State Academy notes: 2024 WAFLW – Round 7

EAST Perth grabbed its first win of the WAFL Women’s season thanks to a young gun’s purple patch, while an East Fremantle top-ager starred in the Sharks’ Round 7 win over West Perth. We noted down the State Academy members who took to the field over the weekend, and as always the notes are the opinion of the individual author.

  • Team
  • West Perth
  • East Fremantle

West Perth:

#1 Megan Norbury (Wing)
Stats: 17 disposals, 5 inside 50s

Norbury returned to the side after injury and had no problems finding the ball. She had a nice first touch in the opening term which was a low bullet inside 50, and continued to work hard around the ground. She still looked rusty at time in terms of taking it cleanly, but her bet play came in the second quarter where she set the wheels in motion for her side’s sole goal.

#3 Samara Sallie (Defender)
Stats: 11 disposals, 1 tackle

Trying to create some run and carry out of defence, Sallie was strong standing up in tackles and quick to get the ball away when in trouble. Under the pressure she did make a few mistakes and was pinged for holding the ball once, but showed good bodywork such as midway through the third term where she kicked into the corridor to a two-against-one contest.

#7 Mia Russo (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 24 disposals, 3 marks, 5 tackles, 5 inside 50s

The talented bottom-ager found plenty of the ball and spent time further afield as well as in attack. Opposed to Fish at different points, she would have learnt plenty in the way her opponent could create space and take grass. Russo in turn was able to find plenty of it and showed good strength inclose. She kept trying to drive the ball forward and showed her offensive talent when given the time and space.

East Fremantle:

#12 Taya Chambers (Defender)
Stats: 8 disposals, 2 tackles

A quieter day from Chambers who in fairness had less to do compared to other weeks but still stood up defensively. She was clean by hand and her follow-up work was very good, particularly when bringing the ball to ground in a marking contest against Russo.

#21 Tiani Teakle (Forward)
Stats: 6 disposals, 6 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 2 goals

Teakle played her role and bobbed up for two goals in the match, both coming midway through the last quarter. It did come when the game was done and dusted though, with a quieter contest overall, but when given her chance she took it twice.

#29 Natasha Entwistle (Defender)
10 disposals, 2 tackles

Had her fair share of the ball and overcame some uncharacteristic mistakes in the first term to settle and apply great defensive pressure in the back half of the ground. Able to create some run and carry, she got involved when she needed to be and looked to clear the danger at all costs.

#38 Zippy Fish (Midfielder)
Stats: 39 disposals, 5 marks, 4 tackles, 7 inside 50s, 1 goal

An absolutely superb performance from Fish who had the ball on a string with a ridiculous 39 touches. She roamed the ground and worked her magic, kicking a smooth goal coming out of a centre clearance. All in all, she was not only best afield, but best for the entire competition and her game was analysed in her Player Focus.

>> WAFLW Round 7 Player Focus: Zippy Fish

  • Team
  • Peel Thunder
  • East Perth

Peel Thunder:

#2 Evie Cowcher (Defender/Midfielder)
Stats: 11 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles

It was a much quieter game from Cowcher who spent time in the midfield and looked comfortable at centre square bounces. She won the first two clearances in the fourth quarter to try and spark her side, but like many of her teammates, it was a tough match and she was limited in her impact early. Still, the midfield work late would give plenty of promise for future endeavours.

#4 Holly Britton (Midfielder/Forward)
Stats: 8 disposals, 4 tackles

Britton started well and won a few good touches, applied a couple of strong tackles and even had a nice play that featured a half spoil and then a clean handball to a teammate at half-forward. Ultimately had less impact than normal, but kept trying and her second and third efforts were noticeable.

#8 Dakota Sexton (Midfielder/Defender)
Stats: 11 disposals, 5 tackles

Like her fellow Peel Thunder State Academy representatives, Sexton tried hard and brought the heat. She could not have a great deal of impact offensively, but she still put her body on the line, showed some nice dash here and there, and made life difficult for the opposition.

