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Interleague Report: Under 14 Girls Division 1

Match reports and highlights!

The 2024 AFL Victoria Metro Junior Development Series recently wrapped up so we thought we'd catch up with the coaches of each side to review the carnival, and highlight some of the key moments and performers!

First up, Under 14 Girls Division 1.


Coach: Nicola Tenabel

Game One - EDFL 10.5 (65) def. NFNL 5.10 (40)

After just a few training sessions, the side wanted to come out showcasing the superpowers they all bring to the team and today was the day to show these off. Strong winds meant it was anyone’s game if they capitalised early. EDFL Captains for game one Sophie Harper and Jada Kraja lost the toss and EDFL knew it would be a hard battle to ensure they shut down NFNL early while they had the wind advantage. NFNL were quick off the mark and took control of the clearances early, however the EDFL defenders were not going to let anything easy pass them. They began to control the game early with some easy exits into their midfield where the EDFL were able to showcase their running speed and handball to kick connects with a great two-goal lead after the first quarter.  With a confidence-boosting first quarter, the EDFL girls knew they needed to utilise the wind advantage and they didn’t disappoint with some great hit outs by Sophie Harper and clean clearance exits hitting some great inside-50 leads. At half time, EDFL had a solid four-goal lead, however they knew NFNL would come out hard for the third knowing they had to go for everything to score with the wind advantage, and come out hard is what they did. With two quick goals and over six shots on goals, the EDFL knew they had to step up their physicality and voice to shut down the NFNL, in which after some minor changes the EDFL girls were back kicking a late goal to give them back a slight advantage going into the final quarter. After a rev up from the captains at the final change, the girls were ready to take control of the game and that they did. They showcased some amazing skills and team connection, exiting out of congestion with a switch kick and utilising the clear grass to run on and dominate on the scoreboard kicking four goals to one to round out the game.

Goal Kickers: Sophie Waters 3, Zoey Steer 3, Grace Salter 2, Alice Nelson, Dimi Papadopoulos
Best Players: Charlie Lilja, Dimi Papadopoulos, Zoey Steer, Sophie Waters, Grace Salter, Marlo Atkins

Game Two - YJFL 11.5 (71) def. EDFL 2.3 (15)

As the EDFL players turned up to the ground the clouds were disappearing and the dew was drying up, which was exactly the conditions EDFL were after – a ground ball day. The EDFL were quick to capitalise with the slippery conditions and were able to kick the first scoring shots of the match and control the momentum with two quick goals from the player of the match, Alice Nelson. Across the ground, the EDFL players continued to showcase their skills in slippery conditions, denying any easy opposition marks and intense pressure as they trailed YJFL by just three points at the main break. As the sun began to dry out the ground, conditions changed, and the game was now a dry-ball game where the EDFL girls knew they needed to contest every ball in the air with YJFL coming out strong in the third, extending the lea to 24 points. As the EDFL girls took the field in the fourth, you could see they were not going to go down without a fight and each of them continued to compete both in the air and on the ground, unfortunately YJFL were just too strong taking the win at their home ground.

Goal Kickers: Alice Nelson 2
Best Players: Alice Nelson, Dimi Papadopoulos, Makayla Hall, Charlie Lilja, Zoey Steer, Victoria Goudy

Game Three - EDFL 8.9 (57) def. SMJFL 6.8 (44)

There was a different mood in the air today with the EDFL players knowing this was their final game. The music was pumping and their body language showed they were ready to take on SMJFL in their last game. The girls discussed some interesting AFL results over the weekend around “it is never over until the final siren blows” and focused in on their own superpowers as an individual and as a team. The EDFL girls blew SMJFL out of the water, showcasing the connection they had in game one and linking up to score the first three goals of the game. The EDFL players knew that at any point SMJFL could up their intensity and they needed to compete at every contest both offensively and defensively. As they kicked off the second half, EDFL were up 22 points and in a good position to take out the win, however they were reminded of the weekend's AFL results and to be ready for SMJFL to come out hard, and that they did. The EDFL defenders were spectacular in the third, as the SMJFL inside 50s increased the defenders continued to step up and deny any easy opposition marks inside 50. The EDFL girls could feel what could be victory at three-quarter time, but they knew it wouldn’t be an easy battle as they were beginning to tire. The last quarter again was a high-scoring quarter for both the EDFL and SMJFL, however the girls' skills were just too good on the day and their link out of the centre clearances were too strong for SMJFL to contain.

Goal Kickers: Sophie Waters 3, Lucille Hardiman, Jada Kraja, Alice Nelson, Isla Rutley, Zoey Steer
Best Players: Sophie Waters, Zoey Steer, Charlie Lilja, Victoria Goudy, Marlo Atkins, Laerke Davie

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