Leagues: AFLW, Vflw, NAB League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships
Zali Friswell is one of the star-studded Calder Cannons onballers and a player who is flying under the radar as one of the better users of the ball going around. Having being a standout midfielder for the Cannons, Friswell can play inside or outside, and has a nice balance of skill and athleticism to impact the game. STRENGTHS:
- Midfield craft
- Inside work
- Impact in other roles
Zali Friswell is a clean user of the ball be it by hand or foot, and can create separation between herself and her opponents. Playing all season through the midfield for the Cannons, Friswell can find the ball at the coal face or in space, and then hit targets with great technique. When playing for Vic Metro she found herself in a back pocket such was the midfield strength, and then in a forward pocket for Essendon VFLW for the exact same reason. Whilst she was able to give it a crack, her impact was reduced given her natural position is through the midfield. It is natural to need to add more positions to your gamestyle in order to impact, but the sudden change was noticeable. Friswell whilst able to acquit herself in those roles, she is most damaging in the midfield and that is exactly where she should play. Someone who can use the ball well, have enough speed and agility to get out of trouble and move the ball in transition, is best suited to the onball, or at least half-back. Friswell is a player who teammates can trust with ball-in-hand, making very few mistakes, and her midfield craft, particularly her inside game is very impressive. Whilst she will need to continue building her versatility through learning roles in other positions, she has shown enough through her game to suggest that as a midfielder she can compete strongly. If given the chance onball, Friswell is an eye-catching player who might fly under the radar given the amount of talent at the Cannons, but she is right up there in terms of upside and impact.
"A well-balanced midfielder who thrives on the inside of the contest, Friswell has been thrown around all over the field across multiple levels. She has played as a forward for Essendon VFLW and as a back pocket during her game with Vic Metro, but the midfield role is where she is best suited to. The impact difference is noticeable, with Friswell genuinely among the better midfielders in the draft crop, averaging 15.6 disposals, 6.9 tackles and 2.9 inside 50s for the Cannons in the NAB League Girls. Only two days away from being a bottom-ager, Friswell has nice balance, uses the ball well and good footy smarts to hit pinpoint passes down the field. If drafted to be a midfielder, then Friswell is an exceptional talent." - Peter Williams via "Draft Central AFLW Draft Power Rankings - Victorian Pool: June 2021" "Friswell quickly became one of the competition’s most consistent midfield performers, combining well with the stars in Calder’s engine room to provide solid ball winning power and defensive work at the stoppages. A no frills type of talent, the 17-year-old ticked over 20 disposals in each of her last three outings. She has been tried in a couple of different roles for Essendon VFLW and Vic Metro, but looks most at home among the centre bounce rotation." - Michael Alvaro via "2021 NAB League Girls team review: Calder Cannons" "Has possibly flown under the radar this season with Prespakis and Yassir arguably flashier, but Friswell’s contribution to the strong midfield trio has been monumental throughout 2021 and the game against Oakleigh was no different. She returned a rounded game where she did everything well; unselfish with her ball use, looking to find teammates in space to spread Oakleigh’s defence, and switching the ball across the forward 50 often to create a bit of chaos. Similar to other teammates, her hybrid style of play in the midfield made Calder dangerous, able to crack in and win the contested ball and clearances, but also just as capable at holding her space and receiving a handball out the back or when running past." - Declan Reeve via "Top Performers: 2021 NAB League Girls - Elimination Finals"
NAB League Girls
AFLW U18 Championships
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