1. The West Coast Eagles showed plenty of heart in their season finale against Adelaide on Saturday, falling by 26 points in sizzling conditions at Mineral Resources Park. The youthful Eagles took it to the experienced Crows side, who finished the regular season as minor premiers, and displayed courage, drive and a high work rate to keep themselves in the contest for majority of the game. Caretaker coach Rohan McHugh was pleased with how West Coast performed and said despite the result, the team found their method and got the processes right.
2. Eagles’ teenage talent Ella Roberts delivered another best-on performance for her side, further pushing her case as a strong contender for the Rising Star. Roberts is a stand-out contributor week in and week out for West Coast, and Saturday was no exception, finishing with 27 disposals, an equal team-high seven marks, an equal team-high seven tackles and three clearances. The 18-year-old is one of the most exciting young players in the competition and will play a major role for the Eagles in seasons to come.
3. Milestone Eagle Kellie Gibson finished with two goals in her 50th AFLW game, taking her 2023 tally to a career-best 12, the most goals ever kicked by a West Coast player in an AFLW season. Gibson has been incredibly consistent for the Eagles this year, kicking majors in all but two games, and positioning herself as an experienced and dominant attacking forward in the side.
4. Shanae Davison stepped her game up a notch on Saturday, managing 16 disposals, seven marks, five tackles and kicked her first goal in AFLW. Davison was a strong presence around the contest, she used the ball well and despite the scorching weather conditions, didn’t stop running, finishing with 428 metres gained. Davison has been building since her return to football following an ACL injury that saw her sidelined last season, and her strength and speed continue to grow from week to week.
5. It has been a challenging season for the developing Eagles outfit, finishing with just two wins, against Port Adelaide and Essendon, and eight losses. Despite the win-loss record, there were many positives to take away from the season, and plenty of learnings to focus on heading into pre-season next year. Emerging young players including Roberts, Charlie Thomas and Lauren Wakfer were shining lights for West Coast, while the leaders and experienced stalwarts such as captain Emma Swanson, Dana Hooker and Belinda Smith set inspiring examples for their teammates.