State Academy notes: 2024 SANFLW – Round 9

A COUPLE of first-timers feature in this week’s State Academy notes for Round 9 of the SANFL Women’s, and while some players missed out playing on the weekend, there were still plenty of young stars running around in the competition.

SANFLW Round 9 | Match of the Round | Weekly Wrap | Team of the Week

  • Team
  • Sturt
  • Central District


#6 India Rasheed (Midfielder/Forward)

Stats: 34 disposals, 7 marks (1 contested), 9 tackles, 8 clearances, 9 inside 50s, 2 goals, 2 behinds

It was another dominant performance from the AFLW Academy member who starred from the opening bounce to the final siren. Winning the first clearance out of the middle and looking like ripping the game apart in the opening term – kicking 1.2 – Rasheed did just about anything one could ask of her. She had 19 touches at half-time, and finished with 34 disposals, setting up goals and of course kicking them herself. Elite hands and such a penetrating left boot.

#16 Monique Bessen (Forward/Midfielder)

Stats: 8 disposals, 3 tackles, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50

Unfortunately Bessen’s day ended at half-time after a couple of knocks just before the main break. The talented bottom-ager watched on as her teammates battled the Dogs in the second half in what had been a tough first two quarters. Bessen still added defensive pressure in the front half of the ground, and while her numbers for that time were down for a half, she did spend more time forward.

#17 Sophie Thredgold (Defender)

Stats: 6 disposals, 1 mark, 6 tackles, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50

Thredgold is a metres gained player without too many touches, and that was the case again. Clean by hand and not afraid to tuck the ball under her arm, she did just that early in the third term. When not looking to take off, she was fantastic defensively, laying the same amount of tackles as disposals won (six).

Central District:

#3 Miyu Endersby (Defender)

Stats: 9 disposals, 3 marks, 2 tackles, 9 hitouts, 1 clearance, 5 rebound 50s

Endersby got to spend quality time in defence rather than first ruck moving back at times, and was able to play the role left by Riggs going up the other end. She has a thumping kick with some great penetration, and is strong overhead. She can play both an intercepting and lockdown role, and was able to get a touch to a shot on goal to ensure a behind early in the match.

#9 Charlotte Riggs (Ruck/Forward)

Stats: 7 disposals, 5 tackles, 39 hitouts, 4 clearances, 2 inside 50s, 2 goals

Riggs lined up inside 50 when not rucking which was a different taste for the teenager, kicking two goals in the space of five minutes – either side of the three quarter time break – with the first coming late in the third from a snap following a clean pickup, and the next from a clever piece of play on the goalline to control it while under pressure and get boot to ball. She led out from full-forward, and naturally spent a lot of time in ruck, winning 39 of her side’s 69 hitouts.

#12 Sophie Eaton (Forward/Midfielder)

Stats: 8 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 3 clearances, 4 inside 50s

The 2023 South Australian Under 16s MVP had her moments rotating between forward and midfield, where she showed she could extract it from the stoppage and get the ball forward. Her skills and clean hands are outstanding, and is the kind of player that teammates love getting the ball into her hands. Has to further develop her inside craft, but will undoubtedly be that second possession winner thanks to her skill and movement through traffic.

#27 Jasmine Evans (Forward)

Stats: 5 disposals, 2 marks (1 contested), 1 tackle, 2 inside 50s, 2 goals, 1 behind

Evans brought up her 12th goal of the season in the game with a couple more snags and has become a reliable source of scoring for the Bulldogs. She set up 50th gamer Lauren Breguet with a low bullet in the first term then did well one-o-one to snap her own. She had an uncharacteristic miss later in the quarter, but found space working back to goal in the third quarter to mark all alone and make no mistake with her second goal.

#31 Tara Lord (Defender)

Stats: 5 disposals, 1 mark, 1 tackle, 1 inside 50

It was a quieter day on the production from for Lord, who played in defence and did not see that much of it. With the return of Madison Lane, essentially the hard-running Lane took Lord’s rebounding duties, while Endersby also had a slice with her long kicking from interception. The talented softballer contributed when her moments came.

