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VFLW Casey Demons 2019

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I'm going to try to keep an eye on the Demon's efforts in the VFLW this year. Pretty sure I said that last year too! But I never did make a game live. I had so much focus on the guys' march to the finals! Might be a different story this year...

Here's where the Melbourne AFLW listed players are listed for VFLW:

Casey - Birch, Cordner, Cunningham, Downie, Emonson, Gay, Guerin, Hanks, Heath, Hore, Jakobbson, Kemp, Lampard, Mithen, Scott, Sherriff, Smith, Zanker

Darebin - O'Dea, L.Pearce

Williamstown - Newman

Not listed - Paxman, Daisy, Sloane

Of course, the extent to which some of these players will participate remains to be seen. As far as I can tell, it's still the rule that 12 AFLW listed players can be fielded per team. I'm not sure if there's a cap overall though?

Anyway, I watched Round 1 on the stream delayed... once my heart rate returned to normal from the AFL men's game!

It was a scrappy affair at Windy Hill for the first three quarters, with Essendon was able to capitalise on some defensive lapses at ground level. Emonson stood out to me in the first three quarters for her cleanness and ability to read the game. Birch took a big high hit but played out the game and looks a handy addition to the backline in 2020.

Then came the last quarter and our players' desire to win was palpable. Essendon kicked the first to be 17 points ahead but after that the ball pretty much camped in our 50. I'm not across the VFLW players, but the Melbourne-listed players really did come to the fore. Zanker didn't hit the scoreboard but her pressure and ruckwork around the ground were excellent. Lampard was crucial in setting up some forward entries. Smith didn't always execute her passes but drove the intensity around the ball. Jakobsson plucked some crucial contested marks in the forward line... which again makes me wonder about her potential as a swing player.

The real hero though was Guerin, who kicked a monster goal from just on the centre square that really sparked the last quarter comeback. Then she kicked truly for the match winner from a holding the player free kick with under a minute to play. She ended up with 3 goals.

Just like with the men's game, I thought we were gone in the dying stages. Happy to be proven wrong twice in one day!  

That leaves Casey 5th on the ladder. Next week is at Casey v Carlton, who had a bye for Round 1.

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Aided again by the YouTube stream, I checked out our game v Carlton at Casey.

After a slow start in the 1st quarter, our girls' superior ball movement began to dominate in the 2nd, on the foundation of some good tacking and contested ball work. We were able to hold the ball in the fwd 50 for long stretches, while the defensive structure worked very well to cut off many of the Blues' attempts to go forward. In particular, Lampard was again impressive, as was Bentvelzen as the game wore on. Keeping the Blues goalless in the 2nd and 3rd set up the game.

Birch was concussed in the 3rd and took no further part (making it 2 big hits in 2 weeks, not ideal). Of the VFLW players, I liked the games of Hogg,  Clayton and Archer, who went in hard.

Guerin knows where the goals are and I look forward to her 2020 AFLW season - she's got good one-touch skills, which is very valuable at this level especially. And only 19.

Of the other AFLW-listed players, Zanker was the stand-out for me. She did a lot of the ruck work to excellent effect and she's great at ground level too. A very versatile and competitive player who brings others into it around her. Jakobsson, Smith and Emonson were again all crucial players in our chain to goal, where we had a good spread of finishers.

 

Final score

Casey 7.8.50

Carlton 2.7.19

Casey Goalkickers: M. Guerin 2, K. Oates, T. Tatterson, K. Smith, R. Clayton, B. Winbanks

As of Saturday night, we sit atop the ladder... enjoy it while it lasts.

Next week is on Sunday v. Williamstown, in Williamstown.

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The Casey girls are 3 from 3 and remain top of the ladder. A bit deceptive since 2nd and 3rd have only played 2 games... and our wins have come against 3 of the current 4 bottom teams.

I chose the MCG over the trek to Casey so don't have anything first-hand to report, but it seems like the girls again came home strong, kicking 5.4 to 0.0 in the 2nd half.

 

Final score:

Williamstown 2.1.13

Casey 7.6.48

 

Goalkickers:

Williamstown: Kawa (2)

Casey: Tatterson (2), Archer, Birch, Davies, Smith, Zanker

 

 

Hanks and Sherriff played their first games of the VFLW season.

