by Peter Argent
Taking her first steps in Central District colours, Broken Hill Magpies star Shelby Raven was the Bulldogs’ best player in the SANFL Development League game against Woodville West Torrens, which started her journey in SANFL Women’s football last Saturday.
“Shelby was the clear stand out in the Development league match,” senior coach of the women’s program Ben Hunt said.
“She played in the midfield and won numerous possessions and used the ball pretty well. I had a decent chat to Shelby about the areas of her game that she needs to address, but this was a very positive start.
“With the strength of our midfield rotations in our league team, Shelby will be looking for a couple of high end performances to force her way into the rotations at senior level. It was a good start and a real platform to build from.”
On a hot morning at Elizabeth Oval in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, the Central District Development team struggled to have many more winners besides Raven and Aisha Thomas, until the latter was involved in a head clash and left the field early in the third quarter.
The hosts kicked their only goals in the opening term and went down to the Eagles in the development game 1.1 (7) to 8.8 (56).
Raven was clearly the Central District Development teams’ leading possession winner and most influential player.
While the Doggies’ seconds had a significant loss, the Central District SANFLW league side started their campaign with a handy victory, getting up in the 12 noon game by 13 points, 4.6 (30) to 2.5 (17).
Today, the round two game is at Thebarton Oval, against the Double Blues, with the Central District Development League side’s game starting at 10am again, the SANFLW game at midday.
The other Broken Hill girl in the SANFLW competition currently, Rebecca Deer, competed gallantly in the ruck, fighting against the odds and rated a mention among North’s best players.
North Adelaide play West at Hisense Stadium, Richmond, this Saturday in round two.
Irish talent Meg Ryan and her Essendon team mates need to wait another month before competition starts, with the 2023 VFLW season beginning on the weekend of March 25-26.