State Academy notes: 2024 SANFLW – Round 7

THERE was no shortage of State Academy members running around for Round 7 of the SANFL Women’s following the return of the title-winning Under 16s to their respective clubs. 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
  • Woodville-West Torrens


#6 Violet Patterson (Midfielder/Wing)
Stats: 18 disposals, 3 marks, 7 tackles, 6 clearances, 3 inside 50s

Patterson spent a lot more time on the inside, continuing her development in there since the AFLW players have departed. Finding plenty of the ball and providing her usual run and carry, Patterson covered the ground with ease. Her defensive pressure is always high, and she is not afraid to share the load as a first or second possession winner, teaming up well with Jess Bates and Jo Miller on the day.

#9 Eloise Mackereth (Forward)
Stats: 6 disposals, 2 tackles, 1 goal

After her match-winning efforts last week, Mackereth often had Portaro for company and could not get as many clean looks at it. A set shot midway through the second term was intercepted in the goalsquare, but she would get her chance early in the fourth term when she got to the loose ball goalside and soccered it off the deck from a metre out to ice the game.

#11 Jordan Horne (Forward)
Stats: 8 disposals, 9 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 1 goal

Similar to Mackereth, Horne did not get many easy looks, so instead applied fantastic defensive pressure in the front half of the ground. She did finish off a lovely goal on the move in the second term, and could have had a second five minutes later after a great tackle close to the goalline. Her checkside went too wide though, with another chance for a mark close to the line slipping through her fingers. Nonetheless, she played her role as a pressure forward.

#20 Poppy Scholz (Defender/Forward)
Stats: 16 disposals, 7 marks, 3 tackles, 3 rebound 50s

Scholz returned to be a key intercepting force in the back half of the ground, taking a number of strong marks and switching play to the open side. She provides some run as well, and is still capable of completing the defensive tasks such as spoiling and tackling. At one stage she had gone forward to give the Bays’ forward line a different look when scoring had dried up, before going back into defence.

Woodville-West Torrens:

#3 Bianca Portaro (Defender)
Stats: 6 disposals, 2 marks, 12 tackles, 2 rebound 50s

Though not a lot of touches returning to defence, Portaro’s pressure in the back 50 was sensational. She laid a whopping 12 tackles and gave Mackereth very little room to move when opposed to her. Portaro even won a great one-on-one late in the match against her fellow State Academy member. One who can balance between offensive and defensive roles.

#7 Grace Martin (Midfielder)
Stats: 19 disposals, 10 tackles, 7 clearances, 7 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s

A standout from the Eagles’ State Academy members, Martin was influential through the middle, consistently impacting around the stoppages and clearing the ball forward. She is such a clever player with great natural footballing ability, as well as being willing to do the defensive things right. Her performance was discussed in great detail in her SANFLW Player Focus for the round.

>> Grace Martin SANFLW Player Focus

#18 Klaudia O’Neill (Defender)
Stats: 9 disposals, 7 tackles, 5 rebound 50s

Stationed at full-back, O’Neill added a different element to her game this week, having more ground level play than aerial prowess. It was a product of the entries inside 50 from the Bays, but O’Neill took on Jorja Eldridge and contained her close to goal. While being able to lockdown on an opponent, O’Neill also provided some run and carry with five rebound 50s in the match.

#22 Imogen Trengove (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 14 disposals, 2 marks, 10 tackles

The bottom-age utility had less space to move this game but still chipped in with her moments, often having to dish off quickly or move it on faster than usual. While it did result in some turnovers, she brought about some turnovers of her own, laying fierce tackles and forcing the opposition to be worried about her when she was in the zone.

  • Team
  • South Adelaide
  • Central District

South Adelaide:

#20 Layla Vizgaudis (Forward)
Stats: 8 disposals, 1 mark, 1 tackle

Vizgaudis is one of those players who will only get better with time, and she showed at the Under 16s carnival where she won All-Australian honours, that she is a future midfielder. She is so clean with ball-in-hand and her disposal is outstanding. She is not winning a lot of it, and pops up at different points, but rarely wastes a chance.

#23 Esther Schirmer (Defender)
Stats:10 disposals, 3 marks, 4 tackles, 2 rebound 50s

Played her role once again inside defensive 50 and occasionally pushed up to the wing to provide an extra number at the stoppage and lock the ball up. Her kicking was neat and contained and she had her head on a swivel to find switch options when required.

#25 Emma Charlton (Forward/Wing)
Stats: 7 disposals, 2 tackles, 2 clearances, 2 rebound 50s

A relatively quieter day for Charlton, though she still showed glimpses. A snap towards goal early in the second term went across the face, and kept the ball moving. She also worked hard to get back into defence and clear the ball to safety.

#56 Lily Baxter (Wing/Forward)
Stats: 13 disposals, 4 marks, 4 tackles, 3 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s

Baxter ran hard all day and got involved in a lot of chains both out of defence and into attack. She took some strong marks and was generally effective with ball-in-hand, particularly with time on her side. She set up a goal to Doreena Hansen in the second term to kick-start the Panthers’ impressive second term.