Leading disposals: Birch (17), Emonson, Lampard, Sherriff (15), Hanks, Jakobsson, Smith (14).

 

Next week is on Sunday at Casey v. Southern Saint who are 5th on the ladder. If I attend it'll probably be a 20 degree drop since last time I was there!

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Headed along to Casey today - as expected, a major drop in temperature since R7 of AFLW!

I missed the start of the game and the Saints' first goal. Casey were able to trap the ball in fwd 50 for long periods of the game but were unable to capitalise. A lack of marks and linking play cost us the kinds of chances that have set us apart against lesser opposition. The Saints shut down that kind of play well. Some better finishing on the half-chances near the end would have made all the difference. In fact, similar to another team I watched Saturday night in that respect... The Saints girls' ability to spread and move the ball forward cleanly in the last 5 minutes was the difference as they scored two quick ones to win the game.

Cordner (who mostly played back with a few stints forward), Heath (who did some intense tackling) and Kemp played their first VFLW games for the year. I find it near impossible to tell Kemp and Lampard apart so any good work I might attribute to one could easily have been the other!

Zanker played much deeper forward but was well held for much of the game. Was off injured for a long time in the 3rd but did return.

I liked the intercept work of McClean off half back. Aptly named Casey Sherriff put on a great tackle when the game was in the balance and also did some excellent yelling on the mark -  absolutely forced the Saints player to spray it! Bentvelzen (who may have been a late change for Smith?) also put her body on the line at an important time in the last quarter and took a big hit.

Emonson was the only goal scorer after a neat pass from Birch. Guerin, Jakobbson and Hanks worked hard for little reward.

Final score:

Casey 1.6.12

Saints 3.5.23

And so Casey slides to 4th, in a group of 5 teams with 3 wins (2 of those teams have only played 3 games).

Next week is at Casey again on Sunday v Collingwood who are 3 and 1, and have some big names. A good start will be vital!

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Another close loss leaves Casey 6th on the ladder after Round 5. All things considered though, this was a good effort that the team will build from.

A big start was called for given the quality of the Pies' line-up, most notably new recruit Davey. I'd say they had 2-3 players who would be considered in the best on their AFLW list. It's a different story for us (though I'm coming round to the idea this is helping our development). I was impressed with how we started the game - the girls were clearly switched on and hungry for the contest. An immense amount of pressure on the ball carrier led to goals to Guerin and Smith, while keeping the Pies to few forward entries and one major in the first.

The second was a reverse scenario with the ball trapped in the Pies' 50 and a real struggle to get it out, leaving us scoreless for the quarter. Some defensive lapses left Pies players floating free into the forward line to score. They were assisted by a seemingly random free kick off the ball, which they capitalised on quickly. Meanwhile, Birch was taken down in a sling tackle (possibly a report). Not long after, an intense tackle by Heath was also deemed dangerous and resulted in a free kick in front of goal that was luckily off line. Heading into halftime, the Pies led by 14 points.

In the third, Garner was noticeable around the contest for Casey, while Kemp chimed in with a goal from a tripping free kick. While the Pies were composed and patient with the ball, our girls managed to hold them to 1 point for the quarter. With 2 minutes to go, Bentvelzen was stretchered off, possibly concussed. In the dying stages, Casey moved the ball strongly down the ground for a fwd50 stoppage that resulted in a classy goal from Guerin (who currently stands 3rd in the league goalkickers). Pies by 3 points with a quarter to go.

In the fourth, more loose checking in defense made for some nervous moments and a goal to the Pies. Kemp limped off injured, leaving us two down on the bench for much of the last. Fingers crossed nothing serious. A strong mark by Cordner on the goal line from a Zanker set shot resulted in a goal. 3 points down in the final minutes of the game, the girls played with desperation but didn't have the execution to get there. Some turnovers and an ill-advised speckie attempt in the last minute or so didn't help. You couldn't fault their effort though.

Final Score:

Casey: 5.1.31

Pies: 5.4.34

Casey's best were Birch (who curtailed Davey at times), Smith, Garner and Cordner. Heath was also particularly tenacious - could be a good stopper in the future.

Next week is the bye - a chance to regroup.

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Finally caught up on last week's game v. Geelong on the live stream.