#54 Mikaylah Antony (Defender)

Stats: 10 disposals, 2 marks (1 contested), 5 tackles, 1 clearance, 3 rebound 50s

An addition to the State Academy squad given the chance to make the final squad with some strong form, Antony continued on her path of being a player who can provide some dash out of the back 50. An outside mover who backs herself, her short passing was effective, but her disposal under pressure is an area to still develop. Still, Antony had some great moments such as a run-down tackle late in the second term, and winning a one-on-one mark against Georgia Swan.

  • Team
  • Norwood
  • North Adelaide


#2 Coby Morgan (Wing)

Stats: 13 disposals, 3 marks, 2 tackles, 3 inside 50s, 1 behind

After a best on ground performance prior to the SANFLW-wide bye, Morgan again provided some great dash on the wing and is really coming into her own in the role. Her execution by foot is an ongoing work in progress, but she impacts matches through her explosive first few steps and can draw opponents before dishing off. Morgan even had a long-range shot on goal that looked great right up until it hit the post.

#39 Charli Hazelhurst (Defender)

Stats: 7 disposals, 1 mark, 3 tackles, 3 rebound 50s

Playing her role and providing some rebound from defence, Hazelhurst is a valuable defender who is clean under pressure and applies her own tackling pressure. Though not as prolific aerially in this game, she still took a strong intercept mark midway through the third term, and gets into ball-winning positions as an athletic tall.

#55 Emma Daley (Defender)

Stats: 7 disposals, 6 rebound 50s

Returning for her first SANFLW game since injuring her ankle in Round 1, Daley essentially took the deepest defensive role and took kickouts or the very next possession, disposing of it long down the line. There was not a huge amount of variety in her game in terms of role, but she played it well and got through the game which was key.

#61 Kate Alexander (Ruck)

Stats: 10 disposals, 1 mark, 4 tackles, 21 hitouts, 4 clearances

Took advantage of her height and athleticism in the ruck to be the pick of the State Academy members with an impressive four clearances to go with 21 hitouts. She got a hand across to spoil as a third player up across a lead early in the second term, and was extremely impressive at ruck stoppages. Clean below her knees, Alexander is just developing that final execution by foot.

North Adelaide:

#9 Laela Ebert (Defender/Midfielder)

Stats: 17 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles, 5 clearances, 3 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s

It might be a rough year for the winless Roosters, but the emergence of Ebert has been a shining light. The talented defender has come into her own rotating through midfield this year and is such a damaging ball user by hand or foot. A second possession winner at stoppages, she bites off those tough kicks and finds space to be a switch option as well. Her tackling pressure has been lower the last month, but her five clearances was a season-high.

#52 Sarcha Taylor (Forward/Midfielder)

Stats: 11 disposals, 3 marks, 4 tackles, 2 clearances, 1 inside 50, 2 rebound 50s

A damaging and dangerous forward who rolled through the midfield as she did for the SANFLW State Academy trial, Taylor is so clean at ground level and knows how to weight her kicks. She can sometimes go for too much and turn the ball over, but her defensive pressure and natural game smarts allow her to worry the opposition and win it back.

  • Team
  • Woodville-West Torrens
  • South Adelaide

Woodville-West Torrens:

#3 Bianca Portaro (Midfielder/Defender)

Stats: 14 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles, 2 clearances, 3 rebound 50s

Earning more midfield minutes with Martin sent back to defence, Portaro looked to go head-to-head against Jordann Hickey around the stoppages and ensure the experienced midfielder did not have it all her own way. While Hickey still influenced the game, Portaro found the ball herself, and worked hard to get back into defence. Her disposal by foot is an area to improve further and she did get run down a couple of times, but showed strength at the coalface and worked hard all match.

#7 Grace Martin (Defender)

Stats: 13 disposals, 2 marks, 7 tackles, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50, 3 rebound 50s

A selection surprise, Eagles’ coach Narelle Smith sent Martin to defence after being a full-time midfielder who rests forward this year, and the top-ager found herself lining up on Charlton. She limited her opponent’s influence while having the smarts to get into the right spot and provide some drive from defence. She has the smarts and the footskills to have an impact, and is as competitive as all hell so a versatile defensive role makes sense for the future as a point of difference in her game.

