WOMEN’S SEASON PREVIEW
2017 Ladder Position: 5th
Preview: Coming into their third year in the women’s competition the Bermagui Breakers have made large strides in their player development with the team boasting a large number of women who have come up through the junior ranks at the Breakers. With the likes of Katlyn Scott, Jorja Moore and grace Gowing gaining valuable experience with the Giants youth girls academies, the three girls who have been dominating players for the Breakers will look to take the next step in 2018 and dominate the competition.
The Breakers have recruited another two young players again in 2018 with Brooke and Hollie Bragg looking like naturals in pre-season. Coaches Rocky Lagana and Alberto Cementon may be worried about the lack of experience and leadership within the team with such a young squad although most of the side has enough experience within the competition.
Look for the breakers to challenge for the finals although may just fall short.
Players to Watch: Grace Gowing, Katlyn Scott, Mikayla Shaw & Jorja Moore.
2018 Prediction: 6th
Bega Bombers FC
2017 Ladder Position: 8th
Preview: It was a tough first season for the Bega Bombers last season with the team going winless in 2017. It appears that experience is key within the women’s grade with the bottom 3 teams from last season being inexperienced or in their first year of competition. Maria McRoy led the line for the Bombers in 2017 with a team leading 3 goals whilst being named in the team’s best regularly throughout the season.
With a year of experience under their belt, the Bombers will be looking to compete week in and week out in 2018. With the likes of Georgie Butchers and Darby Hayes currently key players in the under 12’s and 14’s the Bombers have some promising juniors coming through their system.
Players to Watch: Maria McRoy, Carlin Stanford & Kaela Barnes.
2018 Prediction: 8th
Broulee/Moruya Giants FC
2017 Ladder Position: 6th
Preview: It was a slow start to the season for the Giants in 2017, although by the end of the season the Giants were firing on all cylinders, with the team taking it up to the top four whilst also dashing Bermagui’s slim finals chances with a win over the Breakers.
2018 sees some changeover in the squad for the Giants although coach Simon Hay has done well on recruiting players into the team. Crystal Staunton and Luxmi Selvakumaran were regularly among the Giants best whilst Kristelle Westbrook is an emerging talent within the competition even at the age of 15. The Giants will test teams in 2018 although they may find it tough to crack into the top four of Eden, Pambula, Tathra and Narooma although the girls will give it all they have.
Players to Watch: Zoe Vandenbergh, Crystal Staunton & Kristelle Westbrook.
2018 Prediction: 5th
Eden Whalers FC
2017 Ladder Position: Premiers
Preview: Back to Back premiers for the Whalers women’s side in 2017, Eden will be looking to make it a three-peat in 2018. In what was a remarkable turnaround from their semi-final loss against Tathra, the Whalers were too good in the blustery conditions on grand final day.
Kamilla Grubesic and Carra Sheldon were instrumental for the Whalers in last year’s grand final and will need to lead from the front again in 2018 as the remaining clubs look to close the gap between the Whalers and Sea Eagles. The Lightning premiership showed that Eden will still be a contender in 2018 and with the likes of Chloe Henderson, Alexis Watson, Shanise Mongta and Hannah Crawford maturing, the Whalers will be contenders for years to come.
September is where the Whalers shine although they won’t be taking any team easy until then.
Players to Watch: Kamilla Grubesic, Carra Sheldon, Melissa & Kate Mitchell.
2018 Prediction: 2nd
Merimbula Diggers FC
2017 Ladder Position: 7th
Preview: it was a tough first season for the Diggers in 2017 with the Merimbula side just claiming the two wins against the wooden spoon Bega Bombers. The Diggers are unlikely to challenge for the top four in 2018 although Merimbula will be looking to claim some added wins in season 2018. With the Diggers adding some new players to their group in 2018, incoming coach Ebony Millott will be looking to incorporate them into the team as quickly as possible.
With Millott and key players Lily Butler Woollard and Ashlee Miller returning in season 2018, the Diggers will need to replace Kiarna Woolley-Blain who kicked 12 goals for the side and Skye Holmes who offered plenty of speed in 2017.
Players to Watch: Ebony Millot, Lily Butler-Woollard and Ashlee Miller.
2018 Prediction: 7th
Narooma Lions FC
2017 Ladder Position: 4th
Preview: The Narooma Lions looked super impressive at the lightning premiership in Eden with the Lions claiming a solid win over 2017 finalists Pambula Panthers and only a 1-point loss against reigning premiers Eden. With their first finals appearance in club history in 2017, coach Rowan Hawkey will be looking to guide his side to a finals win in 2018. With Chenoa Lyons-Mongta returning after taking the year off the Lions have bolstered their already impressive squad which contains young gun Zalie Betts, Lara Stephens, Mariah Tiedt and experienced members Kirby and Megan Mackie as well as Rachael Kincaid who booted 34 goals in 2017.
With the Lions having bolstered their squad this season, Narooma will be hard to knock out of the top four.
Players to Watch: Zalie Betts, Hollie-Kae Betts & Rachael Kincaid.
2018 Prediction: 4th
Pambula Panthers FC
2017 Ladder Position: 3rd
Preview: The Panthers were one straight kick away from a grand final berth in 2017 although couldn’t capitalise on the 4th quarter opportunities in 2017 against the Whalers. The Panthers will again be highly competitive in 2018, and have added some extra fire power to their side for 2018. Claudia Ferguson comes to the club from the Newcastle FC and showed during the lightning premiership in Eden that she will be a handful in the ruck contest giving her midfielder, whilst Kiarna Woolley-Blain will help the Panthers up forward after kicking 14 goals in 2017.
Madi Whatman will again be a star of the competition while Romy Cook, Lee Collimore and the Gilbert sisters will look to have good seasons again for the club.
Players to Watch: Madi Whatman, Romy Cook and Claudia Ferguson.
2018 Prediction: 3rd
Tathra Sea Eagles FC
2017 Ladder Position: Runner’s Up
Preview: The Sea Eagles were once again on the wrong end of a grand final defeat in 2017. After a disappointing end to the year where the Sea Eagles were once again beaten by Eden on the final day of the season, Tathra will be looking to finally claim the biggest prize on the final day of the season in 2018. Samantha Crowley was a find for Tathra in 2017 with the speedy forward kicking 29 goals for the season whilst being amongst the Sea Eagles best week in and week out.
Cymmon Parker has been a mainstay of the Sea Eagles over the past two seasons whilst youngsters Elouise Sherwin-Russell and Tarni Evans have been standouts for the Sea Eagles. Hannah Centra will be a big loss for Sea Eagles although Tyjanna Thelan would be a big inclusion after missing the majority of 2017.
Players to Watch: Tarni Evans, Rebecca Foster, Cymmon Parker and Elouise Sherwin-Russell.
2018 Prediction: Premiers