By Ant Wingard
We are now two rounds into what has already proved to be an exciting season of QAFLW action. The realignment of the competition has meant there are less AFL Women’s players dominating games and higher responsibility placed on others. From that, there have been plenty new and existing names who have started the opening two rounds of the season on fire. We’ve taken a look at some of the biggest surprise packet from each team after two rounds of competition.
Please note no AFL Women’s players were considered.
Madison Goodwin – Yeronga South Brisbane
Goodwin joined the Devils for the 2019 season but was deployed largely as a defender under Aaron Russell, filling the void of defensive stalwart Emily Bliss. Goodwin was solid in defence but it has been in 2020 where she has truly fulfilled her potential after moving to a more midfield role. A strong runner, Goodwin has excelled in link up play and along with the other Devils’ midfielders, Sarah Duncan and Gabby Collingwood/Jordan Zanchetta, have established the league’s best centre stoppage team.
Madeleine Reisinger – Coolangatta Tweed
Just two games into her QAFLW career, Reisinger looks more than at home in the Bluebirds midfield. The former Surfers Paradise premiership winner may not win as much of the ball as some other midfielders in this list, but her tackling prowess and smart around the ground have seen her excel across the opening slate of fixtures. Reisinger is strong on the ball but can also work back defensively and help the strong Bluebirds defence.
Chloe Gregory – Maroochydore
Like Goodwin, Gregory has gained more midfield minutes this season having spent the back end of last season following the Under 18 AFLW National Championships as a small forward. An attacking-minded player, Gregory has thrived on the outside of the contest and her ability to weave through defenders and drive the ball forward. When not in the midfield, Gregory has been able to reassert herself as a scoring threat with three goals on the season.
Isabelle Kotatis – Aspley
A defensive rock for the Hornets over the opening two rounds, Kotatis’ first foray in the higher QAFLW level has been a resounding success. The former Redcliffe youth product has featured in both games for Aspley so far and has been among their more consistent players across both. In Round 2 against the Bluebirds, Kotatis combined stout defensive duties with efficient ball movement under pressure to keep the Hornets in the game until the fourth quarter.
Tara Smith – Bond University
Smith has been elevated to the Bullsharks’ senior ranks entirely in 2020 after playing five QAFLW games in 2019 (along with ten in the development league). Already, she has shown her worth as a versatile ruck who can effectively set up her teammates through the air or by hand. After two rounds, Bond University have emerged as a team heavily reliant on working the ball quickly out of stoppages and Smith, not to be confused by teammate, Taylor, has been a large reason why they have been effective at just that.
Abbey Brocken – Coorparoo
Brokken is one of many Coorparoo juniors to be unearthed into the senior side this year and Brokken has held her own perhaps more than any so far. Brokken has been used in defence so far under Michael Hewitt and along with former youngster Charlize Anderson, has been resolute inside the defensive 50. She lined up on Jya Epstein against the Roos and Mia Walsh against Yeronga and despite their lethality inside 50, remained calm under pressure.
Tiarna Jericho – University of Queensland
Jericho has only played the one game for the Red Lions – her debut against Bond University in Round 2 yet her importance to the team was already evident from the smaller sample size. Deployed across half-back, the former Toowoomba product was a stable presence for University of Queensland and along with Jesse Henning, helped repel to countless Bond University inside 50.
Krysten Tyquin – Wilston Grange
In her second season in the QAFLW, Tyquin has been the motor in Wilston Grange’s emerging midfield which has been forced to change almost entirely since last season. Tyquin is a ferocious tackler and broke even against Yeronga’s strong midfield unit in Round 2 at Leyshon Park. Tyquin in the enforcer through the middle of the ground for the Gorillas while Kaitlyn Day and Mackenzie Findlay have been the class on the outside.