Leagues: Vflw, NAB League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships, AFLW U17 Championships
A speedy midfielder whose ball-winning appetite is ravenous, Reese Sutton boasts some eye-catching attributes and a nice balance between her inside and outside game. The Calder Cannons co-captain was overlooked for the initial Vic Metro Under 18 hub this year, but proved undeniable in the end and contributed two terrific outings at representative level, on the back of a consistent NAB League Girls campaign.
One of the standouts out of the Calder Cannons this year has been Reese Sutton, whose feats as co-captain almost helped the region secure a NAB League Girls finals place. Operating through midfield across nine games, the 17-year-old worked her way back into representative contention having turned out for Vic Metro at Under 17 level last year, and eventually earned a spot in the Under 18 side.
Her inside-outside balance was proven by season's end, with Sutton a prolific centre bounce asset in Calder colours, but a designated winger for Metro. On-ball, she used her smarts, clean hands, and turn of speed to prove an evasive clearance winner, bursting away in a flash or dishing out to her fellow midfielders to help link the ball forward.
On the outside, Sutton's speed was just as useful as she looked to break the lines and be aggressive each time she earned possession. Despite being of the small-to-medium variety, the nifty ball winner showed enough guts to win her own ball and even from her station on the wing, earned possessions at a 53 per cent contested rate for Vic Metro. Remarkably, she also clunked three contested marks in her two-game carnival.
Completing a relatively well-rounded midfield game is Sutton's defensive pressure. You have to be able to go both ways, and she certainly did that throughout 2022 with tackle averages of 8.4 in the NAB League and 3.5 during the championships. Again leaning on that speed, Sutton's efforts to harass the opposition could seldom be questioned.
In the way of improvements, her disposal on the end of each stoppage breakaway may be an area to look at. While clean by hand and technically okay by foot, being more damaging and penetrative on the attack is always possible. Given her stature, speed and defensive acumen, Sutton may be one who specialises in pressure roles at either end of the field, so making every disposal count will be important.
Although, she tends to make good decisions and showed a good amount of potential up on the wing to suggest that may also be her position at the next level, with AFLW midfields always difficult to crack. Overall, Sutton's output across her top-age campaign was enough to earn deserved plaudits and a draft combine invite, putting her in the conversation as expansion calls for depth of talent.
Sutton took more marks (10, three contested) during two Under 18 National Championship outings, than she managed throughout nine NAB League Girls games (nine) in 2022.
NAB League Girls
AFLW U18 Championships
|2022||Vic Metro Girls||23||8||31||10||0||0||7||0||2||7||4||0||2||11.5||4.0||15.5||5.0||0.0||3.5||0.0||70|
AFLW U17 Championships
|2021||Vic Metro U17s||12||9||21||3||0||0||1||0||1||3||0||2||2||6.0||4.5||10.5||1.5||0.0||0.5||1.0||42|