2024 WAFLW Player Focus: Zippy Fish (East Fremantle)

WESTERN Australia’s top AFLW Draft prospect Zippy Fish brought her own ball to Pentanet Stadium last Friday night, doing as she pleased in East Fremantle’s win over fellow top three side West Perth. The Sharks grabbed the Falcons’ second spot on the ladder and kept in touch with current leader Claremont, with Fish’s performance a massive reason why East Fremantle got the points.

Fish fell one touch shot of 40 disposals and was influential across all four quarters, kicking an impressive goal and roaming constantly all over the field. She won it on the inside, outside, in defence and particularly in the forward half in what was a complete performance with minimal opposition attention.

East Fremantle-logoEast Fremantle, Western Australia Girls-logoWestern Australia GirlsMidfielder, Small Defender

Zippy Fish

Height: 160cm

Weight: -

DOB: 04-06-2006


WAFL Women’s Round 7
East Fremantle 7.3 (45) defeated West Perth 1.3 (9)

#38 Zippy Fish (East Fremantle)
Stats: 39 disposals (21 kicks, 18 handballs), 5 marks, 4 tackles, 6 clearances, 7 inside 50s, 1 goal


Fish’s first touch came via a soccer off the deck in the opening 30 seconds starting on-ball, but she would soon have more time by taking an intercept mark on the defensive side of the ing. She casually ran off and handballed to Taya Chambers – who unfortunately immediately ran into trouble due to the pressure.

In the seventh minute, she won a clearance dishing off by hand, then won another handball around the stoppage while being tackled at half-back. She notched up yet another clearance with an extraction handball no more than 30 seconds later and it was evident she was in for a big day. What followed was a strong mark at half-forward and her first kick inside 50, and then 30 seconds later, she was ultra-clean at ground level and delivered a low bullet to a leading target.

After another handball at the 14-minute mark, Fish came off for a brief rest before resuming her game and winning another touch at half-back which was a handball. She went to compete in the air just before the quarter time siren but did not make contact, allowing Mia Russo to mark. Still, it was a dominant first term.


If there was any thought that Fish might cop extra attention in the second term, that was quickly dispelled as the East Fremantle speedster hardly needed to get out of second gear from the opening stoppage. She strolled out of the middle, losing her opponent en route to half-forward, receiving the handball, bursting to 35m and smoothly draining a goal. It was like poetry in motion from the opening bounce to the goal.

The next centre stoppage she got to the right spot to win the clearance was pushed off it, then at the following stoppage won a handball out under pressure. The confusion as to who was actually watching Fish at a stoppage on the wing played out in real time as initially it was Russo, who signalled to Emily Bennett, only for Fish to sneak into space and mark uncontested on the wing with the quick clearing kick from the stoppage. That next kicked was turned over though in a rare mistake from the skilful small.

Coming off for a rest midway through the term, Fish returned at the 13-minute mark and decided to give her left foot a crack, kicking from a defensive contest that was not as clean or smooth as her right side, but she worked her way to the next stoppage and proceeded to notch up three more quick handball touches to keep the stats ticking over.

In the final five minutes of the half, Fish took an uncontested mark on the wing because she was somehow in space once again, then stayed out the back of a stoppage and weaved passed an opponent with ease to kick forward.

Her final moment of the first half was winning it out of defence and kicking clear to a contest at half-back, showing her defensive running capabilities and working over any opponent that was near her.


Fish’s third quarter started with a handball in some more space and while she could have gone harder to lay a tackle an instant later, does her best work when her teammates can win the ball back and she can use her strengths to advantage. In the third minute she chose to soccer it off the deck instead of pick it up and back her pace, but a couple of minutes later did the latter coming off half-back to deliver to the top of 50.

The next five or so minutes were arguably the only few down moments in an otherwise brilliant game, with Fish turning a ball over from a quick snap, then getting pinged holding the ball trying to break a tackle on the attacking side of the wing. Once again she could have gone harder with a tackle herself, but then went for a rest.

She returned with about five minutes to go, winning a couple of handballs in close, then at the next stoppage extracted it clear, though the opposition quickly intercepted. Her first kick since returning to the field was nice low bullet inside 50, and she would win another couple of touches in the final minute of the third quarter.

Fish was awarded a free kick right on the three quarter time siren after being pushed by Megan Norbury, and though needing to kick from 55m – and having a laugh on the way to lining up knowing the distance was beyond her – Fish opted for the torpedo which was a good attempt but fell short. Still, the East Fremantle top-ager had 32 touches to the final break.


After racking up 30-plus touches in three quarters of football, it was anticipated Fish might finally be attended to in an attempt to quell her influence in the final term. Instead, the top-ager’s first touch in the last term featured her strolling out of a defensive stoppage, kicking off her opposite side to a one-on-one.

Just 30 seconds later, she did it again but had even more time, dropping a rare mark, but composing herself and delivering down the ground having lost her opponents at the deep defensive 50 stoppage.

In the sixth minute, the ball just started to come to her, falling at her feet, and because she was all alone, had time to correct the missed disposal and handball cleanly away. After another break, she was back at her old tricks sidestepping an opponent in the middle who slipped over, then ran between two more opponents to kick inside 50.

At the 13th minute of the quarter, somehow Fish was yet again all alone on the wing, running freely to receive the handball, stare at her opponent, back her own pace to get past her then deliver to a teammate inside 50 which led to a goal.

Fish would set up another shot on goal just two minutes later doing an almost identical thing, bursting away from Bennett to kick inside 50 lace out to a teammate. She remained involved right up until the final siren, and though in the penultimate minute she was pushed off rather easily with a fend-off, it was some of the most contact she had felt all night.


Fish is an unbelievable talent and West Perth found out what she can do to you if you let her play the game on her own terms. With explosive speed, smarts and skill, Fish did as she pleased all night long and continued to work contest to contest and find the ball with ease. She set up goals, kicked one of her own, worked into space and was quite simply ridiculously good.

The best players all have areas to improve, and for Fish it is her contested work and strength, but once she gets to the outside and any sort of space, it is game over for the opposition. If Fish gets her own way in the future against other sides then she will produce similarly rampant performances. As a top 10 talent, she is a name to remember for the future, but still has a huge season ahead of her.

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