State Academy notes: 2024 WAFLW – Round 15

DESPITE a handful of players missing due to the match between the AFLW Academy and Under 23 All-Stars, there were still plenty of impressive individual performances across Round 15 of the WAFL Women’s. As always our State Academy notes are the opinion of the individual author.

>> WAFLW Round 15: Weekly Wrap | Player Focus (Poppy Stockwell) | Team of the Week

  • Team
  • South Fremantle
  • Peel Thunder

South Fremantle:

#4 Noa McNaughton (Forward)
Stats: 17 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 3 inside 50s, 2 behinds

McNaughton had her moments throughout the match looking dangerous in the front half of the ground. She moved well and had a few chances on goal, though ultimately just finished with the two behinds. McNaughton set up Stockwell for a major, and though at times she made mistakes, looked threatening in any kind of space.

#11 Marie Polimeno (Defender)
10 disposals, 1 mark, 5 tackles

The younger of the Polimeno sisters, Marie came into the side on debut after representing the Sandgropers at the Under 16 Championships. She spent most of her time in defence, often on Haines, and produced a couple of really good spoils. Though still needing to adjust to the speed of the level, she held her own at times nad was competitive.

#14 Jasmine Bazeley (Wing/Midfielder)
11 disposals, 7 tackles, 2 inside 50s

Returning to the Bulldogs’ side, Bazeley showed a propensity to play inside or outside and still find the ball. She is raw, but her explosive speed and dangerous left foot catches the eye. She can rush at times and be a little overzealous, but she has exciting traits that with time can see her become a well-rounded player.

#15 Alira Fotu (Forward)
Stats: 7 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles, 1 hitout, 1 goal

Started the game strongly with a nice mark on the lead and nailed the long-range set shot from 40m on a slight angle. She had a few chances flying for a grab, and was clean at ground level. Late in the match Fotu almost had a second goal from a similar range to her first but was touched across the line.

#19 Zoe Keley (Ruck/Forward)
Stats: 7 disposals, 1 mark, 4 tackles, 16 hitouts, 3 inside 50s

With South Fremantle missing a number of ruck choices, Keley stepped up to spend more time in the middle and was athletic enough to win her fair share of hitouts. Her hands were quite good, and though she can get pushed off it easily at times, worked hard around the ground. Still a raw prospect with further development to come.

Peel Thunder:

#2 Evie Cowcher (Defender)
Stats: 19 disposals, 8 marks, 5 tackles, 1 inside 50

Stationing herself primarily in defence, Cowcher mopped up plenty in the back half and played her usual role in the Thunder defence. She clunked eight marks, shared the kickout duties and looked to take risks by foot. At times she kicked it out on the full or just missed targets, but her vision and decision making behind the disposals was still very good. Attacked it hard at ground level too with five tackles.

#4 Holly Britton (Wing)
Stats: 25 disposals, 6 marks, 3 tackles, 2 inside 50s

Another big game from Britton who continued her strong form in the second half of the season. She started with a couple of running bounces going inside 50 midway through the first term, but opted to handball instead of taking a shot. Her disposal in general is always neat and effective, and once again it could hardly be faulted. A key player in Peel’s side on the wing who can roll into the middle when required.

#6 Jorja Haines (Forward)
Stats: 7 disposals, 1 mark, 3 tackles, 2 inside 50s

Returning from an MCL knee injury, Haines got through the game unscathed, which was the main thing. She did not have a great deal of impact as she was stationed in attack, but presented more as the game went on and looked to be hungry for it in the last quarter pushing right up to half-back. Will be better for the run and look to impact in the final round.

#8 Dakota Sexton (Midfielder/Defender)
Stats: 13 disposals, 2 marks, 6 tackles, 2 inside 50s

Sexton had her moments through the game and always goes in hard. Defensively she holds her own against most, and though at times her execution resulted in turnovers, she was never short of effort and trying to win it back. Throws herself at everything, and her tackling is very strong.

  • Team
  • Subiaco
  • Claremont


#22 Olivia Wolmarans (Forward/Ruck)
Stats: 13 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 10 hitouts, 1 inside 50, 1 behind

Started forward and took her turn in the ruck at times, Wolmarans was okay, though below her usual standard this season. She was tidy below her knees, presented well and had a crack, even producing an eye-catching fend-off in the middle early in the fourth term. Add to that a run-down tackle and ability to clunk a contested mark, and Wolmarans still had her fair share of highlights.


