After three home and away seasons without a finals appearance, North Melbourne's VFLW Roos are relishing their opportunity as a solidified premiership contender in 2024 as they prepare for their first ever VFLW semi-final.

They'll take on Williamstown on Sunday for a chance to book their place in the decider, following their 63-point elimination final win over Essendon.

The Kangas were completely rampant at Arden Street, finishing +7 in clearances and +8 in tackles while having 45 more disposals than the visitors.

Unstoppable in the way they attacked the ball and swarmed the opposition, it was the midfield trio of Maddie Di Cosmo, Alana Barba and Audrey Rhodes who drove the Roos from the engine room on their way to a combined 81 possessions, 40 tackles and 28 clearances.


"Finals footy is so much about your ability to compete and contest, and your pressure, so we had a really strong focus on that as well as the defensive side of the game," VFLW senior coach Brett Gourley said on the VFL/W's State of Play podcast following the win over Essendon.

"I thought the girls brought that (last Sunday), particularly through the midfield with Maddie Di Cosmo, Audrey Rhodes and Alana (Barba) - their tackle pressure was outstanding."

Not only did the group have the ascendancy in the middle, but Di Cosmo and Rhodes were able to work forward early and put their names on the scoresheet with first quarter majors.

They were quick reminders that the current North Melbourne outfit has a different dimension compared to past years, with its midfielders willing to impact the game further down the field.

"We spoke to them all at the start of the year about what they need to do to take their game to the next level, and for all of them it was the ability to hit the scoreboard," Gourley mentioned.

"It definitely helps them as individuals but when they can hit the scoreboard it helps us a team as well."

Just as influential to the Roos' resurgence has been lively forward Nyakoat Dojiok.

The dynamic attacker has blitzed defenders with her speed and out-marked opponents using her strength all throughout the year to finish with 22 home-and-away majors, before adding four to her tally against the Bombers in the side's inaugural final.

"We're so pleased with how she's been going, she's had an incredible season once again," Gourley said.

"She's such a threat up forward, she always takes the opposition's best defender and is just so dangerous when you get her one on one"

"She was another one we were able to secure at the start of the season which was nice, too."

The integration of pre-season additions like Dojiok with team stalwarts like Brooke Slaney and co-captain Jess Jones has seen the Roos realise their potential this season, and club now sits on the verge of a potential Grand Final berth.

"The girls that we brought in were not just quality footballers but also quality people, and we had a really strong focus on improving and continuing to build a strong culture.

"What they've been able to build and bring on-field has been incredible but it's also the leadership of players like Renee Tierney who stepped straight into our leadership group."


We are on the lookout for the next generation of talented athletes to join the North Melbourne Academy