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NAB AFLW: Pre-season

5:25pm  Nov 22, 2017

NAB AFLW: Elise O'Dea

3:53pm  Nov 22, 2017

Jake Lever's Arrival

7:27pm  Nov 20, 2017

AFLW Melbourne player update

Matt Burgan  September 8, 2017 3:58 PM

Mick Stinear provides an update on each Melbourne AFLW player

Harriet Cordner: Harriet is similar to Aliesha Newman. She joined us with limited time playing footy, so VFLW footy has been perfect for her to grow and develop her game. She’s settled in defence for the Spurs, which has been good for her development. We threw her around a lot in the AFLW season – she played ruck, midfield and forward at times. She’s another who has spent a lot of time working on her education – in regards to defensive positioning and game style. She unfortunately injured her collarbone midway through the year, so she’s nearly back to full strength and will be right for the start of pre-season. Harriet has taken the time to invest and strengthen her body even further. She’s one of the most powerful players in our team, and as she continues to grow in confidence, she’ll be one player to have a big impact in her second AFLW season.

Richelle Cranston: Rocky missed the start of the VFLW season, due to a lower leg injury. Upon her return, she invested a significant amount of time into her physical conditioning. She came back stronger and more powerful than ever. Rocky has been a hard one to stop in Geelong’s midfield and she’s been breaking the lines with power and intent. She finished the AFLW as a key part of our midfield and we’re expecting her to start the season that way with a strong off-season.

Meg Downie: She was injured in the second round of the AFLW season, so her start with the St Kilda Sharks in the VFLW was delayed. Meg was excellent with her rehab and has come back and been playing some really good footy. Her kicking has been a key focus for her over the past few months and she’ll be a key member of St Kilda’s finals campaign. We’re looking for her to play a full season of AFLW next season and be one of our key members of defence.

Laura Duryea: ‘Irish’ went back to her local club at Diamond Creek. She was the only Melbourne player at Diamond Creek, and she’s covered some miles between work, home and footy. She lives and works on the Mornington Peninsula and returned back home to Ireland to see her family for three or four weeks, during the school holidays. She recently competed in the International Cup for the Irish Banshees and they were victorious. They beat Canada and she was co-captain of that team. It meant a lot to her that she represented her country and was a real leader for her fellow Irish teammates. ‘Irish’ thrives in a high performance environment and we look forward to her being a key member of our defence next year.

Jasmine Grierson: Jas is another one of our young Rising Star nominees. She had a good break earlier in the year, going to Canada with her twin brother for three weeks. She’s played multiple positions for Cranbourne, but recently injured her knee and will be ready to go for the start of pre-season – after being sidelined for 10 to 12 weeks, following surgery. Jas is a really exciting prospect and played half-back for the majority of last season. We’re expecting her to play wing and forward when the season comes around and looking forward to Jas taking her game to another level.

Ashleigh Guest: We’re rapt to have Guesty on board. She brings a really strong running game, playing predominantly wing and half-back for the Spurs. A left-footer who likes to take the game on, she can really break the lines. It’s a real strength for us to add a player of Guesty’s quality and athleticism to our side. She’s going to fit in well next season.

Melissa Hickey: Mel, for one of our senior members of our team, has spent the most time investing in her game. She’s been working on the little things and has been spending a lot of time in the midfield – working on her stoppage craft. Mel’s played the majority of the season in the midfield for Darebin and we’re hoping it’ll translate into her being a key member of our midfield for next season. I think she’ll definitely reap the rewards of the time that she’s put into her game during the off-season. She had a good little break to Vietnam to freshen up and she’s ready for a VFLW finals campaign and the next AFLW season.

Erin Hoare: Erin was the most recent addition of our two pre-listed rookies. She started playing for Geelong in the VFLW at the start of the year. Erin is the tallest player in the competition, after playing netball with the Swifts and Vixens. She continues to develop every week and her competitiveness in the ruck and her fundamental skills get better with each game. We’re excited to work with her and the prospect of her getting first use in the ruck to our midfielders is an exciting one. She’s a professional and someone who will thrive in a high performance environment, so we’re looking to have her on board.

Kate Hore: Kate was our first pre-listed rookie for the 2018 season. She started the season really well for St Kilda Sharks, after coming from a basketball background. After finishing a double degree, she promised herself a trip to Europe, so we encouraged her to take the trip. Kate’s back now and she’s a really exciting talent. With her competitiveness and natural ball skills – she’ll have an impact for us straight away. We’re really excited to see Kate come into the program and get to work. She’s a welcome addition to our team.

Emma Humphries: Emma went home to Tassie at the end of the AFLW season to be with her family. She started working with AFL Tasmania in game development and she’s been playing in Tassie. She gets close attention and is watched closely each week by the opposition, so she’s had her work cut out for her. But she’s seen it as a good opportunity to work on her contested game and has done a lot of work in tight. Emma came up for the men’s game against Port Adelaide a few weeks ago and did some skill work and education that weekend. She’s in a really good place and we’re looking for her to progress to be a key part of our midfield, as she adds a lot of value to our running game.  

Bianca Jakobsson: She’s been fantastic since becoming a member of our women’s team. Bianca only missed a handful of games for Cranbourne in the VFLW, through injury, but has otherwise been a standout. She has played a variety of roles – forward and back – and has spent a lot of time on her fundamental skill development, particularly around her marking, which is her strength. We’re looking for her to make an impact straight away and we’re expecting her to play forward and in the midfield. Although her marking is her strength, her kicking ability is also going to be a feature of our side.

