GSFLW Team of the Week - Round Twelve
Teams and players alike continue to impress at the tail end of the GSFLW season: from final previews to possible Best and Fairest hints.
The end of the GSFLW home and away season for 2022 is near. The Demons strengthened their grip on the top spot with another big win, the Eagles won a hard-fought finals preview, and the Tigers continued their late winning spree.
Four things we learnt this weekend:
Boileau is in Best and Fairest form
Eagles have an elite backline
Goolwa is onto something
Yankalilla is now the best of the rest
(1) Brooke Boileau is at her Best and Fairest form at the moment. The Mt Compass product has had a profound impact on the Bulldogs this season with her tackling, pace, and toughness. It has seen her get named amongst their best players 6 times in her 6 games. However, with the season coming to an end the awards night coming near – there are some other names that stand out alongside Brooke. Traditionally, maximum votes usually go to the winning side – and midfielders. Caitlin Radbone is certainly a contender, with 6 best selections from her 6 games. Ally Bailey, 6 from 10; Katrice Turner, 4 from 7; Tess Huxtable, 5 from 9; and Luce Earl, 5 from 8, have all been impressive. Katie Whish has flown under the radar with 6 selections from 8 matches: and what about Kimberley Rowe and her 7 selections from 10 games. Only time will tell.
(2) Eagles have an elite backline. They probably won them the game on the weekend, to be honest. Although McLaren certainly has talent in the middle and up forward – who got them over the line in the second half – it was the backline who helped keep them in the game. Caitlin Ross, Sam Pratt, and Tiff Copley were huge during the opening term when the Magpies had several chances to build a sturdy lead. But instead, the Eagles' defence held them out.
(3) Goolwa are onto something. Yes … they did lose on the weekend to a likely Grand Finalist contender in McLaren: but the Magpies certainly had their chances. They dominated the inside 50s during the first half, but the Eagles’ defence was too strong. The Magpies just couldn’t convert their chances. They have some talent within their line-up with Rachel Searle, Luce Earl, Renee Moon, Kalani Bates, and Megan Hoad. However, they probably lack a few key position players – especially a key forward – when compared to the heavy hitters of McLaren and Willunga. That being said, Goolwa has got this far – and they are a genuine wildcard.
(4) Yankalilla is now the best of the rest. The Tigers can gain some solidarity in knowing that they are the best side who will not get to continue into this year’s final series. Their recent spur of 3 straight victories brings them within a win of fourth-placed Strathalbyn. The Roosters play McLaren next round, which is no easy task, and the Tigers have Willunga – sadly, even if the Tigers were to win – they finish the year with a bye. Sitting with a 124.05 percentage compared to Yank’s 38.45, all Strathalbyn would have to do is not get dismantled by Mt Compass in the final round to remain in the finals. But this shows that Yank has the foundation to become a huge improver in 2023.
It took some time, but Willunga surged away after halftime to defeat Strathalbyn by 38 points, 7.10 (52) to 2.2 (14).
Despite the result, the sides seemed evenly matched during the early stages of the game. The Roosters managed to stick with the Demons during the opening half – and only 5 points separated the sides at halftime. However, the star-studded Demons broke the game open in the second half with 5 unanswered goals to surge away to a comfortable win.
Tess Huxtable was once again at the forefront for Strathalbyn. While Eliza Fergusen, Emma Chapman and Courtney Mesecke were also among their best players. The ladder leaders were well-supplied by the Great Southern Best on Ground Katrice Turner. Cleo Guilfoyle also continued her fine form with another great display. And Patty Sommerville and Kristen Rothwell were also standouts.
Yankalilla continued their winning ways with their third consecutive victory after they rolled Mt Compass by 13 points, 3.7 (25) to 2.0 (12).
The Tigers have done it again: their fine form has continued for the third straight week as they managed to finish strong against Mt Compass to win a thriller. After having a slow start, the Bulldogs came within 4 points of the Tigers at the final change. But Yank broke away, scoring 1.3 (9) to nothing in the last quarter, to claim a hattrick of wins and effectively end the Bulldogs’ dream of making finals.
Kimberley Rowe has continued her impressive streak of performances. The Kangaroo Island pioneer was the best on the ground for the yellow and black. Demy Zahradnik, Nari Wright and Madi Munro were also standouts. On the other hand, Brooke Boileau was the main highlight for Mt Compass, as were Georgina Thomas and Tyler Rigney Garrett who formed their top 3 best.
McLaren’s magnificent defence allowed them to escape Goolwa with a hard-fought win, 1.5 (11) to 3.6 (24).
Goolwa created several chances during the opening half, but they just couldn’t get the reward for their efforts. Kicking 0.3 (3) to 3.4 (22) by the final break, the Magpies mounted a late fightback during the fourth term but by then the damage was too great to undo.
