2024 SANFLW Player Focus: Emily Brockhurst (South Adelaide)

DYNAMIC forward Emily Brockhurst might be one of the best stories of this year, with the former defender becoming a consistent sharpshooter for South Adelaide in the SANFLW. Booting 17 goals in her first season back from a stint at local level, Brockhurst has transformed the way she plays, and is one of the most intriguing mature-age AFLW Draft options this year.

Having turned 23 in April, Brockhurst is still young and stands at 175cm. Mobile in the air and at ground level, she has proven a headache to matchup on because of her nous and ability to recover quickly. Protecting the ball drop, she knows how to use her strength to advantage and reads the play well to consistently get goalside and provide a scoring force.

Against North Adelaide, the Panthers forward booted four goals from seven scoring shots and proved a huge difference in her side’s big win. Her performance was the subject of our SANFLW Player Focus.

Tall Defender

Emily Brockhurst

Height: 175cm

Weight: -

DOB: 13-04-2001


2024 SANFL Women’s: Round 12
South Adelaide 10.6 (66) defeated North Adelaide 2.3 (15)

#13 Emily Brockhurst (South Adelaide)
Stats: 17 disposals (13 kicks, 4 handballs), 6 marks (1 contested), 4 tackles, 3 hitouts, 1 clearance, 2 inside 50s, 4 goals, 3 behinds


Emily Brockhurst started as she always has this season, deep inside the Panthers’ forward 50. She did not see much action for a while, pushing up to the wing in the fifth minute, but getting her first touch nine minutes into the contest.

There she marked on the wing in front of Jess Edwards and hit up Melissa Anderson with a neat, short pass. Shortly after, Brockhurst did well one-on-one against the experienced Edwards to keep it in front of her before handballing quickly off to a teammate.

She had a tough challenge against Edwards with the pressure red hot, unable to collect it cleanly in the 14th minute, and was quickly locked up inside 50. A couple of minutes later though, Brockhurst got on the board as Morgan Johnston kick inside 50 found her inside 50 and she took a chest mark protecting the ball drop.

She went back and drilled the set shot from 40 metres out to provide the first score for the Roosters.


Brockhurst should have had a second major just 30 seconds into quarter two, with some great positioning work again to mark on her chest in space in front of Edwards. Just 20 metres out on a slight angle, Brockhurst produced another straight kick, but it was always just to the left, and went through for one behind.

She kept competing for the ball at the two-minute mark after gong into the ruck contest inside 50, but could not control it and accidentally kicked it out of bounds. Another ‘almost’ opportunity went begging in the fifth minute when this time against Ella Metcalfe, used strong bodywork at the back to work her under it, then got goalside but the bouncing ball beat her to the line.

In the sixth minute, Brockhurst trailed Metcalfe to the loose ball and did try to sneak into a pocket of space inside 50, but when the ball was turned over, Metcalfe took an uncontested mark and went down the ground.

The South Adelaide forward did have a win against Metcalfe midway through the term, beating her one-on-one after a great kick from Doreena Hansen. Brockhurst gathered it after almost taking the mark, and sidestepped Metcalfe in ankle-breaking moment to slot it from 20 metres out straight in front.

Another couple of near misses with marking attempts followed to round out the first half, with a Shae Archbold kick falling short but just bouncing off Brockhurst’s chest, and then losing a one-on-one against one of the best in the business in that regard in Sarah Steele-Park.


The third term opened with Brockhurst finding herself one-on-one against Steele-Park again four minutes into the half, after attempting a chest mark but could not quite hold it and was tackled straight away.

She laid a huge tackle of her own shortly after to lock it up, then marked on the lead 15 metres from goal at the six-minute mark. She went back and slotted it for her third goal, keeping up her consistency of a goal per quarter.

At the nine-minute mark, it was great to see Brockhurst back herself by putting the dukes up out in front as Edwards applied pressure from behind. While she could not bring it down, she was competitive, then crunched between Edwards and Kristi Harvey.

Spending some time on Harvey now, Brockhurst was nudged under it after a kick from Hansen went well over her head and was cleared, but soon she was the one handing it off to set up a goal, with a major to Lucy Northcott in the goalsquare via a handball to Emma Charlton.

Another ‘almost’ mark followed a minute later opposed to Metcalfe but it just slipped through her fingers, but in the 19th minute mark, Brockhurst read the awkward bounce from a Soriah Moon clearance and inside 50 to win it against a Julia Clark mismatch. Her kick went high in the air under pressure though, almost taking a mark from her own kick, but it bounced away from her.

In the final play of the day, Brockhurst marked all alone somehow just 40m metres out, she played on and just got a flying shot away before the siren, but it bounced across the face for another behind.


Back up against Edwards to start the fourth term, Brockhurst did trail the veteran to the ball on the wing, bbut put pressure on both her and Harvey with the latter forced to turn the ball over. She continued to work hard to push in front of Edwards with some extra speed but just dropped the mark. However she recovered so quickly and handballed off to Anderson to run in and goal.

In the seventh minute of the term, she went up against Harvey and made the right decision from behind to work her opponent under the ball, though Harvey still got a hand to it. She pushed forward and protected it at ground level before a deft tap to Northcott and applying a half-shepherd to somewhat assist her teammate.

Brockhurst set up yet another goal with a great tap from a pack marking situation down to Archbold who snapped a ridiculous goal while being tackled in the ninth minute of the term. The South Adelaide mature-ager’s game was capped off in the 17th minute with a fourth goal, once again nudging Harvey under the ball and taking a safe chest mark at the top of the goalsquare. She went back and converted the set shot with ease.


Emily Brockhurst is a player who would not have been on any AFLW club’s radars at the start of the season, but after a couple of weeks, it was easy to see that her transformation from defender to forward and working incredibly hard on herself, put her into a great position.

Still young, Brockhurst does have areas to work on. While she can take marks out in front, she tends to lean back into the safer chest mark, which is something to work on further, as well as being a touch cleaner at ground level. However the strengths in her game are undeniable.

She is incredibly clever, reads the play well and can dart both up the ground and double back, providing a scoring threat from all ranges within the forward 50. She is a consistent, reliable straight kick and uses her body well. At 175cm with elite agility and a nice little burst off the mark, Brockhurst has the raw fundamental traits to become an even better player in the future.

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