The Adelaide Crows entered the NAB AFL Women’s Draft at pick seven. With that pick they secured South Australian youngster Ebony Marinoff. Marinoff is a tough midfielder who has plied her trade under the watchful eye of Morpettville Park teammate and Adelaide priority signing, Courtney Cramey. Another tough inside midfielder, Cramey is arguably the best talent South Australia has produced, having featured prominently through the women’s exhibition series for both the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne.
(Adelaide's Ebony Marinoff. Photo: AFL Photos)
The Adelaide Crows women’s team bid was submitted in conjunction with AFLNT, meaning the Crows are in the unique position of fielding a team of talent sourced from both South Australia and the Northern Territory. With the draft and free agency signings completed, a good third of the Crows’ list are Territorians.
The Adelaide and Darwin-based squads will train separately, coming together twice over the two month pre-season. Adelaide coach Bec Goddard helped explain the logistics.
“I run the training schedule and I send that up to my senior assistant up in Darwin and he runs the same schedule. We’ve got a top-up squad in Darwin, we’ve got a top up squad in Adelaide so… the training base is going to be excellent. We’ve got two camps planned, one in December and one in January where the full 27 will be together.” Goddard said.
At its current stage of development, the South Australian female football talent pool doesn’t run quite as deep as Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland. So, it was a major coup for the Crows to secure WA pair Chelsea Randall and Kellie Gibson as marquee signings. Both are tough, athletic and hard-running forwards who have the ability to rotate through the midfield. Randall is a brilliant mark whether it’s on the lead or in a pack and Gibson is one of the fiercest tacklers in the game.
Joining them up forward are the NT’s Abbey Holmes and Victorian Sarah Perkins – who was snapped up by the Crows as a Free Agent straight after the draft. Both are proven goalkickers; Perkins kicked 52 goals in the 2016 VFL Women’s season and Holmes is in the history books as the first woman to kick 100 goals in a season. Exciting local products Rachel Killian and Sarah Allen are both expected to spend time up forward.
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The Crows have a number of players who can rotate through their midfield. Along with Cramey and Marinoff, Waratah’s Angela Foley will lead their midfield. Foley is a hard-running midfielder who played for Melbourne in this year’s exhibition series. Another promising midfielder is code-switcher Jenna McCormick. McCormick plays in the W-League for Canberra United and has proven her skill with the oval ball having been selected for the Brisbane Lions in the exhibition series earlier this year.
Morphettville Park players Deni Varnhagen, Georgia Bevan, Jessica Sedunary, Justine Mules and Dayna Cox, should also spend time rotating through the middle, as should Wanderers pair Sophie Armitstead and Stevie-Lee Thompson. Rhiannon Metcalfe, Tayla Thorn and Lauren O’Shea will lead the ruck.
Off half-back, the Crows will be able to draw on the experience of Talia Radan and Heather Anderson. Radan is originally from Adelaide, but captained the NSW/ACT state side this year, while the athletic Anderson has previously represented the Western Bulldogs. Their backline will also feature another exciting South Australian youngster in Anne Hatchard. Hatchard had an outstanding 2016 having been named in Youth Girls All-Australian team. An outstanding young athlete, she is also on the Adelaide Lightening’s roster in the WNBL.
KEEP AN EYE ON:
A dual Olympian with the Australian Opals basketball team and WNBA player, Phillips is an outstanding athlete who has played at the elite level for many years. A keen footballer as a youngster, Phillips is returning to the game she loves. Her professionalism and elite training standards will no doubt have a positive impact on her young teammates. Currently listed as a utility, we look forward to seeing how coach Bec Goddard uses her.
Anderson has some impressive football pedigree. Her grandfather, Jimmy Anderson, was recently named in the Northern Territory Team of the Century and her brothers Jed and Joe have both played AFL footy. Previously a player for the Darwin Buffaloes, Anderson stepped away from football for a few years to take up soccer. During her soccer career, she played in the Darwin Premier League and also represented the Northern Territory. Anderson has fantastic endurance, speed and agility which should see her spend plenty of time in the midfield for the Crows.
M: Kellie Gibson - Swan Districts
M: Chelsea Randall - Swan Districts
P: Courtney Cramey - Morphettville Park
P: Angela Foley - Waratah NT
7: Ebony Marinoff - Morphettville Park
10: Heather Anderson - Waratah NT
23: Jenna McCormick - Coorpooroo
26: Deni Varnhagen - Morphettville Park
39: Sally Riley - Tracey Village NT
42: Georgia Bevan - Morphettville Park
55: Sophie Armitstead - Wanderers NT
58: Talia Radan - Belconnen Magpies ACT
71: Rachael Killian - West Adelaide
74: Rhiannon Metcalfe - Gungahlin Jets ACT
87: Anne Hatchard - Morphettville Park
90: Tayla Thorn - Waratah NT
103: Abbey Holmes - Waratah NT
106: Stevie-Lee Thompson - Wanderers NT
119: Jessica Sedunary - Morphettville Park
122: Sarah Allan - Salisbury
133: Justine Mules - Morphettville Park
136: Monique Hollick - University NSW
R: Erin Phillips
R: Jasmine Anderson
FA: Lauren O’Shea - Waratah NT
FA: Sarah Perkins - Eastern Devils VIC
FA: Dayna Cox - Morphettville Park
M: Marquee Player, P: Priority Pick, R: Rookie, FA: Free Agent