Our latest season review puts the spotlight on the last line of defence.
Avgs: Eight disposals, two spoils, two marks
Ellyse Gamble could always be counted on in Season Eight.
After the Bombers boosted their back six with the acquisitions of Brooke Brown and Georgia Clarke ahead of the season, Gamble proved herself flexible in forming strong new partnerships on the last line of defence.
The rangy 26-year-old opened the season with strong performances against Hawthorn and St Kilda, looking to assert herself in the air and hold up the defensive line.
In the round five loss to Collingwood, Gamble was one of the Dons’ best performers with 10 disposals from the back, setting the precedent for a consistent second half of her season.
Gamble helped limit a dangerous Geelong attack to just 19 points in a critical round six victory and used her aerial presence to almost propel a late comeback effort against West Coast in round eight.
The last two games of the season were arguably Gamble’s best, accumulating 12 touches and three marks in the final round loss to the Suns in Mackay, before booting a maiden career goal in the club’s inaugural final against the Cats.
Gamble’s importance to the Dons was signified by a seventh-place finish in the 2023 Best and Fairest, due reward for her grunt work in defence.
As the Bombers’ back six continues to take shape in 2024, the experience of Gamble will be key in shaping their improvement.