Top Eight: Best SANFLW Defenders
If you have read our article on the Top Eight: Best SANFLW Forwards, then you will know the high degree of talent that some teams have up forward. However, with players as strong and talented as them on offence, it would take someone equally as impressive to be able to stop them on the defensive end.
Lucky for us, the SANFLW has no shortage of talented defenders that are ready to go head to head with some of the league’s most dangerous forwards.
As always, players that were drafted at the end of the 2019 SANFLW season will not be eligible for our list.
From calm and composed players to speedy interceptors, these are the Top Eight: SANFLW Defenders.
Honourable Mention - Ashlee Reid (Woodville – West Torrens)
#8 - Erika Sporn (Norwood)
To kick off our list; we look towards a strong Norwood player in Erika Sporn. It is easy to see why Erika received several nominations for our list; considering she played 12 games during the 2019 SANFLW season and gathered 60 disposals at a comfortable 67% efficient and she even managed to sneak down and boot three goals. A very strong and reliable player to kick off our list.
#7 - Tamsyn Morriss (Glenelg)
Coming in at our number seven spot is one of Glenelg’s shining young prospects. In the 2019 SANFLW season alone this proud Tiger collected 71 disposals and averaged two rebound 50s and three tackles a game. With a long history full of accolades, arguably the best aspect of Tamsyn is her age; because despite how good she is currently, she easily has the potential to develop into something even more special in the not so distant future.
#6 - Kimberly Fry (Central District)
Another shining prospect comes in at the number six spot; this time it is Central District prospect, Kimberly Fry. As a member of the 2019 Central Allies team, Kimberly was a standout performer for one of the SANFLWs newest teams. Finishing the season with a total of 84 disposals from nine games; along with an average of four tackles and two rebound 50s a game. This all helps explain why she would also go on to be named at half back for the 2019 SANFLW Team of the Year. And as Central District looks to do some damage in the upcoming season, she will prove to be one of their most valuable players.
#5 - Ellie Kellock (Glenelg)
Our number fifth spot goes to another member of the 2019 SANFLW Team of the Year; this time it is Ellie Kellock who was named in the back pocket. Ellie proved to be a defender worth watching for the Tigers last season; as she finished the year with 142 disposals at an outstanding 79% disposal efficiency and she finished tenth in the league for total rebound 50s. She also managed to average four tackles and three marks a game from 11 games she played that season. And as we countdown to the 2020 season, she is definitely a player that has the potential to be a major contributor for the Tigers Premiership campaign.
#4 - Sam Pratt (South Adelaide)
Coming in at our fourth spot is a member of our Hidden Gems of the SANFLW list, South Adelaide’s very own Sam Pratt. Sam was named as South’s Most Courageous Player for the 2019 season; which sits nicely alongside the 102 disposals and 44 tackles she collected that same year. However, her greatest attributes besides courage would easily be her quick pace and high awareness which sees her disrupt the oppositions plays with ease. With skills similar of that to a fellow defender that was recently drafted, she is worth keeping an eye on in the new season.
#3 - Demi Sonneman (Central District)
This Central District’s player was a late comer to our list; but once we saw what Demi managed to pull off this season she instantly shot up to our third sport. This is because she managed to not only collect 108 disposals from eight games which she rarely wasted thanks to her impressive 74% disposal efficiency; but she also managed four rebound 50s, tackles and marks a game. But despite playing only eight games, her performances were enough to see her finish third overall in the league for total rebound 50s. Certainly a player that is great fit for our top three and a player that is also worth watching out for during 2020.
#2 - Amber Ward (North Adelaide)
We can pretty much consider Amber Ward as an equal number one on our list, because there is not a lot to separate these next two players. Being named as the full back of the 2019 SANFLW Team of the Year; this North Adelaide youngster has definitely been making a mark down back. And this title is well earned considering she finished the 2019 season with an average of 12 disposals a game at an impressive 82% disposal efficiency. However, if that wasn’t enough, Amber also finished second in the league for total rebound 50s with 42. As one of the best defenders in the entire league already, it is scary to think of what she is capable of doing in the years to come.
#1 - Jaslynne Smith (South Adelaide)
Coming in at our number one spot is one the leagues most underrated players but we consider her one of the leagues finest defenders. Not only did South Adelaide’s Jaslynne Smith nearly triple the amount of nominations received by any other player on our list; but also, some of the other defenders on this list have recognised the young guns talent. And this isn’t that much of a surprise, considering this two-time SANFLW Premiership player collected 109 disposals at a 78% disposal efficiency and averaged three rebound 50s a game during the 2019 season. But what sets her apart from the rest is just how composed and reliable Jaslynne is in defence. As the one of the sides last lines of defence, her accurate kick and strong hands has seen her stay strong even during the tensest of times; a fact that makes her a worthy player for our number one spot.
Special thanks to all those who contributed by nominating players.