Women's Footy Crows AFLW Season 2022 - Pre-Season begins

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Firewalker

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Apr 20, 2009
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The official first day of Pre-Season for Season 2022 began yesterday



Given the season start was already pushed back to try to escape COVID delays it would be naive to think things will go smoothly in the lead in but hopefully the season still gets underway on January 6th.

New Arrivals:

Jasmyn Hewett (delisted free agent, Gold Coast)
Jasmine Simmons (rookie, basketball)
Abbie Ballard (West Adelaide)
Zoe Prowse (Sturt)
Brooke Tonon (Glenelg)

Players who need a big Pre-Season

Maddi Newman - 3rd year on list; Hard worker and beautifully skilled yet only 6 games in 2 years, including only 2 last year before being ridiculously harshly dropped and going on to injure her shoulder at SANFLW level. A natural half-back distributor with already a large amount of top SANFLW performances behind her in that role but has only been played there at AFLW level once with other times being given limited game time at half-forward, too talented to not grasp a role moving forward.

Danielle Ponter - 4th year on list; Yet another season with a few splashes of her ridiculous talent on display yet not enough of it, kicked 7 of her 9 goals for the season in 2 games. Threatened to have a game changing impact in matches especially in the finals but ultimately didn’t and arrived from the NT last year not looking like she’d put much work in. No doubt Essendon sniffing around as well having played for them in the VFL and also given her family connections.

Hannah Munyard - 2nd year on list; ridiculously gifted athlete that dominates at SANFLW level yet a combination of being played out of position and others rated above her led to only 3 games last season. Another question mark hanging over her will be whether her form will be at such a level that she deserves a game despite her inevitably departing for Port Power next season.

Deni Varnhagen - 6th year on list; That 2020 knee injury has seen her reduced to 7 games in 2 years, at times late last season she played well behind the ball but her movement looks to have been severely hampered and it certainly wasn’t the powerful running player she was prior to 2020, questions have to remain if she can overcome the injury and once again become that player to help out in defence but also move forward to generate attack.

Any key position tall; The team desperately requires key talls to stand up and take the next step whether it be Biddell, Gould, McKinnon, Hewett or first year players Simmons and Prowse.


Pre-Season preview

Coming off the back of the disappointing performance in the 2021 Grand Final it will be interesting to see how the players come back and go again, the 2021 playing group benefited hugely from the ‘been there done that’ experience they had developed over the premiership years but were found wanting in key areas and exposed dramatically on the final day of the season.

The team was able to dominate opposition when they had powerful performances from the midfield and were able to lock the ball in forward 50, positives from last year included new players Rachelle Martin, Teah Charlton and Ashleigh Woodland coming in and having an instant impact forward of the ball, the forward line setup and forward pressure thus improved dramatically from what was a poor performing area in 2020. Marinoff had a brilliant year and shouldered the load as usual with Hatchard still dominant as well and Sarah Allan held together a shaky defence for the majority of the year in what ultimately would prove to be too big a task for just one player.

Negatives were probably old problems from the previous season in 2020 again that got exposed in all of the teams 3 losses, they got exposed for speed and spread from contests, too many players sucked in trying to get the ball leaving outside opposition free, left way too much space for the opposition to thread their way through the zone with lead up marks and defenders were poor at defending one on one and exposed for pace.

Finding a number 1 ruck again a main issue this pre-season, while Metcalfe battled well and had a better season than I certainly expected her body and lack of game awareness did let her down at times but her departure still does leave a hole. Seems like it needs to be time to trust McKinnon as the number 1 ruck after she had a dominant SANFLW campaign, Gould just didn’t seem to improve at all when it came to her ruck work with all her improvements seeming to come when she was played as a forward, Hewett whilst coming in billed as a ruck is not physically strong enough to play the role at this level and Prowse too young and undersized.

Finding players to play key defensive posts alongside Allan will be another big need this pre-season as Rajcic looked cooked and Whiteley… let’s say struggled, whether Randall moves back there is also another question mark. The merry go round on trying to find a centre half forward and a centre half back in this team reminds me of the Crows men’s early days in the 90s, any of Biddell, Prowse, Hewett, Gould and Simmons might need to be tried over Pre-Season to see who excels in either role.

