Ever wondered how the stars of yesteryear’s offspring are travelling? AFL Bloodlines dissects the TAC Cup players whose connections stem to both current and former AFL players, whether they are sons, nephews, brothers, cousins or uncles of past or present AFL players, coaches or board members.
Most notably, Hugh Goddard, the cousin of former No.1 draftee Brendan could be set to mirror his star cousin’s feats and too be taken at the same selection, in which he has been touted as a possibility for some time. Goddard, a key-position swingman stands at 196 cm and 93 kg that helps him impact at both ends of the ground. The surname Hodge will be familiar amongst all Hawthorn supporters, and 187 cm, 90 kg midfielder Dylan Hodge, the younger brother of dual premiership star Luke, will also become a familiar name in 2014. Hodge is physically developed and will enforce his AFL-ready body at every opportunity in 2014.
If the name Teia Miles sounds like it rings a bell, it’s because it does. His father Geoff played a total of 122 games combined for Collingwood (31 games), West Coast (71 games) and Geelong (20 games) between 1982-1992. He’s slight at just 179 cm and 68 kg, but has talent to burn and is swift in a contest. The Bulldogs hold two eligible father-son selections this year, and one of them is tall utility Zaine Cordy, the brother of Ayce and son of Brian. At 192 cm and 80 kg, Zaine is a different type of player to Ayce, but is versatile and super competitive. If that wasn’t enough for the Bulldogs fans, Lockey McCartney, the son of the their current senior coach Brendan, is eligible to be drafted in 2015. McCartney however will fall at the mercy of the draft, as his father never played an AFL game.
Younger brother to Geelong premiership player Allen, Aaron Christensen holds similar traits to that of his brother, however injuries caused Aaron to suffer inconsistencies in his football in 2013, which ultimately saw him overlooked at least year’s draft. At 174 cm and 62 kg, the lightly framed small forward must not be judged on his size. He is fleet footed, has great goal sense and is relentless in his defensive pressure. Charles Curnow is the younger brother of the Blues’ midfielder Ed. At 187 cm and 88 kg, Curnow isn’t eligible to be drafted until 2015, but is expected to make a splash in 2014. Harrison Kol, whose father Michael played 63 games for Geelong between 1983–1989, is another slight body at 180 cm and 69 kg is eligible to be drafted this year.
The surname Foster will be familiar at the Whitten Oval. Peter Foster’s son Jayden Foster was eligible to be drafted last year, however was overlooked after his season was largely interrupted with injury. Foster is a high-flying, pack-marking forward who stands at 194 cm and 91 kg. He finished with nine disposals, six marks and a goal in the first round of this season’s TAC Cup, and set up a few more. Another father-son player for the Western Bulldogs is Luke Kennedy, the son of tenacious full-back Rick who player 158 games for the club even though he was overlooked last year.
The Essendon Football Club have a raft of baby Bombers coming through the rank, and there are a few to take note of at Calder Cannons. Harvey Daniher, the son of Chris, and Tom Wallis, the son of Dean, both feature on Calder’s list in 2014. Daniher is 189 cm and 88 kg, and plays off half forward, whilst Wallis is a slight 182 cm, 70 kg wingman. Both are not eligible to be drafted this year, and will play as bottom-age players in 2014 before being eligible in 2015 as father-son prospects.
The highest profile father-son eligible player in 2014 is Oakleigh’s Darcy Moore. He is the son of Collingwood 172-gamer Peter, who won a Brownlow Medal at the Pies in 1979, whilst also winning back-to-back Copeland Trophies, leading goal kicker awards, All Australian selection and briefly captaining the club before being traded to Melbourne where he played just the 77 games. This means the Pies have exclusive access to the key forward who’s been deemed a top five talent in this year’s draft pool by several recruiters. Moore measures in at 199 cm and 94 kg, is a force in the air and the epitome of the modern day swingman. He finished with 14 disposals, eight marks and three goals against Northern on Sunday.
