• Jayden J Bartlett

Top Eight: Underrated SANFLW Players


We are three weeks into the 2020 SANFL Women’s competition and we have already witnessed so many impressive performances from a range of players.


But when you are playing in the same league as players such as Teah Charlton, Georgia Bevan, Ashleigh Woodland and Tahlia Meyer, it becomes pretty easy to get overlooked.


Some people call these players underrated or if you are like us, we call them hidden gems.


Nonetheless, while they might not be putting in outstanding performances week in and week out like the players we just mentioned, they are still considerably talented.


Ranging from players that play their role brilliantly to players that are only new to the SANFL Women’s competition, with have collected our picks for the Top Eight: Underrated SANFLW Players.


But due to the similar nature between underrated and hidden gem players, we have decided not to include players that have previously featured on our Top Eight: Hidden Gems of the SANFLW Part One and Part Two lists. We will include those two lists within this article, along with the links to them if you wish to read more about those players.

Hidden Gems of the SANFLW Part One:

#8 Sam Pratt (South Adelaide)

#7 Colbie Frankland (Woodville – West Torrens)

#6 Kiana Lee (Woodville – West Torrens)

#5 Maya Rigter (Sturt)

#4 Airlie Schirmer (South Adelaide)

#3 Amber Ward (North Adelaide)

#2 Tamsyn Morriss (Glenelg)

#1 Jaslynne Smith (South Adelaide)



Hidden Gems of the SANFLW Part Two:

#8 Melanie Elsegood (West Adelaide)

#7 Ellen Fauser (Glenelg)

#6 Tiffany Copley (South Adelaide)

#5 Adrienne Davies (North Adelaide)

#4 Caitlen Teague (Central District)

#3 Lucy Griffith (Sturt)

#2 Elke Jarvis (South Adelaide)

#1 Milli Gentle (Glenelg)



#8 Mattea Breed (Norwood)

The only real reason that Mattea is underrated is simply because she has only recently found her way to the SANFL Women’s competition from the Northern Territory. But in just her first three matches, this young gun has certainly been making a mark for Norwood. In total, she has collected 48 disposals which she has rarely wasted thanks to her 71% disposal efficiency. She has also averaged a strong three tackles and three clearances a game thus far this season.


#7 Brianna Arthur (North Adelaide)

In a team like North Adelaide, it would be difficult to stand out. They have several extremely talented players, but when it comes to underrated players, we can not go past Brianna Arthur. She has played all three rounds thus far for the Roosters this season and has collected a total of 19 disposals and has averaged two marks and three inside 50s a game. However, arguably the best statistic that she has to her name is her disposal efficiency, which currently sits at a remarkable 89%.



#6 Kelli Nijhuis (South Adelaide)

Kelli is only really underrated because she has played less than ten games in her entire football career, but you would not be able to tell that if you saw her play. This McLaren product has proven to be rather reliable up-forward for the Panthers, as she has booted two goals in the two games that she has played so far this season. She really showed what she was capable of doing during South Adelaide’s second trial game against Sturt, and as the season continues, this young gun will no doubt continue to develop and get more dangerous up-forward.


#5 Laitiah Huynh (Central District)

There were several Central District players that we had considered putting on this list, so much so that we have decided to begin work on our Hidden Gems of the SANFLW Part Three. But in the meantime, we thought we would bring to you one of the best and most reliable under 18 players in the league. Young Laitiah Huynh has spent the past two seasons with Central’s senior side and this year alone, she has collected 28 disposals, five tackles and four marks from just the two games that she has played.



#4 Bella Smith (Norwood)

Bella Smith is one of those players that prefers to go under the radar, but of course, we are here to change that. 2020 marks her second senior season with Norwood and her first season playing as a more forward role, but she has not let that impact her performance. In the first three rounds, Bella has managed to collect 25 disposals and boot her a second ever goal at this level. She has also averaged two tackles and three marks a game which makes her quite simply, a player that plays her role brilliantly.


#3 Nat Gibbs (South Adelaide)

Nat Gibbs is another local product at South Adelaide and while 2019 marked her season with the Panthers, she has certainly found her place in the side during 2020. South Adelaide’s backline has a great mix of smalls and talls, and she has fitted into it perfectly. With good composure and awareness, Nat has collected a strong 26 disposals and averaged two rebound 50s a game from the first three games this season. So far this season, South’s backline has proven to be one of their biggest strengths, and it is thanks to players like her that this has been possible.



#2 Chelsea Packer (Glenelg)

She received the most nominations out of anyone for this list and it is easy to see why. In 2019, Chelsea had a huge season, collecting 136 disposals and averaging three marks and two tackles a game, and it seems that she is on track to equal or even beat that performance this season. As Captain, she is certainly leading from the front, collecting a total of 38 disposals and averaging three tackles and two marks a game from the first three rounds this season.


#1 Zoe Venning (West Adelaide)

Just one of many great West Adelaide players that are still under the age of 18, Zoe Venning played all ten games for the Bloods during the 2019 season, but she has certainly hit a new level this year already. For example, in 2019, Zoe collected 69 disposals and booted two goals from ten games that season. However, this year she has already collected 55 disposals and booted two goals from just three matches. Add to this, an average of four marks and three clearances a game, and it equals a player that will not remain underrated for much longer.


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