Most notable is that we rested several of the AFLW-listed crew (to create a 2-week block with the bye). So we were without: Birch, Hanks, Kemp (possibly injured), Lampard, K.Smith and Zanker.

We had three debutantes in J.Smith, Speedy and Harris, plus a couple of players in their second or third game.

It was a bit of a struggle, but due to some great defensive work by the likes of Dyson, Sherriff, Garner and especially Bentvelzen, we were able to stay in touch. By all rights, Geelong should have been much further ahead much earlier in the game. I'm the eternal optimist though and I never felt we were out of it, especially after a gritty third quarter in which many attacks were repelled for just one Cats goal. Then, in the last, despite being two or three players down on the bench, the Cats finally did what they'd threatened all day and kicked three quick ones. 

Each of the new players showed something and many others stepped up. In the end, we probably needed more scoreboard pressure from players like Jakobbson and Guerin to keep the Cats under the pump defensively. Having said that, Jakobbson again took some great marks, both in attack and drifting into defense, while Guerin did her best to launch a comeback early in the last.

The other player who had a massive influence was Cordner. In this game she shared the ruck with Orgill who came in to replace the teenager Winbanks, due a rest after a solid contribution in the season so far. Cordner was in absolutely everything for long periods of the game, though against what I suspect was some inexperienced competition (many uncontested ruck contests!). Orgill was finding her way back into it in her first game of the year. She was reported for a sling tackle and I think will get a week.

The other standouts were Garner, Emonson and Bentvelzen.

Goalkickers: Johnson and Speedy (both with their first ever), Cordner and Emonson.

FINAL SCORE

Geelong 8.8.56

Casey 4.3.27

We now sit 8th on the ladder with a 3-3 win-loss. This week it's the undefeated (5-0) Tigers in Bendigo, a big test.

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Thanks to the WARF radio Facebook stream, I was able to watch the Bendigo game from the comfort of home. Casey continued on from last week with a relatively inexperienced side. Guerin had a rest while the inclusions featured first-gamer Webber, plus Winbanks and Zanker who shared the ruck.

A slight breeze in Casey’s favour to start the game, with the ground very muddy in the centre. Richmond had most of the attack, looking dangerous, with Brennan involved and Stahl (2nd in the competition goal kicking) lurking. Our composure coming out of defence was lacking with lots of turnovers. We had 2 forward entries for 2 goals (Sheriff and Emonson) and weren’t made to pay for some loose checking in defence. Richmond by 5 points at the first change.

Long kicks from Zanker and Emonson near the beginning of the second took us forward where McDonough got a holding free kick and kicked truly. Amazingly, that made it 3 straight from 3 entries for the game. The struggle to get it out of defence continued, however, with the Tigers peppering the goals. Zanker in particular toiled hard to get the ball out any old way, often following up her own ruck work. Special mention to Heath for an epic tackle to win a free and Cordner who moved onto Brennan and shut her out of the game, no mean feat. Some good defensive efforts by McClean too. Richmond had 10 behinds in the first half and led by that margin at half time.

A bit of rain around to start the third and Winbanks back in the ruck. Lots of forays forward off strong marks to Sherriff, Garner and Pratt. The resultant kick from Pratt’s mark went inside 50 and fell to Hogg, with Zanker as the decoy. Hogg’s kick swung late for Casey’s first behind. Mid-way through the quarter, excellent pressure on the kick out by Cordner (I think it was) saw the ball slammed back towards goal where Zanker got one out the back. Zanker had another chance on the run from an angle—close but not cigar. As is so often the way, the Tigers eventually broke forward with free players everywhere and converted to lead by 2 points at three quarter time.

Similarly to last week, after a strong first few minutes, the dam walls opened in the last and the opposition got on top. After a soccer goal to the Tigers, our players ran out of steam and they were all over us, with Stahl coming into the game after being well held to that point. 5 goals to none in the last quarter sealed the deal and the Tigers remain undefeated in the lead-up to their AFLW debut in 2020.

 

FINAL SCORE

Rich     9.11.65          

Casey  4.2.26

Casey’s goalkickers: Sheriff, Emonson, McDonough, Zanker

Casey’s best: Heath, Emonson, Cordner, Sheriff (best game I’ve seen of hers and had the muddiest jumper to show for it).

Next week: Saturday 11.30 at Casey Fields v. Melbourne Uni. A must win game against closely ranked opposition.

