VFLW - Round 11 vs Footscray @ Windy Hill, 11AM Saturday 15 May 2021

This was originally “confirmed” as starting at 11am but the club report for the Geelong game states it will start at 10am.

Article above has since been fixed.

Footscray are currently in seventh place two wins behind us and with less than half our percentage. The next three teams are three games and similarly huge percentage (>60%) behind us. Therefore winning next week essentially gets us to the finals.

Conveniently, the two of us have played Fark Carlton and Geelong the past two weeks. The winners of those games were consistent, but the scores most definitely were not:

  • Essendon beat Fark Carlton 72-19
  • Footscray beat Fark Carlton 38-24
  • Footscray lost to Geelong 14-99
  • Essendon lost to Geelong 16-39

From the AFL site as linked in the general VFLW thread, some comments on potential developments for their team (by next week?):

The Bulldogs will continue to develop their young and talented AFLW list in the VFLW with many players already appearing multiple times this season.

Isabella Grant, Nell Morris-Dalton, Danielle Marshall and Britney Gutknecht have had an impact in the forward line and on the scoreboard.

Angelica Gogos, Isabella Pritchard, Annabel Strahan and Elisabeth Georgostathis have been good through the midfield.

Bolstering the Dogs’ ruck stocks will be Celine Moody and Ellyse Gamble, with Naomi Ferres, Kim Rennie and Kirsten McLeod also coming into the VFLW side.

Eleanor Brown and Sarah Hartwig will show off their dash from half-back and one of the most exciting young players in Jess Fitzgerald will also come in.

The Lions Beth Pinchin has joined the Bulldogs for the second half of the VFLW season after not playing a game for Brisbane in 2021.

Vic Country prospects Ella Friend and Tahlia Meier have also joined the Dogs and add even more young talent to the list.

The Geelong review article has been quietly fixed. 11am it is.

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Are we in next year AFLW?

4 submissions, and we are one

No. All four clubs told to fark off, to re-apply, and then the AFL will decide (based on no published criteria) if anyone is allowed to enter in two years.

They’ll probably then say no anyway, but will generously let all four teams join for the 2023-2024 season (regardless of the quality of their applications?)

“The Bulldogs’ ruck stocks took a hit in the game against Carlton, with Celine Moody copping a knock to her collarbone that will have her out for at least two weeks. Amanda Tesseri and Ellyse Gamble may be called on to shoulder more of the load, but it will be Moody’s ability to cover the ground and hit the scoreboard that will be missed.”


Damnit, no Prespakis.

But lots of other changes.

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This post will update till I work out the changes (remember the good ol’ days when they told you who was in and out?)

IN: Lennox, Crowley, Friswell, Yassir

OUT: Gardner, Ahrens, Finning, McIntosh

So Gardner (Lisfranc injury) replaced by Lennox.

Finning (concussion?) replaced by Friswell.

McIntosh (hamstring) replaced by, nominally, Crowley (DEBUT).

Ahrens (???) replaced by Yassir (DEBUT). Well, replaced for the midfield portion of her role – when I saw we had the kids in Lennox and Crook as the key defenders, I went “well, at least in an emergency we can sent Ahrens back”…and then I went “shiiiiiiiiit”.

So we just brought in four 17 year olds and dropped our squad’s average age by just over two years.

I don’t think Crowley has much experience as a defender. She’s 175cm but slight. I assume (have not looked at the Footscray forward line height) she will actually play forward.

Footscray’s midfield will need to be hard at it, or Nanscawen/Ugle/Yassir will tackle them into submission.

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Footscray even more dramatic: eight changes!

NONE of the sixteen changes are on their VFLW list. They’re either AFLW-listed or junior top-ups.

Their three juniors coming in are debuting.

