Academy star Ham-ming it up on the big stage

POTENTIAL top draftee Montana Ham's versatility was on show in the NAB AFLW Academy's 41-point win over the Under-23 All Stars, playing across all three lines in the victory.

The 179cm Ham – primarily a midfielder with the Western Jets – kicked two goals in the space of two minutes in the second term, to finish with 19 disposals, five marks and four clearances at the Swinburne Centre.

Western Australia MVP Ella Roberts played the first half up forward and moved into the middle in the second, picking up 22 disposals, six clearances and kicking 1.3.

Agile Dandenong Stingray Amber Clarke was another to impress, recording 20 touches, six inside 50s and kicking two goals while also rotating between the forward line and the midfield.

Tarkyn Lockyer speaks to his AFLW Academy players during the match against the U23 All-Stars on May 8, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Gold Coast Academy product Fleur Davies (28 hitouts, 13 disposals, two clearances) dominated the ruck, with West Australian Lauren Wakfer chipping in 13 hitouts herself, while Paige Scott and J'Noemi Anderson booted two each.

Northern Knights midfielder Rylie Wilcox picked up from where she left off in the U18 championships, recording 14 disposals, seven marks and 2.2 for the All Stars, who were a combined Victorian/Tasmanian/Northern Territory representative team.

Geelong VFLW midfielder Tamara Smith (one of the oldest on the ground at 21) led all-comers with a well-rounded 19 disposals, 11 tackles and six clearances, while GWV Rebels defender Jamie Lee Speakman stood up well under pressure with 14 touches and six marks.

Star Academy midfielder Charlotte Baskaran's day ended early with a left ankle injury, recording 10 touches and two clearances in the first half.

Emily Everist (right) celebrates kicking a goal during the game between the AFLW Academy and the U23 All-Stars. Picture: AFL Photos

AFLW ACADEMY      1.4     4.6     6.7     11.9   (75)
U23 ALL STARS        1.1     3.1     5.3     5.4     (34)

AFLW Academy: Clarke 2, Ham 2, Scott 2, Anderson 2, Goldsworthy, Cleaver, Roberts
U23 All Stars: Wilcox 2, Fellows, Everist, McCarthy

AFLW Academy: Ham, Roberts, Clarke, Hipwell, Goldsworthy, Davies
U23 All Stars: Smith, Fellows, Wilcox, Sheppard, Gaffney, Busch