State Academy notes: 2024 SANFLW – Round 8

GLENELG moved two wins clear on top of the SANFL Women’s ladder, with Norwood ending South Adelaide’s five-game winning streak, and Central District and West Adelaide also recording victories. As always we took a look at the South Australian State Academy players, with all notes the opinion of the individual author.

  • Team
  • Glenelg
  • Sturt


#6 Violet Patterson (Midfielder/Wing)

Stats: 20 disposals, 3 marks, 9 tackles, 4 clearances, 6 inside 50s

The tenacious midfielder was back in a big way against the Double Blues, providing fantastic pressure on the inside and outside and found space really well. Her kicking has really come on this year and the sustained form would be an exciting element for Collingwood recruiters with Patterson tied to the club via the father-daughter rule. She had a flying shot on goal late in the second term but missed to the right, but otherwise she was influential across the ground.

#9 Eloise Mackereth (Forward)

Stats: 4 disposals, 2 tackles

Though Mackereth did not end up having a kick, her performance was still a vital one for the Bays because the bottom-ager always provides a contest. Even when outsized or outmuscled, she will usually bring it to ground, and works hard with double and triple efforts on leads.

#11 Jordan Horne (Forward)

Stats: 7 disposals, 5 tackles, 1 goal

Like Mackereth, Horne was limited in her kicks with just the one, but it was a goal, after a long range attempt that bounced home perfectly in the second term. Her tackling pressure is what stands out in her game though, laying seven tackles on the night.

#20 Poppy Scholz (Defender)

Stats: 16 disposals, 7 marks, 2 tackles, 3 inside 50s

Scholz was again strong in the back 50 and while she took some early intercept grabs largely played a looser role where she got more involved in transition as a switch option. She pushed into the middle to win the ball at times, and got her hands dirty, even copping a heavy bump but laughing it off. In the final term she took a couple of great intercept marks to thwart Sturt forward forays.


#6 India Rasheed (Midfielder/Forward)

Stats: 20 disposals, 9 marks, 5 tackles, 4 clearances, 6 inside 50s, 1 goal

The AFLW Academy member had the ball on a string early and was looking dangerous, setting up the first goal of the second term out of the centre clearance straight to Amy Brooks-Birve. She then kicked her own on the run after steadying a little later. Jo Miller kept a close eye on Rasheed around the stoppages, but both went their separate ways outside that with Rasheed even pushing into defence to try and provide drive down the ground.

#16 Monique Bessen (Midfielder/Forward)

Stats: 21 disposals, 4 marks, 10 tackles, 4 clearances, 6 rebound 50s

Bessen had a great first term and did a lot of work getting back into defence, winning clearances from defensive stoppages and clearing it well. Clean with ball-in-hand, she showed great composure, and if she did not win clearances, she provided an outlet option to drive it down the ground. Though classy with a capital ‘C’, Bessen also applies strong pressure, laying 10 tackles.

#17 Sophie Thredgold (Defender)

Stats: 9 disposals, 3 marks, 5 rebound 50s

Her stats might not jump off the page, but Thredgold played an important role out of the back 50, be it through a clearing kick or some run and carry. She contested marking contests when required and against Horne did well to nudge her opponent under it.

#25 Edwina Thornquest (Defender)

Stats: 1 disposal, 2 tackles

Thornquest had her sole handball in the first term as she was being tackled, and while she did not light up the stats sheet, just played her role in defence. Competitive one-on-one, Thornquest is not a massive ball-winner but provides body-on-body contact with marking contests.

  • Team
  • Norwood
  • South Adelaide


#2 Coby Morgan (Wing)

Stats: 20 disposals, 3 marks, 1 tackle, 1 clearance

Morgan was one of the best for the Redlegs and named best on ground by the coaches for her run and carry across the ground. She has had ups and downs learning the wing role in 2024, but she pieced it all together under lights against the Panthers. She found the ball and broke lines when she could, getting into ball-winning positions and being dangerous with ball-in-hand.

#37 Georgina Birchall (Midfielder)

Stats: 5 disposals, 3 tackles, 3 inside 50s

Not always rewarded with stats for her work, Birchall cracks in and has a go at any assignment thrown at her. Given the strength of the Panthers’ midfield, Birchall held her own and while she did not win a lot of touches, was able to apply pressure, as well as get the ball forward when it was her time to go.

#39 Charli Hazelhurst (Defender)

Stats: 12 disposals, 6 tackles, 1 inside 50, 1 rebound 50

Hazelhurst was one of the better Redlegs on the night, providing some nice drive from defence, and showcasing her athleticism. She can occasionally turn it over under pressure, but generally has high impact-per-possession as she drives it down the field, and her second efforts – where she goes contest-to-contest – are another point of difference for the tall.

