Published on February 19, 2019 12:00 pm

Isabella Shannon

SEASON PREVIEW: Dandenong Stingrays girls

Dandenong Stingrays Female Talent Coordinator Matthew Crozier gives his thoughts on the club’s upcoming U18 girls season.

2018 FINISH: 6th (4-5 record)

2018 BEST AND FAIREST: Jordyn Allen

2018 TEAM OF THE YEAR SELECTIONS: Jordyn Allen, Lucinda Cripps

2018 AFL WOMEN’S DRAFTEES: Jordyn Allen (Collingwood), Shelley Heath (Melbourne)


  • Selected in 2017: Georgia Gee (Carlton), Bridie Kennedy (Carlton)


  • Level 2 (18yo): Lucinda Cripps, Molly McDonald, Isabella Shannon
  • Level 1 (17yo): Tyanna Smith

2019 HEAD COACH: Nick Rutley (first season)

2019 SEASON START: vs Eastern Ranges @ SkyBus Stadium, Sunday March 3 (CLICK HERE for full fixture)



Molly McDonald (local club – Seaford) [recently pre-listed by St Kilda for the 2020 AFLW season]: “Molly is an elite athlete and a really strong midfielder. She kicked a goal from outside 50m for Vic Country (at the NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships) last year which got a fair few hits online. She’s probably one of our stronger leaders too.”


Isabella Shannon (Mount Eliza) [recently pre-listed by St Kilda for the 2020 AFLW season]: “Isabella is a bigger-bodied athlete who was probably pretty stiff to miss out on U18 All Australian honours last year. She’s a strong midfielder and very courageous. She leads by example with her physicality and has a bit of pace too.”

Lucinda Cripps (Mount Eliza): “Lucy made the U18 All Australian side as a bottom-ager last year. She has played as a defender, but we want to expose her in different areas of the ground to improve her game. Ideally we’d push her through the midfield a little bit more this year.”

Brooke Vernon (Rye): “Brooke probably had a bit of a quiet year last year, but she has the talent to play at AFLW level. I can’t fault her skill-wise; she’s probably one of the best kicks in the squad. I think she’s a fantastic mark and kick, but this year is just about trying to elevate her game.”



Georgia Howes (Frankston Rovers): “Georgia is one of our 19-year-olds and she was on a basketball scholarship in previous years. She’s a versatile ruck who can play in multiple positions. This is only her second year of footy, but she trains the house down and is one of our leaders as well. She has a bit of X-factor about her.”



Tyanna Smith (Beaconsfield): “Tyanna has elite speed and an elite engine, so she just wants to run all day. She’s very similar to (2018 Melbourne AFLW draftee) Shelley Heath in her physicality and the way she plays, so I can definitely see Tyanna putting her hand up to be drafted next year.”



Molly McDonald (see above), Isabella Shannon (see above), Lucy Cripps (see above) and Brooke Vernon (see above) would all be in the running for the leadership group. They all bring something different; Molly’s a very good motivator of people off the field and very organised, where Isabella or Lucy will lead by example on the field. Someone like Tyanna Smith (see above) might also be involved to get a 17-year-old ready for next year.”



“I think we’ll look to move the ball pretty quickly and take the game on. Games have been a bit stop-start in previous years as female footy has developed, but our new coach Nick Rutley – who has coached in the AFLW with Carlton – has instilled a mantra of fast play and backing yourself.”


* CLICK HERE for 2019 season previews on other U18 girls clubs.

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