Leagues: NAB League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships, AFLW U17 Championships
Having overcome injury to press her claims in the NAB League Girls and Under 18 National Championships, Lulu Beatty has proven her value as a player who can fulfil roles at either end of the ground. The Northern Knights talent enhanced her contested game in 2022, and constantly looks to move the ball forward with positive intent.
It took until Round 5 of this year's NAB League Girls season, but Lulu Beatty eventually got to build on what was a promising bottom-aged campaign in Northern Knights colours. Having cut her teeth in defence, the 18-year-old showcased a good amount of versatility this season by shifting forward and getting involved in all levels of play at 171cm.
Behind the ball, she reads the play well and gets into positions to intercept, splitting contests with her enhanced contested game. Beatty had highlighted that aggression at the ball as an area for improvement during preseason, and her tackling average of over four indicates she put her work into practice. With clean hands and strong marking numbers to boot, Beatty proved solid as they come in defence.
She also swung up the other end when required and played as a high half-forward of sorts. Leaning on her work rate to push up the ground before carrying the ball back towards goal, Beatty's positive intent in possession was evident. Although, that is where a couple more key improvement areas came to the fore.
Having overcome injury earlier in the year, she took some time to get back up to the speed of the game, and was sometimes caught in possession looking to shift around opponents, or taking too long to dispose of the ball. Inviting such pressure, while valuable when it pays off, also contributed to her clanger rate sitting around 40 per cent for Vic Metro.
If she can pick her time to go more selectively, her distributive skills by foot and ability to move the ball on quickly can become real strengths. Overall, Beatty is a prospect with plenty more development left given the amount of footy she missed, but with a strong 2km time trial showing and her body of work on-field after playing catch-up, she has done plenty to press her case.
Beatty’s lowest and highest NAB League Girls disposal hauls for 2022 came in consecutive weeks; she backed up an effort of 11 against Sandringham in Round 8 with 23 against Dandenong in Round 9. It was only game she ticked over 20 touches, with an average of 15.8 overall.
NAB League Girls
AFLW U18 Championships
|2022||Vic Metro Girls||5||10||15||0||0||0||3||0||0||1||2||0||2||2.5||5.0||7.5||0.0||0.0||1.5||0.0||20|
AFLW U17 Championships
|2021||Vic Metro U17s||13||7||20||2||0||0||11||0||0||1||5||0||2||6.5||3.5||10.0||1.0||0.0||5.5||0.0||33|