all notes the opinion of the individual author.

  • Team
  • Glenelg
  • Sturt


#6 Violet Patterson (Midfielder/Wing)
Stats: 9 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50

Patterson had a quieter Round 2 game, but as a wing, the majority of the match was played on the inside with the onballers finding plenty of it. She actually started at the first centre stoppage and had a great couple of clashes with Kuiper. Though she did not win a lot of the ball throughout the course of the game, she had a few nice moments, including tapping it to ground at half-forward so she could gather and dish off the handball to Piper Window.

#9 Eloise Mackereth (Forward)
Stats: 3 disposals, 1 tackle, 1 clearance

Mackereth did not have the space she found in Round 1 playing forward, restricted to just three disposals by Sarah Wallace. There were a couple of times she looked dangerous including a quick snap in the second term, but that sailed out on the full. Well aware of her potential, Sturt did well to nullify her, though others stood up.

#20 Poppy Scholz (Defender)
Stats: 5 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles, 1 inside 50, 1 rebound 50

There was not as much to do for Scholz this week as Glenelg held sway and when Sturt did get it inside 50, the Double Blues were able to bypass her. She pushed up to the wing at times, and had a nice moment early in the game where she stepped around Alisha Gepp and got it to half-forward.


#6 India Rasheed (Midfielder/Forward)
Stats: 21 disposals, 5 marks, 8 tackles, 2 clearances, 2 inside 50s, 1 rebound 50, 2 goals, 1 behind

Building on an okay Round 1 game, Rasheed stepped up in Round 2 to provide plenty of defensive pressure and hit the scoreboard multiple times. She converted a long-range set shot in the first quarter, then snapped a trademark clever goal in-play late in the third quarter. She spent time on the inside then rested forward, and her kicking was efficient, with her tackling a particular highlight in her game.

#16 Monique Bessen (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 12 disposals, 1 mark, 3 tackles, 6 clearances, 2 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s, 1 goal

The classy bottom-ager kicked the first goal of the game with a clever pick-up off the deck and slotted one off a step to put her side up nine minutes into the contest. Her kicking technique and clean hands at ground level really stands out. In the third term, Bessen pierced the gap to hit up Georgia King for a vital goal late in the quarter.

#17 Sophie Thredgold (Defender)
Stats: 11 disposals, 3 marks, 3 rebound 50s

Playing her role, Thredgold was again rock solid for the Double Blues. Though not flashy, she was always providing an option, taking a number of marks and clearing the ball from danger. In just two games, she has slotted nicely into Sturt’s back five.

#25 Edwina Thornquest (Defender)
Stats: 5 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles, 2 rebound 50s

Thornquest was similar to Thredgold in the way she just played her role. Though not winning much of it, she was able to still impact in moments, such as a good bodywork spoil against Jorja Eldridge midway through the third term.

  • Team
  • South Adelaide
  • Norwood

South Adelaide:

#20 Layla Vizgaudis (Forward)
Stats: 4 disposals, 1 mark, 1 tackle, 1 inside 50

Vizgaudis does not need a lot of the ball to catch the eye, and this was the case again in Round 2. Though she is still light and can get pushed off the ball at times, she is clean with her touches and gets to the right spots. Sometimes she can be too unselfish and rush off a handball to a teammate under pressure, but has the talent to do damage on her day.

#23 Esther Schirmer (Defender)
Stats: 8 disposals, 3 marks (1 contested), 1 tackle, 3 rebound 50s

As usual, Schirmer played her role and did well in one-on-ones in defence. She pushed up the ground when required, and got back to help too, taking a number of strong marks. Her calmness at ground level was evident and she was often found mopping up.

#56 Lily Baxter (Forward/Wing)
Stats: 7 disposals, 2 marks, 1 tackle

The talented bottom-ager just shows glimpses of what she is capable of. A lovely user by hand or foot, she loves to have some short, sharp passes then run on for second efforts, but has the smarts to go with it. In one instant she saw contact was coming from an opponent and did not take possession of the ball to win a free kick at half-back. Overall she ran hard to find a bit of it in the defensive half of the ground.


#2 Coby Morgan (Wing)
Stats: 10 disposals, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50

Her speed was in display for patches, with a couple of nice bursts from congestion. She was often met with strong resistance from her South Adelaide opponents, and though she can get herself into trouble, she has the tools to take her game to the next level. Midway through the fourth term, Morgan had a clean pickup on the wing and fended off a would-be tackler, but just has to iron out that final execution.

