2024 The Advertiser SANFLW Team of the Year


South Adelaide’s determined quest for redemption has been reflected in the 2024 The Advertiser SANFLW Team of the Year, with five Panthers and coach Rick Watts selected in the elite line-up.

After losing last year’s Hostplus SANFLW League Grand Final in agonising fashion, the Panthers have been on a mission while claiming the minor premiership with an 11-3 win-loss record and the competition’s stingiest defence.

Fellow finalists Central District (four), Glenelg (three) and Norwood (two) are also well represented as the Eagles (three) and Sturt (two) are the other clubs to have multiple selections.

All eight clubs have at least one representative in this year’s best-of-the-best collection as 2019 premiership mentor Watts is rewarded for steering South into first place with the strongest percentage in the competition at the end of the minor round.

The girls from Noarlunga are prominent in all sections of the ground as Emily Brockhurst (forward pocket) and Esther Schirmer (full back) line-up at either end as Soriah Moon (ruck) and Nikki Nield (ruck rover) command the centre square. Panthers’ vice-captain Jordann Hickey provides versatility from the interchange.

2024 The Advertiser SANFLW Coach of the Year – Rick Watts (South Adelaide). Picture – SAFC Media

Reigning premier Central District has captain Shelby Smith returns to the midfield as skipper of The Advertiser SANFLW Team of the Year while Eagle Annie Falkenberg will be her deputy.

Joint-leading goal kicker Katelyn Rosenzweig is a natural fit alongside Brockhurst on the full forward line while exciting young Bulldogs Jasmine Evans and Charlotte Riggs earn their first Team of the Year selections.

Gifted Sturt utility India Rasheed takes her place across half-forward after a stunning season while West Adelaide’s Zoe Venning (half-forward flank) and North Adelaide’s Laela Ebert (half-back flank) are flying the flags for their team as sole selections.

Two Team of the Year debutants take their place on the wings after breakthrough campaigns, with Eagle Poppy Waterford and Double Blue Monique Bessen announcing themselves as players to watch in 2024.

Based on performance across the minor round, the 2024 The Advertiser SANFLW Team of the Year was selected by SANFL Female Talent Manager Robbie Neill, SANFL Talent Coordinator Female Programs Bek McMahon, SANFL Competitions Specialist -State Leagues Daniel Joyce, SANFL Head of Football Operations Sean Toohey, SANFL Football Operations Administrator Lucy Kroschel and SANFL Media Producer Zac Milbank.

Captain of The Advertiser SANFLW Team of the Year – Shelby Smith (Central District). Picture – Peter Argent

2024 The Advertiser SANFLW Team of the Year Profiles

FORWARD POCKET – Emily Brockhurst (South)
Making her debut in The Advertiser SANFLW Team of the Year, Brockhurst was a significant offensive force behind the Panthers claiming the 2024 minor premiership. ”Brocky” drew level on 25 majors with Katelyn Rosenzweig on the leading goal kicker tally with a spectacular tackle and finish in the final term of Round 14.

FULL FORWARD – Kaitlyn Rosenzweig (Central)
SANFLW’s joint leading goal kicker is a natural fit at full forward after kicking four more majors across the minor round than her return of 21 in 2023. Equally dangerous at ground level or in the air, ”Rosey” has also won the competition’s leading goal kicker award last year with the Bulldogs and with North Adelaide in 2018.

HALF-FORWARD FLANK – India Rasheed (Sturt)
Boasting a lovely left-foot kick, the prolific ball-winner ranked first in the competition for inside 50s, fourth for total disposals and second for total marks despite missing two matches. Incredibly constructive with the ball, Sturt’s No.6 plays a vital role through the midfield and inside attacking 50m for the Double Blues.

CENTRE HALF-FORWARD – Jade Halfpenny (Norwood)
The milestones flowed for Halfpenny in 2024 as she not only reached her 50th SANFLW League match but featured for the SANFLW State team in its win against the WAFLW in Perth. The 22-year-old averaged 17 disposals and four marks in all 14 minor round matches for the Redlegs.

HALF-FORWARD FLANK – Zoe Venning (West)
Remarkably consistent is the ideal way to describe Venning’s stunning season which saw her rank second in the competition for total disposals and fifth for clearances. Showed that she can also play an attacking role after slotting in nicely across half-forward for the SANFLW State team in Perth.

WING – Poppy Waterford (Eagles)
Selection in the SANFLW State team was an indication of Waterford’s eye-catching rise in 2024. Averaging 17 disposals, three clearances and three inside 50s, the 26-year-old also showed off her defensive prowess by finishing third in the competition for tackles at an average of 9.5

CENTRE – Jess Bates (Glenelg)
No player in the Hostplus SANFLW League touched the ball more than Glenelg’s Jess Bates in 2024 as she averaged a league-leading 31.5 disposals across 12 games. Also leading the competition for total tackles and clearances, the 28-year-old created history by winning the SANFLW State team’s best-on-ground medal in Perth.

