VFL Women's Rd 1 AFL review
“It’s a new era in our great game … welcome to AFL Women’s.”
Channel 7 commentator Jason Bennett said it best on Friday night as the inaugural season in the NAB AFL Women’s competition got underway at Ikon Park.
With close to 25,000 fans in attendance, 35 Swisse VFL Women’s players were part of the inaugural clash and names like Darebin’s Darcy Vescio (4 goals) quickly became names that many were talking about at the end of the night. They were just some of the 79 VFL Women’s players to take to the field across the historic weekend.
- See the full list of AFL Women's draftees HERE
It was not only the players making history, with AFL Victoria Development Squad field umpire Annie Mirabile getting the first game started in the middle with the first ball up (there are no bounces in AFL Women’s). Mirabile is one of 21 umpires from Victoria that will officiate in the competition.
- Read about the umpires in the AFL Women's comp HERE
Across the weekend over 50,000 fans attended NAB AFL Women’s games, seeing wins to Carlton (35–point winners over Collingwood), Western Bulldogs (by 32 points over Fremantle), Adelaide (defeating GWS by 37) and Brisbane (15-point winners over Melbourne).
Each week we will take a look at some of the best VFL Women’s performers in AFL Women’s as we count down toward the start of our 2017 season on May 4 with the Grand Final rematch between Darebin and Melbourne Uni.
- Download the 2017 Swisse VFL Women's fixture HERE
FIRST AFL WOMEN'S GOAL
St Kilda Shark Jasmine Garner made history in the AFL Women’s competition kicking the first goal in the league’s inaugural season. Pick 86 in the AFL Women’s draft, Garner kicked 41 goals last year in the VFL Women’s competition, finishing 6th overall on the leading goalkicker list that was headed by her Collingwood and Sharks teammate Moana Hope. Little did she know it would be the first and last goal for Collingwood as they suffered a 35-point defeat against Carlton.
Garner was the first of many VFL Women’s players to kick the first goal for their AFL sides across the weekend, with the list including: Darcy Vescio (Darebin) for Carlton, Kirsten McLeod (Cranbourne) for Western Bulldogs, Phoebe McWilliams (St Kilda Sharks) for GWS and Jasmine Grierson (Cranbourne) for Melbourne.
Special mention should go to Collingwood captain Steph Chiocci (Diamond Creek), who not only won the first toss of the coin, but also kicked the first score (a behind) of the AFL Women’s competition for Collingwood.
Brianna Davey (St Kilda Sharks) was everywhere for Carlton on Friday night, recording 26 disposals as she led the way in the middle for the Blues. The 2016 Swisse VFL Women’s runner-up best and fairest showed why she was selected as a marquee player for the Blues, and will be one of the players to watch in this year’s competition.
Karen Paxman (Darebin) made the most of her chances in the wet conditions at Casey Fields on Sunday with 24 disposals. Paxman was a priority pick for Melbourne, and was selected on the half back flank in the VFL Women’s Team of the Year for 2016.
Emma Kearney (Melbourne Uni) benefitted from the rotating rucks, producing 23 disposals in the middle for the Western Bulldogs. The Bulldogs priority pick was named on a wing in the 2016 VFL Women’s TOTY and spent the summer on the cricket field for the Melbourne Stars in the WBBL.
VFL Women’s players led the way in five of the six catergories below. We list all the stats leaders:
KICKS: 17 - Karen Paxman (Darebin) Melbourne
HANDBALLS: 11 - Bri Davey (St Kilda) Carlton
MARKS: 5 - Bianca Jakobbson (Cranbourne) Carlton
HITOUTS: 19 - Tiarna Ernst (Diamond Creek) Western Bulldogs (2nd behind Collingwood’s Emma King with 20)
TACKLES: 10 - Daisy Pearce (Darebin) Melbourne
GOALS: 4 - Darcy Vescio (Darebin) Carlton