Zarlie Goldsworthy in action during the match between Greater Western Sydney and Adelaide at Manuka Oval in round four, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

REMEMBER the name, Zarlie Goldsworthy.  

After slumping to its fifth consecutive loss to start the season, Greater Western Sydney coach Cam Bernasconi was looking for positives and certainly found one in second-year player Goldsworthy.  

"You forget she's only 18 years old. She's a fierce competitor, our last month has been really tough, but she has a thirst to compete and get better," said Bernasconi. 

"She’s getting better every single week. I think Zarlie Goldsworthy is going to be a name that everyone's going to know in this competition and we're very lucky that she's a Giant."

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The sky is the limit for Goldsworthy, and Bernasconi believes it might not be long until she becomes one of the household names of the competition. 


"She can be one of, if not the best player in the competition in the next couple of years for sure. She's an absolute ripper," he said.

The Giants lost Annalyse Lister to a calf injury during the week and Bernasconi and the coaching staff turned to Haneen Zreika to fill the run-with role on North Melbourne star Jasmine Garner, who Bernasconi believes is "one of, if not the best player in the game at the moment." 

"We threw the challenge at Haneen, and 'Neensy' is a ripper. She's such a fierce competitor, it's a magnet you love to have on your board. You put her wherever and you just know she's going to compete. 

"She provided us a spark … I was really proud with how she played."


Bernasconi said there was a possibility that Zreika would reassume her negating role next week, potentially against Eagles captain Emma Swanson in what is a must-win clash for the club. 

"Swanny's a pretty good player. It's something that we are introducing into our system at the moment. There are some really good midfielders in the competition who are a step above, each week we will look to have some sort of role where we can look to nullify an opposition player," Bernasconi said.

The Giants coach was pleased with his side's growth and improvement and is looking forward to the opportunity against the Eagles next week. 

"It's huge, it really is. We're in this position [bottom of the ladder] because we've struggled to execute and play four quarters.  

"We've got to continue to learn and mature as fast as we can and make sure we play a four-quarter performance against the Eagles.

"When you’re 0-5, the players are pretty flat. No one is enjoying this at the moment, it does test your character.  

"It's a quick season, you can't dwell on the negatives for too long."


North Melbourne coach Darren Crocker was content with his side's "good, messy win" despite booting just four majors for the afternoon. 

"For a game that we controlled from the outset, it was still a really strong win," he said. 

"We got the game looking like a North game for the most part. 

"Everyone stayed true to the way we want to play, we stayed organised and stuck to our system and played to our identity. If we do that for longer in games, we are going to be a really tough side to beat."

While Garner has been the star of the show across the first month of the season, Ash Riddell is quietly putting together an extremely solid campaign herself. 

"We've got enormous faith in each other and the other mids as well. What makes us a strong midfield group is that we are happy to share the load and the love around," Riddell said. 


Riddell finished with a team-high 32 disposals and is excited to see what the second half of the season holds.  

"We don't put a ceiling on things, we are just trying to get better every week and not look too far ahead," she said.  

"We've got enormous faith in our process and our trademark and making sure that we stick to our roles and reap the results hopefully at the end of the day."

The Roos will look to further solidify their place in the top four when they travel to Fremantle next weekend, while the Giants will be out to secure their first win of the season when they take on the Eagles.