The sons, brothers, nephews, cousins and relatives of yesterdays and today’s heroes are the players who make up AFL Bloodlines. Collectively, after each round of TAC Cup football, I’ll be providing statistical updates and game notes on each individual player so that you can track their process this season. If you missed the overviews of eligible AFL Bloodlines players, click here.
Billy Lloyd – North Ballarat Rebels
The bottom age star for the Rebels, who is also the younger brother of current Sydney player Jake had an influential game for the Rebels, especially in a game that demanded a match-winner. For a small guy, he had such great strength through his core and his legs and in particular he had a whopping kick whilst also showing strength overhead with six marks. His energy was particularly impressive, his run was electric and with upwards of eight lead changes throughout the afternoon, Lloyd’s influence sparked the Rebels come-from-behind victory. In particular, it’s worth highlighting his vision and awareness, which in a contest stood out because he just remained cool and calm under pressure, especially when he was corralled. His defensive pressure was also great, laying eight tackles. The only whack on his game was his composure by foot. 11 of his 15 kicks were classes as ineffective, which is the difference between him having a solid game and a very good one.
Nick Coughlan – Murray Bushrangers
On the comeback from injury, it was his best game yet for the big key position swingman this year. The GWS Academy and AFL-AIS member looms as a great development prospect, but regardless is really holding his own and blazing his own trail currently for Murray Bushrangers. After a couple of injuries relating to his feet, Coughlan returned on Saturday as the leading goal kicker on ground. For a while he loomed as the difference and potential the match-winner on the day. Coughlan is a big boy, he moves in a way that isn’t as natural as big men but his effectiveness isn’t at all affected. He plays both ends of the ground reasonably well, but in particular on Saturday he was situated forward and kicked five goals straight, in a brilliant display of accuracy and reliability. He bodies up nicely as a forward, protects the drop zone well and importantly reads the play soundly. His kicking motion is quite good, his kicking mechanics are something that also should be highlighted, both from a set shot and higher up the ground. He isn’t the most athletic player nor is he fluent below his knees but when the ball is in the air he makes it his own.
Nick Mellington – Murray Bushrangers
Liked the game of the Bushrangers skipper. Although he looked to be carrying a hip injury which he had worked on throughout the game, his efforts couldn’t be faulted. He was hard and tough through the middle, leading his team with six tackles and it’s his defensive side of his game that really stands out. His output of 24 disposals was sound, but more importantly so he was vocal at the stoppages and his leadership in the sea-sawing affair between the Bushrangers and the Rebels. He generates a lot of drive from behind the ball, and has shown at times this year he’s a valuable asset to utilise forward given his strong frame and core. His development this year is a real credit to his character and his application cannot be faulted.
Jayden Foster – Calder Cannons
Named best on ground between the Cannons and NSW/ACT Rams and with good reason, too. A total of four goals from four marks and he has been exerting his influence on games. With potential number one draft pick Peter Wright out of the side, Foster continues to make serious in-roads. He has fantastic work ethic, he gets up higher on the ground and then pushes back strongly leading into space which highlights his endurance. There is still room for improvement in Foster’s game, but already his development as a 19 year is exactly why the 19 year-old rule is such a terrific one in the TAC Cup. Foster is so far has kicked 19 goals in his seven TAC matches this season, kicking on average 2.7 goals a game.
Harrison Kol – Geelong Falcons
A talented bottom-age player, Harrison Kol moves like a footballer and importantly uses the ball to AFL standard. He’s quite nimble at this stage, and doesn’t quite yet resemble the body of an AFL footballer, but he’s collecting the ball like he is one. After his 20 –disposal effort that saw him named in Geelong’s best, it’s his marking that has stood out. He moves and marks the ball like Nat Fyfe and is in that same type of rangy mould in that way that he glides across the ground. Kol collected six marks and his disposal efficiency of 80 per cent underlines his composure with the ball by hand and foot. He’s a real goer, he makes terrific decisions with the ball and can push forward to have an impact on the goal. All up, Kol collected 20 disposals, eight handball receives, six marks, three tackles and a goal to boot.
Teia Miles – Geelong Falcons
The co-captain of the Falcons continues to string together strong performances and against Bendigo it was no different. Collecting a season-high 31 disposals in a losing side, Miles rallied hard to have an impact on his teammates and on the state of the game. He provided run with 11 handball receives and a total of nine marks. He’s somebody who looms as a late round to rookie draft prospect, but people are quite bullish about his prospects this year.
James Coughlan – Bendigo Pioneers
A quiet game for James Coughlan who collected just ten disposals against the Falcons. Situated across defence for the majority of the season thus far, he generated run with four handball receives and laid three tackles whilst taking two marks. His disposal efficiency needs to be better though. Given he’s collecting a small amount of the ball, he really needs to add finish to his use with three of his six kicks missing targets.
