Leagues: NAB League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships
Zara Hamilton is a natural accumulator of the football, and a player who is able to impact in all thirds of the ground. The Murray Bushrangers talent needs to improve her disposal and composure, but she provides great defensive pressure to go with a high work rate an a nous for getting into the right spots and winning the ball, be it on the wing, or at the stoppages.
A mainstay in the Murray Bushrangers outfit for the past two seasons, Zara Hamilton enjoyed a massive production boost in 2022, taking her disposal average from 13.4 to 24.1 with a move to the inside from the wing.
Hamilton is one that is pretty much always in a position to get the ball, using her smarts to be on the outside to receive a handball, but also knows when it is her turn to crack in and win it in tight. This football nous shows in all aspects of her game, able to adjust to pretty much any position that she’s thrown into during a game seamlessly. Hamilton is a hard worker and one of few prospects that’s able to run out a game completely, able to get contest-to-contest easier than most opponents, making her a nightmare to play on as games wear on. To add to this, Hamilton runs both ways well, averaging 6.1 tackles per game with it not being uncommon to see her win the ball in the defensive 50, and then contributing to the attacking play further down the field. Hamilton’s consistency also stands out, dropping below 20 disposals only twice during her NAB League campaign.
Hamilton continued her strong NAB League form into the National Championships, rotating on the wing and through the midfield in the Allies clashes against WA and Queensland, Hamilton averaged 17 disposals and three tackles across both games. Impressively, despite spending more time on the wing than she had done for the Bushrangers, Hamilton still managed a 48 per cent contested possession rate.
Looking like one of the better options in the NSW draft pool, there are still some areas of improvement for Hamilton heading into the next level. For a player so adept at winning the ball, Hamilton will be looking to improve her use of the footy and composure as she can sometimes rush her disposals, especially when under pressure, limiting her damage going forward.
Zara Hamilton ranked sixth in the NAB League Girls for total disposals, but was remarkably still third in her Murray Bushrangers side behind Zarlie Goldsworthy and Keeley Skepper.
NAB League Girls
AFLW U18 Championships