Scouting Notes: 2024 VFLW – Round 1

THE VFL Women’s season got underway over the weekend, with plenty of players having impressive performances. We take a look at some of the star performances from across the weekend with a focus on those players showing draftable potential. Any notes provided are the opinion of the individual author.

Southern Saints 4.1 (25) defeated Collingwood 2.5 (17)

Southern Saints:

#29 Chloe Hunt (Forward)
2/12/1997 | 175cm

Stats: Six disposals, two goals

On debut on Friday night, Hunt may not have been racking in the ball, but when she did get her hands on it she certainly made the most of it. A victim of the Saints’ inability early on to hit a target coming into 50, once that was rectified Hunt presented well and took some strong marks, and went back and kicked a game high two goals. She showed why she has been such a dangerous marking target at local level for several years now.

#44 Georgia Ricardo (Defender)
9/7/1999 | 169cm

Stats: Eight disposals, four tackles, one clearance, one mark, one goal

In her first competitive outing on her return to the Saints, funnily enough against her old side, Ricardo certainly made her presence felt. Not necessarily hauling in the touches, she made her presence felt in other ways, including sneaking forward for the crucial first goal of the match.


#44 Megan Ryan (Defender)
12/12/1995 | 180cm

Stats: 13 disposals, six tackles, three hit outs, three clearances.

In what was a frustrating night all round for the black and white, their skipper Ryan was a shining light. Someone with plenty to do, she was a strong driver out of the backline, and with a loud and well used voice she was a key communicator for her team on field.

Essendon 0.7 (7) lost to Port Melbourne 9.0 (54)


#78 Ruby Mahony (Midfielder)
14/8/1999 | 165cm

Stats: 22 disposals, eight tackles, nine clearances

After making the move from one side of the country to the other in the off-season, Mahony showed that the truly does belong at this level and that her move was worth it. Spending much of the match at the coal face of the midfield, Mahony was an ever present force, with a strong ability to clear the ball out of congestion and also ensure the Borough players could not do the same with a really strong tackle pressure.

#57 Tyla Crabtree (Midfielder)
4/9/2005 | 161cm

Stats: 11 disposals, two marks, five tackles, three clearances

In her debut VFLW game, Crabtree showed a composure and maturity beyond her years. Teaming up with Mahony in the midfield, Crabtree created a lot of drive for her side, anywhere from half back up to the forwardline.

Port Melbourne:

#21 Madeleine Patterson (Forward)

16/5/1997 | 187cm

Stats: Eight disposals, four marks, two tackles, two goals

A Category B rookie in her first game in the league, you would be forgiven for thinking Patterson is a lot more experienced than she is. She looked at home in Port Melbourne’s forward line, using her height to her advantage to create an ever present target for Port’s streaming in midfielders to kick to. She had great positioning, even streaming a bit up the ground, and never looked uncertain when going for a marking target.

#12 Nayeley Borg (Defender)

14/1/2002 | 169cm

Stats: 17 disposals, seven marks, three tackles

Despite the lopsided final scoreboard the Borough defence still had plenty to do, and at the forefront of it all was Borg.

Rebound defending was her strong suit, intercepting the ball high in Essendon’s forward 50 and clearing it back towards Port’s attacking half of the ground.

Geelong 4.4 (28) lost to Carlton 9.5 (59)

By: Peter Williams


#17 Lily Jordan (Midfielder)
29/06/2005 | 165cm

Stats: 13 disposals, four marks, 10 tackles, two clearances, three inside 50s, one rebound 50

The hard nut former Rebels forward stepped up in the midfield and added a great defensive hardness to the contest. She gave away a few free kicks for holding, or in one case getting rundown inside 50 breaking through two tackles before being locked up with the third, but kept pushing hard throughout the contest. Jordan was clean at ground level and did well defensively, while having a few nice offensive moments in transition.

#29 Molly Walton (Defender)
06/05/2004 | 173cm

Stats: 12 disposals, one mark, 5 tackles, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50, 2 rebound 50s

In a throwback to her debut season at the Rebels, Walton stationed herself off half-back and looked generally composed with ball-in-hand. While she did make a few mistakes in the form of turnovers, with time and space she was able to make clean passes. Mopping up in the defensive zone when often under siege, Walton was effective over short distances and did provide some run and carry which was crucial for the Cats who were struggling with that, particularly in the second half.

