VFLW 2024 Squad

That will do for now. Painful on the phone…

Officially Official. Cherie O’Neill is our new VFLW head coach.

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A bit more background on Manfre’s other sport. Australia made the final but lost 29-47 to Japan. Manfre made one of our four touchdowns.

Keilor’s Olivia Manfre was born to become an AFL [sic] player. Now, the 20-year-old finds herself in Malaysia, poised to proudly make her debut for the Australian women’s flag football national team.

Manfre recently completed a season in the Victoria Football League with Essendon, a team she joined at least as a registered supporter the day she was born, such was her parents’ passion for the sport. She began playing at the age of 12 and progressed to fulfil a destiny of representing the team she supports in the VFL, one step below the elite AFLW level she one day hopes to reach.

Like many athletes, Manfre sought out an off-season sport to help maintain her fitness and that’s when she caught the flag football bug.

“I played in some training sessions with a team called the Northern Raiders and absolutely fell in love with the sport,” she said.

“I was really intrigued to learn more, so I watched Mexico against the USA at the World Games and I knew straight away that I would have to give this a go. That led me to representing Victoria at the national competitions in July and as a result of that I was selected for the Australian team.

“It’s something I’m really proud of and I’m really excited about and it’s all quite surreal that I’m about to represent my country.”

Manfre trained with Australian men’s national team coach Jamie Stafford and some of the men’s team players based in Victoria, as well as with the Melbourne Mets in preparation for this weekend’s tournament.

Under head coach Paul Manera, Australia’s original gridiron export to the United States and an experienced coach in both tackle and flag, Manfre joined her nation’s squad that arrived in Malaysia several days ahead of the upcoming International Federation of American Football Asia Oceania Flag Football Championship to acclimatise and hold a pre-tournament camp.

“I haven’t been overseas before so that in itself is going to be an exciting experience,” she said before the team headed for Kuala Lumpur.

“I’ve come from a team sport and love that environment, so the pre-camp gives us a great opportunity to get to know each other. In my experience a team that’s really connected is better able to face adversity and to bounce back if they’re losing and I think that’s really important. We’re all going to work really hard and that’s going to give us that edge if we really need to step up to win.”

Australia are newcomers to the international flag football arena, but several of Manfre’s teammates and those on the men’s roster boast experience of playing in IFAF World Championships in the tackle discipline. ‘Quarterback Casey Cubis played at the 2017 IFAF Women’s World Championship in Canada, while fellow signal caller Danielle De Groot represented her nation in Finland last year. Kodie Fuller, Dania Herdman and Pier Pritchard have similar experience.

“I’ve been trying to get as much information from them as possible,” Manfre said.

“They have so much knowledge of the sport and learning from them is really going to help me, not just with football skills but also playing for our country.

“You can tell when we’re training who the experienced players are and I’ve been asking them questions to make me better as an athlete.”

Manfre believes her success playing Australian Rules Football will translate to flag football, where she lines up as a wide receiver.

She hopes that with one season ending just before the other begins will not cause future conflicts, though her VFL season ended slightly prematurely as the Bombers failed to advance to the Grand Final.

“This year the two sports never crossed,” she said.

“As soon as I finished the footy season, I found myself in Sydney a week or two later. I didn’t have to worry about the crossover and in terms of fitness I transitioned over straight away.

“As a receiver in flag football it definitely links with the position I play in the VFL where I’m a forward. I do a lot of marking, so that’s my style of play which one hundred percent definitely helps.

“One thing I’ve been working on now is my route running. It’s very different from the leading patterns we run in footy. I love playing them both so much and hope there’s no clash next year.”

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… yes, Sarah Ford was cut from the Sydney AFLW team.

She’s from NSW, but maybe she wants to put her case in 14+ games at a decent level, not just 5. Northrop Consulting Engineers do have a Melbourne office, if she chose to relocate.

Extra midfield depth would be nice.

Also, this time we need to give her jumper #40!

Six days ago…

Lucia Painter listed in Sarah Black’s top prospects.


Also, Zippy Fish is one of the all-time great names (and yes, she is apparently fast and agile).

Infographic of who is (probably) still here since ANZAC Day 2021:

(Morcs needs to cameo to be the only player to play in the first six seasons.)

Hype video belatedly dropped.

