By Jarryd McGuane
The SFNL Women’s Football Team of the Year was announced on Friday and it was extremely hard process with the three-person panel struggling to narrow down a field of 40 players. SFNL Women’s Football expert Jarryd McGuane outlines what made the 20 selected players stand out above the rest.
Jordon Cooper (Bentleigh)
Jordon was a steady hand in the Demons’ backline that was constantly under threat from the opposition. Although not the most skilful of players, her tenacity and toughness stands out.
Emily McIntyre (Oakleigh District)
Emily has been the best of the key defenders across the League in the inaugural season with the ability to mark anything that comes her way. This was particularly handy as she has been used up forward when the Oaks need something different.
Alice Allet (Mordialloc)
Alice was the standout defender for a Mordialloc team which held the majority of their opponents to low scores. She will need to continue her form into the finals to help Mordialloc’s premiership charge.
Hannah Bowey (Highett)
Hannah is unlucky not to be in the midfield of the team of the year, but her versatility gets her in at half back. She is able to make space in the tightest of confines to set up teammates and also good at sitting behind the ball to help counter attacks.
Tyra Josiah (Highett)
Normally playing all around the ground and in the ruck as an undersized key position player. Has added goal kicking prowess as the season has progressed.
Stephanie Sandoval (Mordialloc)
Stephanie is another one of the half back/midfield type and was consistent throughout the season. Could have easily been selected in multiple positions.
Jess Szalek (Oakleigh District)
It was tough decision between Szalek and East Brighton’s Alannah Dalley as the starting ruck and we decided that Szalek offered a little more around the ground. She has been asked to act as another midfield as well as rucking.
Grace Bibby (Murrumbeena)
Close to the first player chosen is the captain of Beena. The lightning quick midfielder has barely been touched all season and has made all opponents pay.
Jade Barnden (East Brighton)
Jade is close to the most versatile player outside Ally Gilchrist in the entire league. She has a combination of skills and athletic ability that lets her shine in a range of roles.
Tanya Rosenquist (Mordialloc)
Tanya is the midfield workhorse for the Mordialloc side that held onto an undefeated record for most of the season. Does also impact the scoreboard.
Jessica O’Connell (Lyndhurst)
Jessica split her time between the forward line and midfield of the Lightning. Was responsible for most of her sides scoring opportunities.
Danielle Wearne (Murrumbeena)
Danielle is the most athletically gifted key position player and used that as the link between the midfield and the goal kicking forwards of Murrumbeena. Would have been deadlier on the scoreboard if she'd held on to all of the screamers she got her hands to.
Shanae Carter (Murrumbeena)
Shanae is another player in the Murrumbeena mould of fast and skilful midfield/forward. She is the major ball winner and a vital part of the midfield one-two punch that has not been stopped all year.
Natalie Cardamone (Mordialloc)
Natalie has been around women’s football for a long time and her goal kicking ability as the foil to teammate Neil has been extremely important. Also occasionally pinch hits in the midfield when teammates need a break.
Alesha Neil (Mordialloc)
Alesha Neil (apologies for the multiple name mistakes!) has been the most dominant of the key forwards. Strong above her head and the owner of a deadly goal kicking ability.
Ally Gilchrist (Highett)
Ally Gilchrist has been the Bulldogs most likely avenue to goal throughout the season, often playing as an undersized key forward. Also runs through the midfield or behind the ball when Highett needed a stop.
Lexy Amvazas (Oakleigh District)
Lexy was the creator of run from behind the ball for Oakleigh District, which is a hard task in a team often playing short. A capable midfielder and defender.
Rachel Martin (East Brighton)
Rachel is another of the Vampires extremely reliable and versatile players. Always features in the best players and always clean with ball in hand.
Jodie Bray (Oakleigh District)
Jodie was Oakleigh District’s main route to goal for the middle part of the season. Bray was also a versatile player that could play tall and be good below her knees.
Renee Thomas (Endeavour Hills)
Renee is a midfielder who uses her left foot and speed to good use. If the girls played with 18 players like the men, Renee would be one of the best wingers in the League.