#15 Lucy Moore (Forward)

Stats: 7 disposals, 3 tackles, 1 behind

The Under 16s talent did not win a lot of it but had some nice moments, showing a great burst of speed through traffic, and then had a good look at the goals late in the second term with a flying shot that missed.

#18 Klaudia O’Neill (Defender)

Stats: 6 disposals, 1 mark, 3 tackles, 1 rebound 50

It is always a good day when as a full-back you do not win a lot of the ball. O’Neill played on Emily Brockhurst at times, and Archbold at others, using her strength in one-on-one contests while applying great pressure deep in defence. Though if she gets caught behind on leads she can be in trouble, O’Neill is far less likely to lose an old fashioned contest where she engages with her opponent.

#22 Imogen Trengove (Midfielder/Forward)

Stats: 15 disposals, 8 tackles, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50, 1 rebound 50

After spending time of Shelby Smith the round before, Trengove lined up on Nikki Nield through the midfield when inside, then spread well to the outside to have an impact there. She finds the ball well and possesses some great vision and clean hands, with a highlight being a smart handball over her head to hit a moving target. A player with some real draftable qualities, Trengove also gets her hands dirty, laying eight tackles.

South Adelaide:

#17 Shae Archbold (Forward)

Stats: 6 disposals, 1 mark (1 contested), 1 inside 50, 1 goal, 1 behind

In her second consecutive game back for the Panthers, Archbold is beginning to build some confidence again. She missed a set shot she would normally nail midway through the second term, but made no mistake from even closer range in the third quarter after getting to the right spot to clunk a mark.

#20 Layla Vizgaudis (Wing/Forward)

Stats: 13 disposals, 1 mark, 1 tackle, 3 inside 50s, 1 rebound 50

One of the more eye-catching games from the South Australian Under 16s State member, Vizgaudis worked up and down the ground well providing some zip around the ground and plenty of highlights. She was rushed in the first half with some uncharacteristic errors, but worked into the game and set up the goal to Archbold with a lovely kick. She has the evasion and footy IQ to make a major impact and she is finding her feet at the level now.

#23 Esther Schirmer (Defender)

Stats: 12 disposals, 4 marks, 4 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 1 rebound 50

Clunking a number of intercept marks throughout the game, Schirmer also found herself getting ultra-aggressive up the field with her running having a couple of long kicks inside 50 after winning it in the corridor. Defensively she produced a nice spoil late in the third term at one stage, and always competes one-on-one.

#25 Emma Charlton (Forward)

Stats: 9 disposals, 7 tackles, 1 behind

Charlton had Martin for company all game and had her work cut out for her. She got the early bragging rights with a great run-down tackle on her opponent, but missed a rare chance following a free kick when she hit the post. Very clean at ground level and possessing enormous defensive pressure, Charlton bought in to the team role and looked to lock the ball inside 50 every chance she got.

#29 Zoe Flesfader (Forward)

Stats: 11 disposals, 1 mark, 3 tackles, 2 clearances, 1 inside 50

After cutting her teeth at Development Level and winning a flag with the Panthers there, Flesfader returned for her second game of the season. Working up the ground to win it both inside 50 and on the wing, Flesfader showed impressive second efforts when not able to mark late at one stage. Though she could be a touch cleaner at times, Flesfader cleverly set up a goal to Doreena Hansen in the third term.

#56 Lily Baxter (Wing)

Stats: 10 disposals, 1 mark, 2 tackles, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50

Baxter does a lot of unrewarded running as you would expect from a wing, holding her position well. She was neat with her disposal and looked to charge when required, but it was ultimately on the other side of the ground at times. One of those games where she did not do anything wrong when she had it, just not a touches due to circumstance.

  • Team
  • Glenelg
  • West Adelaide


#9 Eloise Mackereth (Forward)

Stats: 10 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 1 goal, 1 behind

Had Boyd for company early in the match and then shuffled around on a variety of opponents when Boyd pushed up the ground. Not usually a high possession winner, Mackereth did find more of it working hard around the 50 and was able to get the ball to teammates for shots on goal, including an incredible deft tap when coming out in a marking contest to her captain Sam Franson to set up a goal. She knew taking possession would result in a tackle from her direct opponent, so assessed the situation in the blink of an eye and her team was rewarded. Her goal came following a mark inside 50 and a deadeye kick.