This season will again ultimately prove can they expand on not just having Marinoff, Hatchard, Phillips and Randall get all the ball and can others be brought in to have higher possession/impact. Randall may still be the most important player in the team for her leadership and ability to steady a position on-field but her injuries are stacking up and with Phillips in her last season and looking like the walking wounded at the end of 2021, the miraculous match saving Erin Philips like we saw against Brisbane in round 4 last season can’t really be expected of her anymore, this is where the loss of Scheer who was being groomed last season as that Phillips replacement in that midfield/forward role will hurt.

My Pre-Season best 21

B: Allan, Cox
HB: Gore, Randall, Allen
C: Button, Hatchard, Jones
HF: Phillips, Biddell, Martin
F: Woodland, Ponter
Foll: McKinnon, Marinoff, Charlton

I/C: Newman, Varnhagen, Mules, Thompson, Gould

EMG: Munyard, Hewett, Rajcic
 
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ams4crows

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Deni has advised the club that she's choosing not to get vaccinated, I'm not sure what that means now.

 

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radiojake

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There is a special daftness there - lucky enough to have lived in a city that has held onto covid zero for as long as they have where there has been enough time to Vax everyone before it arrives but you just gonna say "nah fu** that bring it on?"
 

slingy55

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It defies belief that she is an ICU nurse
WTF? Surely she'll have to vaccinated for that in the very near future, I'm surprised it's not mandatory already.
If her choice is to not be vaccinated it's a terrible decision to make it public the way she did. There's no way the AFL and AFC can allow someone to publicly promote "vaccine choice", it's incredibly bad PR.
 

Scorpus

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WTF? Surely she'll have to vaccinated for that in the very near future, I'm surprised it's not mandatory already.
If her choice is to not be vaccinated it's a terrible decision to make it public the way she did. There's no way the AFL and AFC can allow someone to publicly promote "vaccine choice", it's incredibly bad PR.
She will have to be by November 1 to continue working.

I don't think the club announced it. She recently posted some Instagram stories of her at the "freedom rally", so I'm sure a few journos saw it and asked the question
 

adelaidecrows

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WTF? Surely she'll have to vaccinated for that in the very near future, I'm surprised it's not mandatory already.
If her choice is to not be vaccinated it's a terrible decision to make it public the way she did. There's no way the AFL and AFC can allow someone to publicly promote "vaccine choice", it's incredibly bad PR.
This is why the AFL need to mandate this. The WA premier is not going to open borders to the non vaccinated. He just isn't. Then SA is likely to follow suit and not let non vaccinated leave the state and definitely not come back in without quarantining. Look its her choice, but she needs to be aware that it means she doesn't keep her AFL job. Definitely in ICU you'd think she'd have to.

Its one thing to make a choice based on health advice but it's another to make these choices based on selfish needs and opinions. I'm praying for her image, it's not a 'my yoga instructor says this guy on YouTube..' type decision. Because I think she made herself look a tad silly today. I also am not a fan of people citing the fda approval timelines saying these vaxxines should not be approved for another few years, regardless of how many scientists and medical experts support the role out. It's funny, everyone's a vaxxine expert now. It's a joke. What's worse is, people are going to jump on the fact she is a nurse and use that alone to make the decision not to have it. The club have to get the all clear to say see you later and tear up the contract. They have to. I can't see how it's workable.

On SM-N981B using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

Mutineer

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She will have to be by November 1 to continue working.

I don't think the club announced it. She recently posted some Instagram stories of her at the "freedom rally", so I'm sure a few journos saw it and asked the question

AFLW news: Richmond player tests positive to Covid-19 through new rapid antigen test
Richmond’s AFLW program has been dealt a blow with a player returning a positive result for Covid-19 through the new rapid antigen test.

Richmond’s AFLW program has been hit by an early setback with a player testing positive to Covid-19 over the weekend.
News Corp can reveal one of the club’s listed AFLW players drew a red flag when she tested positive under the new rapid antigen tests used by the AFL.

It is understood when she returned the positive rapid antigen test, the players were all sent home as a precaution before being informed of the positive result on Monday afternoon.