Central District:

#3 Miyu Endersby (Ruck)
Stats: 1 disposal, 2 tackles, 26 hitouts

It was a tough day around the ground for the Under 16s All-Australian who would have taken plenty from her experience against one of the SANFLW’s best rucks in Soriah Moon. Endersby’s athleticism helped her get first hands to the ball around the stoppage, though was not able to impact as much around the ground. Still, she will only get better from the experience.

#9 Charlotte Riggs (Defender/Forward)
Stats: 10 disposals, 2 marks, 2 hitouts, 2 rebound 50s

Riggs was similar to Scholz in the way that she started in defence as usual, then was thrown forward for a stint to provide another marking target in there. She is very good one-on-one and took a couple of strong marks, though South are clever in the way they use the ball going forward. Contributed when she could and cleared the danger on a number of occasions.

#12 Sophie Eaton (Forward/Wing)
Stats: 11 disposals, 2 marks, 1 goal

The bottom-age forward was her usual clean self and while often under pressure with her disposal, rarely wastes a touch. She ran hard all up and down the ground, getting back deep into defence early, and then was rewarded for her hard running late in the match with a clean snap that bounced home for a goal.

#21 Georgia McKee (Forward)
Stats: 4 disposals, 4 tackles, 1 inside 50

It was tough for Central District’s deepest forward to get involved as she continued her stint at full-forward returning from her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury this year. Her pickup at half-forward when venturing outside the forward 50 was ridiculously clean at speed, and then her other highlight was a brilliant fend-off midway through the third term with a clean pickup and subsequent snap leading to a score.

#27 Jasmine Evans (Forward/Wing)
Stats: 13 disposals, 8 marks, 2 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s

The pick of the State Academy members from the Dogs on the day, Evans was precise and pinpoint with her disposal and decision making, taking a number of fantastic marks and providing that reliable target in space. She had a few chances in the forward half of the ground, but was mostly found further afield where each time she touched it, she found a Bulldogs player.

#31 Tara Lord (Defender)
Stats: 9 disposals, 2 tackles, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50

Coming into the side for her League debut following the Under 16 Championships, Lord played off half-back and showed some nice smarts to get into good positions around the contest and along the wing. She competed well against Laquoiya Cockatoo-Motlap in a one-on-one during the third term to bring it to ground, and while sometimes the pace of the game saw her rush her kicks, she was not afraid to take the opposition on and run and carry.

  • Team
  • Norwood
  • West Adelaide


#2 Coby Morgan (Wing)
Stats: 14 disposals, 3 marks, 2 clearances, 4 rebound 50s

Morgan has always been a strong runner and the defensive running in the game was on show, often getting back to assist those in the defensive 50. Aside from getting run-down by Tonkin on the edge of half-time, she weaved through traffic and looked to dish off wherever possible to try and get the Redlegs’ running game going. She took a strong intercept mark at the top of 50 early in the third term but rushed the kick and it was turned over, which was the case for a lot of players on the night considering the state of the game and conditions.

#37 Georgina Birchall (Midfielder)
Stats: 11 disposals, 11 tackles, 2 clearances, 2 inside 50s

Birchall had a blistering opening term picking up five touches and stepping up well through the middle. Her defensive pressure was outstanding, and in the second quarter charged down the corridor winning the ball at speed to kick inside 50. She was not as prolific in the second half, but still brought plenty of heat, laying double-digit tackles.

#39 Charli Hazelhurst (Defender)
Stats: 9 disposals, 4 marks, 2 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s

Hazelhurst was another who had her moments at times and was able to play her role in the defensive 50. She is strong overhead, but mobile at ground level, playing a solid game throughout the four quarters. The bottom-ager had a mind blank when crashing into Ballard late in the third quarter to set up a shot on goal, but fortunately West Adelaide did not make her pay. Aside from that, her pressure and drive was strong, not afraid to get further up the ground.

West Adelaide:

#2 Lucy Boyd (Defender/Midfielder)
Stats: 13 disposals, 5 marks, 10 tackles, 2 clearances, 2 inside 50s, 1 goal

Earmarked as one to potentially get midfield minutes this season, Boyd got that chance against the Redlegs after starting in defence. She took an early intercept mark at the top of the goalsquare to start the game, and her defensive pressure – which has gone to another level in 2024 – was on full display. She got forward in the dying moments of the first half to mark 30m out and make no mistake with the set shot to put her side seven points in front, then provided a throwback to Matthew Scarlett in the 2009 AFL Grand Final with a clever toepoke in the final term. Moments later, she intercepted the ball at ground level and snapped over her should to find Kendell Saffin for the sealing goal.

#14 Chloe Tonkin (Forward)
Stats: 6 disposals, 4 marks, 4 tackles, 3 inside 50s

The marking forward has such clean hands and a smooth one-take action in the air. She did not hit the scoreboard and essentially just played forward in this match, but she also showed her defensive intent, running down the explosive Morgan for a shot on goal which went to Tess Huxtable in the pocket. Tonkin did push up to the wing to be an outlet target as well and is impossible to beat once in front and in position.