#39 Charli Hazelhurst (Defender)
Stats: 1 disposal

Hazelhurst’s sole disposal came in the first 90 seconds from a last touch free kick. She was able to put it to a teammate’s advantage on the wing, and while she did not physically record another touch, was good one-on-one in defence. She played a nullifying game and did it well, providing body pressure and had a touch or two to tap towards a teammate rather than take possession.

#61 Kate Alexander (Ruck)
Stats: 4 disposals, 1 tackle, 25 hitouts, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50

After a baptism of fire against the far more experienced Olivia Levicki in Round 1, Alexander was able to use her height and leap against the undersized Nicole Mark. Though not as strong, Alexander’s athleticism won out, and she was clever with her ruck craft. Not having a lot of space once she won it, Alexander was often tackled, but she still notched up 25 hitouts in a solid day out for the 2008-born prospect.

  • Team
  • West Adelaide
  • North Adelaide

West Adelaide:

#2 Lucy Boyd (Defender)
Stats: 16 disposals, 4 marks (1 contested), 3 tackles, 1 inside 50, 2 rebound 50s

Boyd has built some consistent football in the first fortnight of the season in her familiar half-back role. She finds the ball and can intercept both in the air and at ground level, and boasts a thumping kick. She set up a goal to Lauren Young midway through the second term and was able to mop up in the defensive half of the ground on a number of occasions. As a defender she did not need to do anything special, but chipped in with her fair share of the ball and took a number of intercept marks.

#14 Chloe Tonkin (Forward)
Stats: 8 disposals, 4 marks, 4 hitouts, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50, 2 goals

Often opposed to Kristi Harvey, Tonkin did a superb job in the air finding the space to clunk a few good grabs. Still developing her game, her hands are elite, and few will outmark her one-on-one even as a bottom-ager. She converted two goals, one from a free kick late in the second term and another early in the fourth following a strong mark. A booming kick, Tonkin has the potential to roll into the ruck as well, having taken a number of ruck contests inside 50.

#15 Asha Dufour (Midfielder)
Stats: 20 disposals, 7 marks (1 contested), 5 clearances, 4 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s

An underrated AFLW Draft prospect, Dufour continues to go about her business unassumingly and was one of the better Bloods on the day in Round 2. She uses the ball well, is strong overhead, and has taken to the on-ball role like a duck to water having gained great experience in the second half of last season. She looms as a prototype midfielder who can compete in the air as well as at ground level, and attacks the contest hard even though she did not lay a tackle on this occasion.

#22 Ruby Ballard (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 7 disposals, 1 mark, 2 tackles, 1 clearance

A quieter game from Ballard who still buzzed around the forward half. She had a couple of almost moments, but gave away a couple of free kicks as well. With the ball, she was able to move it on quickly and release teammates.

#27 Emma Kilpatrick (Wing/Defender)
Stats: 17 disposals, 3 marks (1 contested), 1 tackle, 2 clearances, 2 inside 50s, 1 rebound 50

After her match-winning goal the week before, Kilpatrick produced another strong performance. She often kicked long down the ground and showed off her clean hands, taking it of an awkward bounce in the middle. Five minutes into the final term, Kilpatrick produced a thumping kick towards Lauren Young which proved effective, and throughout the contest had a great battle with the experienced Katelyn Pope.

#44 Emily Mableson (Defender)
Stats: 11 disposals, 2 marks (1 contested), 2 tackles, 3 rebound 50s

Mableson was able to get more involved in Round 2 compared to her debut, and she was clean with ball-in-hand and strong in the contest for a young player. The 2008-born talent combined with Kilpatrick at one stage on the wing, and also took a fantastic contested mark one-on-one in the defensive 50 during the fourth quarter.

North Adelaide:

#7 Jemma Charity (Utility)
Stats: 16 disposals, 8 marks (2 contested), 3 tackles, 1 clearance, 3 rebound 50s, 1 goal, 2 behinds

A genuine utility who can play on all three lines, Charity played in defence, rolled through the middle and got forward to have three scoring shots. Her goal came late in the first term, the Roosters’ first of the contest where she took a strong mark just before the siren and curled the shot in perfectly. Charity cracked into the contest and put her body on the line, and though caught on a number of occasions, gave as good as she got, and worked hard to mop up in defence. Her aerial strength was unsurprisingly a standout as she clunked two contested marks among eight total.