The surname Weideman is synonomous to any Collingwood supporter. Sam Weideman is the grandson of one of the Pies’ favourite sons, Murray. The dual premiership player was a key cog in Collingwood’s 1953 premiership, before taking the reigns as captain and leading the Pies to their 1958 flag. Sam’s father Mark played just 28 games for the Pies, which means he does not qualify as a father-son in his draft year, in which he is eligible in 2015. The 195 cm and 88 kg centre half forward is a always a threat in the air and around goal.
Another eligible father-son in this year’s draft pool, is Josh Dunkley, whose father Andrew was a star at Sydney. Josh’s future is under a cloud as far as an automatic selection by the Swans is concerned, after a very public falling out between the club and his father who has publicly stated he’d prefer his son to be drafted by a Victorian-based side, and even skipped out on his own Hall of Fame induction with animosity still of his dumping ahead of the Paul Roos era. Josh on his own merits is a serious talent who has already been a vice-captain and earned All-Australian selection at the Under 16 national championships. At 188 cm and 84 kg, the well-built teenager has been playing senior football with Sale in the Gippsland Football League.
The Bushrangers’ skipper in 2014, Nicholas Mellington, is the brother of former Fremantle midfielder Josh, who was held in high regard before opting to move back to Victoria on his own accord and finish up with the Dockers at the end of the 2013 season. Nick is 187 cm and 88 kg, and is a high-production midfielder who offers the perfect balance of inside and outside capabilities and is known to impact the scoreboard. Tom Holman’s brother Nick was drafted by Carlton last season. Tom played alongside his now-AFL brother on several occasions last year, including in their elimination final loss to Western Jets. At 191 cm and 93 km, Tom is a tall midfielder, who is smooth in traffic and has shown he’s more than capable at playing either end of the ground.
Returning in 2014 is defender Kyle Gray who is the grandson of Collingwood 1958 premiership player, Brian. At 190 cm and 86 kg, Gray is a defender who provides strong rebound whilst offering the ability to hold accountable the opposition’s third tall. Crafty small forward, Jack Lonie is the cousin of the famous Lonie brothers, Nathan (Hawthorn/Port Adelaide) and Ryan (Collingwood). As a bottom-aged player in 2013, Lonie was a damaging small forward, whose ability to get front and centre, provide forward pressure and bob up with important goals was a key feature of Dandenong’s Grand Final appearance last season. Melbourne will be salivating over eligible father-son selection, Jake Lovett, who is the son of former club champion Brett. Although a different type of player to his father, Jake is a high-possession winning on-baller, with damaging disposal and a tendency to be aggressive. The only downside is that he the Dees will have to wait another year, as he is not eligible until 2015.
Bailey Rice is the son of ex-Carlton and St Kilda forward Dean Rice, who played 116 games for the Saints between 1987 and 1993, and 118 games for the Blues between 1994 and 2001. It means Bailey will have a rare choice to make in deciding between the two clubs, should both opt for his services. Bailey stands at 183 cm and 80 kg and like his teammate Jake Lovett, he too will be eligible for the 2015 National Draft. James Freeman is the son of Peter, who played just the five games for St Kilda between 1988 and 1990, before being listed by West Coast in 1991, though failing to make his debut. James, however, is considered a real talent and at 189 cm and 70 kg is a polished and versatile player who can play a wide range of positions. AIS-AFL Academy member Tom Lamb is not the brother nor relative of the Giants’ Jed, however he is the grandson of St Kilda premiership hero Ian Cooper, who in a retrospective poll by experts was awarded the Norm Smith Medal in St Kilda’s one and only premiership triumph in 1966. Tom is a ball magnet who steamrolls through the midfield and can kick multiple goals.