#15 Asha Dufour (Midfielder)
Stats: 21 disposals, 4 marks, 8 tackles, 3 clearances, 3 rebound 50s

It was another prolific performance from Dufour who had no trouble finding the ball all over the ground. Though not as dominant on the inside – with so many quality players winning clearances – she still provided defensive pressure and often dished out the release handball to teammates when under pressure. Quite often she disposed of it under pressure which forced mistakes, but was reliable overhead and found the pill in each third of the ground.

#22 Ruby Ballard (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 15 disposals, 2 marks, 6 tackles, 2 clearances

Ballard got her mojo going in the match when rotating into midfield and providing pressure at half-back. As a forward she did not see any of it early with the ball up the other end, but once she had her chance got a snap in late in that term but it was picked off in the goalsquare. Ballard continued to put her body on the line throughout the match, winning a holding the ball free in the third term, then copping a bump from Hazelhurst and bouncing back up. As expected, her pressure was sensational.

#27 Emma Kilpatrick (Wing)
Stats: 10 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles

The winger was quieter in the match, with the majority of ball being contained to the inside leaving limited chances for space on the outside. She did mark Boyd’s toepoke in the fourth term and keep the pressure up inside 50 with a kick and her best moment came earlier in the third term where after giving away a free kick to Kiana Lee for holding on too long in a tackle, smothered Lee’s kick and won the ball back for her side.

#44 Emily Mableson (Defender)
Stats: 7 disposals, 3 tackles, 3 rebound 50s

The Under 16s South Australian MVP and All-Australian captain returned to the SANFLW and played her role in defence, showing that composure and decision making that has seen her compete against much more experienced players. Not a massive production game, Mableson mopped up in the defensive half of the ground and while often under pressure, still kicked long down the line to buy her team some time. She is also not afraid to put her body on the line.

  • Team
  • Sturt
  • North Adelaide


#6 India Rasheed (Midfielder/Forward)
Stats: 22 disposals, 5 marks, 4 tackles, 6 clearances, 5 inside 50s, 7 rebound 50s

It is nearly impossible to try and contain Rasheed from having a big game, it is all about quelling her influence for the opposition. While Rasheed has been more efficient in other matches, she still racked up the ball and when given any time was damaging off her left side. She won clearances, pumped the ball inside 50 via marks at half-forward, and most impressively worked hard from the middle to get back and help the defence, rebounding consistently. Rasheed set up Thornquest’s goal to provide Sturt with an answer to North Adelaide’s first major.

#15 Monique Bessen (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 11 disposals, 2 marks, 7 tackles, 2 clearances, 2 inside 50s, 1 goal

Bessen started forward and soccered through the opening goal of the game with a clever play off the deck just five minutes into the match. She moved into the midfield and had a brilliant take at speed from half-back to head into half-time with six disposals. She would only have the five more for the rest of the match, with North Adelaide looking to contain her influence around the ball, and she also spent a fair amount of time inside 50 too.

#17 Sophie Thredgold (Defender)
Stats: 10 disposals, 2 marks, 4 rebound 50s

The rebounding defence put her body on the line consistently for her side and contributed with drive out of the back 50. She was always looking to get the ball in the path of a teammate, and while at times she found it touch to win it cleanly, did well in containing the dangerous Taylor when one-on-one inside 50.

#25 Edwina Thornquest (Defender)
Stats: 3 disposals, 5 tackles, 1 goal

After playing defence most of the season, Thornquest was thrown forward – a role she has played at development level – and was able to match up on Kristi Harvey well. While the experienced Harvey would have taken the chocolates in that battle, Thornquest continually made leads and presented for teammates with a number of ‘almost’ chances. She did kick her first League goal after converting a set shot from 40m in the third term.

North Adelaide:

#9 Laela Ebert (Midfielder/Defender)
Stats: 11 disposals, 3 marks, 1 clearance

The classy defender found herself on-ball against Rasheed at times, and while she does her best work in space with grass ahead of her, gained some great experience around the contest. She moved well through traffic and was clean at ground level, even bouncing off a would-be tackler and dishing off a handball early in the third quarter.

#31 Nevaeh Ebert (Defender)
Stats: 7 disposals, 1 tackle, 1 clearance

Unfortunately the younger Ebert’s match ended early after going down awkwardly in a tackle and having to be stretchered off. She had a purple patch prior to that in the first eight minutes of the third term, charging down the middle coming off half-back to kick to half-forward. She also won a number of handballs in close and added an extra number to the stoppages at times.

#52 Sarcha Taylor (Forward/Midfield)
Stats: 7 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles, 2 inside 50s

The dangerous forward had Thredgold for company when in attack, but also pushed up to rotate through the midfield. She catches the eye with her clean hands at ground level and defensive pressure, while looking to dance around opposition players.

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