#61 Kate Alexander (Ruck)

Stats: 7 disposals, 2 tackles, 14 hitouts, 2 clearances, 2 inside 50s

The young ruck had a baptism of fire returning to the SANFLW against arguably the best ruck in the competition. She had some nice moments and still won hitouts thanks to her athleticism, but Soriah Moon‘s strength, ruck nous and experience came out on top. Alexander would have taken plenty from the match, and she still found a number of touches working hard at the stoppages and once the ball hit the deck.

South Adelaide:

#17 Shae Archbold (Forward)

Stats: 3 disposals, 3 tackles

It was a tough day to be a South Adelaide forward, and it was no different from Archbold who only had a handful of touches. Returning to the League side, the top-ager showed good intent and defensive pressure, which is a strength of hers outside her marking.

#20 Layla Vizgaudis (Forward/Wing)

Stats: 9 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles, 2 inside 50s

Though the game was contested at times, Vizgaudis showed some nice class in patches and bobbed up across Norwood Oval. The double bottom-ager and Under 16s All-Australian has natural footy smarts, and when she wins it is a quick decision maker by hand or foot with lovely technical skill.

#23 Esther Schirmer (Defender)

Stats: 14 disposals, 3 marks, 3 tackles

Schirmer tried hard all game, often up against Adrienne Davies who has some great forward nous. She did her job well, keeping Davies goalless and providing rebound on transition. Though the Panthers ultimately went down, Schirmer could hold her head high for her efforts.

#25 Emma Charlton (Forward/Wing)

Stats: 7 disposals, 1 mark, 1 tackle, 1 clearance, 2 inside 50s

Like Archbold it was not the easiest day for forwards, so when Charlton got up the ground she relished it. It was still a quiet game for outside runners, but she had a few quick disposals and pumped the ball inside 50 on a couple of occasions.

#56 Lily Baxter (Wing)

Stats: 10 disposals, 1 mark, 1 tackle, 3 clearances

Another player who worked hard without a great deal of reward, Baxter was often caught on the ‘quiet’ side of the ground. She still ran hard and got into good positions, and when the ball was in her zone, did well extracting it from the contest and keeping the ball moving in transition.

  • Team
  • North Adelaide
  • West Adelaide

North Adelaide:

#9 Laela Ebert (Defender/Midfielder)

Stats: 23 disposals, 10 marks, 2 tackles, 3 clearances

Ebert was a standout for the Roosters in the loss, racking up a team-high 23 touches and also taking 10 marks. She got into intercepting positions to take the ball cleanly then hit pinpoint targets coming out of the back 50, before moving into the midfield. She is clean by hand or foot when the ball comes to her and is gradually developing her midfield game at the state league level.

#52 Sarcha Taylor (Forward)

Stats: 9 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles, 1 goal

The crafty forward kicked a nice goal in the third term with a nice sidestep and snap just outside the goalsquare. She looked dangerous when the ball was in her area, of ten going head-to-head with Mableson throughout the morning. She took a couple of good marks and had a shot in the first term that just drifted to the left for a behind, and another in the second term that fell short and was marked.

West Adelaide:

#2 Lucy Boyd (Defender/Midfielder)

Stats: 18 disposals, 4 marks, 3 tackles, 2 clearances, 3 inside 50s, 9 rebound 50s

It was a prolific game for Boyd who once again went from defence to spend some time in the midfield. When in the back 50, she took a couple of strong marks, including a goal-saving mark right before half-time. Her pressure game – even if not rewarded via tackles – was great and she had a fantastically timed spoil in the fourth term.

#14 Chloe Tonkin (Forward)

Stats: 5 disposals, 2 marks, 2 hitouts, 2 inside 50s

Tonkin had a tough day out going head-to-head with one of the best one-on-one defenders in Kristi Harvey. While Harvey took the chocolates overall, Tonkin did win a couple of great contests and was infringed a couple of times too. She only kicked the one behind in the end, but what stands out about Tonkin is she is not afraid to engage with body-on-body contact.

#15 Asha Dufour (Midfielder)

Stats: 29 disposals, 5 marks, 5 clearances, 3 inside 50s, 2 behinds

No one had more disposals than Dufour in the match, who finished with 29 for the game as well as five marks and five clearances. Dufour can tend to hack the ball out of stoppages at times or when under pressure which is an area of improvement, but when in space she can hit targets well and does look to provide some transitional run.

#22 Ruby Ballard (Utility)

Stats: 19 disposals, 4 tackles, 5 clearances, 2 rebound 50s

Ballard actually found herself behind the ball on a number of occasions and clearing it out of defence and going up against Aprille Crooks at times. When in midfield she laid some great tackles by pinning the one arm and was clean off the deck and quick by hand. She can sometimes rush her kicks when under pressure, but when inside 50 kicked a brilliant goal off a turn and step from 30m in the second term.