#9 Laela Ebert (Defender)
Stats: 10 disposals, 1 mark, 6 tackles, 2 clearances

Ebert was a little quieter this week than Round 1, but also upped her defensive pressure to lay six tackles. She was fierce at the contest, and when she does have the ball she inflicts maximum damage with her piercing kick. Late in the third quarter, Ebert had an eye-catching moment by gathering on the wing and spinning out of trouble to dish off a handball.

#52 Sarcha Taylor (Forward)
Stats: 5 disposals, 1 tackle, 1 inside 50

The small forward was lively, and though starved of many opportunities still tried hard. Midway through the third term Taylor had a couple of moments, which included a quick handball out and then follow-up work with pressure lurking around the pack. She also had a nice gather and slick sidestep a minute later, and though the kick was a turnover, showed her quick feet.

  • Team
  • Central District
  • Woodville-West Torrens

Central District:

#3 Miyu Endersby (Ruck)
Stats: 10 disposals, 2 tackles, 12 hitouts, 2 clearances, 5 inside 50s

Going up against the experienced Leah Cutting was a challenge for the double bottom-ager, but she showed some great ruck craft to use her leap – standing a couple metres back from Cutting at throw ups – rather than bodywork to compete. Her athleticism stood out, and while Cutting won the ruck battle, Endersby had an impact around the ground, often winning free kicks or being involved in chains kicking it forward. She had a funny moment in the fourth term where she had a fresh air kick out of defence, but kept her composure to recover and kick it clear.

#9 Charlotte Riggs (Defender)
Stats: 13 disposals, 4 tackles, 1 hitout, 1 inside 50, 4 rebound 50s

The intercept defender did not take a mark in the contest, but was able to get involved in defensive chains en route to 13 touches and four rebound 50s. She often looked to just clear the danger and thump the ball down the ground. Though not her most efficient game – and she was pinged for holding the ball trying to fend off Amie Blanden in defence – Riggs was still able to provide defensive pressure of her own and bought her teammates some time and mopped up consistently in the back 50.

#12 Sophie Eaton (Forward/Wing)
Stats: 13 disposals, 3 marks, 1 tackle, 2 clearances, 1 inside 50, 1 rebound 50

Easton is class personified and it showed in the win with some lovely touches between the arcs. She took a strong mark at half-back late in the game, and even won a one-on-one during the second quarter, controlling it well in front of her to give it off cleanly. Eaton is a smooth mover who thinks her way through situations and is effective with ball-in-hand.

#27 Jasmine Evans (Forward)
Stats: 7 disposals, 2 marks, 1 contested, 3 tackles, 1 inside 50, 3 goals

Evans played as a pure forward and was outstanding in her role, converting three goals to back up her Round 1 performance. Her disposal by foot is elite, she is able to find space and win the ball, and though she can get out-bodied when engaging with stronger defenders, finds a way to impact. She was the subject of our Round 2 Player Focus which details her full performance.


Woodville-West Torrens:

#3 Bianca Portaro (Defender)
Stats: 13 disposals, 3 marks, 4 tackles, 3 clearances, 1 inside 50, 2 rebound 50s

Portaro had a strong game out of defence and pushing up to the midfield and spent some time on the talented Evans later in the game. She is strong one-on-one and even nudged Katelyn Rosenzweig off the ball at one stage, with her defensive pressure a highlight of her game. Overall she ticked a lot of boxes playing neat and reliable football.

#7 Grace Martin (Midfielder)
Stats: 20 disposals, 2 marks, 1 tackle, 7 clearances, 1 inside 50, 3 rebound 50s

Really entrenching herself in the midfield, Martin cracked in to finish with a game-high seven clearances for the Eagles against a strong Central District midfield. She was good one-on-one, and though often she had to thump the ball forward or win it under immense pressure, Martin did well to keep the ball heading in the right direction. She even dropped back to help the defence at times, and with time and space can deliver neatly by foot.

#18 Klaudia O’Neill (Defender)
Stats: 8 disposals, 1 hitout, 2 rebound 50s

Locking down in defence, O’Neill was able to win the ball under pressure and dispose of it quickly. When getting tackled at one stage midway through the third term, O’Neill still got boot to ball and cleared it well with her raking kick. Not winning a lot of it, she did not need to in her role, just doing what she could one-on-one and did well when given the opportunity.

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