WING – Monique Bessen (Sturt)
Sturt’s skillful 17-year-old emerged to receive a nomination for the Powerade Breakthrough Player award in 2024. Registering averages of 16 disposals and five tackles, Bessen put the competition on notice when she racked up 32 disposals, eight marks, seven tackles and five clearances against top-ranked South Adelaide in Round 6.

HALF-BACK FLANK – Tahlita Buethke (Norwood)
Versatility is a key advantage for Buethke, who can play on a wing or provide plenty of drive from half-back where she averaged 17 disposals and four marks across 14 matches. The 22-year-old was also an important role player in SANFLW’s win against the WAFLW in Perth.

CENTRE HALF-BACK – Charlotte Riggs (Central)
The Central District premiership defender continues to grow in confidence at senior level, as evidenced by her penchant for taking intercept marks across the half-back line. Earning a Powerade Breakthrough Player nomination in Round 14, the 17-year-old also showed she can be thrown into the ruck in 2024.

HALF-BACK FLANK – Laela Ebert (North)
The sole North Adelaide representative this year, Ebert showed off her class in 2024 as she blossomed without injury restriction to register an average of 17.5 disposals at 83 per cent efficiency. The 17-year-old is one to watch after also earning a Powerade Breakthrough Player nomination.

BACK POCKET – Annie Falkenberg (Eagles)
The Eagles’ consistent captain returns to The Advertiser SANFLW Team of the Year after averaging nearly 18 disposals and more than four rebound 50s per game in 2024. Named vice captain of the team, the same role she played for the SANFLW State Team in May.

FULL BACK – Esther Schirmer (South)
In just her third season of senior SANFLW football, Schirmer has reinforced herself as an integral cog in the Panthers’ defence despite being just 17 years of age. The SA U18 team member gains selection for the second year in succession on the back of averaging 14 disposals and five marks.

RUCK – Soriah Moon (South)
Moon retains her place as the SANFLW’s premier ruck, averaging 30 hit outs per game in 2024. Incredibly mobile, the Panthers’ No.32 also moved around the ground in effective fashion to also average 13 disposals, four tackles and four clearances.

RUCK ROVER – Nikki Nield (South)
Nield returned full-time to her beloved Panthers which proved to be a seamless move as she found the Sherrin with ease, racking up averages of 22 disposals, 10 tackles and five clearances. The 23-year-old stamped herself as one of the premier midfielders in the competition.

ROVER – Shelby Smith (Central)
A fitting selection as captain of the 2024 The Advertiser SANFLW Team of the Year, Smith is a fearless leader for her Bulldogs. Averaging 21 disposals, 10 tackles and six clearances, the Central skipper was also joint vice-captain of the SANFLW State team.

INTERCHANGE – Violet Patterson (Glenelg)
The Tigers’ running machine presents great flexibility coming off the interchange bench, with an ability to play on the wing, through the midfield, or at either end of the ground. Earned a Powerade Breakthrough Player nomination while also averaging 19 disposals and eight tackles in 2024.

INTERCHANGE – Jasmine Evans (Central)
One of the most consistent medium forwards in the competition, booting 15 goals for the season, Evans can make an impact further up the field if required. The 18-year-old premiership player kicked majors in half of her 14 games this season.

INTERCHANGE – Grace Martin (Eagles)
Extremely highly-rated by her coach Narelle Smith, Martin blossomed in 2024 to enjoy her most consistent campaign with averages of 16.5 disposals and five tackles. The SA U18 girls team member earned a Powerade Breakthrough Player nomination in Round 8.

INTERCHANGE – Jo Miller (Glenelg)
Glenelg’s quiet achiever through the midfield came under notice when she racked up impressive averages of 24 disposals, 10 tackles and five clearances. The 25-year-old has formed a lethal centre square combination with fellow Tiger Jess Bates in 2024.

INTERCHANGE – Jordann Hickey (South)
Originally making her name in the SANFLW as a key forward, Hickey has relished her new role working further up the field to rack up averages of 17 disposals and five tackles in 2024. South’s vice-captain has led from the front this season while helping the Panthers to the minor premiership.

COACH – Rick Watts (South)
South’s 2019 premiership mentor has impressively steered his Panthers toward the minor premiership, registering an 11-3 win-loss record while also forming the competition’s best defensive line-up. Highly-rated for his ability to build relationships with his players, Watts is now the most successful SANFLW coach in terms of total wins, registering 47 victories in five seasons.