Havana Harris, Ash Centra and Sierra Grieves. Pictures: AFL Photos

THIS weekend the 2024 Marsh AFL National Championships kick off, with the next generation of AFLW talent on show for their respective states and territories.

Nine games will be played over the coming two months, with Allies (ACT, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Tasmania), Queensland, South Australia, Victoria Country, Victoria Metro, and Western Australia all competing.

It kicks off with a match between the Allies and Victoria Metro on Saturday, June 29, and will close on Saturday, August 24 with a match between South Australia and Western Australia.

All games will be streamed live and free via AFL.com.auwith details to be updated in the match centre.

With the Telstra AFLW Draft slated for December this year, players will be eyeing off these championships as a chance to put their best foot forward to land on an AFLW list by year's end.

So, which players should you keep an eye out for?



Matches: Allies v Victoria Metro (Saturday June 29), Queensland v Allies (Saturday July 13), South Australia v Allies (Thursday July 18),
Coaching panel: Tanya Hetherington (head coach), Georgia Walker, Jess Wuetschner, Matt Campbell (assistants)

The Allies boast four Marsh AFLW Academy members, in Tatyana PerryAsh PattonMackenzie Williams, and Emma Juneja. Perry is a handy defender/midfielder from the Palmerston Magpies who doesn't need a lot of the footy to have an important impact on games. Patton, a mid-sized forward, has already represented the country on the world stage, pitching for the Australian women's baseball team in last year's World Cup. Williams is a rebounding defender with a long boot coming out of North Hobart, and Juneja, who comes from Sydney's Academy system, is deceptively powerful around the contest.

Emma Stark is already well known for her achievements in umpiring, having officiated Essendon and Hawthorn's first ever AFLW match back in 2022 at just 16 years old, but her footy also speaks for itself as an endurance athlete on the wing. Meanwhile, Tasmania co-captain Lucy Thompson will also feature for the Allies.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: Tatyana Perry Funk of the Allies kicks during the 2023 AFL National Championships U18 Girls match between Allies and Vic Metro at Brighton Homes Arena on July 02, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Photos )


Matches: Queensland v Victoria Country (Sunday July 7), Queensland v Allies (Saturday July 13), Western Australia v Queensland (Saturday August 3),
Coaching panel: Emma Zielke (head coach)

A pair of players not eligible for the Telstra AFLW Draft until 2025 are highlights in Queensland's squad, with Georja Davies – sister of current AFLW players Giselle, Fleur, and Darcie – and powerful key forward Dekota Baron both named.

A trio of Marsh AFLW Academy players will also feature. Havana Harris is a ruck/key forward option who is firmly in No.1 pick considerations, while both Lily Baker – a ruck with an elite cricketing background – and Tara Harrington – a hard-working midfielder – will be serious assets for coach Emma Zielke.

Exciting bottom-ager Ava Usher will miss these championships as she recovers from a knee injury.

Georja Davies handballs during the round nine Coates Talent League match between Oakleigh Chargers and Gold Coast Suns Academy on June 4, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos


Matches: South Australia v Allies (Thursday July 18), Victoria Metro v South Australia (Sunday August 11), South Australia v Western Australia (Saturday August 24)
Coaching panel: Brad Snell (head coach), Alison Ferrall, Craig Lum, Jack Hannath, Emma Sampson (assistants)

Younger sister of Port Adelaide ruck Matilda, Poppy Scholz headlines South Australia's squad, as a reliable intercepting defender who is also spending some time through the ruck. Fellow Marsh AFLW Academy members India Rasheed, a Christian Petracca-type who moves well between the midfield and forward line, Charlotte Riggs is a dynamic defender full of personality, Jasmine Evans knows how to impact on the scoreboard, and Georgia McKee is a handy small forward returning from an ACL injury.

The family connections to AFLW extend further than Scholz, with Adelaide midfielder/forward Abbie Ballard's younger sister Ruby, a wing/small forward from West Adelaide in the SANFLW, and Violet Patterson is a potential father-daughter selection for Collingwood after her father Stephen played 96 games for the Pies from 1995-2000.

India Rasheed (left) and Poppy Scholz warm up ahead of an AFLW Academy training session on January 19, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos


Matches: Queensland v Victoria Country (Sunday July 7), Victoria Metro v Victoria Country (Sunday July 14), Victoria Country v Western Australia (Sunday August 11)
Coaching panel: Melissa Hickey (head coach), Nathan Boyd, Sally Riley, Whitney Kennedy, Emma Mackie, Josh Moore (assistants)

Ash Centra headlines the Victoria Country squad, with her smooth moves through the contest and powerful kick, while key forward/ruck Zoe Besanko will work closely with her by getting on the end of her inside 50 kicks. Millie Lang is a left-footed key defender who provides reliable coverage behind the ball, and ruck/forward Elli Symonds will aim to return from injury to feature throughout the championships after missing both Academy games.

Bendigo Pioneers co-captain Lucia Painter is a versatile option who thrives at the contest, while Geelong Falcons product Sara Howley is a quick ball winner who can get forward and hit the scoreboard. Meanwhile, younger sister of Richmond's Grace Egan, Holly, is a utility that can be used for her speed or impact on the contest.

Ash Centra handballs during the Coates Talent League clash between Bendigo and Gippsland on June 2, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos


Matches: Allies v Victoria Metro (Saturday June 29), Victoria Metro v Victoria Country (Sunday July 14), Victoria Metro v South Australia (Sunday August 11)
Coaching panel: Ty Vickery (head coach), Allana Dickie, Hayley Gossow, Martha Cantwell, Ash Close, Ross Smith (assistants)

Recently named best on ground for the Marsh AFLW Academy in the side's exhibition match against the Australian All-Stars, Sierra Grieves headlines Vic Metro's squad. When given the freedom to play as an inside midfielder, her ball-winning ability is unmatched. Sophie McKay – Carlton father-daughter prospect and sister of Abbie – looms large in the squad, able to move seamlessly from midfield to forward line, while key forward Emma McDonald is a reliable set shot who can kick a bag.

Sarah Poustie is a neat midfielder/half-back option who won last year's Coates Talent League Grand Final best-on-ground medal, and in a similar line rotation Zoe Hargreaves is known for her elite foot skills. Lou-Lou Field is a handy left-foot kick who intercepts the footy in the air at will, and Maggie Mahoney's draft prospects shot up after a strong showing in this month's Academy v All-Stars showcase.

Sierra Grieves tackles Violet Patterson during the Marsh AFL National Academy Girls' clash against the All-Stars on June 9, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos


Matches: Western Australia v Queensland (Saturday August 3), Victoria Country v Western Australia (Sunday August 11), South Australia v Western Australia (Saturday August 24) 

*WA's squad and coaching panel will be finalised two weeks out from its first match on August 3.