State Academy notes: 2024 SANFLW – Round 11

A TOP State Academy star was among those to return, while another couple of debutants stepped up to League level in the SANFL Women’s competition. As always we took note of how the State Academy members performed, with all notes the opinion of the individual author.

  • Team
  • South Adelaide
  • West Adelaide

South Adelaide:

#17 Shae Archbold (Forward)

Stats: 5 disposals, 3 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 2 goals

The South Adelaide forward had her best return of the 2024 season at League level kicking a couple of goals and started to show her confidence inside 50 again. The first came via a strong mark on the lead in the second term, while her next one was a brilliant take at speed, spin and then classy finish midway through the last quarter.

#19 Taya Maxwell (Forward/Ruck)

Stats: 3 disposals, 1 tackle, 9 hitouts

The debutant got to experience League level and get her time through the ruck, winning a few hitouts and having to adjust to the speed of the game. While still only 15, the December-born Maxwell will learn plenty off the likes of Soriah Moon at the Panthers.

#20 Layla Vizgaudis (Wing/Forward)

Stats: 20 disposals, 7 marks, 3 tackles, 5 inside 50s

It was arguably Vizgaudis’ best game of the season, and most complete performance. Her aerial work was fantastic, her kicking was more often than not impactful, and she was clean at ground level. Her leading patterns when inside 50 and her work rate up the ground all were big ticks, and she was able to fill that creative distributor role between midfield and attack.

#23 Esther Schirmer (Defender)

Stats: 22 disposals, 6 marks (1 contested), 3 tackles

As rock solid as ever, Schirmer was able to clunk several strong intercept marks and use the ball well by foot. She is composed and usually takes the safer options when in defence, but did get a couple of chances to push up the ground and hold a higher line. Enjoying a consistent season in 2024.

#25 Emma Charlton (Forward/Wing)

Stats: 10 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles

Not a huge game, but Charlton has those moments that you cannot help but note down. She is a high impact player with ball-in-hand and makes good decisions when moving it in transition. As an Under 16s talent, she is still building her consistency, but that will come with Charlton enjoying the freedom of rotating with her fellow youngsters in the forward half of the ground.

#56 Lily Baxter (Wing)

Stats: 8 disposals, 1 tackle, 1 clearance, 1 inside 50

Baxter didn’t do anything wrong for a lower production rate this week, it was more a case of the ball being stuck over the opposite side of the ground. She had some moments early and worked hard to cover ground, while often being under pressure to dispose of it. Showed her smarts at times to not take possession when an opponent was hot on her hammer.

West Adelaide:

#2 Lucy Boyd (Defender)

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

Her numbers were down, but Boyd played more of a lockdown role on Emily Brockhurst. Usually more of a rebounding type, Boyd did concede a few one-on-ones early playing behind her, but soon worked into the game to nullify the dangerous Panthers forward’s impact on the game and kept her to the one goal.

#14 Chloe Tonkin (Ruck/Forward)

Stats: 18 disposals, 5 marks, 22 hitouts, 4 clearances, 4 inside 50s

Had to step up in the absence of Tess Huxtable and held her own through the ruck at times against one of the league’s best rucks in Moon. She showed she can use her body to outmuscle opponents, and was not overawed against an equally strong Moon. She won clearances, presented as an option and played her role well.

#15 Asha Dufour (Midfielder)

Stats: 20 disposals, 5 marks, 5 tackles, 3 clearances, 2 inside 50s

Dufour continues to rack up the ball consistently, and again was the top Bloods ball-winner with 20 touches. She spread from the inside to outside well and got more involved as the game went on. Her defensive pressure was sound, and it is all about adding that composure under pressure to her skillset going forward.

#22 Ruby Ballard (Forward/Midfielder)

Stats: 9 disposals, 4 tackles, 2 inside 50s

Not a huge game, but Ballard just has the smarts to know where to run and when to find the ball. She is clean at ground level and has great skills and defensive pressure, however she missed a set shot from a tight angle later in the fourth term which just pushed to the left. Overall she played her role and rode the bumps, though was quieter after quarter time with just the three disposals in the last three quarters.

#27 Emma Kilpatrick (Wing)

Stats: 10 disposals, 5 marks (2 contested), 2 tackles, 2 inside 50s

A rare quiet first half from the wing who has been in strong form this season. She worked into the game more in the second half, and provided some run and carry with the game on the balance. Often a booming kick she went for distance on a number of occasions, then drifted forward in the last quarter to take a huge grab 30m out. Her set shot from a slight angle hit the post in an unlucky result for the top-ager.