#37 Caitlin Reid (Ruck/Forward)
09/04/1997 | 185cm

Stats: Nine disposals, two marks, three tackles, 22 hitouts, one clearance, one inside 50, one rebound 50

Playing her first VFLW game since coming down from AFL Sydney, Reid caught the eye starting at centre half-forward and then rolling into the ruck. She positions herself well in marking contests, can crash packs and is not afraid to get her hands dirty at ground level. Her decision making and final execution are areas to work on at the increased pressure level, but her defensive pressure was impressive for a tall.

#42 Abby Favell (Midfielder)
26/08/2002 | 167cm

Stats: 26 disposals, one mark, five tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s, one rebound 50

The Geelong Cats skipper did all she could across four quarters to get her team going. Though getting run down at one stage or having to rush the ball forward, her work was valued in bringing teammates into the game. Often dishing off by hand to release a fellow Cat, Favell was the one who set up Chantal Mason‘s goal against the momentum late in the third term. Has the talent, and tried to do it all in the match.


#51 Octavia Di Donato (Defender)
23/02/2004 | 172cm

Stats: Eight disposals, two marks, one inside 50

While the Carlton co-skipper’s stats might not do her justice, Di Donato played a crucial role in the defensive half of the ground. Almost always her kicks hit their intended target and she worked up to the wing maintaining a high line when it was in her side’s forward 50. Not as much to do in the second half of the ground, she had a nice moment in the ninth minute where she sidestepped an opponent after a clean gather at top seed and was able to deliver it down the ground.

#52 Isabelle Khoury (Midfielder)
03/10/2003 | 164cm

Stats: 14 disposals, five tackles, four clearances, one rebound 50

Held her own on the inside, and contested ball-winner racked up four clearances and laid five tackles to show both offensive an defensive traits. She is not afraid to be a first or second possession winner, and her hardball victory in the 13th minute of the third term set up a major to Keeley Sherar. Has developed a consistent midfield profile over the last few years.

#53 Asha Turner Funk (Midfielder/Defender)
29/04/2004 | 165cm

Stats: Nine disposals, two marks, one inside 50, two rebound 50s

Another player who made the move to Victoria to test herself at VFLW, Turner Funk was among the draft possibilities as an overager last season. In her first game for the Navy Blues, Turner Funk had her moments, showing off her skills by hand or foot, as well as a few nice defensive moments such as a spoil across the line in the last minute of the first term. Midway through the fourth quarter, Turner Funk had a purple patch, able to sidestep an opponent and hit a teammate under pressure, before having multiple touches in a chain with her set shot from inside 50 just falling short.

#66 Steph Demeo (Defender/Midfielder)
15/10/2005 | 162cm

Stats: 18 disposals, five marks, four tackles, two clearances, three inside 50s

Working hard from defence and pushing up the ground, Demeo found a stack of the ball while holding a high line. Even when making the odd mistake – such as kicking into the player on the mark in the back pocket early in the second term, Demeo followed up that work with a terrific tackle to lock the ball up. With her statline it shows her consistent impact on the game, and she continued to bob up when required for the Blues.

Western Bulldogs 6.7 (43) lost to North Melbourne 10.5 (65)

Western Bulldogs:

#56 Renee Saulitis (Forward)
14/8/2002 | 163cm

Stats: 17 disposals, six marks, two tackles, two goals

In an afternoon that was at times frustrating for the Bulldogs’ forwards, Saulitis was a particularly shining light. She did not stop running all day, creating a lot of movement and leading opportunities for the Bulldogs to capitalise on, and always made herself feel like an ever present threat.

#53 Amelia Klingbeil (Midfielder)
10/11/1998 | 168cm

Stats: Nine disposals, four clearances one mark, one tackle

Another player on club debut, Klingbeil continued from where she left off after a strong 2023 season. Playing a role that was not necessarily always an in and under one, Klingbeil still created plenty of run and drive through the midfield and into attack for the Bulldogs.