The club has re-started their announcements after a few months off: Maddy Gray and Jamiee-Lee Morrow renewed, and MARSHALL SIGNED ALREADY.

Dani’s back and that makes me happy, but, 35? They couldn’t give her her 6?

Numbers have been all over the shop this pre-season; don’t believe any of them for now. Note that last year every VFLW-listed player was 41+, to avoid clashes with AFLW-listed cameos. As a result, Grace Dicker and Bella Clarke were the only players to maintain their numbers (44 and 45).

P.S. Why do you hate Dani’s premiership #14 so much?!?

Coates fixture is out. As previously it’s a godawful mess; most but not all rounds are spread over multiple weeks. Through some bizarro ■■■■ Calder and Bendigo have perfectly synced themselves up date-wise (but not round-wise) for their byes. That’s not ideal for us.

VFLW round VFLW date Calder bye Bendigo bye
1 23-Mar x x
2 30-Mar x x
3 6-Apr x x
4 13-Apr
5 20-Apr
6 27-Apr
7 5-May
8 11-May
9 18-May x x
10 25-May
11 1-Jun
12 9-Jun x x
13 15-Jun
14 22-Jun
F1 29-Jun x x
F2 6-Jul x x
F3 13-Jul x x
F4 21-Jul

There will be some State matches etc in some of those byes.

On a side note, considering the Grand Final is in July, I wonder if Dani Marshall will play for the USA Freedom in the AFL Transatlantic Cup, this August in Toronto?

I don’t… but I don’t have a signed guernsey with #14 on it either :sunglasses:

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Happy 22nd birthday to our (maybe) captain, El Chaston.

Sarah Ford confirmed as returning.

NEW players: Emily Gallagher and Tyla Crabtree.


Tyla was sixth nationally in the AFLW 2km time trial (7:42).


  • Height: 161cm
  • D.O.B: 04-09-2005
  • Leagues: Coates Talent League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships


  • Contested work
  • Competitiveness
  • Defensive pressure
  • Endurance
  • Clean hands
  • Strength


  • Kicking
  • Outside game


Crabtree had a stuttered start to the season missing a couple of games in the first month, and then eventually being able to adjust by the midway point of the Talent League competition. Once she got going, the inside midfielder consistently found the ball and was not afraid to throw herself at every challenge for both GWV Rebels and Vic Country.

Slotting seamlessly into the Vic Country lineup, Crabtree played all three games, averaging 14.3 disposals and 3.0 tackles per match, symbolic of her defensive nature. She is consistently competitive and aggressive at both the ball and opposition, providing four-quarter effort which is supported by a high endurance base.

She finished among the top athletes in the 2km time trial at the AFLW Draft Combine, and her running capacity shows on the field. Though not athletic, Crabtree is quick by hand which underpins her game. She is one of the cleanest ball users at ground level, often winning it one take and scooping it out to a nearby runner.

Those clean hands coupled with her defensive pressure and natural competitiveness is what has earned her an AFLW Draft Combine invite. For a 161cm player, Crabtree is strong at the coalface, gets down low and earns her touches, but pushes hard around the ground to find the ball. As the season went on, her production went up.

Not known as an aerialist, Crabtree had one out of the box in Round 14 against Northern Knights, taking six marks to go with her 27 touches. At ground level is where Crabtree thrives, and her contest-to-contest work allows her to have sustained impact at repeat stoppages. Not always the flashiest player given improvements could come in her polish, Crabtree plays an important inside role that makes her teammates better.

Crabtree’s areas of development come in her kicking and outside game, with the bulk of her best work done in close. She can cove the ground well and could play a defensive role in another position, but further developing that impact and execution will take her game to another level.

From an inside standpoint though, Crabtree ticks a lot of the boxes, and that defensive-minded role with her incredible desire to win each contest will appeal to clubs. She is one of a number of players who could feature later in the draft which would be attributed to a consistent season when on the park.

Ha, I get reminded to look at the EFC VFLW Hudl page and see Ava Jordan is listed for “2023”. In 2023 she played one game for FCFC as a junior, before not being drafted.

Apparently AFLW drafters told her “you must be THIS TALL to ride” :smiling_imp:


Hey, I picked this one out back in December from a training session.

That post being the third bloody match in Google… and about all that exists!

Crabtree a few bits of video action at