PREVIEW | 2024 Coates Talent League Girls: Murray Bushrangers

MURRAY Bushrangers have a sister-of as one of two Vic Country hub members, while building a strong group of bottom-age and double bottom-agers for the future. We spoke to Bushrangers’ coach Emma Mackie at the Preseason Testing Day about her list and the players to watch.


Holly Egan (Utility)
01/07/2006 | 176cm

A developable tall who can play on all three lines, Egan has some eye-catching athletic traits and was often found intercepting the ball at half-back and driving it forward. She has the speed to go up to a wing or even explode from a contest, and has the potential to take the next step. The sister of Richmond’s Grace, Egan will have an easy choice to turn to in regards to the pathways with her older sister also coming through the Bushrangers.

Madison Ibrahim (Defender)
12/12/2006 | 169cm

Ibrahim has been limited at Talent League level over the past two seasons, playing the four games. In 2023, she had nine disposals, two marks, two tackles and one rebound 50. She will likely play off half-back and provide some nice run and carry, with continuity being the key for the medium defender. A member of the Vic Country hub, Ibrahim has scope to improve and will be a key player for the Bushrangers.

Emma Mackie says (on what Egan and Ibrahim bring): “Their attitude for one. They’ve set their goal and intention is to be playing Vic Country and to be getting drafted into an AFL Women’s club at the end of the season. They bring leadership, they bring back the experience of already being apart of Vic Country hubs, so bringing that back to the players in the group and talking to the girls about that, and what they should be bringing to training and the outlook of that. They bring a lot of that leadership and experience and their attitude has been amazing.”

Ellie Hall (Utility)
07/07/2006 | 174cm

A member of the Giants Academy, Hall is a player who seems to have flown under the radar a bit as she prepares to return from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury that put a line through her year. It might seem a far cry away now, but hall dominated the Under 16 Championships back in 2022, against the Swans Academy, averaging 21.5 disposals, 7.0 marks, 6.5 tackles and 7.5 rebound 50s. Is a good size and can play on all three lines winning possessions inside and out. If she can get a clean run at it, watch out because she is a star.


Emma Mackie says: “We’ve got Lyla Bell whose a new player, she’s exciting she’s come across from water polo, she will be really exciting to watch, very tall. She’ll be probably playing through the ruck for us, so it’s exciting to see her come along.

“We’ve got Ellie Armstrong who had a really strong year last year and she’s a top-age player so she’ll be a really exciting one to watch, she’s from Shepparton region.

Molly McLaren, she’s bottom-age but she’s definitely one to watch out for, she’s such as a leader already, she was last year and this year she will be no different. We’ve still got some really great, talented 15/16 year-olds coming through so you’ll see some of those top-age 16 year-olds Majella Day, Rose Bell , Eliza Roche.

“You’ll definitely see them come through and have some games with us as well, but we’ve still got a lot of potential and talent and some new players, Hayley Whitsed she’s a runner, really athletic, again one I think has just picked up the football skills really naturally, so she’ll be really exciting to see as well.

“We’ve got a lot of girls that we’ve been scouting from across the region from other sports, really athletic girls, so it will be exciting to see them transition that into footy.”

2024 GOALS

Emma Mackie says: “The goals for the year are again just to have a program or creating a program in the north east region that is a safe and inclusive environment for these players to come in and want to come and play football.

“The goal for us is to continue to grow football in our region, it is still a sport that is very new and has a long way to go. If we can get girls come in and just really love playing footy and feel like they’re a part of something and growing something and want to go continue to push themselves and go back and get more players involved back in the community, then we’re on the right track. Just make sure that we’ve got a really fun environment for the girls to just play football.”


Round 2: vs. Gippsland Power | Sunday, April 14 @ Highgate Recreation Reserve

Emma Mackie says (on wait to play first game): “I think we’ve got the training blocks planned out and we just keep talking to the girls, we’ve got training planned out the way that it’s planned out. It’s just a process and it’s a step each stepping stone to get us to the start of the season. We’ll make sure we’re taking the breaks when we need to, we make sure we’re pushing the group when we need to, we’re having fun within that as well.

“For us it can be a mix of things as well with the heat policy that we have to run by back in our region. We’ve already had a couple of trainings where we’ve had to change it to a pool session and things like that. I think it’s just keeping the girls motivated and fresh along the way. But making sure that they know that each training is completed out the way it is to get us ready for Round 1.”

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