VFLW trio Paige Sheppard, Tamara Smith and Chloe Leonard have had their stellar season recognised being selected in the Under 23 All-Star Team.
The trio have played an extremely strong season this year. With Sheppard and Smith spending majority of their time within the mid-field, working extremely hard on both offensive and defence. Whilst Leonard played a more defensive role.
VFLW Coach Andrew Bruce, emphasised the importance of the trio’s recognition.
“All three of them work extremely hard, trained hard and pushed others too – it’s great recognition for them and important to see that other clubs rate them highly,” Bruce says.
“It gives them a bit of confidence going into the rest of the season.”
Tamara Smith leads the league in most tackles, averaging 11.7, whilst her possession count has seen her to be second in the league, averaging 23.1.
Paige Sheppard, coming second in the VFLW Cats Best and Fairest has accelerated her game significantly averaging 6.7 tackles and 21.2 disposals.
“Sheppard has really stepped up her game and the way she plays this year,” he says.
Vice-Captain and defender, Chloe Leonard in her first year out of the NAB league has average 12.6 disposals and 3.6 tackles this season.
Previously the Captain of the Greater Western Rebels, Bruce praised her efforts in her first year.
“She has been outstanding in the group all year. Playing as a defender majority of the time, she is probably one of the best mid-size defenders in the competition.”
The annual game is a great opportunity for VFLW players to have the opportunity to be drafted to AFLW lists.
Bruce stated his high prospects for the trio being drafted to an AFLW list.
“If anyone of them or all of them were lucky enough to get drafted to any club, they went to would get great value from them.”
“They work really hard, and I have no doubt that they would be able to step up to that next level.”
“Everyone should be looking at them.”
Bruce highlighted how the importance of their recognition to the club and the development of the VFLW side.
“It shows people outside of our club that we do have a good program and that if you come and work hard, you get opportunities.”
“It’s really important that we keep on developing our talent at the club and give them the best opportunity to go further.”
Last season, three Geelong VFLW players were selected into the Geelong AFLW list.
The match will be played at the Swinburne Centre at 11.30am, and a live stream will be available via www.womens.afl/talent-pathway/academy.