2024 SANFLW state team finalised

A SQUAD of 22 players has been locked in for the SANFL Women’s clash with the WAFL Women’s on Saturday, marking a historic first for the competition. It will be the first time since the SANFLW was established in 2017 that a Women’s State League clash takes place on the domestic stage.

The 2024 SANFL Women’s squad features five players who have previously been on AFL Women’s list, with the likes of Jade Halfpenny and Laquoiya Cockatoo-Motlap (Port Adelaide), Hannah Button and Katelyn Rosenzweig (Adelaide) and Caitlin Wendland (Brisbane) all making the final side.

The team itself has enormous midfield depth, with five of the six bench players in our potential SANFL Women’s lineup predominantly on-ballers. Many of the other midfield options can also play other roles, such as Norwood’s Tahlita Buethke who could be stationed off half-back, while Button and Wendland provide a mix of pressure and skill in the forward half of the ground.

The pure inside ball-winning group that includes Jessica Bates, Shelby Smith and Zoe Venning will be tough to beat around the stoppages, though expect Alisha Gepp and Tesharna Maher to add some pace to the first possession-winning core.

Specialist winger Laitiah Huynh will add just that on the outside, with the SANFLW state skipper and Glenelg captain Sam Franson likely on the other wing, but could easily head forward and rotate with Cockatoo-Motlap as well.

Forwards Halfpenny and Rosenzweig loom as the obvious contested marking targets inside 50, with Eagles’ McKenzie Dowrick unfortunately missing out due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear a couple of weeks back. A former Subiaco player, the West Australian would have been extremely familiar with many of the opposition players.

In defence, Eagles’ skipper Annie Falkenberg and Glenelg back Marie Martino have a great ability to both lockdown and provide drive out of defence, with another impressive young Eagle in Christina Leuzzi doing just that. The two harder lockdown defenders will be South Adelaide’s Tiffany King and North Adelaide’s Sarah Steele-Park who will take the Sandgropers’ best tall forward.

South Australia has gone with just the one pure ruck in the team, being South Adelaide’s Soriah Moon who has truly earned the honour. She will not only have the star-studded on-ball group previously mentioned, but also the likes of Isobel Kuiper, Poppy Waterford and Sophie Zuill to palm down to.

All up, the South Australian team looks a balance between sheer contested ball-winning and defensively strong midfielders, as well as some speedsters to break the lines. The selectors went with a smaller hybrid side with just the one player – Moon – coming in at 180cm or taller. However a number of the players will be able to match up on taller opponents which will be great to watch.

While Franson was named as skipper of the side, she has plenty of experience around her in Central District premiership captain Smith and Eagles’ leader Falkenberg as her vice-captains in the three-player leadership group.

“It’s an honour just to be a part of this squad and now the team and to lead you guys, who are the best in the League, hopefully I will do you all proud,” Franson said to her teammates after being announced captain this week.

Crows AFLW assistant coach Courtney Cramey will lead the side, with Eagles’ coach Narelle Smith the Chair of Selectors, and current SANFLW coaches, Ben Hunt (Central District) and Michael O’Connor (Sturt) the assistant coaches.


B: Tiffany King – Sarah Steele-Park
HB: Annie Falkenberg (vc) – Marie Martino – Tahlita Buethke
C: Laitiah Huynh – Shelby Smith (vc) – Sam Franson (c)
HF: Hannah Button – Jade Halfpenny – Caitlin Wendland
F: Laquoiya Cockatoo-Motlap – Katelyn Rosenzweig
R: Soriah Moon – Jess Bates – Zoe Venning
INT: Alisha Gepp – Isobel Kuiper – Christina Leuzzi – Tesharna Maher – Poppy Waterford – Sophie Zuill

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