East Perth:

#3 Lucy Greenwood (Forward)
Stats: 13 disposals, 4 marks, 6 tackles, 1 goal

The East Perth bottom-ager has always looked dangerous inside 50, but she went to another level against the Thunder on the weekend. In a purple patch during the second quarter, she kicked a goal in between setting up two others directly with her foot skills. Those three consecutive majors ultimately put East Perth on the path to victory, with her multiple pressure acts, clean hands and footy IQ all standing out in the Royals’ maiden win.

  • Team
  • Claremont
  • Subiaco


#24 Bec Anderson (Ruck/Forward)
Stats: 8 disposals, 3 marks, 11 hitouts

Anderson started in the ruck and battled hard throughout the contest despite going up against the athletic Wolmarans at times. It got here into the game though, and won a great clearance in the fourth term, with Anderson also spending time forward where she has shown this season she can be a target.

#29 Claudia Wright (Midfielder/Defender)
Stats: 19 disposals, 5 marks, 8 tackles

Returning from her AFLW Academy duties, Wright racked up plenty of the ball and brought defensive pressure in spades. Her vision and decision making are always very good, and she found space really well in the match. Spending more time on-ball helped her get around the action, and she even had a chance on goal from 40m out that just fell short. Overall, Wright was among the best and continues her great form this season returning from injury last year.


#22 Olivia Wolmarans (Ruck/Forward)
Stats: 18 disposals, 3 marks, 18 hitouts

Spent more time in the ruck than previous and had a successful outing with the same amount of hitouts to disposals (18). She has an enormous vertical leap, and can recover quite quickly which helps her become that ‘fourth midfielder’ too. When forward she has speed off the mark that can burn opponents, while also getting involved at ground level as well as in in the air.

  • Team
  • Swan Districts
  • South Fremantle

By: Liam Badkin

South Fremantle:

#4 Noa McNaughton (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 10 disposals, 2 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 1 goal

McNaughton brought plenty of speed to the contest, and hit the scoreboard as a result of her hard work. Whenever the ball entered South Fremantle’s forward line, the crafty small forward found a way to get involved at ground level. Below her knees, McNaughton was clean and put her teammates in better positions with some excellent handballs. She kicked an impressive snap goal thanks to a nice pickup, which was well-deserved. Later in the game, she pushed up the field around the contest more, and was one of the quicker players around stoppages.

#19 Zoe Keley (Forward/Ruck)
Stats: 13 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles, 8 hitouts, 2 inside 50s, 1 goal

Spending most of her time deep in the forward line, Keley did her best to make an impact wherever possible. She converted a set shot after a downfield free kick, going back and slotting an important major in the context of the match. Despite being one of the taller players on the ground, Keley was clean below her knees, and laid a crunching tackle early in the match to set the tone.

#33 Molly O’Hehir (Midfielder/Defender)
Stats: 26 disposals, 3 marks, 5 tackles, 4 inside 50s

It was another outstanding showing from one of the most exciting prospects in the country, as O’Hehir brought her signature dash off half-back. She frequently tucked the ball under the arm and burnt off her opponents to drive the ball forward, and was one of South Fremantle’s biggest weapons on the day. O’Hehir constantly put herself in the right position to win the ball, and rarely wasted her disposal. Even when she did, the follow-up work was tremendous, demonstrated by an excellent rundown tackle in the final quarter after an errant handball. As the game went on, O’Hehir went into the midfield, where she proved a difficult matchup for any opponent with her combination of size and speed.

Swan Districts:

#5 Carys D’Addario (Midfielder/Forward)
Stats: 18 disposals, 5 marks, 8 tackles, 5 inside 50s, 1 goal

Rotating between midfield and half-forward, D’Addario worked her way into the match and had a significant impact ahead of the ball. Although she was out-positioned in the midfield at times, she showed her explosiveness around the contest by setting up an easy goal for her teammate after bursting through a pack and dishing off the hands. Although Swan Districts’ inside 50 entries were not always the cleanest, D’Addario was constantly looking to make something happen, and was often a leading target for her team, showing strong hands above her head.

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