She then had a more accurate Covid test through the AFL’s testing provider, which proved she had Covid, requiring her to quarantine from the Tigers group.
 

radiojake

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This is all inevitable, I guess the ladies get to lead the way and give us an insight with what happens when it hits the men's comp
 

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Firewalker

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At a minimum she won't be playing any games in Victoria

It defies belief that she is an ICU nurse
Just makes you shake your head in disbelief, also everyone in the medical profession was offered the vaccine so much earlier than anyone else so she’s been sitting on this decision for so many more months than any other players, certainly doubt she informed the club of her decision before any delisting period.

The club will/should be forced to take a stand, as soon as legally possible I would imagine if she continues to be unvaccinated she will be delisted, plus if she continues to participate in those stupid rallies and posts on social media the AFL may step in and could make a stand as well.

Anyway plenty of good players around to replace her, veteran Leah Kaslar who’s been training with the group as a development coach looks in great nick and would fill a glaring need for this season and both Zoe Venning from Westies and Gypsy Schirmer from South were desperately unlucky not to be drafted by the club.
 
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cmndstab

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If Varnhagen doesn't play, I wonder if that's the role they will give Prowse to begin with. Tall running back who can move into the wing, and perhaps ruck down back.
 

Scorpus

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Just makes you shake your head in disbelief, also everyone in the medical profession was offered the vaccine so much earlier than anyone else so she’s been sitting on this decision for so many more months than any other players, certainly doubt she informed the club of her decision before any delisting period.

The club will/should be forced to take a stand, as soon as legally possible I would imagine if she continues to be unvaccinated she will be delisted, plus if she continues to participate in those stupid rallies and posts on social media the AFL may step in and could make a stand as well.

Anyway plenty of good players around to replace her, veteran Leah Kaslar who’s been training with the group as a development coach looks in great nick and would fill a glaring need for this season and both Zoe Venning from Westies and Gypsy Schirmer from South were desperately unlucky not to be drafted by the club.
I suspect the AFL will wait until they are sure most players are vaccinated then say vaccinated players don't want to play with the unvaxed and ban them
 

Firewalker

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I suspect the AFL will wait until they are sure most players are vaccinated then say vaccinated players don't want to play with the unvaxed and ban them
Either that or AFL will tell the club behind scenes that they’ll white ant her out, they’ll say she can continue to train with the club if she wants in SA for the mean time but she won’t be permitted to play any games against essential workers/vaxxed players that enter SA from interstate and use existing travel bans to say she won’t be allowed to travel interstate anyway.

Also teammates might get fed up/change their tune when they are let known health authorities will force them to be tested during the week, pre & post-match a lot more than teams who don’t have non-vaxxed training with them, basically the AFL legally trying to kick the problem down the road to protect themselves but still trying to force her out anyway.
 

dplggr47

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I suspect the AFL will wait until they are sure most players are vaccinated then say vaccinated players don't want to play with the unvaxed and ban them
Can't see the AFL mandating it, but in saying that, they might not need to, because every state will have their own rules regarding vaccination, meaning unvaccinated players may not be able to travel interstate and therefore miss half the season and be looking at significantly reduced wages. Clubs would then make a decision on whether it's worth keeping someone on the list when they can't play half the games.

Honeslty I feel bad for Deni. She's risking her nursing job which she'll probably lose due to her decision and she'll be made the example of, for what is to come for the mens league, because I'm sure there will be some in the mens league that will also refuse vaccination. Plus, she's going to cop it in the media.
 

radiojake

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Turns out the only player to have any real balls is a woman . Standing up for her human rights as declared and protected by The Hague . How dare she !

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So much wrong with this post
Why don't you say she has ' guts' ?

Also she is a peanut if an ICU nurse refuses it
 

ams4crows

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I really hope that any decision about her playing status comes directly from the AFL, she's kind of put the club between a rock and hard place with this.

Of course the first one had to be a Crows player, so our club will cop all the heat for whatever decision is made.

I feel sorry for Chelsea Randall who will no doubt have to have a chat with her to find out what's going on, and if we do end up terminating Deni contract Chelsea will be asked in every interview about it.
 

SydCrow

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Tom McDonald also weighing in against mandatory vaccination. He is vaxxed though at least.
 

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