PREVIEW | 2024 CTLG Round 1 – Saturday

TWO games take place on Saturday as the metropolitan teams enter the 2024 Coates Talent League Girls season. Starting off at Highgate Recreation Reserve in the morning, play then continues at RSA Park, with all four sides missing some key players due to the AFLW Academy and Under 23s match.

  • Team
  • Calder Cannons
  • Northern Knights

Saturday, April 9
Highgate Recreation Reserve @ 9:30am


Both the Calder Cannons and Northern Knights made the respective Vic Metro conference finals after top eight finishes. They came up against the clear two standouts in the season first-up though in Oakleigh Chargers and Eastern Ranges, and bowed out in the first week. Still, both sides showed plenty of talent with promising players over the next couple of years.


Due to the AFLW Academy against Under 23s All-Star match, the Northern Knights will be minus Zoe Hargreaves, while Calder Cannons will be without Kyla Forbes.


Calder Cannons:

In Forbes’ absence, the top-ager to watch is the tenacious Maddison Albrecht. She attacks it hard, covers ground so well ad can play in a multitude of positions. An improving player who is only small but has great potential. Ava Gerada is a top-ager highly touted by coaches and will lineup in defence, while Stephanie Mitchell had her moments throughout 2023.

The dual double bottom-agers of Chloe Baker-West and Jade McLay loom as two top-end talents for 2025. The pair are very different players with Baker-West being a gut-running midfielder who can also play up either end and suffers leather poisoning most weeks, while McLay is equally as versatile, with a strong frame and a booming kick.

Northern Knights:

Hargreaves will be a big loss for the Knights as she provides that powerful burst out of the stoppage, but Tahlia Plunkett provided some key ball-winning ability last season. Skipper Holly Ridewood is one with potential to lead from the front, while marking forward Kira Lemire is a player with upside for the future.

The bottom-agers from the Knights are building nicely with Marlo Graham, Scarlett Johnson and Olivia Gorman all exciting talents who will build over the next 18 months. Phoebe Hargreaves is unavailable for the match, but is right up there in terms of talent.


A tricky game to predict with both players missing their best top-ager, though with Calder playing at home and with the standout bottom-agers, the Cannons should be a little bit stronger.

  • Team
  • Sandringham Dragons
  • Eastern Ranges

Saturday, April 9
RSEA Park @ 1:30pm


Eastern Ranges fell a win short of the flag after going down to Oakleigh Chargers in a memorable grand final. They finished minor premiers and had a thrilling win over Sandringham Dragons in confusing circumstances – the scoreboard at Warrawee Park was incorrect indicating a Dragons win – while the Dragons did well enough to charge into the top eight, but just miss out on finals due to the metro and country conferences.


Sandringham Dragons’ talent Sophie McKay will be at her father’s spiritual home of Ikon Park tomorrow, while small forward Kera Galaminda Gellar will represent the Under 23 All-Stars in the same game. A trio of talented Ranges will also be out due to the game, with AFLW Academy defender Grace Baba, and forward-midfielders Georgie Brisbane and Grace Belloni representing the All-Stars.


Sandringham Dragons:

Vic Metro hub member Daisy Flockart is one to watch for the Dragons, with her class and ability to make things happen wherever she plays, crucial to Sandringham’s transition. She along with co-captain Scout Howden are two Dragons looking to put their name up in lights this season, while Judie Goldman is another former Under 16s Metro representative in the side.

Olive McLean has been earmarked by the coaches as a player to keep an eye on this season, while from a bottom-age perspective, Sienna Sharp has promise, while Amy Smith will be looking to build on her six games last season where she averaged 9.8 disposals and 2.8 marks per game.

Eastern Ranges:

The Ranges have ridiculous depth in their side once again even with a host of players missing. Top-age vice-captains Evie Parker and Molly Paterson will step up to the plate and provide some run and carry across the ground, while forward Georgia Knight is a potent goalkicker. Asher Fearn-Wannan is highly touted by coaches and impressed over the preseason, while Stasia Stevenson became an important member of the Ranges’ lineup last season.

Similar to Calder, Eastern has a couple of seriously talented bottom-agers headlining its list with Tayla McMillan a standout and ultra-smooth midfielder, while Jordyn Allen has huge upside with a nice balanced game sometimes playing a similar role to her Collingwood namesake.


Eastern Ranges are right up there in terms of contention once again, with a really deep and talented list across the board and should get the job done. It will be a great test for the Dragons to see where they are at, and how they fair without the top 10 talent in McKay, but will also be a good chance for others to step up.

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