#44 Emily Mableson (Defender)

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

The South Australian Under 16s MVP was one of the more impressive Bloods on the day and through she had a couple of uncharacteristic turnovers by foot, largely did well across the ground. Her composure in the back 50 with ball-in-hand is a feature of her game, and she is a smooth mover who makes good decisions. Had a quieter final term, but was steadfast throughout the match.

  • Team
  • North Adelaide
  • Glenelg

North Adelaide:

#52 Sarcha Taylor (Forward)

Stats: 2 disposals, 1 mark, 1 tackle, 1 inside 50, 1 goal

It was a case of a lot of ‘almost’ moments for Taylor who ultimately had her main highlight midway through the second term. Getting goalside over the back, no one was going to catch the speedy small who ran into an open goal and slotted the major. Her other kick was a nice delivery on the wing, it was just a case of not finding enough of it.


#9 Eloise Mackereth (Forward)

Stats: 6 disposals 2 marks, 2 goals, 1 behind

Mackereth looked like dominating the match with a huge first term that saw her kick two goals from three kicks in the quarter. Her first was a great snap off a handball receive, and her second came in similar circumstances turning nothing into something. Has that natural footballing instinct around goals, and while she struggled for opportunities in the second half tried to provide that early spark.

#19 Matilda Wilmore (Forward)

Stats: 7 disposals, 2 tackles, 1 rebound 50

Similar to Mackereth it was a tough day for Wilmore who worked up the ground and applied good pressure when required. She even made her way into defence at once stage to try and assist, and plays as a high half-forward to allow for her to get into the game and get it forward.

  • Team
  • Sturt
  • Woodville-West Torrens


#6 India Rasheed (Forward/Midfielder)

Stats: 24 disposals, 6 marks (2 contested), 3 tackles, 8 inside 50s

Returning to the side after missing last week, Rasheed spent a lot more time forward than in the midfield. She uncharacteristically dropped a few marks, but still managed to clunk six, two of which were contested. When afforded any space, the left-footer sliced up the defence with her passing, and she is one of the best facilitators in the AFLW Draft crop. Got better as the game went on and after some rare fumbles early, worked to be her damaging best.

#17 Sophie Thredgold (Defender)

Stats: 12 disposals, 3 marks, 4 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s

The bottom-ager has really built into the season with great confidence and showed it against the Eagles with several running plays out of defence and down the ground. Her kicking technique looked good and she was able to put her body on the line with overhead marking attempts. As a whole, she ticked quite a few boxes in a neat game for the defender.

#25 Edwina Thornquest (Forward)

Stats: 5 disposals, 1 mark (1 contested), 1 tackle, 1 inside 50

Found herself up forward again returning to the side and kicked her goal midway through the first term after clunking a contested mark at the top of the goalsquare. She did drop a couple of marks after that presenting in the third term, but showed she has some nice evasive skills for a tall in the fourth quarter turning one way and then the other to get clear of her opponent.

Woodville-West Torrens:

#3 Bianca Portaro (Midfielder/Defender)

Stats: 15 disposals, 4 marks, 7 tackles, 6 clearances, 3 inside 50s

Portaro showed she has no qualms spending predominant time in midfield, winning a team-high six clearances in the loss and really affording others to be in other roles. She had half a dozen clearances, read the ball well off hands and put her body on the line time and time again. She found more space in the match to take several good marks, and though her kicking can be improved via her ball drop, she has great second and third efforts.

#7 Grace Martin (Midfielder/Forward)

Stats: 21 disposals, 10 tackles, 2 clearances, 4 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s

The Eagles’ best in the win, with the top-ager returning to a midfield/forward role after a stint in defence. She has all the footballing traits that a player needs with nice skills, smarts and decision making, as well as being able to impact forward of centre. Under pressure she can rush at times, but she understands the game well, and is not just a distributor, with her 10 tackles the equal most in her side as well, getting her hands dirty around the coalface.

#15 Lucy Moore (Forward/Midfielder)

Stats: 17 disposals, 3 marks, 3 tackles, 2 clearances

The youngster’s best game for the SANFLW season, Moore found plenty of it in the forward half of the ground and did get moments through the middle. She did have a couple of turnovers by foot and missed a flying shot on goal in the last quarter, but was clean at ground level and can evade opponents well. One with plenty of time to develop as a 2008-born player.

#18 Klaudia O’Neill (Defender/Forward)

Stats: 12 disposals, 4 marks (2 contested), 3 tackles, 4 hitouts, 4 rebound 50s

O’Neill keeps playing her role in the back 50 and she was important as an interceptor in defence, rebounding consistently and driving it forward. She took great grabs and it was incredible how many times she stood up in a tackle and her opponents could not bring her down. At one time, she was almost dragging an opponent along before shrugging her off and being able to dispose of it down the ground. Had a Back to the Future moment in the fourth term being thrown forward, just missing a set shot then rushing another rather than going back for a second set shot. Still, she impressed throughout the match.

