Published on February 20, 2019 12:00 pm

Sophie Molan (photo by Simon O'Neill)


GWV Rebels Female Talent Coordinator Krista Woodroffe gives her thoughts on the club’s upcoming U18 girls season.

2018 FINISH: 5th (6-3 record)

2018 BEST AND FAIREST: Georgia Clarke

2018 TEAM OF THE YEAR SELECTIONS: Rene Caris, Georgia Clarke, Sophie Van De Heuvel

2018 AFL WOMEN’S DRAFTEES: Sophie Van De Heuvel (Geelong), Lauren Butler (Collingwood), Georgia Clarke (Geelong), Rene Caris (Geelong)


  • Level 2 (18yo): Sophie Molan
  • Level 1 (17yo): Maggie Caris, Isabella Simmons

2019 HEAD COACH: Rhys Cahir (second season)

2019 SEASON START: vs Bendigo Pioneers @ RAMS Arena, Saturday March 2 (CLICK HERE for full fixture)




Sophie Molan (local club – Lake Wendouree): “Sophie is an all-rounder. She plays through the midfield and is a very neat player, like a Lauren Butler (drafted to Collingwood AFLW from GWV in 2018). She’s also a good leader on the ground. She’s grown up playing footy and just has a really good footy brain.”



Georgia Pidgeon (Ballarat Swans): “Georgia is one of our 19-year-olds and last year was her first season of football coming from a soccer background. She played at full back for us and we’ll probably still play her in the back line this year, but we’ll look to expose her in different positions. She’s a nice tall player and very strong with a good overhead mark.”

Isabelle Rustman (Ballarat Swans): “Isabelle is another 19-year-old and last year was also her first season of football. She’s a netballer who’s tall and very athletic. We’ll probably look at playing her through the ruck and up forward. She’s a very good leader on the ground, so we’ll look to her to bring the young kids along during the season.”

Ella Wood (Ararat Storm): “Ella has been part of our program for the last three seasons. She plays through the midfield, on a wing and up forward, so she’s an all-round player. She had a shoulder injury towards the end of last year and will be looking for a bit of redemption. She could surprise a lot of people.”



Maggie Caris (Horsham Saints): “Maggie is the sister of Rene Caris, who was drafted by Geelong (AFLW) last year. She’s even taller than Rene (who is listed at 184cm) and has a strong athletic build. She was selected for the Victorian under-17 netball team in 2018 and 2019 but loves football, so we’re hoping she’ll continue with it.”

Isabella Simmons (Ararat Storm): “Isabella has really improved over the time she’s been a part of the AFLW Academy program and been training with the elite girls. We’re really looking for her to improve as a leader on the ground this year and hopefully get a bit stronger through the core and upper body.”



“I think Sophie Molan’s (see above) name will get thrown around by the players (as a potential leader), as well as Georgia Pidgeon (see above), Isabelle Rustman (see above) and Ella Wood (see above).”



“I think the overall ability of our players will improve from last year, when we probably had four or five super-strong players that really led on the field. This year we have a lot of young girls who are at a really high standard. They’re fit and strong and over the pre-season our coach Rhys Cahir had a major focus on getting the fundamentals right to allow our girls to develop their football skills. I think the depth we have will bring it to a lot of teams.”


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

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