AFLW - round 10 vs Port @ Alberton Oval, 1:10pm AEST Sun 30 October 2022

Our two full-backs remain a perpetual 1-3 weeks away.

(Cyprus time below; annoyingly, Jordan is somehow in the same time zone)

Very similar basic team stats: they kick and mark a bit more than us.

Looking forward to this one as I missed last week’s.

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Time may be off by an hour — two sources disagreeing, and neither tell me (game) local time…

“Despite having a number of year 12s, Essendon is expecting Amber Clarke, Lily-Rose Williamson and Ash Van Loon to feature against Port Adelaide.”

Two interstate games in a row… we could have had thi— OK, maybe not.

Round starts well, with Fark Carlton yet again choking late, and losing by 3 points.

As a result, Footscray to play final(s) and Suns not to do so.

And Pies lose 10-55 to the Bears, kicking their sole goal with just over two minutes left.

What a shame.

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That’s some trip you’re having @theDJR

Be glad I haven’t destroyed the “photos you’ve taken” thread.

P.S. We’re gonna win.
P.P.S. Fark Carlton.
P.P.P.S. My likely tour roommate is gonna be wondering come 4am of morning one what the hell they’ve copped.


By Gemma Bastiani

Port Adelaide coach Lauren Arnell and Essendon coach Natalie Wood. Pictures: AFL Photos

ON SUNDAY afternoon when Port Adelaide and Essendon take to Alberton Oval, two former premiership teammates will face off against one another from the coaches’ box.

Power coach Lauren Arnell and Bombers coach Natalie Wood played as teammates at the Darebin Falcons for five years, with several years of state footy together before that.

But footy isn’t the only thing the two stalwarts of women’s footy have in common either; both Arnell and Wood have backgrounds in teaching.

The duo’s competitiveness and camaraderie will go head-to-head on the biggest stage as both will aim to close out their inaugural seasons as head coach with a win.

“When you’re on one side of the fence, there’s great camaraderie and respect for each other,” Wood told

“Seeing people that you know excel is terrific, but come game day, we don’t literally step over the white line, but I’d like to think I’m competitive. But I reckon (Arnell) might even take the cake.”

Natalie Wood addresses the Essendon players in the round eight, S7 clash with Sydney at Ikon Park Picture: AFL Photos

For Arnell, the chance to take on her mates, particularly those from her Darebin days, is a highlight on the calendar.

“One thing I loved as a player was coming up against my mates, running into them were some of the more enjoyable moments of my AFLW career,” Arnell said.

Port Adelaide coach Lauren Arnell with captain Erin Phillips and vice captain Ange Foley on August 1, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

With World Teachers Day celebrated on Friday, Arnell and Wood both reflected on their experience in teaching which they have are now transferred to the coaching sphere.

An AFLW list of 30 players is the equivalent of a classroom of students, the head coach role that of the teacher at the front of that classroom.

“It’s largely a massive skill transfer,” Arnell explained.

“It’s the same thing, but you get to do it in a sports environment with incredibly highly driven people who are required to perform at the highest level. Rather than assessing them on their report, which might go home to their parents, they’re actually being assessed on the biggest stage by not just myself, but the club, the media. It’s a different environment in that aspect, but it’s the same skills.”

Port Adelaide coach Lauren Arnell hugs Kate Surman after the club’s first win in round seven against Sydney at Alberton Oval on September 17, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Wood also pointed to experience crafting curriculum and the lesson of patience as vital in bringing together an inaugural AFLW program, both skills gained in her time in education.

“From a curriculum perspective, understanding learning, understanding teaching, I think that really directly correlates to coaching, understanding progressions and outcomes and being able to map out a sequence. And I think that’s been really important as an expansion coach, because when you’re coming into the inaugural season, you can see what some of the experienced teams are doing and to understand, I guess, that progression and sequence of things are really important,” Wood said.

“You have to be patient; you have to know what the next steps for your group are. And even though you know the big picture of what you want, there’s stepping stones that you have to take in order to achieve that.”

Natalie Wood addresses the team at the quarter time break in Essendon’s round three, S7 clash with West Coast at Mineral Resources Park on September 11, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Now, as both coaches manage selection around several of their players who are still in high school and undertaking year twelve exams, understanding relationships with people has never been more important.

“A lot of the ones that haven’t actually been in the side at different points, or they’ve been dropped or come in and out, then the hardest bit for them is when they turn up to school,” Arnell said.

“I’ve had girls say, ‘the year 10 boys are asking me every single time I see them why I’m not playing’, and I just thought, bloody hell.”

Supporting their players through high school exams, the reality of rocking up to school after a round of footy on the weekend and managing a contingent of players who are all in different stages of life, Arnell and Wood are equipped to make that happen thanks to years of parallel experiences and a true love for footy. And they will both close out their first season as head coaches this weekend as direct competitors.

Two sides who are coached by former Darebin Falcons premiership teammates in Lauren Arnell and Natalie Wood will finish their inaugural AFLW seasons in a head-to-head battle. Arnell’s group has typically started games well but faded in second halves, while Wood’s side starts and ends games well, but has a lull in the middle two quarters. Statistically both teams are very similar, differing in two specific ways. Essendon has been conceding an average of 90.4 uncontested possessions, 11 fewer than Port Adelaide, which has allowed it to better limit opposition control in game.

Essendon has also been more efficient once inside 50, generating a shot on goal from 45.3 per cent of its forward entries, while Port Adelaide is going at just 37 per cent. Now, with defender Alex Ballard ruled out with concussion and Essendon set to take its overwhelming contingent of Paige Scott, Daria Bannister, Bonnie Toogood, and Jess Wuetschner to Alberton, it is likely to be a tough day for the Power defence and an opportunity for the Bombers to pile on another big score.

Tip: Port Adelaide will start strong, but the Bombers will run away with it. Essendon by 15 points.

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Anyone know if the team has been released yet?

Nope on the team. Melbourne let WCE score a point today (79-1) and thereby missed the top of the ladder (79-0 or 80-1 would have done it :crazy_face:).

$1.01 for Dees and Bears to win their Prelims; Adelaide is struggling vs the Saints today.

In that scenario, the Bears as minor premiers would host the Grand Final.

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Can’t drop Doonan after her podcast performance! Absolute crackup.


Uh oh.

Also, my app says 1:10pm AEST, has @theDJR mucked up due to converting timezones?