The GIANTS VFL Women’s team has been named for their penultimate invitational game.

Six changes have been made to the side ahead of the clash with Essendon at The Hangar on Saturday morning.

Canberra’s Alexia Hamilton (Queanbeyan), Jess Stramandinoli (Queanbeyan) and Britt Tully (Ainslie) have been included, while AFL Sydney’s Pippa Smyth (Macquarie University), Lisa Steane (Macquarie University) and Renee Tomkins (East Coast Eagles) round out the inclusions.

Stamandinoli will make her debut for the GIANTS while Tully will play her first game in orange and charcoal since the final the GIANTS’ final AFL Women’s match in 2018.

“Jess is a Canberra local from the Queanbeyan Tigers and was an Under-18s NSW/ACT Rams player in 2017,” GIANTS VFLW Head Coach Roger Moten said. 

“She joins the squad as a tough in and under pressure player who has the ability to get it on the outside and link up.

“Britt’s return has been uplifting for the whole team. Her experience and contested ball winning will bring others into the game with her distribution.” 

With the GIANTS naming a 23-player squad to take on the Bombers, only five players involved in the GIANTS’ 98-point-win over Melbourne University late last month have been omitted. 

Jessica Allan, Jess Dal Pos and Britt Perry are unavailable while Lael Kassem and Lauren Houghton have been rotated out. 

Moten said the GIANTS are ready for the challenge of taking on Essendon who, unlike the GIANTS’ previous two opponents, are not aligned to an AFLW club.

“The game against Essendon presents us with the challenge of playing a non-AFLW team who will bring their own uniqueness through different stoppage structures,” he said. 

“It will mentally challenge our girls given we expect a high possession game from Essendon. 

“Added to this, the recent heavy rain in Melbourne will play into the opposition’s hands with many of our Sydney-based girls rarely experiencing such conditions.”  

Essendon v GIANTS

Saturday, July 13 at 10am

The Hangar

FB: Tayna Hetherington, Renee Tomkins, Lisa Whiteley

HB: Amanda Farrugia, Louise Stephenson, Ellie Brush

C: Sarah Ford, Tait Mackrill, Lisa Steane

HF: Jodie Hicks, Aimee Schmidt, Emily Goodsir

FF: Delma Gisu, Rebecca Privitelli, Haneen Zrieka

Ruck: Ingrid Nielsen, Alicia Eva, Alyce Parker 

Interchange: Erin Todd, Alecia Hamilton, Pippa Smyth, Jess Stramandinoli, Britt Tully