Leagues: NAB League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships
A versatile type who found a home in defence this year, Jamie-Lee Speakman has overcome the setback of a long-term injury to put her name in AFLW Draft contention. Making her NAB League Girls debut this year, she defied her size and quickly became one of Greater Western Victoria’s most important players with her intercept marking prowess, penetrative kicking, and ability to swing forward.
After missing all of her 2021 NAB League Girls season through an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, Jamie-Lee Speakman certainly made up for lost time. The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels defender slotted in perfectly, having previously played forward and in midfield, but finding her home in defence. It was clear from very early on that Speakman has natural footballing ability.
The 162cm talent can play on much taller opponents thanks to her contested marking ability and reading of the play, positioning herself well to give her best chance of clunking a grab. She is as good off the ball as she is on it, being a penetrative and reliable kick of the ball, hitting targets over multiple distances. Though she showed she can be a leading forward as she did for the Under 23s side against the AFLW Academy, expect her to be better placed as a defender given her reading of the play and smarts behind the footy.
Speakman is one who started well and finished even better, averaging around 15 disposals, five marks and four rebound 50s per game in the NAB League Girls. Though she did not get as many opportunities to show that dare and run at the championships - even spending time forward in a struggling Vic Country front six - Speakman reminded recruiters of what she was capable of in the AFLW Academy game.
Speakman has missed a lot of footy and is effectively in her first year playing in an elite program. She does have to work on her endurance given it is quite low and understandably so. She is also not the most explosive or agile player, but instead she is one of those talents who can still shrug off or evade opponents through her smarts. She is good in both aerial and ground contests, and with what she has already shown, expect her to only get better as she has more time to develop, with a future AFLW career beckoning.
Of those to play at least two NAB League Girls games this season, Speakman averaged the second-highest amount of marks at 4.6 per her seven outings.
NAB League Girls
AFLW U18 Championships
|2022||Vic Country Girls||14||7||21||5||0||0||6||0||1||0||5||0||3||4.7||2.3||7.0||1.7||0.0||2.0||0.0||26|