Brayden Maynard – Sandringham Dragons
It’s been an enjoyable season to watch Brayden Maynard’s development. After being situated for the majority of last year across half forward, Maynard has started to develop his endurance and gut running which has seen him make cameo appearances through the middle for the Dragons. On the weekend in particular against Oakleigh, he had a career high possession game finishing with 29 disposals but his disposal efficiency is lacking. He just often looks like he’s trying to kick the air out of the ball, rather than just placing it to where it needs to go. He operated at a very poor 48 per cent disposal efficiency, with 14 of his 29 disposals missing targets. In particular, his efficiency by foot was at a mere 45 per cent which is an area that he really needs to tidy up, but is something that can be honed more specifically in a good development system at the next level.
Harry Dear – Sandingham Dragons
Didn’t spend much time up forward, but was dominate in the ruck finishing with 35 hit outs in a dominating display. Harry Dear is a really interesting prospect, because he plays both forward and ruck well enough to be able to hold down both in varying role at the next level. In terms of his game on the weekend, he finished with one goal to go along with this 13 disposals, four marks and a super-impressive eight tackles. Dear’s aggression and physicality at the contest is paramount in the way he approaches his footy. Unlike other taller players who struggle to really use their frame’s as weapons, Dear is a real crash-and-bash type with aggression akin to Brodie Grundy in terms of his attack on the ball from a stoppage. He categorically beat Lachie Waddell, a top-age prospect whose enjoying a career-best year, which is something for Dear to really hang his hat on.
Tyler Roos – Sandringham Dragons
Really starting to stamp himself as a player, Tyler Roos collected 34 disposals against the Chargers in what was easily best game yet of the 2014 TAC Cup season. His run and drive with the ball – as underlined with 11 handball receives – is seeing him grow rapidly in confidence since entering Sandringham’s squad this season, but more so he’s really understanding now what is expected and required of him in a team whose bulk of players are missing due to school football commitments. It’s because of that, that his leadership and drive is starting to really come to the fore, which is an impressive trait to have. Roos also had six marks and three tackles and is finding consistency now with an average of 22.6 disposals and 3.7 tackles at the mid-way point of the year. His disposal efficiency could do with some work, in which he is averages 8.8 ineffective disposals per game, for a disposal efficiency average of 62 per cent. His game however on the weekend was by far his best in that category, with a disposal efficiency of an elite 71 per cent.
From the National Championships
Jack Lonie – Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country
Has literally gone from strength to strength, and talk about the National Championships being the forefront of the Country’s best talents – Jack Lonie has made a big name for himself, impressing on the big stage in a star-studded performance against Western Australia, as the Vic Country team won by 62 points. Off 24 disposals, Lonie slotted four goals whilst finishing with an impressive 67 per cent disposal efficiency to star in the fourth round of the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His draft stocks are rising significantly.
Tom Lamb – Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country
Another big effort from Tom Lamb, in which he has now enjoyed a second consecutive game that has featured over 20 disposals. Off his 20 touches, 11 were kicks, whilst he marked strongly with five marks and two clearances. In a pleasing aspect, more than half of Lamb’s disposals were contested, which is something that he’s been strongly developing in the TAC Cup for the Stingrays.
Hugh Goddard – Geelong Falcons/Vic Country
After a slow start to the National Championships, Hugh Goddard responded well against WA after coach Mark Ellis elected to start Goddard back in defence in Round four. The athletic swingman had 14 disposals with a fantastic disposal efficiency of 71 per cent – his highest return on both accounts so far this carnival. More importantly for Goddard, he marked strongly with four marks and enjoyed 12 kicks, three tackles and seven contested possessions playing out of the backline, rebounding strongly. It’s hopefully a sign of better things to come from Goddard with two games remaining of the Championships.
Angus Brayshaw – Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro
The high production midfielder, Gus Brayshaw had arguably his best game of the Championships finishing with 25 disposals, two tackles, five clearances and 11 contested possessions to go with six inside 50’s, two goal assists and a goal to round out an impressive afternoon. Although his critics have raised concerns about his disposal efficiency, he enjoyed an above average disposal efficiency against South Australia with 68 per cent which really was a glimpse of just how influential he can be.
Ed Langdon – Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro
The younger brother of Collingwood revelation Tom Langdon, Ed has caught the eye due to a spectacular National Championships carnival to date and it’s no surprise his break-out performance against top of the table South Australia has him rocketing up the draft order. Langdon is a similar mould to his brother, although he plays predominately though the midfield as a pacey, exciting and gut-running role. He’s got a touch of Dale Thomas in the way that he runs all day, is quite quick over the first 20 metres but importantly so is an aggressive tackler and can really push forward of centre to impact the scoreboard. Given Langdon’s 16+ beep test, his endurance allows him to cover plenty of the ground and his efforts against South Australia returned a stat sheet of 13 disposals, five tackles, three marks and five contested possessions to go with his four goals, four inside 50’s and one goal assist at a disposal efficiency of an elite 69 per cent.
Darcy Moore – Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro
Situated in defence for Metro against the Croweaters, Moore played a close-checking role for Metro collecting just the six disposals. He’s never been a high possession winner unlike other types of key defenders, but he plays to the team ethos and does his direct role, rather than looking to rack up numbers on the stats sheet. He had just the two marks and four contested possessions, but gave away three free kicks for being overly aggressive and also had four clangers. Not his best game, unfortunately.