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Interleague Report: Under 15 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!

Next up, Under 15 Girls Division 1.


Coach: Troy Newton

Game One - NFNL 2.2 (14) def. by EDFL 5.7 (37)

We travelled out to Diamond Creek on a Wednesday night to kick the carnival off against the NFNL. As always there was a sense of uncertainty and excitement leading in to game one. The pre-game wasn't ideal with long traffic delays due to an accident forcing the start time to be pushed back. We had a lot of sickness in the side in the lead up and subsequently had four players withdrawing from the game due to illness. Despite the drama in the lead up, once the siren sounded we meant business, kicking with a slight breeze our midfielders attacked the ball and contest with ferocity giving our forwards plenty of opportunities. If not for the tricky conditions and big ground along with some good defence from the opposition, we could have been further ahead at the first break. The second quarter was a real arm wrestle with our defence standing tall and repelling many forward entries, our midfielders were starting to get on top and continue to provide chances in our forward half. We went in to half time with a slender lead. After the break we continued to work hard and stayed on top in contested ball, it was a real tight start to the quarter before we eventually got some scoreboard reward for our efforts towards the end of the term. We went into the final change with a handy lead but knew we would have to defend well in the last quarter to secure victory, especially with limited rotations. Once again it was an even contest with our backline doing a great job, managing to keep Northern scoreless for the quarter. We kicked the only goal of the final quarter and ended up having a good win, but more importantly we had an even contribution from all players. In a hard-fought, contested match, the team showed great character and determination and walked off proud of the effort and result.

Goal Kickers: Sofie Baird, Tamika Fabri, Lulu McTrusty, Lyric Mendoza, Chloe Reynolds.
Best Players: Taylor Kereopa, Elebertina Schuliga, Mia Gustincich, Kate Apps, Holly Clough, Tahlia Cheel.

Game Two - EFNL 10.11 (71) def. EDFL 1.2 (8)

Game two saw us travel out to Boronia to take on the strong Eastern Football Netball League who have long dominated these championships. We were back to a full side with all our players recovering and ready to go. Despite being smaller than the opposition across the ground, we started the game positively and had the first few inside 50s and created some opportunities which we didn't capitalise on. As the quarter progressed, the run and spread from stoppage from Eastern was starting to become a problem and putting our backline under constant pressure. We continued to battle hard and went in to quarter time 14 points down. In the second quarter, Eastern put the foot down and dominated the game, we were constantly under pressure and found ourselves defending for the majority of the quarter. Our backline did a fantastic job to limit the damage but we had to regroup at half time. The players were asked for a response and to their credit, came out and applied relentless pressure and started winning some of the contest and forcing Eastern into mistakes they weren't making in the first half. We battled away for the remainder of the game eventually managing to kick a goal and have a lot more of the play. Although at the end of the game the scoreboard was a bit one sided, the response and effort of the players couldn't be questioned and they took away some good lessons.

Goal Kickers: Audrey Ryan.
Best Players: Holly Clough, Lyric Mendoza, Alyssia Randello, Lulu McTrusty, Elebertina Schuliga, Amelia Willemen.

Game Three - EDFL 4.5 (29) def. by WFNL 6.4 (40)

To finish off the carnival we were up against the old enemy in WFNL on the Kings Birthday Monday at a sunny Willowbrook Reserve. Once again we started the game strongly, we were creating opportunities and getting the ball moving our way. We had plenty of the play but were up against a very strong defence who transitioned the ball well. We found ourselves behind at at the first change and were probably still a bit flat following Saturday's result. The second quarter was similar to the first, we were in the game and breaking even around the contest but we just couldn't take our opportunities. Going into the main break trailing, we asked the players to take the game on and really enjoy the last half of the carnival. We dominated play and ground position for the third quarter with the ball living in our forward line for the first 15 minutes, but we just couldn't get the reward. When Western scored a goal from their first inside 50 late in the quarter, they had extended their lead to 20 points. We had one quarter left and the players lifted and dominated, keeping Western to only one point. We created many opportunities however we kicked 1.4 to end up going down by 11 points. While the result didn't go our way once again, the way the players fought out the contest and never gave up was a credit to them.

Goal Kickers: Lauren Boukouras, Lulu McTrusty, Maleah Whitby, Charli Williams.
Best Players: Elebertina Schuliga, Mia Gustincich, Amelia Willemen, Taylor Kereopa, Kate Apps, Anna Johnston.

Throughout the carnival each and every player showed their talents and displayed why they were given the opportunity to play representative football. As a team, the effort and determination was there for the entire carnival. All players should be proud of how they performed and will learn and develop from this opportunity. There is so much talent across this group and it will be great to see what the future holds.

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