#28 Stephanie Asciak (Defender)
18/9/2003 | 164cm

Stats: 13 disposals, five tackles, three marks, one clearance

In a match that did not leave the Bulldogs’ defenders with much down time, Asciak was rock solid. Consistent in her defensive work, she was taking plenty of intercept marks and also landed a lot of tackles.

North Melbourne:

#12 Madeleine Di Cosmo (Midfielder)
11/2/2002 | 169cm

Stats: 18 disposals, 13 tackles, seven clearances

Much like her former team mate in Klingbeil, Di Cosmo was another that moved clubs in the offseason but continued exactly where she left off after 2023. An ever present body in midfield, her clearance work and defensive pressure were both superb, allowing her to have plenty of influence on the game.

#40 Nyakoat Dojiok (Forward)
7/1/2003 | 175cm

Stats: 12 disposals, four tackles, two hit outs, one mark

Changing the stripes has certainly not changed the game of this lively forward, with many of the traits that excited Pies fans for the past few season on show again over the weekend.

Her speed was exceptional, allowing her to burn off opponents and stream forward towards goal. This speed allowed her to create plenty of opportunities for her and her team mates, and even saw her kick a goal herself. An extra element she has added to her game this season is ruck work, contesting several of the ruck duals in the forward line on the weekend.

#2 Tahlia Meier (Midfielder)
19/10/2003 | 155cm

Stats: 16 disposals, three tackles, two marks, two goals

Much like Di Cosmo, Meier’s clearance work was the element that really stood out from her game. Not necessarily racking up the clearances from the middle, but she was that next option and was the one to deliver that penetrating feed into the forward 50. She was also dangerous around the goals, nabbing a couple of majors herself.  

Darebin Falcons 0.2 (2) lost to Williamstown (11.12 (78)


#37 Grace Wake (Defender)
13/7/2003 | 166cm

Stats: Nine disposals, three marks, one tackle, one clearance

After an interrupted few years at this level, Wake showed on the weekend a calmness beyond her years and was an effective member of defence in what was a pretty tough day to be a Darebin defender. She contested hard, defended well, was calm when in possession and was a frustrating presence for Williamstown’s forwards.


#39 Molly Simpson (Forward)
5/8/1996 | 175cm

Stats: 14 disposals, four goals, two behinds

It was a club debut to remember for the lively forward, who impressed with a game high four goals in Williamstown’s big win. She was lively up forward, and had a strong knack of finding the goals and converting truly. All of her goals were kicked very differently, but all were just as effective.

#6 Emily Eaves (Midfielder)
18/4/2001 | 165cm

Stats: 19 disposals, one behind, six tackles, five clearances

After a bit of a break out year in 2023, it seems that she has continued where she left off for the Seagulls’ midfielder. She saw plenty of the ball and used it effectively, but one of her biggest strengths was her clearance work. With a burst of speed, she was able to emerge from the pack and get an effective clearance away.

#25 Sharnie Whiting (Forward)
23/8/2000 | 172cm

Stats: 10 disposals, two goals, three behinds, three tackles

A long time dangerous forward, it is always hard to mark Whiting and things have not changed in 2024. A strong marker rarely beaten one-on-one, this game in particular gave Whiting a chance to show how much power she has in her kick. One of her goals came from a roughly 49m kick, while she could have had a second from a similar distance but it was called back because it was in the process of being turned over for a free kick.

Casey Demons (2.2.14) lost to Box Hill (19.8.122)


#14 Lauren Jatczak (Ruck)
25/9/2004 | 181cm

Stats: 14 disposals, eight hit outs, four marks, two tackles, two clearances, one goal

In what was a tough morning to be a Casey Demon, Jatczak was one of a few who impressed for the Dees. Although not the first choice ruck, she held her own against a much more experienced opponent, and was also influential in both defence and attack. She was also one of only two Dees to kick a major.

Box Hill:

#15 Mietta Kendall (Forward)
3/9/2002 | 163cm

Stats: 11 disposals, five goals, three tackles, two marks

In a game that was dominated by her AFLW listed team mates, Kendall was a shining light and very impressive in her own right. Although much smaller than both her teammates and opponents in that forward 50, she used her speed and agility to her advantage to sneak around opponents, and already had multiple majors by quarter time.

In an exciting development for Hawks fans she appears to have improved her speed in the offseason, so could make a real influence for the Hawks this season.

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