State Academy notes: 2024 SANFLW – Round 6

FOLLOWING a week off due to Gather Round and the SANFLW All-Stars match, South Australia’s top young prospects returned to action for Round 6. As always we took note of those players in the State Academy and how they performed, with notes the opinion of the individual author.

  • Team
  • Glenelg
  • Norwood


#6 Violet Patterson (Midfielder/Wing)
Stats: 11 disposals, 10 tackles, 5 clearances, 3 inside 50s, 1 goal

It was not a day for Glenelg high production players outside of Jess Bates, but while Patterson was not a huge ball-winner, she still cracked in and provided her usual high volume of defensive pressure. Laying 10 tackles to go with her 11 touches, Patterson also won a number of clearances, and chased down Emily Bartsch late in the second term at half-back to lock up and force a stoppage when Norwood had numbers forward of the all. She kicked a classy goal midway through the third term on the run as well.

#9 Eloise Mackereth (Forward)
Stats: 9 disposals, 3 marks (3 contested), 3 goals

The match-winner on the day, Mackereth converted two goals in the first term, then had to wait a while to get involved from full-forward as Norwood dictated play for the most part across the next two terms. But Mackereth’s moment came late in the fourth term just as the Redlegs had hit the front. She clunked a great mark off the boot of Horne and went back to nail the goal and win the game for her side just before the final siren.

#11 Jordan Horne (Forward)
Stats: 9 disposals, 2 marks, 7 tackles, 2 goals

Easily one of her most impactful games, Horne showed her class as well as her defensive pressure inside 50, rarely wasting a moment. She kicked a couple of good goals and missed another that she really should have put away from close range, but made up for it with a pinpoint pass to Mackereth inside 50 for the match-winning goal. Still light, Horne can get pushed off the ball at times, but she gives as good as she gets, laying plenty of tackles.


#2 Coby Morgan (Wing)
Stats: 5 disposals, 1 mark, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50

Morgan copped a shoulder to the hip early in the game and was sore throughout, though she stayed on the field. She was often caught on the dead side of the ground with the play on the other wing, but did get involved with an eye-catching burst late in the third term to kick inside 50 and set up a goal to Amelia Rusden.

#37 Georgina Birchall (Midfielder/Forward)
Stats: 7 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles, 5 inside 50s

Returned to the side and had her moments even without huge numbers. She spent time on Bates throughout the contest and with time and space was able to hit targets well. She laid a big bump on fellow State Academy member Patterson late in the final term, and constantly put her body on the line.

  • Team
  • Central District
  • West Adelaide

Central District:

#9 Charlotte Riggs (Ruck/Defender)
Stats: 11 disposals, 3 marks, 2 tackles, 14 hitouts, 3 inside 50s

With Olivia Levicki and Miyu Endersby both missing, Riggs stepped up to ruck alongside Georgia Avery and showed off her vertical leap. She held her own through the middle, and while she was missed in defence, the Central District midfield got on top and ensured she was able to get involved further afield. Though there were fears early after limping from the first ball up, she returned to play through the game but again clutched at her ankle late in the match.

#12 Sophie Eaton (Forward/Wing)
Stats: 11 disposals, 4 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 2 goals

Class personified. Eaton was her usual self, and with McKee playing deep, the bottom-ager was able to get involved a little higher up and win the all. She kicked two goals – both in the first half – after a brilliant snap midway through the opening term and then running inside 50 to receive the handball and finish off with perfection. Rarely wastes a disposal and her kick to Rosenzweig inside 50 eight minutes into the last quarter was sublime.

#21 Georgia McKee (Forward)
Stats: 5 disposals, 2 marks, 4 goals

Playing her first SANFLW League game in 708 days, McKee was kept as the deepest forward and played her role. She was a menace anywhere close to the big sticks, and often had easy looks thanks to doubling back before her opponent could get there. She finished with an efficient four goals from four kicks and her first was the best of the lot with a classy snap off a step.

#27 Jasmine Evans (Forward/Wing)
Stats: 15 disposals, 3 marks, 2 inside 50s, 2 goals

Involved in the rotation up the ground as well, Evans was another who benefited from McKee’s return, still kicking two goals, while winning the ball further afield. She used good bodywork early in the match to convert her first, and strolled into an open goal again in the third after some hard running. She had another chance late in the match that missed, but her delivery under pressure and through traffic was very good.

West Adelaide:

#2 Lucy Boyd (Defender)
Stats: 11 disposals, 2 tackles, 3 rebound 50s

Not her biggest game but still showed great defensive pressure when called upon to do so. She had a couple of timely spoils including one on the wing early in the third term, and cleared the ball from danger on a number of occasions.

#14 Chloe Tonkin (Forward)
Stats: 8 disposals, 5 marks, 2 inside 50s

Provided a target inside 50 once again even if she had limited opportunities. She took a strong mark in the opening minute, and then a great contested mark on the wing in the fourth term, though opted to handball to a running Boyd who was under pressure. When she gets in the air, she is impossible to stop, with some of the best hands in the competition.

#15 Asha Dufour (Midfielder)
Stats: 13 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles, 5 clearances

Worked hard all game, and did her best around the stoppages to win five clearances. She started the game charging off half-ack at one stage, and used her penetrating kick to get the all forward at all costs. She is quick to get ball to boot and did look to open the game up through the corridor when possible, to hold her own through the midfield.