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Love your work DIO 👍

Any of the Casey listed players look like they could step up to AFLW?

Do you know why Paxman isn't listed as playing anywhere in the VFLW? I recall Sloane's injury but not Paxman's (if any)

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On 7/1/2019 at 7:31 PM, Roger Mellie said:

Love your work DIO 👍

Any of the Casey listed players look like they could step up to AFLW?

Do you know why Paxman isn't listed as playing anywhere in the VFLW? I recall Sloane's injury but not Paxman's (if any)

I've been super impressed by Bentvelzen and I think Winbanks could be one for the future. I haven't mentioned Bailey much but looking back over the season so far she's been quite consistent. Then there are a bunch of players who are strong competitors (Hogg, Kirkwood, McLean) but probably aren't quite there compared to what we have or might acquire through the draft.

Sheriff is already listed but I hope she gets more games next year based on what she's shown in VFLW.

Paxman - apparently she has a broken finger at the moment, but I don't think she ever planned to play VFLW this year. It's a tough decision to prioritise the AFLW (I'm speculating that's what she's decided). Not playing the back-to-back seasons will hopefully help prolong her career though.

 

As for this week's game, I wasn’t able to get there, so have nothing to add first-hand.

Coming into the side for their first games of the season were AFLW-listed players Downie and Hore, while Guttridge was another inclusion.

It seems that after a strong start from Casey, the Muggars got on top, with last year's VFLW best and fairest Duffin leading the way. Last week’s efficiency seems to have abandoned us in this game, with missed set shots proving costly.

This leaves Casey 9th on the ladder and in an uphill struggle to rectify the season.

FINAL SCORE

Casey 4.9.33

Melb Uni 5.8.38

Best for Casey were Zanker, Birch, Hore, Heath, Cordner and Garner.

Goalkickers: Cordner, Hore, Zanker and Birch.

 

Next week is another home game v. Western Bulldogs on Saturday at 11.30. The Bulldogs are just ahead on the ladder, so once again, a big test. The Casey girls have shown some great fight this year but four-quarter efforts will be required from here on out if we’re to have any say in the finals.

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I was planning to attend the game on Saturday but life intervened. When the hail came down at what was probably the 3-qtr time mark, I can't say I was too disappointed to be indoors!

It turned out to be a pattern of close losses to the Bulldogs across the board: 8 points in the AFL men's, 7 points in the VFL men's, and the women going down by 10 points in what was surely a bit of a slog given the conditions.

Coming into the side for the first time was Howes, who I believe was also listed for Vic Country in the U18 Champs. Poke came in for her first game of the year, while Lily Mithen had her first game for Casey after crossing over from Darebin.

It seems that Casey were let down by the 2nd and 3rd quarters, during which the Bulldogs kicked 4.3 to 0.0. As seems to be the habit, the girls fought back hard with 2 goals to none in the last, but to no avail.

FINAL SCORE

Casey 3.2.20

Bulldogs 4.6.30

Goal kickers: Johnson, Hore, Garner

Merging the best players from a couple of different reports: Hanks, Mithen, Birch, Clayton, Zanker, Benvelzen, McLean.

Meanwhile, elsewhere...

In the VFLW, Darebin notched up their second win for the year. In the best and with a goal each were AFLW Demons L.Pearce and O'Dea (playing her first of the season).

At the U18 championships, Vic Metro reined supreme. According to a mate of mine who watched many of the games, the standard was very high and there is an excellent crop of talent coming through. While this will no doubt be diluted somewhat by expansion, there are exciting times ahead. There were a few players listed with Casey involved with Vic Country so it will be interesting to see if they get a go later in the season. My mate also mentioned a tall player for Queensland who is a cousin to our Zanker. If there's more where that came from, I say we take it!

As for Casey, we currently sit 9th on the ladder. It's going to be a struggle for the top 6 from here, as we play NT (6th), Saints (2nd), Darebin (11th), Hawks (8th), NT (again) and then finish off with a bye. Having said that, there have been some upsets in the last few rounds. Anyone can win on their day and our girls definitely have that belief.

Next week: it's that rare thing, an interstate VFLW road trip. Casey will play NT Thunder in Alice Springs on Saturday, which will no doubt be a great experience, potentially against some big names from Adelaide's premiership team.

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