Sophie Butterworth

height: 181cm


D.O.B: 11-12-2005

Leagues: Vflw, Coates Talent League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships

  • Snapshot
  • Analysis
  • Summary


Sophie Butterworth is a contested marking forward who has worked immensely on her areas of improvement, particularly from an athletic standpoint. Though she might not be an athletic key forward, she has moved the needle enough to get to repeat contests and have an impact. Her hands and impact up forward make her a damaging player, and she adds a point of difference in this draft crop.


+ Contested marking + Strength + Kicking + One-on-ones + Scoreboard impact


- Ground balls - Versatility


Butterworth has worked hard to improve her endurance over the last off-season, shaving 42 seconds off her 2km time trial personal best. It was a staggering line in the sand moment for the key forward, who knuckled down to set her sights on reaching the AFLW. Based off her form this season, the Dandenong Stingrays forward showed she could have a massive impact on the scoreboard, finishing second overall in the Coates Talent League Girls goalkicking.

Remaining on the athletic focus first, Butterworth has improved her times to the point where her agility was rated as "good" and her 20m sprint "very good", a full credit to her work. Though she will not be that explosive, athletic forward that some are, that element of her game is not as vital compared to other players.

That is the case because Butterworth has strength and skill on her side. While many developing forwards might have a stack of raw traits, Butterworth is readymade from a footballing standpoint, with strong hands and a reliable long, penetrating kick.

Her goalkicking itself went in waves, where she was for the most part accurate, but could have easily have taken out the league leading goalkicking had she converted a few more of her 22 behinds for the season, with 53 scoring shots. After a quiet Round 1 match where she failed to kick a goal, Butterworth went 13 consecutive matches with at least one major, though she will be disappointed to not convert in the preliminary final loss to Oakleigh.

Butterworth had a purple patch between Rounds 14-17 to roar into contention for the leading goalkicker, slotting 16 goals in four matches. Unfortunately she fell one short of Chantal Mason, kicking 3.3 in the final round as teammate Jemma Ramsdale held Mason goalless.

A large focus will go on Butterworth's goalkicking, and rightly so as that is her bread and butter. With strong hands and a nice leading pattern inside 50, the clever forward provides a presence inside 50. Hard to beat in an aerial contest, she will put her body on the line and crash packs if required to bring the ball to ground for her teammates.

Like most key forwards, Butterworth's ground level play could definitely improve. She is not as clean there as she is in the air, and without that explosive speed, it can lead to rushed shots, or being tackled before she can get a kick away. Sharpening up that area of her game will help her exponentially.

She has also essentially been a pure key forward, so there is that lack of versatility in her game. She could theoretically pinch-hit in the ruck, but was not required to do so for the Stingrays or Vic Country given the depth of players at that position.

Overall, Butterworth looms as a rock solid option for a key forward, it will just be a case of whether or not a club sees value in her contested marking and aerial ability over a player with higher ground level ability. Her form in the second half of the season was very strong, and few have the presence she does inside 50 with a penetrating and powerful left boot.


It would not be a surprise to see Sophie Butterworth be picked up somewhere in the middle of the draft. There is still work to be done on her game to round it out, but she has shown what she can do when camped at full-forward and her side is on top in the game. With her forward craft and natural footballing nous, Butterworth is a player who might just reap the rewards of her hard work over the off-season.

Contested marking
Scoreboard impact
Ground balls


2023Casey Demons VFLW54920040020122.

Coates Talent League Girls

2021Dandenong Stingrays000000000000000000000
2022Dandenong Stingrays2172850037050963.
2023Dandenong Stingrays88531413500308019231155.

AFLW U18 Championships

2023Vic Country Girls53818143000222.
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