#18 Bec Anderson (Forward)
Stats: 7 disposals, 3 marks, 3 hitouts, 3 behinds

The over-ager had her opportunities playing forward but ultimately just finished with the three behinds. She presented on multiple leads and got involved in a number of plays that won’t be rewarded on a stats sheet such as a timely spoil or body contact. Has been in and out of the side, but always presents as a marking target.

  • Team
  • East Fremantle
  • East Perth

East Fremantle:

#21 Tiani Teakle (Utility)
Stats: 11 disposals, 5 marks, 2 tackles, 7 hitouts, 1 goal

Teakle has been thrown around in a few positions of late, and that culminated in finding herself in all thirds of the ground on the weekend. She won it in defence working back, spent significant time through the ruck, then pushed forward and took a good mark on a lead early in the fourth term to slot a goal.

#31 Alicia Blizard (Forward)
Stats: 17 disposals, 2 marks, 1 hitout, 3 inside 50s, 2 goals, 2 behinds

There are certain things you can’t teach and Blizard has those traits. Despite being a tall, her goal in the third term – which involved a ridiculous sidestep after a gather to leave her opponent guessing – was a very impressive. She still makes mistakes at times, but her hands overhead and ability to kick a goal from just about anywhere is incredible.

#39 Grace Freeman (Forward)
Stats: 10 disposals, 5 marks, 3 tackles, 3 goals

Another player who returned to state league level, Freeman made her mark agains a young defence, converting three goals and working up the field at times. She had all three majors by half-time, with her first one coming from a free kick in the goalsquare and the other two from general play and hard running. She can rush at times, but with space can hit up targets well by foot.

East Perth:

#3 Lucy Greenwood (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 16 disposals, 5 marks, 4 tackles, 6 inside 50s, 1 goal

A magnificent performance in a losing side, and continued Greenwood’s season of standing up against adversity. She found plenty of the ball, is as clean as anyone going around, and kicked her side’s sole major. That came in the second term after finding space and nailing the set shot goal, buzzing around inside 50 to look like adding more to the tally. Greenwood brought the heat as well, and crucially when she went into the midfield, won a couple of centre clearances against quality opposition. A star in the making.

#38 Bianca Rogers (Forward)
Stats: 4 disposals, 5 tackles

On debut, Rogers did some nice things and essentially got to experience the pace of senior football against quality opposition. She looked clean and her defensive pressure was fantastic, which is all you can ask of a youngster in her first game.

  • Team
  • West Perth
  • Swan Districts

West Perth:

#1 Megan Norbury (Wing/Defender)
Stats: 17 disposals, 1 mark, 5 tackles

Norbury had a great battle against Kayley King at times, with both impressing for their respective sides. She did not have as much run and carry as in other games this season, but worked hard to help out the defence, to the point where she was often a defensive winger rolling off half-back. She mopped up well and generally hits targets when feeling confident, as well as being able to be clean and quick by hand.

#3 Samara Sallie (Defender)
Stats: 7 disposals, 1 mark

Had a big challenge against Courtney Zappara in defence as well as other opponents who rotated through there. Her only major mistake was when gathering deep in defence she was smothered by Zappara and it led to a Gerardi goal from the spill. Other than that she worked up to the wing, was alright in defending and working off her opponent, trying hard through the game.

#7 Mia Russo (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 25 disposals, 5 marks, 3 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 1 goal, 1 behind

Another starring role from the bottom-ager who has now adapted to senior level well. She started forward and then worked her way into the midfield, where she accumulated the ball at will. She was strong on the outside, and as she has of late, kicked a great goal on the run after shrugging off a would-be tackler. Her explosiveness and footy smarts were on full display in the game.

Swan Districts:

#5 Carys D’Addario (Midfielder)
Stats: 17 disposals, 3 marks, 6 tackles, 2 inside 50s

D’Addario was a crucial piece in the midfield for he Swans, working hard contest-to-contest and finding her fair share of the ball. She bounced back from a knock in the first 30 seconds of the second term – where she looked to hobble a little – to run out the game. Fierce defensively, D’Addario did well across the ground where she was able to impact the game on the outside as well as the inside.

#11 Sienna Gerardi (Forward)
Stats: 9 disposals, 3 tackles, 3 inside 50s, 2 goals, 1 behind

Provided the spark cracking back into the team, starting off on the best possible note by running into an open goal in the first minute of the match. Her second major came off that spill and turnover between Zappara and Sallie, with her quick ball-to-boot ability seeing it home. Almost went for Goal of the Year midway through the fourth term, putting on the afterburners with multiple running bounces but one of them went astray and she was forced to take a flying shot that missed to the left after a crooked bounce.

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