#22 Imogen Trengove (Defender)

Stats: 5 disposals, 4 tackles, 1 inside 50, 1 rebound 50

The player who took more of Portaro’s defensive minutes and it was the result of a lower production rate on the day. The talented bottom-ager just did not see much of it in the back 50 with others more utilised in driving it out of defence. She still applied some great pressure and worked up the ground.

  • Team
  • Central District
  • Norwood

Central District:

#3 Miyu Endersby (Defender)

Stats: 9 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 5 hitouts, 2 inside 50s

The Under 16s All-Australian has found her home in defence while Riggs rucks and goes forward, and while she was not quite as influential, still applied appropriate defensive pressure in the back 50. She laid a goal-saving tackle on Alexander late in the first half, and did well midway through the final term to keep her feet on the wing opposed to the much more experienced Adrienne Davies and kick it forward.

#9 Charlotte Riggs (Ruck/Forward)

Stats: 12 disposals, 3 marks (2 contested), 2 tackles, 23 hitouts, 2 clearances, 2 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s, 1 goal

One of the better Dogs on the day, Riggs tried hard through the ruck and drifting forward, often opposed to fellow State Academy member, Alexander. Her experience shone through, and she was ultra-impressive at the stoppages, also able to hit the scoreboard when inside 50. Her goal was Central District’s first of the game five minutes into the third term where she snapped around her body from a handball receive. She had a chance earlier in the game from a similar position but just missed to the right.

#12 Sophie Eaton (Forward/Midfielder)

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

Though she did not win a stack of the ball, still showed some nice dance moves at times to find space for a shot in the opening term that ultimately just missed to the right. She had a few touches there and her kicking was outstanding, even working into defence in the fourth quarter, then pushing forward to win it again on the wing and get it forward.

#27 Jasmine Evans (Forward/Midfielder)

Stats: 9 disposals, 5 marks, 6 tackles, 3 inside 50s

Very similar to Eaton in the sense that she had some nice moments without being her dominant self. Each time she won it she used it well and applied higher defensive pressure than usual which stood out. Her strength overhead was impressive and she loves to sidestep to create space for herself, doing it on a number of occasions. She worked into defence and won the ball there as well, was clean when she won it.

#31 Tara Lord (Defender)

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

Looking strong behind the ball, Lord held her own at times in the back 50, and while she occasionally got caught on bigger and stronger opponents, she kept battling on. Her short kicking is effective and she played her role well.

#54 Mikaylah Antony (Defender)

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

While not quite the impact of the week before, Antony is an impressive young talent who was deserving of being added to the State Academy. She is a predominantly outside player, but moves well to turn defence into offence, and her skills and decision making are generally right up there. Her spacing as a high half-back is also sound, able to get into space to be a switch option or a give-and-go runner.


#2 Coby Morgan (Wing)

Stats: 11 disposals, 3 tackles, 2 clearances, 2 rebound 50s

After missing last week, Morgan stepped back into Redlegs colours and assumed her wing role with some success. Her kicking is still a work in progress, but her metres gained is always impressive. At one point midway through the second term she took off from the defence and ran past the 50m line evading opponents in a run that might have had Izak Rankine scratching his head. However Morgan loves to break the lines and works hard to get into defence, and is able to extract the ball from stoppages.

#39 Charli Hazelhurst (Defender)

Stats: 7 disposals, 6 tackles, 1 inside 50, 1 rebound 50

Played a different style to her usual one, with Hazelhurst’s ground level pressure the main feature of her game. She did not take a mark, but competed well one-on-one and was able to clear the ball from danger or down the ground on a number of occasions. Her athleticism for a tall really stands out and allows her to play on smaller opponents.

#58 Elke Cameron (Forward)

Stats: 2 disposals, 1 tackle, 1 inside 50

A late inclusion for the ill Tesharna Maher, the Under 16s talent got a taste of senior action. She won a free kick in the first term and was able to kick down the wing, while applying pressure inside 50 in the fourth quarter. She was quiet, but it was more about the experience of playing at the level for the 15-year-old.

#61 Kate Alexander (Ruck)

Stats: 6 disposals, 2 marks (1 contested), 7 tackles, 13 hitouts

Had her work cut out for her in the ruck going up against an equally athletic Riggs who had the better of her through the game. She still impacted the contest at ground level with her tackling pressure, and took a couple of strong marks as well. She landed a bit sore from a strong mark seven minutes through the first term, but was effective with the kick and played out the match.

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