VFLW 2023 Squad

Sarah Grunden has much more experience in footy, having started at Keilor FC at 8 years old and being the first girl to play 100 games for them (five years ago).

She’s a medium forward who pushes up the ground (lots of disposals, lots of inside fifties, 3.2 her best score for this year) and if Peter Williams is accurate below then NICE.

Grunden has been arguably the most eye-catching player in the Talent League who would not have been on any draft boards before the season. Having been on the Western Jets list in 2021 without playing a game – but now in the Calder side, the Keilor prospect has made a barn-storming start to her top-age year. Playing in atrocious weather conditions in her first three matches, Grunden averaged 18 disposals, four inside 50s and booted four goals. But her impact on-field far outweighs her stats sheet impact, with ridiculously clean hands at ground level and impressive skill execution and impact-per-possession.

Side information noted while I was searching for data: Alex Quigley is leading the EDFL Premier goalkicking ladder, with 12 from 5 games. Manfre is stranded on 5 goals from her 1 game.

@theDJR What happened to Lila Keck this year, after a lot of publicity she seems to have disappeared.

She lasted almost 50 minutes with us.


Pioneers are playing this weekend, but I can’t find the named team to see if she’s playing again.

Go to 49:05 to see how Keck did her ankle.

Found the Bendigo team for Sunday, 4 weeks after this injury: she’s not in it.

Kicked 4 goals this week to extend her lead.


Apparently now back training with the Pioneers.

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23 of 26 remembered to bring their/an origin jumper (we’ll give Ashley-Cooper a pass given she clearly isn’t training).


Calder kicked 5 of their 6 goals in the last quarter to narrowly beat Gippsland.

Grunden 9 disposals and 6 tackles.

Kayley Kavanagh remains the best Cannon, with 23 disposals and a goal.

Western Jets got destroyed by the Suns Academy: 21.4.130 to 3.2.20, and Russell was one of those victims.

NT Thunder jumped Bendigo before getting cold and not goaling in the second half. In the end, the Pioneers won 46-23: Keck was a late withdrawal, and Lucia Painter topped disposals with 32. Jemmika Douglas had 25 and kicked two goals.

Laura Bashford, long-time VFLW Strength & Conditioning head and team board holder extraordinaire, is moving to a similar role at Footscray AFLW (did not get the recently advertised position for our AFLW team).

Has done some handy videos over the years, too – click through for her departing example.



Bittersweet to be saying goodbye to this amazing team :white_heart:

I’ve been so lucky to have worked with the most incredible people over my time at Essendon. To the amazing high performance team, coaches and support staff, thank you for all your hard work this (and every) season. It truly takes an army!

To everyone who has passed through the @essendonwvfl team, I am so proud of every single one of you. I cannot wait to see what the rest of this season will bring!! The thought of leaving you was the hardest part of this decision, which is a testament to the beautiful people you are! Thank you for the laughs, tears and 10 second dance parties, I’ve enjoyed every second working with you all!

To the amazing mentors and colleagues, past and present who continue to provide me with the most invaluable support and advice, thank you will never be quite enough to express how grateful I am for your support and encouragement.


Maddie Boyd was #2 to reach 100 games, this past weekend?

I don’t recall us ever playing an under-ager. But what the hell, BRING. HER. IN.

30 and 31 disposals the last two weeks.