Ruby Flanagan-Sjoberg led by example for McLaren with a Best on Ground display. Ally Bailey, Katie Whish, and Layla Rogers were at their usual best for the Eagles as well. As for Goolwa, Renee Moon played her best game since making her return: while Tracey Odonnell, Hannah Crump and Kerrie-ann Moon were also among their top performers.
Scroll down to see the Team of the Week, plus a minor breakdown of the squad.
Captain: Katrice Turner
Vice-Captain: Kimberley Rowe
Shae Archbold spearheads this week’s attack after booting 2 goals during the Demons’ big win on the weekend. She is a small forward that plays like a key forward. Named alongside her is the hard-running Layla Rogers, who was a strong performer for the Eagles on the weekend. She was not only valuable around the stoppages, but she was also responsible for several inside 50 entries.
Speed continues to be the theme of this week’s attack with Kalani Bates being named in front of the footy this week. Bates was impressive for Goolwa – particularly in the opening half when she was on the wing. Her pace and ability to read the footy was, and still is, a huge advantage for the Magpies this season.
Of course, we cannot talk about speed without mentioning Caitlin Radbone. This Willunga wing has been one of the most consistent standouts of the season so far and – to put it simply – she is just too fast to stop. Likewise, Brooke Boileau was at it again with a Best on Ground performance for the Bulldogs. Boileau, being fast but also strong, will be one of the names to watch come awards night.
Rounding out this attack is the reliable Rooster Tess Huxtable. One of the recruits of the season, Huxtable has been a solid performer for Strathalbyn, and she can play almost any position on the field if need be.
Jemma Ellis has been a huge factor in Yankalilla’s recent run of success. The athletic tall – that represented the 2022 under-18 South Australian side – has been a class above since making her return from her SANFLW duties. Ruck is obviously the position that she has become most accustomed to. However, she can play back – and at Yank, she makes a quite handy defensive combination with teammate Rowe.
Katrice Turner has continued to be a top performer within the Great Southern. She was the 2021 GSFLW premiership co-captain and the 2022 GSFLW Association Best on Ground winner, and she has routinely been one of the best players at Willunga. A tough in-and-under midfielder that is always hard at the footy: Turner never seems satisfied until the win is secured – and for that, she has earnt this week’s title as captain.
Rounding out an outstanding on-ballers group is Renee Moon. She returned to playing and has had the same impact that saw her end up at South Adelaide in the SANFLW. Hard and tough yet fast and silky, Moon is one of those midfielders that has the ability to change the tide of a game.
Ruby Flanagan-Sjoberg has continued to flourish at McLaren. Adding leadership to her list of strengths that also include grit and determination, this Eagle plays like a seasoned midfielder despite still being young – which is perhaps a hint at her potential going forwards.
Cleo Guilfoyle is another player that has continued to flourish. Enjoying a breakout year in Willunga’s senior side, this youngster has the qualities of a great wing. She has speed, and strength and, at times, she plays with flare. She can weave in and out of traffic, can tackle well, and can move up forward where she also has a decent goal sense.
The other wing is home to an underrated Yankalilla wing, Madi Munro. Munro was one of the standouts from the Tiger's win on the weekend – and she certainly has potential going forwards.
Strathalbyn’s Eliza Fergusen has continued her amazing stint of games for the Roosters with yet selection amongst their best players. Likewise, Courtney Mesecke, who always plays her role well, provided a glimpse at her great skills on the weekend.
Speaking of an amazing stint of games, Yankalilla’s Kimberley Rowe has continued to impress at the Tigers. Earning the vice-captaincy this week, Rowe is promising, powerful, and extremely versatile. Strong and powerful enough to be tough to beat in the air yet athletic and skilful enough to be a force at ground level – this young Tiger is a bit of a hidden gem in terms of potential.
Caitlin Ross was calm, composed, and just plain old great on the weekend. Her ability to find a mark while under pressure was one of the reasons that the Eagles were able to win the game on Sunday. This, and her speed, made her a formidable rebounder of the footy and an amazing anchor in defence for McLaren.
Ross wasn’t the only member of the Eagles’ elite backline. Sam Pratt often disrupted Goolwa’s plans before they got within the arc. Likewise, her pace and tackling were a constant thorn in the opposition's side. While Pratt was a constant threat on the ground, Tiff Copley was powerful in the air. A fine overhead marker of the footy – Copley was moved on-ball where she drastically changed the look of the game.
A pair of Willunga Demons headline this week’s rotations. The goalkicking Patty Sommerville and the hard-running Chelsea Farr were both standouts during the ladder leaders’ big win.
Goolwa’s Tracey Odonnell impressed not only us and her coach but also her teammates with a solid display in black and white. Likewise, Ally Bailey was her usual impressive self during McLaren’s hard-fought win.
Rounding out the MWM GSFLW Team of the Week is Georgina Thomas, who was impressive in the ruck for Mt Compass, and Demy Zahradnik, who was one of the best performers during Yankalilla’s impressive win.
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Special thanks to all those who nominated players for our Team of the Week.
All of these images have been taken by the MWM team.