2024 CTLG Player Focus: Kayla Dalgleish (Dandenong Stingrays)

VERSATILE Stingray Kayla Dalgleish is no stranger to filling out whatever role is required of her, and on the weekend, that was deep forward as the talented top-ager had a day out in Dandenong’s big win over Gippsland Power at Shepley Oval.

The Vic Country hub member kicked five goals from 17 disposals – and should have had a sixth as as well – playing largely deep forward in a role that posed a few headaches for the opposition defence. While Dalgleish might be one of the smallest full-forwards at just 161cm, her smarts and forward craft allowed her to have a terrific impact and kick half of the game’s goals in a day out.

Kayla Dalgleish

Height: 161cm

Weight: -

DOB: 15-07-2006


2024 Coates Talent League Girls: Round 4
Dandenong Stingrays 9.8 (62) defeated Gippsland Power 1.8 (14)

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


Dalgleish’s game started with a strong tackle laid inside 50 as she started in the area. Usually she would rotate through the middle, but essentially stayed at home, presenting well from full-forward. She competed in a one-on-one in the goalsquare at the ninth minute but her opponent just got hands to it then cleared it.

A few minutes later, she was on the leader, taking a strong mark, but her set shot from 35m drifted wide and was kept in before eventually becoming a rushed behind. Though that was a miss, Dalgleish was soon to get on the board, winning it off hans in the goalsquare to kick a clever goal. A minute later, it was almost identical, also getting on the end of one off hands from the next inside 50 and this time soccering home a major.

Though Dalgleish’s next kick towards goal was rushed and went out of bounds, she finished the first quarter with both of her side’s two goals to provide that spark inside 50.


Her second quarter was her most productive in terms of getting involved even though she only converted the one major. That goal came in the 14th minute when she protected the all drop and then followed up with a nice set shot goal from 20m out. Prior to that she had a couple of chances, where she often competed against two opponents to bring it to ground.

In the sixth minute, she lead out, took it cleanly off the bounce but was quickly wrapped up, jsut getting a handball away. She was outmuscled in a marking contest against Brooke Hunter, but upon a turnover shortly after, won a free kick for tonight in hard. Her shot did go wide, but her goal came a little later.

Other highlights in the term included a clever gather at half-forward, where she dished off a quick handball and had a follow-up shepherd, as well as gathering off a half-volley late in the match, and handballing cleanly to a teammate. By the half-time break she had kicked all three of the Stingrays’ goals.


The third quarter was a quiet one for Dalgleish as others stepped up. She did win a clean handball to Besanko in the opening two minutes of the term, but the game was largely played between the arcs, as the Stingrays kicked 1.0 to the Power’s 0.3. The latter did not take their chances, opening the door for Dandenong to still hold an 18-point lead at the final change.


After that quiet third term, it did not take long for Dalgleish to once again make her presence felt from full-forward, reading Evelyn Connolly’s kick that fell short from the set shot to mark out in front on the chest. She went back from 20m and made no mistake to kick her fourth, and then five minutes later completed her five-goal haul.

Dalgleish had the smarts to find the space to run into, turn and kick towards goal with a kind bounce favouring her. She was still hungry for more though, pressuring multiple opponents close to goal, applying a smother and forcing it across the line for a throw-in.

She was involved a team goal late in the match, taking another chest mark out in front and dishing off a quick handball instead of taking a set shot, and it ended with a Nalu Brothwell major. Dalgleish’s final play of the day should have been a goal after doing all the hard work to get goalside snatch the ball and then had the open goals only for it to spray across wide for a behind. All things considered though, a five-goal haul was a massive achievement.


Kayla Dalgleish had a day out at Shepley Oval spending full-time forward after usually rotating midfield-forward. It allowed other teammates, such as Connolly to push further afield, and the likes of Jemma Reynolds and Nikita Harris to win plenty of ball at the coalface and put it inside 50 for Dalgleish to capitalise on.

Her work at ground level and smarts inside 50 were on display in the performance, and aside from the rare miss late, she was reliable with her finishing. She is only light and can get pushed of it, but she is not afraid to get her hands dirty and apply pressure on the opposition.

One of a number of Stingrays draft prospects this year, expect Dalgleish to be utilised in a number of roles, but she certainly ticked the boxes of being a small forward with a balance of offensive and defensive traits.

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