AFL Sydney Premier Division Women’s – Mid Season Review
Written by Lucas Holmes
East Coast Eagles
Ladder position: First
Points for: 717 (first)
Points against: 169 (first)
Leading goal kicker: Rylee McGartland (31 goals)
Rising Star nominations: Georgina Fowler- Round 2, Summer Hall- Round 8
After making a coaching change in the off-season, The East Coast Eagles remain the only undefeated team in Premier Division women’s. Ash Moeller has elite talent at his disposal, which includes GWS Giants reigning best and fairest Alyce Parker as well as Giants teammates Georgia Garnett and Tarni Evans. In the early portion of the season, Ally Dallaway and Chloe Arndt have impressed in their absence.
In round 2 (without their AFLW listed players) the Eagles defeated Manly Warringah by 41 points. Georgina Fowler kicked three goals whilst Chloe Arndt was judged best on the ground.
Manly Warringah Wolves
Ladder position: Second
Points for: 610 (second)
Points against: 235 (second)
Leading goal kicker: Holly Graham (22)
Rising Star nominations: Hannah Woolf- Round 5
A round 10 defeat to Inner West has last year’s premiers two wins behind the Eagles in second place. Holly Graham has 22 goals for the season and has been amongst their most consistent players. Whilst Andrea Roditis and Kaitlyn Manning continue to impress alongside GWS Giants listed Emily Goodsir and Lisa Steane.
We didn’t have to wait long for a grand final rematch. In round 1, Manly Warringah defeated Inner West by 23 points. Holly Graham kicked three goals for the Wolves and Lisa Steane was best on the ground.
Inner West Magpies
Ladder position: Third
Points for: 521 (third)
Points against: 261 (third)
Leading goal kicker: Rebecca Privitelli (26)
Defeated in last year’s grand final by Manly Warringah, Inner West has made a strong start to season 2021. Defender turned key forward Rebecca Privitelli has formed a deadly combination in the Magpies forward 50 alongside Eleri Morris, with the pair kicking 41 goals between them. Gillian Behan and Erin Todd have provided support around the ground.
In round 9 Inner West held on in a nail-biting encounter against Southern Power. Rebecca Privitelli and Tracy Rantall kicked two goals each for the Magpies as Tanya Kennedy picked up best on ground honours.
Ladder position: Fourth
Points for: 393 (fourth)
Points against: 322 (fifth)
Leading goal kicker: Catherine Stanton (10)
Rising Star nominations: Kiahna Davis-White- Round 3
After winning six of their first eight matches, The Southern Power found themselves entrenched in the top five. Catherine Stanton has been instrumental for the Power (despite being out since round 6) having kicked ten goals in her five games. In her absence, Sarah Heptinstall and Brodee Mowbray have stood up.
In round 5 Southern Power defeated Sydney University by 17 points. Caitlin Davidson kicked 3 goals and was amongst the six best players. But it was Ruby Sargent-Wilson who was atop the six best.
North Shore Bombers
Ladder position: Fifth
Points for: 372 (fifth)
Points against: 317 (fourth)
Leading goal kicker: Alyce Keating (13)
Rising Star nominations: Olivia Edwards- Round 4
North Shore is two wins ahead of Sydney University to round out the top five in Premier Division women’s. The Bombers have had several contributors to their squad this season, Dominique Carruthers and Zoe Hurrell have been consistent. Whilst Sema Ismen and Isadora Mcleay have also impressed.
North Shore has played in some close games in season 2021. A four-point victory over Inner West in round 8 was one of those. Alyce Keating kicked two goals and Sophie Gidley was the Bombers best.
Ladder position: Sixth
Win loss: 4-6
Points for: 238 (eighth)
Points against: 383 (sixth)
Leading goal kicker: Amber Laven (11)
Rising Star nominations: Kara Durante- Round 7
Sydney University finds itself in sixth place (on percentage) after 10 rounds.
Without Louise Stephenson in the middle of the ground, University was defeated in their first three games of the season. However, wins in three of their last four games has them primed for a finals chance.
Alongside Stephenson, Isabella Gray (who is arguably the best centre half-back in the competition), Stephanie Gilfedder and Lauren Maneschi have made an impact.
After being defeated by UNSW Eastern Suburbs by 26 points in round 3, Sydney University replied with a 15 point win in round 10. Kara Durante, Amber Laven and Georgia Mann were the goal kickers with Claire Lawton voted University’s best player.
UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs
Ladder position: Seventh
Points for: 225 (ninth)
Points against: 543 (eighth)
Leading goal kicker: Casidhe Simmons (16)
Rising Star nominations: Emelye Blades- Round 9
UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs were victorious in their opening three games of season 2021. Before being defeated in the next three to find themselves two wins outside the top five.
Sera Kaukiono has been a rock defensively so far this season. Maddy Hendrie and Emelye Blades (her first season in senior football) have been impressive.
In round 8 the Bulldogs just hung on for victory, as they defeated UTS by a solitary point at Henson Park. Casidhe Simmons kicked three goals with Senna Gulden best on the ground.
UTS Australian Football Club
Ladder position: Eighth
Points for: 263 (seventh)
Points against: 556 (ninth)
Leading goal kicker: Jessica Quade (9)
Rising Star nominations: Ruby Harrison- Round 10
UTS received a huge boost in the off-season as former GWS Giants ruck Pippa Smyth (who missed the 2020 season with a knee injury) joined the club. Smyth joins current Giant Tait Mackrill at the Bats to compliment some emerging talent.
Melissa Lindsay and Deborah Geraghty have been standouts for the Bats with Angelique Stramotas consistently amongst their top six.
UTS has had a couple of close defeats, however, their second win of the season came in round 9 with an 18-point victory over Pennant Hills. Kaitlin Mccaffery kicked three majors for the Bats with Kate Heal best on the ground.
Pennant Hills Demons
Ladder position: Ninth
Points for: 307 (sixth)
Points against: 459 (seventh)
Leading goal kicker: Brianna-Lee Wade (11)
Rising Star nominations: Ella Morris- Round 6
The Pennant Hills Demons had to wait until round 5 to record their first victory of the season, a 42-point win over Macquarie University. Despite this, they’ve had a couple of close results not go the Demons way. A three-point loss to North Shore in round 6 and a three-point defeat to Sydney University in round 7.
Brianna-Lee Wade has been a focal point in the Demons forward half. Elsewhere, Eleanor Rugg and Eliza Harvey have been instrumental.
Pennant Hills caused possibly the upset of the season to date in round 10, a 14-point win over Southern Power. Brianna-Lee Wade and Eliza Harvey kicked two goals each with Ellie Herron judged best on the ground.
Ladder position: Tenth
Points for: 180 (tenth)
Points against: 581 (tenth)
Leading goal kicker: Chelsea Quinn (5)
Rising Star nominations: Hannah Cerezo- Round 1
Although Macquarie University is yet to taste victory in season 2021, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been competitive. Similarly to Pennant Hills, Macquarie has been in a couple of nail biters. A two-point defeat to Sydney University in round 8 and a three-point loss to North Shore in round 9.
GWS Giant Jodie Hicks has led from the front for Macquarie University. The impressive Hannah Cerezo has been in the best six players most weeks, as has Katie Johnston.
In the defeat to North Shore, Hannah Cerezo, Grace Thomas and Lauren- Hamilton Smith were the goalkickers. Whilst Steffanie Lee was Macquarie University’s best player.
Photo by Merrillie Redden