2014 skipper Angus Brayshaw has a few familiar family ties to North Melbourne, most notably his uncle James, who is president of the Kangaroos. The AIS-AFL squad member played as a bottom-aged player for the Dragons last year, plying his trade alongside the likes of Josh Kelly, Christen Salem, Nathan Freeman, Zach Merrett and Tom Langdon, though a broken arm restricted his season to just five appearances. Brayshaw brought his own ball on Sunday against Eastern, with 37 disposals, nine marks, five tackles and a goal. In 2014, look for Brayshaw as a game changing and high-possession winning midfielder, who is one of the most polished players in the competition. Another father-son prospect is Harry Dear who is the son of premiership player Paul. He has missed the last couple of years through injury but is fully fit and impressed on the weekend.
Anthony Daw is the younger brother of North Melbourne cult hero Majak, and is still very much a development prospect. Structurally built like his brother, Daw is a whopping 196 cm and 93 kg giant, who offers the ability to ruck as well as play deep forward. Eligible to be drafted this year, Daw will need to ensure he remains consistent in his football. He finished with just five disposals and eight hitouts against Calder in round one, whilst also kicking a nice goal.
Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more of them, there are! Athol Jetta is the brother of Essendon’s Leroy and is a similar type of player. Like his brother, he is a thin build at just 176 cm and 60 kg. Jetta plays as a small opportunist forward who can kick freakish goals and set up plenty more with his creativity.
The biggest name at the Northern Knights in terms of AFL Bloodlines is the son of a former Carlton great, who is every bit father-son eligible. Jake Bradley is the son of Craig, who played a total of 375 games for the Blues between 1986 and 2002. Jake stands at just 175 cm and 66 kg, and is not eligible to be drafted in 2014. Another familiar AFL name is Connor Dalgleish, the younger brother of Essendon’s Lachie, who is a similar type of player, playing a similar type of position. Another player with Collingwood connections is Jake Wild, the son of former Magpie Jason. Jake is a similar type to his father, whose aggression and physicality is a highlight. The trio combined for just 10 disposals against Oakleigh on Sunday, albeit off limited game time.
The name Reece McKenzie is a name that could potentially come back to haunt the Blues in the future. Carlton fans would be dirty to know that former premiership player, Warren McKenzie, only played just the 67 games for the club, meaning his key forward son is not eligible as a father-son. Reece is a big lead up forward whose strengths lay in his contested marking and goal kicking, and is physically ready at 196 cm and 100 kg. He looked a likely type against Oakleigh in round one, kicking two really good goals, laying four tackles and taking four solid marks whilst spending considerable amount of time in the ruck, recording 11 hitouts.
Yet another potential father-son eligible Bulldog could be on his way, and it’s Northern’s Darcy MacPherson, whose father Stephen was a club great at the Bulldogs, playing a total of 188 games and kicking 152 goals during his 13 years at the club. MacPherson is only a whippet at 173 cm and 68 kg, but that didn’t deter him, collecting 10 disposals and laying a team-high nine tackles, as well as kicking a goal. He’ll have another year to fill out, as he is not eligible to be drafted until 2015.
Injured duo Kain Proctor and Zac Ballard also hold AFL affiliations. Kain’s father Lionel played 20 games with Richmond between 1998 and 2001, though Kain will be missing for several weeks with a fractured wrist suffered in a Knights’ intra-club match. At 171 cm and 63 kg, he is small, however he describes himself as an endurance athlete who always puts his head over the ball. Ballard, whose brother Jacob was rookie listed by Fremantle last year, is a 184-cm, 83-kg half forward flanker. He is a serious talent, however he will be sidelined for some time with a knee issue which has interrupted the majority of his pre-season.
A sole father-son potential for the Pioneers is James Coghlan who is the son of Frank, a solid midfielder during the late eighties. After being initially turned away from Carlton to play 109 games at the Saints. Coghlan, a talented rover who has grown up playing for Sandhurst, the same side his dad played for, will be eligible for father-son at the end of 2015.
Throughout this year I’ll provide you with an update on how these players are going and if you know of any other TAC Cup players with AFL Bloodlines, let us know!