C. Moody – AFLW ruck (all 9 AFLW games this year)(noted above as injured)
E. Brown – AFLW key defender (all 9 AFLW games this year)
N. Ferres - AFLW small defender (8 AFLW games this year)
G. Lagioia – AFLW tiny speedster (4 AFLW games this year)
B. Pinchin – AFLW Bears key defender (no AFLW games this year)

C. Sargent – U19 key forward
S. Asciak – U19 midfielder
P. Cook – U19

S. Hartwig – AFLW key defender (all 9 AFLW games this year)
E. Georgostathis – AFLW mid/forward (all 9 AFLW games this year)
B. Gutknecht – AFLW midfielder (4 AFLW games this year)
I. Grant – AFLW 175cm midfielder (played 2 AFLW games this year)
A. Strahan – AFLW 172cm midfielder (no AFLW games this year)

E. Friend – U19 utility, played for Vic Country (AFLW Academy-listed)
N. Dojiok – U19 mostly defender (AFLW Academy-listed)
T. Meier – U19 midfielder (also a decent level cricketer)

Top ten stats leaders for this year (note these are based on totals not averages, so don’t capture players coming in later in the season).

Disposals: Nanscawen only

Goals: Clifford and (still absent) Frew

Marks: their FB Simone Ruedin is 9th

Tackles: Nanscawen

Kicks: Nanscawen and Frew (not playing)

Handballs: Barba and Ugle

Hit-outs: McMahon for them (not playing) and Nalder for us

Point being their only stats leader is their fullback, as they get hammered by opposition attacks…

Who will win our next flag AFL, AFLW, VFLM or VFLW.

None of the above. It will probably be our VWFL team. They were runner-up last season.

They lost to Collingwood last week in 2021’s opener, though.

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It will be a bit chill, but the rain should be stopped come the game.

The AFL may disagree, but footy, even for women, is a winter game.

Peter Williams at DraftCentral has Footscray as favourites, if they can neutralise our midfield. Good thing they lost their AFLW ruck, then.

The latest match on the Saturday is an early 11am fixture at Windy Hill, where the Bombers who are looking to push further up the table and just solidify that finals spot, take on a desperate Western Bulldogs outfit that has to win to stay in finals contention. If you want the best chance at seeing multiple AFLW Draft prospects this weekend, then this is the game to watch. Essendon have brought back Kasey Lennox and Zali Friswell, with talented top-age draft-eligible players Neve Crowley and Emelia Yassir also making their debuts. Crowley has been named in the back six with Lennox, though could play at either end, whilst Yassir will come off the bench and likely impact midfield or forward. Friswell is in a forward pocket. For the Western Bulldogs, a trio of Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels will make their debuts, with Ella Friend, Nyakoat Dojiok and Tahlia Meier all named in the Dogs’ squad. With AFLW talent in Sarah Hartwig, Jess Fitzgerald, Britney Gutknecht and Isabella Grant among plenty of others, the Bulldogs are also not mucking around with their lineup and arguably should be favourites in this game on paper alone. The key is to try and quell the strong Bombers’ midfield which includes Georgia Nanscawen, Alana Barba and Eloise Ashley-Cooper who are always finding the ball, and then Mia-Rae Clifford up forward, and Courtney Ugle creating across the ground.

I reckon that’s why Footscray have brought in most of their AFLW midfield. We have a really talented midfield.


Footscray: 10 AFLW players who played 56 games this year

Essendon: 1 AFLW player who played 0 games this year

P.S. Recall that VFLW this year is just 16 on the ground at a time, so that’s a dominantly AFLW team against us.

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It took me a while to identify their sixteen changes, but they certainly did not make like-for-like changes. To be fair, we have had just one large forward since we dropped Quigley.

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Their replacement rucks, per the article above, appear to be Amanda Tesseri and Ellyse Gamble.

They both appear to be full backs, have played close to all of their possible games this year (Gamble played 8 AFLW games before joining Tesseri in the VFLW), and before last week they had a combined 3 hitouts for 2021.

(They did combine for 19 last week and that was primarily against league-leader Jorja Borg, so they don’t appear to be awful numerically once they actually get a chance.)