#22 Ruby Ballard (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 11 disposals, 3 tackles

Though Ballard gave away a couple of frees when opposed to Shelby Smith at times, she was not afraid to put her body on the line. She cracked in and was clean at ground level, firing out quick handballs, while also spreading to space. she took a good mark at half-forward early in the fourth term, but most of her work was done in close.

#27 Emma Kilpatrick (Wing)
Stats: 13 disposals, 2 marks, 5 tackles, 4 inside 50s

One of the better Bloods on the day, Kilpatrick’s running capacity caught the eye, working hard between the arcs. She took a couple of strong grabs and thumped the ball forward, and while a number of kicks were turned over due to the setup of the Central District defence, she still bought her side time behind the ball. Her metres gained and defensive pressure around the contest were highlights in her performance.

  • Team
  • Woodville-West Torrens
  • North Adelaide

Woodville-West Torrens:

#3 Bianca Portaro (Defender)
Stats: 9 disposals, 4 marks, 2 inside 50s

Portaro spent more time back in defence with Martin returning from concussion protocols and had the lower nine touches, but took four marks. She cleared the ball from danger on a number of occasions, and attacked it hard, with her most eye-catching moment coming eight minutes into the final term where she ha a clean pickup on the forward side of the wing, sidestepped an opponent and delivered well inside 50.

#7 Grace Martin (Midfielder)
Stats: 20 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 6 clearances, 4 inside 50s

After a few weeks out due to concussion, Martin wasted no time upon her return, racking up 20 disposals and six clearances rolling straight back into the midfield. One of the Eagles’ best in the win, she teamed up well with Marlie Fiegert on the inside, and had six touches by quarter time. With time and space she delivers to teammates well, and while her speed at times can be an issue she was strong over the ball and ale to feed it out to teammates.

#18 Klaudia O’Neill (Defender)
Stats: 6 disposals, 3 rebound 50s

It is always a good day when you are a key position defender and do not see a lot of it, with O’Neill not needing to do too much in the big win. Though she was not involved with the ball largely up the other end she still mopped up on a few occasions and stepped up when required.

#22 Imogen Trengove (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 16 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles, 3 clearances, 5 inside 50s, 1 goal

The third-gamer has really shown she belongs at the level with another consistent performance rotating between attack and midfield. She kicked a terrific goal on the run that bounced home, while also providing good defensive pressure around the stoppages. She was clean at the coalface, spread well and showed potential to play in a variety of roles.

North Adelaide:

#9 Laela Ebert (Defender)
Stats: 13 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles, 4 rebound 50s

The sole State Academy Rooster afield, Ebert worked hard in defence to continue her consistent season. One of the best from her side in another loss, Ebert showed her clean hands at ground level and lovely skills, particularly by foot, coming out of defence. She took a great intercept mark midway through the third term and looked to open up the game wherever possible to encourage her team to move the ball quickly in transition.

  • Team
  • Sturt
  • South Adelaide


#6 India Rasheed (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 24 disposals, 2 marks, 6 tackles, 3 clearances, 4 inside 50s

The reigning South Australian MVP started forward to allow Bessen in at the centre stoppage, then rolled into midfield at the eight-minute mark. She was met by Chelsea Farr who aimed to limit her influence with a target, and while she found the going tough early, eventually worked her way into space around the ground. She was not as impactful in close due to the measures against her at the stoppages, but she found the ball all over the ground and was able to impact the contest with her dangerous left foot.

#16 Monique Bessen (Midfielder/Forward)
Stats: 32 disposals, 8 marks, 7 tackles, 6 clearances, 2 inside 50s

The standout Double Blue in the loss, Bessen had a day out with her 32 disposals and big numbers across the board. She won a lot of her touches in close and under pressure, so her outside game was not as frequent as it could be, however her composure in traffic and ability to get her hands free while being tackled was still a feature of her game, making good decisions with ball-in-hand all over the field.

#17 Sophie Thredgold (Defender)
Stats: 7 disposals, 1 mark, 1 tackle, 1 clearance, 1 rebound 50

Thredgold competed hard throughout the match and her first kick from half-back in the opening quarter was pinpoint. She did find it a little tougher with ramped up pressure over the next three terms, but used her body well and had a nice spoil midway through the last quarter.

#25 Edwina Thornquest (Defender)
Stats: 3 disposals, 1 inside 50

Only the three touches for Thornquest, but she was there to play a role in the back 50 and did her job. Running onto the field late in the fourth term, she won the ball; on the wing and went to half-forward before delivering inside 50 to set up the Georgia Swan final goal.

South Adelaide:

#23 Esther Schirmer (Defender)
Stats: 13 disposals, 5 marks

Once again played her role and provided an aerial presence in the back half of the ground, even pushing up to hold a high line at times. She provided offensive drive and was strong around the ball, standing up in a tackle after a clean pickup. Schirmer made the odd mistake such as crunching into a teammate trying to mark when she did not need to, but for the most part was pretty good.

#56 Lily Baxter (Forward/Wing)
Stats: 15 disposals, 5 marks, 1 goal

After one of her better games of the season, Baxter is building confidence and getting more and more involved across the ground. She took some strong marks, competing well in the air, and then was quick to recover at ground level if it spilt there. Her delivery into Emily Brockhurst late inside 50 was perfect, and she even kicked her own goal just a minute earlier with a clever snap off a step.

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