Top Eight: Canberra's Best and Brightest Players
For the first time, our Top Eight list leaves South Australia as we direct our attention towards some of the best players that the Australian Capital Territory, or more specifically, the best and brightest players that the AFL Canberra Women’s competition has to offer.
As with our previous lists, AFLW listed players will not be included. As we are currently also working on an ACT AFLW Exports list because, with players such as Lexi Hamilton, Hannah Dunn and Jackie Parry, they deserve a list of their own.
For this list, we have factored in both performance and potential to bring not just the best but also some of the brightest players that the ACT has to offer.
We must also give a special thanks to our contacts from the ACT, who helped us guide our research and ultimately helped form this list.
So, without further ado and for the first-time interstate, here is our Top Eight ACT’s Best and Brightest list.
Honourable Mentions: Kate Greenacre (Tuggeranong), Catherine Brown (Eastlake)
#8 Ellie Hicks (Belconnen)
To kick off our list, we look towards a very promising youngster from the Belconnen Magpies, Ellie Hicks. Named on the interchange bench in the 2019 AFL Canberra Future Stars Team, this two-time U18 Team of the Year Player has also represented the U18 NSW/ACT Rams in both 2018 and 2019. Add to this, the fact that she was awarded the 2018 Belconnen Junior Magpies Most Outstanding Achievement by a player award, and it equals a player with some serious potential. Unfortunately, she tore her lateral meniscus back in August, but once she makes her return, she is certainly a player that is worth watching.
#7 - Carly Res (Queanbeyan)
Queanbeyan’s Carly Res wasn’t just the Captain of the team in 2019, but she was also named as the Captain of the 2019 Canberra League’s Team of the Year. Being named in the back pocket of the Team of the Year is impressive enough, without considering that she is Captain of one of the most impressive teams we have come across, the Queanbeyan Tigers. But overall, Carly is an amazing leader and definitely holds her own amongst the best in the territory.
#6 Tarni Evans (Queanbeyan)
Coming in at our number six spot is another very promising youngster, but this time it is a Queanbeyan product. Tarni Evans has an impressive resume already, as she not only played for the Eastern Allies last year, but she is also one of just a few ACT players that are in the NAB Academy. Tarni was also named at centre half forward in the 2019 AFL Canberra’s Future Stars Team, which certainly makes her a player to watch, not just by us but also AFLW clubs as well.
#5 Emily Pease (Belconnen)
Our number five spot goes to another member of the NAB Academy, except this time it is Belconnen’s Emily Pease. Emily received several nominations for this list, and it is no surprise as to why, as she was not only a part of the 2019 Eastern Allies team, but she was also named on the wing in the AFL Canberra Future Stars Team. A youngster with some serious potential, but for now she sits comfortably at our number five spot.
#4 Amber Allen (Belconnen)
We had to do an extra few days of research thanks to Amber Allen’s performance during the 2019 season, and even now we aren’t too confident or even sure how she managed to pull it off. This is because, 2019 saw Amber kick a solid 17 goals from 15 matches, however the problem lies with the fact that she was named at full back in the Team of the Year. So, either Belconnen’s team Captain is an extremely versatile player who can play multiple positions or maybe she is a prime example of a rebound defender, or maybe we just messed up our research. Either way, just one of these performances are impressive enough without the unique combination.
#3 Jayde Hamilton (Queanbeyan)
Coming in at our number three spot is the final ACT member of the NAB Academy, Queanbeyan’s Jayde Hamilton. The Hamilton’s are quite the footballing family, and Jayde is another perfect example. Playing for the Eastern Allies in 2019, this back to back Best and Fairest is full of potential, best shown through the fact that she was named on the half back flank of AFL Canberra’s Future Stars Team. We will be sure to keep an eye on Jayde going forwards as she certainly has the potential to become another Hamilton in the AFLW.
#2 Ella Ross (Queanbeyan)
Our number two spot goes to former GWS Giant’s player and Queanbeyan product, Ella Ross. Returning to Queanbeyan after playing with Richmond during the 2018 VFLW season, Ella has been labelled as one of Queanbeyan’s most consistent performers, which says a lot considering the amount of talent the Tigers possess. Finishing in the top ten of the league’s Leading Goalkicker, Ella was also named as the ruck rover for the 2019 Team of the Year. A great player from a great team, Ella is certainly worthy of our number two spot.
#1 Jessica Stramandanoli (Queanbeyan)
A small forward from Queanbeyan takes our title of the ACT’s best league player. Jessica was tipped as a possible AFLW draftee last season and it is easy to see why. With experience playing in the VFLW, Jessica finished second in the AFL Canberra’s Bainrot Medal count, with 16 votes, which was four votes above third spot. She was also named in the forward pocket of the Team of the Year, and it isn’t a surprise that she was considering she booted around 34 goals from just 12 games, with a season high nine goals coming against the Jets during the year. At the end of the day, Jessica is an outstanding player and if she can replicate this same performance during the 2020 season, she will certainly be tipped as a possible AFLW draftee again.
While are not 100% with our research, we still stand by the final positions of these players. Stay tuned for our Top Eight: ACT AFLW Draftees list, and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.
Special thanks to all those who nominated and to our contacts in the ACT.