#11 Jordan Horne (Forward)

Stats: 3 disposals, 11 tackles, 1 inside 50, 1 rebound 50, 1 goal

There might not be a better team-first defensive forward running around, with the bottom-ager always sacrificing her own game to ensure the team can get a win. Horne is a fantastic pressure player who repeatedly makes life difficult for opposition defenders. Time and time again she would mow down bigger opponents, and in the fourth quarter got reward for effort with a fantastic tackle on Mableson strolling out of deep defence, to win a free and nail the goal from 15m.

#20 Poppy Scholz (Defender)

Stats: 12 disposals, 1 mark (1 contested), 1 tackle, 2 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s, 1 behind

Scholz played an aggressive defensive role, running hard from half-back to provide an option down the field. While she has had bigger games – and she did not have as much impact aerially as she tends to each week – Scholz still caught the eye with her speed from the back half of the ground and even had a flying shot from 50m midway through the fourth term following a sidestep that just missed. A minute later, the top-ager hit up Kiahni Russell inside 50 for a match-winning goal.

West Adelaide:

#2 Lucy Boyd (Utility)

Stats: 14 disposals, 5 marks (2 contested), 3 tackles, 2 clearances, 1 inside 50, 3 rebound 50s

Boyd played on a wide variety of opponents, starting with Mackereth inside 50, moving up to Franson on a wing, and even Jess Bates at a stoppage. Her strength at the coalface and overhead was evident, doing well one-on-one against the less experienced Mackereth. She was safe overhead and looked to run-and-gun down the field, and often teamed up with Kilpatrick as the pair had during the SANFLW State Academy trial, forming a great one-two punch turning defence into attack.

#14 Chloe Tonkin (Forward)

Stats: 5 disposals, 3 marks (1 contested), 3 tackles, 7 hitouts, 1 clearance, 2 inside 50s, 1 goal

Tonkin started her day in style with a terrific contested pack mark and set shot from close range in the opening two minutes of the match. While the rest of the game was relatively quiet, Tonkin presented and pushed up to a wing to mark on a couple of occasions, and always provided a presence around the ground.

#15 Asha Dufour (Midfielder)

Stats: 15 disposals, 2 marks, 8 tackles, 4 clearances, 4 inside 50s

Dufour played her usual inside game, battling away to get her hands on the ball and extract it from the stoppage. A better defensive mid, Dufour is no stranger to applying great tackles, and going hard one-on-one. She can tend to throw the ball on the boot from stoppages in order to get it to space, but her contest-to-contest work stands out.

#22 Ruby Ballard (Forward/Midfielder)

Stats: 11 disposals, 1 mark, 7 tackles, 3 clearances

Another midfielder who applies plenty of defensive pressure, Ballard was forced to win a lot of her touches under pressure, but gave as good as she got. She moved from playing forward to on-ball midway through the first term, and was as clean as they come at ground level. Did not get much room to move but cracked in and worked hard all game.

#27 Emma Kilpatrick (Wing/Defender)

Stats: 16 disposals, 2 marks, 5 tackles, 3 clearances, 1 inside 50, 3 rebound 50s

Playing on a wing throughout the match, Kilpatrick ran hard all over the ground to win the ball, teaming up with Boyd and looking to drive it forward with her booming kick. More often than not, Kilpatrick was on the defensive side of the ground and rolled back to help out, before tucking the ball under the arm and charging forward. Midway through the last term when inside 50, Kilpatrick applied a great smother to lock the ball in.

#44 Emily Mableson (Defender)

Stats: 8 disposals, 1 mark (1 contested), 2 tackles, 2 rebound 50s

South Australia’s Under 16s MVP is a composed user with ball-in-hand usually making good decisions out of defence. A smooth mover from the back half of the ground, Mableson might have instantly being self-critical of getting rundown by Horne early in the fourth term which cost a crucial goal, but for the most part her run and carry was a positive influence on her side. Everyone makes mistakes, and she makes less than most.

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