PREVIEW | 2024 Coates Talent League Girls: Dandenong Stingrays

DANDENONG Stingrays reached the penultimate week of Coates Talent League Girls action last season coming off a Grand Final in 2022, and now second-year coach Josh Moore is excited by the group assembled at Shepley Oval. The Stingrays have a couple of AFLW Academy talls as well as a host of rotating mid-forwards, and Moore talked about which players to keep an eye on for the future.


Elli Symonds (Ruck/Forward)
07/10/2006 | 177cm

Symonds burst onto the scene last year as one of the most exciting ruck/forwards in the competition and from early on it was evident there was much development to come. While still working on some areas of her execution, Symonds has elite athleticism, moves incredibly well for a tall, and provides a presence both in the air and at ground level. An AFLW Academy member, Symonds picked up a serious injury late in preseason so will miss the first half of the year.

Josh Moore says: “Unfortunately Elli has a stress fracture in her foot just so she’s going to miss four to six months, which is really shattering for her. That’s something we’re going to have to support and manage through the year just with her injury.”

Zoe Besanko (Ruck/Forward)
25/05/2006 | 178cm

Working in tandem with Symonds last season, Besanko equally caught the eye with her work up forward and then working into the ruck. While still playing that role minus Symonds this year, coach Moore indicated she would spend time in the midfield, using her athletic gifts and bigger frame to advantage. With plenty of upside, Besanko just has to tidy up her finishing at times, but is outstanding at getting goalside and impacting the scoreboard. She will also captain the Stingrays in 2024.

Josh Moore says: “Zoe’s had an amazing preseason, she’s set herself up really well to have a big year. She was announced captain at our camp, really excited to see Zoe do her thing. She’ll play a bit of a ruck and a bit of forward, but we also want to develop her as an inside mid as well. She can sort of do anything, so we really want to highlight that for her as well.”

Kayla Dalgleish (Midfielder/Forward)
15/07/2006 | 161cm

An ultra-athletic small who did well at the Preseason Testing Day, Dalgleish has the capacity to do a lot of damage in front of goal, but also move well through traffic. She dishes off cleanly by hand, and while her efficiency is an area to improve, her vision and smarts – even the odd fend-off – standout in her game as she progresses nicely to begin her top-age year.

Jemma Reynolds (Midfielder/Forward)
29/04/2006 | 163cm

Playing in the Under 17s Futures match, Reynolds is pure class and composure under pressure. Not afraid to sidestep opponents and generally make good decisions with ball-in-hand, she would be the Stingrays top small draft prospect at this stage. She can go forward and hit the scoreboard and just does so much right. Her 10 goals in 13 games attest to her impact up there.

Jemaya Bressan (Wing/Forward)
11/09/2006 | 171cm

Establishing herself for 15 games in the Stingrays last season, Bressan was predominantly a wing who could rotate forward and hit the scoreboard. Her spread and ground coverage really caught the eye, and her turn of pace was eye-catching. She is a good size at 171cm too which can separate her from some others. Bressan has the potential to move inside at points as well.

Josh Moore says: “Once again, really keen to showcase their talents in all different areas of the field. They’re all quite similar actually, Kayla, Jemma and Jemaya are all midfielders who can go forward and play on the outside and the inside. Really excited to see them produce some good footy in all different areas of the field.”


Josh Moore says: “There’s actually been a few bottom-agers that are really standing out. There’s a couple of Mizuki and Nalu Brothwell that are Japanese twins that have only played a handful of games of footy, But they’re really developing at a rapid rate, so they’re really exciting prospects. Matilda Argus and Charlotte Gilmore are two other bottom-agers who I think are going to have huge years as well.”

2024 GOALS

Josh Moore says: “The biggest goal for us is just to make sure we’re getting better and make sure that the individual players are developing and setting themselves up for the next phase of their career when they leave the Stingrays. So really big 12 months in terms of player development.”


Round 2: vs. Oakleigh Chargers | Friday, April 12 @ Shepley Oval

Josh Moore says: “Probably couldn’t have asked for a better fixture to be honest. We get to play Oakleigh Chargers who won the grand final last year. Super excited to play them first up, I think we’re going to match up really well against them. Both teams look fairly strong, so we’ll find out where we sit pretty early in the season and then after that we’ve got a few Academy teams, so it’s a tough draw, but it’s a good draw. It’s exactly what we wanted.”

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