Swans and Giants enter Talent League Girls

SYDNEY Swans and GWS Giants fans have another competition to keep an eye on this weekend, with the New South Wales Academies taking part in the Coates Talent League Girls competition for the first time in 2024.

Having taken part the last few years as a way of involving the Northern Academies and assisting in selection for the Allies, both the Swans and Giants Academies will enter in Round 3, with the Queensland Academies to follow suit from Round 4.

In this article we take a look at the Swans and Giants with some of the players to keep an eye on.

Swans Academy

Versatile AFLW Academy member Emma Juneja provides pace with ball-in-hand and can be utilised in a number of roles. Expect her to be around the footy, but also rest forward where she can do some damage. She will team up well with Ella Parker who loves to take grass and provide a high volume of metres gained. Expect Parker to be exploding down a wing and will almost certainly hit the scoreboard at some stage.

Swans Academy skipper Taylor Smith is a little smaller than her Brisbane namesake, but does bear some similar traits. She is a marking forward who has footy IQ inside 50, and also brings others into the game. It is likely she will team up well with in-form forward Lauren Bull who impressed in the recent Summer Series for the Swans.

For those scouring the list for potential father-daughters, there is an easy one to spot in the form of Tallulah Kirk. The daughter of 241-gamer Brett, she is one of two twins in the Swans Academy. Expect her to bring similar traits to her father.

Having spent time in the VFLW recently, Imogen Brown should come with plenty of experience, while over-ager Kendra Blattman has the potential to play ruck or forward. Others who come with high regards include Kiera Yerbury, Amelia Martin and Grace Crittenden amongst an even team list.

Giants Academy

All eyes will be on AFLW Academy member Ashley Patton who is coming off an impressive match ith the Academy largely playing forward but rotating through the midfield. Expect her to do that for the Giants, with her ability inside 50 ultra-impressive.

From a top-age perspective the next one to keep an eye on is Amelie Prosser-Shaw who starred during the Summer Series for the Giants and looks to have transitioned from a rebounding defender into a midfielder, and a good one at that. She will add a nice point of difference on-ball.

The Giants co-captains this year are both over-agers in Megan Mifsud and Sophia de Castella. Both have sporting blood running through their veins with Mifsud a former soccer player, and de Castella’s father Robert a gold medal-winning marathon runner.

Perhaps the wildcard in the pack who has the potential to be a top-end AFLW Draft prospect is Ellie Hall. She dominated the Under 16 Championships two years ago, taking out the MVP for the Giants Academy. Unfortunately a knee injury put a line through her season last year, but she is an outstanding ball winner who uses it well and can play on all three lines.

Looking to the future and the 2008-born pair in Majella Day and Darcie Prosser-Shaw standout as names to remember. Day is well known to the Talent League having played with Murray Bushrangers last season and will return again this year. Often a rebounding defender, she has been named at half-forward for the Giants. Prosser-Shaw is the sister of Amelie and is even more developed, having starred at last year’s Under 16 Championships.

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