2024 CTLG Player Focus: Sierra Grieves (Western Jets)

ALTHOUGH her team ultimately did not come away with the four points, Western Jets midfielder Sierra Grieves put in an eye-catching effort in Round 2. Returning from representing the AFL Academy against the Under 23 All-Stars the week before, Grieves was back in the blue and gold and had a strong impact through midfield.

A natural ball winner who can go forward and hit the scoreboard, Grieves did just that against the Dragons. She racked up more than 30 disposals, pumped the ball inside 50 a total of 10 times, laid 11 tackles and booted two goals. All in all, she was the clear standout midfielder on the ground and also enjoyed a great battle with potential top 10 talent Sophie McKay.

Sierra Grieves

Height: 164cm

Weight: -

DOB: 18-05-2006


2024 Coates Talent League Girls: Round 2
Western Jets 6.5 (41) lost to Sandringham Dragons 8.9 (57)

#9 Sierra Grieves (Western Jets)
Stats: 31 disposals (17 kicks, 14 handballs), 3 marks, 11 tackles, 10 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s, 2 goals


Grieves started on-ball as expected, and immediately attempted to lay a tackle. She was shrugged off, but shortly after worked to get into a ball-winning position and fired away a quick handball. Her next tackle at the two-minute mark would stick, and she would continue to look dangerous around the stoppages.

Going head-to-head with McKay, Grieves won a centre clearance in the ninth minute after Sandringham had kicked a goal, bombing it inside 50 with the outside of her boot. Generally more potent by hand, Grieves’ release is very good in traffic, and while most of her early touches were under pressure, she gained pressure meterage.


A naturally defensively-minded player, Grieves was able to drop back into defence early in the second term to win the ball and clear to safety. It landed in front of her from a poor kick from a teammate which put Grieves under pressure. Luckily she composed herself, sidestepped an opponent, took a bounce and kicked inside 50.

Her clearance work throughout the game was fantastic, spinning out of a tackle midway through the quarter and thumping it long inside 50, before another centre clearance in the final minute of the half. She burst away looking to have added some extra speed to her first few steps and was able to put the ball deep inside 50 to a dangerous spot. Her final kick came right on the half-time siren.


Grieves and McKay renewed hostilities to start the third, but it was the Carlton-tied Dragon who won the first clearance. However Grieves was able to run hard to space and won the ball on the forward side of the wing once her side forced a turnover. She would soon be rewarded for all that hard running, getting deep inside 50 and as the first to the goalsquare, kicked the easiest of goals from a metre out.

Both Grieves and McKay kept exchanging either clearances or immediate tackles when the other was not spending time in the respective forward 50, and the Western Jets onballer even won the pill in the back pocket where she got a clean kick away before being tackle. She would have a rest mid-quarter before coming onto the ground, then caught the eye with her most impressive play of the day.

Winning it close to the line on the wing, Grieves opted to keep the all in and took off, taking no less than four bounces. In the process she evaded two players and was able to pump the ball long and deep inside 50 to make sure the Jets forwards continued to have supply.


At the first centre bounce, Daisy Flockart walked over to Grieves to stand beside her, only for Grieves to switch with her teammate and head next to fellow AFLW Academy member, McKay. The pair exchanged pleasantries before both cracking in. Neither won the clearance but McKay went forward and won the next touch, though Grieves would receive another disposal at half-back five minutes into the contest.

She produced a one-two before being dragged down with the second handball forcing a turnover, and it was he case again at the seven-minute mark at half-back where Grieves got the ball free to avoid a holding the ball call, then locked it up. Her final play of the day was a clean take inside 50, followed by a neat sidestep and classy finish, putting it straight through the big sticks for her second goal of the day and to cut the deficit to 10 points.


Grieves is one of the better inside midfielders in this year’s AFLW Draft class. While she has areas to work on in terms of her execution under pressure, she gains a lot of meterage through her extraction and long kicking, but now has shown she is willing to take the game on more and more. Her multiple runs really caught the eye, and if her first-up performance is anything to go by, Grieves is set to take her game to another level in 2024.

Strong at ground level and in the air, Grieves can compete well aerially for a smaller player, and she is not afraid to crack in and lay enormous amounts of tackles too. For a player who does have such high tackle numbers, it is impressive to also see her accumulation still ticking over. If she can hit the scoreboard each game while playing as an inside mid and resting forward, then she will be all the more damaging for it.

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