Aaaaaaaan here we are again with our final installment of the players we think have defined this decade of Ultimate in Australia. What an enjoyably heated debate this has been!
This time we're looking at the best of the best offensive female talent in Australia. For these 7 players it's their throws, their cutting ability, their cool head in the face of immense pressure that has seen them become leaders on the field and legends in our hearts.
Finally, before we dip into the action, thanks to all our readers for an amazing 2019! There have been so many awesome moments and thoughts that we've loved discussing with you. Here's to an even better 2020!
Georgia ‘G’ Egan-Griffiths is another huge piece of the Ellipsis puzzle that has seen them be so dominant in the Australian women’s scene since their inception in 2016. She is a relentless cutting force and has the athleticism to match, forcing her opponents to choose between giving her the deep space (bad option) or giving her the disc (worse option).
G crushes opposition through her deadly combination of creativity, discipline and grace. She’s one of the few female handlers in Australia who can reliably hit unorthodox small space options when she has the disc. She’s a selfless player, distributing the disc with ease, making her teammates look good time after time. - ME
Put very simply, Cat Phillips is the face of Australian Ultimate and one of the best players in the world. Australia's strongest option across almost every position on the field, Cat is a force of nature. She is one of the few players in the country who has taken the time to fully develop every element of her game. She has every throw in the book, can take almost every player for speed and is a vocal leader when her team needs it.
When we arrived in Poland for World Games 2017, I was kind of expecting the best athletes from the rest of the world to cause Cat to fade into the background. But I was wrong. She dominated everyone. The best players from USA, Canada, Japan and Colombia had no answer for her, which is absolutely crazy when you think about it. - ME
It was when I had the pleasure of coaching alongside Dani Alexander that I realised why she’s so good. She wants to win. Like really bad. Like, life or death, in your bones, earth-shatteringly bad. And that desire is backed up by action.
It sort of goes without saying that Dani has been one of the consistently dominant receivers in Australia over the past decade. But we’ll say it anyway. She has. She so fast, tenacious, and explosive that she’s been the preferred target of a whole generation of throwers in both the mixed and womens division. In recent years, she’s also some subtleties to her game that have allowed her to turn 50:50s into certainties. For all those reasons and more, she’s one of the best Australia’s produced. - MF
Mish has been a steady, dominating presence on Aussie rosters and AUC championship teams since before the decade. She is a tireless cutter for her team, catching goal after goal with the grace and athleticism of a gazelle. Mish is not only a force in the air, but also one of the fastest athletes this country has ever produced. She effortlessly flows across the field, catching goals and racking up blocks against the world’s best.
The first time I really saw Mish dominate was at the 2010 U23’s in Italy. I think she caught maybe 8-10 goals in that game (?) or at least it seemed that way. All of them challenging deep catches, but she reeled in every single one. From memory, that is still the only international gold that Australia has ever won and it was all on the back of Mish Phillips (along with the 3 Japanese women trying to stop her skying them). - ME
In the many years that Grindlay has been leader on the Aussie scene, I don’t think anyone has ever figured out how to stop her inside flick. Grindlay has been one of Australia’s best centre handlers, holding her nerve and executing tight break throws and penetrating hucks all decade long. Her secret? She has a really, really good flick. Her flick huck has enough power on it that she is one of a handful of players that can reliably hit shots upwind. Her IO flick can devastate teams, even when they try to figure it out.
In a similar way to Viv, Winky and others of that generation, she has a fire and a steely determination that somehow always sees her come out on top. In my mind, when I think of Grindlay, I see her holding down a zone offence on an upwind point, hitting shots that no one else would even consider to keep her team in the game. - ME
Have you ever heard the phrase “there’s no silver bullet”? Well whichever coked-up mid-century werewolf hunter came up with that phrase had obviously never met Sarah Crossie.
When Sarah Crossie played in the Nationals final this year, it felt like a whole new generation of seeing what we already know; Crossie can absolutely break open a field with her throws, destroying a defence in the process. Her ability to see the field and hit creative options is truly elite. And if you force her upfield...well you’ve got the same chances of killing a werewolf without a silver bullet.
Oh and she wrote the most-read article on our site ever so, there’s that… - MF
Holly is undeniably the wunderkind of the 10s. Since she first burst onto the scene at Juniors in 2016, she has barrelled around divisions, around teams and around the world, playing on as many different teams as will take her.
In the eyes of some, this is a criticism. But the reality is that she’s been able to make an impact on every team she’s played on. She’s risen to the challenge, exceeded expectations, grown as a player and demonstrated again and again that her reputation as a smart, talented thrower and block-getter is deserved. She’s here to signal the future for sure, but it’s also because of her achievements on team after team. And the fact is, we haven’t even seen her best yet. - MF