Scouting notes: Under 23 All-Stars

OVER the weekend, the Under 23 All-Stars went down to the star-studded AFLW Academy by 104 points at Ikon Park. Despite the defeat, there were still a number of players on the Under 23 All-Stars who caught the eye. We took note of them, with the second part on the AFLW Academy to come tomorrow. All notes are the opinion of the individual author.


#13 Ava Campbell
Collingwood VFLW | 173cm | 29/07/2005

Stats: 18 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 8 rebound 50s

The reliable defender has a knack for accumulating possessions unassumingly and just playing her role. After a couple of games up forward for the Magpies, the former Eastern Ranges skipper was back in her defensive post and had an impressive eight rebound 50s. A lot of her touches came under immense pressure, with 13 of her 18 disposals also being kicks. Campbell was named best afield by her coaches.

#15 Sarah Poustie
Oakleigh Chargers | 170cm | 05/01/2006

Stats: 14 disposals, 5 marks, 2 tackles, 2 rebound 50s

Known for her smarts to get into the right positions to win the ball, as well as her work rate, Poustie was a consistent performer throughout the match. She got involved early with a mark at half-back before delivering a short kick, running on and winning a second possession before hitting another target. In a day where it was tough to penetrate past the AFLW Academy, Poustie also ran at an elite 90 per cent efficiency by foot.

#17 Marnie Robinson
Essendon VFLW | 173cm | 08/06/2005

Stats: 12 disposals, 3 tackles, 9 rebound 50s

Another natural leader who has made her way down into the VFLW to test herself at that level, Robinson skippered the Allies at last year’s national carnival and won their MVP. In this match, she was once again having to defend bravely against a consistent attack by the AFLW Academy. She worked hard and cleared the danger as best she could, with 10 of her 11 kicks hitting the target. She often went long and down the line, making sensible decisions to retain possession.

#20 Tunisha Kikoak
Tasmania Devils | 180cm | 12/05/2005

Stats: 20 disposals, 2 marks, 6 hitouts, 2 clearances, 2 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s

A standout for the Under 23 All-Stars considering she largely went head-to-head with Havana Harris in the ruck. Though unable to match her opponent in the air, Kikoak held her own at ground level and ended up winning more disposals than anyone else on her team. Boasting a booming kick, Kikoak looked to punt the ball to safety and had a couple of inside 50s as well, while taking a great mark midway through the third term and delivering to Poustie.

#21 Bianca Lyne
Port Melbourne | 174cm | 06/04/2005

Stats: 14 disposals, 3 marks, 2 tackles, 8 hitouts, 4 rebound 50s

Lyne had a tough day at the office in terms of her role, but it helped her to no end given the ball was almost always in the vicinity. Going head-to-head with some of the best players in the country, Lyne took some outstanding marks, but it was her run-down tackles which stood out most. She incredibly ran-down Havana Harris in the goalsquare to save a goal, then did the same to Ash Patton inside defensive 50 as she was setting her sights on goal. Her kicking is still a work in progress, but the other elements were a big tick.

#23 Maggie Mahony
Oakleigh Chargers | 161cm | 19/10/2006

Stats: 12 disposals, 4 tackles, 4 clearances, 3 rebound 50s

Mahony just has a crack wherever she plays, and the tenacious midfielder found herself in defence often clearing the danger there. Like many of her teammates it was tough going against that offensive onslaught, but Mahony worked her way to 12 touches, and won an equal team-high four clearances rotating into the midfield at times. Her kicking on the day was a little rough, but considering the pressure provided by the opposition that is to be expected.

#24 Jaime Henry
Western Bulldogs VFLW | 176cm | 05/10/2005

Stats: 12 disposals, 7 tackles, 4 clearances

One player who could physically match it with the AFLW Academy, Henry held her own around the stoppages, wining four clearances and laying seven tackles. The tough midfielder rotated out of the midfield at times and found the ball around the ground, and while it was not a heap of touches, she bounced back from a slow first term to record nine disposals in the middle two quarters. Continues to keep her hand up as a readymade utility player.

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