#27 Emma Kilpatrick (Wing/Defender)

Stats: 9 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 3 inside 50s

Kilpatrick had a quieter game compared to others but ran hard around the ground and provided some drive. Her hands were strong and she put her body on the line a number of times. Still got into ball-winning positions even if she was not rewarded with it.

#44 Emily Mableson (Defender)

Stats: 9 disposals, 2 marks, 3 inside 50s

Going head-to-head with Taylor for the most part, Mableson had some early composed touches out of defence .Though she can make the odd mistake, generally she uses it well and had a great proactive run off half-back in the second term to set up a goal to Hannah Button. Just gets to the right spots and took a ball one-handed at speed and was able to deliver effectively.

  • Team
  • Woodville-West Torrens
  • West Adelaide

Woodville-West Torrens:

#3 Bianca Portaro (Defender)

Stats: 12 disposals, 7 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s

Portaro offers four-quarter consistency each week and an unrelenting defensive game. At times her kicking could be tidied up a little with her technique, but she has the awareness in-game to get the ball into positions that advantage her teammates, particularly with deft taps. When against the dangerous Evans, she held her own and limited her impact.

#7 Grace Martin (Midfielder)

Stats: 20 disposals, 3 marks, 3 tackles, 3 clearances, 6 inside 50s

Martin chalked up another impressive game through the midfield and having an influence on the scoreboard with her long kicking inside 50. She did just that with a great kick to Brianna Walling in the last quarter and kept working until the final siren. In the third term Martin got crunched and looked in a bad way, but found her feet and played out the game strongly. She has worked on her speed this season and looks a yard quicker than last year, able to escape some would-be tacklers.

#18 Klaudia O’Neill (Defender)

Stats: 10 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 4 rebound 50s

Rock solid in defence, O’Neill had a big job on Rosenzweig for a bit, and was able to get into the right positions to intercept or get involved at ground level. She got caught behind the Central District forward at times which is dangerous against a player of that calibre, but she will learn from the experience. She had a win against Rosenzweig in the third term where she took it cleanly at ground level and handballed to a teammate. O’Neill also took a strong contested intercept mark late in the fourth term.

#22 Imogen Trengove (Midfielder)

Stats: 14 disposals, 2 marks, 6 tackles, 3 clearances, 2 inside 50s

Trengove started on Dogs’ skipper Shelby Smith and certainly felt the brunt against a tackler such as Smith. She kept bouncing back up and when she had it, could use her speed to move out of the stoppages and deliver down the ground. She was involved early and rested forward at times, applying good defensive pressure and was overall quite clean.

Central District:

#3 Miyu Endersby (Ruck/Defender)

Stats: 8 disposals, 4 marks 14 hitouts, 2 inside 50s

Endersby had a tough day against Leah Cutting whose strength and experience showed out in the end, though Endersby did well outside the ruck stoppages. She still won 14 hitouts, but it was her work around the ground that caught the eye. Her best moment came in the dying seconds where she clunked a contested mark on the goalline when Brooklyn Kraft was having a shot to try and win the game.

#9 Charlotte Riggs (Ruck/Defender)

Stats: 8 disposals, 2 marks, 7 tackles, 12 hitouts, 2 inside 50s

Similarly to Endersby, Riggs was not able to move Cutting at stoppages, but when at centre bounces, leapt right over her with that elite athleticism she possesses. Still providing a defensive contest when in the backline, she also laid a fantastic seven tackles. A highlight came in the second half when in a one-on-one marking contest, tapped it to herself, with her taller reach, then handballed off well.

#12 Sophie Eaton (Forward)

Stats: 10 disposals, 3 marks, 3 tackles, 2 inside 50s

Had her classy moments at times with her skills on full display when winning it at half-forward or inside 50. Her pinpoint passing was outstanding, and she rarely wasted a disposal. Though not a massive accumulator, she hit some nice passes to leading targets, which helped keep the Eagles’ defence on its toes.

#27 Jasmine Evans (Forward)

Stats: 9 disposals, 4 marks, 3 inside 50s

Like Eaton, Evans did not get off the chain like she has a tendency to do in close games, but set up the important goal to Karissa Searle to get within a kick late in teh game. She had the chance to win it with a flying snap that bounced but just missed to draw her side within four points.

#31 Tara Lord (Defender)

Stats: 14 disposals, 4 marks, 2 tackles

Lord had some nice moments out of defence providing strong hands overhead and also applying defensive pressure even when not tackling. She did make some mistakes, but it was impressive to see her follow up and lock the ball up such as in the opening term. Generally played well and showed she can play a key role out of defence for the

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