Ainslie Kemp: Ainslie invested in her strength and conditioning, and her fundamental skill development. She had a career-best game for the Spurs with five goals, but shortly afterwards suffered a lower leg injury, which forced her to miss the rest of the VFLW season. She’ll be right for the start of the AFLW season. As a 20-year-old, she’s as strong as she’s ever been, and has learned a lot out of her first AFLW season. She finished the first AFLW season with some strong contested marking, and she attacked the ball, so she’ll be one to watch in 2018.

Sarah Lampard: Sarah’s been outstanding with her development. She’s been one of the key players for the VU Spurs. Sarah’s played a lot off half-back and her running game has been really impressive. She’s invested a lot in her game and has done a lot of education. She’ll develop into a key player for our team with her running power and competitiveness. Although the Spurs didn’t make the finals, she has put a lot of time into her game and she’ll benefit when AFLW kicks off.

Alyssa Mifsud: ‘Miffo’ is becoming quite proficient in one-on-one body work, particularly her marking. For a marking forward, she got a lot of opportunities at ground level last season, so we’re looking for her to dominate in the air and on the ground next season. She is now focusing on her strength and conditioning to set herself up as a key forward in the competition next year.

Lily Mithen: She has been a pivotal part of Geelong’s VFLW team. They’ve had a great season – their first in the competition. As soon as she finished AFLW, she went back to Geelong and has been one of its key leaders. She plays as hard as ever, so she’ll benefit from some good time off after the VFLW season. From there, she’ll be fresh and raring to go. She leads the way on the training track for us, setting standards with her competitiveness. We need to make sure she’s rested and refreshed, as she’s another key member of our team for next season.

Aliesha Newman: The VFLW has been perfect for her. After having limited opportunities and getting a crash course in footy during her first AFLW season, the VFLW has come at just the right time for her. She’s been able to find her feet in the game and has learned to use her weapon, which is her speed. She’s kicked some exciting goals throughout the year, but missed a few weeks with a hamstring, but is back playing now. It’s exciting to see where she’ll take her game. Her speed is unrivalled in the competition, so the more she learns how to use that – the more dangerous she’ll be.

Elise O’Dea: She has continued her good form this year and is the captain of Darebin Falcons. Elise has found a really good balance between work and footy in the off-season. She’s invested in her game and is looking to increase her running capacity through the midfield, which is an exciting prospect for us. She’ll be a key player in the Darebin finals series and she’ll be raring to go, as one of our key leaders next year.

Brooke Patterson: Brooke had an injury-interrupted first-year. She was a key member of our defence and spent the majority of the off-season working on her body. We’re expecting her to start the pre-season fully fit and ready to go. Her strength in defence is her ability to read cues and compete, so we want her fully fit and ready to contribute. She’s not playing the remainder of the VFLW season, so she can get her body right for the start of the AFLW season.

Karen Paxman: Paxy has been a key driver for the Darebin Falcons. She continues to impress with her ability to cover the ground. The exciting thing about Paxy is that she’s already one of the most exciting players in the competition and she’s got some key areas of her game, where she can maximise and take her game to another level. We’re excited to have her back in the program when we start in November and we look forward to her being one of the stars for the Falcons in the finals.

Daisy Pearce: Daisy had some time off after the AFLW season, so she could freshen up and let her body heal. She’s timed her run really well in the VFLW season. Daisy has invested in her body, mentally and physically, and she’s in career-best form at the moment and she’ll be hard to stop in the finals. She’s done a lot of work on the little things in her game, which will make a big difference. Although she’s regarded as one of the best players in the competition, it’s a scary thought for the opposition, when she still has a few levels to go. We haven’t seen the best of her yet.

Lauren Pearce: Loz has been balancing basketball and footy, so right now she’s got ‘Big V’ commitments with the Bulleen Boomers. They’re in the Grand Final series, so she’s had the last couple of weeks off with Darebin in VFLW. She’s performing really well at both sports. Lauren has spent a bit more time up forward this season and we’re hoping that’ll transition into AFLW next year. With Erin Hoare coming in, we’re hopeful she’ll take on some ruck duties and it’ll free Lauren up to play forward.

Catherine Phillips: Cat had minimal VFLW involvement this season, due to her commitments representing Australia in Ultimate Frisbee at the recent World Games. She was a strong performer there too, taking out the Bronze medal. Cat has set her sights on preparing herself for the AFLW pre-season and building on where she left off after season one. She is looking to exploit opponents with her speed and endurance.

Shelley Scott: Had a super first-up season, after limited time in footy. She was our trademark player of the year and was well-loved by our teammates. Shelley has been a key member in the midfield for the Spurs this year. She recently injured her knee, so she’s in a brace at the moment, but she’ll be right for the start of pre-season. We expect her to play a key role in our midfield and forward line next year and her teammates can’t wait to reunite with Shell.

Katherine Smith: Nominated for a Rising Star last season, she has focused on her running and kicking technique this off-season. Missed a large amount of footy during VFLW season, due to a thumb injury and a few minor setbacks. For a young player, she’ll be fresh and ready to go when we start next season’s AFLW. Katherine has developed her defensive skills, along with her midfield skills to create more versatility in the 16-a-side game. She’s been professional with her approach to footy and is one to watch next season.