Leagues: NAB League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships, AFLW U17 Championships
Grace Hay is a reliable key defender from the Murray Bushrangers with a penetrating long kick, and incredibly reliable at intercepting in the back 50. Though she has seldom being tried in other roles, Hay is one who could easily slot into a key defensive post, standing at 179cm.
A real natural footballer in every sense of the phrase, Grace Hay is a rebounding, intercept defender who is smart in her positioning and reading of the play, and able to hit long-range targets when coming out of the back 50. She puts her body on the line and is not afraid to go back with the flight, then go immediately into attack mode with a direct style of play.
Juggling her football with high-level netball commitments with North East Blaze in the Victorian Netball League, Hay is a multi-faceted defender, though has really only ever been trialed in that position. Unlike some defenders, she is yet to get too much exposure up the other end of the field, largely because she has excelled at her role in the back 50.
Though not overly athletic in terms of her speed, evasion or vertical leap, Hay makes up for it in natural talent, reading the ball ahead of time and being able to take contact from an opposition forward. Also looking to build on her endurance as time goes on, Hay is one player who does not let any of that deter from her impact on the field. She is calm, composed and able to consistently mop up in the back 50 be it through a mark or a handball receive to pump it long out of the danger zone.
Hay has a lovely long kick that if it does not hit a target, it will get well outside of scoring range for the opposition. Her contested marking along with her intercepting ability, composure and kicking skills make her an ideal candidate for a centre half-back at the top level. Standing at 179cm, Hay is one who could easily play on one of the hulking forwards.
Overall, Hay might not have the greatest athleticism compared to some others, but her footy IQ and ability to impact both defensively and offensively shines above that.
Grace Hay recorded the highest kicking efficiency of any player who played three games at the 2022 AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, recording 76.9 per cent by foot.
NAB League Girls
AFLW U18 Championships
|2022||Vic Country Girls||12||11||23||7||0||0||9||0||0||0||7||0||3||4.0||3.7||7.7||2.3||0.0||3.0||0.0||29|
AFLW U17 Championships
|2021||Vic Country U17s||9||6||15||4||0||0||4||0||0||0||2||0||2||4.5||3.0||7.5||2.0||0.0||2.0||0.0||27|