State Academy notes: 2024 WAFLW – Round 4

UNFORTUNATELY, a couple of injuries to some top young talents meant less State Academy members were running around in the WAFL Women’s for Round 4, but we still took note of those who did. As always, we cast out eyes over the State Academy members in action, with all notes the opinion of the individual author.

  • Team
  • East Fremantle
  • Swan Districts

East Fremantle:

#12 Taya Chambers (Defender)
Stats: 17 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles, 1 inside 50

The Sharks defender found plenty of the ball in the win, and what she does well is compete aerially time and time again one-on-one. She made a few mistakes under pressure, but her defensive spoiling and pressure around the ball was sensational. She provides some nice run and carry out of defence as well.

#29 Natasha Entwistle (Defender)
Stats: 14 disposals, 5 marks, 4 tackles, 1 inside 50

One of the better Sharks on the day, Entwistle continued her nice form in season 2024. Though she was pinged for a tackle on the wing early int he match, she bounced back to produce a terrific spoil midway through the first term. Her defensive efforts, like Chambers, were sensational, and she was often mopping up or looking to switch when she had the chance. Fairly clean and took a few terrific intercept marks, she could the eye in the back 50 with her work.

#38 Zippy Fish (Midfielder)
Stats: 27 disposals, 2 tackles, 5 inside 50s

It was another best on ground performance from the top-ager who is well accustomed to the midfield. The chink in the armour is she is purely a second possession winner, but the elite level of damage she does both in her disposal and in her metres gained makes up for it. When the going got tough, Fish stepped up and essentially set up both last quarter goals to haul her team across the line.

Swan Districts:

#5 Carys D’Addario (Midfielder)
Stats: 23 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 1 goal, 1 behind

Battling away on the inside, D’Addario is yet to play a bad match in 2023. She might not be the most polished player, but she is powerful, wins clearances and gets to the right spots. A real see-ball, get-ball player, she thrives on the contest and is as strong as they come. Having gained some continuity after missing most of last year due to injury, D’Addario even hit the scoreboard with a nice snap in the second quarter.

  • Team
  • West Perth
  • South Fremantle

West Perth:

#3 Samara Sallie (Defender)
Stats: 9 disposals, 2 marks, 1 tackle

Making her WAFL Women’s League debut, Sallie stepped into defence and provided some terrific dahs off half-back. She does need to tidy up her efficiency as she turned quite a few kicks over, but Sallie did well one-on-one using her body effectively, and she was clean in her taking of the ball, even at full tilt.

#7 Mia Russo (Forward)
Stats: 17 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 3 behinds

Had plenty of chances early but only came away with three behinds, Russo was not quite as efficient as she could have been inside 50, but still had a strong game. She buzzed around and offered herself as an option, with her clean hands and booming kick on display. Russo has an aggressive attack on the contest and she is creative with ball-in-hand.

South Fremantle:

#4 Noa McNaughton (Forward)
Stats: 5 disposals, 1 tackle, 1 inside 50

It was a tough day at the office for McNaughton who could not really work into the match with the ball largely up the other end. When it was inside South Fremantle’s forwardline, she was tightly guarded. Though she had a number of clean plays that caught the eye with her gathering a standout feature of her game.

#14 Jasmine Bazeley (Utility)
Stats: 7 disposals, 1 mark, 3 tackles, 1 inside 50

Bazeley has the traits to play just about anywhere on the ground, and she spent time in the defensive half, as well as pushing up the ground too. Her sidestep is a delight and she brings the pressure around the ball. Though she did not win as much of the pill as last week, she had her moments, with a fantastic tackle on Russo to win holding the ball at one stage.

#19 Zoe Keley (Ruck)
Stats: 8 disposals, 2 marks, 1 tackle, 8 hitouts, 1 inside 50

With two other rucks being omitted, Keley had to step up, and while she did not ruck alone, did provide a target around the ground. Still raw and learning her craft outside the ruck stoppage, she is not afraid to crash packs despite being a lighter body, and took a couple of good marks in the fourth term which showed some promising signs.

  • Team
  • East Perth
  • Claremont

East Perth:

#3 Lucy Greenwood (Forward)
Stats: 7 disposals 1 mark, 4 tackles, 1 inside 50, 1 goal, 1 behind

The classy small looked the most damaging player on the Royals side and kicked a great goal late in the third term after running hard to win it goalside and leave others in her dust. She should have kicked a second when running into another open goal 10m out, but it came off the side of the boot in a disappointing miss. Still, she was quite influential despite what the stats might suggest, and she brings X-factor and defensive pressure wherever she goes.


#24 Bec Anderson (Forward)
Stats: 5 disposals, 1 tackle, 1 behind

After starting in a blaze of glory last week with two goals, Anderson had a quiet game against hte Royals, only managing the five touches and one behind this week. Instead she created space and leads for Anjelique Raison to capitalise and slot three majors.

#29 Claudia Wright (Defender)
Stats: 20 disposals, 4 marks, 2 tackles, 1 inside 50

The youngster continued her development off half-back with another 20-disposal effort. She provided some run and carry from defence and took grass whenever she could, but was also assigned the kickouts on occasions. When she did, Wright often took a bounce and ran to 40m before kicking long to clear the danger zone. While at times she got herself into trouble such as run down in a holding the ball situation, Wright was easily one of the better players on the ground and has plenty of tricks and smarts to her game.

  • Team
  • Subiaco
  • Peel Thunder


#22 Olivia Wolmarans (Forward)
Stats: 12 disposals, 2 marks, 1 hitout, 1 inside 50, 2 goals, 3 behinds

Wolmarans had a great battle with Cowcher for the majority of the game and the pair had some terrific one-on-ones, while also having their own space at times. The Subiaco was wayward due to the pressure throughout the first three quarters but still looking dangerous, then came to the party in the final term. In the last seven minutes, Wolmarans kicked two goals – in the space of two minutes – with one being a half-volley soccer and the other being a set shot.

Peel Thunder:

#2 Evie Cowcher (Defender)
Stats: 28 disposals, 8 marks, 4 tackles

While largely left to her own devices, Cowcher racked up the ball with ease and at some points it almost looked like she had a Subiaco jumper on the way the opposition was hitting her up. Still, Cowcher has incredible game smarts to get into those spots to intercept, and she did so time and time again. When on Wolmarans she competed hard in aerial contests, and while Wolmarans kicked those two late ones, Cowcher had a sustained impact over four quarters.

#4 Holly Britton (Midfielder/Forward)
Stats: 10 disposals, 1 mark, 2 tackles

Britton worked hard as she always did through the midfield, often winning a lot of unnoticed touches purely because she is getting her hands dirty and feeding it out to space. She did not have a heap of it, but worked hard around the ground.

#6 Jorja Haines (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 10 disposals, 2 marks, 7 tackles, 1 inside 50, 2 goals

Playing forward early, Haines did not see much of it but pushing into the midfield she got more involved and really brought the heat. In the second half, she threatened to fill a personal highlight reel, kicking two goals from 45m and looking the most dangerous Thunder forward. She ran hard until the end, applying a fend off and then handball away just before the siren, finishing with 10 touches and seven tackles as well as those two late goals.

#8 Dakota Sexton (Defender/Midfielder)
Stats: 13 disposals, 1 mark, 2 tackles

Sexton’s bodywork is what stands out, as she can play on a forward or go inside, and along with her strength, has the speed to match. She provided an option in defence to kick to when there, but also dished off by hand to release teammates. While it was a tough day for the Thunder State Academy members, Sexton battled on to finish with 13 touches.

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