By ZAC MILBANK
West Adelaide’s Lauren Young has won the 2021 SANFLW Powerade Breakthrough Player Award after her standout inaugural season.
Aged just 15, Young has played every game this season, featuring in the Bloods’ best players in seven of her 11 appearances while helping her side book a berth in the Statewide Super Women’s League Grand Final.
Named in the centre of the 2021 The Advertiser SANFLW Team of the Year, the Plympton FC teenager received her nomination for a stunning performance in Round 1.
Despite it being her SANFLW debut, Young displayed incredible maturity and game-breaking ability when she chalked up a game-high 25 disposals and applied eight tackles.
The Statewide Super SA U19 representative – one of three Powerade nominees from Westies – also took several telling intercept marks in defence, snaring nine in total against Norwood at The Parade.
Young, teammate Zoe Venning, Sturt’s Alisha Gepp, Norwood’s Jade Halfpenny, and Eagle Shineah Goody were the five Powerade Breakthrough Player nominees to be selected in The Advertiser SANFLW Team of the Year while Norwood was the club with the most nominees, with Halfpenny, Lana Schwerdt, Emma Clark and Sachi Syme chosen.
To be eligible for the SANFLW Powerade Breakthrough Player Award, players must be aged 21 and under at the start of the year and have played six games or less at the start of the season.
Young was selected by a panel of judges which included SANFL General Manager Football Matt Duldig, SANFL Female Talent Manager Robbie Neill, SANFL Football Operations Coordinator Daniel Joyce, SANFL Head of Football Operations Sean Toohey, SANFL Media Producer Zac Milbank and Messenger Sports Reporter Daniela Abbracciavento.
Round 1 – Lauren Young (West Adelaide)
Round 2 – Zoe Venning (West Adelaide)
Round 3 – Alisha Gepp (Sturt)
Round 4 – Lana Schwerdt (Norwood)
Round 5 – Emma Clark (Norwood)
Round 6 – Keeley Kustermann (West Adelaide)
Round 7 – Sachi Syme (Norwood)
Round 8 – Tahlita Buethke (South Adelaide)
Round 9 – Sarah Goodwin (Glenelg)
Round 10 – Shineah Goody (Woodville-West Torrens)
Round 11 – Jade Halfpenny (Norwood)